Episcopal Church Women’s national board gathers at Church Center for business and service project
Members of the Episcopal Church Women’s (ECW) national board are combining business meetings at the Church Center in New York City with making blankets for St. Bartholomew’s Church homeless ministry.
“We visit all nine provinces before our terms are up and we try to do a service project in each location that we go to,” said Deborah Anderson of the Diocese of New Jersey.
Board president Kay Meyer of the Diocese of Atlanta said the idea of service projects began with the last board. When they gather in a particular area the ECW “women of that area are invited to join us” and help to identify different projects in which the board could be involved.
St. Bart’s homeless shelter, the recipient of this meeting’s service project, operates 365 days a year providing overnight shelter for eight men and/or women. Its volunteers serve the guests a hot meal and socialize before “lights out” at 9:30 p.m. The guests are picked up at 6:30 a.m. after eating a light breakfast.
For this project Cordelia I. Burt of the Diocese of San Joaquin cut all of the material for the polar fleece blankets which were assembled by tying the frayed ends, each of which were prayed over before being tied into a knot.
“The wonderful thing about these blankets is you don’t have to be a seamstress in order to put them together,” said Anderson. “This was something really simple that we could all get around the table and do.”
The blankets, enough for each bed, were assembled after the board completed a day’s work. They will be collected by a representative from St. Bart’s.
Meyer says the ECW is “connected in every way in church life.”
“As the largest network in the church we know women from the pew all to the national level and we have a way of communicating to them all,” she said. “We meet together, we have retreats together, we do mission and ministry together, we pray together, we play together, and we ought to stay together.”
She described the work of ECW as being that of a conduit and that they “maintain the network and keep the information flowing both ways.”
In that connection, Meyer said “we don’t just know each other; we already love each other across the wide spectrum of the church.”
The ECW National Board includes:
Kay H. Meyer, Diocese of Atlanta
Donna Keller, Diocese of Los Angeles
The Rev. Elizabeth Habecker, Diocese of Los Angeles
Barbara B. McKee, Diocese of Delaware
Elizabeth Campbell, Diocese of South Dakota
Deborah Anderson, Diocese of New Jersey
Mary Ann Ransom, Diocese of North Carolina
Marilyn Rishkofski, Diocese of New Hampshire
Nancy J. Gorman, Diocese of New Jersey
Patricia S. Haldeman, Diocese of West Virginia
Marcie Cherau, Diocese of Georgia
Nancy Sherwin, Diocese of Ohio
Mary K. Whisler, Diocese of Colorado
Sandra Powers, Diocese of Arkansas
Cordelia I. Burt, Diocese of San Joaquin
Coromoto Salazar,Diocese of Venezuela
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