It’s hard to tell now but a little over 4 years ago 13 & Jones was not such a nice place to be. On the southside was an abandoned lot and a carwash. Fortunately at 1314 Jones St., Pastor Chad Peterson and a group of young professionals were meeting weekly for bible study. It grieved Chad that in the heart of the city there was no place for ministry people to connect. Chad knew his calling was not to be a church but to be a resource for the church, a place where people of different ministries could connect. In 2 weeks condos were going to open and Chad knew something had to be done with this great opportunity but he wasn't sure what. So what did he do? He and a friend prayed. Knowing it was all in God's hand he went mountain biking with another friend, David Sebald. An hour into biking David told Chad he just wanted to let him know that he was in business school, loved coffee and was wondering if he had ever thought of doing something at Sozo. I know you’re asking the same thing I asked and the answer is No! he didn’t know what Chad had prayed. Two weeks later Sozo opened.
CONNECT THOUGH COFFEE & CONVERSATION
Sozo in Greek means A Safe Place for Salvation. Pastor Chad describes it as such for the community, “…a safe place which leads to salvation. Through coffee and conversation people have a chance to connect”.
Over 150 different ministries have connected over coffee and conversation at Sozo. Among them are The Hope Center, First Responders, IOP (for people who are transitioning from jail and addiction back into society), UNO bible study, youth groups, businesses, therapists, life coaching and church groups.
Knowing it’s not their goal to be a church but to be a resource for the church they would love to see a church use the facility on Sunday mornings. That is part of the reason they do not open until 1pm on Sundays, the other being they want people in their own churches on Sundays.
“Welcome to Sozo!”
is the cheerful greeting you will hear when you walk through the door entering the first of 3 sections of the largest coffeehouse in Omaha. You are in the One on One, Fun Atmosphere section of the coffeehouse where you can play pool, games, or lounge in the living room areas with friends.
The second area is just on the other side of the brick wall, the Intentional Community.
It is where The Well is and the music is live. Here people are engaged in something bigger than themselves. For instance, on March 23, Remedy Drive will be the live music for a fundraiser to send teens on a mission trip to Costa Rica. AtThe Well people gather for something greater.
But real life change takes place in the third area. These smaller meeting rooms are made for more intimate settings, personal connections and intentional relationships. This is where business people meet their clients, bible studies happen, people from different ministries meet and life changes are made. These rooms can be rented by the hour.
Connecting at Home & Abroad
All proceeds from Sozo goes to missions they are passionate about and have been instrumental in starting.
David, Chad’s biking buddy, and his family now live in Canada and work with the First Nation people there. They have devoted their lives to helping the young people coming off of the reservation with addiction and abuse problems and help them excel in life by achieving the education and skills needed to do so.
Mission trips are dependent upon fund raising. This summer they are planning a mission trip to Costa Rica, July 21-29, 2018 and will be hosting a fundraising event at Sozo with live music at The Well by Remedy Drive. Mark the date for the event. Those of us who may not be able to go can support someone who can. Locally, they are involved with the Open Door Mission and cleaning up the city.
The Pastor's Passion
A former executive for Hormel, Chad gave it up 3 years ago to follow his passion and ministry which are young professionals. As a young man Chad found it hard to fit in at church and now his passion is discipling young professionals between the ages of 18 and 34 who may be new to Christianity and want to understand it, or those who were churched but didn’t really apply it to their lives. This group, Great Adventure Ministries, meets Tuesdays at 6:30 pm to study the bible and put their faith into action. Chad loves the transformation he sees in his students who are not only learning but applying the word of God to the real decisions they are making about their lives. This month they are in the book of Esther.
Did you know....
Over nine years ago when Great Adventures Ministries began they were meeting upstairs once a week when Chad decided to contact the owners about leasing the basement space. He was told the owners would be meeting there in an hour with a restaurant that also wanted the space, who would be pitching to them. With no prep time or even change of clothes time Chad showed up in his jeans and cowboy boots standing toe to toe with polished suits and pitch from the restaurant crew. Fumbling through his pitch and only able to offer a fraction of what the competition was offering Chad rested knowing it was all in God’s hand. The owners, who were also believers, saw Chad’s mission and well, the results speak.
Dates to remember:
Every Tue @ 6:30 pm GAM Young Professional bible study
First Fri of every month Begins an Art Exhibit
Last Fri of every month Big Canvas comedy
Mar 23 Remedy Drive at The Well- mission trip fundraiser