BYNG — “Many times churches get an unfair reputation for being uncaring,” Melanie Carson said as she spoke at the mid-week service at New Bethel Church. She brought information on local missions opportunity, the Watchman Program, which she directs for McCortney Hospice.

She explained that sometimes people need help with such items as finding a paid provider in the case of illness in the home, securing Home Health or Daycare provisions, or in filing for Social Security Disability.  The church is often the first place people who have health needs turn. However, there is no way that churches can be as knowledgeable about all available resources unless someone has made a point of becoming trained in that area.

Churches, according to Melanie, play a vital community role in providing spiritual care, social interaction, and various levels of support.  The Watchman Program is an extension of the ministry provided by local churches.

The goal of the Watchman Program is to identify and train at least one person in each congregation who will serve as the Hospice Watchman representative. She explained that a Watchman is a leader in the congregation who will serve as the “eyes and ears” for the congregation and for the community. 

The book of Isiaiah says that being a watchman is a calling. Watchmen may give warning or bring awareness to the congregation. A Watchman has a spirit of compassion and concern and exhibits faithfulness, and persistence, leading by example.

Carson will be responsible for training the Watchman, acquainting her with community resources for any type of health care needs that may arise and to insure that the needs of the church family will be met on a faster more consistent basis.

It was the consensus of those present that the Baptist Women’s group would be ideally suited for this project. It is hoped that several can be present for the training.  Jodi Jackson and her husband, Dave, have agreed to assume primary responsibility for this program.

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When the poet laureate for the State of Oklahoma is chosen in January, several Byng people will be rooting for Dr. Don Stafford. Governor Brad Henry and Oklahoma Humanities Council have accepted 13 applications. Numerous people and organizations in the Ada area submitted endorsements for Stafford.  Among those were Ada Writers’ Club to which Aren Howell and I belong. We have had opportunity to hear and read a great deal of his poetry and we are always struck by the wit and the insight into human nature his work displays.

Dr. Stafford was formerly chairman of the chemistry department at East Central University.  He wrote several science books as well as youth fiction, but the reader who hears or reads Stafford’s poetry gets the feeling that his verse is high on the list for sheer enjoyment.

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Randy Golden, Byng class of ’76, was supply preacher for both services at New Bethel Sunday. I remember having Randy in an English class way back when and trying to persuade him to take speech. He said if he had any idea that he’d be entering the ministry, he’d have followed my advice.  However, 26 years experience as a bi-vocational pastor has served him well, we agreed.  He was glad to see several school day friends, including Jerald Harris and Rick Woodward, who were members of the ’75 and ’77 classes. 

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I love anything that can be made in a crock pot, and for that reason plus the fact that she claims this is the easiest candy in the world to make, I’m going to try this recipe by Judy Clayton for Crock Pot Candy.

16 ounces salted peanuts or mixed nuts

16 ounces dry roasted peanuts

24 ounces bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

24 ounces almond bark (or white chocolate chips)

1 bar German chocolate

Put these ingredients in a slow cooker in order listed. Cook on slow setting for three hours. Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper.

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Our hearts go out to the Painter family, particularly to Bill whose wife, Margaret, died Nov. 2. Last week Mildred Cavener, Bill’s last sibling, died following a long illness. Mrs. Cavener was also related indirectily to Huck and Mary Brecheen. She was the grandmother of the Brecheen’s daughter-in-law, Vonda Cavener Key.

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Fans of girls’ basketball probably remember the Henley girls who were great players. Traci grew up to be a girls’ coach and is working at that profession in the Dallas area. Peggy, who had a twin brother that also did well on the basketball court, grew up to marry Terry Hill and they produced twin girls, Alexis and Tatum, who seem to have inherited some of the Henley magic. Alexis had a chance to show her prowess last Wednesday when her ticket was drawn allowing her o come down on the court and shoot a lay-up, a free throw and a three-point line shot. The poised 10-year old made all her shots and won $130.  Grandparents, Sterling and Pat Henley, missed it all for they had left about five minutes earlier. Not to worry. I expect them to have plenty of opportunity to see basket work from both the girls within the next few years.

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