New drop-in discussion group in Comox promises stimulating conversation

Coffee and Cookies drop-in program at Comox Valley Presbyterian Church every other Thursday morning

The drop-in discussion group, Coffee and Cookies, meets every other Thursday at Comox Valley Presbyterian Church. Photo supplied.

Jessie Schut

Special to The Record

A trip up Ryan Road Hill to a certain big box store may yield free samples of coffee and cookies, but it likely won’t include a serving of stimulating conversation.

For that, you might wish to try the Coffee and Cookies drop-in program at Comox Valley Presbyterian Church. Held the first and third Thursday of every month, at 10:30 a.m., the informal gatherings offer tea or coffee, cookies, and a topic of conversation around which people can freely share their ideas and opinions, learn new things and socialize in a welcoming space.

Topics in the past have included the environment, earthquake preparedness, climate change, recycling, funeral preparations and medical intervention. Future topics are often decided at a previous meeting, depending on the interests of the participants. One possibility is to have a kitchen table conversation about democracy, an initiative urged by B.C.’s lieutenant governor in her New Year’s Day address.

Coffee and Cookies started last fall as a result of the congregation’s involvement in New Beginnings, a program that helps churches assess their resources and their purpose. One of the findings in the study revealed that nearly half of the population of the Valley consists of people 55 and older, and that many are relative newcomers. There is a need in the Valley for places where people can gather and talk and make connections. The church’s resources include a wheelchair-accessible building, lots of parking and friendly folk who enjoy meeting new people. The Coffee and Cookies program seemed like a good match for these two elements.

“We stress that the topics are not approached from a religious perspective, although we do begin and end each session with a brief prayer,” says co-ordinator Pat Douglas.

The conversations are friendly gatherings that generate connections between participants.

“We also make sure that we wind up at 11:30, ending in a timely fashion. And if people need a ride, we’ll try to arrange that, too,” added Douglas.

“I rather enjoy it,” says participant Al Manuel, who attends with his wife Pat. “I can throw in any comments I wish, there’s no pressure to conform to others’ points of view. I feel what I say may be of value to others or maybe not, but that’s OK.” It’s very relaxed, points out his wife Pat; everyone is welcome, whether they arrive on time or not, and everyone who wishes, gets to have their say. The couple enjoys the time out and learning to know other participants better. It’s definitely a social outing that fosters connections.

If this appeals to you, you’re invited to join in the conversation. The next meeting of Coffee and Cookies will be on Feb. 6 at 10:30 a.m. at Comox Valley Presbyterian Church, located at 725 Aspen in Comox. For more information, call Pat Douglas at 250-338-6247. Also check out the church website at www.cvpc.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Cumberland keeps pushing for groundwater protection

Council will raise issue with Province again through Union of BC Municipalities

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Cumberland wants more done to stop drug deaths

Motions include writing Dr. Bonnie Henry, holding naloxone workshop

Courtenay theatre gets support for livestream ‘hybrid’ shows this year

Island Coastal Economic Trust funds help Sid Williams Theatre with infrastructure, training

Military police training in Comox Valley

Latest quarterly session for training is July 6-8

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

PHOTOS: GP Vanier Grad

Some submitted photos from the 2020 grad celebrations at GP Vanier in Courtenay

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read