Innovation Grant tastes good for coffee chaplains

A team of dedicated chaplains is bringing the love of God to Sunshine Coast hospital staff and patients – one cuppa at a time.

Coffee Chaplains from KawanaLife Baptist Church deliver hope in a cup to the mental health ward of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

KawanaLife Baptist Church has partnered with Church of Christ to help deliver the ministry, which began on the Sunshine Coast a decade ago.

Since Coffee Chaplains’ inception in 2008, approximately 40,000 free cups of coffee have been served to people within mental health services on the Coast.

KawanaLife Baptist Church has around 35 volunteer Coffee Chaplains who visit the hospital in teams of five twice a week to chat with staff and patients over a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

“From the humble beginnings of making coffee we have been able to make great friendships, take time to sit and listen and as requested pray with people,” KawanaLife Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dony Johnson says.

“The hospital staff are 100% behind the Coffee Chaplains and have stated again and again that after we leave the whole space ‘feels’ different, there is a peace and a quiet.

“We love what we get to do, we love seeing God at work in people’s lives, we love to see what God is doing in our lives.”

KawanaLife Baptist Church purchased a second coffee machine after being awarded a $2,000 Carinity Innovation Grant, which enable churches to start or expand a community outreach.

It is one of more than 130 church initiatives in communities across the state funded by Carinity since 2005, with total grants exceeding $400,000.

Dony says having a second coffee machine is “such a blessing in so many ways”.

“We have been doing this ministry for almost two years, so to be able to rotate coffee machines and have a stand-by machine is awesome. Every morning we make 50 to 70 coffees, teas, and hot chocolates so as you could imagine we go through some product,” Dony says.

“The Coffee Chaplain teams are always wanted and welcome. It may be because our visits are the only time they get caffeinated coffee, but I would like to think it is because of the awesome team with friendly smiles and a listening ear.”

The 2019 Carinity Innovation Grants are now open to Queensland Baptist churches.

Grants of up to $7,000 are available to approved sustainable initiatives to enable Baptist churches to start a new community outreach, expand an existing ministry, or collaborate to introduce a Carinity service into your community.

“A Carinity Innovation Grant can help you fund your bright idea that innovatively responds to emerging community needs,” Carinity CEO Jon Campbell says.

“It’s identifying emerging needs and responding innovatively, such as setting up a monthly dementia support group in your church in collaboration with Carinity Home Care.”

Applications for the 2019 Carinity Innovation Grants close May 31. To find out more visit or call 07 3550 3737.

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