Loving the Lonely with a Laundry Ministry

Richard Beck posted a great story on the Experimental Theology Blog about creating a great “Third Space” in a laundromat a couple of miles from their church.

Creating a Welcoming Third Space for the Working Poor in a Laundromat

Creating a Welcoming Third Space for the Working Poor in a Laundromat

….A lot of people feel intimidated walking into a church. A third space, it was hoped, would be a non-religious place where relationships with neighbors could be formed.

A lot of churches have created third spaces by starting up a coffee shop. That’s a great idea, but coffee shops tend to be a part of affluent White culture. The working poor don’t hang out in coffee shops with their Mac laptops. Nor can they afford $4 specialty drinks.

So a coffee shop isn’t going to be frequented by the working poor–White, Black or Hispanic–in our neighborhood. To be sure, a cool coffee shop would attract White hipsters, but that’s not the demographic of our church neighborhood.

So what would be a good third space for a poor neighborhood like the one surrounding our church? A place that would serve the neighborhood but could also be a place where people would spend time talking and forming relationships?

My idea has always been for our church to run laundromat. [Read More]

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