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Bakerstown United Methodist women pool together, help others

Generations of women at Bakerstown United Methodist Church have been pooling their talents to serve others in their church and community.

The United Methodist Women, in Gibsonia, invites women of all ages together for fellowship, but in the process, they meet the needs of the community through service projects or fundraisers.

The women have purchased equipment for the church kitchen, tables and chairs for its fellowship hall, resources for the preschool and donated money to numerous local charity organizations.

The Rev. Dennis Swineford, who came to the church in July, says he’s amazed by the active women’s group. “They’re very devoted and committed to the ministries they support,” Swineford says. “I think what they do in the community (has) a big impact.”

Each of the women has a talent that they share to help the group. Some women sew blankets; some organize an annual trunk sale; some cook the fund-raising dinners at the church; and others volunteer their baking skills.

“The women run in age from 30 to 90 … we’re teachers, we’re nurses, we’re secretaries,” says Donna Williams, 73, of West Deer, who serves as the group’s president.

Each September, the women lace up their aprons and start to bake about 15,000 cookies for the annual holiday cookie trays they sell.

Lillian Kelley of Richland took on the job of icing the cookies because it allowed the 90-year-old to sit. Kelley became involved in the cookie project this year, after her daughter-in-law, Ellen Kelley, invited her.

“I like being with people, and I like to help others,” Lillian Kelley says. “It also keeps me busy.”

Working right alongside her, is Cami Amory, 41, almost 50 years her junior, who recently moved back to Hampton from South Carolina.

Amory says moving back home was more than just a return to a geographical location. “These are the families I grew up with, the mothers of my friends, so I love coming back. It’s like coming home,” Amory says.

Her mother, Louise Himes, 67, of Hampton, invited her to join the group, and now, Amory looks forward to talking to the women at their monthly meetings and weekly baking days.

“How could you not learn from these ladies about life,” she says. “They don’t treat me any differently. They talk about their grandkids, and I talk about my kids.”

While it would be easy to just give money to support the ministry’s causes, the women say they feel called to support the friendships created in the group and use their skills to serve the church.

“It’s a feeling of satisfaction,” Himes says. “We’re together and having fun and making money for the worthwhile projects we do.”

Want to help?

For additional information on the United Methodist Women or any of their projects, contact the church at 724-443-3184.


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