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Fill in the Gaps With Free Stand-Alone Lessons

The free stand-alone Discover Your Bible lessons are offered in a PDF format that can be printed in the familiar booklet format, notebook size, or in large print.

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Tuning in to Learn Communication From the Bible

When Grace first became a Christian, she simply offered up to the Lord her pen, her Bible, and her voice. She didn’t feel like she had much to offer, but God is working through her in ways she never expected.

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Two Training Events for You!

Training events related to Coffee Break and young adult ministry are coming to Kalamazoo, MI, this January! Learn more and consider attending one of these worthwhile workshops.

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Fresh Coffee Break Training in Korea

Grace Paek has been training Coffee Break trainers in Korean for twelve years, but this year she led a training that looked a little different. 

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Coffee Break Small Group Trainings: California and Michigan

The Coffee Break Small Group training is a hands on learning experience to equip leaders to facilitate conversations about the text so that people can discover for themselves what the Bible says and means.

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New Coffee Break Groups in Cape Town

Last week brand new Coffee Break groups began in Cape Town, South Africa. Despite facing challenges such as finances, the young leaders are eager to dive into Bible study with their groups!

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Discovering the Bible in Delhi and Kolkata

As Coffee Break groups spring up across the globe, the most frequent request is for new translations of Discover Your Bible studies. Learn how a recent Hindi translation is leading to workshops in India!

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Celebrating 15 Years of Coffee Break in Merced, CA

The Coffee Break ministry at Yosemite Church has touched the lives of hundreds of women in the past 15 years! Wanting to bless their community, the ladies just threw a baby shower at the local pregnancy center. 

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Fall Coffee Break Newsletter

Enjoy the Fall Coffee Break Newsletter! Find resources, information and ideas for Coffee Break, Small Group and Children's Ministry leaders. 

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Up-Side-Down Coffee Break Small Group Training

Coffee Break and small group leaders in Grand Rapids, MI and Platte, SD experienced a newly revised leadership training where participants led the learning process. We all left tired and inspired!

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At the Table

As a child, what were the rules while eating a family meal? Now consider the small group setting. Are there topics to avoid or "handle with care" so that everyone can enjoy conversation and feel included? 

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New Discover Your Bible Materials for Fall 2016

Brand new Discover Your Bible studies will be released over the next several weeks for use in the 2016/17 ministry year. Get all the details about what's new and when it's available right here! 

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Coffee Break Spring 2016 Newsletter

The Spring 2016 issue of the Coffee Break Newsletter is now available! This newsletter seeks to encourage you to share what you are learning about Coffee Break and Story Hour/Little Lambs leadership.

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Coffee Break Winter 2016 Newsletter

The Winter 2015 issue of the Coffee Break Newsletter is now available! This issue features stories of Coffee Break Ministry innovations. 

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Coffee Break and Bible Discovery Leadership Training 2016

A team of Coffee Break leaders have been revising the Coffee Break Bible Discovery leadership training and you're invited to check it out! Join us August 16 in Grand Rapids, MI or August 24 in Platte, SD. 

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Promote Your Coffee Break Bible Discovery Group

Would you like to be part of a fun activity and see just how far Coffee Break small groups reach? Check out the "Find a Coffee Break" webpage to get involved today! 

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Learning from Experience!

Betty Wieland leads a Coffee Break group, writes and edits study materials, and served as the Coffee Break Director for many years. Read what she's learned about Coffee Break.

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Benefits and Barriers of an Online Learning Community

A Learning Community is a great way for people to share best practices, news ideas and discoveries! Let's take a look at the benefits and the barriers of this type of community. 

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Bananas, Oranges, and Pinterest Fun

By searching Pinterest, Ariana finds up-to-date crafts or activities that fit her Story Hour class. Read about some of the creative ways she's incorporated crafts and activities into the telling of Bible stories. 

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New Discover Your Bible Materials for Fall 2016

Leaders have been asking: "Will there be new Discover Your Bible studies ready for next fall?" The answer is: Yes! 

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Small Group Snapshots

Do you have a picture of your small group? If not, it's time to take one! We'd love to share a picture of the smiling faces in YOUR small group on the Coffee Break page.

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A Lizard for Baby Jesus

As a parent of a young child, there have been times when I can’t help but wonder, "Is it really sinking in?" However, a recent event erased my doubts about his grasp of Christ's love for him. 

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Bible Discovery Research: Your Feedback Needed!

How do your groups use Discover Your Bible, Infuse or Discover Life Bible study series? That's what we would like to learn more about!

