Friendship Soup

Deb Juracich, International President

This time of year, as the weather turns cooler and the days shorter, I begin to think of baking and comfort food, always looking for new recipes to try. One of my family’s favorite soups on a cold, blustery day is Friendship Soup. I’m sharing a couple of things in this BUDDIE Blog Post – a recipe and a poem. Won’t you share your favorites with us to. Simply reply to this post so that Sisters can hear from you!

FRIENDSHIP SOUP

I’d like to be the kind of friend that you have been to me.
I’d like to be the special help that you’ve been glad to be.

A listening ear or a helpful hand; you know just what to do.
I have been truly blessed, for only God makes friends like you.

This gift I have to share with you, a recipe to make.
Within this jar is “Friendship Soup” ingredients layered to make.

I hope you enjoy these bites of love I have to share with you.
May God bless you abundantly for your friendship you give so true.

Could I but have one wish fulfilled, this is what it would be:
I’d like to be the kind of friend you’ve always been to me!

FRIENDSHIP SOUP
1/2 cup dry split peas
1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup dried minced onion
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/2 cup macaroni
1 lb. ground beef
3 qts. water
1 (28-ozs.) can diced tomatoes, undrained

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, brown beef; drain. Add the water, tomatoes, and all ingredients except macaroni; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add reserved macaroni; cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until macaroni, peas, lentils, and barley are tender.

Yield: 16 servings (4 quarts)

September by Debbie Henize – International Historian

Welcome to fall ladies. In Ohio it is an unusually cool late summer which is fine with me because I love the fall. I know it is not officially fall but it feels like it to me. School has started for my 8 year old daughter and that means getting back to a regular routine. Well, not exactly for me. Being the Historian is a big job and I have just scratched the surface. Council meetings, deadlines, my first post to a blog, everything seems new and challenging. You may not know but I just started teaching my first college class. I have always wanted to teach and now I have the opportunity. So many new tasks and additional responsibilities, how exciting.

As I become more familiar with all of my new tasks I would like to ask for your help. If your chapter or Province is not represented in the Photo directory please help me include them. Every member is precious and a significant part of the history of Sigma Phi Gamma. Let’s include every beautiful Sigma Phi face. Also, I have a few directory updates to do so I fresh directory should be posted shortly. Thank you for sending these so promptly.

It is late here in Ohio and I have several things on my “To Do” list yet to do so I will leave you for now.

Love in Sigma Phi,
Debbie

Tau Province Founders’ Day Celebration

Founder’s Day Picture Tau Province

Founder’s Day – Hosted by Kappa Eta Chapter and held in Lima, Ohio at the Lima Elks.
August 30, 2017
Tau Province Chapters present were Kappa Beta, Kappa Eta, Nu Beta, Mu Epsilon and Epsilon Lambda
Front Row – Left to Right
Theresa Cooper, Kappa Beta; Ann Scott, Kappa Beta; Wilma Davis, Kappa Eta; Celia Lange, Nu Beta; Sally Frost, Epsilon Lambda
Second Row – Left to Right
Diane Hager, Nu Beta; Phyllis Zula, Kappa Beta; Beth Thompson, Kappa Beta; Jayne McAdams, Nu Beta; Sharon VanMeter, Kappa Eta; Marj Branch, Nu Beta; Mary Ransbottom, Nu Beta; Mary Ann Barrett, Epsilon Lambda, Shirley Meeker, Nu Beta
Back Row – Left to Right
Eloise Beckman, Mu Epsilon, Judy Bloomquist, Kappa Eta; Cindy Titus, Nu Beta

Founders’ Day Memories – Deb Juracich, International President

I love scrolling through Facebook and reading Province newsletters and the BUDDIE this time of year. I get to read about how each Chapter celebrates our lovely Founders and our anniversary! Each Chapter has a unique way of celebrating and demonstrating the love they have for Sigma Phi Gamma. I can imagine how proud the Founders must feel to know that the beloved sorority they started almost 100 years ago is still going strong.
Let’s take some time and share our favorite Founders’ Day memories. I will start with my Chapter, Xi Xi. We were invited to attend Psi Chapter’s celebration dinner this year and what a glorious, memory filled evening we had. Our Chapter had almost perfect attendance! Since Xi Xi’s beginning, Psi Chapter ladies have been our “big Sisters.” Our Pledge Mistress, Lois Clouston, a long-time member of Psi Chapter gave us our foundation and the bonds that were formed 14 years ago are still growing. Founders’ Day is another way to remember how we began and to share time with our beautiful Sisters!
Please share one of your favorite Founders’ Day memories in the comment section below. I can’t wait to read your special Founders’ Day memory!

