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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.

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

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.

Frederick County Virginia’s Early Churches

In the beginning, all the Shenandoah Valley was considered part of Orange County, Virginia. In 1738, Virginia’s General Assembly created two new counties from the western area of Orange County: Frederick County in the northwest and Augusta County in the southwest were named after the Prince and Princess of Wales respectively. The availability of land grants brought in many religious families, who were often given 50-acre plots through the sponsorship of fellow-religious grant purchasers and speculators. As a result, the Winchester area became home to some of the oldest Presbyterian, Quaker, Lutheran and Anglican churches in the valley.

See Leesburg Patch.

Never too many cookies in the kitchen

STEPHENS CITY — Judging a cookie-baking competition may seem easy, but the three lucky souls who judged the Senior Center Cookie Competition last week took the job seriously.

With a bottle of water nearby to cleanse their palates between tastings, the judges broke apart each cookie to test for texture. They sniffed. They nibbled. They asked hard questions.

“What’s the spice I’m tasting,” Stephens City Police Officer Bill Copp asked as he chewed a raisin cookie.

“Ginger,” offered Coleen McMains, owner of the Historical Homemaker Bakery and Cafe in Strasburg, which re-creates historical recipes such as Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Almond Cake and Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookie.

A service of the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging, the Stephens City Senior Center is in the Stephens City United Methodist Church on Main Street. The program provides activities and a hot lunch to people ages 60 and older. The center also delivers hot meals for seniors who are homebound.

See Winchester Star.

Middletown woman’s 100th birthday party draws a crowd

STEPHENS CITY — Kathryn Koerner, of Middletown, had so many people show up and speak to her during her 100th birthday party on Saturday that she didn’t even have time to eat. 
About 200 people attended the celebration at Stephens City United Methodist Church, where Koerner has been a member of since 1986. Koerner’s former pastor, Waverly Reames, 74, of Winchester, and her children planned the event.

Stephens City UMC to open day care center

STEPHENS CITY — The rocking chairs sit waiting. The cribs are lined up. The staff has been hired.

Now, all that’s needed at the new day care center at Stephens City United Methodist Church are the babies.

The church will open a day care center March 12.

On Saturday, the day care center will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. so parents can visit the rooms and find out about the program.

The church is located in downtown Stephens City at 5291 Main St.

See Winchester Star.