Whether you are from Ann Arbor or have lived in the city for some time, you probably have heard of the local coffee shop Roos Roast. Known for its’ slow-roasted coffee beans and appeal to the local coffee connoisseur, Roos Roast’s slogan ‘Deep | Local’ identifies them and summarizes their vision as a coffee shop. Last weekend, while meeting with some of our young adults for discipleship, I glanced up and noticed one of the barista’s wearing a shirt with their slogan and felt that this slogan also captured the vision for our upcoming Love Where You Live Weekend.
Many reasons come to mind when I think about why I love this city. The people of Ann Arbor are a passionate people with a deep seated, internal drive and pursuit of excellence. With that passion harnessed, they are pioneers and risk takers who aren’t afraid to go first in pioneering new projects or developing new technology and innovative businesses - a creative community to say the least thinking outside the box of what has previously been the norm. Ann Arbor also thrives in being very community driven welcoming people from all over the nation and world to be a part of this pursuit of greatness. This is all coupled with an appreciation and value for the world that has been entrusted to us to steward well with a love for the outdoors and natural living. The possibilities are endless as we see this city filled with the glory of God and the resources and ingenuity in this city that comes straight from the heart of God used for His Kingdom purposes in the city, state, nation and to the ends of the earth!
Living in Ann Arbor, I want to go deep in relationship and investment in the local city where I live, thriving where I am planted, and being fully present and engaged with my community. A few weeks ago, Jason Sudan exhorted us on the fact that we were all made to go deep with God and each other. Part of going deep in the Lord is recognizing that we have the ability within us to be a blessing to those around us - strengthening those we come in contact with in the city every day. Psalm 16:11 says that by the blessing of the upright, a city is exalted. This blessing is a local blessing where He has planted each of us for this season of our lives.
So, I do love where I live! And I am excited to serve alongside each of you as we simply love and bless the person in front of us with the same love God has for each of us. Hope to see you all there!
Jessica McElfresh is the Young Adult Director at Antioch Ann Arbor. Her role is to facilitate community for young adults in the Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti region. Working as a Physical Therapist at the University of Michigan hospital, she is passionate about bringing hope and restoration to her patients. In her role as the Young Adult Director at Antioch, she is passionate about seeing young adults experience belonging as well as the love of Jesus in a heart and life transforming way and equipping young adults to make a long, lasting impact in their specific vocation and gifting.