Holy Joe’s Cafe: A coffee house ministry proudly serving U.S. troops since 2006
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 Fair Trade Project by sending Equal Exchange Coffee to military chaplains in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.
Coffee may be an unlikely ally of the Gospel yet in the hands of a chaplain it can enable meaningful ministry. By offering a place to come, relax, and talk with chaplains, the “Coffee House and Café Ministries” provide our military personnel with a place where they can be emotionally and spiritually renewed and have a moment of peace as well as a cup of gourmet coffee. It opens doors to communication and allows troops to begin to heal their concerns and relieve their burdens related to the home front or their deployment. In 2015, thanks to you, 151 Chaplains are able to participate.
At this time our troops continue to be deployed in many countries where they encounter very difficult, life–threatening situations. Their daily experiences extract an extreme physical, emotional and psychological toll. Our chaplains are the first line of defense against the emotional and psychological issues faced by our troops. Whether or not we agree with our country’s foreign policy, we continue to offer our troops a cup of coffee and support them through the military chaplain’s ministry. Please participate in this ministry — supporting our troops as well as small coffee farmers around the world — by sending Equal Exchange Coffee to military chaplains.
In Chaplain (Ret) Andrew Sholtes words: “Holy Joe’s Cafe is a place where chaplains in the Small Forward Operating Bases, hangar bays, hospitals, aid stations and their makeshift chapels are able to bring a taste of home to the tired, the anxious, the angry, the lonely and the wounded. They can all get gourmet coffee, a reminder that the world they willingly left behind still cares.”
If you are a military chaplain in need of coffee, please contact Holy Joe’s Café at firstname.lastname@example.org call Tom at (203) 859-0031
Donate Coffee to Holy Joe’s Café through Equal Exchange & the UCC Fair Trade Project
To make a financial gift:
Make checks payable to:
Go to Equal Exchange’s webstore with your Visa or MasterCard.
If you order as a congregation or other organization, you will receive wholesale pricing. If ordering as an individual, you will pay retail. To get wholesale pricing, hover over Wholesale (upper right corner of page) and choose the type of account (for example, congregation).
If you are new to ordering on the web store, or if it has been over two years since you ordered, you will need to “create an account.” “Organization name” is your church. Under “Coffee Project/Interfaith Group” choose “UCC Project.” (By identifying the UCC Fair Trade Project, 15 cents per pound of all products ordered will be given to the UCC Small Farmer Fund for anti-hunger/economic development programs at Franklinton Center at Bricks in eastern N. Carolina.)
If your church has a tax-exempt number, please enter it but this is not necessary to process the order.
Holy Joe’s requests you select Fellowship Blend percolator coffee. No Decaf please.
Under “Choose the Shipping Address,” enter the following:
Holy Joe’s Café
61 N. Plains Industrial Rd.
Wallingford, CT 06492
IMPORTANT: After ordering coffee, please send an email to email@example.com with the complete sender’s information (congregation/individual) so that we can track the coffee delivery and also thank you for it.
For more information contact: Tom Jastermsky (203-859-0031) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chaplains’ Words of Gratitude for the Holy Joe’s Café Ministry
“Holy Joe’s Café is the conduit for chaplains who set up an oasis not in size but in purpose. It’s the “taste of home” through coffee which is the most important place for people when they are in the midst of great havoc.” Chaplain Daniel Middlebrooks
“I wanted to thank you for your very kind and generous donation of coffee to the Night Stalkers who are deployed. Ministries such as yours are not formed overnight and don’t operate effectively without great effort, time and persistence. Your tireless dedication has not gone unnoticed. My men and the Air Force chaplains at the hospitals in Afghanistan were very grateful for the shipment. As you know there is significant logistical challenge to get the coffee from the states into a combat zone. With the latest delivery their Holy Joe’s Café ministry will remain. You have my word that we will continue to support your ministry into the future. Please give our warmest regards to your entire team of volunteers and donors. It makes our job and mission so much easier to have the support of the American people. I thank you so very much! With kind regards, LTC Chris Black
Holy Joe’s Café,
Combined Joint Task Force 10 Operation Section would like to extend our deepest gratitude for your outstanding contributions and support to our 10th Mountain Soldiers. Your kind gesture of goodwill has helped bring a little bit of “home and comfort” from the tasks the Soldiers endure on a daily basis. Your gift has significantly enhanced the morale of our Soldiers and to see them smile from opening your gift is a sight to see. Your devoted service to our Nation and troops did not go unnoticed and hopefully this sincere letter is proof of our gratitude. Sincerely Yours, CPT De Castro Pretelt, CJTF -10, Bagram Air Field
Dear Holy Joe’s Café,
Thank you for your incredibly generous support of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Civilians serving here in Bagram Air field, Afghanistan. Their service during this historic period in Afghanistan has been truly remarkable. You honor their service with your tremendous support. Gestures such as yours truly help to provide comfort and connection to home for these great American men and women as they serve selflessly away from loved ones and ensure we are all safer at home. Climb to Glory! Sincerely, Stephen J. Townsend, Major General, US Army
I’m writing to express my gratitude for the coffee that the HOLY JOE’S CAFÉ program has donated to our unit. We know that it took a great deal of time and expense to send the coffee here and we can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for us.
I can’t say that I am trading shots with the Taliban. However, I work on a headquarters staff that is responsible for most of Eastern Afghanistan. There are a lot of people here who work some long hours. It would be an understatement to say that everyone from the Commanding General to the most junior install-agency analyst has benefitted from your organization’s efforts. Like a lot of people here, we make it through the day one cup of coffee at a time.
It has been over 13 years since the conflict in Afghanistan began. We know this is an especially long time for volunteers and donors. However, your selfless generosity and support is a reminder of what is good in this world and worth protecting.
My sincerest gratitude, LTC Lawrence Walton
On behalf of the Soldiers and leaders of the 1st Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, I would like to thank you and your ministry, Holy Joe’s Café, so much for your generous contribution to support our morale and well-being! Your coffee has been so well received by our Soldiers and the Airmen in this installation. They kept smiling and asking, “Who would do this for us?” A cup of joe goes a long way to making a difficult day more bearable. The coffee is currently housed in our chapel, The Oasis, and is available to all personnel – Airmen, Soldiers, and Civilians – to come in and grab a cup whenever they need a caffeine boost. Drinking a good cup of coffee keeps us connected to home, and focused throughout the day. Thank you for communicating to our unit that we are not forgotten and that our service is appreciated. It has been a boon to the chaplain ministry here.
May God richly bless you and your supporters for your generosity. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Sincerely, Chaplain (Captain) U.S. Army Alison L. Ward
More Information about Holy Joe’s Café
UC News: A hot cup of Holy Joe’s to soothe the soul on Veterans Day
News: Holy Joe’s Café and Wallingford First Congregational Church win General Synod “Imagine What’s Possible” Award!
Holy Joe’s Café on YouTube
Spiritual Resilience Center, Bagram Air Field
Military Chaplain’s Three Tenets
Here is a short flier on Holy Joe’s Cafe Coffee Ministry for you to download.