A Great Time at the Annual Gift Basket Event with Sierra Christian Women’s Club!


October 2017 Luncheon

Guest Speaker: Sharon Olson from Scotts Valley, CA

Sharon grew up in a Christian home and led a normal childhood with dreams of fashion, retail clothing and shopping.  She married and had three boys and was active in the church.  Then one day she received the news that no parent wants to hear – her 13-year-old had drowned in an accident.  Sharon lived in fear and expectation that another accident would happen.  She prayed every day.  Then six years later her husband, a small plane pilot, died in a plane crash.  Her life stopped, she was now a widow with two teenage sons.  Four years later she married again but it led to divorce after infidelity.  Through these trials Sharon felt Gods presence and she knew she was in the palms of God’s hands.  She had Jesus as her anchor from early childhood and she knew that he is the God of mercy and that trials make us stronger than ever.  She attended Bible study and knew that she could go directly to Gods word for comfort.

Jesus gave us a gift through his sacrifice and love.   John 14:6 says:

“I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me”.  

He paid the ultimate payment for our sin so we didn’t have to.  We are never comfortless as demonstrated in John 3:16 :

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. 

We never have to live in fear, Jesus is the peacemaker.  He is the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Messiah, the Light of the World, Our Hope, Our Peace, Our Rock and he gives us peace!!  “FAITH IS REAL, FEAR IS COUNTERFEIT”.

Luncheon Feature:

Our feature was our annual Basket and Live Auction.  Ladies from our group generously created and donated theme gift baskets as well as various items and gift certificates that everyone could bid on in our silent auction.  Pat Eby donated a handmade quilt and two gift certificates from The Tamarack were available for our live auction.  We had wonderful participation and the ladies seemed to be pleased with the items that they won.  This is our annual Stonecroft fundraiser and we were more than blessed by the ladies with their generosity.

Holly Stoddard



August 15, 2017 Luncheon:
Barbara Carr from Concord, CA
Barbara grew up in Phoenix, AZ in a large family, the third child of thirteen. They were not a wealthy family and everyone had to chip in to make it work.  She learned the lesson of sharing early on but her mother created a “coffee time” for each child, which was a time she spent alone with each of them to let each child know how special they were to her.  While growing up Barbara starting noticing that her siblings had many talents and attributes and she began wondering how she measured up and the “what ifs” began in her mind.  Later she moved to L.A, hooked up with extended family and attended a local church where she met her husband Eric.  They were married 11 months later and soon they had their first of four children.  They later relocated to Kentucky for a job opportunity and Barbara started having doubts and wondering “what if……” again.  It worked out well, made new friends, enrolled in new schools and attended a new church.  Then a neighbor died. Barbara went into a depression and didn’t want to be anywhere alone. During this time Barbara continued attending church and bible studies and learned that Heaven is free and that it is not earned or deserved.  Jesus came to die for all of our sins – past, present, and future.  He paid the price and we are forgiven by his grace.  As it says in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.  God has given us a gift, we just need to accept it.  Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in”.  With an attitude change, and applying these truths, she put her trust in Jesus Christ. Her depression lifted and her fear of being alone went away as well.  We are reminded in Mathew 7:7 that the Bible is black and white “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  Remember that “Jesus paid for your sins, confess your sins and know that Jesus is the answer’.
Barbara went back to work and is an educator in Black Studies and teaches High School English.  She has a passion to share African American history and how it has impacted the world.  We learned that there are many inventions that were made by African Americans, including the traffic light, the blood bank, the 3 rail system and the pacemaker.
Our feature was a Teddy Bear Tea.  We encouraged ladies to bring their favorite teddy bear and display them with a little story about them.  There were so many different bears represented. Included were Ted, a bear who traveled from England; Boo-Boo Bear from 1910; a few handmade bears; and a Darth Vader bear.  We also encouraged the ladies to bring their favorite cup and saucer for our “tea”.  They were so beautiful and the stories behind them fun. We learned the history of teddy bears and how the first one was made by Margarete Steiff in Germany, around 1880 (with their distinctive ear button).  Prior to WWI the eyes were made of glass and they looked more like the bears you see in nature.  During WWII other countries created their version of the teddy bear and they looked very different from one another.  Teddy Bears became popular in America around 1903 after a toymaker wanted to make a bear to look like Teddy Roosevelt   Later we had Winnie the Pooh, Smokey the Bear and Paddington.
We learned a lot and had a lot of fun in the process.
Holly Stoddar

 Karen Penfold will be sharing insights into miracles and life lessons learned as a breast cancer survivor. The ladies will also be celebrating the special moments, such as that “trip down the aisle,” of each woman’s life.



















