Rev. Tommy Brown, M.Div.
Rev. Tommy Brown, M.Div. currently serves as volunteer coordinator / cook / development / marketing coordinator at F.A.R.M. Cafe, which is a pay-what-you-can community restaurant located in Boone, NC. As one of three full-time staff working with 20+ daily volunteers, the Cafe serves an average of 80 persons daily. On average 15% of patrons receive a meal at no or reduced cost. If able, we invite these patrons to contribute and serve in the Cafe in exchange for their meal.
He also currently serves as Ministry Consultant at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in a part-time position coordinating with fellowship leaders to provide leadership for inspirational services, religious education and retreat programs, and facilitation for visioning and planning.
In addition to these current roles, he regularly serves as adjunct instructor at Appalachian State University, teaching courses in leadership and group dynamics.
After serving as a Camp Director in Louisville, KY, and then Associate Pastor with Youth and Families at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, NC, he and his wife Karen and their two sons moved to Boone in 2002 to serve as Presbyterian Campus Minister at Appalachian State University. While in Boone he has had side gigs serving as a hospital chaplain, life coach, First Year Seminar Instructor, and academic advisor.
Throughout his ministry Tommy has served in leadership on the national and regional levels of various organizations including One World Everybody Eats, American Camping Association, Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Associates, and Presbyterian Association of College and Higher Education Ministries. He has been a facilitator or speaker at the Wild Goose Festival, Montreat Youth Conference, Montreat College Conference, One World Everybody Eats National Summit, in addition to many other events, retreats, and conferences.
Feed All Regardless of Means (F.A.R.M.): The Story of a Community Cafe - Each weekday in Boone, NC, a great lunch is prepared that is available to everybody regardless of their ability to pay. At common tables and lunch counters, persons who are food insecure -- including the homeless, mentally ill, and working poor -- sit with and share a meal and conversation with persons who are students, lawyers, business owners, retirees, and resort area tourists. By simply removing the economic barrier that generally isolates and segregates us, F.A.R.M. Cafe is not only fighting food insecurity but also expressing church beyond barriers and walls.
From Transactional to Transformational: Shifting Value Systems - I believe that we will not be able to transform the church, the nation, or the world in which we live until we shift the value system upon which we each operate. We have bought into the dominant cultural value, which is based upon a transactional model. We generally account one's value based upon that which is produced, created, and offered according to worth determined in a transaction of value most often in a test of means (money). I propose that shifting one's value system to one of transformation (learning, growing, evolving) offers a radical alternative to the broken, destructive, individualistic dominant culture. The One World Everybody Eats and F.A.R.M. Cafe model assumes that everyone has something to offer one another based not upon a transactional value but rather transformational value. Together, everyday, in community we are transforming the world.
One World Everybody Eats: The movement and how your community can become a part of it - In this talk, Tommy will share the principles of the One World Everybody Eats movement of community cafes. Using examples from various operating cafes throughout the country, we will explore what might be possible in a particular community as an organic and unique expression of this movement.