Christian Women luncheon held

The June 12 “Summer is on its Way” luncheon of Village Missions Country Partners, Warren Christian Women was held at the Allegheny Community Center with Kay Gray and Pam Holmes welcoming guests.

Lynn Espin opened the luncheon with silent prayer, asking us to remember all those in need and give thanks for all our friends at the center.

Debi Sprague asked Karen Zurchan to officially open the meeting in prayer.

First-time attendees were welcomed.

Yvonne Lee introduced Vi Birchard, who began with her first song, “Thank you Lord for the Blessings on Me.” Hostess gifts were presented to Donita Redick, Mary Blick, and Mary Brown.

Lee then introduced the featured guest, Gail Cowan of Youngsville, who shared her collection of antique kitchen utensils. Cowan has collected gadgets for years, some of her firsts being a carpet beater and 23 potato mashers. She explained gadgets today are not made as sturdy as ones made many years ago. Then she held up unusual gadgets and asked members to guess the device and what it is used for.

One unusual gadget shown was the city chicken mold, which was popular during the Depression. The butcher put scraps of meat in the mold shaped like a chicken leg, breaded it, fried it, and the end product looked and tasted like a fried chicken leg. Cowan also collects glass milk and dairy bottles with the dairy name printed on it, Whirley’s unusual shaped mugs, and wooden yard sticks with businesses name on them.

Birdie Crandall next read a poem, “Just Stay,” to honor our fathers and sons for Fathers Day. She also thanked the group for remembering her 97-year-old mother, Mary, by sending a flood of cards for her mother’s birthday in May. Mary enjoys reading them over and over.

Vi Birchard sang her next selection, “The Paintbrush,” comparing a paintbrush making a mess on a canvas to poor decisions we make in our lives. Jesus then takes the brush from our hand to straighten us out, and repaints the canvas to help us to realize that we need Jesus to help us straighten out our lives.

Finally, the guest speaker, Judy Inman of Erie, spoke on “Who has the Controller?”

She began her testimony with her career as a Hamot Hospital labor and delivery nurse instrumental with other nurses in starting childbirth education classes in Erie. She was part of the new era of allowing dads into the labor and delivery rooms in the mid 60s. Her personal relationship growing up at home was much more tumultuous than her rewarding professional career. Her strained relationship with her father over his drinking caused her great anxiety. The pattern continued when she married one of her patients who later became an abusive alcoholic. During this time, she had three growing children to raise.

Her relationship with the Lord never waned, and that relationship got her through hard times. She divorced her husband and moved on. Her father contacted her when he became ill; she intended to visit and forgive him before he died, but she never got the chance on her last visit because he was asking her for her forgiveness for his past behavior before she got to pour out her request.

Her experiences gave her the insight and support to help her own children with their life challenges, one who himself divorced, another who was incarcerated along with his spouse, which as a result, they had to give up her grandchildren to foster care. Shortly after, Inman lost those grandchildren permanently to adoption. Lastly, she dealt with grieving and coping after the death of her youngest son at age 32. Inman later remarried and lost her second husband to cancer several years later. A glimpse of hope was her widowed daughter-in-law giving her a step-grandchild after all her others were lost to adoption. Again, her faith in God never wavered.

Inman concluded that God is in control at all times, and God will meet all our needs according to his Son. If it weren’t for her losing her grandchildren to foster care and adoption, she would never be able to counsel young couples adopting. If she had not divorced, she would not have been able to help divorcing parents, and if it weren’t for alcoholism in the family, she would not be able to discern love for the person from the understanding of alcoholism as a chronic disease.

Inman closed in prayer and benediction and told the group that attending Bible studies gives us the opportunities for Christian friendships and giving Him the power to control our lives.

Birchard closed the program with the song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

The next program, our “Red, White, and Blue” luncheon will be held July 10 at Noon at the ACC. Featured guest Dr. Julie Boozer of Scandia School Museum will recreate in period costume, the journey of a Swedish immigrant who settled and established a church and school in Scandia. Spiritual speaker, Carol Reese of Erie, will be speaking on “Life’s Wake Up Calls,” and music will be by Jonathon Keefer of Warren. Reservations can be made by calling Lee Jones at 723-5952. Nursery is provided upon request. Men are also welcome. Give us a try. Speakers are always inspiring and you will never leave disappointed.

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