09 January 2010

open living room

ok.. i mentioned in my last post that a main goal for this next year is to make the "offene wohnzimmer" come into being, not just as a plan but as an actual ministry. surprisingly, no one asked what that means.

well, i am going to tell you anyway :-p but for now, i will keep it short.

my vision for karlsruhe is to create a space that is a cross between a living room, a cafe, an arts center, a social work center, and a church. make sense? basically, it will be a cafe with no prices. if people can pay, they are encouraged to make a donation. if not, then they should just drink free. there will be no waiters, but rather a coffee bar where people can serve themselves (and thus not feel self-consious about not having money). the people "working" there would just be hanging out, basically. it will be set up like the coolest living room. i have a whole concept about the appearance, but i said i would keep it short. i'll just say this: mary poppins tea-party.

the arts part comes into play also a bit with the furnishings, and also with the wall space- giving local (christian) artists a space to exhibit their work... and maybe sell it. also on fridays there would be various events... small concerts, theater performances, indie films, open-mic... these would also be "fed" by the christian community. (i am not talking about the story of jesus every week though) some performances would come from workshops led by myself or other volunteers.. like i can see starting an improv theater group with local teens, making documentaries with the punks, or working with some of the homeless on a poetry-slam. and so on. these workshops would all be free and take place every saturday. maybe more, if we have more volunteers.

everything in the place would be for sale- but not for profit. it would be based on a sliding-scale. thus, a punk kid just out of rehab would pay 5 bucks for a chair and a banker would pay 50 for the same chair. we would get the furniture from the trash, and refurbish it. i have a friend who is a carpenter and wants to take on two unemployed people as apprentices and teach them to do these restorations, helping them learn a trade and make a little extra money.

the idea is that we would be restoring. the trashed furniture would gain a new life through the carpenters, and the people in the community would be restored in spirit through their contact with us. (we hope) obviously, it is a bit more subtle way of reaching people with the gospel. but i feel in europe that the most important thing is for people to trust and to then be able to open their hearts- and learn that the message of the Bible is one of LOVE.

trust me. i could say a LOT more. like about the counseling, soup-kitchen, single-moms group, kids homework help, emergency apartments, shower and washing machine, etc that are in this plan... but i will stop here for now. i am open to comments and questions, and of course, if you feel God is placing it on your heart to pray for this project or you would like to support it financially, i would be very happy to hear from you!


At 11:49, Blogger Jeff said...

I love this idea. Sounds like a great place for "being". I would come and enjoy every moment.


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