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Carla,
I share many of your thoughts and passions. I too am a teacher and find that this background enables me to adapt curricum easily. I have my eye on adapting a particular curriculum into one that presents the story of salvation in 5 lessons. As you have said, "it's not hard, just time consuming." Maybe through the network we could develop a team and come up with material that others could also use.

I encourage you to google "southern Ontario cooperative of ESL ministries." There you will find many resources, including the Alpha ESOL material.

If you want more know about the "immigrant ministry conference" that Hebron CRC is hosting on the evening of April 27 and all day, april 28 th, please contact Joey at ajbuwalda@rogers.com. Cost is only $25. The facilitator is Marion Chang of the SOuthern Ontario coop of ESL ministries.

posted in: ESL Coffee Break

I have been leading an ESL Coffee Break group at Ancaster Meadowlands Fellowship CRC for three years now. The Coffee Break component has nothing to do with the material we're using and everything to do with fellowship and community. I use ESL Bible Study materials, but we commune with the non-ESL C.B. women first over coffee, baked goods, singing, and devotions. After the opening time together, we break off into our own Bible study groups. I find the partnership between the ESL learners and the church women to be very important, and meaningful relationships have been formed. The biggest challenge is modifying the material I use. It's not hard, just time consuming. Irene, you are right on about supplementing the lessons with visuals, etc.. This is a must in an ESL setting. I'm also very interested in this training by the ESL Ministries you mentioned. I've never heard of such a ministry. Perhaps I will have to look into the training, although I am a certified ESL teacher. I'm sure there's always something new to learn. In the meantime, I want to work on writing a basic ESL bible study that includes supplement ideas, with the focus not only on ESL learners, but inner-city/low-literacy learners. Wouldn't it be great if there was curriculum that could bring the gospel of Christ to those who need it most but can't receive it because of language/learning barriers? There is a huge need for this in Hamilton. If there's curriculum out there that falls into this category already, let me know.  

posted in: ESL Coffee Break

The Hebron CRC in Whitby, Ontario has a Coffeebreak group for newcomers to Canada. First God brought together two facilitators with a vision for this ministry. They prayed and God brought the women. We like using the Coffeebreak inductive Bible studies because it encourages us to find the answers right in the Scriptures. We tailor the lesson according to the needs of the group and find that supplementing with visuals is very helpful. E.g. Writing the answers on the board, showing video clips of the Bible stories. The women feel safe and share prayer requests. Leading an unbeliever through the prayer of commitment found in the study guides is a rewarding privilege. We are like other Coffeebreak groups except that we cover the material more slowly because of the language barriers.

We have found the training offered by the Southern Ontario Cooperative of ESL Ministries helpful and have invited one of their trainers to lead ESL training workshops at Hebron Church in Whitby on April 27&28, 2012. Contact the church for more information.

posted in: ESL Coffee Break

Marian, did you happen to catch the Global Coffee Break article in the February Banner? http://www.thebanner.org/church-at-work/article/?id=3965 Before I started researching this article, I had no idea about the global impact Coffee Break was having and the various languages in which the materials were available. 

Another ESL or ELL resource is available through ReFrame Media, the English outreach of Back to God Ministries International: Spotlight English Clubs. http://www.spotlightradio.net/sec/ These are great easy-to-implement materials for outreach. Your quote "They came to the church to learn English; they met Jesus in the process!" is one that perfectly fits the Spotlight outreach. 

Here are a couple of links to stories about how churches/individuals are using Spotlight to connect with ELL people in their communities. http://backtogod.net/global_impact/go-where-the-people-are  and http://backtogod.net/global_impact/a-new-community

posted in: ESL Coffee Break

Hi Neil,

Have you checked the Faith Alive website?  They are the publisher of the Discover Your Bible material that Coffee Break uses.  

http://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/CategoryCenter.aspx?categoryId=ADDB!NT 

I checked on line, and noticed that there is only one book of Mark, so perhaps it has been reformated.  If its not clear on the website, you can call the toll free number:  1-800-333-8300

I hope that is helpful for you.

Blessings,

Marian Lensink

I think you have hit it right on the bullseye..

I quote Richard Rohr " Finally all we have to give away is our own journey. Our own story. Then we become living witnesses. The only authority we have to other people's lives is what we ourselves have walked and what we know to be true."

To find ourselves we must first lose ourselves and let go of all preconceived ideas and see with fresh eyes..I have said for many years that the mentorship is the way to go, Being a child of an immigrant our parents pattered but not mentored.. We need now to mentor the younger ones and come alongside the older ones who now need us to be their ears and eyes hands and feet and encouragement.

