We seek to increase Friends' understanding of the importance of their individual ministries in the home and workplace, beyond the usual understanding of "church;" and we seek to provide resources for equipping Friends for those ministries.
Query -- How have you allowed God to use you to "take church to people" this year? How has God used you in ministry to friends, family members, strangers, or even adversaries who have needed a reminder of God's love and presence?
Winchester resident remains a woman of letters.
When friends move away, Louise Cox keeps in touch with them via handwritten letters.
At age 91, Louise Cox is losing her eyesight. Her favorite hobbies, reading books and painting pictures, are mostly just memories, though she does subscribe to a books-on-tape service from the Indiana State Library.
Still, the well dressed woman doesn't let her worsening eyesight keep her from all the things she loves. She still writes letters to her homebound friends. With a stack of ready-for-the-mailbox notes on her desk, she demonstrates how a video eye connected to her television magnifies images on her desktop and shows them on her TV. As long as she keeps her pencil and paper underneath the video eyes, she can watch her writing on he screen.
Cox said she started writing letters about ten years ago. "An old woman (Helen Boomer) had to leave her home and go to Greenville, Ohio," Cox said of how her good deed began. She knew would miss her home, friends, and the local church, so Cox decided to do her best to keep the woman up-to-date on all those things.
"I started to write her. I wrote long letters to her, two or three times a month, " Cox said. Then there was friend who moved. And others had to leave their homes for nursing homes. As her friends were forced to leave the comfort of their homes, Cox said she tried to step in with her letters and ease the transition.
Now, she writes to another woman in Winchester. The 97 year old (Evelyn Fields) is a member of Cox's church, Winchester Friends Church, "and she is homebound," Cox said.
"She loves the church. If I go to church, I make a summary of the service," Cox said, who downplays her letters as short notes that don't take too much time or effort.
Though she doesn't consider the letters too much of a big deal, Pam Ferguson, who pastors at the Winchester church with her husband, Ron, called Cox "a remarkable person."
Cox, who never married or had children, has spent her entire life in Randolph County. As a child, her family moved from farm to farm, and she eventually grew up to work 17 years at a local factory. She now lives at Summers Pointe, an assisted living facility in Winchester.
From her small room she writes letters, listens to books on tape and crochets lap blankets for the needy. Last year she made nine blankets and donated them to the Red Cross before the holidays, but she said that was a slow year because she was ill.
She's already working on her fifth blanket since December. It's a craft she can do by feel, rather than by sight. "It's something you don't want to happen," Cox said of her worsening eyesight. "I dread it when it's all gone."
**Muncie Star Article, February 5, 2006**