On Friday, Christian women throughout Lycoming County will gather at First Church of Christ Disciples, 1250 Almond St., in celebration of May Friendship Day of Church Women United. The annual event is observed as a luncheon and common worship experience that strengthens and builds relationships within communities.
Regina Gross, president of CWU of Lycoming County, invites everyone to come to the celebration where the focus is on the history of the organization inviting women of diverse races, cultures and traditions to draw together in Christian fellowship. The 2012 theme for the May Friendship Day Celebration is "The Sounds and Sights of Harmony: Listen to Our Sisters."
The gathering will begin at noon with a luncheon. Anyone who did not make reservations for the lunch, is welcome to come for the program, which will begin at 1:15 p.m.. Parking is available in the lot at the rear of the church.
The women of First Church of Christ Disciples are looking forward to hosting the event. Robin Myers, the local church coordinator, appreciates the work of all who are providing leadership for the service, coming from churches of different denominations. Participants for the day include Suzanne Heilman, Charlotte Shoalty, Carolyn Eckert, Juniata Shaw, Peggy Mumbauer and Robin Ray. Carol Waltz will be the accompanist and Barby Smith the song leader.
We will honor all women who are part of CWU. First, we honor the experience of Valiant Women. Second, we honor younger women who come into the movement, and their insights, energy and work to carry on our message. Third, we honor our Key Women, from different denominations who help to keep communications flowing.
Food is one of the themes of the day when families face many 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. Gail Burkhart, the coordinator, looks forward to receiving the donations of food that each woman brings. She explained that the special needs of food at this time are spaghetti and sauce, Oodles of Noodles, tea and cocoa, sugar and flour, canned fruit and juice, soups, Jello and pudding, canned stews, saltine crackers, macaroni and cheese, canned vegetables, condiments such as mustard, catsup and mayonnaise, desert mixes, cakes and frostings, and also tuna, chicken and hamburger helpers. Gail noted that the pantry, now located at The Center, assists a growing number of individuals and families each month by providing a three day emergency supply of food to help them meet their nutritional needs.
The May Friendship Day Offering stays with our local chapter, CWU of Lycoming County, and is used to defray celebration expenses and to assist local programs which help women and children, reports Eleanor Derr, treasurer.
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 in the Fellowship of the Least Coin 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 were very pleased to receive so many sewing projects for area Nursing Homes at the World Day of Prayer Service which was held at Church of the Savior Lutheran. It was a sight to behold, so many items made with such loving care for residents of Manor Care North, South and Jersey Shore; Williamsport Home; Rose View; Sycamore, Muncy Valley and Valley View Nursing Homes. There were Velcro fastened bibs, carrying/saddle bags for walkers and wheelchairs, catheter bag covers and lap robes. Instructions for these nursing home projects always are available through the United Churches Office