United Methodist Women (UMW) hold garden plant sale fundraiser

The United Methodist Women (UMW) held a garden plant sale fundraiser on Saturday, March 27th and Sunday, March 28th.  Set up under a tent in the Church front yard on the corner of Main and Locust Streets, the ladies sold a variety of market packs (African daisies, primrose, variegated vinca, small and large geraniums, pansies and alyssum) with profits going to support our UMW missions.  On Saturday, May 1, UMW once again set up in front of the church this time to sell hanging flower baskets for Mother’s Day.  Leftovers were sold after Sunday services.  Over $1,000 was raised for UMW missions through two very successful  fundraisers. 

UMW’s mission pledge goes to support  programs and staff such as deaconesses, missionaries and home missionaries who serve the United Methodist Church globally and nationally.  Wesley Community Service Center in Portsmouth, VA is one such UMW supported institution that provides programs such as food distribution, youth development programs and family support services. Stephens City UMW also supports local missions such as CCAP and the MAMA (Middletown Area Meals Assistance) Backpack Project.

About UMW

The Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society, which later became United Methodist Women (UMW) was established in 1869 at the Tremont Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts when eight women raised monies and sent two woman missionaries, a doctor and a teacher to India.  Just 10 years later in 1879, The Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society was established at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Stephens City, Virginia.  The following 1879 officers are listed in Early Days and Methodism in Stephens City, Virginia by Inez Virginia Steele: President: Mrs. Ada Shertzer, Vice President: Mrs. Etha Montgomery, Secretary: Miss Lillian J. Barnes, and Treasurer: Miss Nannie F. Stevenson.

Through the years there have been various mergers and name changes but our major effort continues to be a mission to improve the lives of women, children and youth, social action, spiritual growth and supportive fellowship.  Stephens City UMW raises funds for mission giving through a pledge to our Winchester District UMW and support missions, locally, nationally and globally through gifts, prayers and service.  Funds are raised through donations or fundraising events.

UMW membership is for woman who desire an increased participation in their church and are drawn to fellowship with study, worship and outreach activities.  UMW provides these opportunities for those that believe they have talents that are to be shared with others and who seek a supportive community to affirm their own sense of purpose and commitment to God through Jesus Christ.  There are no UMW membership dues!

For more information, contact UMW Chair Michelle Hruska.

Crazy for quilts: Group makes 15 quilts in two days for good cause

STEPHENS CITY — How many quilts can you make in two days?
A Bink-A-Thon organized by local resident Jacquetta Owen produced 15 children’s quilts that will be donated to the Stephens City Police Department to comfort youngsters in stressful situations.
For the unfamiliar, a Bink-A-Thon is an event where a group makes as many quilts as possible to give to a good cause.
Owen’s Bink-A-Thon was held March 20-21 at Stephens City United Methodist Church. Participants in the “Binky Patrol” included Diane Clawson, Denise Jensen, Janet Foote, Deborah Phillips and Mary Beth Powell.

Outdoor Christmas Carol Sing Along

The Church Praise Band led an Outdoor Christmas Carol Sing Along on Sunday, December 13th at 1:00PM in the church parking lot.  Thirty people attended and joyfully sang out their favorite carols for about an hour under sunny skies.  The church provided song booklets with titles in aphabetical order so all could easily locate our most beloved carols during the fast moving program.  Many thanks to our wonderful Praise Band making a joyful noise to the Lord!  We all enjoyed the caroling time together – so many loved ones we haven’t seen in many months. It was a family reunion!  Even Santa found time to visit on his gleaming red fire truck.

Stephens City UMC Summer Art Camp

According to retired school teacher Jacquetta Owen, “the educator in me just won’t quit.” Jacquetta is so energized by working with kids, teaching new skills and seeing their “ah-ha” moments. Jacquetta had several reasons for leading the week-long STEAM Art Camp, August 10-14. First, the educational part – working with individual students to problem solve and create. Second, share our Stephens City United Methodist Church (SCUMC) family and opportunities with families with elementary school age children to gainfully involve them in the church activities. Third, bring in “helpers”, visiting teachers, for their expertise in various fields, again to let them know we are a loving and active church. Fourth, generate additional funds to the daycare and church, although about half of the registration fee supports procurement of art supplies. All the support personnel are volunteers and graciously share their gifts.

In recent years, STEAM education—the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics—has become a national priority. This focus has been driven by concerns over international competitiveness, dating back to the early days of the space race. The focus is also fueled by data reflecting our youth are not graduating with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly-evolving, technologically-driven workforce. A third reason for the focus—one that is particularly important when considering the education of younger children—is the role of STEAM in shaping our state-of-the-art lifestyles.

