The church coffee hour is not the afterthought of the worship service at all. Instead it is its reality test.

At the coffee hour we either extend the hospitality we proclaim or we withhold it. We either feel the grace we have acknowledged or we do not. We either extend the Eucharist of the holy meal to the little meal or we do not. Many people judge a congregation by its coffee hour hospitality—especially newcomers. They can tell by the feel in the room whether they are welcome or not. Scratch a new member of any congregation and they will tell you that someone welcomed them during coffee. Scratch someone who doesn’t come back after a first brave visit (all first visits anywhere are brave) and you will discover that no one spoke to them during coffee hour.

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