Hello Hyde Park,


Have you ever turned away from something that was painful to see or take in? Most of us have. In truth, most of us want to turn away from our history's painful past. In my experience, for God to transform the dark and destructive, it must be acknowledged. The scripture backs this up.

The above picture was taken last Tuesday just a few moments after the unveiling of a historic memorial memorializing Robert Johnson along the Riverwalk. Mr. Johnson and 4 other victims were lynched in Hillsborough County. A difficult truth. Read the article here. Our Justice Team participated to make it a reality with community leaders. We gathered the soil at the place Mr. Johnson was believed to be killed and hosted a worship gathering at The Portico. We organized a trip to deliver the soil and visit the Equal Justice Initiative and The Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. 40 people took the pilgrimage. The impact of all this work is profound. I've been changed by it.


As we look and acknowledge the past, it enables us to move forward... together. Our Justice Team is hosting HOPE “House Meeting” Listening Sessions. Save the date, plan to attend, and invite someone who you know cares about things like affordable housing, criminal justice, and addiction and mental health. The “house meetings” surface community problems for research and action; and invites new people to become a part of the justice ministry.

1001 Gathering is 1 week away.

Next Sunday is the weekly launch of The 1001 Gathering. I am so pumped for it! Hope to see you then! If you are interested in being a part of this life changing community. Join us: email me.

For more info on upcoming events - https://theportico.org/events/.

Remember, you are loved.


The Rev. Justin LaRosa, LCSW

Director & Minister, The Portico


O: 813.222.2299 | M: 813.444.2891

1001 N. Florida Ave.,

Tampa, FL 33602

Conversation. Connection. Community Change.

Websites for The Portico and The Portico Cafe.

The Portico includes a neighborhood cafe, a historic chapel, spaces to meet and work, and an event space for the public that enhances the social, artistic, and spiritual fabric of Tampa through Conversation, Connection and Community Change!

The Portico Community is a non-conventional church whose mission is to make God’s Love Real through spiritual practices and to serve the city and world in ways that address equality, housing insecurity, and economic challenge. We are a community of Hyde Park United Methodist.

The Portico Cafe is a social enterprise that offers people transitioning from homelessness, addiction, and incarceration--job training, employment ladders, and connections to safe, affordable housing. Support here.
Sunday Gatherings

Grow more deeply in love. Consider these gatherings:

  • Community Meal, 9/11 at 11:30 Participate Sunday where we get our "knees under tables" with friends and neighbors who are unsheltered or hungry and occurs immediately after The Gathering.
Join a Small Group
  • Join a Group - Our community thrives as we gather, grow and serve. The Portico's primary vehicle for that is small groups. We have a bunch. If you can't find one, Justin or Mark B will help you create or join one. These new groups have spots available.
Events, Gathering, Serve

The Gathering: Weekly Service at The Portico is Coming

Coffee On A Mission

As of today: 3 Bags Sold 

The Mission100 Bags in 30 Days 

The Coffee: Locally-roasted Portico Blends (medium and dark) and Don Carlos Espresso

The Cause: Stand against homelessness with every gift or purchase.

Buy, get a subscription, or donate: ThePorticoCafe.org.

We ship ANYWHERE in the U.S. coast to coast. 

The Portico | 1001 N. Florida Avenue | 813.222.2299 | ThePortico.org
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