The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Soul Café

Age of community: 5 years.

Youth and young adults spend time connecting
Youth and young adults spend time connecting at Soul Café, an emergent ministry in Hood River, Ore.
Location: A Hood River, Ore., coffeehouse.

Web site: www.soulcafe.org.

Leaders: Jill E. Rowland, an ELCA pastor; stewards Debby Chenoweth, Larry Visser and Lorie Saito; youth coordinator Tahnee Meckoll; and cafe manager Craig Schmidt. But every participant is a “steward of the mysteries of God.” About 10 to 12 are core participants and many flow in and out.

What one participant said: “I came across a coffee shop [that lacked] the oppressive air I’ve so often found in ‘churchy’ projects or missions,” Tim Norgren said. “So I showed up Sunday to ... a family meal that was open to anyone in the community. ... I found myself more involved when I realized that diversity and truly open, intelligent discussion was the norm.” Norgren recently moved to Ohio but still feels a part of the ministry.


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February issue


Embracing diversity