But unless we lift the veil and reveal ourselves and dare to finally dare to be ourselves nothing will happen..
My heart is full of joy as I read your letter..Thank you for responding.. May God give you courage and insight as you go forth.. Ponder the name of the Lord..I am who I am  nothing more nothing less..It is all encompassing..So as I learn to be me and have removed the veil and share my life it is joy ..

What are my thoughts on women's ministry?

I have been co-director and director of coffee break for over 7 years and have stepped down and followed the Lord's nudging to release the women who attend to follow where the Lord is leading them..The women had at first a hard time realizing I would not continue and that coffee break was not continuing but releasing the women has birthed a new wednesday morning. Two women started "Connect" it is a drop in centre for women of all ages and from the community to come and have coffee and have the children play.. We now have women from al least 5 different countries drop by one Muslim lady from Iran and one muslim lady from Lebanon. We have 2 visiting Chinese professors come as well, and a spanish lady from colombia as well as Korean. They are for the most not chrisian.
The hard part for some is that we have been trained to right away preach Christ instead of first sharing who we are and our life..It is in the listening and conversation that you discover a relationship building then the trust and you become the living letter, Christ has already writien on our lives and the community will read it,,

Listen and you will discover, communicate your life and you will hear the other's life story, relate and you have church..

I just did a  speaking engagement in Salmon Arm up north for a women's retreat and taught the whole book of Esther in that retreat we lifted the veil and revealed our pains and sorrows and communed together and I and my friend got to love and learn and listen to these women there who too are seeking and asking the same questions..They needed encouragement and guidance and God provided wonderfully..

So here too I left this small town with the same question. We need a women's ministry team..
One women came to me at church and said I can't talk to a man but only to a woman.. This too left me thinking..Where is the ministry to women. How do we do this..

I think the journey has begun for you and me to sit with this to think on this and to live it..

Yours In Christ Marianne

Thanks Marianne,

It sounds like we share the same heart, recognizing that there is value in having ministry for women.  And yet, we need to embrace our changing culture in fresh ways.  In this new day, we see people less committed to programs or institutions, while hungering for relationship.  How do we do ministry in a new way, in these days?  We need to wrestle with this question, in our Women's ministry.

Regarding the workshop that I led at the Day of Encouragement, I think we just began to scratch the surface.  We talked about the need for all of us as leaders to be wholistic in our ministry - that God's Word needs to inform and shape us, as we engage community, while walking in the fellowship of believers.  We also talked about the need to be pouring into the next generation.

Perhaps the greatest thing that came out of the workshop was the recognition that we need to pour into the life of another.  For many women, there are opportunities to mentor other women, perhaps even somewhat informally.  We can identify someone who could be encouraged in their leadership, and simply offer to pray for them, and walk alongside them in their journey. Or we might intentionally walk alongside someone who is far from God - pray for them, initiate conversations that might go to spiritual things, etc.

Too often we have rested in the 'programs' of church, of which Coffee Break is one.  While I believe programs can be so helpful in discipleship, I also believe that if we're not doing this on a personal level, the programs begin to fall flat.  Jesus poured into the lives of his 12 disciples (his small group) and more intentionally into the life of 3.  So, who are your 12, and who are your 3? 

2 Tim. 2:2 demonstrates the need to continually pour into the life of others, through teaching.  It speaks for 4 generatioons of Christians.  Each one of us can read the passage, and see where we fit into the picture.  Am I passing on the faith, through my life rubbing onto the life of another?  Am I salt and light in my church, and my community? 

I have thought about having a forum as Marianne describes - gathering people together to wrestle through the question of women's ministry in today's changing culture. 

Please let me know - What are your thoughts about Women's Ministry in the current culture?

I hope to hear from you!

Blessings,

Marian

 

To marian: 

I would like an update on how your saturday went and if anything new came out of the discussion.

I truly believe that women's ministry or Ministry to women is a much broader then we think..It would be great to have a canada wide forum discussion with all women's ministry leaders or anyone who has insight into our changing world and challenge for all women of all cultures..

It has been on my heart for a while that some how we need a "Ministy to women" in a much broader sense..

Marianne

Hi Michelle,

Yes, you should definately be posting these questions - that's the idea!  We want this to be a place to share ideas and resources.

I connected with a Coffee Break group today, who shared a "giving" idea for Christmas.  In a couple of weeks, they will draw names for Christmas for a secret gift, but the gift is meant to be a gift of self.  They are not encouraging purchased gifts, but rather a gift of your talent or time.  Some suggestions shared were to make a gift (cards, knitting, baking, etc.) or to give the gift of time - offer babysitting, take someone out for coffee, visit someone.  Women were challenged to give a gift that flows out of who you are, rather than feeling the need to purchase a gift.  On their special Christmas celebration, they will give these gifts, and share together over coffee and treats.