April 18, 2017 Review

Robby Kautz from Pleasanton, CA

Raised in a home with a father who physically abused her mother and lived a life of fear for herself and her families safety.  This formed her early years to try to be perfect, be invisible, stay safe and to keep her father happy at all costs.  She repressed emotion and was always planning ahead to control the situation the best a child could.  At age 11 she was”tired”and she looked to God for help.  She knew the facts of the Bible  and understood authority and wanted Gods help with her “boulder”, to receive forgiveness and find peace.  In her senior year, her parents divorced and she felt safety.  She met her husband had two kids and felt safety.  She felt like the “Tin Man” though, her heart was numb and she did things without emotion.  Then she was diagnosed with PTSD, she had developed irrational fears to cope with the things she had seen and felt as a child.  She knew she needed God to heal her heart as well as her body.  By allowing God into her heart and trusting in his promises she was able to overcome her fears.  God loves us so much that he wants a relationship with us, to bind up our broken hearts and calm our greatest fears.   Robby began to “experience” life again, feeling the warmth of the sun, the beauty in the flowers etc.  Robby enjoys looking at old photo albums and “remembering the stories of our lives” as we capture a moment, see our best pictures and see a portion of our lives.  She remembers “these early pictures, cant get another set”.  We are formed by our experiences and we must remember that there is healing and wholeness in God if we invite him into our hearts.  As in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Kim Copel

Our feature was Kim Copel doing a Chautauqua  performance of “Lillian Virgin Finnegan”, the originator and organizer of the Genoa Candy Dance in the early 1900’s.  We were transported back to 1915 in the Raycraft Dance Hall for a public forum on how women’s suffrage can make an impact in Douglas County.  “Lillian” was delightful as she gave a us a window into how women impacted history.  She said that women are the “root system of a larger tree”.  She was a teacher and was “leading citizens of tomorrow”.  She became active in the community and raising money through bake sales, dances and making and selling candy.  These efforts improved the lives of those in Genoa, Minden and Gardnerville provided schoolhouses, helping ranchers stay viable, providing electric lights in town, and improving the fire department.  The ladies really enjoyed Kim as she was in character the moment she arrived, her performance was flawless, and we all felt transported back in time.
Wonderful luncheon, great attendance.

April, 2017

On April 18th Kim Copel will be presenting a Chautauqua performance on “Lillian Virgin Finnegan ”
the originator and organizer of Genoa, Nevada’s Candy Dance in the early 1900’s.

A Chautauqua performance is an unscripted and spontaneous historical “improv.”  The performers are part scholar and part actor with extensive performance experience. Fascinated by their characters for years, they have a personal relationship with history. Click HERE to learn more about Chautauqua performances.

Robby Kautz from Pleasanton, California will be the keynote speaker at April’s luncheon. Fear was a daily part of her life until she discovered a lesson plan on “How to Let it Go.”

Get your April Reservations by Friday, April 14 

Tamarack Junction,   11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

13101 S. Virginia Street, Reno NV

Reservations, $20
Reservations Coordinator, Holly Stoddard
(For Information/Reservations/Tickets after deadline: 775/826-4105)

Sierra Christian Women’s Club

Women Connecting With God – With Each Other – With Their Communities

February, 2017

(Submitted by Holly Stoddard)
Dee Jay Bratsch from Carson City, NV – “Confidence through Prayer”
Raised in Huntington Beach, Dee Jay led a self described “awkward” life and became a “people pleaser”.  This led to a sin barrier that clouded her relationship with God.  She had Christ in her life but was looking for her niche.  She claimed the promises of Romans 6:23 and Ephesians 8:9 that the wages of sin is death and that we are saved by Gods grace.  She dated a police officer which opened her eyes to her passion to be a police officer herself.  She attended the police academy at a time when women weren’t welcomed, but with earnest prayer and determination she graduated and then joined the Alhambra Police Department.  At 5’4’’ she had a lot to prove and with prayer she slowly became a respected officer to her fellow officers and the community.  Mark 11:24 reminds us that “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”.  The common denominator in Dee Jay’s life, personal and professional, was to first talk to God and the rest will work itself out.
We featured the family owned and operated Tahoe Toffee Candy Company.  Larry Miller, co-founder, told us how his family wanted to share their tasty treats with the world so they borrowed a restaurant kitchen and made it happen.  They have no physical address but sell their products on line (www.tahoetoffee.com) and in local gift shops and casinos. They specialize in packaged treats for weddings and parties.  Their number one seller is their toffee, but they make all sorts of chocolates, peanut brittle, bark, honey comb and caramel corn.  We all received a sample package of the toffee and it was delicious!
Sparks Florist graciously provided a fundraising opportunity for Stonecroft and our local club.  Ladies were able to buy a card for $30 that allowed them to receive 1 small bouquet of flowers each month for 12 months.  A portion of each sale went back to the club.  The ladies were very interested and I believe around 30 cards were sold.  I wanted to thank Sparks Florist for this opportunity and to share that many ladies have already picked up their bouquets and that they are very pleased.

