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Woman’s Club memberships grow

By DAWN HANKINS - dhankins@t-g.com
Posted 5/21/22

Shelbyville Woman’s Club met May 11 at River Bend Country Club. Incoming president for the year, Miriam Pietkiewicz, announced the club has 38 new members.  

Guest speaker was author, …

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Woman’s Club memberships grow


Shelbyville Woman’s Club met May 11 at River Bend Country Club. Incoming president for the year, Miriam Pietkiewicz, announced the club has 38 new members.  

Guest speaker was author, missionary and beekeeper, Mary Jane Miller, of Normandy.  

SWC member Pam Birtcil introduced Miller as someone she’s known since a church conference in Shelbyville a few years ago.  

“I learned a great deal from her. I have her books. And I think she’s a great person.”  

Birtcil said she realized as everyone came in for the meeting that many already know Miller. She advised how Miller brings with her immeasurable teaching experience as author an as a missionary.  

“For almost 20 years, she’s worked in the ministry, fostering disciples, teaching and writing,” said Birtcil. She has shared God’s word abroad with youth . . . locally and nationally through her church, Bible study groups, lectures and conferences. 

Birtcil pointed out the author is also well known as a local beekeeper. She now incorporates her beekeeping experiences into her writing.  

Miller’s first book was titled, “Lessons from the Hive,” which became an award-winner with the Oregon Christian Writers’ Conference. She has also authored a book titled, “Life Lessons from a Rescue Dog.” Miller autographed books for SWC members following her talk.  

In other SWC business, new leadership was introduced. Mary Ann Davis, outgoing SWC president, said, “I hope you’ve felt the love I have for you. It’s because I love you, that I was able to do this.” She thanked her executive committee and committee chairs, which she said “made her look good.”  

“You are the ladies of Shelbyville who’ve made this City great.” She said being SWC president is a challenging job many times.  

She thanked younger SWC members, Diandra Womble, Whitney Collier and Yolanda Flick for stepping up to help the scholarship program. They volunteered in the Optimist Club’s doughnut sale last August during the horse show.  

Davis read from I Corinthians 13. “Did you realize that the very last phrase in the group of scripture is: love always perseveres. That was our secret ingredient last year. We had our meetings with love . . . . You’ve shown me so much love this year and I hope you show Mrs. Miriam and her chairs, executive committee, the same love you’ve given me this past year. It [the word love] pretty well summed up what this year has meant to me. It’s all been about love.”  

Davis assisted then during a memorial candle lighting service for those SWC members who passed within the last year. Also assisting in that service were Deborah Bates and Billie Crowell.  

Davis said the four ladies who have passed also made many contributions to the betterment of Shelbyville and Bedford County. SWC recognized Juanita Hastings; GeorgeAnn Pratt; Wanda Stewart (former classmate of Billie Crowell.) Deborah Bates lit the candle in memory of her late sister-in-law, Denise “Punkin” Graham. There was a moment of silence.  

Sylvia Pinson gave the devotion. She referred to The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12. She explained how each looks at a different circumstance of life and how “Christians are blessed through their faith.” She read, “The Beatitudes of the Gardner.”  

Pinson said, “Blessed are the ants for they remind me to be industrious and not leave my lunch on the garden seat.”  

In closing the devotion, Pinson said on a more serious note, “Most of all, bless-ed is The Great Gardener, our God, who made all the earth to be our garden.”  

She led a prayer, reciting The Beatitudes from the Bible. Incoming president Miriam talked about “grace” which she said is the word-of-the-year.  

“Grace is often thought of as a woman’s elegance or her refinement or even how she carries herself. We often think of a ballerina, when we hear graceful. However, the definition that led me to choose this . . . can be called the elegance of our actions— in what we do and how we treat others. There are other ways of explaining grace. It can be called favor or goodwill that we choose to show toward others. It’s composed of love, of extending love to others, and showing kindness to others—even when it might not be deserved or returned.”  

She said the word grace is for her year on the horizon.