Methodist women gather for district meeting

Eldora Carter Special to the Star-Herald, Special to The County
17 years ago

The Aroostook Division of the Northern District United Methodist Women met at the Mapleton United Methodist Church on Wednesday, April 18, with 45 members present from the towns of Mapleton, Easton, Presque Isle, Mars Hill, Washburn, Limestone, Caribou, Houlton and Bangor.     After registration and welcoming coffee and muffins, the call to order was given by President Donna Brewer, of Mars Hill, and the opening prayer and hymn “God is so Good” was sung, followed by a moment of silence in prayerful respect for the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy. The welcome was given by Dawn Kenney, of Mapleton, and the response by a member of the Mars Hill Church. Musical enhancement was provided by Diane Ketchum at the organ and Joan Walsh, pianist, both from Mars Hill.
Peggy Swett, Northern District UMW president, of Bangor, drove up to the meeting by herself. Candy Richards, of Limestone, conducted morning devotions and readings from scripture. Secretary/Treasurer Muriel Johnson, of Presque Isle, read the minutes of the 2006 meeting. She then called the roll and each church gave their new mission’s report for their year. Lavon Walker, of Presque Isle, presented a Resource Report of programs and material available for the group.
Swett addressed the assembly and praised their contributions to missions, applauding their initiative and work, as well as seeking new missions to operate.
Vice President Betty Walker, of Presque Isle, requested names of members who have passed on this past year, signifying remembrance with lighting the Memorial Candle. They were: from Mapleton, Ardis Boyles; from Presque Isle, Mary Clark, Dorothy Skillin, Marion Filmore, Arlene Blanchard, Edna Hilt, Ruby Evans, Pauline Bean and Roberta Mahoney; from Easton, Helen Todd and Fern Ladner; from Monticello, Maxine Bubar; from Washburn, Perley Maynard and Chester Haynes; from Caribou, Elizabeth Bearce, Laila Bell, Averill Belyea, Elizabeth Curliss-Brown and Inez Mills;  from Houlton, Eldora Dunliffe, Phyllis Hagen, and Carl Hagen; and from Limestone, Julie Ward, Doris Tompson, June Noyes and Sarah Harvey.
Candy Richards described a list of suggestions for missions, with a token Red Glove, that may be passed out to deserving recipients of our care. Each church represented was given a Red Glove with a suggestion list for missions. Charlotte Wilson, of Washburn, described the workings of the Silent Auction to be held that day and related where gifts from each church for the homeless shelter would be distributed.
The next district meeting in 2008 will be held at the Grant Memorial Methodist Church in Presque Isle, at their invitation.
A bag lunch was enjoyed along with deserts and drinks provided by the host church. Each one attending received a small calico bag designed by the host church containing small loaves of bread, pins and other small items. The afternoon session began with singing “We Gather Together.” A brief demonstration by Caroline Ballershein of Love Kits and Gifts from the Heart was shown to illustrate combos of easily put together articles for use to those in need. Church World Service is an organization happy to receive these articles. Each May, a semi trailer leaves from Portland containing packages for the less fortunate – school supplies, health kits, layettes, etc.
Wilson read an essay praising the woman selected to be the honoree of this year’s Pin of Recognition for her truly outstanding and inspiring example of a United Methodist Woman. Donna Brewer led the gathering in applause. The honoree for this year, 2007, was Eldora Carter, president of the Easton United Methodist Women. In her absence, the pin was received by Easton UMW Treasurer Marie Hewitt and was presented to Eldora at their church on Sunday, April 29. Eldora is also a past president of the Aroostook Division of the UMW.
The program for the day was presented by Betty Walker and Marilyn Wheeler, of Presque Isle, telling of their trip to Anaheim, Cali., to attend the General Assembly of United Methodist Women. They represented the New England Conference and wore kerchiefs with an insignia acting as their identification. A Power-Point screen show helped to illustrate the site which they both found awesome and inspiring. There were 7,000 women receiving Holy Communion. Their reading of a history of Sra-Rodrigues, who has risen from an early life of literal slavery to become the Bolivian minister of justice, was thrilling. This remarkable woman created an association of home workers, giving them a voice and dignity – a true story of social justice in action. Prayer shawls were a dramatic display at the General Assembly. They also reported on a trip to Palestine, the wall erected there by Israel and the turmoil and suffering it has caused.
Next on the program was an uplifting musical presentation by Joan Walsh and Diane Ketchum. They entitled this well-prepared program “Music and History of Hymns.” A brief description of the source of the hymn and composer introduced the selections. It was played through by the two musicians and one verse would be sung by the assembly. Ten hymns were introduced, played and sung. Brewer thanked the women for their generosity in bringing supplies to the meeting to be given to the homeless shelter from each church. The UMW Purpose was recited and the song “Let There Be Peace On Earth” was sung in closing the meeting. The group then went upstairs to find the results of the Silent Auction.