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Unity is theme at meeting

(ran East, West, South editions)

The Greater St. Petersburg Unit of Church Women United will celebrate May Fellowship Day Friday.

The service will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 4355 Central Ave.

There also will be a luncheon, which will cost $5.50.

Offerings will support the work of Church Women United and the Florida chapter.

May Fellowship Day traditionally focuses on unity and issues in the local community, organizers say.

The St. Petersburg organization is part of the national ecumenical group founded in 1941. It participates in the blanket fund administered by Church World Service and supports farm workers and migrant ministries.

In recent years, said Grace Druyor, the local group has seen a decline in participation.

"What is happening is that churches aren't sending anybody (to meetings)," she said.

"The main reason we've stuck together is that we like the advantage of blacks and whites working together. In 1958 there was a preacher who went all the way to Tallahassee to try to get us to disband. He said that God did not intend for the races to mix."

The group played a part in resolving the city's garbage strike in the 1960s.

"What we have become is a small band of dedicated workers," Druyor added.

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