December, 2016

(Submitted by Holly Stoddard)
Marge McClanahan from Stockton, CA
Raised on a farm in South Dakota, Marge faced adversity early on when her father died in a farm accident when she was only 12.  She put her faith in God.  As an adult she faced a bitter divorce but she clung to Gods promise in Ephesians 4:32 and forgave him.   While raising three children as a single parent she placed her trust in God and they were provided for. Two years in China taught her that God is amazing and to have joy in life.  When she returned home she and Pat found each other –  a perfect match.  They married, planted a church called “Common Ground” and put their faith in God.  She put her hope in Jesus and he lifted her above it all.  We are to remember Ephesians 1, how God is far above our troubles.  Trust in him and rise above.  It’s time for Jesus;  he heals, forgives and gives us a new beginning.
We featured a holiday fashion show by Boutique Elegante.  This boutique is a locally owned shop located at the Moana West Shopping Center on Lakeside.  Owner, Terry O’Brien presented an array of beautiful holiday fashions and jewelry.  The models were exceptional and the ladies really enjoyed the presentation.

October, 2016

(Submitted by Pat Eby)

The October SCWC (Sierra Christian Women’s Club) luncheon was well attended and a lot of fun. Of the forty-five attendees, six were first-timers. The quilt contributed for the fundraiser was beautiful, as everyone knew it would be! The auction netted over $1000 for the thirty-five baskets contributed for the event to raise money for Stonecroft Ministries.

There were a few anxious moments before the event when it was discovered that three SCWC officers were MIA (missing in action) with serious medical issues. The anxiety proved to be unfounded and unnecessary. Members, guests, and the speaker, Danita Schwemer, all stepped up and rolled with the punches, each contributing in their own way to the smooth operation and success of the luncheon.

The biggest event of the day was something that could never be planned. A very special lady made a first-time decision for Christ!

Our speaker, Danita Schwemer, shared an outstanding presentation, “How to Get through This Life.” Danita had successfully climbed Half Dome and had been a professional woman. Suddenly she was a stay-at-home mom with two sons and expecting a baby (‘a woman of leisure?!?’). She had been through some very tough times and was in a place where she could look back at them and appreciate where she had been, where she is now, and how she got there.

One of the highlight’s of Danita’s presentation were some delightful tips on how to “fight fairly in marriage” according to her husband, a family counselor. Members especially enjoyed her story about a particular “fight” between the two of them where “I was right, and HE was wrong.” There are some things a counselor can say to his/her clients that are helpful to them yet unwise, maybe even dangerous, to use at home with the counselor’s spouse. After a cooling off period, he came close to heating it up again when he said:

“Things look promising. It usually means trouble ahead.”


August, 2016

(Submitted by Patty Bender, Chairperson)

Ms. Lillie Knauls was our featured speaker at the August 16th, 2016 luncheon. She is a professional musician from southern California who has performed on TV, radio, and as a member of the Gaither Group. Ms. Lillie says that her personal slogan is, “Single and Satisfied.” Her presentation focus
ed on “Being Joyful vs. Happiness.” One comment that she made that really stands out is, “Joy is available at all times, even during bad times.” The theme of the luncheon was “The Hat Thing.” Known as “The Hat Lady,” Ms. LIllie handled the contest and managed to involve everyone in the contest, even the hatless, and was delightful.

June, 2016

Our June, 2016 Outreach Luncheon honored ladies that have served our country in the military. Honor Flight Nevada was featured.  Jo Linda gave an interesting presentation of what Honor FlightHonor Flight Nevada Logo does. A retired military couple joined us for the lunch and shared the highlights of their trip to Washington DC, a trip that was gifted by Honor Flight NV. T.J. Roethe was the luncheon’s featured speaker. A military wife and personal organizer, she has moved 25 times in her lifetime. Familiar with chaotic and sudden life changes, she shared some of her experiences with ordering life’s priorities.

 Photos from “The Hat Thing” Luncheon Event (8/16/16):

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