Pioneering Coffee Break Leaders


Harriet Boerman and Marcia Mels have been leading Coffee Break since the beginning—almost 50 years. In September, Chicago area Coffee Break leaders gathered to hear the story of these pioneering leaders and to re-imagine how the principles of those first groups might inform how we reach people today.

Harriet and Marcia started leading groups in the early 70’s. Both leaders began with a passion for connecting friends and neighbors to Jesus. When they first heard about Coffee Break, they were intrigued. So they drove over to Peace CRC to observe the first groups in action and decided that they could do this.

When asked why Coffee Break is an effective tool, both leaders shared it is the power of exploring God’s word in a loving small group. They went on to share stories of women who came to faith through Coffee Break. Marcia was led to invite a neighbor. She knew the neighbor would not want to come. God kept nudging her to invite the her. She finally walked over the knocked on the door.  Her neighbor responded, “I would love to come" and faithfully attended for over 30 years. The neighbor died recently. Marcia learned from her daughter that she talked about Coffee Break all the time. 

Those who attended were inspired by reminiscing and remembering the early days. They were also reminded that the power of the Word and loving relationships never go out of style.

What’s your story? We would love to hear your stories about Coffee Break—whether from yesterday or today! Email your stories to [email protected] or leave a comment below! 

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