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Salisbury-Rowan Church Women United celebrate 50 years of community service

Members of Salisbury-Rowan Church Women United celebrated the unit’s 50th anniversary on Sunday.

The organization, composed of women from over 30 churches in the area, met at First United Methodist Church for a time of fellowship and refreshments. During the event, a memorial was held for members who had passed, and long-term members were honored.

Both the memorial and recognition reflected the theme of the celebration: “Remember, Rejoice, Reclaim.”

“We want to remember and celebrate those who have served. … We stand on the shoulders of those women who paved the way and held the banner high for love, peace, equality, justice and hope,” said Dorothy Gill-Smith, president of the Salisbury-Rowan unit, as she welcomed attendees.

Gill-Smith continued, celebrating the group’s faith and ongoing community service. She also stressed the importance of growing the next generation of Church Women United members.

“We are especially concerned with our young women joining us as we move off the scene,” she said. “Young women, we encourage them to step up and step in.”

Nationally, Church Women United is a volunteer-based, Christian faith-based, ecumenical women’s movement. It brings together women of diverse races, cultures and traditions, improving local communities according to their motto — agreed to differ, resolved to love, united to serve.

In Rowan County, Church Women United works to raise funds and in-kind resources for local nonprofit organizations: school supplies for Communities In Schools in the fall and collections for Rowan Helping Ministries and the Family Crisis Council to name a few.

The unit has an impressive number of women involved in their community work. President-elect of the North Carolina State unit, Emily Sprague, and Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander commended them for their size and for their work in the area.

“I think the Salisbury-Rowan unit is a model for all the rest of the state,” Sprague said.  “Throughout your 50 year history … you have followed the Church Women United ideals and values of being prayerfully informed about current issues and then doing your part to try and bring about justice and peace. I appreciate all that you’ve done.”

Alexander echoed this sentiment.

“I want to express how much it means to me personally the work that you do every day in terms of bringing about peace and justice. … (You) are such a wonderful physical embodiment of what we want in a community.”

The Salisbury-Rowan Church Women United meet monthly every third Tuesday at Milford Hills United Methodist Church at 5 p.m.

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