What is The Grove? You may have heard whispers around town, or have seen “coming soon” signs in the windows of the former Mental Health Board offices. The Grove is a new community center formed as an extension of Oak Grove Mennonite Church. Its tagline, “A Place for Community,” expresses the desire to discover, through having a location in town, ways in which it can better serve the community. The Grove is the culmination of conversations about fostering a space for the community to come together, to meet needs, and to share life.
Earlier this summer, Oak Grove applied for and received a grant from Ohio Mennonite Conference to help create this community center and began exploring renting two units which were formerly occupied by The Logan County Mental Health Board for the last 25 years, which has relocated to the Consolidated Care building.
The aim of The Grove is multi-faceted. We hope to partner with local businesses, associations, and churches in order to discover and meet community needs as well as direct community members to helpful programs already established. Initially, we will be working as a physical location for the West Liberty Cares Emergency Fund, which until now has only been available by phone.
But we want to make this space available for the entire community, which is why the building will be open for classes, and events, like a “Parent’s Night Out” babysitting event in December so that parents can go Christmas shopping. It will also be a collection site for TerraCycle, a national organization that recycles items otherwise thrown away, such as chip bags and granola bar wrappers. In the future, we hope to be able to host art events, after-school programs, movie nights, and whatever else the community may be able to dream up!
Open house during Friday’s Christmas parade
On Friday, Nov. 27, The Grove will be having an open house from 4 to 8 p.m. during the West Liberty Christmas parade. As a part of this event, The Grove will be hosting the annual Old Fashioned Soup Dinner from 4 to 6 p.m. This was previously held at the Fire House but is being moved for ease of setting up the Fire Hall for Santa’s visit. The meal is donated each year by the West Liberty Business Association who pays The Liberty Gathering Place to make the food. All proceeds from the supper will go to help a local family. Also, the West Liberty Fire Department will be selling drinks to go along with the meal.
In addition to the Soup Dinner, face painting and craft-making will be offered for children and youth, and popcorn, cookies and water will be free!
And the next day, the Grove will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with local vendors selling items perfect for Christmas gifts!
As a young organization, we know that in order to succeed we need to partner with the community. So we eagerly look for input and suggestions, which can be given on the website at www.facebook.com/thegrovewl or at the open house.
Submitted by Oak Grove Mennonite Church.