Hello Hyde Park,

FRIDAY CONTEMPLATION: Thankful Thanksgiving

Did you have a Turkey induced nap yesterday? I hope so. I bet that some of the over 40 servant volunteers did. They invested a part of their Thanksgiving Day to be present for over 250 people who were unhoused or hungry from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

I am thankful for Metropolitan Ministries (MM). MM provided the meal, some of the volunteers, and coordinated a brief optional worship time. I am grateful for JohnPaul (pic below), a member of Portico's spiritual community and leader of the Metro BrigAIDe street outreach team, Kristen K. (Portico Community Meal Leader), and Jerome (faithful Portico Team member) who made this day a reality. I am thankful that my son Russell volunteered as a table server.

And lastly, I am thankful for the over 700 of you who read this Friday Contemplation each week (or at least open it :)).

There will be a Christmas Day Meal like this one. And The Portico Leadership has decided when we have a few more team leaders, we will launch the Community Meal on Sundays weekly. If this kind of serving stirs your soul, email me.

Thankful Giving:

As most of you know, we concluded our 2023 Generosity series last Sunday. Thank you to the 254 households who submitted a 2023 Estimate Of Giving (EOG). If you believe in the work of the Portico, please invest. The EOGs allow ministries like the Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and Community Meal to occur. No matter the size, your investment supports the work and the mission.


This Sunday we will have conversation and connection around Proverbs. We begin Advent (we will talk about what that is on Sunday). Come and see at 10:01 a.m.


  • Community Meal  | 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | Sun, Dec. 11 | Portico
  • Christmas in The Park | 6 p.m. | Fri, Dec. 23 | Waterworks Park
  • Christmas Day Meal  | 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Sun, Dec 25 | Portico

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 Spiritual 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.

1001 Gathering

Grow more deeply in love. Consider these gatherings:

  • Community Meal, 12/11 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 Joe/Jo Group - a network of small groups (there are 13) that have a two-fold purpose: To mature in faith/spiritual growth and to reach new people who are seeking spiritual community. It is a simple format that lasts 1 hour, and is designed for conversation, connection and community change. Email Justin or Mark B will help you create or join one.
Events, Gathering, Serve
  • Thanksgiving Meal  | 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Thurs, Nov. 24 | Portico
  • Christmas in The Park | 6 p.m. | Fri, Dec. 23 | Waterworks Park
  • Christmas Day Meal  | 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Sun, Dec 25 | Portico

Coffee On A Mission

As of today: 37 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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