April 2, 2018
Updated April 18, 2018
0 comments 156 views Posted by Kristin Schmitt
Kids and grandkids were all gathered together to celebrate Marcia Mell’s 80th birthday. As 80th birthday parties go, this was a perfect time to share and reflect on memories from a long life. Each grandchild honored their grandma by sharing a favorite memory of her; dinners, recipes, or time spent together.
One grandson turned the question to Marcia and asked, “What has been a highlight of your life?”
The answer came easily and without hesitation, “Coffee Break!”
“Why is that Grandma?”
“There is nothing like seeing God change lives.”
And that’s what Marcia has seen over and over again in her 45 years of involvement with Coffee Break. When she and a friend decided to start a Coffee Break in Orland Park Christian Reformed Church, their only training was to observe the first Coffee Break leader ever, Neva Evenhouse, lead her group. After that, they just jumped in with lots of prayer and confidence in God’s leading. Marcia can talk of how their Coffee Break and Story Hour grew quickly and about the excitement of a church full of women and children one day a week. She remembers handing out invitations outside of a grocery store and distributing them by door-to-door canvassing. She has a binder full of special event ideas used throughout the years and remembers fondly planning two Coffee Break Conventions, including the first one ever. What especially makes her happy is the page-and-a-half listing of people who came to her church as a result of Coffee Break. She knows the story of each one; of how studying the Bible with others at Coffee Break brought them into a fresh relationship with Christ and his Church, some for the first time.
God’s story is woven into Marcia’s story. It’s worth paying attention to certain movements of God that her story gives testimony to.
Marcia wonders how to get the word out about Coffee Break. What are effective ways to invite in 2018? How do we cast a compelling vision to our church members so that they invite people? More women work now that 45 years ago. How do we adapt so they can experience Coffee Break?
And a word to the wise from Marcia to church leaders. Being a Coffee Break leader takes a lot of time and effort. Be encouragers. Be sure to thank them!
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