Another thought might be to involve your women in a service project, for half the morning; finish with your brunch and social time.  Serving others will grow your heart! 
You might consider some of these ideas:
     - have everyone bring some personal care items for the homeless, and put them together in packages for a shelter
     - everyone can bring items for a baby shower for a local women's shelter - package them up and deliver
     - everyone is asked to bring home baking --> prepare packages wrapped in cellophane and deliver to the neighbours around your church
      - ask a community agency what they might need - see how you might assit them
      - sing carols in a nursing home

I'd love to hear more ideas from others!

Blessings,
Marian

Hi Michelle,

I am the coordinator for our Coffee Break ministry in Langley, BC, Canada.  I find it hard every year to come up with an idea for our year end socials too.  We do a Christmas one and another one at the end of the year in the spring.  We have done crafts of some kind in the past, but we found that most crafts took too much time (or money!)  We realized after a while that most of the women simply enjoyed being together and having time to fellowship.  Each week they comment on how they wished they had more time for this.  We do want the time to be more than just that though, so usually we ask the women to consider sharing what they learned from their book study this year and we are always encouraged by that.  We read the Christmas story, share a shorter devotional and eat (who doesn't like that part?!)

God bless you in your ministry.  I admire the fact that you are the director and a small group leader.  I only do one of those at a time!

Coffee Shops seem to hosts for small groups in many towns and cities.  And just like on Canadian Air Farce they meet regularly, share opinions freely, some times share feelings, and do a lot of encouragement.  Community- building small groups happen every day where the aroma of fresh coffee wafts over small tables and chairs.  In some of the coffee shop groups I have seen, I sense that is the only community available for some of the folks - especially the seniors.

Recently, my wifeand I were out for an intimate cappucino at our local coffee shop and an old fellow at the next table started chatting with us.  We found that he was a survivor of the second world war, a writer, a retired professor... and very lonely since his wife passed away.  What a lovely 20 minutes we spent together.

This morning I met with several people at the same coffee shop where we prayed and discussed a new Christian venture for the community of Guelph.  We had a great time together.

Community and Coffee Shops...  Small groups should be a natural!

I hope to start a group at Starbucks this fall!

Leadership training events are planned as needed in various regions where there are Ministry Developers available. We are also in the process of making the training more available through webinars and on-line resources. Please contact the office directly for further information about training: 1-888-644-0814 (Irene) or email smallgroups@crcna.org . In addition, you can also go to http://www.crcna.org/pages/crhm_reps.cfm to find the contact info for your local Ministry Developer.

Thanks Freda, for sharing about your Coffee Break ~ it sounds like things are going very well. Thanks for the renewed call to prayer, to God's Word, to the practice of meeting together, and to being open to God's Mission! May we all be encouraged to follow God's leading as Coffee Break continues to embrace the greater mission of God!

HI Marian
It's great to see a forum for Coffee Break! Coffee Break in the town of Brighton is a community oriented bible study, where women at all stages in their faith, from seekers to strong women of faith, from women in their 20's to women in their 80's, from pentecostal, to United to CRC to unchurched, come to a safe and loving place to learn and share and grow in their walk with the Lord.
We don't 'do' anything really different, what we do 'do' is pray and study together first of all as leaders. We study a different book each year and this year we read through 'Lead like Jesus' a wonderful book teaching us how to be servant leaders like Christ. We pray together as leaders prior to every session and are open to the Lord's leading and we try to lead like Jesus and serve in love. That is the strength of Coffee Break, women leading women to grow in their relationship with Christ.
In todays world women don't think they need each other, they think they can do it alone. When we finally do get together and share in a loving atmosphere of acceptance through Christ then great things happen. That is why Coffee Break is important. There are very few places today where women can get together and feel accepted, can share their concerns and can grow in their relationship with other women and with the Lord. The Holy Spirit does amazing things when we give Him room to work.
In Brighton, we intentionally focus on studying a book of the bible through the Discovery Bible studies, and this year have worked through Exodus. Who would have thought Exodus would have brought out so much discussion and heart to heart conversations.! We had an awesome year of learning God's character and faithfulness through the study of Exodus.
We also take time to invite community agencies such as Hospice and Samaritan's Purse to come and tell us what they do and then invite the women interested to participate in their organizations. So rather than the community coming in, we try to encourage our women to be part of the community.
The success of the Brighton Coffee Break however, is not in what we 'do' but rather in what the Lord does. For in the end its not us who brings the women, who transforms the women, who saves lives. All we can do is be the hands and feet of Jesus and show his love and tell His message.The rest is up to Him.

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