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Students Support Coffee & Tea Shop’s Restorative Justice Prison Ministry

Bible 9 class visited the local coffee shop that students chose to support with their annual Spirit Week fundraiser.
Bible 9 class visited the local coffee shop that students chose to support with their annual Spirit Week fundraiser.

Students in grades K-12 raised more then $1,700 to support the restorative justice ministries of Just Coffee and Tea in downtown Harrisonburg. The Spirit Week fundraiser included themed dress up days and baked goods, sponsored by the Student Council Organization.

“This support means more than you can imagine,” said Amanda Miller Garber, pastor of RISE United Methodist Faith Community, which joined with members of Otterbine United Methodist to launch the shop earlier this fall on Court Square. The shop aims to provide jobs and support to people recently released from the Harrisonburg prison system and re-acclimating to life outside of jail.

“It’s been a brutal beginning,” admits Amanda. “The construction downtown, a broken espresso machine, legal action over our name by a larger franchise. It seems everything has been going wrong. This support from EMS students can help us make a go of this.”

Bible Class Field Trip
In addition to the cash support, Bible 9 teacher, Elwood Yoder, and 10 students provided a little moral support with a visit to the store on Friday, Oct. 25. The students purchased drinks, served by shop employee, Grant Serrells, EMHS class of ’14.

Adam King, co-pastor of RISE, shared that the shop’s vision is to “promote restorative justice for all, build community for folks who need second chances, and inject love into conversations about justice in Harrisonburg. We hope to bring a little love to Court Square.”

See Daily News-Record coverage of the shop. Follow them on Facebook.

And, plan to stop by next time you are on Court Square for a treat that serves the greater good. Hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

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