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Diocesan ECW 145th Annual Retreat

by Elaine Willis

The Diocesan Episcopal Church Women's (ECW) 145th Annual Retreat took place on May 19 and 20 at Bellwether Farm. A total of 26 women attended to renew and reinvigorate themselves for their ministries at home, at their parishes, and in the diocese.

The weekend started with a delicious meal provided by Bellwether Farm, a fun ice breaker session, and fellowship by the fire accompanied by the calls of bullfrogs in the nearby pond.

We reconvened in the morning for breakfast followed by a yoga and meditation session, more fellowship, or a look around the grounds. Afterward, we met for a brief business meeting, during which the attendees elected Maxanna Dyne-Demko as President-elect and Susan Mueller as Worship Chair. In addition, the 2023 Carlotta East Scholarship recipients, Liberty Mosher and Susan Mueller, were announced. Mueller was in attendance and shared what she intends to do with her scholarship money.

The group also heard and adopted resolutions supporting the Diocese’s continuedwork on racial justice/reconciliation, donating toward the migration of immigrants and refugees in our Diocese, and thanking all who were part of planning and implementing the weekend.

The highlight of the weekend was the keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former The Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz. Schultz spoke about learning to say no and the importance of doing so, as well as how she made the decisions to leave her position at The Plain Dealer (due to ethical rules stemming from being the wife of a U.S. Senator) and more recently a position in Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Her talk was followed by a lively question and answer session.

After lunch (another yummy meal) the group adjourned to perform service projects for Bellwether Farm. One group headed to the fields to help cover tomato plants with netting while the other group went to the Craft Barn to assemble shelving and start organizing the craft supplies on those shelves.

The weekend ended with a Eucharist service celebrated by the Rev. Margaret D’Anieri. The sermon was preached by the Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth. During the service the newly-elected officers were installed, and knitted items for Seamen’s Church Institute were offered and blessed.

We are most grateful to the Rev. Margaret D’Anieri and the Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth for their attendance and participation in the service. Since Bishop Hollingsworth has attended and celebrated Eucharists at several ECW Annual Retreats, it was a special blessing to have him with us one last time.

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