CollectiveMKE has several core values that we all share. Connection is always the first one I think of when people ask how our church is different. Exploration is another. We are all exploring the Bible and its application in our Twenty First century world. We do this every week when we work through the liturgy sheets. Of course our potlucks are part of our community as well. It is around the table of food and through sharing it with others that we deepen our connection and recognize our common humanity.
But another connective element is...Coffee.
Because, lets face it, at Collective, we drink a whole lot of coffee.
It is what starts us up. It is what brings us together. Many of us start our Sundays out gathered around the coffee pot. Some of us take creamer, others take sugar, and still others like to dunk their biscotti in it. Me, I prefer my coffee black and strong. In many ways our coffee choices reflect our diversity as a community as well.
I was talking with Craig and Claude last Sunday morning about our coffee habits and Craig mentioned that occasionally Colten likes to dunk biscotti in his dad's coffee. Craig winced and said he prefers the floaties in his coffee to be his own. The point is that coffee was the connection for us - we were drinking it and as three guys were using it as an icebreaker that led to other discussion.
While it isn't a CollectiveMKE event per se, I get together for coffee with a few guys every Thursday morning at Cafe De Arts in Waukesha. Two or three of us are from CollectiveMKE, but a couple are not. We discuss spiritual books as well as everything from politics to auto and home maintenance. The discussions get quite heady sometimes - philosophical and deep - other times, they're more just a bunch of guys laughing and getting a jump start on their Thursday morning. I often say it is the best hour of my Thursday.
I know that a few of the women from CollectiveMKE also gather once in a while for coffee either in someone's home or two-by-two in coffee shops around town. It is a chance for them to talk and catch up between Sundays.
None of these casual meetings over coffee are solving world problems. But maybe they don't need to. Maybe the idea of "table" that we talk about as one of the four tenets of CollectiveMKE could be extended to include a table with nothing on it but coffee cups. It is where we dive into the lives and humanity of one another, where we grieve, laugh, share, plan and discuss. Hopefully somewhere along the line, we become better people because of it. By our presence we show our love, concern and desire to connect.
And sometimes doing that we create a momentary church of two or three.
"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Matt 18:20
None of this is to exclude those who don't drink coffee. The same connection can be done over a cup of tea, a pint of beer or a chocolate shake. Doesn't matter. The secret is to initiate the interaction and see how we can bless others with our presence and maybe even come away blessed ourselves.