The STEAM Art Camp is organized through the SCUMC daycare program which maintains a license to care for students from age 5 through age 11. Jacquetta also recognized that the art camp was most conducive (in a COVID-19 environment) to working outside with safe social distancing and keeping supplies available for each individual (no sharing). Art was the only subject that did not involve functioning in groups and sharing materials. All 10 student slots were quickly filled.

During the five day, three-hour classes, students enjoyed multi-sensory experiences, strengthening fine motor skills, enhancing color and shape awareness, improving resourcefulness and problem solving abilities while completing various art projects. The students learned new vocabulary (aurora borealis and symmetry), explored using measuring techniques and found joy in experimenting with new materials. The week-long activities also involved stained glass pictures, 3-D chalk pictures, pop-up card making, shaving cream art and creating mandalas.

“STEAM understanding can no longer be provided just to elite students; all children need the underlying thinking personalities and understanding to succeed in a STEAM-driven economy and world,” Jacquetta said. For more information on future SCUMC STEAM classes, contact Jacquetta Owen at jacquettaowen@gmail.com.

See Northern Virginia Daily summer camp article

Stephens City pastor excited for challenge of new assignment

STEPHENS CITY — Joining Stephens City United Methodist Church during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge, said Rev. Bass Mitchell.

For one thing, getting around to everyone to introduce himself as the new pastor isn’t what it used to be — “To say, ‘Hey, this is me.’ … That’s a challenge in and of itself.”

In addition to not being able to visit in person, he said, some people in the church don’t have phones.

“I’m going to have to use carrier pigeons,” he joked, though that isn’t too far from the truth.

See Winchester Star.

Boy Scouts clean and restore historic Stephens City church cemetery

STEPHENS CITY — Boy Scout Troop 15 recently cleaned and restored the historic cemetery on the grounds of the Stephens City United Methodist Church.
The troop was seeking a project to earn service hours for their Scout ranks and the Citizenship in the Community merit badge, which requires scouts select a nonprofit organization, study it and volunteer eight hours of community service to enhance that charity.

Stephens City United Methodist Church food pantry update

We are currently offering drive-through pickup to our food pantry clients. We continue to follow CDC guidelines for safe handling and proper sanitizing. Volunteers are placing pre-packaged food, produce and cleaning and hygiene supplies into the cars of clients in the church parking lot.

We are taking basic information on a clipboard and entering that information into the computer system.

We are open from 11 am to 3 pm every Tuesday of the month. Families may now receive food and hygiene supplies as frequently as 2 times per month.

See Royal Examiner

Dr. John Bell Tilden Family Plot Located in Stephens City UMC Cemetery

Dr. John Bell Tilden, son of Captain Richard and Anna (Meyer) Tilden, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 9. 1761 (tombstone reads 1762), baptized in the Episcopal Church, and died July 31. 1838, in Stephensburg, now Stephen City, Virginia. He was a student at Princeton College during the revolutionary war and left college to join the Continental army, receiving a commission as ensign, May 28, 1779, in the Second Regiment Pennsylvania line, commanded by Colonel Walter Stewart.

His regiment left York, Pennsylvania, for the southern campaign in the spring of 1781 and he was present at the siege of Yorktown and surrender of General Cornwallis.

See Leesburg Patch.

Steady yourself: SAAA offers classes in preventing falls

STEPHENS CITY — Each year, 25 percent of Americans over age 65 take a tumble. Sometimes these falls cause injuries so severe that the victim ends up in the emergency room.

The Senior Center in the Stephens City United Methodist Church was the first SAAA site to offer the class.

But researchers have found that many falls are preventable.

Preventing falls requires developing the right mental attitude, changing the environment to minimize falls and exercising to strengthen the body.

To help seniors feel more secure about their ability to avoid falls, the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging is offering “A Matter of Balance,” a series of eight classes. The classes cover such topics as identifying the exercises best suited to fall prevention, recognizing hazards and learning three important physical risk factors for falls: low blood pressure, leg weakness and poor flexibility.

During the class, participants learn to view falls and the fear of falling as controllable and set realistic goals for increasing activity.
See Winchester Star.

Stellar Seven over 70 Award winners announced – Educator Jacquetta Owen

WINCHESTER — Winners of the inaugural Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards have been announced by TheVillage at Orchard Ridge.

The awards, which were created by the Frederick County retirement community, are designed to recognize achievements made by local people over the age of 70 that combat stereotypes about what it means to be a senior citizen.

The seven winners were announced during a luncheon on Thursday at the George Washington Hotel in Winchester.

Educator Jacquetta Owen won for Creative Engagement. She is involved in teaching music and reading to the children at her church and recently organized and ran STEM-related summer camps for children in grades K-5. She also teaches sewing classes to people of all ages at Hobby Lobby and the senior center in Stephens City.