PARIS - There's a new Gathering Place in the community.
The Paris Presbyterian Church has renovated the western wing of their facility, turning it into a coffee house as part of a community outreach ministry. The congregation wants to give back to the community and create a space where residents from all age ranges can gather and share coffee, conversation and companionship, members said.
The space has been given a complete renovation, with congregants gutting the space and installing new walls and floors. Church members have furnished the area and provided a television. Local plumber Joe Poremski donated his talents, doing all the plumbing work for the project, and Patete Kitchen and Bath Design Center donated a complete kitchen set-up, complete with light fixtures and cupboards. Matt Rhoades laid the ceramic tile. Renovations began in July, and the finishing touches have recently been put on the space.
The Paris Presbyterian Church has opened a coffee house ministry, the Gathering Place, as a community outreach effort. -- Contributed
The Gathering Place opened the week before Christmas, and volunteers were on hand to pour a cup of coffee and offer free gift-wrapping services.
That's only the beginning, said the Rev. Tina Hosler.
"There really wasn't any place to stop and have a cup of coffee and conversation," she said.
A Wii system has been donated, and she said the church would like to set up Wii bowling tournaments, with senior citizens playing during the day and young adults during the evenings. Hosler also said she would like to have music on Friday nights and welcomed any community members with musical or vocal talents to contact the church if they are interested in performing.
"We are open to suggestions from the community," she said. "We are still in the planning stages with a lot of things."
Audrey Shaw, congregant and volunteer, said the church members also hope to have "mother's day out" events in which local mothers can meet up and bring their children along to enjoy a play area.
"We're trying to reach every age group," she said.
Hosler added the church is working with the Weirton Medical Center to offer a regular grief support group.
She said the group is in need of volunteers to act as hosts and hostesses, to make coffee and provide companionship for those visiting.
"They would basically be a greeter and welcome people in," she said. "We want to reach out to the community and have a place for people to go and socialize and have fellowship with each other."
The Gathering Place is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the church's facilities located at 127 Steubenville Pike. It is also open between the 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship services Sundays.
"We would love for anyone who is interested to stop by and have a cup of coffee," she said. "We have coffee pots, tea pots and a few Keurigs, so we can make coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cider."
(Wallace-Minger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)