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Ministry of the Barista

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Something I have often reflected on is how baristas have an important ministry.

I am a pastoral intern in an established church and doing pioneer ministry in a church that was closed down. Much of what I do is try to get to know other people. I try to remember their names, remember what they tell me so I can follow up, I pray for them, I try to find ways that I can care for them. Sometimes I can have a whole day where I try to meet people and that flops. And other days it is a success in terms of numbers. I have a team of people and I try to keep up morale even when I get a bit discouraged with how slowly things are going.

As a pastoral intern, I have been reflecting on who I am – and who other people expect me to be. I have discovered that I am often not just Elizabeth – I wear a pastoral hat. I am a leader. I am on the pastoral team. I hear stories that I may not hear otherwise. It’s a privilege. And it’s beautiful. But I am not used to it – and with change and new things, there are always challenges.

Today I walked into the local coffee shop near my new place.

I am just Elizabeth here. They already know some things about me. They know I work at a youth drop in. They knew last night that we were offering free ice cream with all the works.

When I walked in, I was greeted with a huge smile and a welcome. I was asked how it went last night. We didn’t have youth join us, but we gave out a lot of ice cream.

And then the barista encouraged me about how new things develop slowly – and that they need to.

The whole experience was what I needed this morning. Today, the person who ministered to me was my local barista. He doesn’t know this. I think most don’t. But they offer more than a good cup of coffee.

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