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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Churches on Seminary Street increase engagement efforts with students on campus

United Methodist Church and St. Thomas Episcopal Church offer coffee and bread to encourage student engagement.
Meredith McCord
United Methodist Church on Seminary St.

Edited Oct. 6

The United Methodist Church and the St. Thomas Episcopl Church are connecting to BW through community engagement programs that both students and community members can participate in.

“We’ve partnered with BW for many years including students and professors in our ministry, and over the past few years we’ve really had an intentional effort of doing outreach with and for students,” Pastor Carrie Antczak, the pastor of the United Methodist Church, said.

These efforts have resulted in several outreach programs for community members of all ages.

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Some of these efforts include a morning Bible study, messy church, a program designed for families and the Porch, a program designed for students.

The Porch consists of tabling with therapy dogs and a Bible study in the Colony Café that is open to anybody that would like to attend.

“These past few years we’ve really grown to offer a lot of different outreach opportunities and out of the box ministry ideas for people to just pop in and get acquainted and learn what the faith community is all about,” Antczak said.

Along with activities to increase engagement in their Church, some of their programs are specifically designed to directly help community members facing difficult situations.

“There’s also the bread ministry here that we hope that the college knows about, for those that are food insecure, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:00pm to 2:00pm,” campus minister Judy Hammer said.

The United Methodist Church is also attempting to make a more direct connection with the BW community by working with the David & Frances Brain Center for Community Engagement.

“We are also making a new effort to collaborate with the Brain Center because they control all of the community service and outreach, so we are trying to establish a partnership with campus plate so that we can contribute to the pantries too,” student minister at The Porch, Mia Basit-Hightower said.

However, the United Methodist Church is not the only Church who is attempting to connect with the community around them.

The St. Thomas Episcopal Church has taken a different approach to engaging with students through a program called the Red Door Café.

The Red Door Café is a free coffee bar that operates at the church’s entrance on Bagley Road. This program was started in the spring of 2021 and has been serving coffee to students and other community members ever since.

“We thought that setting up a coffee stand might be a really great way for the BW community to get to know our church and vice versa,” Dave Radzik, church Rector at the St Thomas Episcopal church, said.

The Red Door Café is open on Tuesday’s from 10:00am2:00pm for both students and other members of the community to stop by for coffee
and engage in conversation with the members running the café.

Radzik said the motivation behind starting the Red Door Café originated because
they thought it would be a “compassionate and loving presence for the BW community.”

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