Meeting Friends, Building Community

Posted on Posted in Hospitality, Patchwork History

“Is anybody going to Simson’s Super Market?” the woman polled everyone at Patchwork on Tuesday morning. “I want to get some lunch meat. I think the people here would like some lunch meat.”

She was thinking of her fellow morning guests at Patchwork. In the last week, we haven’t had many pastries and breakfast treats from the Food Bank for our guests to eat with their coffee. She wanted to help contribute to the good of the group.

The woman is one of our regulars. She lives nearby and stops in on most mornings for a cup of coffee and some conversation. She’s on disability, doesn’t own a car, and enjoys having Patchwork as part of her daily routine.  A few weeks ago, she told Shawn, “I’m so glad I found Patchwork. I’ve met friends here. I can get bread when I need bread. I put it in my refrigerator so it stays fresh and eat it.”

This past Tuesday, she didn’t give up until she found two food pantry clients who were headed toward the super market. They agreed to give her a ride, and she returned later with her lunch meat and distributed it to other Patchwork visitors. A volunteer made her a couple sandwiches to take home.

This is what Patchwork hospitality looks like. People coming together to create a place where they all want to be. Meeting unlikely friends from different backgrounds. Building a community one person, one cup of coffee, and one sandwich at a time.

Notes from 40 Years at Patchwork:

Patchwork planned and constructed a new Meetinghouse in 1984-1986. Much of the labor to build the new building came from volunteers from across the city and the country. Members of Patchwork’s worship community provided a significant amount of the labor. Donations toward the project helped to fund it.

The new Meetinghouse and the West Tower were finally dedicated in late 1986. Judi Jacobson provided the following reflection on the new space:

One of our community members remarked that he knew he was in the same spot, but in a different place, when he came into the new Meetinghouse. His words reflect the position of the whole community as we continue our life together within the new space on the same spot. We are the same people, we are doing many of the same things, and yet we are different from before. We are in a time of beginning—again. The potential of the future fills us with excitement as we look at ourselves, our neighborhood, and our world. The experience of being in the same spot for almost ten years grounds us as we try on new possibilities.

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