I have said many times over my ministry career that if it weren't for the UCW (United Church Women) the church would be in a terrible state. So many times in the churches I have served it is the UCW that came through and saved the day with either funds or service - often both. Women have always played an integral role in the life of the church. From as early as the nineteenth century, women worked as teachers, missionaries, and nurses, providing care in communities. As time went on, fundraising and social function organizing were also added to the women's roles.
When the United Church officially formed in 1925, the Ladies Aid (LA) (later the Woman's Association (WA)) and the Women's Missionary Society (WMS) were doing work at home and abroad. The WA focused on supporting the local church and community, while the WMS was more involved with education and world mission.
The UCW officially came into being on January 1, 1962. Its purpose was:
To unite women of the congregation for the total mission of the church and to provide a medium through which we may express our loyalty and devotion to Jesus Christ in Christian witness, study, fellowship and service.
This Sunday we celebrate the 55th anniversary of the UCW. Happy Anniversary to the women who serve now. To those who have gone before us we honour and celebrate the wisdom and inspiration they have been for us.