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Senior Living: M and M's: A real 'sweet' group

WARRENTON - The monthly meal is not just for one church and not just for senior citizens. "Everybody's welcome," Babs Davis said before opening the latest session of the M and M's at the Warrenton First United Methodist Church dining hall.

"We are from Mesena but we come here for the dinner and the fellowship," said Louise Norris.

Since about 1985, the M and M's - short for "Merry Makers" - have been gathering the second Wednesday of each month at the church hall. Dozens of people dine for an offering of $4. Homemade recipes make the meal possible. Davis knows the group's history well. "I haven't lived here all my life, just 50 years," she said. "I wouldn't live anywhere else now." Babs Davis, originally from Atlanta, is married to an area native, retired judge Purnell Davis.

Babs Davis said she and Carol Davis have handled most of the coordinating for the club for about six years. She said about five people cook at home and bring food to the gatherings.

Babs Davis said the programs vary. "We try to do civic as well as entertaining," she said. Guest speakers have included artists, local businesspeople, and representatives of the local chamber of commerce. The February program celebrated Heart Month. "We try to keep the people involved and informed," Bea Davis said. "We have a really good time and that is the important thing," she said.

"I love it," said the Rev. David Jenkins, the pastor of Norwood Methodist Charge. "Good fellowship and spiritual food." Jenkins compared notes with Neil Dallas, who showed photos of his model car collection. "Great, wonderful," Jenkins said. "I love ecumenical gatherings."

A typical program will include a blessing on the meal, prayer concerns, important news, thank-yous to any contributors, and a guest speaker.

As an example of the ecumenical character of the gathering, host church pastor the Rev. Jim Hanna recently invited everyone to the Ash Wednesday program that day. He told of his own childhood experience, when Ash Wednesday was not observed among many Protestant churches. He said the observance might be not be embraced by all, but he sees it as "a time to focus on the sacrifice that Jesus made that we might be saved from sin."

Many accepted Hanna's invitation.

"It's so nice to come over here every month," said Norris, of Mesena. "It's away from our own church, but we enjoy it."

The group also donates to the United Methodist Children's Home in Decatur, Ga., contributes to the food bank at the church, and sends memorials to s u r v i v i n g spouses.

Web posted on Thursday, March 24, 2011

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