Our ACW group at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Woodstock, NB is still flourishing after the rough times in 2020 and the first half of 2021. Our group, although losing four members for a variety of reasons during that time, also gained one member and we are encouraging other church ladies to become active members. At present we have 13 members.
In 2020 we only met twice but this year we have met February through June. Our meetings are set up according to COVID protocols with distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing. We even manage a light lunch with one person responsible for preparing individual packaged snacks and serving tea. We don’t like giving up our food! It’s wonderful to get together.
During 2020 we tried to support members by sending birthday, sympathy and thinking of you cards as well as checking on them by phone. We supported our high school, community college and university students by sending graduation cards with bookmarks as keepsakes. We met our financial obligations to the Diocese as well as to Bishop McAllister College and the student we are supporting there. This left us low on funds for beginning 2021 as our main fund raiser is our Christmas Bazaar, which did not happen.
In 2021 we were able to be more involved, so our first task was to fund raise. We attempted a new event that would work well under Covid restrictions. Beginning in late March, two members, Jean Collicott and Vivian Belyea, began taking orders and making floral tombstone arrangements in preparation of Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day. It turned out to be very successful as church members, as well as other people seeing the notice on our church Facebook page, placed orders. We sold $750.00 worth of arrangements which gave a boost to our coffers. This fund raising helped us continue our support of our student at Bishop McAllister College as well as Diocesan dues.
In March we hosted ACW and church members for a World Day of Prayer gathering. This year a video was provided featuring the host country, the island of Vanuata. It was extremely well done and next year a video will be done for the host, the British Isles. We recommend that other ACW groups, if they are not aware of this, take advantage of the materials provided by the Canada World Day of Prayer committee. During that same month we celebrated ACW Sunday with members participating in a regular Sunday service.
In May and June our social action secretary, Emily Clark, coordinated with another member, Rosalie Brown, who volunteers at Family Services, to donate books to a local school who had indicated their need of children’s books. In June she organized a catered lunch to mark our closing for summer break. We entertained the group by relating humorous stories about ACW and the church. Everyone enjoyed themselves and were pleased to see a longtime member, Marion Robinson, receive a certificate placing her on the ACW honor roll. Two other members, Louise Cummings and Fay Wilson, will receive this honor at a later date.
Although the last sixteen months have been a challenge, adjustments have been made by very supportive members willing to, with God’s help, continue their work. We are looking forward to better times in the fall.
Submitted by Jill Craig and Jean Collicott