What Convention Means to Me – Sandy Morris, International Editor

It seems every few years someone proposes a bylaw change to shorten our Annual International Convention. I understand the reasoning for the change, but it makes me sad to consider giving up our traditions and time we get to spend together with our sisters from other parts of the US and Canada. I attended my first convention in 1982 in Washington D.C. I really had no idea what I was getting into when I decided to go. We took an overnight bus trip to arrive at our hotel in Washington, a mere 3 blocks from the White House. That was my first trip to D.C. and it was eye opening. I must say the bus trip was fun with my sisters, but I was sure I didn’t want to do the overnight thing ever again. It was so much fun to get to meet Sigma Phi’s from other parts of the US, but I also got to meet the five Life Founders. I believe that was the last time they were all in attendance at a convention together. I was absolutely amazed at the outpouring of love and respect that these ladies were shown from the membership. I remember meeting Nancy Hargiss, who I believe was our International President at the time. I was “drafted” at the last minute to be in Irene Tague’s skit for International President, now that was scary! But you know what, I survived! I should say that was way out of my comfort zone for sure, but that is what you do for your sisters. You step up when asked! So, after my first convention I decided I couldn’t stand to miss the next convention. I have only missed a few since then. I love to go to convention and when I come home I feel renewed, re-energized, loved, and with a new commitment to sorority ready to face the new year! Anyway, my point is that we do more at convention than just business, the founders wanted this to be a friendship sorority, we do service work to help those who need assistance. I would really miss the friendships that I have made just from going to convention. If a shorted convention would mean less time to cultivate those friendships or make new ones, I am not sure I could go along with the change. These are just my personal thoughts and feelings. As we are looking at our 100th anniversary, I encourage every member who has not attended, to consider attending. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Kindness by Robin Pelton – International Vice President

I have been thinking a lot about kindness these days…

The other day on my way home, I witnessed a car stalled at an intersection and the passenger (I assume) pushing the car while the driver steered. A motorcycle rider that pulled up next to the car saw what was happening and immediately parked his bike on the side of the road, hopped off his bike, and went to the back of the car to help push. It was a marvelous example of a random act of kindness.
I just started a new school year with a new batch of kindergarteners. They are sweet and eager, but they are very young. As I just finished off last year with my fully “mature” first graders who I had trained for two years, this new batch of small students is a culture shock. I asked for this, but it is still challenging adjusting to crying, whining, always tying shoes, constant reminders to remember the routines and procedures of the classroom, etc. BUT I keep saying to myself, “Be Kind! They are 5 years old! They will learn! BE KIND!”
So I am thinking…do we always remember to be kind to others? I know as Sigma Phi’s we focus on service and friendship and it is expected of us, but does that mean we are always kind to those we come into contact with?
I know sometimes when I am having a bad day, running late, car won’t start, traffic is slow (why does all of this happen when we are running late already?), then spill coffee on my dress, drop my schoolbag on the way in to school, struggle to open the door because my hands are full, etc., etc., it is hard to remember to answer a question with a kind tone or to remember to smile and say “Good Morning!”. But this month I have really been trying to remember to ALWAYS BE KIND.
I have found that being gloomy just makes others miserable and certainly doesn’t help me out. But making the effort to take a deep breath (sometimes more than one!), and smile and say “HI!” or to think before I respond to a question I have been asked A MILLION TIMES helps me to regain my composure and to get a little bit of my “happy” back.
So this month, I challenge all of you to join me in a quest to go out of your way to be kind to others. Maybe pledge to yourself to commit one random act of kindness every day. Maybe pick that one person who rubs you wrong and do something nice for them…anonymously. Maybe just remember to say “hi” or “good morning” or “please” or “thank you”. You pick how you do this.
Then take the time to report your experiences in your comments. It should be interesting and heart-warming to see what comes up. I accept this challenge and will pledge to comment at least three times this month to keep you updated on my quest. Who is going to join me? 

