World Cafe Introductions, Round 2

Here is round 2 of introductions for the World Cafe Design/Host Team!

Lisa M. López
Teaching Elder, Representative from the Verge
Christ Presbyterian Church, Hanover Park, IL

Why did you want to serve on the World Café design host team?  I wanted to serve on the World Café design host team because I believe there is already more of a shared vision across the Presbytery of Chicago than we regularly see. I am confident that the World Cafes will help us come to a place where this shared vision can emerge, we can articulate it, own it as a body, and most importantly, recognize the work of the Spirit leading the way.

What is something unique about you?  I once (by accident) took a surprisingly thorough class on ”the art of saving space”. As a result I can pack incredibly tight suitcases, a skill which comes in handy when traveling places where you can’t predict the weather, helping friends reduce the amount of their moving boxes, and making the most of tiny Sunday School closets.


Jon Phillips
Teaching Elder
Evergreen Park Presbyterian Church

What excites you about World Cafe? The possibilities to open up currents of conversation within the presbytery and our partners.

What is something unique about you?  I am an official for women’s flat track roller derby.


Robret Simpson
Director of Operations
Facing Forward to End Homelessness

What excites you about World Café?  The World Café is an opportunity for people from multiple backgrounds and cultures to work together towards building stronger communities.  It is exciting to be a part of a dynamic, supportive and committed team.

What are your favorite activities/hobbies?  Favorite activities include photography, cooking, reading and spending time with my family and friends. 

What is next on your bucket list?  I am currently in school pursuing my Master’s Degree in Public Administration; my goal is to complete that and continue advancing in Non-Profit management.


Maggie McGuire
Commissioner, Ruling Elder
Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago

What excites you about World Café?  Six months ago I had never heard the phrase “World Cafe.”  If I had, my mind’s eye would have imagined a cafe serving coffee and pastries from around the world in a setting with art and music from many cultures, as well as magazines and newspapers in a variety of languages.   The name on the shingle of my imaginary cafe could have read, The Inclusion Infusion. 

While the Presbytery of Chicago World Cafe is not exactly as I have described above, it will be a gathering where all are invited for coffee or tea in a welcoming space with food and conversation that nourishes the body and soul, and when the evening concludes we will leave infused with excitement and hope of things to come.  That is my hope.

What draws me to and energizes me about World Cafe is its integrity, its inclusivity, and the increment it will add to the foundation the POC already has.  Our World Cafe will be a gathering of congregants, shared mission partners, and ecumenical partners throughout the Presbytery to converse about an issue or discuss a question that really matters to our life or our work or our community.  Through these conversations, held over a course of weeks, or perhaps months, a shared vision of the new thing God is doing will emerge. 

For me World Cafe has integrity because that vision at this moment is an unknown.  The vision will be truly co-created by the participants.  It is bottom up, not top down.  I am also drawn to World Cafe because it is inclusive.  All are invited and heard, even the introverts like myself!  Conversations take place at tables for four or five, and people move from table to table throughout the evening, acting as cross pollinators of ideas and insights.  As conversations connect together, a shared knowledge evolves.  Together we co-create our future. 

What are your favorite activities/hobbies?  I love to cook, but not on demand.  Part of what makes Sunday my favorite day of the week is the joy of spending an entire afternoon in the kitchen.  Organics now form a growing part of my diet, and I recently discovered lacinato kale, a darker, thicker leaf than curly kale with a lumpy texture.  It is organically grown and readily available at Jewel.  One afternoon I felt like experimenting and sauteed some red onion in coconut oil, deglazed the pan with the juice of a lime, added some ginger and cilantro, butternut squash, kale, brown rice made with homemade stock, and a handful of dried cranberries.  Yum!  Add a few decibels of WFMT and a friend or family, and it becomes the perfect day.



To learn more about World Cafe, CLICK HERE.



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