Community: Care . . . Courage . . . Compassion

Purpose of the Anglican Church Women Diocesan Board

To encourage and support all women in the Diocese of Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island to participate in a fellowship of worship, study, and offering, with the aim of deepening and strengthening their individual spiritual lives and of awakening a greater desire for God’s mission and Christian service in the parish, community, diocese, nation, and the world. 

Annual Project 2021/22: Marguerite Centre: A Future with Hope - for more informaiton on this project visit here.

Challenge and Opportunity

In June 2020, Cynthia noted that we were being challenged in many ways, but the continuing reality of Covid-19, plus the added element of a global reckoning regarding the evidence of systemic racial injustice, provided an opportunity for the Board, and the women’s groups in the parishes, to rethink their ministry and prayerfully discern what is really essential. Cynthia further noted the validation and encouragement from the Rev. Dr. Carolyn Sharp in Cape Breton when she said: “My hope for the ACW is that you will ask this question:  what is essential at this time?”  Rev. Carolyn Sharp felt that leaning into what is essential may require significant adjustment, including stepping back from familiar activities and routines, “because embracing the essential allows us to witness to God's love for a suffering humanity.”  

The Board did do some reflecting, especially with respect to:

1.What could be an appropriate theme for 2021/22, building on the theme of 2020/21: Do Justice . . . Love Kindness . . . Walk Humbly with Your God?

2. What is the immediate and long term future of our annual projects? and,

3. How can we support education, youth, and leadership? 

1. You can see that we determined an appropriate theme for 2021/22 to be an exploration of community and what we are expressing as 3 key components – the 3 C’s of community, Community: Care . . . Courage . . . Compassion. It seems to us that living through a pandemic invites an exploration of what community is and how we define it. 

2. An exploration of community and the 3 key components we have selected of care, courage, and compassion provides a perfect backdrop for the locally focused 2021/22 project whereby we will solicit funds to sponsor a woman to live for a year at the Marguerite Centre, a place of healing for women recovering from addiction, the only facility of its kind in the Maritimes.  With its residential and holistic approach, the Marguerite Centre, just outside metro Halifax, provides a supportive community of care and compassion where these women can courageously chart a future with hope. Hence, Marguerite Centre: A Future with Hope. We have taken our title from Jeremiah 29:11 - For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 

While the Anglican Church Women Board exists to encourage and support all women in the diocese, we do not ignore the men, as we feel we offer an “equal opportunity” with our ministry. Certainly, our theme of care, courage, and compassion being key components of community can be explored by women and men. As always, we appeal to women and men to support our annual projects – they are “equal opportunity” initiatives!  Cheques are payable to the ACW Board, Annual Project in the memo line, and can be directed to the Board Treasurer, Marjorie Davis at 204 – 111 Pebblecreek Drive, Dartmouth, NS B2W 0L1, along with a completed Remittance Form. Individual donations of $20 or more receive an income tax receipt. We thank you in advance for your anticipated support of the Anglican Church Women Board’s Annual Project 2021/22, Marguerite Centre: A Future with Hope. 

Before settling on a project for 2021/22, we explored the whole matter of our projects and their future, emphasizing their continued value, reaffirming the benefit of proposing projects that address a vulnerable population, especially ones in support of vulnerable women, and agreeing to pursue the possibility of partnerships with Anglican Church of Canada entities such as the Anglican Foundation for a nationally focused project and the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund for an internationally focused project.  These conversations with AFC and PWRDF are already underway and there is considerable potential for the future.  

We know we need to maximize ways to reach out to individuals (women and men), women’s groups, and parishes for support of our annual projects, given that our former in-person events of worship, learning, and fellowship have not been possible for well over a year, and may not be for awhile. Indeed, some of these in-person events may not return. Are we allowing ourselves to recognize that we will not be returning to life exactly as it was before the pandemic? We are not going back to the way things were - we have been changed, and we will continue to evolve. As for our annual projects, we will continue to promote them in the Board’s Magazine, Keeping in Touch, its e-Newsletter, Let’s Keep in Touch, our Facebook page, The Diocesan Times, the Anglican NetNews, and the Board’s refreshed webpage on the diocesan website: 

3. As noted in the Looking Back on 2020/21 Report, the Board’s interest in and promotion of education, as well as youth, has led the Board to approve the development of a scholarship/bursary for a gr. 12 (graduating) Anglican student intent on post-secondary studies. The hope is to have the terms of reference in place for this proposed scholarship / bursary in order to receive applications by the end of February 2022, so that we can award the first bursary in June 2022. As well, we are actively pursuing other opportunities to support leadership. 

Here is another future oriented decision: the Board will have the “official” day for Women’s Ministry Sunday, beginning in 2022, be the first Sunday in March, to capture the attention on women afforded by International Women’s Day, March 8. However, parishes are free to choose whatever Sunday works for them. The Board plans to create a resource “kit” to help parishes with ideas and resources to support Women’s Ministry Sunday  that we would look to have available on this webpage. 

We shall leave you with the words of Louise Penny in her first novel, Still Life – Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving, you’re standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead. Let’s continue to grow and evolve – no standing still, no being left behind!!