Brownstown-Sefton News

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By Panzi Blackwell


“It’s Beginning Look a Lot Like Christmas”…

… here on the (relocated) Homestead. Bright red bows adorn the critters’ fences and bright red bows also adorn the ceramic critters on Cora’s Corner (deer; “Cloudy,” the white horse; SnowWhite Goose and Roseylee Duck).


The star is on our front door, the lighted garland is on the back door porch and our “greeters” at the driveway are wearing Santa Claus hats. (They are actually the straw figures from our F\fall decorations, which we affectionately named for our friends, “Flo & Shirley”). The little crocheted angel, which our friend, Lucille Fisher, made and gave to us is atop the little tree on the kitchen counter.

Coming Up in Our Community

Don’t forget – Caring & Sharing ….

… is once again preparing Christmas baskets for the Brownstown Community.

Needed are non-perishable food items, new toys, puzzles, games, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, socks, teen items, Christmas decorations, disposable dinnerware and monetary gifts to purchase perishable foods. All items are needed before Dec. 12. If you take them to church, have them there by this Sunday.            

Christmas Celebrations

United Methodist Church at Brownstown

• All-church Christmas potluck and program is Sunday at 6 p.m., with plates to shut-ins at 5 p.m., sponsored by UMW. Offerings go to United Methodist Village-Lawrenceville and UM Children’s Home in Mt. Vernon. Emanuel Church members are invited guests. 

First Baptist Church in Brownstown

• Sunday at 6 p.m.-children’s musical; the community is welcome.

• Dec. 15-adult Christmas cantata at 10:30 a.m. and again Dec. 22 at 6 p.m.

• Christmas Eve candlelight service at 7 p.m.   

Liberty Christian Church

• Dec. 14-Cookie exchange from 2-4 person. Each person is asked to take two dozen cookies and then they can take cookies home.

• Dec. 15-Rainbow Kids program.

• Dec.15-Christmas caroling.

• Dec. 18-4th of July at Christmastime.

• Dec. 24-Christmas Eve service at First Christian in Brownstown.

Sefton HCE Christmas Party

The December meeting will be Sefton’s Christmas gathering at 11:30 am on Dec. 12 at The Hitchin’ Post in Brownstown. Instead of taking a $5 gift, the unit voted each member could donate the $5 to the local food pantry. Members and guests are encouraged to call and make reservations for this Christmas party and can call Club Secretary Elizabeth Kasten by Sunday.

Golden Years Club

• Potluck Christmas dinner and $5 gift exchange will be held Dec. 10. For those who wish to participate in the gift exchange, women will bring a woman’s gift and men will bring a man’s gift. Pastor Don Thomas volunteered to bring a ham for the dinner, and members will bring side dishes.

Golden Years Club reminder – As is the custom, in December, there will be only one club meeting, which will be the Christmas dinner.

Thomas offered a reminder that the Fayette County Hospital Long Term Care Fundraiser bazaar and bake sale, on Dec. 16, needs items and baked goods. 

Food Pantry Items for December

Four cans of vegetables, 4 cans of fruit, but anything would be appreciated.

Coming & Going

Five-Generation Family Attends

Golden Years Thanksgiving

A special guest attended the recent Golden Years meeting. Ritchie Ray Feltner was present for the Golden Years’ Thanksgiving dinner. Accompanying him were great-great-grandmother Lenore Parkison, great-grandparents John and Carolyn Grames, grandmother Lisa Meyers and mother Lisa Meyers. 

Little Emily visits the Homestead

Great-granddaughter, 7-year-old Emily Gatewood, brought her Grandma Jill down to the Homestead from Decatur and spent the weekend with us. She helped tie the bows for the critter fences and decorated the corner. She tied the bows on the mother deer’s ears, put the “necktie” on the father deer’s neck,  and the bow on Snowwhite Goose and the ceramic horse, Cloudy.

She had announced when they first came Saturday that she wanted me and her to sit on the outside bench the next morning (Sunday) and drink our early-morning cocoa and coffee, which we did.

We bundled up, but it really wasn’t that cold and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. We heard some geese fly over and a few birds chirping, watched Betsy LongHorn and her bovine family waking up and heading for the hay bale, and just talked about things in general.

It’s great to look at your surroundings through the eyes of a child, and we should do that more often. Callie, the kitty, also enjoyed Emily’s visit as she got petted more than usual.

Josie, the little 13-year-old puppy, is a little afraid of small children, or maybe a little jealous. But all went well and I think all involved enjoyed Emily. I know we did.