The Purpose of Convention – What’s in it for you!

In the weeks that followed our International Convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I had a great many emails and phone calls from SPG members who shared their appreciation for a great convention, asked clarifying questions about bylaw amendments, and one question – that was asked by two people caught me by surprise: What is the purpose of our annual convention? It is a great question and I’m glad it was asked. Here is my response:

Sigma Phi Gamma holds an annual convention for a few reasons but they can summarized under two categories: Business and Fellowship. Here’s what I mean:

Business
Our governance structure requires that we hold an annual business meeting. At this business meeting the following items are presented and/or voted on:
• International Officers and Committee Chairs present information about the work they’ve completed throughout the sorority year
• the annual financial statement is presented
• minutes of the previous convention are accepted or revised
• amendments to the constitution, bylaws, standing rules are considered and voted on
• candidates for International Officer positions are presented and elections are held
• Installation of Officers is held
• International Sponsorships are reported on and in the odd numbered years the upcoming International Sponsorship candidates are presented and voted on.
• From time to time the business meetings include workshops, general membership discussions, or special guests delivering a message or keynote to provide information and inspiration.

Our Founders and the other leaders who came before us worked hard to ensure that we have a governance structure that allows for fair representation – meaning each Chapter has the privilege to send up to two members as voting Delegates to the annual convention. Attending convention as a Delegate, or as a member, provides all of us the opportunity to have a voice in the deliberations, to ask questions, and to offer expertise and ideas. Participating in the business meetings at the annual convention is truly a benefit to membership! All members are encouraged to participate.

Fellowship
Our schedule when gathered together for the annual convention provides opportunities for sight-seeing, sharing of meals, participating in the Memorial Service, shopping, and relaxing. As we know from our Pledge and Creed that one of our main purposes as an organization is friendship.

As women with similar interests in community service and the care of those less fortunate – it is important that we also take the time necessary to visit with one another, share ideas, and grow our friendships. A few ways that we accomplish the fellowship part our convention is to arrive early or stay late for tours arranged by our local hostess Province. We also share meals – the Welcome Breakfast, the Membership Awards Dinner, the Farewell Brunch. Some of the best times for fellowship are after all of the scheduled business meetings, meals, tours, and so forth – when we gather in the lobby to play cards, or when we visit the local restaurant and share a cup of coffee or glass of wine.
I’ve noticed women sitting two-by-two or in small groups or even crowded around a small table with more chairs than really possible – for the purpose of catching up on family news, job promotions, children and grandchildren updates, as well as conversations about the loss of a spouse or child, a job layoff, or an unwelcomed health diagnosis. All of these opportunities for fellowship feed our souls and keep us going. They also inspire us to do more to grow our friendships, increase our service, and extend ourselves in the community where we live and work.

International Convention is the once a year opportunity to gather together and be at our very best as we consider the business and work of our nearly 100 year old organization. It is that once a year time to be in the presence of a Sister that lives 1,000 miles away and this is the only time the two of you are together in one location.

International Convention is also an event that takes a commitment. We must save our money for registration, hotel stay, travel, food, and incidentals. If we work we need to plan time off for a few days or a week depending on the activities we plan to participate in. Sometimes the commitment is easy – when money is easily available, when the kids are all grown, and when our spouses or partners want us to visit with our Sisters. And, other times making the commitment is hard – money is tight, there are children to be cared for, there is limited vacation time available just for yourself – because family vacation time is important too.

What I do know is this … I’ve been on the hardship side of this dilemma – saving money all year to be able to attend International Convention without using my credit card. Deciding if it was okay to do something just for me, leaving my family at home. Deciding if I wanted to bring my husband along with me to convention and share my special Sister time with him. Deciding if I could afford to miss work at all during the summer. All of these are real considerations for each of us to decide individually.

