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Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices; Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may do their part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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In our church, neither a person's gender nor their sexual orientation matter; what does matter is how they serve Jesus Christ as Lord.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The History of Women's Organizations in the Episcopal Church

1871 ~ General Convention authorized the Board of Missions to organize the Women’s Auxiliary to the Board of Missions.

1874 ~ First Triennial Meeting held in New York

We here at Epiphany had started about this same time, and Fr. Beatty's wife and daughter had started early on with a Women's Auxiliary raising money to construct our first church, plus which three women were named to the Building Committee by Father Beatty, and they were quite sucessful in raising money.

Beginning in 1904, women founded and built our Sunday School program. See the 'Good things happened in 1904' messsage for more details on this. In 1914 our Saint Mary's Guild was started; again, a very important and influential service in our church. A group of Epiphany women met with Father Randall to form this guild, one of whose purposes was to take over the United Thank Offering and affiliate themselves with the Independence-based social service Associated Charities.

We had a Girl's Friendly Society which was founded in 1917. In 1912 the women formed our Alter Guild, and in March, 1915 St. Mary's Guild was responsible for the purchase and installation of our new musical instrument, an Estey organ.


1919 ~ Along with the Presiding Bishop and National Council, the First National Council Executive Board of Women’s Auxiliary established.

1920 ~ National Council adopted resolution recognizing in all of its departments the Executive Board of the Women’s Auxiliary.

In 1949 another women's guild was started, called Saint Martha's Guild, here at Epiphany. Eventually, Saint Mary's Guild was merged into St. Martha's.

1958 ~ By action of the National Council, the Executive Board of the Women’s Auxiliary became the General Division of Women’s Work.

1964 ~ National Council became Executive Council. General Division of Women’s Work has liaison member with voice and vote in every department.

1967 ~ General Division of Women’s Work and Executive Council vote to suspend bylaws in order to "enter into such new structure with other departments and units as seems appropriate to discharging responsibilities and functions …"

1970 ~ Resolutions from 1969 Committee for Women meeting approved for trial use.

1973 ~ Triennial Meeting voted overwhelmingly to continue.

1976 ~ Triennial Meeting adopted Structure Document, formed Triennial Program and Planning Committee.

1979 ~ Name shortened to Triennial Committee.

1985 ~ Triennial Meeting adopted bylaws, forming Episcopal Church Women, Episcopal Church, U.S.A.

1988 ~ Regular publication of the ECW Communiqué commenced.

1994 ~ Episcopal Church Women/United Thank Offering Joint Committee Formed.

2000 ~ Triennial Today is centerfold in Convention Daily.

2001 ~ Website re-launched and expanded.

So Epiphany -- and the Episcopal Church in general, has always had a place for women. In fact, history would seem to indicate we had a strong women's organization here at Epiphany about the same time it was becoming commonplace in the Episcopal Church at large.

PAT

1 Comments:

Anonymous Marty Eidson said...

St. Martha's Guild was begun for the working women of the congregation, as they originally met in the evening. St. Mary's met during the daytime, as did Epiphany Guild. It wasn't until about 12-15 years ago that St. Martha's started to meet in the daytime.

Wed Jul 12, 01:19:00 PM CDT  

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