Catching Up with the Puleos & Debbie

Ken & Wanda Puleo and Debbie McDonald went to Decatur on Nov. 24 to have dinner out with Ken’s sister and brother-in-law to celebrate the Bunfills’ anniversary.

Wednesday, the Puleos and Debbie met daughter Connie Meskil for an early Thanksgiving dinner out in Vandalia. They then went on to the turkey tournament at Mulberry Grove to watch Connie’s son, Brad, play for the Sandoval Blackhawks versus Patoka.

Thursday, they joined Mike and Tammy McDonald family for dinner and got to visit with the family, as well as enjoy a great meal. The McDonalds’ grandson, Landon, chose to wait until the following day to be born, but he was there nearby.

Sunday, they joined Matt and Kathy McConkey and daughters for another meal, which turned out to have been a collaboration of three of the five to prepare the main dish and dessert.

Fayette County HCE Board Meeting

Eleven members were in attendance for the Fayette County Home and Community Education monthly meetingon Nov. 25 at the Extension Office in Vandalia.

Club President Flo Allen opened the meeting with all joining in the pledge to the American flag.

Joyce Mueller, club secretary, took roll call and read the October minutes, which stood as read.

Dorothy Harpster, treasurer, gave the financial report.

Harpster also gave a copy of the report to each one present.

Phyllis Pryor, first vice president, had no report for the meeting. 

Anna Jean Rhodes, second vice, reported the membership remained at 113.

Anita Smith, community outreach officer, has endeavored to deliver shoes collected for the Shoe Ministry, as there was no deposit container available at the site last month.

Shirley Klitzing, international officer, reported she had contacted “The Scarf lady” (Glenna Taylor) and arranged an appearance at the club’s fundraiser, Get Acquainted Day, in April. 

Panzi Blackwell, public relations officer, reported the Fayette County HCE Baby Quilt Award article had appeared in two newspapers and would check with a third newspaper regarding running the article. She also praised the newspapers for their coverage of the Fayette County HCE news and events;

Debbie Segrest, family issues officer, reported on the nominations for The Great American Family. 

At Allen’s request, the date for the Christmas party was changed to Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 11 a.m. The smaller room was reserved at the Ponderosa in Vandalia. In lieu of $5 grab bag gifts, a collection will be taken as each member donates $5 to the Lighthouse Pregnancy Center in Vandalia.

Recently retired officers, Mary Smith and Debbie Swain, and the staff of the Vandalia Extension Office will be invited, as guests, with their meals covered by the club.

Present were: officers Allen, Klitzing, Harpster, Rhodes, Smith, Blackwell, Segrest, Joyce Mueller, Pryor, Joyce Moore, and member-at-large Evelyn Probst. Several had lunch at Denny’s in Vandalia following the meeting. 

First Baptist Church

The congregation of First Baptist Church of Brownstown was welcomed and led in prayer  by Ray Stafford, who also delivered the message in the absence of Dr. Olen Evans, who is recovering from an injury due to a fall.

The praise team – Maisy Howard, Tammy Barker, Deanna Kestner – was accompanied by: Ann Robertson-keyboard; Jerry Reed-trombone; Earl Crothers-guitar; Pierce Strobel-trumpet; Madison Howard-sound; and Angela Strobel-organ. 

Dan Carruthers, Rodney Deal, Martin Hasley and Tim Donals served as ushers.


• December items being collected for the Baptist Children’s Home: cleaning supplies. Place items in the basket in the foyer. There is a box in the library for non-perishable food items.

• Sunday school teachers meeting-Sunday, Dec. 22, at 5:30 p.m.

• Baptist Women will meet next Monday, from 6-8 p.m. Baby sitting will be provided.

• January Bible study is Jan. 5-9 for the book of Colossians.

College Graduate

Jessica Behrends is graduating from Southwestern Bible College on Dec. 13 in Bolivar, Mo.

United Methodist Church

Pianist Bette Stolte played the prelude as the congregation of the United Methodist Church gathered for Sunday morning worship. Hubert Williams and Bradley Schwarm served as ushers. Schwarm lighted the altar candles.

Pastor Don Thomas greeted all and shared the announcements, recognized birthdays and anniversaries, shared the prayer list and requests, and led in prayer.

Carol Severns and Flo Allen lighted the Advent candle.  

Thomas delivered the morning message, then gave the communion, assisted by Marlys Thomas. 

Jenna Townsend led the children’s worship and Allen led the adult class. 


• Dec. 15-March to the Manager, with a special offering.