What I have learned during my 14 years as a member of Sigma Phi Gamma is that the ladies who have gone to conventions for decades – they make the sacrifices, they get creative with family vacation time, they attend convention knowing that they will be stronger, smarter, more fulfilled women who return home with a sense of accomplishment and pride in the organization and membership they hold dear.

The Sigma Phi Gamma International Convention is an opportunity. Make it what you will. Take from it what you need to be a better woman and Sister. There is something for everyone and I hope to see each of you next year in Portland, Oregon.

Donna Collins, International Counselor

Kappa Province News for September – Linda Barnes, Editor

KAPPA PROVINCE

Xi Sigma (San Antonio, TX) hosted a dinner mixer at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria to invite interested ladies to learn about SPG. We all advertised in our neighborhood community papers and on our Facebook pages. Three lovely ladies attended and two others are also interested. We visited, learned about each other and enjoyed pizza. The ladies will be invited to our socials and hopefully will become members of SPG. At our June social we wrote letters to deployed soldiers, veterans, new recruits, first responders’ and wounded warriors through Operation Gratitude. Our GIVING PLATES are now on the website and available for purchase.

Mu Eta (Hays, KS) – We welcomed two new members to our chapter in May. Three Sisters from our Chapter are heading to International at the end of July. We wish them and all our Sisters a safe journey and an awesome time. And in August we will celebrate our Chapter birthday with a trip to a nearby winery. All in all, a fun filled summer.

Eta Omega (Wichita, KS) is slowing recovering for the loss of 5 sisters in less than a 15 months. These were strong SPG sisters and they will be missed. Kathy Dugan and Linda Barnes are preparing for the trip to Grand Rapids with three of our sisters from Hays, KS. This should be a great time for sisterly love and memorable times. We are also trying to put our heads together for the Convention our Province we will be sponsoring on 2019. Love and Hugs to all.

Mu Gamma, (Arlington) Althea is officially retired now and “has left the building”. She is back from International Convention, and Michigan is a memory. August is always all about our Life Founders. Anne retired in August. She and Hans took a vacation trip to Costa Rica the middle of August. When they returned, they hosted Founder’s Day for us, as they usually do. We were treated to one of Hans’ amazing gourmet dinners, and special birthday cake. Jackie and Myrt have birthdays 2 days apart, and we always celebrate them at Founder’s Day weekend. Jackie and family took a cruise to St. Thomas, Turks and Cacaos, and Costa Rico. We were looking forward to Jackie’s tales at sea, all about island life, and lots of pictures – even from a drone above Costa Rica! I am recovering from my “vacation” in the hospital, and knee replacement surgery. Lots going on for our Mu Gamma sisters, but we always remember to celebrate and honor our five Life Founders. Wishing everyone a happy fall season with lots of good things happening in sorority.

Contributing Editors: Louise Franz-Xi Sigma, Cindy Worley-Mu Eta, Linda Barnes-Eta Omega, Bonnie Gerard-Mu Gamma

September by Debbie Henize

Welcome to fall ladies. In Ohio it is an unusually cool late summer which is fine with me because I love the fall. I know it is not officially fall but it feels like it to me. School has started for my 8 year old daughter and that means getting back to a regular routine. Well, not exactly for me. Being the Historian is a big job and I have just scratched the surface. Council meetings, deadlines, my first post to a blog, everything seems new and challenging. You may not know but I just started teaching my first college class. I have always wanted to teach and now I have the opportunity. So many new tasks and additional responsibilities, how exciting.

As I become more familiar with all of my new tasks I would like to ask for your help. If your chapter or Province is not represented in the Photo directory please help me include them. Every member is precious and a significant part of the history of Sigma Phi Gamma. Let’s include every beautiful Sigma Phi face. Also, I have a few directory updates to do so I fresh directory should be posted shortly. Thank you for sending these so promptly.

It is late here in Ohio and I have several things on my “To Do” list yet to do so I will leave you for now.

Love in Sigma Phi,
Debbie