Greetings Province 1 Women,
Read an inspiring article from the ECW of Connecticut
And reflections on the Annual Meeting
MEET “The Nice Church Lady”
Posted by ECCT STORYTELLER on NOVEMBER 2, 2020 Post written by: Kelli Ray Gibson, ECCT’s Racial Justice Resource Coordinator
Back in the spring of this year, Betty Silva’s, President of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW), president’s page message centered on change. It started with a quote from a sign she had read, “Let go of what you can’t change”. Little did Betty realize just how much change we would be called upon to make in our everyday lives. Saddened that they were unable to hold their Annual Meeting in May, Betty was inspired to somehow be the change she wanted to see.
After watching the horrific headlines of the racial unrest following the George Floyd murder and learning about the discrimination of a small black girl in her local community because of her hair, Betty was invigorated to show up on the side of the oppressed.
Due to the surplus of the funds and because ECW was unable to hold the Annual Meeting, Betty thought it best to intentionally use those funds to support programs on racial justice and support the Black Lives Matter movement. ECW is proud to have supported 14 hunger outreach programs, 8 human needs projects, special assistance programs, 5 clergy daughter scholarships, a donation to Camp Washington, and, with the help of her region missionary Maggie Breen and ECCT Racial Justice resource coordinator Kelli Gibson, a strategic gift to the Center for Children’s Advocacy. “If we don’t start showing them (young people) that they mean something now by the time they’re adults you lost them” – Betty Silva “We can’t thank you enough for your generous grant! Your support will help us fight for racial justice for children and youth whose opportunities and well-being are threatened by systemic racism.”
– Martha Stone, ED Center for Children’s Advocacy
Please find the complete list of programs supported by the ECW below. Perhaps there is one that your Parish group could become involved with. List of Programs Click Here
Betty let us know that they voted to postpone the May annual meeting until September 2021.
Reflections on the Annual Meeting
On Saturday, August 22 we gathered with women in Province 1 for a day of enrichment. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic this was a virtual meeting held on Zoom. We had 28 people participate to Rest~ Relax~ and Remember the Light of Christ.
We opened with a prayer written by Delores Alleyne, immediate past president: "Dear God, thank you for enabling us to come together for another year for the Annual Meeting of the Episcopal Church Women Province 1. Thank you for everyone that has gathered in our first zoom meeting and gathering for Rest and Reconciliation and have protected them throughout the night and have enabled us to wake up this morning. Lord, thank you for the gift of life. If it were not because of your love for us, we would not be here today. Your unconditional love has enabled us to come to this place when we are healthy and ready to start our meeting.
This year has been a very stressful year we didn’t ask for. We’ve experience hardship we never imagined. Lord, there are so many people to pray for during this time. ECW sister we’ve loss, so many individuals that are sick with the virus and loved one loss to it. So many in need, so many requests. The world is filled with so much hate, injustices against people of color and gender violence. This can seem so overwhelming to us. Lord, remind us that you can hear all the prayers, you can see all the needs, and you are a provider. Lord, as we face these uncertain times during this pandemic, may you use this time to grow us in our faith and understanding of you and each other.
May we have meaningful discussions that will help us to build each other up and glorify your name. For each mind and heart and each word said today is important to do your work for the betterment of ECW. May your Spirit move in our hearts, opening them to hear what each of us has to offer, drawing us always to consider what you would have us be and do in this time and place.
May we approach each other with respect and kindness. Guide our hearts and our minds in the spirit of fairness, right thought and speech.
Lord, create an environment of cooperation in this place help us to be one in the spirit. In Jesus’ name, we believe and pray, Let us all say Amen."
Karen Patterson, the NECW President brought greetings and updated us on how the NECW board is fairing during this time. Many things are on hold, but ministry goes on. Sign up for NECW news Click Here
We were treated to Laughter Yoga session with Robert Rivest. This was a new experience to all and we agreed most felt more relaxed and joyful when we finished.
Julia Renaud gave the keynote “The Center for Reconciliation: Confronting the Legacy of Slavery.” You can watch the presentation: Watch Here
The Rev. Liz Habecker led us in Noonday Prayer and then we moved to small "breakout" rooms where we brought our lunch and talked informally. We were able to see each other up close without the need for a mask or physical distance!
