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Many Paths, One Journey

Blog of ECW-NC at Triennial ‘12


NC's ECW contribute $500 to Unified Gift 

The ECW of Diocese of NC adopted the Millennium Development Goals as a mission point in 2007. We were integral to the success of the Diocese of NC’s 2011-2012 NetsforLife campaign, actively serving on its steering committee and donating $7,200 to the effort. 
And now, with ECW Triennial, the focus is again on the NetsforLife Inspiration Fund, a program of Episcopal Relief and Development. Here in Indy, thanks to the generosity of Kathy MacLeod, Raleigh Convocation chair of the Diocesan ECW; the women of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Charlotte; and the Diocesan ECW board, we gave $500 to help the National ECW reach the $12,000 goal of the Unified Gift. In all, more than $17,000 has been raised. 
One specially treated bed net can prevent up to three people from the bites of malarial mosquitoes.



Congrats to Ellen Weig for Telling the Story of Women and Winning

The Episcopal Women’s History Project (EWHP) gave awards and grants while meeting in Indianapolis during the 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church. Accepting the Malcolm and Pat Diesenroth Parish Award on behalf of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Hillsborough, NC was Ellen Weig.

The award, which comes with a $250 prize, is given for outstanding efforts of a parish to preserve or tell its history, especially the stories of women who helped form its congregational life. St. Matthew’s was recognized for its extensive research, documentation, and public presentations on the history of nearly 200 years of women’s work in the parish.

Research topics included the woman’s working association functioning as early as 1826, the Ladies Sewing Society at work frm 1866 to 1900, one of the five founding diocesan Woman’s Auxiliary branches beginning in 1882, and the successor ECW branch active until the late 1990s.

In October 2011 a paper on the work and legacy of the St. Matthew’s Ladies Sewing Society was presented by Ellen at the EWHP conference in Seneca Falls, New York. 

Way to go, Ellen! (Ellen is pictured here on the right with Diocese of NC ECW president Lisa Towle, center, and Lynn Hoke, archivist and historian for the Diocese of NC ECW, while at the national ECW Triennial ‘12.)


"Your hands are a sacrament of mission"

Every Triennial, ECW delegates receive a cross unique to that year. The Presiding Bishop blesses and personally distributes the crosses. Here’s the cross for 2012. In her homily on Sunday, July 8, during the Holy Eucharist and United Thank Offering Ingathering, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who’d distributed the crosses just days before, talked about the work of Episcopal Church Women, particularly as it relates to the UTO: “I see the hands of Episcopal Church Women extended to receive those crosses and it’s a blessing. Those individual hands symbolize prophetic work reaching out across borders, boundaries and instruments of division.”


Diocese of North Carolina Honors Vivian Mann Edwards (1935-2010)

A tradition at the ECW Triennial is the recognition of one extra special woman from every diocese of The Episcopal Church. In North Carolina this woman is selected by the Diocesan ECW board. This recognition, once known as Honored Women, is now called Distinguished Women. This Triennial the board elected to posthumously recognize Vivian Edwards, known by many throughout the diocese, because of the totality of a life lived well and faithfully.

Vivian was a lifelong member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Henderson, NC. Happily following the example set by her mother, she actively participated in the work of Episcopal Church Women all her adult life because she believed in the power of women’s ministry to positively impact the lives of people. She served St. John’s in various capacities, including treasurer, choir member, and Vestry member. Likewise, her time with the Diocesan ECW included multiple jobs over a long span of years, but the one closest to her heart was Altar Guild director. Vivian knew her way around an altar, loved the beauty of flowers, appreciated the specialness of sacred objects, and understood the Liturgy of the Word. That’s what made her a valued part of the diocese’s Liturgical Commission. 

In fact, what she valued most was making a difference through service, whether it was to her church, garden club, local genealogy society or town. As mayor of Middleburg, NC for 15 years she was instrumental in obtaining clean drinking water for the residents of her town when local wells became contaminated. She also established Middleburg Fun Day as a way to bring the community and community churches together.

Vivian, the wife of Frank and mother of Cheryl and Leigh Ann, had a caring heart, a listening ear, a ready laugh, and an optimist’s outlook. She distinguished herself by not distinguishing between people. Her faith and personal creed, explain her daughters, meant, “she couldn’t say ‘no’ to anyone when they asked for help, and always being generous with her time and energy.”


CPC: "Do you know the good you're doing?"

In 1888, when Mrs. Fargo (as in Wells Fargo) and some fellow Episcopal church women in New York began collecting prayer books and hymnals for fledgling Episcopal churches in the western part of the United States, the supplies were shipped via stagecoach. Today, what those women began is still known as Church Periodical Club and the need for the “ministry of the word” is as great, if not greater. However, the frontiers of the church have expanded beyond the imagining of Mrs. Fargo and her friends, as have shipping methods. All this was made ever so clear on the evening of July 4, when some 300 people gathered in a ballroom at the Hilton in downtown Indianapolis for the Overseas Bishops’ Dinner, the concluding event of the CPC’s national, pre-General Convention/ECW Triennial meeting.

The Rt. Rev. Julio Murray, Bishop of the Diocese of Panama (pictured on the left), emceed the program, introducing Episcopal and Anglican bishops and primates from locales as far flung as Jersusalem, Brazil, Cuba, Central America, Liberia, Canada, Africa, the Dominican Republic, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Wales and Guatemala. Most of them took the opportunity to speak - sometimes with the assistance of a translator, always with emotion - about what the ministry of CPC has done for them personally (i.e. receiving grants for textbooks while in seminary) or for parishes in their dioceses.

The Bishop of Costa Rica, the Rt. Rev. Hector Monterrosa, talked about his diocese’s companion relationship with the Diocese of North Carolina. He explained that when asked by Episcopalians in North Carolina what Costa Ricans wanted most he replied, “prayer books.” And the prayer books came. Between the efforts of North Carolinians and Church Periodical Club one thousand prayer books were delivered. “We met our goal and I cannot tell you what a blessing it is to have Spanish language prayer books,” he said.

This is what CPC, which exists entirely on voluntary financial contributions, does. It makes sure, when possible, that church literature in appropriate languages gets to those in the Anglican Communion who’ve requested them. But that’s not all, not by a long shot. It also supports work in the mission field. Theological and educational material, including software and audio/visual material, also go throughout the U.S. to hospitals, seminary libraries, schools, prisons, drug rehab centers, seafarers’ institutes and juvenile centers.

As the Rt. Rev. Dom Filadelfo Oliveira, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Rio de Janeiro, put it, “I cannot begin to tell you what the CPC work means. It is so important because it all contributes to one thing — the mission of God’s kingdom on earth. Thank you, thank you.”

(Note: The Episcopal Church Women in North Carolina educate about as well as advocate for CPC. In addition to sending textbook grants twice a year to seminarians from our diocese, we donate, on average, about $3,000 a year to CPC for its national and international outreach. The more that’s contributed by parishes and individuals the more we’re able to give.)