The beloved church coffee hour may soon return as COVID-19 fades in US

Things did not go well the first time coffee appeared in church.

Coffee, which was first produced in the Muslim world in the mid-800s, was originally regarded by the Vatican as a “hellish” brew intended to lure Christians, according to legend.

In his 1922 novel, “All About Coffee,” William Harrison Ukers wrote, “For Christians to drink it was to risk falling into a pit set by Satan for their soul.”

Thankfully, Pope Clement VII, who ruled in the 16th century, had a better idea, according to the Rev. Tim Schenck.

Clement wanted to baptise coffee after tasting it and finding it delicious in order to fool Satan and “make it a Christian beverage,” according to Schenck, an Episcopal priest and author of “Holy Grounds: The Surprising Link Between Coffee and Faith.”

Coffee hour has become a staple of congregational life in many houses of worship, with members drinking coffee, often prepared in commercial vats, and chatting before or after services. Coffee hour vanished when in-person worship services were halted due to the pandemic. One of the things that churchgoers have missed the most from meeting in person is the opportunity to socialise.

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