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Ginger Stratford, Chester Wesleyan Church board vice chair, standing center, hosted a gathering in the communal room at the church Feb. 16, as an opportunity for guests to socialize as part of the church’s winter community outreach event, playfully called the Mug & Muffin Exchange. Photo by Stacy Fisher

Mug, muffin exchange at Wesleyan Church

Chester Wesleyan Church Board of Directors Vice-Chair Ginger Stratford hosted a gathering of 34 women in the communal room at the church at 263 Gay St. in Chester on Feb. 16, providing an opportunity for guests to socialize as part of the church’s winter community outreach event, playfully called the Mug & Muffin Exchange.

The occasion, with “Love” as the theme, started with an invitation for guests to introduce themselves. Then Stratford delivered a welcome address followed by an explanation of the morning’s activities that entailed each of the women swapping muffins and mugs that they were asked to bring to the social encounter.

Stratford shared that the primary purpose of the get-together was that, “We felt a need to gather today in the midst of the winter to fellowship and enjoy the company of friends. … It’s a time to feel, see, and experience” the “glorious” winter season and to “rejoice in God’s creation,” to quote just a portion of her introduction.

After the address, Stratford read a children’s book, “If You Give a Moose a Muffin,” with the women cued to pass their mug and muffin to the person to the right when she read a specifically agreed to word, namely “He’ll,” from the storyline.

Once the story ended, the ladies enjoyed coffee and a muffin using their new mug, while participating in a crafting experience constructing a heart-shaped paper pocket, using a doily and stickers that they filled with candy and a scriptural poem provided by the church.

In addition, each of the six tables received a small 100-piece puzzle to complete as a group. They were then given a page of scripture that they were asked to write a story from, incorporating elements from the biblical text connected with their puzzles.

Stratford explained that, “The overall idea for the activities was so that ladies from the local community who didn’t know one another could be entertained, share some moments of fellowship and make new friends.”

Everybody reported that they thoroughly enjoyed attending the program, she said. At the end of the two-and-a-half-hour festivities, “The ladies told me they were pleased to have gotten out during the winter” despite the cold, “and were able to socialize and meet new people.”

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