Way back in November, we stopped serving coffee before the service and instead moved it to the end of the morning. (During the summer months, we have stopped serving it at all due to lack of service crew members and hot weather).
There were several reasons for this, both practical and spiritual - our budget is in deficit, and we want to mindful of costs, and we want to get away from a culture of "church as consumption" practice, and the message that we start each Sunday by consuming something "to get us through" the morning, rather then coming prepared in body and soul (having breakfast at home, and taking care of one's own caffeine needs) to worship and be present, and to contribute.
Also, it was thought that coffee and tea afterwards would allow people to linger, connect casually in a social way, and extend the welcome for those we've met during the service, and would like to continue in conversation with afterwards.
Because the Hollywood is so close to local coffee shops, we thought it would be a nice way to get to know our neighbouring businesses and support them as well as offering church members an opportunity to buy someone in need a coffee and start a conversation if they felt led to do so.
Almost a year has passed, and we have some time over the next month before the fall to review the hows and whys. We have definitely heard from some folk who would like to bring back pre-service coffee.
So let's have a chat over coffee, literally. Send us an email with your thoughts and reasons around hospitality at the Hollywood - not just why you would prefer to have a cup of coffee in the morning, but with a sense of the bigger picture - how the little things like coffee and tea (how and when) affect and speak to our identity as a church and how we can best welcome one another and our community, and how we can practice this together in a way that speaks of God's goodness and generosity.
Looking forward to hearing from you!