Did you know I love coffee? With that out in the open, I think it’s great that two or three times a month I get to make and serve more than 20 liters of this glorious beverage to our community. How does this coffee service translate to ministry? There are very few things I find more inviting than a good cup of coffee, and I know I’m not alone in that feeling. One of the key points when it was decided to move from three services down to two was “How do we create a place for community to happen?” The details of those conversations have long faded from memory, but I am happy to say I believe we have succeeded. At one point I remember hearing someone say “it’s not about the coffee.” I disagree. The act of pouring a cup of coffee or tea appears to me to have the effect of slowing us down. Most of us fill our days with so much activity that we have forgotten how—t o s l o w d o w n. God gave us the Sabbath as a day of rest, and I believe Community Time offers us the perfect opportunity to slow down and look around. Some of you try to sneak in and grab a cup of coffee and slide out, but that doesn’t always work. You will usually end up in a conversation. At Community Time I learn who people are. Diversity and commonality are of no consequence because we are in community.
I also love making the coffee because it affords me an opportunity to teach my kids how to serve through observation and practice. We get to the church early for preparations. As our “regulars” begin to trickle in I watch Elli and Nate search out individuals to serve—taking cups of coffee to the Farmers as they greet at the southeast entrance, running to get something out for someone who has come down before setup is finished. These acts of service show me they are learning. The more opportunities they have to practice the more likely it will be ingrained in their nature.
A testimony to the fact that we are in community is how often I am thanked for what I do. In a world that expects to be served, I am blessed when folks go out of their way to let me know they appreciate the coffee. I share that appreciation with our current coffee team—Jeff Denton (+ Addy and Sylvie), Heather Hodges (+ Monte), and Elli and Nate Nauman.