Speaker Date Topic
Catherine "Cat" Stokes Jun 18, 2024 12:00 PM
Women at the Well

DRC Sponsor: Alan Lerstrom

People enter the ministry from a variety of career paths, and Catherine "Cat" Stokes came to the First United Methodist Church in Decorah with a strong science background as she has degrees in microbiology and chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa and Simpson College. She has worked in management and as a pharmacy technician at Walmart while completing an Masters of Divinity Degree from St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, MO. She was ordained by the Iowa Annual Conference in June 2023, and currently is serving in her third appointment.

While she was a student, Cat began to volunteer with “Women at the Well,” a United Methodist congregation located within the walls of the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women (ICIW) in Mitchellville, IA. The congregation is composed of a diverse community of women incarcerated at ICIW and many volunteers from outside the walls who regularly support the ministries and programs. According to Paul Witmer, Pastor of Women at the Well, “A weekly worship service allows the women to share in the teachings of Jesus Christ, and to experience the life transforming Spirit of God.” The reach of this church and congregation does not stop at the walls of the prison but continues into our very own communities. Come and learn more about a segment of Iowa’s population that we often do not consider.

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**Please complete your meal sign-up prior to the meeting, preferably not later than close of business Monday. Our face-to-face meeting Tuesday noon meeting will be hosted at the VFW, unless otherwise noted.**

Pat Seckar and Ferneva Brimacomb Jun 25, 2024 12:00 PM
The Historic Locust School

DRC Sponsor: Alan Lerstrom

Pat Seckar and Ferneva Brimacomb will be sharing information with our club on the historic Locust School.

Built in 1854, the one-room Locust School was established just after completion of the survey for the village of Locust and its settlement had begun. The schoolhouse remained in operation with all elementary grades until 1950, when it was reduced to specific grades. It was closed in 1960. The Winneshiek County Historical Society acquired the building and operates it as a museum. It was one of the first school buildings constructed in Winneshiek County. In 1978 the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pat is a retired Decorah First grade teacher. For several years she accompanied her classes to the Locust School on their field trips. After retiring, she has volunteered at the school, giving tours of the school to children on their field trips in addition to filling all of the other needs at the school.

Ferneva is a board member of the Winneshiek County Historical Society. After Locust School committee chairperson Paul Hexom moved from the area, Ferneva assumed the role. She also volunteers at the Locust School, working with the school children on their field trips and taking care of other school needs.

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**Please complete your meal sign-up prior to the meeting, preferably not later than close of business Monday. Our face-to-face meeting Tuesday noon meeting will be hosted at the VFW, unless otherwise noted.**