Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Methodist church pouring ‘First Cup’

By CLINTON DICK, Herald Staff Writer | 9/27/2013

Church members wanted to develop a space that was welcoming, Terie Kelley, chair of the evangelism committee at First United Methodist Church, 203 E. Fourth St., Ottawa, said.

The group recently put the finishing touches on a new space at the church where people can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Church members wanted to develop a space that was welcoming, Terie Kelley, chair of the evangelism committee at First United Methodist Church, 203 E. Fourth St., Ottawa, said.

The group recently put the finishing touches on a new space at the church where people can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee.

“We tried to stay in the theme of the church and create an atmosphere that is inviting,” Kelley said. “The area was a coffee space for the past 15 years, but it looked much different.”

The Methodist church will play host to “First Cup: A Together Space” 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday in the newly re-furnished and re-painted room. The event includes free coffee and doughnuts, as well as devotion time. It is open to the public and features wireless Internet.

“To anyone who comes, we will do this every Tuesday,” Kelley said. “That is the plan. We wanted this place to have ministries flowing through it.”

Two of the church’s ordained ministers, Jerry Harnden and Jim Stigall, and two lay speakers, Carolyn Elder and Bonita Kitts, will be rotating through the weeks to lead the devotion, Kelley said. The room itself will not just be open during the devotion hour. The doors are open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday for service. Kelley said the church is purchasing coffee equipment that would allow people to come in whenever the doors are open to get a cup of coffee for a small fee.

The atmosphere has changed greatly in the room, giving it now a coffee shop-like feeling, Kelley said. The original idea came in January, and the project was complete in early September.

“It was a dream that came out of the evangelism committee to create a better space,” Kelley said. “I like to call it a ‘together space.’ Before, we had a lot of complaints that it was dark in [the room].”

And it isn’t just for the coffee klatch crowd.

“The space is set up so youth can use it too,” Kelley said.

People so far have enjoyed the new style of the room, Kelley said, and she hopes to continue the service for the community.

“I think [the room] has been received very well in the congregation,” she said. “It is very well used on Sunday morning services.”

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