Finding a calling for Christian women

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A local women's group is trying to recruit new members to boost a decline in numbers.

LaDonia Beggs' family was going through a tough time when she joined a local Christian women's group nearly two decades ago.

Today, the Jackson woman credits the local chapter of Stonecroft Ministries with helping get her through that struggle. Beggs now chairs the ministries' Christian Women's Luncheons each month in Jackson. She and others in the group are trying to recruit more women to boost declining membership.

There are two local groups tied to Stonecroft Ministries, a nondenominational ministry for women based in Kansas City, Mo.

The first group, the one Beggs is involved in, meets once a month for lunch, music and guest speakers at the Elks Lodge. The second group, called the Women's Connection, also meets once a month, but in the evening for dinner. Smaller Bible study groups also meet regularly as part of the ministry.

Most of the women involved are in their early 60s, said Beggs.

"When I joined, my family was involved in bankruptcy, and a friend pointed to this club as another lift in relationship to church," said Beggs. "It's in no way an attempt to take away from church attendance, though."

Beggs said there are some 1,400 such groups meeting across the United States and Canada. Locally, the meetings also include a "cultural touch," covering everything from quilting to cosmetics.

"It's providing an opportunity to meet new friends and it's entertaining," said Beggs.

There are no dues, but money raised through the meals at each meeting help support Stonecroft Ministries.

"Women of all walks of life and faith are welcome to attend," said Beggs said. "There's no particular caliber of person involved."

cmiller@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 128

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