I am in Colorado Springs for an authors dialog with Nav Press. Yesterday I had lunch with the editor of Discipleship Journal in norder to chat about contributing work to the magazine. On the way back to Glen Eyrie we passed a house that was a bookstore. My editor friend said that this was the place for good books, coffee and fine food and snacks. It was an old house and thus had the decor and feeling of a "home." I said, "Please turn around, if you do not mind, and take me back. I have to go in and see it."
Thus I visited the bookshop, Agia Sophia. It is a ministry connected to an Orthodox Church in the city. The inside of the place was tasteful, aesthetically enriching and relaxing. It made me want to sit down, read and just take in the whole place with all my senses. Yes, I bought two books! (I hardly ever pass up such an opportunity.) I met several other authors at the shop as well as the editor who is leading our event with Nav Press. These three guys were sitting outside enjoying a meal when we met. I browsed awhile and found rich classical Christian literature—Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant. The store was a place that invited children and adults of all ages, indeed anyone who wanted to seek for truth. It was totally delightful. It made we wish for another life to begin such a place/ministry in my own community but I am not quite sure how this would work in the suburbs of Chicago. (I think it could work much better in a more urban place.)
The store has a great tag line: "Expresso and Books." The proprietor shared her story of faith and conversion to Orthodoxy with me. She was a Mennonite Brethren from Kansas and journeyed through several Protestant church expressions before finding Orthodoxy through an initial visit with Peter Gillquist to their small Kansas congregation. (Father Peter’s story is known to some readers of this blog. He was the director for Campus Crusade for Christ in the Big Ten region when I was a college student in the 1960s.) A small church, of which this kind Christian lady was part in Kansas, became Orthodox almost in whole. She eventually moved to Colorado with her husband, where they now direct this great ministry of coffee and books. You can visit their Web site at Agia Spohia. I sure wish we had a place like this near me. Should someone have a dream for one let me know. It is a great way to serve people and present great books.