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Pastor Don Towle leads a group of approximately 30 ladies in a prayer shortly before a delicious meal was served at the third annual “Widow’s Luncheon,” held Oct. 13 at Wesleyan Church of Chester. Photo by Stacy Fisher

Annual Widow’s Luncheon hosted by Wesleyan Church

The third annual “Widow’s Luncheon” was held at Wesleyan Church of Chester on Oct. 13 by invitation to honor widows living in Chester and the Almanor Basin, providing a place for fellowship and to recognize that they are not alone in their grief.

The theme of the luncheon was “Honoring Marriage Memories.”

The mood remained upbeat during the solemn occasion, as Pastor Don Towle led the group of approximately 30 ladies in a prayer shortly before a delicious meal was served, featuring pork tenderloin, rice pilaf, sweet potato, green salad and a dinner roll, cooked up by Pastor Don, Cheryl Dufay and Wanda Floyd. Plus a wedding cake for dessert was baked by Karen Lichti and decorated by Sherry Johnston. Guests also received a gift of chocolates.

Pastor Don has ministered the Wesleyan Church congregation since Jan. 1 of 2016, and together with others has been coordinating outreach programs to community members to increase awareness of the church’s spiritual mission.

Along with an annual free lunch for area widows, programs include free sewing classes overseen by his wife Andrea, and vice chair on the Wesleyan Church’s board of directors Ginger Stratford, to help needy girls worldwide, as well as host culinary events open to the local public.

Pastor Don said the luncheon is all about following God’s teachings to “take care of the widows and the orphans.”

He said the women expressed to him afterward how much they enjoyed the yearly affair.

Stratford also spoke to those in attendance about her own multi-year journey as a widow, while widow Mary Cassol, who had been married longest at 69 years, received a bouquet of flowers.

The ladies were invited to bring their wedding dresses to exhibit around the room, as well as cake toppers from their own marriage cakes, plus wedding portraits and other memorabilia that were used to decorate the tables.

It was very interesting to see a variety of wedding dresses from different decades on display, said Stratford.

Everyone who attended had a list of questions to share from their engagements through wedding plans placed on each table. Stratford said it was fun to hear their personal stories.

Winter clothing giveaway

As part of Wesleyan Church’s tradition this time of year, warm winter clothing is being donated at the church location on the corner of Frost and Gay streets Saturday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, including items such as adult and children’s winter coats, knitted caps, gloves and winter boots. One item each per person is offered.

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