Tales of a Midwest Lutheran on the East Coast

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Coffee: International Third Lutheran Sacrament

I wrote this for our quarterly e-newsletter, summer 2017 edition:

There is a joke among Lutherans that coffee is the Third Lutheran Sacrament (after Baptism and Holy Communion). Though I was a life-long Lutheran, I did not begin to drink coffee until I had an 8 AM Hebrew class in Seminary five days a week. After that, I was hooked! So one of my concerns in traveling to the 12th Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Namibia was of course - what will the coffee situation would be? I needn't have worried. At least four times a day the assembly had a coffee and tea break, with hospitable hotel staff setting out hundreds of coffee cups and saucers for jet-lagged participants such as myself. We conversed over our coffee. That is how I met bishops and pastors from Canada, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Hong Kong, and Guyana. Every day in the Omatala "Gathering" tent, women from Ethiopia shared a special coffee ceremony in the "Katie Luther Corner" every day at 2 PM. Extra-strong coffee was served to us in special cups with a generous helping of sugar by Haregewyn Moges Kidanewold, director of Gudina Fumsa Training Centre in the Evangelical Ethiopian Church. She made us feel connected to this special part of the Ethiopian culture. Because we are ALL part of the body of Christ together, Lutherans and Christians from all parts of the world.

The next time you partake in the Third Lutheran Sacrament, whether coffee or tea, I encourage  you to think about our connections to one another. Do I know where in the world my coffee came from? Who harvested it, and were they fairly paid? Did I grab my coffee while on the go, or am I able to use my coffee break time to make connections with friends, co-workers, or even strangers? Especially over the summer as we disperse in all directions, we can still remember that we are all connected to this same family of God, no matter where we may find ourselves - working, at the beach, with family, traveling, or drinking coffee. Safe travels this summer and enjoy your coffee! 

Yours in Christ,
Reverend Lydia Posselt

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