Monday, July 21, 2008


Katie Shelley, our out-going president, handed me her copy of "A History of the Alliance of New-Church Women" compiled by Ethel Rice in the 1991, along with the binder that she kept for the Alliance. Katie told me the book was a quick read, she read it on an airplane on her way home from Convention one year. I read through it, skimming parts that were repetitive, but for the most part really enjoyed reading it. At one point there were 6 vice-presidents!
I especially enjoyed learning about the creation of the Alliance in 1903-1904. Seeing lots of familiar names was fun too, particularly names that are associated with the Fryeburg New Church Assembly (where I am the registrar), for example: Murdoch, Dole, Woofenden (my in-laws), Sturgis, Mack to name a few.
The Alliance has a long history of raising funds to support church programs and individuals. It was interesting to see how those varied over the years. We're still supporting our camps, although there are fewer now than there were even 20 or 30 years ago. In 1980 the Alliance was contributing to 7 camps, and now we're contributing to 2 camps. This is only because the other 5 (and I have to admit I can't name them all but I'm sure someone out there could) are no longer in existence.
The Mite Box has a long history also. The earliest mention of "collection boxes" was in 1924. I enjoyed learning about the different missions and projects the Mite Box donations has supported over the years. It's very exciting to think that we're supporting new churches! This year the Mite Box went to the newly established Lansing, MI church where Rev. Jenn Tafel is the pastor. In 2009 the Mite Box will go to the New Church of the Southwest Desert where Rev. Dr. Sky Paradise is the pastor. I had an opportunity to talk at length with both Rev. Jenn and Rev. Sky while I was at convention so I got to hear from them how much work is involved in starting up a church. They are both working with little or no money so our donations to the Mite Box are crucial to their efforts.
When Rev. Hunter Roberts is successful in planting a new church in Western Massachusetts, I hope we'll be able to support her efforts also. Isn't is inspiring that all of these churches are being started by women? We've certainly come a long way!
I'd love to see our history book continued. The book ends with 1990. If anyone has access to notes from annual meetings from 1990 onward that would help immensely! We also need a volunteer to compile the history. At sometime in the future, I'd love to see all of this on a web-site! For the time being, I'll be satisfied with this blog. I hope you are too!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Would other members like to post to this blog?

If other members of the Women's Alliance would like to post to this blog please let me know and I can add you to the list of authors.

I think it would be wonderful to hear of the activities of your local alliances, trips to Gathering Leaves in the UK or any other relevant news you might have to share.

Blogging is very easy. Anyone can do it!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Convention 2008

When I walked into the room at Bridgewater State College, where the lovely luncheon of the Women's Alliance was to be held, I was simply looking forward to having a nice meal and getting caught up with some old friends. I chose to sit at a table with Rev. Jenn Tafel (I was once Jenn's babysitter at Convention 1980 at Wellesley College), Missy Sommer (who I know from Almont), Pat Sommer (Missy's mother), Mareta Tafel (Jenn's mother), Rev. Hunter Roberts and a few others.

Shortly after I arrived, Barb Boxwell (who I know from past Conventions and a few summers at Almont), approached me and asked if I would be willing to be president of the Alliance. I asked her if I could think about it for a few minutes and get back to her. I consulted with Rev. Jenn Tafel, who was president a few years back and was assured that I was certainly capable of handling the responsibilities. I knew that when I was planning to attend Convention in Bridgewater, MA after a 14 year hiatus that I wasn't going to be able to leave there without something like being nominated and elected to an office was going to happen. Well, it did! The wonderful women elected me their president.

I am excited about working with a group of wonderful women who care so much about the Alliance and our church.

I've added a link to Rev. Dr. Sky Paradise's website for her church in Silverton, NM. The mite box money that was collected at Convention this year (over $800) will go to her efforts in the Southwest Desert. Mite Box donations will continue to be collected over the course of the year. I hope that we can continue to support the church's mission efforts in the US, Canada and abroad.

Please send me your comments and/or suggestions. I had a great time at Convention '08 and am looking forward to Convention '09 in Seattle!