LIFTing others in faith: Canton FUMC event geared toward women
by Rebecca Johnston
September 22, 2012 01:17 AM | 2068 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
River Jordan will be the keynote speaker for Ladies in Faith Together, a women’s group at Canton First United Methodist Church. Jordan is a novelist and playwright from Nashville. Her book, ‘Praying for Strangers, An Adventure of the Human Spirit,’ is a national best-seller.
<br>Cherokee Tribune/Special
River Jordan will be the keynote speaker for Ladies in Faith Together, a women’s group at Canton First United Methodist Church. Jordan is a novelist and playwright from Nashville. Her book, ‘Praying for Strangers, An Adventure of the Human Spirit,’ is a national best-seller.
Cherokee Tribune/Special
Women at the Canton First United Methodist Church are preparing to lift each other up through a women’s conference featuring a national bestselling author and a day of fellowship and worship.

The church’s women’s organization, Ladies in Faith Together or LIFT as they are known, is planning the event for Oct. 6 at the church. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

The event begins with breakfast and the program is 9:30 a.m. to noon.

“Our theme is encouraging and helping others. It is an opportunity for women to come together and support local efforts to help others,” said Julie Little, event coordinator.

Devinney Ballard, who is in charge of the church’s women’s ministries, is also helping with the conference.

The event is open to the community, tickets are $10 and will be available at the door as well as through the church office.

The keynote speaker is River Jordan, a critically acclaimed novelist and playwright from Nashville and the author of “Praying for Strangers, An Adventure of the Human Spirit” a national best-seller which has received rave reviews.

“Her book is all about being more aware of other people that are around us in our everyday lives, and shifts focus from ourselves to look to others and how we may help them,” Little said.

Nadine Yawn of Yawn’s Books and More, a member of the church and the women’s committee, secured the nationally known author for the event, Little said.

“It started in a ladies Bible study group. Lisa McRae our pastor’s wife asked Nadine for a recommendation on a book to give as a gift,” Little said. “It was so popular it spread like wildfire, and we decided to see if the author could come, and Nadine was able to secure her.”

Special music for the day will be presented by Sheree Baker Ramsey, a former youth pastor and now member at the church.

Sandra Henry, a lay pastor and member of the church, will present the devotional.

“Another big thing is that a lot of organizations who help women in the community will be there that day to share what they are doing and how we can support missions and ministries,” Little said.

MUST Ministries, Cherokee Thanksgiving, Cherokee Family Violence Center, Angel House, and World Vision will be among those who will have booths set up and information available at the event.

“We have already had a great response and we plan to make this an annual event,” Little said.

The church is located at 930 Lower Scott Mill Road. For more information or tickets call the church office at (770) 479-2502 or visit

Tickets are also available at Yawn’s Books and More in downtown Canton.

River Jordan: At a glance

River Jordan is a Southerner with a global perspective. She began her writing career as a playwright and spent more than 10 years with the Loblolly Theatre group, where her original works were produced, including “Mama Jewels: Tales from Mullet Creek,” “Soul, Rhythm and Blues,” and “Virga.”

Jordan’s first novel was “The Gin Girl,” which was published in 2003. Kirkus Reviews described her second novel, “The Messenger of Magnolia Street,” as “a beautifully written atmospheric tale.” It was applauded as “a tale of wonder” by Southern Living magazine, who selected the novel as their Selects feature for March 2006, and described by other reviewers as ” a riveting, magical mystery” and “a remarkable book.”

Her third novel, “Saints In Limbo,” was hailed as a “Southern Gothic Masterpiece” by Paste Magazine.

“The Miracle of Mercy Land,” a novel set in 1938 along the Gulf waters of Alabama, was hailed as a “triumph of beauty.” It received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly who reported that, “River Jordan writes magical realism, and the result is pure magic.“

Jordan’s first work of narrative non-fiction, “Praying for Strangers, An Adventure of the Human Spirit,” was published April 2011. The memoir tells the story of an unexpected and amazing resolution Jordan embraced — to silently pray for a stranger she passed each day.

Jordan teaches and speaks around the country on “The Power of Story,” and produces and hosts Clearstory Radio on WRFN, 107.1FM Nashville. She writes a regularly featured spirituality blog for Psychology Today and is a contributor to the Southern author collective, “A Good Blog is Hard To Find.”

When not traveling the back roads of America, River lives with her husband, Owen Hicks, and their Great Pyrenees lap dog, Titan, in Nashville, Tenn.

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