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'Coffee Church' offers warm welcome

Boise Idaho's Cathedral of the Rockies is one of the fastest growing United Methodist congregations in the U.S. The church is #15 on the list of the top 25 fastest growing churches in the denomination. The mission statement is "reach, grow, serve and lead" and members say everyone can find a place here.

For more information, contact Cathedral of the Rockies First United Methodist Church at 208-343-7511.

This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN.
Media contact is Fran Walsh, 615-742-5458.

This video was first posted on February 1, 2017.

(Boise, Idaho)

Steve Spencer: "It's probably the most loving church I've ever been to. We have a sign out in front of our door, 'All Means All'."

Boise, Idaho's Cathedral of the Rockies First United Methodist Church is one of the fastest growing congregations in the U.S. There's always a hot pot of coffee to welcome visitors.

Cindy Todeschi, Cathedral of the Rockies First United Methodist Church: "We noticed that the Boise High students found that hot coffee, and gradually more and more were coming over from across the street. The coffee pot was empty more often."

This led members to have a conversation about the value of hospitality, says Cindy Todeschi.

Cindy Todeschi: "We decided that it was absolutely appropriate. All means all. They call us the 'coffee church.' They just know they are welcome here."

Jessica Holbert: "I never heard about like what a Methodist church is. So, I was really intrigued to ask. So, I sat down with this really nice guy and he talked more about Cathedral of the Rockies and I just loved it."

Cindy Todeschi: "Do you need a bus pass?"

The Rev. Duane Anders, Cathedral of the Rockies First United Methodist Church: "When we think of serving our community, or with our community, we use the words hunger, housing and health."

Duane Anders has been pastor here since 2012.

The Rev. Duane Anders: "Some might say a free lunch or a cup of coffee doesn't change the situation. And it doesn't for the long term. These are acts of mercy as we work in larger ways to say, 'How do we address the real issues that are present?'"

Teens who come for the caffeine discover other activities like youth group.

Zach Ravlin: "It's always been a really welcoming church. I'm in the choir here. We get to go on and do a lot of fun mission trips. It makes people want to come to church, want to experience what goes on here."

Jenny Willison's passion is being part of the praise band. She's happy in a church that's constantly looking for ways for members of all ages to nurture their own unique talents, whether through worship, music, or the visual arts.

(Instructor speaks to painting class) "Welcome this morning to God's beautiful autumn colors."

Jenny Willison, Cathedral of the Rockies First United Methodist Church: "To be able to understand how that gift is vital in a faith community and how God can use you and your gift in a way that can reach people."

Liz Price is a nurse who leads a program at the church called Mirror Image. Members collect and sort toiletries for homeless and at-risk kids.

Liz Price, Cathedral of the Rockies First United Methodist Church: "We get requests from schools sometimes for just a couple of bags of products that a teacher can have in their room."

The mission statement here is "reach, grow, serve and lead." Price says it means a lot that a church is willing to invest in ministries that members are passionate about.

Liz Price: "Sometimes people don't know what their gifts are because they've never had the opportunity to try different things."

Some people find their place leading Bible study and social groups which keep families connected during the week.

Jenny Willison: "They're the first ones to find out when there is something that has gone wrong in someone's family and are able to be the first responders in the ways of prayers, meals, of course alerting the staff and the pastors."

A favorite ministry of some young families is a program that helps refugees, new to Boise, get settled.

(Cindy Todeschi greets lady at door) "Hi. How are you?"

The key to growth at Cathedral of the Rockies is making it clear there's a place for everyone here.

The Rev. Duane Anders: "When we work with Habitat and you bring your friend, I always say, you've started someone's appetite for God. They may say, 'This is fantastic.' And their next thought might be, 'I'll come back in a year.' 'I'll be back at Christmas.' And that's okay. You've started the conversation with God."

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