By Ansley Brackin
Communications Specialist for The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church
This year East Point First Mallalieu UMC partnered with Jefferson Recreation Center to support the Lady Bulldogs’ softball season. On Saturday July 26th, the United Methodist Women of East Point hosted a banquet to honor the hard work of the young girls.
Churches often find themselves appealing to a certain age group. Over time, other generations pull away in search of a new connection.
“We hope to bring back the younger generations,” says Rev. Phillip Armstrong, who hopes to attract more young people by working together with the recreation center.
The United Methodist Women knew they needed more than Sunday school lessons to call children to church. By volunteering to work with the 10 and under softball team, a bridge was built and the East Point First Mallalieu community has spread across the city.
The girls have been involved in creative activities at the church as well, including card and jewelry making. Though the season is over, the women plan to host routine craft days to keep the girls involved and to create long-lasting friendships.
“We love to see young people do good things,” says United Methodist Women President, Pat Ross, during the banquet greeting.
Honoring and maintaining the good spirits of the children was a recurring theme of the afternoon. Volunteers specially served the team lunch, drinks, and dessert in the pink-attired fellowship hall out of appreciation for their hard work.
The special guest speaker was East Point Mallalieu’s own Antonette Smith, a softball player currently working towards a criminal justice degree while maintaining top class grades. She spoke of the most important traits the players should maintain as both a team and as growing girls. These traits included kindness, responsibility, self-discipline, and courage.
“You have to have courage on the field,” Smith said, “… and you also have to have courage to say no to the bad things.”
After the encouraging words, each girl received a trophy and a round of applause. East Point First Mallalieu UMC looks forward to continuing their involvement with Jefferson Recreation Center to continue bringing children back to church.
View photos of the team, banquet, and other UMC Sports Sundays HERE
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