The Family Tree Café began in 2017, birthed out of the creative desire of Deb McElgin to create a safe and accessible space for families with young children to gather for play and community. With the support of the Governing Board, small indoor play equipment and toys were purchase, and the Café opened two days per week for two hours.
In September 2018, the Café expanded by adding days and hours, boosting its marketing approach, and recruiting volunteer participation. In its expansion, the Café has seen countless children, parents, and caregivers play, build new relationships, and make connections to UBC.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of the Café in March of 2020, creating a strain on its potential in the proceeding months.
As we continue to step forward into this new normal, may we turn our attention to the fantastic potential of the Family Tree Café. Within a square mile of the church, older homes are being flipped by young families, new businesses are popping up, and thousands are being built. At our doorstep are hundreds, if not thousands, of neighbors we have the chance to connect with and love through the Café.
Over the last several months, members of the ministry staff have been working on a reboot of the Family Tree Café, set to launch on October 4.
For starters, patrons will enter into a new welcome area, with a coffee and registration station, along with a lounge area. While we offer this space for free, the registration process will allow participants to donate to the excellent work of UBC. Additionally, patrons will have the opportunity to enjoy good coffee and great snacks around kid-friendly tables.
The play area of the Café has gone through a redesign, centralizing around two small inflatable play-sets, a slide, and two play stations. The reduction of content in the play space allows the Fellowship Hall to be a more versatile space, decreasing the number of items needed for storage and opening up a new room for Spiritual Formation and Sunday School classes.
As the Café reopens on October 4, we hope you will collaborate with us in two ways.
First, we hope you will spread the word about the grand reopening via conversations, texts, and social media shares with people who have children from birth to five years old.
Second, we hope you will consider sharing some of your time by volunteering to be present in the Café, helping guests check-in and engage in meaningful connections. Sign up to volunteer at www.ubc-br.org/volunteer.
The Family Tree Café reopens on October 4, Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Learn more at www.ubc-br.org/ftc.