St. Johns to hold second Sister to Sister womens conference

By Lynn R. Parks

When Melissa Wills, Mary Catherine Hopkins and Norma Dukes went before the congregation at St. Johns United Methodist Church, Seaford, to announce the upcoming Sister to Sister II womens conference, they wore white aprons and chefs hats.

Posters announcing the event, as well as return address stickers, notecards and stationary for organizers to use, all prepared by church administrative assistant Suzanne Black, have pictures of wheat and bread on them.

That is because the theme of this years event is Jesus said: I am the Bread of Life.

It means, Jesus is your nourishment, said St. Johns associate minister Barbara Wilson, who will serve as a kind of master of ceremonies for the event. He is your sustenance.

Speaker Susie Bond, Lewes, will talk on that topic. Musicians Joy Slavens and Linda Schenck will perform music that touches on that topic. For example: Jesus is All I Need, said Slavens, of Laurel.

And organizers promise some surprises centered on that topic.

We dont want to give away anything, said Hopkins. But there might be something in the air that relates to the topic, she added.

The event will take place Saturday, April 29, and will feature a one-hour service and a fried chicken luncheon, catered by Marilyn Hastings, Seaford. It is open to all women, regardless of denomination and regardless of whether they go to church at all.

Child care will not be available. The church does have an elevator and bathrooms that are accessible to the handicapped.

This is the second Sister to Sister that the church has hosted.

Last years, which featured the Rev. Kari Jones, minister at Connection Community Church in Middletown, as speaker, was a sellout. Organizers are expecting that this year as well. Already, Hopkins said, more than 90 women have registered. Registration ends April 14, or until 250 women have signed up.

Last year, we all had such a good time, Hopkins said. I think that we all came away feeling like we were sisters.

The feedback that we got afterward was very encouraging, Slavens added. Women said that they were ready to take life on again.

Bond, the guest speaker, is a real estate agent with her husband, Jeff, at Ocean Atlantic Sothebys International Realty. Since 1993, she has led more than 200 retreats for women, couples and professionals, to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rehoboth Beach and Nova Scotia. Retreat topics have included Joy for the Journey, Sabbath Keeping and How to Make Your Marriage Great.

She is also involved with several committees at Epworth United Methodist Church, Rehoboth Beach.

Organizers are excited about this years Sister to Sister. And they are already thinking about next years.

We have a suggestion for a theme for Sister to Sister III, Dukes said. We are anticipating it already.

If you go The Sister to Sister II womens conference, Jesus said: I am the Bread of Life, will be Saturday, April 29, at St. Johns United Methodist Church, Seaford. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. and the service will start at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person, to cover the cost of the lunch. Registration closes April 14, or when 250 women have signed up. For more information, call the church, 629-9466.

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