PANAMA CITY, Fla (WJHG) - Most women are just naturally social. They love to spend time with other women laughing, and sometimes crying, together.
Panama City Women's Connection (WJHG)
For 25 years now, a dedicated group of women has met once a month to plan and host what's called Panama City Women's Connection.
Barbara James was instrumental in forming the local group.
"I had been involved in Fort Lauderdale and when I got here, there wasn't one and I missed it," said James.
Women's Connection isn't unique to Panama City. Its parent company Stonecroft has launched similar ministries throughout the United States and more than 40 countries around the world. Locally, there are two groups.
"We have an after five that meets the second Monday of every month," explained James. "And then, of course, the next day on Tuesday the Women's Connection meets."
The Women's Connection day group started in 1995. But women who work during the day began to express interest in being a part so the after five group was formed in 2001. A couple of times a year, the two groups come together.
"We have what we call a guest night where we are able to invite the men in our lives, friends, or spouses to come," said James. "Then we also have a mother and daughter or friend brunch usually in May where we have a fashion show. We have a good time."
The meetings are of course centered around food and fun.
"Usually we'll have special music, then we'll have a special feature, whether it's a fashion show or demonstration or something else," said James. "Then we have an inspirational speaker. They are approved by Stonecroft and they travel all over."
It's the speaker who ties in the reason for the meetings. The stories are often funny, sometimes sad, and mixed with real-life experiences on how Christ helped change their life.
The goal isn't to force religion, but rather to encourage a relationhip.
"Check us out see what we're all about," said James.
If you'd like to know more about Stonecroft and the programs it offers, you can head over to their website at www.stonecroft.org or if you're interested in the local groups you can call (850) 832-0620.