Early last summer, a longtime Downtown Ministries supporter from out of town visited Fresh Grounds. After the tour around the building and some brief updates, he began to inquire as to how we were doing. He’s a businessman and when he visits it’s not long before our conversations get more in-depth. He asked a question that spoke to the core of what this magazine is all about. He said something on the order of, “You say that you are a relational ministry and as I look around here [Fresh Grounds], I see that. But how can you show me that you truly are what you say you are?”

My answer was, “We have a ton of stories.”

Stories that speak of time invested, of kindness and concern, of encouragement and hope. We have always encouraged the volunteers from each ministry group under the Downtown Ministries umbrella to engage our community personally, individually, intentionally, each day as new opportunities present themselves, to engage beyond the superficial, to get to the things that matter.

As you flip through these pages, notice how the relationship thread is prevalent.

It’s an honor to be part of the whole Downtown Ministries group. I’m thankful to God for assembling the cast, for giving us the resources, for the community He has placed us in to work and for the hope that lies ahead.

Special thanks go to Ben Beck and his supporting staff, for all their creativity in making this project possible.


Martin Johnson, Director