This issue of Huron Church News includes a copy of the Summary Report prepared by the Diocesan ACW Future Committee.
This report together with a more detailed report is the result of discussion over the past year to look at the future of the ACW here in Huron Diocese. The main two conclusions reached are that one size does not fit all and in order to continue communication is key.
The report was included in the ACW Annual Report and a copy of the detailed report has been sent to those who have requested it. Both reports have been sent to the National ACW but we have not yet received a response. The conversation is continuing both at the National level and within other Diocesan ACW organizations.
Please read the Summary report and prayerfully think about the full content. As the ACW Future Committee continues discussions we are looking for furthering the dialogue beyond issues to growth. If you would like a copy of the full report, please email: email@example.com.
The Committee is looking for more participation as we continue the conversation in the fall. If you would be interested in joining the team or wish to submit comments, please submit your contact information including your name, parish, email address and phone number to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be part of the team as we continue to build community and to build our New Normal as Women of the Anglican Churches in the Diocese of Huron! Your ideas will make it happen.
With appreciation for your support,
Jennifer Uttley, Diocesan ACW Future Committee Chair
At the April 2022 Annual Meeting, a motion was made for the formation of a committee to determine what the structure of the A.C.W. (Anglican Church Women) should be as the church moves forward into the future. The motion was: Many churches no longer have a formal ACW group, but the work gets done. ACW needs to reflect the modern reality. A committee should be formed to form a proposal for 2023.
A committee of ten members was formed that included representatives who volunteered to serve from active parish ACWs and members of the Diocese of Huron ACW Diocesan Council who were selected by the ACW Diocesan President. The demographics of the members include small and large churches, rural and urban. The members are seniors.
As the work got underway, it was evident that a proposal for 2023 would not be possible because of many factors. After discussion, the Diocesan ACW Council voted:
THAT the original motion to form a proposal for 2023 be set aside to allow the Committee to further discuss the many problems found and to look into possible solutions.
In Committee discussions and with input from deanery members, a number of issues were identified summarized following:
We looked at the ministries in the parish/deaneries that have been successful and could still be viable. Events still rely on willing participants but help build community revealing God’s love for one another through work and stewardship.
The committee also looked at ACW outreach ministry listing current ministries in some of our deaneries. It was suggested that ideas be added to Huron Church News ACW page each month sharing our outreach activities. Great ideas come when we listen to what others are doing.
While there remain questions about the future of ACW, it became evident that one size does not fit all. It was noted years ago women’s ministry had limited roles. Now in many parishes, women are heavily involved in everything around the church including Wardens and members of Parish Council so that the formal organization of the ACW often seems unnecessary. Much of the work is done by Parish Council committees with participation by both women and men.
Communication is key. If ACWs are to continue we need to tell who we are and what we do. The Diocesan ACW has been without a representative for Communication for some time. ACW ministries need to be highlighted at the Diocesan, deanery and parish level to spread the news. There is a need for intercommunication. Deanery representatives serve an important role in communication.
An article in the March edition of HCN asked for more feedback from the Diocesan community. Currently we have not received any feedback. Is it indicative of lack of interest or not understanding the goal or do we need to communicate in a different mode?
Questions we could not answer include:
Where do we go from here?
If the Futures Committee is to continue, will the current members continue and if it continues, we recommend additional members to replace those who resigned.
Have a follow-up article regarding the report presented at The ACW Annual asking for more input so that we can collect information from the larger community.
Send the report to the National ACW for comment and ask for the status of their review.
ACW: More than a name
When the ACW was established in the 1960s, the first President wrote that ACW was more than a name. While the structure was developed to connect women together throughout Canada, most remain focused on their own parish. Many women remain committed to ministry and service sharing our common faith in Christ, even if they do not have an ACW.