Reader Request: What is the Potter’s House


They actually have a really good Web site. It says:

“The Potter’s House is Washington’s original church coffeehouse with a bookstore, art gallery, restaurant, discussion center, entertainment venue, catering service, and gift shop. We offer community, hospitality, and a listening ear to all who enter. We are thankful for all of the wonderful people with whom God has blessed us through the years. We want to consistently share the vision that we are all clay in the Potter’s hands.”

There were a lot of religious books but there were also “normal” books as well like The Kite Runner and Suite Francaise. There was also a band there and new art was getting hung on the wall. I’m not particularly religious myself, nor am I of the Church going persuasion but I felt completely fine looking around. They also had a very reasonably priced Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner menu. And there is free wireless available. Of additional note, they also have a Friday night benefit concert series beginning at 7pm with a $15 suggested donation. You can find more info on the concert series here. Potter’s House is located at 1658 Columbia Road, NW and a flyer I picked up says “all ages, races, creeds, sexes & orientations welcome!”.

Pictures of the inside after the jump.




22 Comment

  • yikes. oh well. would be so cool if they just removed god from the equation. I would be in there all the time. I mean liberal christians are better than the christian right anyday but a whackadoo is a whackadoo any way you slice it. I am watching Michelle Obama pretend to be religious right now at the convention. shame enlightened people like herself and her husband have to pretend to be religious to get elected. I only hope that before he steps down 8 years from now he will admit to being an athiest. If more people came clean the work of the brainwashers would be much more difficult.

  • saf

    Wow Anon, that’s a great example of tolerance and openmindedness.

  • you are right saf. maybe I could learn a thing or two about tolerance and openmindedness from religion? HA. besides which where in that post am I NOT tolerating religious people. I can call them whacky and share my view that it is a damn shame that America is held hostage by such petty belief systems. But believe me. as a free thinker. I TOLERATE religion every damn day.

  • I have know about the Potter’s House for many years and have participated in many activities there over the years. The Potter’s House used to be a very expensive restaurant with cloth tablecover and fine dining. When 16th street was burned in the riots after King’s death in 1968, the many ministries in that area decided to turn the Potter’s House into a 1960’s coffee house — with an aim toward feeding the poor that were left when all of the rich white people left the city. It has a rich tradition of being socially active and justice minded. The profits from the religious books support the other ministres of Church of the Savior — i.e. Christ House, Festival Center, Luther’s Place, etc.

  • Over the past decade, I’ve walked by and thought about stopping in. I don’t have a problem with the place being a Christian bookstore. I do have a problem with the numerous, blatantly one-sided, anti-Israel propoganda in their windows over the years. Doesn’t seem very Christian to me to spread hate against one nation, no matter where you fall on the Middle East debate. There is injustice on every side of every current conflict in the world. It is not helping promote peace and understanding to make one group of people look like innocent victims while demonizing the other. This is why the Potter House has always been off limits in my book.

  • I dont know Michelle Obama-you know, the wife of the terrorist operative who wants to become President so he can bring our consumption addicted society down-so I cant say with certainty that she was “pretending” last night. I envy a lot of you who contribute to this blog. You have found great sustenance from things like bars and nice grocery stores. Not hating on those, but I always needed more. And there is nothing lonelier than
    not completely toeing the “more is better” line in this land.

  • sure, in Washintgon, DC there’s no one else interested in low consumption, sheesh! I think the majority of the people in MtP have “one less car” t-shirts.

    The original anonymous is very confused. As an atheist who is focused on success in life and moral behavior and not focused on “getting back at my parents” or “shocking people” some other kind of mental issues riding on atheism’s coattails, I pretty much realized that:
    1. Some religions help people think more clearly than before (Buddhism, certain Judaism, certain protestant religions) because they try to divine the “truth” from thinking and argument. Other religions are top-down (Islam, Catholicism, cults) and those are super dangerous because they aren’t empowering.
    2. Most of the religion you see on tv is unlike most religion.
    3. Many people caught up in anti-psychiatry communities rely on religion for mental health assistance, coaching and a moral code they aren’t mentally capable of creating for themselves.
    4. Religious people love me because I’m forthright and moral and view everyday things on how they impact society. I get along really well with hardcore right wing Christians as long as they don’t bring up Jesus, politics or race. They flock to me and are confused by me.
    5. People who think heavily on religious issues and switch churches cannot, by definition, be brainwashed.

  • Seems Obama and his missus were very politically perceptive about faking religious belief when they started regularly attending church a few decades ago. Granted, they are both very motivated ivy leaguers, so they probably had “fool simpletons with specious piety and mock faith” written right in the business plan, but still, that’s sitting through a lot of hallelujahs just to suck up to the Jesus Crispies. Seems it would be a lot easier to woo the hard-core religionists the way John McCain has, by doing a 180 on abortion rights and being on the Republican ticket.

    But the religion throwaways in Missus Obama’s speech did not seem nearly as forced to me as the wild-eyed “I love this country!” shtick. While I understand the campaign is worried that she seems like a straight-talking sourpuss who you definitely would not want to piss off, I don’t see why they think her faking a Miss America-type speech is a good idea. Nobody expected Missus Reagan to be nice. Seems awfully sad to make Missus Obama kowtow to such low expectations. Let her be a whoop-ass wife to keep starry-eyed Barry from forgetting he’s got a job to do. I mean, he talks soooooo much BS I want there to be somebody to turn to him after the doors are closed and say “have you lost your damn mind?!?”

