A Smiling Face in the Cafe

A Smiling Face in the Cafe

Posted on May 20, 2017

BY KRISTEN RAVES, DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

We have a new Coordinator of the Café at our 146th Street campus. Let’s all welcome Claire Carlson to her new job!

She might be new in her role, but she’s no stranger to Grace Church. In fact, she started coming here when she was one week old. Her parents and older siblings had been attending here for some time, so she joined right in. You might have also seen her serving in one ministry or another. Claire has lead Grace Kids and Fuse small groups, performed in Grace Kids dramas, served at the Care Center, and, of course, volunteered in the cafe. Fun fact: she has now been volunteering in the cafe for five years!
Claire is also our youngest staff member at 17 years of age. She is a senior and has just one trimester left before graduating from Westfield High School this November!



Claire’s hobbies include reading, traveling, and anything that gets her outside (running, hiking, etc). Her favorite books include Harry Potter (the entire series), Tattoos on the Heart and When Helping Hurts. As for traveling, here is one of her favorite stories: For her father's sabbatical (you might know him, he’s a pastor at Grace by the name of Keith), they were allotted the opportunity to travel to Europe and explore Scotland, England, and France. They were even able to travel through England and France with her mom's twin brother and his family. One day while they were in Paris trying to decide where to eat for lunch, they let her younger cousins (who were 7 and 9 at the time) make the decision. In less than 60-seconds they had come to the consensus that McDonald's was the best option. So, there they were, in the middle of Paris on the Champs-Élysées, dining at none other than the most popular fast food chain in America. But they sold macarons, so that makes it authentic, right?  
 
Something you may not know about Claire is that she is obsessed with all movies from the 80’s (but more specifically the romantic comedies). Some of her favorites include The Princess Bride and The Breakfast Club. (But also, who doesn’t love Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?) Also, she is really, really terrified of horses.
 
When we asked Claire what she hopes to accomplish while on staff, she said, “I hope to continue making the cafe and bookstore welcoming places. Whether it is someone’s first time in a church or twentieth year of attending Grace, it is so important that everyone feels welcomed and loved. Even if it is as simple as remembering someone’s usual drink, it goes a long way in making someone feel like they are known and not just lost in the crowd.”

We are beyond happy to have Claire with us as a staff member. Please take a moment to welcome her in the comments below!