The Arlene Merritt Circle is a group of women who belong to the unit of Vestal United Methodist Women and meet as a small group monthly at the church. There are over 20 members as of March 2021. There are single women, married women, mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers. There is plenty of room for more!
The circle began in the late 1970’s when the Roberta Schaffer Circle (now evolved to the Red Bird Mission Circle) grew too large to have meetings in homes. A decision was made to “split” the membership and those who left formed the Arlene Merritt Circle. The group was named after Deaconess Arlene Merritt of the Wyoming Conference (now Upper New York Conference). Arlene died in April of 2016 but the group has continued the use of her name.
They do not meet in Jan., Feb., or Mar., since several members are snowbirds. They do meet in the summer months. Presently they meet the 3rd Mondays at 1 pm. Programs vary – some informative; some social; and some project oriented. As of January 2021, our officers are Cinda Gausman, Chair; Lana Roske, Vice-Chair; Cheryl Papa, Secretary-Treasurer; and Ruth Mitchell, Hospitality. Everyone is working on increasing membership.
All Vestal UMW circles have strong mission emphases. Arlene Merritt Circle puts together Church World Service Health Kits using donated funds. They also have been working with Red Bird Mission Circle to provide social opportunities for Ardsley House, a division of the Children’s Home. The members also help with the church Rummage Sale when it is held; and supports the unit where needed, both financially and with ready hands. Social events such as an annual picnic give old and new members a chance to get to know one another better.
We cordially invite other women of the church to join us. Contact persons are Cinda Gausman – 757-0164; Cheryl Papa – 748-6075; or Lana Roske – 239-5029 (all landlines).