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Bazaar a time of fellowship at church

November 03, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

MARLOWE, W.Va. - When the fall colors appear, Ruby Reed knows it's time for her annual tour of holiday craft shows to look for decorations and gifts.

She began Saturday at the 14th annual Christmas in the Country bazaar at Harmony United Methodist Church near Marlowe.

"I enjoy seeing Christmas crafts every holiday season," Reed said.

She sat at a table with her husband, Daniel, who said he just came for the food.

The Reeds, who live in Cedar Lawn just west of Hagerstown, sampled the steamers, the homemade vegetable soup and the peanut butter fudge. "The fudge alone was worth the trip," Ruby Reed said.

The event started out as a fund-raiser but Pastor Ray Roberson said it has become more than that.

"The primary benefit is the fellowship," said Roberson, who is in his seventh year as pastor at Harmony, which is on U.S. 11. He said getting people through the doors and inside the church is the key to attracting them as worshippers.

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Lori Conner co-chaired the bazaar committee with Pat Deener. Conner said each year the committee chooses the beneficiary of the bazaar proceeds, depending on need.

"This year, it's going to the general fund for numerous projects such as our new kitchen, repairs to the building and the purchase of tables and chairs," Conner said.

Harmony was expanded recently to hold its growing congregation.

"Before we built the new sanctuary five years ago, you had to come early just to get a seat," Conner said.

Beginning with breakfast, which is always a big hit, there were between 100 and 125 people through the doors to enjoy the home cooking provided by members of the Ganoe Friendship Sunday school class.

Harmony member Carol White said she donates and helps out on the day of the bazaar.

"I also buy things; that helps, too," she said.

Inside and out, there were 42 vendors, 10 more than last year, Conner said.

Donna Honaker of Hedgesville, W.Va., who came to the show on the advice of a friend, was there for her first time and was glad she came.

"I found two scented candles, a teddy bear and a snowman," Honaker said. "I'm very pleased."

In some instances, the occasion was a family affair.

Betty Stilwell is a member of the church and was helping out from start to finish.

"My brother, Bill Hull, makes the ice cream," she said.

Stilwell's daughter, Carrie Bowers, was there, as were Stilwell's granddaughter, Chastity Bowers, and her great-granddaughter, Madison Alexis, just 2 weeks old.

Carrie Bowers said her main reason for attending the bazaar was to help her daughter get some Christmas decorations now that she has a place of her own. But there was another goal in mind when they set out for the church Saturday.

"I love my mom's chicken corn soup. But I have to come here and buy it to get it," Bowers said.

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