In recent discussion among the Touchstone editors the subject of--of all things--after-church "coffee hours" came up.
As for me, I like coffee, but suspect "coffee hours" to be another sign of church feminization--something that doesn't happen until the women get pretty much full control. Can anyone imagine "coffee hour" being invented by a (normal) man? When we go to them it's something we tend to tolerate for the sake of our wives--unless the goodies are expected to be worth the effort. Otherwise we usually have better things to do at home.
By way of confession let me say that I have a particular dislike of coffee hours because of the burden of conscience they always laid upon me. Every church I have attended that has them gathers quite unashamedly in its cliques, and there are always poor souls left out of them, left standing alone on the fringes--people any number of professedly pious Christians are pleased to ignore. (Don't you dare tell me your church is "evangelical" if this happens in it.) I believe this state of affairs shamefully and unthinkably un-Christian, and always find myself, by force of duty, spending all my time visiting those fringes, doing something that has always been extraordinarily difficult and unpleasant for me--making small talk with strangers. I expect no reward in heaven for this because it was done with the highest levels of irritation and resentment--even rage. No, the devil take the coffee hours. It is one of his favorite playgrounds anyway.