At the Hills Church, we proclaim that no matter who you are or where you may be on life’s journey you are welcome here.
During Community Hour, we extend the hospitality we proclaim. We provide the time for newcomers to be welcomed, and long-term members to greet one another.
The Community Hour Ministry Team consists of four teams, with each team taking responsibility for hosting Community Hour once a month. If you would like to join a team, sign up below. You can also just sign up to be a Greeter/Server which occurs less frequently.
Read this excerpt from The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper. The Art of the Coffee Hour.
Deepening the Coffee Talk
Many of us don’t like coffee hour. We think it is all small talk, or cocktail party gab. It is only that way if we ourselves keep it that way. The conversation and its depth are up to us, not “them,” whoever “they” are. It is we who can make the conversation sparkle. It is we who can widen the circle and magnetize the crowd. What makes a coffee hour sing is you— having a great time, extending your joy to others, talking to them about them, learning the art of connection. We often say in Protestantism that our theology is the quality of our encounters, the art in our meetings. Let us make it so.
Ask questions of the newcomer: What brought you to us today? Do you have a place where you usually worship? And then listen. Ask follow-up questions and be interested in their replies. This is your way of saying “I heard you.”
Statistics show that the average newcomer or returnee comes back to worship six months after a major life change: cancer, death, divorce, or some sort of disappointment. Our job is not to find out what that crisis was on the first encounter, but to ready ourselves and the other person for that revelation.
It is not just newcomers who need welcome at coffee hour. Old timers do also. When our shyness glues us to one comfortable person for the entire hour, something is wrong. Circulate. Move. Make it a point to speak to ten people. Really speak to them. Remember something about them: Isn’t this the anniversary of John’s death? How did your big meeting go this week? How is your mother doing?
Don’t always think of yourself as the asker of questions. You may be the one who needs to tell someone about something important that happened to you. When you say something about yourself, it gives other people permission to do the
The goal of coffee hour, incarnation-ally is to embody the welcome Jesus gives us to his realm. Its goal is intimacy, ordinary intimacy. It is kitchen talk. Toni Morrison said, “Is it any wonder the most intimate conversations take place in the kitchen, anguish poured out to an aproned back or sputtered over a chopping board?” When Morrison said this, she meant coffee hour conversations. At their best, they are quick, deep, and self revealing. They are our weekly chance to demonstrate the love of God incarnate to one another, and to all who walk through our doors.