  • Wow, Neener, that’s a whole lot to take in. I myself am loved by many of the neighborhood cats. They flock to me and are confused by me. Perhaps I should shower more often.

    Re: Thee Original Anonymous, it’s pretty funny how many people who define themselves as “free thinkers” cannot stretch their heads around the idea that many smart people actually believe in Christian religions. I’m not one of them (christians, that is), but I don’t automatically assume that just because someone is intelligent that they are faking belief. Especially if that someone is an African-American woman from the south side of Chicago, where there is just a whole bunch of church going on.

    Re: Odentex: Yeah, that was the part that got me – turning a practical-minded executive into Go Team America Barbie grated much more than the religious stuff, which I believe is probably genuine.

  • Neener, For someone who starts off accusing another poster of being confused your post had all the clarity of my drunk 87 year old grandfather

  • Odentex-Why do you think Mrs. Obama espoused such upper case patriotism? Is it because ( and I dont know the answer to this) said proclamations are as much of a job requirement as deep pockets? Is it because anything less than gushy domestic love from the lips of an African American is often viewed as another ungrateful colored person
    whining about this, the greatest nation to ever. (you fill in the blank)
    Or maybe she is that way… I mean, look ( or listen) at NPR’s/Fox News’ resident Af Am
    Juan Williams……

  • If you are doing community out reach in Chicago and have political aspirations. yes you go to church. means nothing. Of course there are intelligent Christians but it is also a proven fact that with each strata of education someone reaches the chances of them being religious decreases exponentially. If you want to believe Obama is a christian that’s fine. better than thinking he is a Muslim. but I like to think he will have the brass to elevate the profile of non believers and come clean down the road. The fact that so many politicians play the game gives the church credibility it does not deserve.

  • I was reading in the express today about how Arkansas was voting to ban gays and lesbians from adopting children. This being a group of people who has no record of bad parenting or child abuse.
    But yet the Catholic Church is allowed to run orphanages when they have paid out several BILLION dollars for the Child Rape they inflicted and then hid as an organization?
    Who else can’t wait for Bill Mahars Religulous to come out?

  • Anonymous 10:32- are you saying that being a Muslim is bad? Just trying to make sure I understand…

  • Awwe, the Potter’s House. It was the first ‘restaurant’ I ate at when I moved to DC (needless to say, I was working for one of the Church of the Savior ministries). Btw, their chicken salad is fantastic!

  • ST- do we actually disagree on anything here?

  • 10:32, your idea that Obama is not a Christian is bizarre, did you ever read his book about Jesus? If he ever expressed anything about atheism? I don’t remember reading anything from him that suggested he wasn’t religious. I get this nagging feeling that you don’t know what religion really is and are confusing it with evangelical protestants, presuming that you are the same anonymous who wrote 10:39.

    I’m sorry if I left out a lot of language from my bulletted post to help people from point to point, but the general gist is:

    Not all religions are the same nor as extreme as what we see on TV and trying to paint the Potter’s House with some political movement in Arkansas is like equating Frank Sinatra and Led Zepplin because they’re musicians with big hits in 1969. An atheist can also like and be liked by people of religion, even those with extreme religions, because people who share a moral sense of duty are more alike than different.

    those of you who couldn’t figure out my post might do well to re-read it, you kind of worry me with your lack of comprehension and demands to be spoon-fed ala USA Today.

  • Ruben: I don’t understand why the candidates wives are such a focus, no.

    Neener: You should hear Jimmy Page’s smokin’ solo on Zepp’s rendition of “Luck Be A Lady.”

  • Neener – I couldn’t figure out your first post not because I’m stupid, but because it was incomprehensible gibberish about “certain Judaism,” the “anti-psychiatric community,” how empowerment automatically = clear thinking, and how fundamentalists love you because you are so awesome. Your 2:01 post was much more sensible, and I understood and agree with it. I even liked the sinatra/zeppelin metaphor.

  • Neener. you sound like the comic book shop owner on the simpsons. I suggest to you that the Obamas are using religion because they HAVE to be christian to get elected. and your rebuttle is “but obama wrote a book about jesus” “I never read anywhere that he said he wasnt religious”? lakjdalskjdas OF COURSE YOU ASSHAT. You who talk about being spoon fed… Also your metaphor is bunk as I suggested in the very first post that there are varying degrees of religious stupidity.

  • Where I work in an almost all black local government office (I’m what makes the office not all black), believeing in Jesus is the norm. We had a meeting where new hires were introduced, telling three things about themselves. Two of the new hires, young black women from DC, both said, among other things, “I’m a Christian.” In my supervisor’s office, there are Biblical quotes posted on her bulletin board, something like “I can do all things in Christ Jesus” and “Rejoice in the Lord”. She has a large-print Bible open on her desk. One of the women who I believe is Haitian has a religious card on her desk, the sacred heart of Jesus. The social worker’s answering machine encourages us to have a blessed day. Not for one minute do I dislike any of this, though it certainly isn’t my background or tradition. But I bet if it was a mostly white office, secularism would reign.

  • Interesting ( and not so atypical) story, Sin Nombre. I am an African American Muslim. Not too long ago, I had to go to the emergency room at Providence Hospital. When filling out the paperwork, of course I checked “Muslim” for religion. The woman at the window-black, by the way- rolled her eyes and said “did you make a mistake here?” I knew where she was coming from long before I saw the suv sized cross around her neck…
    While both Islam and Christianity were introduced to sub Saharan Africa and slaves brought to America by (respectively) conquest and, ah-conquest-we (or they) wholeheartedly embracce Christianity-hands down…

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