Church Leader’s Coffee In Church Post Sparks Appropriateness Debate

( — A Minnesota pastor caused a bit of a stir on social media last weekend for kindly wondering if drinking coffee during worship service was appropriate, Fox News reported.

In a post on X, John Piper, a Baptist pastor and the chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, asked if the faithful could “reassess” if ”Sunday coffee-sipping in the sanctuary fits.”

He closed his brief post with a verse from Hebrews, Chapter 12, “Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”

And because X users never miss an opportunity to pile on, more than 1,300 people have replied to Piper’s innocuous post, with some users mortified that some people drink coffee during worship services and others snapping at Piper for what they thought was him making a big deal out of nothing.

In some Christian faiths, particularly among Roman Catholics, Coptic Christians, and Orthodox Christians, the faithful are to refrain from eating or drinking anything before receiving Holy Communion. Even some Protestant denominations require fasting before communion.

While the fasting duration varies, Father Paul Hedman, a Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul, told Fox News that Roman Catholics are to abstain from food and beverages, except water, for at least one hour before receiving Holy Communion.

Fr. Hedman said, in practice, that means Catholics who plan to receive communion should stop eating and drinking about twenty minutes before Mass begins.

At the same time, Hedman said there is no Canon Law preventing someone who is not receiving communion from bringing food or drink into Mass, although doing so would be “unseemly” for anyone other than young children since the sanctuary and nave in a Catholic Church are areas specifically consecrated for worship.

Episcopal priest Chris Steele, the pastor of St. Christopher’s in Dallas, told Fox that at his church, coffee could be considered “the 8th sacrament.” He said that, unlike Roman Catholics, Episcopalians do not have formal rules on fasting before communion.

Copyright 2023,