United Methodist Women at St. Stephen’s Church

Our Purpose:  The organized unit of United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in global ministries of the church. Membership is open to any woman who indicates her desire to belong and to participate in the Global Mission of the Church through the United Methodist Women.

UMW is open to all women in the church and our activities include six circles (including a teen circle and an e-mail circle called the New Dimension Circle), a Bible Study, a book club, the Creative Hearts, Creative Hands sewing group (which includes the Prayer Shawl Ministry), an annual Women’s Weekend retreat, and the Maranatha Singers.  For more information on any of our activities please pick up a blue UMW Activity Sheet in the Gathering Place or on the UMW Bulletin Board or visit our Connect Page and fill out our online contact form.

Report on Recent St. Stephen’s UMW events

UMW held an Advent Ornament Exchange on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 2-4 pm.  All UMW members and potential members were invited to come to the church parking lot and get an angel ornament from the Christmas tree and a small goodie bag.  The ornament had a person’s name on it to pray for in the coming season and year to come.  For certain members who are unable to attend, arrangements were made to pick up ornaments.  The tradition of an ornament exchange exists from past Advent Coffees; this modification of the tradition enabled our group to keep this fun practice going!

A second part of the plan for Christmas celebrations was a Christmas Tea and Tree social event via Zoom on Saturday December 19 starting at 1pm.  UMW members and other women in the church joined this celebration from the comforts of their home.  This celebration included past members who have moved far and wide!

The next UMW board meeting will be held on via Zoom on January 25 at 9:30 AM where Patti Keppler will officially take the reins as the new UMW president.

January 2021 :  A variety of ways to get involved with UMW

Betty Whitehurst Circle: The Betty Whitehurst Circle will meet via Zoom on Monday, January 11th at 4:00 pm.  If you would like to join us, contact Rue Nunnally (703-323-7244) or Nancy Hoyler (703-250-5013) for the meeting link.

Faithful Friends Circle: The Faithful Friends Circle will meet by Zoom on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 7:30.  Suzanne Bottoms will present the UMW Pledge program.  For more information, visit our Connect  Page and fill out our online contact form.

Frances Allen Circle: The Frances Allen Circle will meet Thursday, January 14th from 9:30 A.M. –  10:30 A.M. via ZOOM. Our program will be concerning UMW Membership and will be led by Betty Ann Van Matre. We welcome all guests and prospective members to contact Nancy Collier at nfc611@verizon.net by the day before the meeting to receive the Zoom information. Our March meeting will be a discussion of the book, American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. For more information, please contact Nancy Collier  or Priscilla Parrott  by visiting  our Connect Page and filling out our online contact form.

 Teen Circle:  The Teen Circle will meet on Sunday, January 3rd from 10-11 am.  The program will be New Year’s Resolutions.  For more information please contact Betty Baumgartner or Kathryn Jedlika   by visiting  our Connect Page and filling out our online contact form.

Service4Others (S40):  Service 4 Others will be participating in another mission opportunity in January.  For further information please contact Cindy Sbrocco or Kathy Hennemuth by visiting  our Connect Page and filling out our online contact form.

 New Dimension Circle: Please help spread the word! This group is for all women of our church – in any season of life – who might not be able to participate in UMW in person or on a regular basis, but who would like to feel connected to current UMW activities at St. Stephen’s, in our District, and beyond. We invite you to help us grow – you can join and encourage others to join the New Dimension Circle email list for a monthly update and occasional additional emails about specific events, opportunities, or prayer concerns. Contact Laurie Perry by visiting  our Connect Page and filling out our online contact form.

Creative Hearts, Creative Hands:  The Prayer Shawl / Comfort Quilt sub-group is busy sharing our handiwork with those who have experienced a serious illness or death in the immediate family.  We would LOVE to have additional people assist us in making knit or crochet shawls or lap-gans (lap-sized Afghans) and lap-sized sewn Comfort Quilts for both men and women.  Please contact Judy Ryan or Nancy Dubiell  by visiting  our Connect Page and filling out our online contact form.

Wednesday Women’s Bible Study (same as Monday Women’s Bible Study):   We begin a wonderful new book for Advent focus.  Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado will arrive at a time when we need rejuvenation.  Wednesday 9:30-11am on Zoom is where you find supportive, fun Bible Babes ready to share with each other — one chapter per week.  Also, come on Friday 10:30-11:30 am to  Zoom-versation (Fight Isolation) chat time with no agenda or homework.  Come join!  Invite a church friend, too, just to come on and hang out and to say hi to friends Contact Patti Kepplerby visiting  our Connect Page and filling out our online contact form.

 UMW Reading Program:  Sleep, Pray, Heal:  A Path to Wholeness and Well-Being, by Donna Fado Ivery.  A minister suffered traumatic brain injury when a large, heavy piece of glass fell on her head.  This is the story of how she struggled to find healing.  Words did not come easily to her after the accident, and, to deal with this, she produced several paintings to express her thoughs and feelings.  This book is on the Recommended Reading List.  There is a second book, titled, Sleep, Pray, Fly:  Spirit Journey to Healing, which is Part 2 of her story.

 UMW Board Meeting:  The UMW Board will meet by Zoom on Monday, January 25th, 2021.  For questions contact Patti Keppler or Debbie Eshelman  by visiting  our Connect Page and filling out our online contact form.

2021 UMW Officers, UMW Charitable Gifts for 2020, UMW Christmas Activities,:  During the November UMW board meeting, the members voted on a new slate of officers for 2021.  They are:  Patti Keppler – President, Debbie Eshelman – Vice President, Wendi Prothero – Secretary, and Judy Ryan – Treasurer.  The board also agreed to donate money to five local charities this year.  Each of the following charities received a $100 donation:  Lamb Center, Rising Hope, Facets, Fairfax Fish, and SSUMC Preschool.  It was also announced that our UMW chapter achieved the UMW “Living into Our Purpose 2020 Bronze Level” award this year.

The next UMW board meeting will be held on via Zoom on January 25 at 9:30 a.m., during  which Patti Keppler will officially take the reins as the new UMW president.