Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

United Women in Faith’s Weekend of Action


Volunteers present homemade jam for Toole Tyme at Cookson Hills Center. Photo by Tabitha Beckman.

Toole Tyme at Cookson Hills Ministry Center

by Tabitha Beckman

Every year women and men from around Oklahoma gather in Cookson, near Lake Tenkiller, to help Cookson Hills prepare for their Christmas store. The store provides low-income families in the area with a chance to come pick out gifts and have them wrapped for Christmas. Families also receive a bag of food to prepare a Christmas feast. This annual event is known as Toole Tyme.

This year’s group also helped rake leaves, paint a fence, and pack bags of food that go to local schools for kids to take home over the weekends.

Rev. Jami Moss, who is newly elected to the Cookson Hills board, said, “They really do a lot in the community. And I think that’s my favorite piece of it. Because if Cookson Hills were to go away, the community, which is already underserved, would be that much more underserved. I’m excited about the revitalization of Cookson in the area because I do believe that Cookson is a is a cornerstone in this community.”

Cookson Hills Center is a project of the United Methodist Church. It is the only rural mission program in Oklahoma and the only mission program that is a joint effort of the Oklahoma Conference, the Oklahoma Indian Mission Conference, the United Women in Faith, and the General Board of Global Ministries. Cookson Hills serves Adair, Cherokee and Sequoia counties.

Harri Williams, the conference President of United Women in Faith, described the Toole Tyme event, “We come in on Friday and meet and greet and fellowship and sign up for the awesome opportunity to work at this mission center to help them prepare for Thanksgiving and for Christmas. It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to do this and it takes a lot of hands to organize.”  

When asked what makes Cookson Hills Ministry special, Williams said, “If you haven’t been in the eastern part of the state, you miss the fall colors, you miss the mountains, and of course, Lake Tenkiller is right here also. But when you come and see the beauty of this mission and the land that it sits on, it’s like stepping onto holy ground, to be here and serve in whatever capacity we can serve in.”

As everyone has worked up an appetite, a team prepared delicious and healthy meals

Helpers in the Christmas store choose just the right toys for little ones.

Fall is the perfect time to rake leaves at Cookson Hills.

The group prepared bags and bags of food for making Christmas dinner.

The thrift store is an enticing shop with lots of merchandise

The Christmas shop made it possible for kids to have a ball playing with toys and gifts they receive for Christmas.


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