A wide array of small organizations call the Stettler United Church their home and on Saturday, Sept. 10, the church threw open its doors in an open house to let the public know about the many small groups that work within.
Between 2-4 p.m., visitors could check out different groups like Scrappers Unite, Luv2Read, the Drum Circle, Church Mice, Knitting/Crocheting Prayer Shawls and the Stettler Food Bank.
While the groups are based out of the United Church’s hall, the organizations aren’t necessarily religious, Scrappers Unite leader Gayle Tennant said.
People can join the groups regardless of their religious beliefs, as the groups are about the hobby or craft rather than preaching the Christian faith. Everyone who comes to the groups are of course welcome to come to services, Tennant said, but people shouldn’t feel that they are being forced to, or obligated to, should they join one of the small groups.
Scrappers Unite, a scrapbooking group, welcomes people of all talents and ages, meaning that on any given scrapbooking weekend, there can be grandkids to grandparents, and people who don’t have an idea what goes into the hobby to those who are old hats.
“The mission (of the small groups) is to have another way to bring people together,” Tennant said. “(It can) create a sense of community around a hobby and interest.”
Tennant is the church’s librarian and also leads the Luv2Read group, a book club that runs from September to April. Each month, the group reads a book and then comes together to discuss it, with the books for the coming year chosen at the end of the present year.
For September, the group is reading Birdie by Tracey Lindburg. The group partners with the Stettler Public Library, which helps Luv2Read members get their hands on the books for the month.
“Crystal (Friars) is a Wonder Woman,” Tennant said, praising the librarian’s adept skills at getting hard-to-acquire books in for Luv2Read members.
People who came to take in the myriad number of groups were also treated to snacks and many, both known and new, enjoyed the food prepared by the church’s ladies, as well as renewing or forging new friendships.
Pam Blake, the Stettler United Church board chairperson, said that a number of new people came in to check out the groups. However, the day was a “nice way” for members to reconnect after the summer break.
“It was a joyful day,” she said.