Members of the Sisters of the Skillet put their hands – and their hearts - to work in the kitchen.

The women who make up the group have combined their skills and time for around 20 years at the Zion Lutheran Church in downtown Tipp City.

The women handle preparation of funeral dinners for parishioners as well as food for special receptions at the church; treats for practices of church groups; and take turns taking meals to shut-ins.

The Sisters of the Skillet also operate the lunch stand for the Art for the Heart artisan show and fair held every February and later this month will be in charge of the church sauerkraut and brats supper. Those two events are fundraisers to help pay for the other meal projects and for the organization’s outreach program.

“We want to help people but like to have an active part of it. We want to do something with our hands,” said member Ruth White.

In the first years, they worked out of the kitchen in the church basement before moving to the new Fellowship Hall when it was built some 11 years ago.

With the move the group, which didn’t have a formal name, adopted the Sisters of the Skillet, and “saw a fresh start above ground,” White said with a laugh.

Her sister, who lives in Maine and told her about a group with the name there, suggested the group’s name. “They liked the name here, and it has stuck,” she said.

Former member Erma Snell made aprons with the name for the women.

Among group traditions is making turkey noodle soup from the leftover Thanksgiving turkey and broth and taking turns working in the kitchen. Those taking a break can keep up on the conversation and progress on whatever’s on the stove by taking a seat at a table placed along a kitchen wall.

White said the women, who range in age from their 50s to 80s, work well as a group.

“I think it is because we like to be together. Everybody wants to help other people, but it is a lot more fun if you can do it together,” she said.

The Sisters of the Skillet has a support staff of its own. It’s a “special forces group of men who work hard in the ‘man cave’ dishwashing room,” White said.

The group works with several outreach ministries including: 4 Paws for Ability, Eagles Wings, Shoes for the Shoeless, Oesterlin Services for Youth, Needy Basket, Jeremiah’s Letter, We Care Arts, Baby Bucks, Children’s Medical Center, Family Abuse Shelter, Lutheran World Relief and the VA Hospital.