Thomas Jastermsky of the First Congregational Church of Wallingford, Connecticut spoke of his and his church's outreach ministry of providing coffee to Chaplains to share with our troops there. Holy Joe's Cafe is a Coffee House Ministry
United Church of Christ military chaplains have found an old way to invite U.S. soldiers into a safe and informal place where they can receive spiritual care and good coffee. Congregations and individuals can support the Coffee House Ministry and simultaneously participate in the UCC Coffee Project by sending Equal Exchange Coffee to the military chaplains in Afghanistan, and Kuwait. Thanks to you, now 151 chaplains are able to participate.
Coffee may be an unlikely ally of the Gospel, yet in the hands of a chaplain it can enable meaningful ministry addressing an individual’s normal reactions to extreme situations and allowing them to return to us as healthy functional human beings capable of loving and caring for others and themselves. In 2012, many of the chaplains in Afghanistan serve coffee at remote "forward operating bases." They also carry coffee along when they visit even more remote sites.
By offering a place to come and relax, the "Coffee House and Café Ministries" provide our military chaplains a place to establish rapport with and minister to the needs of our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives—our troops. In these safe spaces soldiers come to talk and develop perspective on their experiences in war.
At this time our troops find themselves in difficult and sometimes life-threatening situations. Their daily experiences extract an extreme physical, emotional and psychological toll. Many of them are young and inexperienced in dealing with such extreme issues. Our chaplains are a first line defense against the emotional and psychological issues faced by our troops.