Faulkner County Retired Teachers Association

The Faulkner County Retired Teachers Association met on December 19 at the Conway First Baptist Church activity center with 33 members in attendance. Co-President Arvil Burks called the meeting to order at 1:00 with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Co-President Janet Burks introduced guest speaker Judi Lively , Director of Bethlehem House, who spoke about the mission of the organization and the process of using its services.

Doretta Bright introduced Billy Hoover who played and sang popular holiday songs. He ended the program with a special song, "Have a Boogie Woogie Christmas," that he dedicated to Vernelle Crews.

Bob Broach said the blessing for the potluck luncheon.

Secretary Florene Phipps read the minutes of the November meeting, and Treasurer Jay Fortner gave the treasurer's report

Becky Singleton introduced the hosts and hostesses for the meeting: Jennie Webb, Doretta Bright, Judy McKnight, Connie Simpson, Elizabeth Rose Black and Vernelle Crews.

Hervey Galloway reported that 305 community service hours for the month were reported by members.

For the January meeting members were asked to bring protein items, cream soups, hamburger helper and hygiene items for the Conway Ministry Center.

Door prizes were won by Mary Kay Joslin, Ann Owens, Brenda Bray, Annette Greenland, Florene Phipps and Carol Powers.

The Arkansas Retired Teachers Association Area VI meeting will be held on April 30, 2018, and the FCRTA is in charge of registration.

The January meeting was cancelled due to the possibility of inclement weather. The February meeting will be held on February 20.

20th Century Club

The 20th Century Club met for their monthly meeting on Friday, January 19th, at The Hole in the Wall Cafe’ in downtown Conway. Presiding over the meeting was President Jan Spann who called the meeting to order and was followed by an opening prayer given by Chaplain Debbie McConkie.

A delicious buffet of chicken spaghetti, seasoned green beans, tossed salad, rolls and a variety of homemade desserts was enjoyed by the members while participating in a time of fellowship.

Next in order was roll call and reading of the minutes from the previous meeting by Secretary Virginia Benton. Twenty five members were present for January’s meeting. Becky Vint, treasurer, gave an update on club finances and reported that monetary donations had been sent to Renewal Ranch and My Next Chapter Book Club. Thank you notes from both groups had been received stating their sincere appreciation for the club’s donations. With there being no new business to conduct, committee reports were heard and the care committee will send cards to members who are currently under the weather. Hope to see these members back at the club meetings, soon!

Jan thanked today’s hostesses Janet Burks, Charlene Walthall and Ann York and announced that February hostesses are Nancy Henderson, Dorothy Westmoreland and Laurie Smith with Adair Howell serving as program chairman.

January’s program chairman, Debbie McConkie, then gave an uplifting and inspiring presentation on Fascinating Females of Faith. Debbie gave a description of the women in her life who had played an important part in her personal journey of faith, several of which were in attendance that day, and she shared that every person in the room was a Fascination Female of Faith. Thank you to Debbie for presenting such a delightful program!

With no further business to conduct, Jan announced that the next meeting would be Friday, February 16th at the same location and read the Quote of the Day which was by Tina Turner this month. The meeting was then closed with the reading of The Collect by the membership.

Conway Writing Group

The month of January was very interesting. The meetings have consisted of various personalities and types of writings; with many different backgrounds and viewpoints, there is never a dull meeting.

For instance during the month, we have heard from a new member, Mike, who contribute his introduction and life interests including his involvement with toy trains and being on the staff of “The Lions Roar” train magazine. After his second reading, one of the other members, June, read a personal remembrance titled “Railroad Dreams” , of how she loved with trains and how it affected her family life.

A reading by Joyce titled “Making Biscuits”, was cleaver. It involved how not to substitute in a recipe but somehow the end results were delicious. At the most recent meeting, Joyce read a short story of reminiscing of “A Pennsylvania Winter Weather” concerning how a young mother and her daughters endured cold weather in a northern climate. She also brought her granddaughter, Jill, to the meeting. Jill read her short interesting story about how her prolific tomato crop had to be use and called it “A Summer Tomato Emergency”.

Cecil read two of his writings which had been entered in contests and won with “Believing” and “Life is a switch”. Some members have chosen to read articles of interest such as Paula who read an article about Books of Revelation ancient texts showing layered writings. Another time Mike gave information about the 200 year anniversary of Mary Shelley and her “Frankenstein” book.

The New Year caused many to reflect on Christmas with Paula reading her writing of the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus as told from the viewpoint of the “Inn Keeper Story”. A very thought provoking story. Jean wrote an insightful commentary, “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Our leader, Bob is writing a series of articles about prominent Arkansas sports figures for the 501 magazine and reads these as he is completing them.

Kathy has been taking us on her travels to Italy when she was there last fall and has such descriptive words we can envision the various sights. But the most recent meeting, she had included some of her photos.

Our youngest (in age) member, Treece, has been writing poems and is currently revisiting his espionage book and exploring use of experimental prose by way of an interlude.

Several of the members have published books and articles but this is not a requirement. Just come for an interesting and encouraging time. We meet every Friday from 2:00 to 4:00 at the Ola and John Hawks Senior Center, 705 Siebenmorgen Road.