Continuing in Hope!
Members of the United Church Women (UCW) are gathering from July 11th to 15th in Membertou, Nova Scotia to celebrate their sixtieth anniversary. The UCW was formed in 1962 when the Woman’s Missionary Society and the Woman’s Association were amalgamated.
The theme is “Continuing in Hope” based on Hebrews 6: 19 – “This hope is like a firm and steady anchor for our souls. In fact, hope reaches behind the curtain and into the most holy place.” The plenary speaker is Sally Armstrong, human rights activist, journalist, and award-winning author. The participants will eat together, pray together, learn together, and play together.
The conference is being held in the Membertou Trade and Convention Center. Membertou is an urban and progressive Mi’kmaq community located on Unama’ki – Cape Breton Island – just south of Sydney. Membertou, named after Grand Chief Membertou (1510-1611), is one of five Mi’kmaq communities in Cape Breton and one of thirteen Mi’kmaq communities within the province of Nova Scotia.
UCW members in each of the fifteen Regional Councils created a banner depicting their region and the theme. The Pacific Mountain United Church Women Banner was created by Chub Gosse, June Pratt and Beth Henderson of Peninsula United, Surrey, BC. The Tree of Life represents Hope. The mountains, trees and sea evoke images of the Pacific Mountain Region. Bits of real beach glass and tiny starfish along the bottom add a touch of the real world to their creation. The three women holding hands represent United Church Women who have worshiped and worked together to support the United Church of Canada for 60 years. The banner was dedicated at the Peninsula UCW Service on Sunday, June 12. 2022. Eleven women traveling to the conference will be proud to take the banner to the 60th Anniversary celebration to have it displayed. ~ adapted from a post on the Pacific Mountain Regional Council website written by Winnie Kowalewich.
Celebrations of United Church Women Anniversaries
Celebrations of the United Church Women anniversaries started with the 25th Anniversary in 1987; the 35th Anniversary was celebrated 10 years later in 1997. It was decided to celebrate every 5 years from then on. To celebrate the occasion in 2012, a 50th anniversary project was adopted. It was to support the Morogoro Women’s Training Centre in Tanzania. Over $268,000 was raised to support the training school, and as a result over 600 women were trained in maternity health care. In 2017, the United Church Women celebrated its 55th Anniversary, “Celebrating Spirit”, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The current anniversary project, Women for Change, Zambia, will end in 2022, and a new initiative will be chosen for the next 5 years. Access to education for everyone, regardless of income, is an essential part of securing greater justice, broad-based participation in society, and the eradication of poverty. Many children, particularly girls, face significant barriers to education. Women for Change, a Mission & Service partner in Zambia, is working to keep girls in Zambia in school. More information about this project and how one can support it can be found here.
- The 25th Anniversary “Called to Respond” was held in 1987 at the University of Waterloo
- The 35th Anniversary “Rejoice and Risk” was held in 1997 at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
- The 40th Anniversary “Side by Side” was held in 2002 in Winnipeg, Manitoba
- The 45th Anniversary “We Are One” was held in 2007 in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador
- The 50th Anniversary “Our Tapestry of Love” was held in 2012 in Ancaster, Ontario
- The 55th Anniversary “Celebrating Spirit” was held in 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia
- The 60th Anniversary “Continuing in Hope” is planned for 2022 in Sydney, Nova Scotia
A message posted from Moderator Richard Bott on his Facebook page on July 12th:
The UCW (United Church Women) has been a vital group in every congregation with whom I’ve served, and as I was growing up.
I remember not only their amazing service to the congregation and the wider community, but also the depth of their biblical and scriptural exploration, and their support of women’s discipleship and leadership in the life of The United Church of Canada (and, in fact, growing Jesus’ disciples throughout the whole congregation, through their love, guidance, strength – and seemingly neverending meals that fed the body and soul!)
Today, as the national UCW gathers to celebrate 60 years of life and community and ministry, I celebrate all that they have been, are, and will be.
Alleluia, loving God – ALLELUIA!