Souderton, Pennsylvania—It was simple. Jenifer Eriksen Morales saw the moving van pull up to the house next door and she invited her new neighbor over for coffee. They were both young mothers and shared their joys and struggles that come along with raising children. Soon they met other neighbors who also were young mothers and they had similar conversations. An impromptu Friday morning coffee group developed. A few months later, the coffee group turned into a book club. But then something else happened. The women, most of whom didn’t attend church, started having conversations about prayer.
Eriksen Morales is a staff minister with the Franconia Mennonite Conference and she worships at the Souderton Mennonite Church. The church has embraced the Friday coffee group as part of its ministry and provides child care for some of the Friday gatherings. There is no expectation for the members of the group to visit a Sunday service in exchange for the free child care. But they value the relationship with these women as much as the women value their relationships with one another.
Gannon is the Director of Ministry Formation for Fresh Expressions US and leads the Fresh Expressions efforts of the Baptist General Association of Virginia. He earned the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Baylor University and the Master of Divinity degree from Duke University. Prior to entering seminary, Gannon worked as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate and as a public affairs officer in the anti-human trafficking office at the U.S. State Department. He enjoys forging partnerships between followers of Jesus from different traditions and has served in various roles at several churches, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Anglican. Gannon is married to Carey, who also is a graduate of Duke Divinity School. Together they work to bring fresh expressions of church to the collegiate community at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.