At our recent annual meeting in San Antonio, I took the helm as board president. Since the last time I served as president, EWHP has been ably served by two other presidents – Susan Johnson and Nancy Radloff, who saw our organization through a number of changes including moving Timelines on-line, revamping our All the Saints, All the Time campaign, opening a Facebook page, and redesigning our web page. EWHP is now well into its third decade of efforts to ensure that the full story of women’s experiences within the Episcopal Church are collected, preserved, studied and told.
In San Antonio, we were reminded many times of the persistence and flexibility of Artemisia Bowden, who shepherded St. Philip’s College from a small industrial school sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, to a vibrant community college serving a diverse population. Bowden’s career should serve EWHP as an inspiration over the next several years. First, EWHP was created to ensure that stories like the that of Artemisia Bowden were not lost. Secondly, the traits that made Bowden successful are ones EWHP itself needs to take as a model. — Flexibility and Persistence. — We will need plenty of both of these as we adjust to a rapidly changing world of communications. This communications revolution affects all aspects of our mission — from the form of record-keeping to the ways we tell women’s stories.
As we continue our efforts to fulfill our mission, we will need your help. All of our members are partners in our work. Right now I am sure that one of you knows about a parish project that honored women or preserved their record that should be recognized with our Diesenroth Award. Let us know about that project. When you read a good article or book about Episcopal Women, let us know. The annual Ruth Alexander Award is given to the best article or book (alternate years) in Episcopal Women’s History. We need your help in finding worthy honorees. Preserve the life of a woman who has been a faithful daughter of the church by honoring her in our All the Saints, All the Time appeal. Reserve and display our traveling exhibit. Start a local history project of your own. Attend our conferences.
Spread the word about our work. The possibilities for being part of EWHP’s work are many. As women in the church have long known, many hands make light work!
Joan R. Gundersen