Our primary speaker is our founder, Andrew Whaley.
Andrew has a degree in Liberal Arts/Great Books from Thomas Aquinas College, over 25+ years of experience in the coffee industry, 30+ years of ministry and building missional projects, and a lifelong obsession with creating community for the sake of mission. His feverish reading, along with thousands of hours of conversation from beind the bar and hundreds of podcasts, have evolved into a truly unique and engaging speaking style that is equally compelling for Catholics working in mission and for wider audiences.
Andrew can speak on a variety of subjects, but focuses on training people for missional efforts in the trenches of the modern secularized world and modeling a way of communicating the Faith in this context, especially in college towns and on campuses. His talks include the following:
"If there was only a place..." : Mission, Hospitality, and the Awakening of Desire
Our culture is a deeply Balkanized place, making dialogue between Christians and the modern world more and more difficult. The old modes of evangelization, focused on debate and apologetics, have increasingly become less effective, often deepening division rather than healing it. The result has been either a doubling down on confrontation in the public sphere or a retreat into insular spaces and digital echo chambers. Conflict has cost us community. What if there was another way? What if very different types of people could dwell together? What if relationship could rescue community? What if…there was a place? Based on the book Disarming Beauty by Julian Carron, the Benedictine vision of hospitality, and decades of experience in the coffeehouse, this talk will explore a different mode of community in which true shared goods can form a bridge, hospitality can drive relationship, and an encounter with Christ in the Other can awaken desire and form
a foundation for real discipleship.
Why is There Anything?: How Being Shocked by Broccoli and Typewriters Can Change Your Life and Help You Find Meaning
Part stand-up comedy, philosophy lecture, and firey sermon, this talk is a wild and wonder-driven ride from the origin of existence to what to think about while you brush your teeth in the morning, through philosophy, fundamental theology, cosmology, and pop culture, with hilarious anecdotes, deep insights, and unique perspectives that build an argument for the existence of God, the need for wonder, love as an identity, and gratitude as a daily way of being. It can be given for a Catholic audience or in a more public setting.