The women’s ministry of the Community Church at Tellico Village hosted May 12 a first Coffee in the Courtyard to bring women together for friendship and fellowship.
New and returning members of the ministry gathered over a spread of baked goods, coffee and tea. Cold, windy weather forced the women to mingle inside the church instead of the courtyard.
Kathy Kutschera, women’s ministry leader, said the gathering provided a time to announce various events the nine women on the ministry team have planned for the year.
The Rev. Jennifer Brown, church associate pastor, leads the women’s ministry team alongside Kutschera. The group typically hosts several events a year but has been inactive since last spring due to COVID-19 concerns.
Brown said she’s excited to “reemerge” as COVID-19 slowly diminishes.
“We have a ‘Women of the Bible’ Bible study that’s going to happen this summer that we’re super excited about,” Brown said. “It’s open to the whole community, anybody who wants to come. We’re going to have a wonderful church tour come September, and that’s also open to the community. We’re going to be talking about the stained glass in the sanctuaries and what it all means and how it got here. ... Our biggest event is our women’s conference, which will be in October. We’re bringing in a nationwide known speaker named Margaret Feinberg. … She’s one of Christianity Today’s 40 most influential women.
“It’s going to be a really great time, and we’ll be sharing information about tickets as that gets closer,” she added. “The whole community once again is invited to that. This December is our annual Christmas tea, which is one of the most favorite events and ladies love it.”
Coffee in the Courtyard isn’t held every year, Brown said.
“It’s kind of just our first time gathering back together since most of our folks are vaccinated, so we just really wanted fellowship time,” she said. “Faith is just as much about community as it is doing all the Bible reading and formational-type stuff. We really felt like it was important to gather.”
The women’s team hosted last month a tour of homes in Sequoyah Hills along the Dogwood Trail and explored labyrinths in Knoxville, which Kutschera said was a hit.
“What we found out when we did the labyrinths and the walks, we had 30 people that day having brunch together,” Kutschera said. “It’s like, ‘Oh my gosh. I couldn’t wait to get out. I couldn’t wait to see people.’ And it’s really getting that connection of the women going again. That’s why we’re doing coffee in the courtyard.”
Judy Andrews, ministry member, said she enjoyed the trip and felt it was a good way to meet other church members.
“After a year of pandemic, we are really pleased to be together,” Andrews said. “We had an event last month that we did a Sequoyah Hills tour and labyrinths, and the women really enjoyed it and were so glad to be out together, and we’re trying to do it safely. … We’re trying to help the women of the church connect for friendship, fellowship, caring about each other and knowing each other. And we have a few mission projects also that we do. We have retreats for spiritual growth.”
Phyllis Marcy, ministry member, said last week’s gathering was a perfect time to become familiar with peers.
“Well, it’s wonderful because we’ve been locked down a year, and it’s nice to have fellowship with other believers, and we have a lot of new people come in,” she said. “… Our minister, Jennifer, she’s the one that has started all of this. … She really has a heart for this. It’s good for the women, especially after being locked down.”