Trinity Lutheran Church is inviting congregation members and community members to a weekly conversation.
The conversation is part of Lifetree Cafe, a national program sponsored by the church.
Each week, the group tackles a new topic. Topics range anywhere from healthy eating to mental illnesses but all have a spiritual aspect to them, said Glenda Wood, the director of Lifetree Cafe.
“It’s non-denominational,” Wood said. “We’re not looking for people who are members of a church. We are simply a place for people to come and have a conversation about faith and how it works in their daily life.”
The hour-long sessions include video clips and guided discussion.
“It’s set up to be a conversation cafe,” Wood said.
The free sessions, open to anyone of any age or religious denomination, are held Sundays at 6:30 p.m. at Morning, Noon, & Night in Shadow Lake Towne Center.
“Trinity is not looking at it as a way to increase the membership of our church,” Wood said. “It’s more about getting Jesus’ love out into the community and reaching out to people who don’t feel comfortable in the church.”
Attendees are encouraged to sit in groups of four. Sessions are designed for groups of less than 50 people, Wood said.
“That’s really where more of your better conversation occurs,” Wood said. “You start getting tables of five and six, and it’s a lot harder for people to discuss things honestly or feel like they can share.”
Average attendance is usually about 12 people.
“We’re glad when people come,” Wood said. “If we get four people, we’re happy. If we get 20 people, we’re happy.”
For the most part, many of the attendees have been congregation members, Wood said.
“It’s a way for people within the Trinity congregation to get to know members of the church, but then also the wider body of Christ, our neighbors in the community,” Wood said.
The program also hosts service projects. So far, they have worked on collecting food for local pantries and collecting clothes for homeless shelters.
Topics can be found in advance at lifetreecafe.com.
Eventually, church members hope to offer the program three times a week, Wood said.
“Lifetree is really set up to provide that opportunity for people to have faith-based discussion, but maybe outside of the church,” Wood said.