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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Couple dreams of starting new worshiping community in coffee shop that employs people with disabilities


People are their passion

February 5, 2019

Laura Foote was in a “really, really dark” place until she took Expresso 101 classes; now she hopes to open a coffee shop that employs people with disabilities. Brett Foote

When Brett Foote decided to go to Princeton Theological Seminary in the fall of 2016, his wife, Laura Foote, was in a “really, really dark place.” She struggled with depression — and with church and how she fit in.

“I remember talking to my mom,” she said. “Like Brett’s got this dream and vision now. I was like, ‘Mom, I want that. Like, what am I doing?’ ”

Laura and her mother, an entrepreneur, began talking about Laura’s love of coffee shops — because of the connections that happen over coffee — and her passion for working with people with disabilities, like her brother Eric.

As she spoke about what an incredible person he was, her mother looked at her and said, “Laura, why don’t you start a coffee shop and employ people affected by disability?”

“Mom,” she shot back, “because I actually don’t know anything about coffee.”

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Then Brett enrolled her in a class given by a specialty coffee shop — Espresso 101.

Laura admits she was nervous, but she was determined to see if she could learn anything about coffee — which turned out to be a pivotal, life-changing moment.

“I connected with God through the craft of coffee. As I explained to Brett, I felt like I finally could see in color again.”

Laura felt God’s creativity shining again, through coffee. Here was a place where people could worship and connect with God, while coming together as a community and learning a craft.

Brett and Laura recently shared their story at a Discerning Missional Leadership (DML) assessment for potential 1001 new worshiping community leaders — and their vision and dream of housing an NWC in a coffee shop that employs people with disabilities.

Laura admits she had many doubts. But the DML assessment gave her the confidence to say to herself, “No, this is who you are. You can go for this and God is calling you to this.”

“People are our passion,” she said. “Coffee is our language that will bring us together.”

“Like a conduit,” added Brett, who is in his final year of seminary. “It’s not about the coffee, but it really is about the coffee. But it’s about church, too.”

“It’s about the people,” added Laura, thinking about those in the disability community who will have sustainable employment if their dream gets off the ground.

“It’s about the people,” Brett nodded. “It’s about those who will be affected (by this new ministry).”

 Paul Seebeck, Mission Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus:  1001 New Worshiping Community

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Ray Jones, PMA
Rick Jones, OGA

Let us pray:

Include your ear to us, O God, for we are always in need of your gracious care. Preserve and protect us when the storms of life wash over us and leave us gasping for breath. Help us to notice signs of your providence and love each day, especially when we cannot care for ourselves but need to rely upon the kindness of brothers and sisters to help us weather the storm. Amen.

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