Dear Bridge Family,
With all that's going on, The Bridge Coffee House will close after Saturday, March 28th. We hope this is just for the time being, but it could be forever.
Typing out those words was one of the most difficult things I've ever done -- next to informing the staff. A huge part of the decision is simply wanting our customers and baristas to stay safe and healthy. We've tried to limit contact as much as possible. Even though we’re just doing curbside pick up, we don't want to get people sick over a cup of coffee.
It was such a hard decision to make. But also, we just can't afford to stay open. We've always operated as a nonprofit with the thinnest of margins, trying to be an accessible space for people where they can make meaningful connections, and ultimately we've relied on donations and community support to bridge the gap. Even with the generous help of last year's GoFundMe, a lot of the institutional/church funding we've relied on has gone away over the last year... and our sales right now are down like everyone's. We even took out a loan earlier this year from our payment processor to smooth things over --- but it wasn't enough to get us through this.
It pains me beyond measure to do this, but to keep our staff on at these levels we could last maybe a week or two before the only thing left would be debt. So we are going to furlough our staff and try to use our remaining resources to weather this storm as a virtual community. We're going to try to negotiate with vendors and our landlord for a payment schedule, and try to liquidate our fair trade inventory while finding new donors... but we just don't know what the future holds.
What we do know is that while our coffee shop is stopping, we're not gone. Our mission is to bridge the gap between God and everyday life by spreading God’s love in an unexpected place. We're going to continue creating community and loving on people. While that might look different after this Saturday, we want to remain in your lives. Some things are easier than others --- for example, our popular children's Story Time will be on Facebook, Fridays at 10:00 am. Ella will still be leading prayer and worship services, but will be doing it through Zoom, Facebook live and other online tools and resources. Above all -- we want to do what works for you. We want to know more ways we can serve you and help keep us all connected as a community. Please help us figure this out, and send us your ideas, send us your thoughts. Don't hold back. We believe that New Town deserves a coffee shop that loves this community.
Honestly, we don't know what's ahead of us in the coming weeks. We're setting up a GoFundMe (linked at helpthebridge.com) to see if we can raise the funds to reopen when this virus passes. And if you have any ideas for other sources of funding, or could connect us to any foundations or churches that might believe in the work we do, please send them our way.
I hope to see you curbside in the next few days. We love you and are continuing to pray for you during this time.
All my love for New Town,
In-person worship at the Bridge is currently on pause. We will not be gathering in-person at the coffee house, but we are meeting online! Join us at 9:30 on Zoom for scripture, prayer, and community. The link to join our gathering is here.
We will be offering online prayers and other ways to connect, so check the Bridge facebook and your emails often! Feel free to contact Pastor Ella for pastoral and spiritual needs in this anxious time: email@example.com
We are moving our prayer board online! Each Sunday when the faith community gathers for worship, we pray for the needs of our community. Feeling down, overwhelmed, stressed, or troubled? Concerned for a family member? Have a moment of joy or thanksgiving? We offer all these up to God in worship, and we pray throughout the week. Send Pastor Ella an email or message the Bridge on Facebook with your prayer concern and we will be praying for you. No prayer is too big or too small.
to create bridges to life-giving relationships with God and neighbor by doing church differently
We serve coffee sourced from local roasters, have a full espresso bar, and many un-coffee drinks. We also have baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, snacks, and more!
The Bridge is a hub for the surrounding community of New Town, as we host a variety of small groups and events in addition to Worship on Sunday mornings.
Everyone is welcome at The Bridge.
Through the sale of Fair Trade certified products, we provide economic opportunities for farmers and artisans in developing countries, who are guaranteed fair wages and safe, sustainable working conditions.