Holy Joe's Cafe

Holy Joe's Cafe

Holy Joe's Cafe is a Coffee House Chaplaincy Ministry that Serves U.S. Troops

United Church of Christ military chaplains have found an old way to invite U.S. soldiers into a safe and informal place where they can receive spiritual care and good coffee. Congregations and individuals can support the Coffee House Ministry and simultaneously participate in the UCC Coffee Project by sending Equal Exchange Coffee to the military chaplains in Afghanistan, and Kuwait. Thanks to you, now 151 chaplains are able to participate.

Coffee may be an unlikely ally of the Gospel, yet in the hands of a chaplain it can enable meaningful ministry addressing an individual’s normal reactions to extreme situations and allowing them to return to us as healthy functional human beings capable of loving and caring for others and themselves. In 2012, many of the chaplains in Afghanistan serve coffee at remote "forward operating bases."  They also carry coffee along when they visit even more remote sites. 

By offering a place to come and relax, the "Coffee House and Café Ministries" provide our military chaplains a place to establish rapport with and minister to the needs of our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives—our troops. In these safe spaces soldiers come to talk and develop perspective on their experiences in war.

At this time our troops find themselves in difficult and sometimes life-threatening situations. Their daily experiences extract an extreme physical, emotional and psychological toll. Many of them are young and inexperienced in dealing with such extreme issues. Our chaplains are a first line defense against the emotional and psychological issues faced by our troops. 

Donating Coffee to Holy Joe's Cafe through the UCC Coffee Project

  • Order at Equal Exchange's new webstore with your Visa or Mastercard.
  • Remember to log-in as part of the Interfaith Program. Under "Customer ID" please enter your church’s ID if you know it. If you don’t know it, or if you have never ordered with Equal Exchange before, please enter "IRAQ001."  Under "Congregation or Organization" you may enter your church’s name or, if you or ordering individually, "UCC Individual."  If your church has a tax-exempt number, we appreciate receiving it, bit it’s not necessary to process the order.
  • Holy Joe’s suggests that you go to the "Percolator Coffees" page and order Fellowship Blend, but they are happy to receive any coffee you choose.
  • Under "Choose the Shipping Address," be sure to enter the following:
    (first name) Holy Joe’s (last name) Cafe
    c/o Cooper-Atkins Corporation
    33 Reed’s Gap Road
    Middlefield, CT 06455

Informational Resources

Here is a short flier on Holy Joe's Cafe Coffee Ministry for you to download.

Here is a Holy Joe's Cafe Brochure.

News about Holy Joe's

Holy Joe's Cafe and Wallingford First Congregational United Church of Christ win General Synod "Imagine What's Possible" Award!

Check out videos of the work of Holy Joe's Cafe in Iraq and Afghanistan on Holy Joe's new YouTube channel.

And here is a March, 2011 article about Holy Joe's Cafe posted in the newsletter of the UCC's Connecticut Conference .

 Another way to support Holy Joe's Cafe is to collect an offering to contribute to have Holy Joe's send coffee directly.  This winter UCC congregations have contributed $1299.00!  

Why a coffee house ministry?

During the Revolutionary War, the Congregational Church furnished chaplains for the Continental Army in the tradition of European War. The chaplains were for the comfort and succor of the leaders and the army, administering worship, sacraments and of course presiding at burials. The chaplains were an integral part of the army and often were found on the battlefield. In modern warfare many things have changed, including how the chaplains are able to function. No longer is the "king" a part of the army, the leaders often being removed from the war by many thousands of miles. Nor do the chaplains often follow the troops into battle; in fact there are not really many battles anymore. Rather the chaplains are in specific places and so the troops must often find their way to them in places like the Holy Joe’s Cafe.  Whether or not we agree with our country’s policy with regard to Iraq, we can offer our troops a cup of coffee and support through the ministry of our military chaplains.

 Chaplains share thanks for the Holy Joe's Cafe Ministry...

For more information contact: Tom Jastermsky (888-970-7994) holyjoescafe@aol.com.

Contact Info

Edith Rasell, Ph.D.
Minister for Economic Justice
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115