For the past 15 years, the Stir Cafe has existed at LifePoint in different capacities. When LifePoint met in a movie theater, we served Krispy Kreme’s and Starbucks. Then, for a while at the YMCA we had volunteer-made treats. Panera and Brooklyn Bagel donated items that we served at the Stir Cafe for a time. And, for the last few years, we have been purchasing items from Sam’s Club each week.
Starting this Easter, we are making a change once again.
On April 21, we will begin serving only coffee, tea, and water in our cafe area. All of these items will be FREE.
I know this decision won’t be popular with everybody, but there are good reasons behind it, and I would like to share those with you.
1 – Almost all of the food items we featured at The Stir were very unhealthy
I was convicted when, in a previous sermon, I mentioned several sins that the church regularly avoids talking about, one of them being gluttony. When someone pointed out the fact that the muffins we serve at the Stir Cafe were 600 calories each, it seems hypocritical for us to serve such irresponsible items to a congregation we love so much. This isn’t the first time people have shared concern over the hi-calorie baked items being offered. And yes, for a while we tried offering healthier options like fruit, yogurt, and nuts. But truthfully, no one wanted those items. Which leads to the second reason…
2 – We are throwing lots of food away each week
It is difficult to throw away food, knowing that there are many people around the world struggling with hunger. Bread-like items such as muffins, danishes, and bagels don’t keep well from week to week. We tried freezing them, but honestly, the last thing we wanted to do was served stale or soggy food items to guests–especially first-time guests.
The goal of the cafe from the beginning has been to extend hospitality to each person that comes through the door on Sunday morning, especially those who are meeting us for the first time.
3 – It is expensive
Right now as a family we have to buckle down and look for ways to save money. As of April 14, 2019, we are currently 12% behind in our budgeted giving. We’re about to enter the summer months, where our weekly giving is regularly lower than usual, and so we need to be financially responsible.
The cost of the Stir Cafe is about $3,000 per year, and while we do recover some of the cost through donations, we are still losing money.
Currently, the regular coffee we have been serving each week is graciously donated by Kevin DeSanctis & BestCoffeeDeal.com (note: Kevin has never wanted credit for this, but I’m thanking him here anyway!) As you can see, this makes it easy to offer coffee for free each week. Plus, as part of the Easter Upgrade, Pastor Jan purchased and installed a new water machine, so there is no need to buy water anymore either.
I hope you’ll understand why we are making these changes. If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints about this change, please come to me directly. I would be happy to discuss and share more with you.