Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Donuts, cookies or other food that is easy for children to help serve
- Plates, napkins, etc. as customary in your congregation's coffee hour
Preparation for Activity
- Contact the person in charge of scheduling coffee hour hosts and arrange for the children to serve as co-hosts. Explain how the children will experience stewardship, generosity and welcoming as they help host coffee hour. Determine exactly what the children will do, for example, arrange cookies on plates or set out plates and cups.
- Ask parents of the children to donate food for coffee hour.
- Engage a few extra volunteers to help lead the children from their meeting room to the coffee hour location and to help manage the coffee hour set-up.
Description of Activity
First, have the children wash their hands. Make clear to the children that they are not to go near the coffee maker, or anything plugged into an electric socket, as it is dangerous. Invite the children to arrange the food and do the other tasks agreed on. Make sure each child has a chance to do something.
After coffee hour, gather the children to process the activity. Ask them how they liked helping to set up. Then ask, "Why do you think setting up for coffee hour is an important contribution to the life of the congregation?" Allow some comments. Then say, in your own words:
What would it be like if, after the service and RE program, all the people and families just left the church immediately? What would they miss? What are some of the benefits of having a coffee hour?
If the children have not voiced it already, discuss the importance of socializing and getting to know other members of the congregation. Coffee hour is the time when visitors can meet members and talk with the minister and religious educator. It is also a time when children and adults can be together.
Including All Participants
If the coffee hour location is not fully accessible and any children cannot easily get there, consider asking for coffee hour to be relocated.
A child with limited mobility could be in charge of opening the packages and arranging the food on plates for other children to take to the tables.