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Introducing the MilkXHoney Café

posted 27.11.2014

The MILKXHoney Cafe is opened daily from Sunday to Friday, 8.00 am to 3.00 pm. 

Some of you will have noticed that the MilkXHoney Cafe has started.

Step into it and you will sense that this room, which have been left as a lounge for 3 years, has taken on an entirely different feel.

To start a café, which functions effectively as a "third place", has been one primary motivation of setting this up in St James' Church.

A modern cafe is a renewed version of our local coffeeshop. It is a “third place”, where people can congregate apart from the usual two, work and home.

A third place has some common features.

They are neutral, accessible and open. Anyone can walk in. No reservation or booking is needed. Status differences that matter so much elsewhere are not relevant. No one plays host at a third place. You don’t need permission to enter it. They are physically plain and unpretentious. The dominant mood is informal, relax and playful. Laughter abounds. Conversation is the main and accepted activity.

Users are encouraged to linger. They decide how long they want to stay on and what they like to do i.e. drink, eat, talk, read. It acts like an oases stop in the urban heat of city life. It can be a place for solitude (pull out) or to have quiet conversations with someone (get into).

Students gather in cafes to study due to the experience of “restricted freedom”: freedom to do the necessary to focus on studying and restrictions which bars them from distracting activities. On the same note, some pastors enjoy reading or preparing their sermons in cafes. 

The fact that this café concept fits nice into that of a church which seeks to be a “third place” for all (not just her members) is one reason why many churches run their own cafes. It is a place in church  - a third place within a third place - where members and “non-members” can gather freely; the latter doing so without a sense that “they don’t belong there. In most churches, the church is only a third place for all when there is a public event. A café makes a space a welcoming third place on a daily basis, as long as it is opened.

A café of course rides on a café culture already established and publicly accepted here in Singapore. Apart from the environment, most will expect a cup of coffee of a certain kind as one would expect in a good café here. Offering it at an affordable price is another unique attraction.

It is the goal of the café operator (Mark Su) to run an authentic and attractive café, and for members to tap on the place for all sorts of ministry purposes i.e. conversations with friends, casual counseling, inviting friends to church, studying with friends, appointment meeting with someone etc.

By early 2015, items like cookies, bread or cakes will be offered. Cold drinks may be introduced, including fruit juices. By March, we hope to start the book library, encouraging people to browse, read and borrow. Using the cafe, we hope to encourage a reading culture. We will do book reviews In due course. A Book Club to discuss books will be great. We wi

ll also invite members who would like to help to join the Cafe ministry.

And if you would like to make and contribute cookies to the Cafe, that will be great. Contact the Cafe at milkxhoney@sjc.org.sg

How can this cafe be a place of people ministry? Mark Su will do his best to run it efficiently. You need to do yours to take full advantage of the ministry opportunities which a church cafe offers.

It has been a soft start since it opened in mid November. The coffee (and teas) there is good. The passion and commitment which Mark pours into every cup shows.

And yes, what about the name? X is Chi, a Greek alphabet which symbolises Christ. That is what we pray for, that people will meet Him and that His name is glorified through it.

The next time you are meeting a friend or just wanting some alone time, remember MilkXHoney.

Visit the MxH facebook page here.

 

 
 
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