On Sunday, September 28, the two Circles of Presbyterian Women of North Church honored two special individuals with Lifetime Memberships in Presbyterian Women.
Speaking for Sarah Circle, Ellie McConnell cited how Mary Soom is one of many “unsung heroes” in the church. They are the people who do more than what is asked of them and do it frequently over the years, often volunteering without being asked.
Mary Soom has sewn costumes for Christmas pageants, cooked dinners for Friends of Night People, and worked on Habitat Women’s Build. She’s been on mission trips to New Orleans, becoming affectionately known as the “paint dictator” for her thoroughness in the task.
More recently she has been serving on the Mission Committee by keeping the minutes, being part of the Alternative Christmas Marketplace and helping organize the Giving Tree. Mary has also been very active in the Dress-a-Girl ministry. She has used her organizational skills to label cupboards and drawers in the church kitchen and to help reshape the manse in to the Family Justice Center.
Chris Gunther also received a Lifetime Membership Award. Presented by Heather Randall for Marty Shafer in absentia, Heather said Martha Circle’s candidate could be described as North’s “own chef”! She cited all the delicious meals Chris has prepared for her church family, such as the John Bell event and Pastor Bill’s Welcome Back luncheon, and for others such as Presbytery meetings and soup kitchens.
Heather noted, however, that there’s much more to Chris than cooking great food. She first came to North Church to bring her mother to church. Chris cared for her aging parents for more than 14 years. Also, Chris is a vital part of the choir. She has served on the worship committee, finance committee, and is currently on Session.
Some may not know that during annual Christmas pageants Chris is the original “shepherd boy police”! Each December she keeps the little shepherd boys and the Three Kings grounded “with their feet on the floor and their bottoms on their chairs…not an easy task!”
Thank you to Mary Soom and Chris Gunther for giving of their many gifts to further the mission of North Church, Presbyterian Women, and the PC(USA). Presbyterian Women began the tradition in 1912 of awarding these lifetime memberships as a way of honoring church members for their commitment to Christ and the mission of the church, as well as the purposes of Presbyterian Women, which are: to nurture faith through prayer and Bible study, to support the mission of the church worldwide, to work for justice and peace, and to build an inclusive, caring community of women that strengthens the PC(USA) and witnesses to the promise of God’s Kingdom.