Eugene Cho

Q is alive and kicking

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In a city where there seems to be a cafe [mostly with those dang mermaids on the logo] on every other street corner, the path to viability and visibility has not been the easiest thing for our non-profit Q Cafe.  We are still alive and kicking but barely.  It’s been very tough and the church and cafe leadership have taken some time to really examine the mission of the cafe.  Through these conversations, we’re collectively reminded how significant the cafe is to the ecclesiology of our church.  Q, a non-profit and non-religious community cafe, is essential to our commitment to be an incarnational presence to our neighborhood and larger city.

Personally, I’m excited to grow back in love with the vision of Q:  Cafe, Culture, and Community.  And as I grow back in love, I’m not questioning WHY I love the cafe. The vision – to me – is still as beautiful and fragrant as the first day we opened our doors.  But if I and our community love this community cafe, we certainly need to regularly revisit “the process” or the strategies by which we seek to embody the vision.  And just in case you thought those silly rumors of the downfall of Q Cafe was true, consider what goes on in the space beyond the regular cafe hours. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming couple days:

  • ThursdayLUMO Film Screening benefitting the work of Heal Africa in Goma, Congo.  Suggested donation: $5. 7-9pm.
  • FridayLive Music at Q Cafe featuring Brett Hite, Elijah Grindstaff, and Rosie Okumura.  8pm.
  • SaturdaySimple Measures chamber music 3pm featuring the one and only Joshua Roman – the principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony!  I enjoyed very much watching him in a duet with Yo Yo Ma last month. 

And a new art exhibit by a local artist just went up today.  This is a glimpse of the potential of what we do and can do through this amazing 25oo square feet cafe.   While we’ve enjoyed some good stuff through the QCafe in the past five years, it’s also been at times – inconsistent and uninspired.  But, things will turn…I can sense it.  I sincerely believe that our better days are ahead of us.  How can you help?  Volunteer [more info will be coming soon], enjoy the special events and live music shows, and make Q Cafe your cafe.  Give us your patronage!

Recently, Relevant Magazine [Sept/Oct 2007] recently wrote an article about the work we do through Q Cafe:

The sounds of espresso machines and friendly chatter blend together at Q Café (qcafe.org) in Seattle.  To many visitors, Q Café is a regular neighborhood coffeehouse – not a church.                

Launched in 2002, Q Café is a non-profit, non-religious coffee shop that operates within Quest Church’s worship building.  The congregation wants to be relevant to the people of Seattle, says Eugene Cho, lead pastor of 500-member Quest Church (seattlequest.org).               

“Q Café ties organically to what we want to do as a church,” says Cho.  “The ethos is not to manipulate people; rather, it’s to be a good neighbor by loving and serving them.”               

To that end, Q Café steeps the venue for all it’s worth, giving 10% of the profits to organizations such as Invisible Children (invisiblechildren.com), displaying local artists’ work, hosting open mic nights, holding computer classes for senior citizens and providing housing and jobs for the homeless.               

Nothing is more rewarding, however, than seeing the lives of café patrons transformed, says DeAnza Spaulding, the café’s director.               

“Ken was homeless and had alcohol and drug issues when he first came to Q Café.  Eventually, he joined our church and felt really accepted,” Spaulding says.  Now, a year later, Ken is sober, applying for jobs and preparing to be baptized.               

Says Spaulding, “Ken’s story is a moving testimony to the power of reciprocated love.”     

Other relevant reads and entries about Q CafeWhy We Started Q Cafe; Named one of Top Independent Cafes by Worthwhile Magazine; Seattle Times article on Q; Q Cafe Music Venue; on MySpace; on FaceBook

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Photo credits:  Top [Accapella Photography]; Bottom Pics [Leo Chen Photography]

Filed under: emerging church, ministry, religion, seattle, , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Laurie says:

    Your church and cafe has been a source of inspiration to us from afar. What I appreciate the most is your willingness to share your struggles along the way. Honestly, I think that is what’s most real and refreshing to me.

  2. Jeff S. says:

    What!?!

    How’d you manage to get Joshua Roman over at the Q? Very rad.

  3. very inspiring… thanks so much for looking for a simple pathway of living the gospel!

  4. Blake says:

    The café really is an awesome place. I was unemployed for the months of August & September and during that time I practically lived at the cafe., getting to watch it’s daily functions and the way the awesome baristas take care of everyone who comes through those doors. They always show tremendous respect for their patrons and give dignity to everyone, even those whom are denied such things by the rest of society.

    I love it. The café is my “third place” as it were in Starbuck’s lingo.🙂

  5. 3mily says:

    Every time I walk in the cafe, I think “what an amazing place for ministry”. I feel like it would be amazing to see an increasing number of Quest community groups and ministries using the front space (while not intruding on other visitors)- which appears to be happening judging from our Sunday bulletins that list a couple of prayer groups meeting in there weekly. It seems like the perfect place, for example, for people who might want to lead a Seattle-based C-Group but feel they can’t host it at home (and don’t have hosts!) I appreciate the Q sign because it was what brought my husband and I over to check out Quest originally. It’s awesome to have a distinct non-profit physically attached to the church.

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It appears I brought a little Seattle to the NYC. Drizzle fest. 24 hour gathering with a small group of leaders from around the country. Learning. Listening. Asking hard questions. Head exploding. Heart trying to have hope. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it.

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