How we began:
Awake! began with a few people gathering around the dream of coffee, specifically a coffee shop in Berwyn. At the time there were no nearby options available, and still there are very few. We imagined that we might build a place where the whole community could come together and rise up.
As we met, we realized that our bigger desire was to create opportunities for people to rise up in good relationships, justice, and leadership. It was like we’d gulped a shot of espresso when we realized we didn’t need a coffee shop to make community happen. We could do it right away. Right here. Right now. (The dream of a coffee shop lives on, it’s just on hold for a moment.)
This work began as a gathering of people from Unity Lutheran Church of Berwyn. But, since that time we’ve branched out to include others in our area who are also passionate about this idea.
A community Awake! rising with good relationships
We really take relationship seriously. We want Berwyn to rise up together–the whole community. This means focusing on teaching and learning in ways that connect to each other. It also means engaging in conversations around tough issues, so that we may benefit from the wisdom and courage of one another. All of our opportunities are based in relational teaching. We work hard to avoid teaching as any of us are “experts.” Indeed, our education team meets regularly to help each other grow in relationship, to learn ways of teaching that foster these kinds of relationships.
A community Awake! rising with justice
We believe that justice is found when all people are able to live the life they are called to live. This means breaking down the barriers that discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. This means advocating with people who have disabilities to overcome barriers to a full life. And it means taking seriously the reality of those who struggle just to put food on the table. Right now, our youth leadership team is exploring the possibility of starting a community meal program that would welcome everyone, so that we may experience justice together in relationship.
We are also interested in working with community members and other groups who may want to gather around a justice issue. Awake! will walk with you to imagine how we might work together in relationship to remove the barriers that keep us from our callings.
A community Awake! rising with leadership
We know that Berwyn is just teaming with leaders, though not everyone is aware of these gifts. Some people merely need to opportunities to cultivate the skills of leadership. We want to raise up leaders who are committed to relationship and justice, by helping people discover their own power and possibility.
We do this through offering classes that teach things which will challenge, and push people to do things they’d never thought possible. We do believe our youth can figure out how to make a regular meal happen. And so we’re creating the place for them to do this.
But, also we believe that these skills are learned as we learn other skills like sewing, knitting, fitness and cooking. It is amazing to hear the shouts of joy as people discover they can sew a dress, or create a meal. These experiences help build the courage to lead.
A community Awake!
Because we believe in this community, we want to respond to you and your hopes. Please go to our contact us page, and let us know what makes you rise up Awake? What inspires you to leadership, good relationships, and justice? What would you want to learn? What would you want to teach? Let us know, and let us be Awake! together.