Latest news about the café: we are looking for an experienced café manager! Here is the job description. If you know someone who'd be great, please share the job description with him or her; it includes instructions on how to apply. (No phone calls, please.)
The Farmers Market @ St. Stephen's, our Sunday Community Suppers, our visiting speakers and poets, and other ministries at St. Stephen's Church all contribute to our mission to serve as a "village green" for the community. We want to extend a welcome to all, whether they are members of St. Stephen's, members of another faith community, or not affiliated at all. This is a reclaiming of the role the church has played through the centuries, with "parishes" actually being geographic areas for which the local parish church took a sense of responsibility.
A café project team—comprised of St. Stephen’s parishioners and staff, and including the owners of two local retail food businesses—formed in May 2016 to discuss a new village green ministry: a gathering place for the whole community, with a particular emphasis on creating a comfortable gathering spot for youth. To learn more about the café ministry vision, including details like projected hours and menu, follow this link.
A $30,000 gift from an anonymous donor funded the initial phase of the project, including the hiring of Baskervill, a local architecture firm, to redesign the space (the former choir room, at the Three Chopt end of the parish house).
Thanks to the generosity of more than 100 donors, we met our fundraising target in early June and had received gifts totaling $192,650 as of June 16, enough to cover the full cost of construction, to be performed by local contractor Method Woodworking. Demolition to prepare the café space will begin on June 19, to be followed by construction and an anticipated September 1 opening.
Additional gifts are still welcome and will help ensure the café’s success by offsetting startup costs like the purchase of initial inventory. You can make your gift here (select ‘café’ from the drop-down ‘select a fund’ menu) or by sending a check to the parish office.
In the 20 years that my husband, Chris, and I have been members of St. Stephen’s, we’ve seen many new offerings take root and thrive, but none of them have excited us more than the idea of a community coffee house right here in our church home. As our children have grown and changed, so have our family’s needs. We now need a place where they can study independently, where they can meet up with friends, where they can chat casually with clergy and staff. We need a place that offers healthy afternoon snacks or an easy Saturday lunch. We need a place to meet with other parents, with church committee members, and with neighbors. We all need a place—to gather, to unwind, to connect.
Michael Sweeney, Director of Family Ministry // email // 804.288.2867