40 years later, egg making still fosters fellowship, outreach

Margi Washburn/GateHouse News Service
Galva First United Methodist Church members (from left) Ruby Ringle, Naomi Peterson, Dorothy Ericson, Brenda Dennison and Sue Schulz pause while recently discussing the church’s long history of creating homemade chocolate Easter eggs.

Easter is less than a month away, and folks have been talking for weeks about those popular mouth-watering chocolate-covered Easter eggs from Galva’s First United Methodist Church.

On a recent spring-like weekday morning, half a dozen women from the church gathered to give a bit of the history behind the holiday treats.

As with many church projects, the making and selling of the eggs began because of a financial need. In March of 1968, the new part of the church had just been built, and supplies were needed for the Sunday school classes.

Reverend Metzger’s wife Jean brought the recipe from her former church, the Moline First United Methodist Church. The first year, Hershey’s milk chocolate candy bars were melted to coat the eggs. The next year, that process changed when the group went to five-pound blocks of chocolate.

“That was a job,” commented one of the ladies. “You don’t know what you’re getting into with this project.”

In 1969, the church’s United Methodist Women took over, with Laura Almgren and Jean Metzger serving as co-chairs. Laura took over that same year, and the women said they learned a lot. Proceeds from the sales went to several needs in the church.

Interesting statistics have been recorded over the years. It was noted that the highest number of eggs sold one year was around 14,000.

For many years, two weeks of work was required to prepare and decorate the candy eggs. There were two sizes, the two fillings (peanut butter or vanilla), and some ordered their eggs personalized. The process eventually became streamlined, with just one size, and no more names written on the eggs.

Now, orders are taken ahead of time, and with the help of boys, girls, men and women, the project can be completed in one week because the volunteers work day and night.

Other churches have come from a distance to learn about this fundraiser. One Wisconsin visitor with family in the area dropped by, and the ladies graciously shared their recipe with her to take back to her church.

The one thing everyone agrees is that the best part of the whole process is the Christian fellowship they enjoy during that week. They get to know their church family a bit better, and they’re delighted to welcome those from outside the church who have become a part of the team.

They women acknowledged that making the eggs is a lot of work, but spending time together is worth every minute.

“God’s been good to us,” said Sue Schulz. “It’s the type of project that brings attention to a very special time in the Christian year.”

Each container of Easter eggs contains a special message. It reads: “We hope you enjoy these candy eggs. They are made in love by a community of believers. We pray that you and your family will worship in the church of your choice. In this Easter season, let us not forget that Jesus died for our sins, that we may have everlasting life.”

Psalm 72:19 is included in the note. That verse reads: "And blessed be His glorious name forever; And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen."

Egg orders are due March 29. Fillings include vanilla and (non--recalled) peanut butter.

Pick up order forms at the church office, 214 NW 2nd Ave., or call there (932-2460), between 8 a.m. and noon.