Joan Groening has been Advent's wonderful Coordinator of Sunday Volunteers for at least 13 years, often an usher, a Altar Guild member, and on Fellowship Committee.
Joan moved to Solon as a 6-year-old to the corner house at Solon and Bainbridge, with her grandparents soon moving into the "little yellow house" next door. Anyone interested in Solon's history should talk to Joan - fascinating stories about her corner house being the former Post Office on the main street, and the High School campus being carved out of a farm and surrounded by cows. After graduating from KSU with a BS she taught school in Orange in Special Ed, and after earning a Masters from KSU she worked for the state of Ohio as a vocational rehabilitation counselor.
Joan had known Ron Groening for many years, and they married on April 1st, 2000, soon moving back from Cleveland to the "little yellow house" next door to daughter Tina (& Tim) Stawiarski. That's when granddaughter 2-3 year old Kelsey said "I think you should start teaching me about Jesus" - so everyone started coming to Advent. (Note: when Kelsey graduated from SHS in 2011, the papers carried a story noting 50 years after her grandmother's own graduation.)
How many of you know that Joan led the way in pioneering women's shooting leagues?
And of course Joan also led the way in the formation of what we now know as H3O, which is where she will tell you her faith has grown as she has seen God at work meeting specific needs. Evidently it was Kelsey's reaction to a visit by men from the Cleveland Men's Shelter who prompted grandma to start gathering furniture with Jerry Johanson in Tim's dilapidated truck. After a season or two of that, she visited the Broadway warehouse intending to say she was stopping, what with winter coming, but when the man there said "I don't know how we will get enough furniture," she pledged to keep getting more, and more, and more. H30 was eventually formed when this furniture emphasis combined with the parallel ministry of providing clothing and food to the same population at Our Redeemer.
A keen gardener who loves the outdoors, parks, and animals, she now shares Tina's 3 dogs to make it easier for Joan and Ron to spend winters away: in the Carolinas for 4 years, Daytona Beach and Sarasota FL, and New Orleans.
So, meet and greet Joan now before she disappears for the winter!
There's a place for YOU here, we do better together!