While most Coffee Break Bible studies close up shop for the summer, the programs at Elmhurst (Ill.) Christian Reformed Church continues on, especially its evening program. The program draws more participants because the church is one of the only ones that offers summer Bible studies.
For more than 20 years Elmhurst has offered two evening Coffee Break studies: one for women and one for men and women.
“The evening Coffee Break is great because people who work are able to attend,” said Anna Wick who, along with Sharon Nutter, co-directs Coffee Break. The groups do topical studies during the summer so participants aren’t behind if they miss a week.
Linda Fetch has been attending Coffee Break at Elmhurst CRC since 1997. “I was so glad to know that there was a Bible study group in the evenings since I was working during the day,” Fetch explained. “The fellowship and care of fellow believers has helped me during some difficult times.” Fetch, who leads the women’s summer group and co-leads during the year, says that before she was even attending Coffee Break, the group was praying for her. “They sent me a card (which I still have), and it has meant a lot to me.”
Barb Mulliner was asked by a next door neighbor to attend Elmhurst CRC’s Coffee Break in 1994. She agreed to attend but left overwhelmed. “I didn’t even know how to find anything in the Bible,” she says. “I vowed never to go back.” But Mulliner got a phone call a few days later asking if she’d like to be a part of a women’s beginning Bible study group. “I look back on that and think, that’s how much God wanted to have a relationship with me.” Twenty-two years later, Mulliner is still a part of that group, and she and her husband have both accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. In fact, they were baptized together in the Jordan River in 2014. “It all started with a friend inviting me to Coffee Break 22 years ago.”
“We have formed some deep friendships,” said Barb Reitsma, one of the leaders of Coffee Break. “Since we have only one women’s group, and many have been coming for years, it gives our evening group a different flavor than groups that only stay together for one year.”