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Province 1 Episcopal Church Women

Epiphany 2020
Looking back on 2019 and Looking Forward to 2020

Dear Friends,
Looking back on 2019...
Province 1 ECW built a leadership team with the goal of reaching out to Women in Province 1.  As we met together monthly by “Zoom” we sketched out a triennial calendar with the intention of visiting every diocese to bring information and a message of hopeful action.

Looking back we visited the dioceses of Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont. We brought our “Roadshow” of history and stories from Episcopal Church Women, United Thank Offering, Girls’ Friendly Society, Daughters of the King and the Church Periodical Club.

Our Annual Meeting was hosted by St. Peters Church, Londonderry, NH where we were treated to a talk by Marjorie Burke, past National ECW President.  Reading passages from her two books, Melting Ice, Shifting Sand and  Pilgrimage on Ice and Sand,  Marge shared her and her husband’s journey with Alzheimer’s disease.
Karen Patterson, the National ECW President and Sherri Dietrich, United Thank Offering Board President joined us for the day.

A major focus for 2019 was  Communication ~ Collaboration ~ Connection
Communication  with the women in the seven dioceses of Province 1 through:
  • Our new Facebook Page
  • Our updated Website
  • Our Electronic Newsletter
  • Our Province 1 ECW representative to the NECW Board, who shared information from the Province to the NECW Board and received information from the NECW Board.
  • Welcoming the new bishops in the dioceses of Maine and Vermont.
  • A newly redesigned “How to Start an ECW packet” that we will be making available on flash drives and on our website.

Collaboration /Connection opportunities  for education, inspiration and refreshment by:
  • Promoting and attending the ECW in Connecticut Annual Meeting.  The speaker, Sue Heimer, took us on a journey through the bible following in the footsteps of Miriam.
  • Collaborating with the Girls’ Friendly Society to bring Yawande Austin to Connecticut for a workshop on Faith in Action.
  • Collaborating with UTO through Jane Jellison we helped get information out in the Province, most recently highlighting that the UTO Education Materials Committee is asking for feedback on old and new resources.
  • Connecting with the Province 1 Order of the Daughters of the King, Monica Burden, provided updates of Daughters of the King meetings and the theme for their Triennial Meeting, “Come to the Table.”
  • Collaborating with the ECW and UTO Women’s Reading Room Project at the National Archives.
  • Promoting the Rhode Island ECW’s Quiet Day Knitting Retreat in Warwick, RI.
Looking forward  to 2020…
  • We are planning additional Roadshows for 2020, most likely in Western Massachusetts and maybe Rhode Island. We are considering themes for our roadshows, possibly including a community service project.
  • Lois Frankforter will attend the orientation day for the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women, March 7th.This meeting celebrates  the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. (See more about this below)
  • We plan to attend the ECW in Connecticut Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 7th,and send reflections from the meeting.
  • We are already planning our Annual Meeting 2020, which is likely to be a retreat.
  • We may revisit our bylaws to make them more “user friendly”.
  • We are eagerly looking for contributors for our newsletter.
We pray regularly for all the women in Province 1, its leaders, clergy, and for the special needs that come before us.  Most,  if not all,  of the leadership team lost loved ones this past year, but we have kept the light shining through our love and our tears.

Below are two prayers we have used for our Zoom meetings.
Heavenly Father,
When I feel off or dissatisfied, I know I need to renew my fellowship with you.  I pray for the self-discipline to find time to be quiet before you.  Restore me.  I know that when I connect with you, I tap into your strength, and that is what I need right now.  I am weak; I have worn myself out with constant activity in the attempts to be productive.  But now I see that I need to slow down in order to speed up.  Even Jesus, amid his busy ministry, saw the importance of finding time for rest and quiet reflection.  As I follow his example, help me to stop awhile to let my body, mind, and spirit recover.  Reset my purpose so that I can be more energized and productive when I’m ready to get back to the work at hand.  Show me how to find the balance between work and rest, investment in people and quiet time for restoration.  Amen.

Dear Lord,
When I feel out of my league and too inexperienced for the task ahead of me, I remember that you waste nothing.  You use everything to further your purposes.  After all, King David came to the throne with a resume that included shepherding as his first job - - but you used that back ground to prepare him to rule, not as a tyrant, but a caring shepherd.  Help me to remember that you can use me in whatever situation I find myself and that you will use my circumstances to prepare me for future service.  I am a part of your plan!  As I obey you, may you carry out your purposes through me.  Use all my varied training and experience, God, to make me more fruitful for you. Amen


United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
So what is the United Nation Commission on the Status of Women and the Beijing 25th anniversary? 
Did I miss something ???
Shortly after the formation of the United Nations in 1946, the UN established the commission on the status of women. (UNCSW) This Commission is the largest policy-making body exclusively dedicated to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women around the world. There have been four world gatherings of women: 1975, 1980, 1985 and 1995.
The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China was the largest of all the meetings, and was the most impactful in terms of establishing firm and foundational policies. Over 30,000 Women (And some men), the largest gathering of gender equality advocates in history from all sectors of society, attended the meeting. Two notable women were Madeline Albright, former United States Secretary of State and Hillary Clinton, then first lady, who made her now famous statement, “Women’s rights are human rights.” Also attending were Episcopal and Anglican women including Sister Helena Marie and Ann Smith, then executive director of the Women in Mission and Ministry office at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City.
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 was developed at the Fourth World Conference on Women  and was adopted by 189 governments, countries committed to taking action in 12 key areas:

The 12 Key areas of concern were:
  • Women and the environment
  • Women in power and decision-making
  • The girl child
  • Women and the economy 
  • Women and poverty 
  • Violence against women
  • Human rights of women
  • Education and training of women
  • Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women
  • Women and health
  • Women and the media
The UNCSW meets annually for two weeks in New York City. It is a large gathering of women from around the world working collaboratively to improve the lives of women and honor their human rights.  Their work is shaped by the Beijing platform for action. The Episcopal Church sends a delegation, appointed by the Presiding Bishop, to the meeting each year. This year’s meeting is March 9--20,  2020,  held at the United Nations Headquarters, New York City. The March 2020 meeting will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing meeting and there is a desire to revisit what action has been taken and how it has played out locally in the real world. Recurrent themes of the meetings are,   “Think globally act locally”, and “Start sweeping at your feet“.