After lunch we were joined by three awesome speakers to give "spotlight talks" from around the province:
AMAZING GRACE : The Rev. Stephanie Shoemaker, diocese of RI: Watch Here
Dinner for a Dollar: Allison Batson, diocese of CT : Watch Here
ProGente Connections: Lori Mills-Curran, Executive Director, diocese of MA: Watch Here
Because this was a virtual meeting, the officers travel budget was made available to donate. We added the annual meeting donations and sent $200 to the Center for Reconciliation and $100 each to the "Spotlight" ministries. Thanks to all for your support!
R&R: Rest and Reconciliation Program Booklet Click Here President's Report and Financial Reports at the end of the program booklet.
All Annual Meeting highlights are on our website.
Direct link:Click Here
In Memoriam: Diane Nichols, Program Chair
We are sad to announce that Diane lost her struggle with kidney cancer on October 24,2020
Diane (Wapples) Nichols July 6, 1958-October 16, 2020 (aged 62).
Sturbridge- Diane (Wapples) Nichols, 62, resided in Sturbridge and Brookfield since moving to America with her family in 1996. Diane was born in Hemsworth, South Yorkshire, England. She was the daughter of a coal miner, Ronald and care worker, Muriel. Diane grew up with one sister, Susan Millingham who resides in Ludlow, England with her husband Steve. Diane loved to swim and was an accomplished amateur breaststroke competitor. Diane had a love of music throughout her life, beginning with the violin as a child. This later grew and was instilled in Rachael, Isaac and Jacob. Diane was a member of multiple choirs, most recent being BAMS. She also enjoyed her time performing with Brimfield Bells, one of her greatest experiences was playing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Diane also began playing the cello two years ago furthering her lifelong passion of music.
Diane enjoyed her time on the tennis courts, playing with Rob, Rachael and Jacob. She was lovingly known as “Cricket” on the softball field in Brookfield where she played with Pollie. But her greatest sports legacy was being everyone’s most vocal cheerleader found on many a sideline cheering on her husband, children, and grandchildren as well as their teammates.
Diane was an active participant within the community on many levels starting by leading Girl Scouts for both Pollie and Rachael, volunteering as a Sunday School teacher and later becoming the coordinator. Diane was an active member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Southbridge where she was the United Thank offering Coordinator for the Diocese of Western Massachusetts and Program Chair for Province 1 Episcopal Church Women. She enjoyed reading at church and being part of the church family. Diane was an amazing advocate for seniors through her job as the Director of North Brookfield Senior Center where she planned many new programs, events, and initiatives.
Diane’s real passion was literature. She enjoyed many trips to all the unusual and quaint bookstores throughout New England. She also enjoyed her trips to the Scholastic Store to instill her passion in her grandchildren. It is well known that Diane had a love of Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Rabbit and Paddington Bear. She passed these on to her children and grandchildren through books and movies. Diane also enjoyed many other hobbies including spending time in her flower garden, bird watching and exploring new destinations with Rob. Diane spent time with her grandchildren as often as she could and enjoyed attending plays, shows and unique events with them. She talked about her children and grandchildren often and to anyone that would listen, they were what she was proud of the most.
Diane was predeceased by her father Ronald. She leaves behind her husband of 29 years, Robert; her children Laura (Pollie) Coulombe and her husband Brian, Rachael Estes and her husband Andrew, Isaac Nichols and his girlfriend Michelle and Jacob Nichols and his girlfriend Camilla. Diane also leaves behind her grandchildren Taima-Jay, Lily and Ethan Coulombe and her sister Susan Millingham and her husband Steve and her mother Muriel Heap and her husband Paul.
Calling hours will be held at Sansoucy Funeral Home, 40 Marcy St, Southbridge, MA on Wednesday, October 21 from 4 to 6pm. A Celebration of Diane’s Life will be held virtually by Fr. Richard at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Southbridge on Saturday, October 24 at 1pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Friends of the North Brookfield Council on Aging Inc., 29 Forest St, North Brookfield MA 01535 or Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Southbridge 446 Hamilton St, Southbridge, MA 01550.
There is a memorial page on her church website: Click Here