Christian women to celebrate May Friendship Day

On May 2, Christian women throughout Lycoming County will gather at Pine Street United Methodist Church, 441 Pine St. in celebration of May Friendship Day of Church Women United (CWU). It is an annual event observed as a luncheon and common worship experience that strengthens and builds relationships within communities.

Regina Gross, president of CWU of Lycoming County, invites women to come to the celebration where the focus on the theme “Thru God Our Hands Can Serve.”

The gathering will begin at noon with a chicken salad luncheon. Reservations for the luncheon may be placed by mailing a check for $8 per lunch, made payable to CWU of Lycoming County, and mailed to Diane Casella, 407 Allen St., Montoursville, PA 17754. The check must be received by this Thursday. Anyone who does not make reservations for the lunch is welcome to come for the program, which will begin at 1:15 p.m. Free parking is available in the lot north of the church.

The women of Pine Street United Methodist Church are looking forward to hosting the event. Participants for the day include Melody Harrison and Peggy Bohart, worship leaders; Marge Thompson, director of the West End Christian Community Center, which is an integral part of the St. John’s-Newberry United Methodist Congregation Campus, main speaker; Carol Waltz, accompanist; and Barby Smith, song leader.

All women who are part of CWU will be honored and one will receive the 2014 Key Woman Award for leadership and service in the community.

Food is one of the themes of the day as more and more people face food insecurity amid our economic challenges. Each woman is asked to arrive bearing a gift of non-perishable food items to share with others through the United Churches Food Pantry. According to food pantry coordinator Gail Burkhart, the special needs of food at this time are spaghetti and sauce, coffee, sugar, juice, canned fruit, tuna, powdered drink mix, saltine crackers, cereals, chunky soups, pork and beans, ketchup and mac-n-cheese. She said the pantry, now at The Castellano Center, assists a growing number of individuals and families each month by providing a three day supplement of food to help them meet their nutritional needs.

The May Friendship Day offering stays with the local chapter and is used to defray celebration expenses and to assist local programs which help women and children, reports Treasurer Eleanor Derr.

Participants also will celebrate the Fellowship of the Least Coin, a worldwide movement now in service for more than 60 years, based on the power of prayer. Each woman participating prays regularly for peace and reconciliation in families, work places, communities, her nation and the world. With each prayer the woman sets aside the least coin of her nation (a penny in the U.S.). When least coins are collected each year from women in countries around the globe, the coins amount to many thousands of dollars. An international committee prayerfully considers current needs in the world and spends the year’s fund in grants to alleviate women’s hardships and thus promote reconciliation and peace in the world.

Reflecting on the last CWU service project, Pat Wittig and Barbara Allen report that more lap robes and walker bags are needed for area nursing homes. The items, along with other sewing projects that were received at the World Day of Prayer Service, have been distributed.

Instructions for the items used in area nursing homes always are available through the United Churches Office. Call Wittig at 570-322-4330 or 570-971-1072 to arrange to drop off items still needed.