Ladies from across Kiowa County gathered for a Christmas breakfast at Barclay College, fulfilling a dream of Shirley Binford Mendenhall.
The Haviland Friends Church Ladies Ministries group hosted their first “Come to the Table Holiday Celebration” for all ladies in the area this weekend at the new Ross-Ellis Fine Arts Center at Barclay College in Haviland.
“This was not just for our church ladies,” said Lori Binford who suggested the idea to the churches group. “This was an outreach event for us to connect with every lady in the area, it wasn’t about one church or one town.”
Binford said the group felt it was important to unite the ladies from all the cities in the county and thought this was a great way to do it.
Binford actually got the idea from Shirley Binford Mendenhall who died earlier this year. Mendenhall was raised in Haviland but married a minister and moved away several years ago. Still greatly loved by the community, the ladies of the church chose this year to honor her ministry mission of loving and sharing with people by executing her suggestion to Binford.
The theme for the event “Come to the Table,” celebrated the differences in each lady, as ladies from all over the community were asked to host a table.
“The hostessed were not just ladies from the Friends Church,” Binford said. “We wanted to reach out to anyone from the tri-city county area who wanted to participate.”
The hostess was responsible for decorating their table. To do so they brought their own china, tablecloths and centerpieces from home, with many bringing special antiques and sentimental items to display as well as bringing a dessert for their table to share.
There was also a separate area where various volunteers displayed several different nativities from all over the world, displaying all different countries nativity sets.
Hot cocoa and cider were available as the ladies strolled through the displays.
“This is a celebration of our differences,” said Brockie Follette, pastor’s wife of the Friends Church. She opened the program with scripture from Psalms 133 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” She reminded the ladies that are all as different the different tables that are displayed, to the shoes we wear. It was an evening of just relaxing and highlighting the ladies talents.
Various door prizes were given away throughout the night. After the meal of chicken and noodles, chili, bread, and relish tray prepared by Wanda and Tracy Monaghan, Doris Ferguson shared memories of Christmas of her years on the mission field in Africa. The ladies then gathered in the auditorium to hear the Greensburg United Methodist Church Faith Ringing Bell Choir, Susan Brown, Darise Fillmore, Pat Barnes, Jean Mckinney, Jan Case, Sharon McDonald, Young Ju, Jan West, Paige Tyree, Kerri Ulrich, Thomas Derstein and director Mitzi Hesser.
The three woman who spearheaded the event were Lori Binford, Kaye Hardinger and Lori Larsh. There were 23 tables hosted, with 145 ladies in attendance and at least seven different churches in the county represented. Planners hope to make this an annual event only next year it will be in November before Thanksgiving. They will still be asking volunteers to feature their table decor in a holiday style and if anyone is interested in hosting a table next year it isn’t too early to sign up.
“Our mission isn’t about celebrating one church or one city,” Binford said. “It’s about coming together and celebrating the birth of Christ and that is what we did.”