Evergreen Outreach-Feb. 17, 2011

By Edith Elliott

Monday was Valentine’s Day, and EO was all about love. Everyone seems to be so pleased to be back in Wesley Hall after previous cancellations due to ice and snow.
The volunteers really outdid themselves. Marie Sutton decorated each table with pots of variegated pink roses, with green netting placed on white paper doilies. They served drinks and cookies decorated with red hearts.
Bill Beard, with his magic balloons, made many heart-shaped balloons for wall and table decorations, and later made many for guests.
Debbie Lovall, a volunteer at Vandalia Rehab, made nice large valentines for everyone. Director of activities at Vandalia Rehab, Eleanor McNutt, praised Debbie as a most- valued helper.
Phyllis Rames welcomed everyone,  enveloping guests in a warm greeting of love.
The Rev. Tom Farris, from First Church of God, gave the devotional – a very fitting one for Valentine's Day. He said that Valentines remind us of love.
He asked the question, “What is encouragement?” One guest said it was telling someone to “keep going.” The pastor agreed.
Barnabas, whose name means “courage,” was an encourager. Each person has a purpose to serve, please and share with others.
With all the snow and ice this year, many of us became discouraged. Farris shared that he slipped on the ice. And as he has gotten older, he finds that getting up gracefully is no longer an option.
Barnabas was called to be an encourager, but God had to teach Paul how to be one. He was empowered by Jesus after his misguided past. He and Barnabas formed the first “Christian” church at Antioch.
To be an encourager, one has to: 1. Make things happen. Have a vision and be available to be used. 2. We hear and we believe. We need to check it out – not be hearers only. 3. Realize that there will always be people who appose us. 4. Help other people do good things.
What’s your business? Be an encourager.
After prayer, Farris wished everyone a happy Valentine's Day.
Rames also gave her best wishes to everyone, and reminded us how Beard bought all the balloons and shaped them into hearts for guests.
Norma Sarver was our only first-timer. She is with Vandalia Rehab. Welcome,  Norma.
Brenda, from Greenville, displayed and told about the scarves and hats that she makes. They were of many colors, and were very attractive.
McNutt introduced Ivan Swofford, who lost his leg in the Korean War. He is very musical, and he learned to play the ukulele at 5 years old. He still loves music and is very active at Vandalia Rehab.
Rames led everyone in the “Welcome" and "EO” songs, while children from First United Methodist Church's preschool came in. They each told their names, and Beard gave each of them a balloon.
Birthdays acknowledged were Dorothy Hall and Cindy Hunter, 14th; Tonya Robinson, 16th; Jennifer Kistler, 21st; Eddie George and Edna Penny, 27th; and Debbie Lovall and Don Carpenter, 29th.
Pinochle players Rosamond Hobler and Peggy Lippold had two wins, while  Richard Kruenegel and Shirley Locke had one.
Thanks to Donna Smith, who greeted us with many familiar old tunes on the piano at the beginning of EO and throughout the program.
There will be no EO next Monday, because it is President’s Day. On Feb. 28, Patty Sprague will entertain as Mrs. Pockets.

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