The winners for the 2018 Women’s Retreat January Giveaway are Glenda Bascom (Guthrie Center), Susan Brewer (Oak Grove Heights), and Darlene Perdue (Des Moines). Each receives a $30 scholarship to the 30th Annual Iowa-Missouri Christian Women’s Retreat, September 28-30, 2018 at Embassy Suites in Kansas City.

To be considered, entrants were asked to write a half-page story about a Women’s Ministries event in their church or district from 2017, highlighting how lives were touched in meaningful ways that led to greater love and service. The winning stories are below.

Guthrie Center Ladies Host Valentine’s Day Tea Party for Nursing Home Residents

Ladies from the Guthrie Center Church make Valentine’s Day cards for the nursing home residents.

In January 2017 my assistants and I hosted a winter brunch for the ladies of our church. We decorated the tables with snowmen and snowflakes and set out the church’s best china. The worship talk was even winter-themed. We all enjoyed the delicious meal and connecting as sisters while we visited and ate together.

Following the meal, we worked together to create handmade cards to give to nursing home residents who would attend an upcoming Valentine’s Day tea party in their honor. We laughed together and encouraged each other as we used our creativity to prepare these small blessings. One of our ladies didn’t feel crafty, but while we all worked diligently on cards she worked diligently in the kitchen cleaning up the dishes.

I feel so blessed to be a part of a church family who loves and works together to share the love of Christ with others.

Invitations to the tea party were given to the activity director of the nursing home, and she made sure each lady received one. On Valentine’s Day our Women’s Ministry ladies set the tables with pink and red tablecloths, a pink floral centerpiece, tea cups and teapots.

During the tea our ladies mingled with the residents and helped where needed to serve and bless them. Each resident was given their Valentine’s Day card signed by our Women’s Ministry ladies with a small bottle of pink hand lotion from Bath & Body Works.

Following the tea party one of our members helped lead a singalong with the ladies, featuring old favorite love songs and hymns. Our pastor’s wife, Emily Shafer, shared a Valentine-themed worship to close out our special tea party.

The nursing home activity director shared with me later how much the residents enjoyed the party and how it was the talk of the facility for several days. I know our church ladies had fun and were blessed as well.

Glenda Bascom is Women’s Ministry director for the Guthrie Center Church.

Women’s Ministry at Oak Grove Heights Takes on Greater Community Service Role

Susan Brewer (right) presents Linda Kennedy, staff leader of Wright County Children’s Home, with the fleece throw blankets made by the Oak Grove Heights Women’s Ministry ladies.

Susan Brewer (right) presents Linda Kennedy, staff leader of Wright County Children’s Home, with the fleece throw blankets made by the Oak Grove Heights Women’s Ministry ladies.

Following a car crash that left the Oak Grove Heights Church’s Adventist Community Services building permanently unusable, the Women’s Ministry ladies decided to step up and help fill vital services to their community.

In January 2017 they distributed 24 handmade fleece throw blankets to children at the Wright County Children’s Home, as the children waited to be placed in foster care. Getting one of the fleece throws gave each child a way to snuggle up, keep warm, and face their uncertain futures with some added comfort.

Throughout the rest of the year the ladies pursued other community service projects, culminating in a joint project with the church’s ACS leaders during the 2017 Christmas season.

Using funds from the conference and other donations received, 25 gift packages were distributed to senior citizens participating in the Rogersville Meals on Wheels program. Each package contained a Christmas card from the Oak Grove Heights Church, some candy, a gift card, Kleenex, and a colorful booklet entitled Unto Us a Child is Born containing quotations from The Desire of Ages.

The Women’s Ministry ladies used these small gifts to bring awareness of Christ’s sacrifice to the recipients and to let them know there is a Seventh-day Adventist Church in the area that is reaching out to them.

Susan Brewer is Women’s Ministry Leader for Oak Grove Heights Church.

Des Moines Women’s Ministries Group Donates Blankets and Care Packages to Women’s Shelter

Karen Todden and Michelle Vietz assemble a children’s fleece blanket to be donated to the women’s shelter.

On December 14 the Des Moines Church’s Women’s Ministries group got together for a “Girls’ Night In.” After enjoying one another’s company over refreshments, the group made 29 fleece blankets and assembled 25 personal care packages for women at the local women’s shelter.

The fleece material and personal care items, which included soap, shampoo and toothbrushes, were all donated by church members in the weeks leading up to the event.

The women’s shelter is a safe house specifically for women and children who have escaped abusive relationships. The staff at the shelter said they were very appreciative of the donated items and they would be put to good use.

Darlene Perdue is assistant Women’s Ministries director for the Des Moines Church.