Church of the Master United Methodist sits on a corner surrounded by the Otterbein University campus in Westerville, OH. The University was founded in 1847, and the church came into existence in 1851. The connection of Church of the Master and Otterbein University has played out in many ways over the past 166 years.
With a strategic location to the campus and a mission to make new disciples, Church of the Master’s Crossroads Campus Ministry leadership wanted to develop new ministry opportunities to connect with college students. That’s how the Monday Morning Coffee Ministry was born. Early morning classes on Monday are a challenge for most students. To help ease them into the week, the leaders started offering free coffee, tea, and hot cocoa to students on their way to and from classes.
“Students know we will be serving on Monday mornings, regardless of the weather, and are amazed at the outpouring of love they receive through a hot beverage,” shared Bev Pancoast, Director of Next Generations Leadership. Bev continued, “We regularly hear students tell us that ‘This makes me want to get up for class on Monday mornings’ and ‘You make my day.'”
On Monday mornings, you can find students waiting at the front of the church for the first pot of coffee. Others, although they may be running late for class, stop anyway because the simple gesture of a cup of coffee served with a smile makes the day better. Students have asked, "Why are you doing this?" The leadership replied, “We are neighbors and we want you to know you are loved." It is the prayer of the Crossroads Campus Ministry leaders that this Monday Morning Coffee ministry will help students know that they care and that their church is committed to being a place where students can experience radical hospitality and ultimately, grow in their faith.
Through the generosity of the West Ohio Conference Campus Ministry grant award, Crossroads Campus Ministry has been able to intentionally minister to students at Otterbein by offering radical hospitality. “We are in the midst of repurposing space within our church to create a location where students can come to study, participate in small group studies, or just hang out with others," Bev explained. "When students feel cared for and accepted, connections happen. Here at Church of the Master, we are planting seeds, one coffee bean at a time.”