A lot happens there; intergenerational interactions take place, there is networking that extends outside the church walls, we check in on our friends weekly to make sure they are doing okay, people share stories, laugh and make plans. Moreover, it is a place where we welcome newcomers.
When we see new faces, we can simply introduce ourselves and ask what brought them to St. Paul’s? During our worship service, we acknowledge God’s grace to us. We give thanks and praise as we received the holy food through the Eucharist. At Coffee Hour, we have the opportunity to extend and share what we have been given by means of our hospitality which is the simplest form of spreading the gospel. In other words, we can walk the talk.” Coffee Hour can be the pivotal point of a newcomer’s entry into the church. When newcomers visit St. Paul’s, they are often looking for a connection to Christ and to the church community. When they come to Coffee Hour, they get a feel of our congregation’s hospitality and decipher if they are welcome or not.
Sharing food is the most basic form of community, as often represented so many of the stories of Jesus. Another member says that he loves the feeling of the hustle and bustle in the kitchen. “There’s something about the energy working in there [kitchen]. Even though I’m refilling the coffee pots and washing dishes, it just feels good.” One does not have to climb a mountain top or trek out into the wilderness of solitude to experience the Spirit! God’s Spirit is alive within us wherever go, with every cup washed and cookie served.“I’m not a very social person by nature but when I help in this practical way, I can be useful. I love seeing people enjoying themselves and the refreshments help bring them together.” There are currently about 60 members who volunteer with the Coffee Hour Ministry. They are grouped into 2-3 people teams and serve approximately 3 times a year. In fun teamwork fashion, they provide food, prepare, serve and clean up. One Coffee Hour Volunteer said, "What is also unique about this ministry is that it is one of the few places where the entire family can serve in together. Children can serve alongside their parents in a kind of apprenticeship. They can push the trolley carts and transfer food to the serving table, load the dishracks and work the heavy-duty dishwasher." This ministry also invites individuals who don't bring food, like students, to sign up to help set up & clean up like Jacob Duquette. He volunteered in order to get to know members of the parish and he's a great help. Food purchases are not required to serve in this important ministry and reimbursements are available as well.
Week after week, our incredibly devoted Coffee Hour leader Linda Ward, solely oversees this entire operation and it is no easy task. She coordinates volunteers into teams, organizes multiple schedules and manages countless details in order for each Coffee Hour to run as smoothly as possible. She’s marvelous! A big THANK YOU LINDA!! And a big thank you to all who participate with this ministry!
Coffee Hour volunteers include: Amber Nichols, Cathie Oberg , Charlotte Hoel, Dorothy Murphy, Dottie Nichols, Gloria Mapes, Holly Telfer, Isabel Blanco, Jackie Whitmore, Jacob Duquette, Jacob Duquette, Janet Sharp, Joi Weaver, Kamira Rea, Steve, Kate & Elliott Brigham, Kathy Mintz, Kay Reddell, Kim KJ Byford, Kirsten Barron, Laurel Cook, Laurie Parrish, Linda Hardy, Linda Pierce, Linda & Fred Tiffany, Linda Ward, Lisa Hamstreet, Lisa Potter, Lucy Eggerth, Marilyn Mastor, Mary Summerfield & Mike O’Neal, Norma & Peter Sherwood, Pam & Doug Bulthuis, Pat & Don Smith, Pat & Ron Weitnauer, Randi & George Sanders, Robin, Ian & Patrick O’Callaghan, Sally Schoenberg, Sheila Randall, Shirley Susich, Sue & Jim Johnstone, Sue Warren, Teresa Flodin, Tina & Christian Schoepe, Wendy& Chris Johnson.
We are always looking for new members of this ministry! Volunteers may sign up for a monthly rotation and are sometimes asked to help on special occasions.