Host Coffee Hour With No Fear – Here’s How


Roxanna Velandra, Deacon

Those satisfying, right-on-time goodies served immediately after our church service are actually part of a ministry, supporting our missions of hospitality and fellowship.

Heads up, though: don’t be intimidated by the creative, culinary awesomeness you may see at that coffee hour table. It’s not a Food Network competition, and you’re not being judged. An impressive table is what often stops people from considering hosting.

“It’s more about the act of giving and not about what you give,” says Roxanna Velandria, who heads up the effort.
Most people are surprised to learn that hosting coffee hour is not a Herculean task. All that is required are three very simple steps:

  1. Prepare two-to-three plates of sweets, savories, and/or fruit.
  2. Put out a half gallon of milk for the coffee. You can usually find this in the fridge, but check the expiration date. If there is no milk in the fridge, please pick some up from Key Foods (the supermarket directly across the street from Old First).
  3. Place the food on plates and trays, which can be found in the kitchen. Lay it out on the coffee table before or after the service. No food prep during the service, though.

Then just step back and let the good times roll. During the coffee hour itself, you can mingle and munch like everyone else.

Simply clean up after the crowd clears out (cleaning is simple and basic — no Cinderella issues here). You can take home any leftovers, or – here’s a better idea – we can give what remains to the homeless and hungry.

Another common fear that often prevents people from considering coffee hour – how in the world to make that big pot of coffee? Especially if you’re not exactly a barista.

Consider your anxiety alleviated:

As far as the coffee goes, our Sexton, Abraham, takes care of that, no problem. He also puts out the cups, napkins, utensils and sugar (thank you, Abraham! Much appreciated!).

The most common coffee-hour fear remains strong: following a fabulous table from the previous week. Consider the act that Roxanna had to follow:

“The person who did coffee hour before me was a foodie,” she says, “When she would do coffee hour, it would look like a feast.”

Again, put your feast fears to rest. Although we appreciate any effort, we do not expect a bounty of plenty.

“If it’s too lavish, people get intimidated,” Roxanna observes.

She was finding that many people were not signing up to host coffee hour because of this very thing: the feeling of “I can’t do a table like that.” But even if you can’t, we still want you on board.

The recommended absolute limit to spend on coffee hour is $40 (but this is not a law – you can spend less, or more if the Spirit moves you).

It’s quite common for folks to bring leftovers from kids’ parties, potluck, or holiday dinners. We encourage this.

In fact, if you have a budgetary concern or financial constraint, or if it’s not part of your tithing plan, give us the receipt for what you’ve specifically spent on coffee hour. We’ll cover it.

Another concern shared by many who are reluctant to host: what if the food runs out? The answer is simpler than you think: if it runs out, it runs out. It’s not a dinner party.

“Whatever you offer is what is important,” Roxanna says. “It’s the hospitality, it’s putting yourself out there. It’s not about quantity. It really is not. It’s about what you have available to you. It’s more about the act of giving rather than what you give.”

Click here to sign up for coffee hour, or simply see a deacon. Thanks in advance!