Headpieces took center stage on May 19 at the Fresh Anointing Worship Center Community Tea Party, where fancy hats rivaled those seen at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that took place the same day.

Fresh Anointing Worship Center, located at 1000 South Blvd., hosted its second annual Tea Party in the Terrace Dining Room at Evanston Township High School, where 75 guests gathered for an afternoon of fellowship and fun. Many attendees wore hats that complemented their spring ensembles, some subtle and sophisticated, others elaborate and embellished with feathers, flowers or bows. The array of stylish hats seemed fitting for an event that was both elegant and purposeful.

Guests dined on traditional tea sandwiches, fresh fruit and delectable desserts while listening attentively as Evanston resident and Shorefront Legacy Center founder Dino Robinson spoke about the unique growth of African American communities in Chicago’s suburban North Shore.

Other highlights of the program included a solo performance by Melissa Virgies of “For Your Glory,” and the popular “Hat Walk,” which gave participants a chance to show off their toppers and be recognized for their outstanding millinery. Hat Walk winners were Gloria Starkey,
Veronica Polk, Angela Harrison and Mother Gayle.

Organized by the church’s Missionary Department, the program focused on the importance of taking pride in one’s community and devoting time to serve those in need. “We’re trying to move beyond the walls of the church, to let people know we’re here and we care about the community,” said Angela Hyman, President.

Under the leadership of Ms. Hyman, the group engages in at least one major service project each month. One of her favorite volunteer activities is to buy groceries and prepare and serve at Evanston soup kitchens and shelters. Last December, the Missionary Department prepared a traditional holiday meal, complete with turkey, sweet potatoes and home-made cranberry sauce. Other projects include sending care packages to college students and distributing bag lunches and bottled water to people in need.

“There’s a great need in our community,” said Ms. Hyman. “Sometimes you never know what a person is going through. We’re here to fill that gap.”

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.