One-hundred and ten women — and a few men — gathered at the Rotary Log Pavilion last week for the 50th anniversary meeting of the Grays Harbor Christian Women’s Connection.
Originally started in 1963 by Stonecroft ministries, a Christian organization founded in the late 1930s, the local group still retains a few of the original members, as well as those who have remained in the group for decades.
Board members — led by Joan Kuns, a member since she moved to the area six years ago — spoke to those who had gone before them and managed to keep the group intact. Cupcakes and balloons adorned the room and women socialized and listened to music from fellow Stonecroft ministries’ member, Linda Brooks who sang, “The Way We Were,” and “He’s been Faithful to Me,” for the crowd and received much applause. They also heard piano music as they settled into their seats from pianist and member, Roberta Cleland.
Most of those there were from the Grays Harbor area, but some traveled to be there — including a woman who came from Iowa specifically to attend the 50th anniversary.
Kuns said the group serves not only as a chance for women to get together and socialize, but also as a support group in times of need. “We’ve gotten to be so private, it’s just a great opportunity to be involved, to be able to be in a group of people that you really know,” she said.
Once a month a group of 10 or 12 individuals (usually board members) gather at the home of a person in need — those who are dealing with extreme illness or other hardships — or on their own and pray for the individual. In an age when finding a supporting ear to listen is rare, having a group of women there specifically to aid one’s cause is a blessing, said Kuns.
“Sometimes being able to express something to a group of people can be extremely helpful,” she said.
Kuns said they hope to extend the regular meetings, which are held once a month during lunchtime, to a possible night meeting or weekend meeting in order to incorporate a younger crowd.
“So many of them work, it’s hard for them to attend now,” she said.
The members also heard a speech from Stonecroft Regional Administrator, Victoria LaMar of Lake Stevens, who told an inspirational story of her life, including multiple layoffs of her husband and the trials and tribulations of motherhood and poverty.
“I wanted a home like was on TV, like Donna Reed,” she said, contrasting the stereotypes of motherhood she saw on television, versus the realities of raising her three children. “ Remember how she’d walk around in her heels?”
She told the audience how her faith helped her through these times and helped her to raise three successful children. Around 70 people usually attend their monthly meetings held at the pavilion, member Jeanie Logston told The Daily World.
The monthly meetings require reservations as well as cancellations, and those interested in attending are advised to call Jeanette at (360) 532-7998 or Joan at (360)249-1900. Complimentary daycare for children 1 to 12 years old is provided by reservation only.