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
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
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.