Lydia's Place: Collaborative co-working with a religious flare

Collaborative Co-working spaces are all the rage in the Twin Cities these days. Scott Simmons, an Assistant Pastor at St. James Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Burnsville, sees a unique alignment between this emerging cooperative work culture and the mission and goals of people of faith.
He recently started Lydia’s Place, 2300 Myrtle Avenue, in the Creative Enterprise Zone, as a collaborative co-working space grounded in gift and community. The idea isn’t all that different from other co-working spaces around the Twin Cities. Lydia’s doors are open to anyone, regardless of faith, looking for a creative, inspiring environment to work, meet, and discover new paths to success for their cause.
What sets Lydia’s Place apart is that it operates in the context of the common good, Simmons says. “This is a compelling, interesting, energizing place with people who feel called to collaborate and give.”
You might not find the next billion-dollar tech startup feverishly crunching code at Lydia’s Place, though it’s not impossible—they have at least one IT guru already utilizing the new space on a regular basis. You are likely to find a community of like-minded people bringing complimentary skills to bear in service to their neighbors and those most in-need.
Rev. Margaret Kelly, another one of the 7 current core collaborators at Lydia’s Place, is the pastor at Shobi’s Table—a new ministry of, by and for people struggling on the margins in St. Paul. As part of this work, she is starting a food truck that will be staffed and maintained by members of the Shobi’s Table ministry. Kelly was able to connect with another Lydian with extensive experience in career guidance and counseling, and now plans to make those services a major part of her work.

For more information or to join the collaborative community at Lydia's Place, email Scott Simmons at

Julie James