At first she was uncomfortable, but she continued to come every week. She read Bible stories like that of David and Goliath for the first time. It wasn't long before Anna felt as though she belonged and felt comfortable sharing with the group. As that Bible study drew to a close, she found she didn't want it to end.
First CRC has been hosting a Coffee Break group for 30 years. Jayne Bowers, group leader for the past 19 years, says the Coffee Break fellowship is the largest she has ever seen.
With 105 women and 14 leaders, the group has had to be creative just to accommodate them all.
Like the many other Coffee Break groups supported by Home Missions, this one includes all types of women. All are welcomed, no matter what their age, race, denomination, or walk of life.
The goals of Coffee Break are to accept each woman and make her feel comfortable enough with the group to open up and share with one another.
"We love each lady who walks through the door," explained Bowers.
"That is what Coffee Break is all about," she said. "Studying Scripture, changing lives, growing closer to God, encouraging one another . . . and loving the women right where they are."
In addition to studying the Bible, Coffee Break members pray together—some for the first time. "I have had women tell me they did not know you could just talk to God like that. Women learn how to pray and we pray for them. They share how much it means to hear someone pray for them."
"I want you to know that Coffee Break has changed my life," wrote one member. "I think it is so awesome the things we are learning about God . . . I feel very close to our whole group—everyone there has inspired me to strive to live the way God intended me to live. Thank you for showing me such kindness and acceptance."