As a Life Member of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada who has served in the League at parish, diocesan, provincial, and national levels, I know well the joy and blessing of serving the Lord through service to neighbour, and of working with women of faith. In the fall of 2018, I was thrilled and humbled to receive an invitation to let my name stand for election to the WICC Board as a member at large. WICC offers the opportunity to again work with women of faith but with the added dimension of ecumenism. Board members come from different denominations but share the same vision of “Restoring hope to women touched by injustice” and the common mission of “Empowering Christians to pursue justice, peace and reconciliation by standing together in prayer and action”. In my short time on the Board, I have been enriched by the kindness, gifts, and rich denominational perspectives that members bring to the table. I am impressed by my board sisters’ desires to serve, pray together and for each other, offer diverse opinions and work collaboratively. I encourage anyone who receives an invitation to join the WICC board to accept, or if interested in joining, to talk to members; believe me, you will not regret it.
At home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, I am very involved in social justice and ecumenism, serving as Board Chair for the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism and on our very active parish Refugee Sponsorship Committee, which has sponsored families since the late 70s with people from Vietnam.
On the WICC Board, I serve as Chair of the World Day of Prayer Team and on the Fellowship of the Lease Coin Team. These are dear to my heart as both link us to the wider world beyond our country’s borders. I have introduced FLC to three of my grandchildren and it is heartwarming to hear their questions and prayers for families around the world.
I must confess that my initial experience with WDP was a bit rocky. Forty-six years ago I bundled my six month old first born son into his sleigh and went to a neighbouring church for WDP, thus causing great consternation among the elderly ladies in charge as they were not expecting children. I assured them that I would remove my son if he became noisy but they hunted down a key and put us in the crying room where we could see but were shut off from the congregation. I, not used to such arrangements, felt very isolated and left early. However, I did come back to WDP and have been a part of many wonderful services, even using the service for prayer at National CWL meetings. WDP is a wonderful gift from sisters around the world, where each year a different country prepares the service giving us a flavour of the culture and concerns of that country. For me, WDPis an incredible learning opportunity; it is also a gift that keeps on giving through the WDP grants from offerings collected during services. Lauren Wilkes, Canadian World Day of Prayer Liaison, noted in a report that “The first Friday in March is the day that WDP becomes visible to the world” but that it is a “movement not a day”. Just think, throughout the year women are preparing, planning, and attending the worship services; and applying for allocating, and carrying out the services funded by grants. This is a magnificent movement of which we are a part.
A favorite scripture passage of mine is from Micah “Only this the Lord requires, to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God”. I am truly blessed to have my sister board members and the WICC staff as companions on this journey.