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Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce Coffee Contacts


On Thursday, March 1st, we attended another Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce "Coffee Contacts" which took place at "Busy Bee Pottery and Arts Studio" on Mentor Avenue in Mentor.

It's owner/proprietor, Ms. Beth Brinton explained to us that the studio has been opened since November, 2015 and offers families and/or friends a place to come together and engage in artistic endeavors dealing with the painting of pottery as well as canvas painting, mosaics, clay hand building, glass fusing, and stamped jewelry. One fellow chamber member who frequents "Busy Bee Pottery..." showed us the clay name badge that she had crafted there. 


Among the people who we met for the first time at this networking session were Mr. Jerry Craddock, Public Education Specialist with the Mentor Fire Dept. and Ms. Jennifer Sprafka, co-founder of "Small Hands, Big Dreams Learning Centers" which, as its website said, empowers "children to be passionate about learning and play cooperatively while preparing them for Kindergarten and beyond..."

There were two things said during the 30-second commercials (for chamber members and their businesses) that made an impression upon us. 

First, we believe that a financial consultant that we know showed insight into the human condition when he/she said,  "people don't plan to fail, they fail to plan."

The other was said by our friend Ms. Jennifer Dobrowolski of "Ohio Guidestones" a foster care and family services organization. Ms. Dobrowolski reminded us of how fortunate we all were compared to some of the people she has helped over the years. She then surmised that "our challenge is to pay it forward in some way today."

What she said about paying it forward is something that Deacon David Kushner, of St. Mary's Church in Collinwood, does every day just as others do who are Deacons in our Diocese and/or throughout the United States if not the world.  It just so happened that Deacon Kushner was the speaker at the monthly First Friday Club and he used his time effectively to explain the role of Deacons and their history.

We learned from Deacon Kushner, who has held this position since 2007, and the slide show that he used to highlight his presentation that the Deacon's role "is to express the needs and desires of the Christian communities and to be a driving force for service or diakonia which is an essential part of the mission of the church."

Thus Deacons take part is the Liturgy; are evangelizers and teachers; and, above all, take a leadership role in charity and social justice functions by serving, often hands-on, those who are spiritually, physically, and financially impoverished.


Deacon Kushner shared with us a quote that read, "the deacon stands at the altar and prepares the gifts with clean hands, but he stands also where the practical need is the greatest, getting his hands very dirty."

He traced the role of Deacons throughout the centuries while centering on Vatican II and happenings in the early 1970's that really restored their status. He also talked about the training that Deacons undergo and shared statistics with us regarding racial make-up, marital status, education level, age and status in ministry.

Above it was made clear, that a Deacon's role includes the freely giving of "time and talents for the world and all of God's people";  and being "humble servants not looking for recognition".


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC