Third Places...Love Ray Oldenburg's view on the third place. Found out about him from the documentary to "You've Got Mail" where Nora Ephron references him in relation to a scene in Starbucks.
Oldenburg identifies third places, or 'great good places,' as the public places on neutral ground where people can gather and interact. In contrast to first places (home) and second places (work), third places allow people to put aside their concerns and simply enjoy the company and conversation around them. Third places "host the regular, voluntary, informal, and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home and work." Oldenburg suggests that beer gardens, main streets, pubs, cafes, coffeehouses, post offices, and other third places are the heart of a community's social vitality and the foundation of a functioning democracy. They promote social equality by leveling the status of guests, provide a setting for grassroots politics, create habits of public association, and offer psychological support to individuals and communities.
This is where new expressions of church are... in the beer gardens, main streets, pubs, cafes, coffeehouses, post offices, and other third places; and NOT protected in the exclusive, come-to-us, Christian ghettoes we call churches.
Its time to be IN the world and not of it..!
Oh and I love Nora Ephron's films... especially "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle".