ACW IN The Diocese of Athabasca
National Conference 2009
The Living Hands of Christ
The 2009 National ACW Conference was October 1 to October 4, 2009 at Killdevil Camp and Conference Centre in beautiful Newfoundland. This year’s theme was “The Living Hands of Christ”.
Prior to the beginning of the conference I planned a few days along with another diocesan president and the president of the Mother’s Union to experience a little more of Newfoundland the “Rock” since I had traveled so far. I am so glad I took this opportunity and although I saw a lot of Newfoundland it was just the tip of the “rock” and I look forward to having another opportunity to visit Newfoundland.
The conference began on Thursday, October 1, 2009 and I arrived at the conference centre in the afternoon and this gave me an opportunity to catch up with some of the ladies I met last year and help welcome those who were new to the National ACW Conference experience. As part of our welcome time Marion Saunders, National ACW President asked each of us to introduce our selves and to go along with the theme share how we are the living hands of Christ. We were joined by Bishop Percy Coffin and the Primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz for the evening and our Holy Eucharist Service. As part of the Eucharist Service the Primate invited each of us to come forward and to have our hands anointed as “Living Hands of Christ” this was such a moving moment there was not a dry eye in the chapel and a moment that I will never forget. Since I have returned home it is an experience that I carry with me and think of often.
Friday morning began with the beginning of our business meeting which continued throughout the weekend. Three important motions were passed, the first being to support the Catholic Women’s League’s resolution regarding human trafficking in light of the upcoming Olympics, the second was that the Archbishop be asked to encourage the House of Bishops that all ACW Presidents/Coordinators have a voice/vote at the diocesan level, coming from such a supportive diocese it is hard to believe that in other dioceses ACW Presidents/Coordinators do not have the opportunity to be heard. The third motion passed that was particularly important is that the Archbishop be approached allowing National ACW to send an observer to General Synod. These last two motions are particularly important as they show the importance of the ACW at all levels. It was also advantageous that the Primate happened to be in attendance at this portion of the conference and could hear and see for himself the importance of ACW. As the AGM continued the offerings from the Sunday service were designated to the Council of the North and to Killdevil Camp and Conference Centre. We also chose prayer partners – the women in the Diocese of Nova Scotia / PEI will be praying for the women of our diocese and I ask that you all join me in praying for the women in the Diocese of Edmonton.
We had several presentations from the group over the weekend, including the Primate sharing with us some of his experiences from his travel to Jerusalem, Eileen Hussey from the Diocese of Newfoundland shared with us her presentation from her PWRDF trip to Tanzanian and lastly Terri Parrill from the Diocese of Western Newfoundland shared with us her “Northern Experience” living in the north. We also had a guest speaker, Sherry Rumbolt who reminded us that with all the work we do we must remember to take care of ourselves, something we often forget. We were also blessed to have the ACW National Chaplain for the coming year Rev. Tanya White speak to us on several occasions, Rev. Tanya is a young minister who is young and vibrant and full of the Spirit!
With the work of the day completed we had some time for more fun…. On Friday night we worked together on traditional Newfoundland quilt squares with each square depicting something of life in Newfoundland, no sewing was required we left that to the experts. Saturday we went on a bus tour and although the weather did not cooperate we had a great time. Saturday evening included traditional Newfoundland cuisine and entertainment including a screech “ceremony”.
As always there was lots of time to share with each other and offer and receive ideas. A National ACW website has been launched www.acwcanada.com and I encourage all of you to have a look at it. Again, I have extended an invitation to Marion Saunders to join us at our conference in 2010 and she is planning to attend and I look forward to all of you having an opportunity to meet her and hear her share about being National ACW President.
My experience serving and representing the women of the Diocese of Athabasca is extremely fulfilling and a great honour, with 2009 coming to an end I think of all of the ACW women in this diocese and all the work you do as “Living Hands of Christ”. May we continue our work to God’s Glory!
Diocese of Athabasca