Here’s a story of a Coffee Break group that has been enjoying diversity and unity for many years. This group at Pullman CRC, in Chicago’s southside Roseland neighborhood, gathers with women from diverse backgrounds and church affiliations as well as seekers. Each week they begin in the fellowship hall with brunch, an opening prayer, and a song before going to smaller groups. This past February, in honor of Black History month, 65 African American women, 2 white women, and 1 Hispanic woman joined hands and sang "We Shall Overcome."
One of the leaders, Kathy shared that it is such a blessing for her to be a part of this amazing group. Kathy writes:
All of these women lived through Jim Crow (many in the South) and experienced the Civil Rights movement. As children they attended segregated schools, couldn't take a book from the public library, couldn't swim in the public pool, were not allowed to drink from the water fountains, couldn't sit down in many restaurants, and yet they embrace me and accept me and shower me with love. Our Hispanic member's husband immigrated as a young man with only the clothes on his back.
One of the ladies in my group spoke of how her life changed totally around as Paul's did. She lived in the projects and was a gang member. She often speaks of her former life of drinking and partying and how she made a total turn around when she met the Lord.
From its beginning, Pullman CRC has been focused on diversity and outreach. Worshipping in an ethnically diverse setting and learning from one another gives us a glimpse of heaven. Kathy’s family and others made the decision to stay despite the changing demographics, and she has been so blessed by her experience. Children came to Sunday School and VBS filling every room in the building; parents came because children were embraced and ministered to.
While many women come to Coffee Break with other church affiliation, they also celebrate that this is the first time for many to open and study God’s Word for themselves.
During this season of COVID, this Coffee Break group has not met. Technology is a challenge for many members. Kathy and other leaders have been working hard to stay in touch, calling members and sending cards. The care and compassion they have for one another will keep them connected even when they can’t be together during this time.