Episcopal Church Women (ECW)

An organization of all the women within Holy Comforter who affect the church’s mission through a range of programs including prayer and outreach. The ECW at Holy Comforter has a long, strong tradition of offering spiritual, financial, and physical support for the parish and diocesan programs as well as funding to local and international charities. Our purpose is to unite the women of Holy Comforter in a program of worship, study, service, discussion, and fellowship.

All ECW programs and projects are open to all women of the parish. We are a lively and vibrant group of women of all ages, committed to making a difference in the world we live in.

A History of Women in the Church

In 1872, women of the church formed the Women’s Auxiliary as a way to take part in church life. The organization enabled the women to apply their energy and imagination to church life in a range of ways and brought our leadership skills into the church. In 1958 the Auxiliary was renamed the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) to recognize the fact that women are an integral part of the church’s life.

The History of the Holy Comforter ECW and Pennywise Thrift Shop

Tired of raising money through bake sales, Lillian Croy founded the Pennywise Thrift Shop which enabled the ECW to become a major financial contributor to the church. Pennywise provides 97 percent of the income of ECW.

The Funds

ECW Income is used to support the church budget and almost every ministry and department within Holy Comforter. Thirty percent of the funds raised by ECW go to outside ministries either through the Diocese or directly to local and international charities.

For more information, please contact [email protected].

Opportunities for Participation and Support

Pennywise Thrift Shop and the ECW are linked together to support the programs and activities of the ECW. Pennywise provides 97 percent of the income of ECW. The Pennywise Thrift Shop was founded by parishioner Lillian Croy in the 1960’s to enable the ECW to become a major financial contributor to the church.

Each year the ECW hosts programs for the women of the church. Usually held on Saturdays, our program days give our women a chance to socialize, get to know one another, and discuss topics of interest.

Annual Women’s Retreat: The ECW organizes and conducts an annual women’s retreat at Shrine Mont, providing opportunities for women to build relationships, learn, and enjoy activities. It’s fun and joyful.

Christmas Projects: Every Advent season the ECW sponsors several projects to collect gift cards and presents for the community in need. These very popular projects are a wonderful way the parish gives back to the local community during the season of Advent.

Funeral Receptions: ECW provides support for receptions after funerals held at Holy Comforter. This support includes setting up, serving, and cleaning up of the receptions. Women in the parish are welcome to assist in this important church mission.

Prayer Shawls: Supported by ECW, some women in the church knit prayer shawls that are blessed and gifted to parishioners who are sick or injured. These shawls provide comfort and blessings.

St. Catherine’s Receptions: St. Catherine’s Reception Guild is the branch of ECW that provides receptions for incoming and departing clergy as well as the annual reception for the Bishop when he/she visits the parish.

United Thank Offering (UTO): The vision of UTO is to significantly impact the lives of women and children because of Christ’s love. Our UTO efforts are run by the ECW and money is collected twice each year to contribute to very worthy causes in our Diocese.

Pennywise Thrift Shop