This is my church on a typical Sunday morning (yesterday to be exact). This is the Cafe. There is a 9:00 and 10:45 a.m. service -- so before, even during, and after the service people swarm into the Cafe for free food and beverages. For those who for whatever reason feel more comfortable outside of a traditional service setting - you can even watch Pastor Dennis preach on a big screen inside the Cafe while eating your morning muffin and cup of coffee. I love this part of church.
One of the most important parts about going to church in the first place is fellowship. Connecting with others, sharing your life with one another, bringing up the fact that this past week has been a tough one, or celebrate an accomplishment with a friend.
Life can be an isolating experience. It is important to purposefully make an effort to connect with others. Sometimes it is easier to simply stay at home and clean your house for the forth time this week, or watch another three hours of television. Living is about relationship and in order to have relationship -- meaningful relationships -- you have to first get out of your house. Facebook and email don't count (either does blogging).
Even the kids have time for fellowship at "the kids table" -- you can see Ripley in the faded orange sweatshirt on the left. The kids table is actually a great place for adults to get to know one another. Invariably we all end up talking about our children's behavior or eating habits, life with kids, life before kids, etc., etc.
Here you can see Victor involved in some type of meaningful conversation with friends. I'd like to point out here how impressed I am that Matt and Kara brought their own coffee mugs from home. Blush. Does it count that I remembered to do that last week?! Invariably when the second service starts, one of our Pastors - Sean, gathers everyone up and explains that if you are here to watch the second service, it is beginning, if your just gabbing -- exit stage left. We like to tease him sarcastically "Geee Sean, you sure are friendly here at Community Covenant Church!" As we gather up our kids, our handbags and coats and skidaddle. Every pastor should be so blessed to have a room full of fellowshipping jabbermouths. Right Sean? :)