Coffee, Donuts, and a Smile: Church’s Appetite to Serve Inspires Community
By David Vogel
There is no shortage of stories about the creative ways churches have overcome the social barriers created by the coronavirus pandemic to reach their congregations and communities. Often, it’s the simplest of gestures that can go the farthest, like the morning ritual of coffee and donuts. For Maiden Lane Church of God in Springfield, Ohio, coffee and donuts became a gesture for overcoming these social barriers during COVID-19.
“At Maiden Lane, we literally choose to operate like a family,” said Missy Potts, the church’s connections pastor. “The mindset we encourage is one of living life together. When that becomes difficult—like in this season of the pandemic—our people mourn the loss of time with their family.”
Missy said the social isolation combined with the massive cultural changes brought on by the virus was a struggle for many families in the congregation. “The idea was to create an opportunity for some interaction,” she said, adding, “to simply be a smiling face, beneath our masks, of course.”
In May, the church began what it called the “Morning Pit Stop.” “It was simply a way to interact with our church family while honoring social distancing,” Missy explained. “We handed out free coffee and donuts for anyone who wanted to drive through the church parking lot before work.”
The Morning Pit Stops were held sporadically through the social distancing season, Missy said, but the impact was profound. “Some were just grateful to see another smiling face and continued on with their day. Others drove away with tears of relief.”
Some, she remembered, ignored the drive-through process altogether. “They parked their cars, jumped out, and stood with us while we served others, soaking in the interaction that they desperately missed.”
The days were rainy and cold, but the simple interaction was a burst of sunlight for each person who drove through the Morning Pit Stop. “Everyone was thrilled just to see the pastors and other people from the church,” Missy said. “A lot was gained from this seemingly small gesture.”
Coffee, donuts, and a socially distanced interaction—a simple act, bathed in prayer, brought joy and connection for a community.
The YouTube video above is worth roughly a minute of your time to see smiles, interactions, and thank-yous from “Morning Pit Stop.”
Help churches like these respond to urgent needs in their communities as a result of COVID-19:
David Vogel is the communication director for Central Community Church in Wichita, Kansas.
Learn more about the response of Church of God Ministries to the coronavirus (COVID-19), including resources for you and your church, at www.jesusisthesubject.org/theway.