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October 15, 2012 | Volume 87, Number 25

ARTICLE

photo: Some of the audience at a previous program enjoy the ambience of the informal coffeehouse setting
Some of the audience at a previous program enjoy the ambience of the informal coffeehouse setting

St. Joan of Arc, Yorktown, has Christian coffeehouse

Blues harmonica player Bobby “BlackHat” Walters will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, at The Well: A Christian Coffeehouse Series at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Yorktown.

The show, which will be in the John Paul II Center, is open to the public and presents an opportunity for individuals to gather informally to sip on beverages and eat snacks while listening to live music and chatting with one another.

“It’s kind of like Starbucks with Jesus,” explained parishioner Mark Fowler, who provides technical support at the gatherings.

Father Michael Joly, pastor, said he created “The Well: A Christian Coffeehouse Series” as a way for parishioners of all ages to come together to deepen their faith in a relaxed, entertaining atmosphere. He first offered the coffeehouse at a retreat center in New Jersey as a way for the different retreat groups to come together. He started it at St. Joan of Arc four years ago.

Several times a year, The Well transforms ordinary meeting rooms at the church into an intimate coffeehouse where parishioners and visitors sit at small, candle-lit tables and enjoy music as well as each other’s company.

There is no admission fee, but donations are accepted. The suggested donation is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 18. Parishioners may also donate food for the event.

Throughout the years The Well at St. Joan of Arc has showcased a number of artists, from Broadway singer/actress Tiffany Haas of “Wicked” to local musicians like Walters.

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, which features the Christian coffeehouse series, is located in Yorktown at 315 Harris Grove Lane. For more information, call the parish office at 757-898-5570.The Well is named after the story in the gospel of John, chapter four, in which a woman encounters Jesus at a well in Samaria. When the woman made a routine trip to the well to get water, Jesus told her “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I will give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

As Father Joly explained, “She goes to the well expecting to get natural water. She gets Christ. People come to The Well expecting to get a cappuccino, a cannoli and good talent. They get Christ.”

photo: Tim Margiotta and his band performed at The Well coffeehouse at St. Joan of Arc in December, 2010.
Tim Margiotta and his band performed at The Well coffeehouse at St. Joan of Arc in December, 2010.

Mr. Fowler described the coffeehouse as “a relaxed atmosphere where we just get to chill with people who love God.”

“It doesn’t matter what the music is, whether it’s rock or jazz or Christian. The focus is always Christ,” he added.

His wife, Cathy Fowler, who serves as The Well’s barista, said that the socialization that occurs at the coffeehouse sets the event apart from other forms of worship.

“It’s not a picnic or a Mass but a new way to experience faith,” Mrs. Fowler said. “It’s a way to get to know parishioners on a different level.”

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