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‘300 Cups of Coffee’ project tells clergy to stay connected, caffeinated

Stephen Huba
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Tribune-Review File
Pittsburgh area clergy participate in a procession in the Strip District in 2010.

Google “300 cups of coffee” and you’ll get stories about what happens when one person drinks the equivalent of 300 cups of coffee.

That’s not what Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania, an ecumenical group representing 28 Christian bodies, is proposing with its new #300CupsOfCoffee initiative.

The project is intended to bring Christian clergy of different denominations together in one-on-one relationships – over a cup of coffee.

“To build trust, to make friends, to collaborate, Christian leaders need to get to know one another,” the CASP website said. “Those relationships are formed two cups of coffee at a time.”

To participate, clergy are encouraged to invite a pastor from another denomination to meet for coffee at a local coffee shop. If they don’t know who to invite, they can submit a “matchmaking form” on the CASP website and they will be paired with someone.

If the two don’t know what to talk about, they can download an online coffee kit that has conversation starters such as: “What do you love about ministry?” “What drives you crazy?” “What’s the greatest challenge you face in your ministry?” “What needs do you see in our community?” “What do you cherish about your tradition?” “What do you wish could be changed?”

Participants also are asked to take a selfie, upload it to the CASP website and answer a few questions about the coffee date by filling out a reimbursement form . Those who do so, using the photo as a receipt, will be sent a $10 check from CASP to cover the expenses.

A lunch gathering for participating clergy will be held in September.

Founded in 1970, CASP includes 28 judicatories representing 2,000 local congregations and 1 million Christians in the following counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter @shuba_trib.