darlene williams

Saturday, January 19, 2002

Between holiday bazaars and decorations, fellowship dinners and weekly Bible studies, the ladies at Third Street United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau stay busy beyond the Sunday worship time.

Though the church is small, its membership remains active, said Darlene Williams, who handles publicity for the United Methodist Women, a group that meets on the third Tuesday of each month.

"We're always trying to reach out to the community and always welcoming new people," she said.

A country store tucked away in the building's basement houses handmade crafts sold throughout the year and at the Christmas bazaar -- pillows, place mats, handbags and homemade jellies cover a tabletop and shelves.

Williams contributes much of the jellies, which she makes during the summer.

The ladies group also added a jar of dry goods that can be used to make cowboy cookies, a mix of chocolate chip and oatmeal. The cookie ingredients will be given to people who visit the church for worship, Williams said.

Since the Rev. Janet Hopkins has come to the church, it seems like the congregation has come alive, Williams said. Hopkins has been pastor at Third Street for three years.

The church relies on its membership to complete its ministry to the community and each other, Williams said.

"We're a small church and sometimes it's hard for us, but we do it," she said.

The church donated vacation Bible school material, Bibles, hymnals and other material to Dr. C. John and Marcia Ritter, who served as missionaries for the Methodist church.

Other ministry programs include donations to FISH and denomination missions.

Know someone to feature in "People in the pews"? Call Religion editor Laura Johnston at 335-6611, extension 126, or e-mail her at ljohnston@ semissourian.com.

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