I am a cradle Presbyterian. In fact, I’m a cradle Presbyterian woman! I attended my first circle meeting as a toddler (before the women's organization was called Presbyterian Women); I helped with the annual Christmas bazaar as a ’tween and provided free labor, collating the presbyterial newsletter as a teenager. I went off to college with my own subscription to Concern magazine.
Yet, even with genetic roots in Presbyterian Women, as I assumed leadership roles, I found it necessary to spend time digging deeper into the roots of Presbyterian Women, learning about the work and passion of our foremothers and sharing their stories. I’ve discovered that I knew the acronyms and the process, but I knew very little of our story.
It is with real joy that I can now share the full history of Presbyterian Women at presbytery and synod gatherings. I love to tell the story of Donaldina Cameron and Lucy Craft Laney and our lengthy relationship with work in the mission field. I share our credit for the inception of the Hunger Program in the denomination and the Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study. I brag about monetary, volunteer and prayer support for the work of the church. We are an organization that began with sacrificial “second-mile” giving, and we continue to survive and thrive through the generous support of our membership.
In this, the 25th year since the inception of a single, united women’s organization in the Presbyterian Church, we can celebrate that we are the reason women have visible leadership roles in the denomination and in local churches. We celebrate that we are strong voices for justice and progress in our church and in our communities. We celebrate our ever-present role in the mission field, whether as missionaries and evangelists or supporting others through our in-kind and monetary contributions. We continue to make history every day.
We’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of Presbyterian Women and more than 200 years of the work of women in the church. As we celebrate this amazing milestone, we’d like to hear your story. We invite you to share your thoughts, dreams and reflections on being part of PW, and the impact PW has had on yours and others' lives. We encourage you to share a personal transformation story or particularly memorable experience, tell of particularly successful practices and innovative ministries, share your dreams for the future of PW, or shine a light on whatever you consider the best aspects of your experience with Presbyterian Women (and its predecessor organizations).
Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. And visit this blog often for sisters' stories of their journeys with Presbyterian Women!