What has happened since the Beijing Platform was adopted and what does it mean for me….

1995 On her return from the Beijing meeting in 1995,  Ann Smith co-wrote a book called, Womenprints: A Detailed Plan of Action for the New Millennium, by Ann Smith, Sr. Helena Marie, Lucy Germany and Nancy Grandfield. Ann was quoted as saying, the large number of Episcopal women at Beijing, many of them from such groups as the Mother's Union, will serve as messengers responsible for carrying women's stories to their local churches, where she hoped they would develop programs and discussions of global issues raised here.
2000 The Council of Women’s Ministries started practicing the Circular Model of leadership as a way to take action.
2003 Phoebe Griswold with support from the Office of Women’s Ministries at the Episcopal Church Center created Anglican Women’s Empowerment, (AWE).
2004 Susanne Watson Epting “was contracted to write a resource guide to help small groups to reflect, discuss and pray about the issues of the Beijing Platform and then discern from that experience what actions to take…. this was called Beijing Circles.
2006  Beijing Circles Resource for Women of Faith Changing the World, Susanne Watson Epting is published READ THE RESOURCE GUIDE HERE  and  the National ECW organizes a “Call to Action” based on 3 areas of the Beijing Platform..
2007 The National ECW adopted the “Girl Child”  as a focus area for education and action in response to the Commission on the Status of Women 2007 Agreed conclusion  “ Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination and Violence against the Girl Child”. For an explanation of Draft Conclusions read a report from an Episcopal delegate (2007 and 2008)  HERE
2010  The Episcopal Church Women (ECW), the Episcopal Women's Caucus (EWC) and Anglican Women's Empowerment (AWE) joined together to Support the 16 days of activism international campaign established by the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University.
2011-2020 Over the past 10 years action plans have been put into place to address gender equity for women and girls. This action can be seen throughout the Episcopal Church and into the pews.

Has the Gospel message inspired you or your Women’s Group to work on equal rights for women and girls around the world?
Add your stories and initiatives here HERE 
Province 1 ECW has a $50 scholarship available annually. This scholarship is given to enhance the involvement of women in the Episcopal Church in the Province of New England to  carry on Christ's work of reconciliation in the world and to take their place as leaders in the life, governance and worship of the church when financial need is an obstacle.  It is expected that the applicant, or other sponsoring group, will match this gift. For more information and an application please email
Miles of Pennies news
Pennies Count
Like the Widow's Mite was worth the search, the penny is worth the picking up...  Here's why.  In 1988 the Church Periodical Club celebrated its 100th anniversary and one thing they did was establish the Mile of Pennies ("MOP") Grant Award.

So how much money does a mile of pennies make? $844.80! That is the most that a grant can be!  The collection of the smallest of our coins provides grants for books and materials for children from kindergarten through high school.  It makes good use of our least coin to do great good for children!

The ECW Board of Rhode Island and Churches in Maine continue to collect pennies.  The total collected in 2019 was $90.87.
If you would like to learn more about Miles of Pennies and the Church Periodical Club. Click Here
Girls' Friendly Society

Lois Frankforter, Girls Friendly National President,  shared her experiences traveling with Yawande Austin and a delegation to Nigeria and was happy to announce that Girls’ friendly would be collaborating with Yawande Austin  on a series of on-line workshops on Social Activism “The Art of Change : Building Beloved Communities” - targeted to girls age 14 and up.  

The first workshop series has ended but the work continued with  a 6-week long social impact leadership class for Girls' Friendly Society, USA (GFS/USA) with 46 students from 7 states. "The Art of Change" class was created  5 years ago as a blueprint for anyone that shared Yawande’s  dream of creating a better world, and when  Lois Frankforter asked Yawande  to create a class that integrated Bishop Michael Curry's 7 "Way of Love" teachings into her curriculum, something special happened. "The Art of Change: Building a Beloved Community" reminds us how closely our faith is aligned with the skills required to affect sustainable change.

Yewande Austin will be joining GFS World Council in South Africa to share the Art of Change with GFS members from over 25 different countries. Reflections on this transformative experience have just begun as they look to the Way of Love practices to deepen and enrich lives, relationships and faith...Help GFS USA continue to build Beloved Communities through the Art of Change. Donations appreciated Click here to donate

Episcopal Women's History Project


Mark you calendar for a meeting this Summer
July 10-13, 2020
Maritime Conference Center, Baltimore, MD

United Thank Offering News

Read the most recent UTO Newsletter: HERE 
The Annual UTO Grant application deadline is 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday March 6, 2020
The Theology of Gratitude Scholars Conference  with Diana Butler Bass, April 23-24, 2020  More information Click HERE

If you have 6 minutes to spare for a message on Gratitude CLICK HERE  and you will not be disappointed.
It is a short film by Louie Schwartzberg  and Narrated by Brother David Steindl-Rast  

 2019 Financial Reports

 Budget vs Actual 12.31.19 HERE
Statement of Financial Position 12.31.19  HERE
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Province 1 Episcopal Church Women · Susan P Howland, President ECW Province 1 · 132 Osgood Rd · Charlton, MA 01507-5342 · USA

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