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‘Tutti’ gathers young adults in the East Village


By Mary Beth Coudal
January-February 2015

Spotlight: A Vital Congregation

‘Tutti' gathers young adults in the East Village

On a cold evening in New York's East Village, more than two dozen young people share conversation, soup, worship and sweet pastries at Tutti, a Sunday night gathering at the BrokenBuilders United Methodist Church, a predominantly Korean congregation.

"I feel peaceful in my heart here," says Dylan Yiyang Qiu, a New York University graduate student. "All my family is on the other half of the world. I had to find a home."

Qiu is not the only one looking to build community. Gookhi Min, 20, a finance student at Baruch College, came to the diverse gathering that is Tutti (Italian for "all" or "together") at a friend's invitation. She then trained to become one of the church's first community developers, learning "how to interact with new people."

Joyce Lee, a lawyer and associate pastor of BrokenBuilders, says the community-developer program started with seven students. Church leaders realized local congregations were not reaching "the sea of college students in this area." In response, they started Tutti in 2014.

During worship, Lee leads the singing and plays keyboards. And she does a whole lot more. Before the service, she slices apples while the Rev. Paul Moon slices pomegranates – all the while engaging in lively conversation with the young people drifting into the community center.

The Tutti worship service features small-group sharing, praise hymn singing and a sermon from community member Pastor Joshua Cheng from Queens, N.Y.

There is a new BrokenBuilders congregation in the Korean community in Queens and another is planned near Harlem. "We're still witnessing how this is going to unfold," says Lee.

Moon said that the name BrokenBuilders is based on the reality, "We are all broken. Even in our brokenness, we can rebuild the kingdom."

Mary Beth Coudal is a journalist and a blogger. She blogs about faith and happiness at

AT A GLANCE BrokenBuilders United Methodist Church | 48 St. Marks Place, Room 4B, New York, NY 10003 | | | Pastor: The Rev. Paul Moon | Attendance: 81 | New York Conference