GRANVILLE — A connection to the community is important for both new and longtime residents, and churches have always fulfilled an integral part of those relationships.
A Granville couple has recently seen an opportunity to expand those connections by creating a local home for contemporary worship services.
Brian and Carina Gonet are raising their family in Granville, but until recently they’d been traveling to Walnut to attend Sunday services at the Walnut Community Bible Church, where Carina’s father is pastor.
“We love that church, and it’s everything we want, but it’s just not our community,” Carina said.
Brian added there are no churches in Putnam County offering modern worship services, and that local residents have had no option but to travel to either Walnut, Princeton or LaSalle to find what they’re seeking.
To fill this local need, the couple has begun the long process of establishing a new place of worship with the county. Although there’s no official name, pastor or organizational structure in place yet, they have begun hosting informal, open-door fellowship gatherings with coffee and doughnuts on Sunday mornings at 220 S. McCoy St. in Granville.
Their hope is to offer “a simple and inviting place” for anyone who appreciates the support of nearby family and friends.
“We want to be plugged in and able to give back to and help our own community,” Carina said.
Brian explained they’ll soon begin a small group Bible study and that they’ll be offering a chance to worship “without getting caught up in formalities and bureaucracy.”
“We’re not trying to take anyone away from their church. We want to bring in those who’ve been traveling away from their homes to worship, those who’ve moved away from worshipping, or perhaps even those who might realize they want that kind of spiritual connection in their life,” Carina said.
She said a contemporary worship service is informal, typically led by multiple people and features modern worship music, as well as a variety of positive and engaging programs for youths.
“We want to help provide a sense of home and friendship for those who’d like to have a stronger local connection within our community and haven’t been able to find it elsewhere,” Carina said.
Those interested can visit and worship with the Gonet family and others at 10 a.m. on Sundays at 220 S. McCoy St., and all are welcome.