Above, inside ‘The Hub’ at The Gathering House, where members of the Chesterville Rotary Club presented a big-screen TV. From left: Pastor Brian Barr, Chesterville Rotary Club Secretary Betty Vanden Bosch, Chesterville Rotary Club President John Stewart, congregation member Lois Beckstead, Chesterville Rotarians Nelson Zandbergen, Birket Foster and Beate Stewart, and The Gathering House Youth Coordinator Scott Hopkins. Smith photo, Nation Valley News
CHESTERVILLE — The new youth program at The Gathering House received its latest asset on Friday— a 55-inch flat-panel television provided courtesy of the Chesterville Rotary Club.
Members of the Club visited “The Hub” on Water Street last Friday to officially deliver the TV, which joins a number of games and attractions on the premises.
Debuting at the end of October, The Hub operates out of the west end of the former Fulton Block commercial building that the Christian congregation transformed into a church several years ago.
Numbers at The Hub were a little low to start “but now we’re drawing seven or eight people on a typical night,” says the church’s youth coordinator, Scott Hopkins, of the free program that runs 6:30 to 10 p.m. Friday evenings.
The Gathering House congregation was inspired to launch The Hub after the closure of the nearby Harmony drop-in centre — run as an outpost for many years by its namesake church in Harmony Corners. The death of the owner of that Main Street North address, from whom Harmony had rented, spelled the end of the Centre.
However, Hopkins explained that The Hub is not meant as a direct replacement for that earlier endeavour. For starters, The Hub “is not a drop-in centre,” he emphasized.
But it’s not meant to be exclusive, either, although The Hub does cater strictly to youth from grades 6 through 12 (with an enforced upper age limit of 18). Parents must fill out a consent form (paper or online) before their child may attend the The Hub.
And although the adult chaperones on scene are affiliated with The Gathering House, The Hub itself is touted as a “secular” program with no Bible study or need to be of faith.