Leading up to Christmas, Ridge Church is offering free Starbuck coffees to any area residents. It’s a way of bringing people together – members of the congregation or not – during the holiday season. Staff of the local Baptist church are out at the different stores in the community Sunday mornings waving and sharing wishes for a joyous holiday season. (Special to The News)

Leading up to Christmas, Ridge Church is offering free Starbuck coffees to any area residents. It’s a way of bringing people together – members of the congregation or not – during the holiday season. Staff of the local Baptist church are out at the different stores in the community Sunday mornings waving and sharing wishes for a joyous holiday season. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge church offers a free Starbucks coffee to the community

It’s as easy as showing the bar code, ordering a drink, and getting on with your day

Craving a coffee and a little sense of community?

Well Ridge Church might have something to offer this morning that fill both bills.

The Baptist church in Maple Ridge is offering a free Starbucks coffee to anyone – religious or otherwise – who just wants to be part of a community togetherness project on this Sunday morning.

The hope, she said, is to help renew a sense of community, holiday spirit, and togetherness during this period when – due to COVID – people are ordered to stay apart.

During normal times, Ridge Church members often gather and socialize over a coffee on Sunday mornings, before the weekly services. But that’s not possible since the 108-year-old church, with a congregation of about 450, has chosen to abide by the public health officer’s rules around not hosting in-person religious services right now, explained communications coordinator Christa Robinson.

Therefore, the leadership team sought to find another way to bring parishioners – and anyone in the community for that matter – together while keeping them apart, she elaborated.

“Many people are feeling disjointed… It feels like we’re meeting a need,” Robinson said, bringing people together doing the same thing while still being apart and safe.

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“We need some joy,” and she hopes this small gesture helps with that.

Redeeming the free coffees on Sunday morning is possible between 8 and 9:30 a.m., and done by showing the bar code found on the Ridge Church Instagram or Facebook stories between that time, Robinson explained.

They’re doing this ahead of their livestream services being offered each Sunday at 9:45 a.m., but Robinson said there’s no obligation – if redeeming a free coffee – to catch the services or even to become a follower of Ridge Church on social media.

“It truly is open to everyone,” she said. “You don’t have to follow us. You just need to find the bar code… it’s just trying to meet a practical need, we all need coffee in the morning – at least most of us do.”

Church staff and supporters will again be set up at all six local Starbucks stores on the Sunday mornings. But they’re there not to chat, but simply wave and thank participants for social distancing, Robinson said.

RELATED: Churchgoers question closure in latest health orders

The coffee initiative was run the past two Sundays, Nov. 29 and Dec. 6, as well as today. About 50 people each time took advantage of the coffee offer during the first two runs, and Robinson said they’re currently equipped to serve at least 100 people each Sunday – more if needed.

The plan is to host this program again on Sunday, Dec. 20, and possibly Dec. 24 (all day for the latter).

“Come have a coffee and feel like you’re doing the same thing as the rest of the community,” Robinson concluded. “Collectively, let’s share in a little joy and Christmas spirit.”

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Leading up to Christmas, Ridge Church is offering free Starbuck coffees to any area residents. It’s a way of bringing people together – members of the congregation or not – during the holiday season. Staff of the local Baptist church are out at the different stores in the community Sunday mornings waving and sharing wishes for a joyous holiday season. (Special to The News)

Leading up to Christmas, Ridge Church is offering free Starbuck coffees to any area residents. It’s a way of bringing people together – members of the congregation or not – during the holiday season. Staff of the local Baptist church are out at the different stores in the community Sunday mornings waving and sharing wishes for a joyous holiday season. (Special to The News)

Leading up to Christmas, Ridge Church is offering free Starbuck coffees to any area residents. It’s a way of bringing people together – members of the congregation or not – during the holiday season. Staff of the local Baptist church are out at the different stores in the community Sunday mornings waving and sharing wishes for a joyous holiday season. (Special to The News)

Leading up to Christmas, Ridge Church is offering free Starbuck coffees to any area residents. It’s a way of bringing people together – members of the congregation or not – during the holiday season. Staff of the local Baptist church are out at the different stores in the community Sunday mornings waving and sharing wishes for a joyous holiday season. (Special to The News)