WORTHINGTON — There will be something new to do each Saturday night in Worthington starting this weekend.
Common Ground Community, featuring live music and a positive message, at 6:30 p.m. at Phileo’s Coffee & Eatery. According to Jason Turner, who regularly attends Journey services, the new offering reflects an extension of what Phileo’s has been about since its opening in August 2017.
“‘Common Ground Community’ is kind of a play on the coffee shop, with the words ‘common ground,’ and it’s also about building community,” Turner said. “Phileo’s has been a safe place for people in the community to gather to meet with friends and commune with friends. It has been kind of neat to watch it develop here these last two years.”
Turner recalled that the original vision for Phileo’s, which is owned by Journey, was to be “a big hug to the community” and offer more than just food and coffee.
“We have this awesome building right in the middle of downtown and we thought, ‘How do we utilize it?’” Turner recalled of preparations to open Phileo’s. “A coffee shop was only one aspect of it, but other things had come out of it.
“Our meeting room is one aspect, and we started Life Lessons over Lunch, which is a community group and in a sense is a Bible study. It’s just gathering for lunch and watching a positive message, and it’s been hugely positive. It brings in people from all different walks — retired people, working people and people of all kinds of faith backgrounds.”
Turner said a separate group subsequently began considering offering a regular event on a larger scale at Phileo's. The result is Common Ground Community, which will led each week by local residents and talented musicians Amanda and Ryan DeYounge. Other musicians will be featured as well.
“Every Saturday, we’ll have very high-quality music that will be followed by teaching from Eagle Brook Church (based in the Twin Cities),” Turner described. “They’re sending three of their musicians … and one of their music directors ... plus a teaching pastor here for the kickoff.”
Eagle Brook Church has locations in Anoka, Blaine, Lakeville, Lino Lakes, Spring Lake Park, Wayzata, White Bear Lake and Woodbury; a new location is set to open this fall in Rochester.
“They’re doing something right,” Turner said of Eagle Brook. “They’re inspiring a whole bunch of people that haven’t been going to church. They’re making a huge impact with the quality of the music, and their teachings are very down to earth. I haven’t listened to a message where I didn’t think, ‘Wow, I can use this next week.’”
Turner said the goal of Common Ground Community isn’t to take anyone away from his or her regular church. It just seeks to welcome all who want to attend for a positive interaction that typically will last about an hour.
Common Ground Community will also offer an optional meal each week beginning at 5 p.m. A different meal will be served each week. The coffee bar will also be open during the event, and there will be children’s programming upstairs as well.
“Our vision is for this to revive believers, reach friends and cultivate community,” Turner said. “We want to deliver good, live worship followed by an impactful message with real-life applications that heals the heart and nourishes the soul.”