The old, white country church no longer smells of musty hymnals and dust-covered pews, but the smell of freshly ground coffee wafts through the halls of the newly ren­o­vated building.

The old Epis­copal Church was on the path to demo­lition, when two local women who grew up in Jonesville were in a position to buy the old building. After seeing another Jonesville church demol­ished, the two women wanted to pre­serve the old, his­toric building, and con­verted it into a coffee shop out­reach.

After much painting and ren­o­vating, the new owners, Michelle Masta and Renee Sawdey hosted various events at the building, but were inter­ested in getting some sort of out­reach min­istry started in their building in coor­di­nation with the First Pres­by­terian Church which they both attend.

“They came to us several times about an out­reach, but the time wasn’t right,” said First Pres­by­terian pastor Rev. Cathy Johnson.

One of the elders saw the oppor­tunity to connect with the com­munity and helped write up a business plan, Johnson explained. After exam­ining the prac­tical aspects of the plan, the church decided to take action. They were going to start a coffee shop out­reach.

Several kitchen-sized tables with floral table­cloths sit in the Grounded in Grace coffee shop, with a couple hutches filled with Kurig coffee filters and assorted creamers. Homey paintings line the walls and wrapped, baked goods sit in a basket, next to a jar that says “dona­tions”.

“We have a Kurig and wrapped baked goods, so we don’t have to be inspected as a kitchen,” said Ann Johnson, one of the coffee shop vol­un­teers.

The prices sign has rec­om­mended dona­tions for vis­itors to place in the jar.

“There’s a sug­gested donation, but it’s really what you can afford. If you can’t afford it one time, than we don’t expect any­thing,” Cathy said.

Although Grounded in Grace has received one grant from the city and another from the Pres­by­terian church, it runs mainly on dona­tions which have been few due to a small atten­dance, she said. However, part of the money gained from dona­tions will go to charity.

“We had been open from 3:30 – 5:30, but no one would come. Now they’re thinking about expanding their hours again,” said Ann.

The hours were from 8a.m.-12p.m., but it is now open starting at 7a.m.

“We changed the hours to see what works. We’re opening at 7a.m. to draw in teachers and stu­dents,” Cathy said. “We really want to connect with people in the com­munity and in the college, listen to their ideas, and see what works for them.”

Jonesville First Pres­by­terian Church will be hosting events and having a reception at Grounded in Grace, the first of which will be this Sunday, Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. Sandy Collins, a member of the Pres­by­terian Church, will be singing to raise money for the Leukemia and Lym­phoma society.

Grounded in Grace and First Pres­by­terian Church will be holding special events like this throughout the Fall, and invite college stu­dents and com­munity members to attend.

“The focus really isn’t about serving coffee,” Cathy said, “It’s like we’ll be there, and see what God does.”