BLUEFIELD — In what has become a community tradition, The United Methodist Women at Trinity Methodist Church decorated nearly 2,000 chocolate Easter eggs to help support mission work both locally and abroad.

Judy Raines, the President of the United Methodist Women’s Project, said she estimates that Trinity United Methodist Church has been making and selling the chocolate eggs for about 27 years.

“The money goes back to the United Methodist Women, which is somewhat separate from the church,” Raines said. “It is a mission organization, so we do missions around the world. What happens here is we have a pledge, and once our pledge is met, then we use it for local missions.”

The process of making the locally famous chocolate Easter Eggs is a week-long process with about 10 volunteers this year.

In a 2017 Bluefield Daily Telegraph article about the process, Raines said there were just a few ingredients that go into making the chocolate eggs. “Peanut butter, confectionery sugar, and vanilla, that’s all,” Raines said.

“On Monday morning, we have a group that comes in and mixes, then on Monday afternoons, we have a group that comes in and molds that mixing,” Raines said. “Today (Thursday) we had a group that dipped all the chocolate on them and this group is going to do the decorating. We have a group that will box them up on Friday morning.”

It is a daunting task, but one that the members of the United Methodist Women and volunteers enjoy through fellowship and ministering to the community.

“It is a big process, unfortunately, we are not as many as we used to so some of us are in all of those groups, but we love it,” Raines said. “The community looks forward to it every year. We have people that call us and ask about it. We truly believe this is a part of the ministry of the church.”

Sue Pelts, a member of the United Methodist Women’s Project estimated that she has been a part of the chocolate Easter egg making for about 20 years.

“It is the main project of the United Methodist Women of which I am a part and I love doing things like this. Somehow I got into decorating, I don’t know how that happened,” Pelts said laughingly.

Raines chimed in that Pelts got into decorating because she is really good at it. The volunteers have a lot of fun making this Easter tradition happen, but it is so much more than that.

“This is putting our church out there and the work of the United Methodist Women and also letting people know that the fund goes to service things in our community,” Pelts said. “Every penny of it goes to organizations and things in our community that help children and women and anyone in our community that needs it.”

“I believe it is a ministry because it gets us in touch with other people and it also helps us with the money to do other ministries like Mary’s Cradle,” Raines said.

Mary’s Cradle is a donation-based community outreach center based in Bluefield, W.Va. Their goal is to “share the love of Christ while meeting the practical needs of children in the community and the surrounding areas.”

Raines said that the decoration portion of the process goes by the quickest. She said that she and just 10 volunteers can decorate about 1,800 eggs in about an hour.

As far as availability to purchase chocolate eggs this Easter season, Raines said that some people come to Trinity United Methodist Church to pick up their chocolate eggs, and they deliver them to a lot of Beauty shops in the area.

For more information about The United Methodist Women or to inquire about purchasing chocolate eggs, call Trinity United Methodist Church at (304) 327-7448

— Contact Emily Rice at erice@bdtonline.com

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