The Vine; we held our first worship gathering downtown at a lovely spot called the Artist Cafe. We've formed a great partnership with the owner between (1) eating here all the time, and (2) renting the space every other Friday night for Game Night.
When The Vine started outgrowing living rooms, we knew that we would have to move to a more public location soon. Worship also started becoming a place where people wanted to check us out (and going over to a stranger's home can be a bit of a barrier to some). At the same time, we didn't want to rent a sterile environment -- many community rooms boast linoleum tile and flourescent lighting -- and we wanted a hospitable, warm, welcoming space.
And so we figured the Artist Cafe was perfect place. The walls are covered with local art. The food is delicious. The space is flexible enough for our current needs, with space for an art table in the back and Ben's keyboard and a small altar table.
The spirit this afternoon was really good - people quickly settled in, connected, and hung out. No kids at the kids table -- but having a space for people to create some art while worship was going on ended up being a stroke of genius. Saw a few new faces as well.
We do worship twice a month now, so our next gathering is in two weeks. Looking forward to it!