By Robbie Ippolito
To all those who are seeking a space where they can engage in scintillating conversation with open-minded people without fear of judgement or embarrassment, the place for you is closer than you think.
The Lifetree Cafe, located on the corner of Union and 13th street in Arcata, is alive with passionate discussions and debates. On Sunday, Feb. 12, at 7p.m., the Lifetree Cafe hosted an exploration on the origins of crop circles.
Yes. Crop circles. The topic was introduced along with a reminder from the host to keep an open mind and hold back immediate judgements. The exercise then weaved between watching clips of crop circle experts and engaging in small group discussion about the clips. The conclusion that cafe reached as a whole was that crop circles are still a mystery and simply cannot be explained without more information, which led to the final question of the night: How do we deal with things we can’t explain?
This is just one of the many interesting topics covered during the weekly discussions that are held at the cafe. Some of the topics assigned for upcoming discussions are police brutality, the science of love, and the area between spirituality and religion.
“We want everyone to feel welcome,” said Bob Dipert, head of the Arcata branch of the Lifetree Cafe organization, “which is why we cover so many different things. Nearly anything that folks find curious or want to talk about, we’ll talk about here.”
Lifetree is a religious organization. Their mission, as stated on their website, is “To help people grow in relationship with Jesus,” and while this could turn off people that have a faith other than Catholicism, the conversations themselves are very seldom focused on the Bible.
“There usually is like a ‘God’ moment,” explained Rachel Warze, an Arcata mechanic and longtime attendee of the weekly discussions. “But it’s not really focused on Jesus or anything. It’ll be more like a group prayer than a Bible study.”
Lifetree is a nationwide organization that holds meetings and discussions all across the country on the same night. They celebrate the act of coming together, making new friends, and engaging in something that people care about for the sake of those people.
“So we’re talking about crop circles here, but they’re doing the same thing in Menlo Park and in Coalinga,” said Myrna Dipert, wife of Bob Dipert and organizer for their events. “Basically all of us, all of us across the country are together tonight, breaking bread and sharing in something that’s really unique.”