Who are the Episcopal Church Women?  Well, if you are an Episcopalian reading this and you are a woman, you’re officially an ecw (Episcopal church woman)!  Now, some ecw are organized, and some ecw are unorganized.  If you are in a church that has a group meeting calling themselves ECW, they are organized ecw! The diocese also has an organized group called Diocese of Springfield Episcopal Church Women.  If you aren’t participating in an organized ECW group, you are an unorganized ecw (but still an ecw!).  All ecw in the diocese (organized or unorganized) can participate and/or serve in the diocesan ECW.  Also, ecw are lay and clergy.  There was an opinion going around a while back that since women can hold any and all positions in the church, an organized ECW was not needed.  Well, it turns out that a lot of women, lay and clergy, want to belong to a larger group of women to be able to serve and worship with them.

Our Diocesan ECW does two major things each year:  Adopts an Outreach Project to help fund, and sponsors a Lenten Retreat at ToddHall.  The Outreach Project is announced and kicks off at the annual Synod Meeting in October.  The Lenten Retreat is held in March.  The next paragraph highlights this year’s Lenten Retreat.

On the weekend of March 21-23, 31 women (28 Episcopalian, 2 Presbyterian, 1 Lutheran) gathered at ToddHall Retreat Center in Columbia, IL to enjoy the Annual Lenten Retreat.  Rev. Mollie Ward, Retreat Leader, gave us a wonderful study of “Faith of our Mothers, Woman and Spirituality through the Generations.”  We had very moving and informative sessions, including remembering our mothers and grandmothers; thinking about what women did and do, which included  lessons on the weaving loom and spinning wheel; looking at how we feed our bodies and souls; singing sacred music; and experiencing a life passage ritual.  This was a very blessed retreat for all who attended.

The Diocese of Springfield ECW will hold its annual meeting on May 3, 2014 at St. Laurence Episcopal Church in Effingham.  Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.  Everyone is invited to come.  All churches will receive a flyer about this meeting.  If you need information on this meeting, or if you want more info on ECW, please contact Ann Alley,

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