April 17, 2024

Gathering Place committee eyes even more progress in 2024

Members of the Gathering Place committee are in front from left, Gary Freeland, Cath Olesen, Lynn Heinbuch, Iris Westphal, Jenn Garside, Susie Olesen, Roleen Chiles; second row: Pam Christensen, Katelyn Brashear, Pam Long, Steven Broers, Kendalyn Huff; third row: Pat Armstrong, Cindy Armstrong, Gary Heinbuch, Kristi Molln, Raedeen Bigelow, Paula Caldwell and David Huff. Not pictured are Ardith Buckner, Tim Baier, Cori Cooper, Ken Sidey, Melinda Stonebraker, Linda Sidey, Lori Armstrong, Amanda Maynes, Denise Speer, Danica Clayton, Trent Buckner, Stacie Eshelman and Kathy Foster.

Since First Presbyterian Church closed in May 2022, The Gathering Place has carried on its mission of being there for the community in a multitude of ways. The community now has opportunity to give back to it through an upcoming dinner to raise funds for the always-busy community hub.

From 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 7, The Gathering Place will have a fundraising meal serving pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, baked beans, a dessert and drinks for a free will donation. Proceeds will go to The Gathering Place and its outreach projects.

At 4 p.m. the same day, there will be a Good News Extended Sing lasting until 7 p.m. It will feature the Heaven Bound Gospel Band that plays bluegrass; Triology, a piano, cello and vocal act playing popular and traditional Christian music; and Higher Power, a Gospel quartet.

The Gathering Place Committee has sub-committees for the building and for giving. Two two groups held a joint annual meeting in February.

On the building front, plans have been received for a new sewer line and a new handicap accessible bathroom. Construction is planned for this year. A historical architect said last year that the buidling passed a feasibility study with flying colors.

“The building committee was very pleased with the incredible usage in 2023,” said Jennifer Garside, a spokesperson for the facility. “There is a diverse group of regular weekly and monthly users.”

The giving committee says that the hygiene pantry has seen its highest usage in its 20 years of operation, so they will continue giving to that cause. They will also give to the Nodaway Valley Ministerial Alliance and Adair County residents who are in need. The Gathering Place will also continue funding the Good News Concert Series which is the first Sunday of each month.

“I’ve been amazed by the community support. It was very sad when the church closed after almost 150 years, so I feel the building is serving a very important purpose for the residents in Adair County,” said Garside. “Unlike other boards I’ve served on where it is like pulling teeth to get committee members, people just willingly volunteered for this and there are now over 30 committee members. The committee is open and welcome to anyone with an interest to serve.”

Anyone in need of assistance is encouraged to email greatergreenfield@gmail.com or contact Garside at 641-745-5904. The same contact information may be used to reserve space in the building.

The facility is run strictly on donations to support everything from keeping the doors open to funding their many chariable outreach projects.Donations can be dropped by the GP, mailed to Gathering Place, PO Box 13, Greenfield or online donations can be made by visiting their website atng: inherit; font-variation-settings: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;” target=“_blank”>greenfieldiafoundation.org

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.