For 12 years Café la Mosaïque in Lévis, Quebec has been more than a coffee shop for many who come through its doors. They have found community, a place where they belong.
“We want to create a place of mutual help, serving others, caring for their well-being,” says café coordinator, Catherine Tremblay. Inclusion is a strong value and as such, marginalized people come to them and find welcome, grace, and the love that Jesus offers.
Catherine and her spouse Jerome are no strangers to EMCC and have been newly recognized with World Partners as Disciple-Making Leaders, involved in Community Development and Mentoring. They are a valued connection between EMCC and Quebec. Internships will be offered at the café. Applicants for this experience must be willing to spend up to three months living in Lévis. They will serve in the café for 15 hours/week, see and participate in disciple-making as a way of life, all while being immersed in Quebec culture. This life-shaping internship will be announced for the Fall of 2021. Those interested can check https://www.emcc.ca/world-partners/get-involved/mobilize/serve-with-us/intern/ for more information as it becomes available.
Although anyone can come to the Café simply to enjoy delicious local, organic food and a great cup of fair trade coffee, there is much more than that going on. “We’re kind of like a big family,” says Catherine. With room to seat 50 people and total space of 2000 square feet, including a ‘family room’, the café also offers scheduled activities for moms with babies, and practical workshops like ‘how to do simple repairs.’ And then there is painting, meditation, music. Once a week people can sign up to be part of ‘Caffeine for the Soul’, two hours given to open activity followed by discussion on themes like spirituality, faith, and how do we incarnate those values. “It is our goal to create a space where people can sit and reflect about where they are at and what they want their life to be.” Both people who are without a faith background, and people who have walked away from traditional church have found that this is where they can express their spirituality, and ask their questions. It is also a place for people to exercise their gifts in service to one another.
During the pandemic the café has been unable to operate as usual, but, as Catherine says, “God created people to be part of a community,” and community continues despite the pandemic. Although physically closed for three months, relationship is always happening. Catherine and Jerome intentionally live in the neighbourhood because they want to bump into café regulars and continue the connections. During lockdown, café volunteers phoned patrons, just to keep in touch, helping to keep loneliness at bay; and a great assist for those struggling with mental health. Again this year they are hand-writing Christmas cards, reminding people that they belong, and are not forgotten.
“It is possible to build meaningful community in any context,” asserts Catherine. “It is simply a matter of blessing neighbours, being there to give a hand when people need it. The source of love and grace is God. Living in community is a beautiful way of showing what the Kingdom of God is.”
This article is featured in the Winter 2020 edition of The EMCC Together Newsletter.
Download a PDF copy of the newsletter and previous EMCC Together publications here: https://emcctogether.ca/emcc-together-back-issues/