Author: Joel Pazmino
A couple of months ago we moved from the location we launched at, the GALA Theatre, to a temporary location for the summer, El Tio Tex-Mex Grill. El Tio has been great to us the last couple of months (can’t really complain when the room starts smelling like Tex Mex food, it’s the aroma of Heaven!). But now, after a couple of months of looking, I am so excited to announce we have finally found a new home!
We have signed a lease with District Bridges to share their office space on 11th Street above Meridian Pint, and I could not be more excited about this partnership. District Bridges is a local non-profit that is doing a ton of great things in our neighborhood. They help several neighborhoods in Northwest DC develop by connecting local communities with small businesses. They do tons of fun stuff that we as a church have been involved with for years, like the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Extravaganza, the fall movie night series where we provide free popcorn for everybody and the annual Columbia Heights Day Festival where we give away free water.
On a personal note, the executive director of District Bridges was one of the first people we met when we moved to Columbia Heights, she has become a dear friend to us, and my wife Meghan serves as a board member of District Bridges. All this is to say that this partnership just feels natural. It is the next step on the vision we have always had of becoming partners and friends with the people and organizations that are already doing good in our neighborhood. We will have an office during the week in this building and access to some of the common areas and multi-purpose rooms here during the week, and in the weekend, the common area of the office will turn into a gathering room for Encounter and their conference room will transform into our children’s ministry space. For the last few weeks I have been working at our office in the new space, and my office window looks straight into the common space where we will hold our gatherings, and let me tell you, every day I look out my window and I cannot help but imagine that room full of people, gathering together, finding community and encountering God, and I cannot wait for our move.
When I proposed to Meghan, I told her that I had never really dreamed of having a house (I always dreamed of living in a fancy apartment in the city), but knowing her and loving her, made me want to build a home together. A home is the intersection of family and place. It’s a house, but it’s more than a house, it’s a place where people make memories, where the sounds, smells and textures take on a larger significance because of the moments lived there by the family. And I feel like this place, this office space above a bar, unlikely as it may sound, can become a home for us. A place where we make memories, where we laugh, where we cry, where we come together, as family, and more importantly, where week after week, we encounter the God of the universe, who sent His Son into the neighborhood just so that we could become a family again.