(Republished with permission from the diocese of Fredericton eNews.)
The 50th anniversary of the ACW — Anglican Church Women — takes place this year, and there is a huge celebration to mark the occasion.
Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ont., a suburb of Hamilton, is the location for the event, slated for June 15 -18.
Despite this being an ACW event and anniversary, the celebration is not a members-only affair.
“The anniversary gathering is for all Anglican women, not just ACW,” said diocesan ACW president Rosemarie Kingston.
She is hoping at least 25 New Brunswickers will attend.
“It’s going to be a big celebration,” she said. “I would encourage people to take their own vehicle and fill it.”
The cost is $500, which includes meals and accommodations. Travel to Ancaster is not included in that price.
You may think the ACW is older than 50, but it was known by another name prior to 1967 — the Women’s Auxiliary to the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada.
The Anglican Church of Canada’s website says, “The Woman’s Auxiliary was founded in April 1885 ‘for the promotion of missionary effort.’ The first president was Margaret Medley, wife of the Bishop of Fredericton and Archbishop of the Province of Canada. Roberta E. Tilton of Ottawa was the major force in organizing both diocesan and parochial branches and in promoting the affiliation of existing groups and societies.”
“It all began with Roberta Tilton,” said Rosemarie. “She started making bales of clothing to send up north.”
Rosemarie saw the clothing-baling ministry in British Columbia during last fall’s annual meeting of the ACW.
“They still make bales in B.C.,” she said. “They did up a bale for a newborn baby.”
The “bale” begins with a blanket spread on a table. In the middle go the clothing and other items to be donated. Then the ends and sides of the blanket come together and are tied up. The bale goes into a plastic bag and is sent to whomever it’s been earmarked for.
Not only does the recipient get the clothes, but a blanket as well. Last fall at the ACW meeting, Primate Fred Hiltz was in attendance and Rosemarie watched as he helped pack a bale.
This year’s anniversary conference will feature speakers and workshops, and events on PWRDF (Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, the church’s relief and development arm), storytelling, volunteering and assisted dying.
“And we’ll learn a lot about Indigenous ministries,” she said.
The primate will attend the conference. The application deadline is April 30. Click here for more information.