During the 2019 General Convention held in Austin, Texas the women of The Episcopal Church gathered for the 49th Triennial Meeting of the Episcopal Church Women.Delegates from Oklahoma were Fran Rahn, Karen Meites, Beverly Bradley and Debbie Butcher. The Triennial began with an opening worship on July 5th and concluded with worship and a sending homily on July 11th. The assembly of women which represented 76 dioceses and all nine provinces discussed the work done by women over the past triennium then focused on the future needs of the women and of the church. In 2015 the National ECW adopted “living the ministry” which includes listening, promoting education, spiritual and social programs for women and children, providing tools for growing relationships with God and others, and encouraging women in leadership. This triennial sought to continue that mission of ministry with the messages given by our keynote speakers, Bishop Steven Charleston from Oklahoma, and Reverend Canon Stephanie Spellers from the Presiding Bishop’s office. The Reverend Catherine Tyndall Boyd of Trinity Wall Street was the Triennial chaplain.The new Province VII ECW president is Deacon Fran Wheeler of the Diocese of Kansas. She is an excellent resource for our diocese and hopes to schedule several events that will bring all the women of Province VII together over the next 3 years.
The Oklahoma women participated in a hands-on outreach for the Shower Ministry at the Trinity Center in Austin, Texas. Survival kits were made for homeless women who come to the Trinity Center for showering. The kits provide necessary personal items along with clothing for the women being served at the Trinity Center. The Trinity Center was the recipient of the Community Connection Gift from the women of the Triennial. Funds from the Unified Gifts were given to the Mobile Loaves and Fishes community called First Village, where homes are provided for the homeless, as well as jobs. The Oklahoma delegation led the way in asking that the table decorations, which in true Texas fashion were boots and bandanas, be given to local veterans. The boots had been donated to the Triennial by a caring business and were given to a local amputee veterans group.
During Triennial there was much to attend including the public witness for Bishops United against Gun Violence. The rally was inspiring, heart wrenching and moving as we listened to the parents of a child lost in the Parkland Florida school shooting and a rising star 9th grader from Waco, Texas.The Oklahoma delegation also participated in the Celebration and UTO Ingathering Eucharist. Oklahoma’s UTO ingathering for the Triennial totaled $22,974.42. And then there were wonderful daily worship opportunities, camp day, times for fellowship, and an old-fashioned revival service led by Presiding Bishop Curry that we all will remember for a long time.The Reverend Deacon Lois Gatchell of Tulsa was honored as the Diocese of Oklahoma’s Distinguished Woman. What an honor to hear her name presented with other dedicated and devout women who have made a difference not only for women’s ministries but in mission and ministry in the world around them. Deacon Lois, through her many accomplishments in the church and in her civic activities, has been an inspiration to many people around our diocese!
The next Triennial will be in 2021 in Baltimore! If you are interested in attending as a delegate or alternate, or would consider being a volunteer at the meeting, please let us know!! We’ll be electing the new delegation in 2020!!On behalf of the Oklahoma Triennial Delegation, thank you to all who have given their support and prayers during this journey of faith, ministry, worship and sharing the word. The Triennial theme “GO! ECW! Go: Share The Word Everyday, Comunicamos: Everywhere!” set the bar high for us going forward as Episcopal Church Women!!
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