United Methodist Women celebrate spring

By KATHY COPELAND / Community Columnist

Spring has sprung. Well, not quite, but you couldn’t tell that at the Harpersville United Methodist Church on Saturday. Women from Harpersville and Vincent decorated tables with everything spring, from flowers to butterflies to bunnies for their annual luncheon fundraiser.

Appreciation for the creativity that went into the table decorations was evident with the “oohs” and “ahs” as the ladies made their way around the room.

“A lot of work and love went into these tables and they are gorgeous,” said Cindy Garrison of Vincent.

About 75 ladies from Harpersville, Vincent, Wilsonville and surrounding communities attended the festive event. They enjoyed the beauty of the tables, fellowship and a delicious lunch, all while being inspired by keynote speaker Joyce E. Brooks.

An author and motivational speaker, Brooks said she wants to encourage women to stand firm on their faith even in the bad times. “

My message is simple,” she said. “It Ain’t Over!” Referencing Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, she explained that just like in nature, we too experience different seasons in life. Having been in the corporate world for over two decades and now managing partner of her consulting business, she understands life can be overwhelming.

Brooks emphasized the importance of having peace in life.

“It is important to avoid stress,” she said. “Keep in mind, just as there are seasons on the calendar, we have seasons in life.”

Joyce E. Brooks is a mother of two boys. She lost her husband about four years ago and is a breast cancer survivor who then got shingles, and yet she lives by the motto “It Ain’t Over!,” which is also the title of her book that is part-memoir and part-motivational commentary. While sharing what she calls the winter seasons in her life, she recalled when the challenges seemed insurmountable, but she declared, “It’s not over unless you believe it’s over. Everyone has problems. Our attitude makes us different. How we choose to react.  And whether we believe God’s promises.

“Find peace in your life ladies,” she continued. “She then referred to Scripture, quoting, “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

“It doesn’t say after you wash the clothes or after your problems go away,” she added.

In keeping with the theme of the luncheon, Brooks continued to highlight seasons of life.  “You might be in a winter life season, but God is already working on something to blossom in your spring season” she said.

“This was such fun, inspirational and we raised a record amount of money for our children’s home,” said Patti Copeland.

“This was truly a blessed day,” said Cindy Johnson of Harpersville. “It was truly gracious of Ms. Brooks to donate her honorarium back to us.”

Profits from this event will benefit the United Methodist Children’s Home. The Methodist Women of Vincent and Harpersville meet monthly. Anyone interested in attending can contact president Cindy Johnson at (205) 573-9844.