Our first meeting of the 2018-2019 season!

September is a beautiful month, for so many reasons. It brings with it the change of colors in our midwestern deciduous trees, the start of a new school year and most importantly, the beginning of a new liturgical calendar year at St. Mary’s.
Accordingly, the Women’s Club has had our first meeting of the 2018-2019 season. Barb N. , Kathy M. and Natalie T. provided some refreshments for our first meeting and we all enjoyed a little bit of chatting together before we got started.
At our meetings, we always open with a prayer, "O Heavenly King". The St. Mary’s Women’s Club loosely follows Roberts Rules of Order for the structure and flow of our meetings. The first item on the agenda is always the reading of the minutes from the previous month’s meeting. This gives us the opportunity to review what was discussed at the previous meeting and make sure our documentation and decisions are available for all to see. The secretary is responsible for scribing the minutes and after reading the draft, she asks if there are any additions or corrections needed.

While the secretary was reading the minutes, Barb N. passed out new membership cards for everyone to complete. We want to keep the membership roster up to date with current addresses and phone numbers. If you are a member of the Women's Club and you have not completed a card, please see one of the board members.
Next, the Treasurer's report was reviewed. Though we do not meet during the Summer, there are still some activities that generate cost and income to the club. These would include, for instance, any coffee hours that Women’s Club hosts, flowers for Father’s Day, the June party bill (Sarna’s), an annual office supply donation, just to name a few. Everyone can hear the details of the report and feel free to ask questions about expenditures.
Now, we come to correspondence time. The Women's Cub gets a lot of mail and we do read everything! This can range from donation requests, thank you cards, Pan-Orthodox event flyers, letters from members who have moved away or unable to attend meetings, just to name a few. Donation requests tend to be the most common. This month we heard from the International Orthodox Christian Charities ( IOCC) and St. Tikon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.
The letter from St. Tikon’s drew our interest immediately. St. Tikon’s, a Pan-Orthodox Seminary located in South Caanan, Pennsylvania is dear to us for so many reasons. We have quite a lot of clergy, as well as laypersons, who have attended the seminary. Here are a few names that come to mind, if you know any others, please let us know! Fr Benjamin Tucci Fr Richard Flom Matushka Cassiane Flom Deacon Gregory Krutchek Archpriest Gregory Krutchek Fr Greogy Grivna
Deacon Michael Tarris Fr Myron Manzuk
While the seminary is perhaps best known for producing clergy, they gladly welcome other students as well. Their mission statement includes the encouragement “ St. Tikhon’s Seminary continues to support all honorable reasons for matriculation at the Seminary and participation in class”. The seminary will be celebrating their 80th Anniversary next month, with the publication of a celebration brochure. We can't wait to see it! You can find more information about St. Tikon’s 80th Anniversary celebration here.
We also heard from the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). This is an Orthodox ministry well known for their global efforts. Their vision states: “We envision that, by God’s grace, IOCC will respond, without discrimination, to those who are suffering and in need, to enable them to continue to improve their own lives and communities and to have means to live with dignity, respect and hope.” Their letter also sparked some lively discussion within the group. More on that later! You can find more information about the IOCC here.
The Women’s Club has a position dedicated to sending cards to members who are ill, have had a recent hospitalization or other difficult time in life. We call this role “The Sunshine Lady”. One of the beautiful aspects of Women’s Club is it’s desire to take care of our members. The cards are meant to communicate not only that they are in our prayers for their specific circumstance but also that their absence is noted and they are missed. Really missed! One of the strengths of having so many senior ladies in our group is that they have had almost every experience in life you could imagine. So, when a member goes through illness, or other difficulty, this is met with true empathy and community from the other ladies. During our September meeting, we heard multiple updates of different members.

We worked our way through (lots) of discussion of old business and some ideas for new events. More to come on that! 

The biggest item on the agenda was the installation of the new board for the 2018-2019 season. It was time for a new term for the roles of president, vice-president and secretary.  The current treasurer, Sophia S., has 1 year left to serve on her term. Accordingly, she will remain on the board for the 2018-2019 season and be joined by 3 other newly-elected members. We are so grateful for the work of the previous board, namely Gloria O. and Kathy M.. Gloria O. unexpectedly served in the dual role of President and Vice-President and Kathy M. served as secretary.  Thank you for all of your labors and excellent example!
Treasurer Sophia S, Gloria O., Kathy M.
New Board and returning treasurer: Barb N., Chris G., Natalie T., Sophia S.

We have a new Sunshine Lady, Maria Z.

We are so excited to start a new year of service to the church and all its members! Our work is our prayer and may everything we do point to the Cross and the Son.

We approached the close of the meeting by singing Happy Birthday to all of our members who have a September birthday, then the meeting was adjourned with a prayer, "Hymn to the Theotokos". Following the meeting, many of us stayed to enjoy the wine, cheese and each other's company.
Our next meeting is October 4th, at 7pm in the Parish Center. Come be community with us!

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