Any woman “willing to contribute her prayers, gifts, and services for the work of the Church” may join the United Church Women (UCW). Along with providing important networking and social bonding opportunities, the UCW has led discussions on, for example, feminism and restorative justice. Indeed, says Moderator Jordan Cantwell, United Church Women are the “hands and feet” of the church.

A Brief History

Logo: United Church Women (UCW)

In 1962 the UCW (United Church Women) was created as the successor to the Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS), a world mission-oriented service and study group that supported almost 100 active missionaries around the world. The Woman’s Association (WA) at that time focused on work in the local church and community. Guilds and Ladies’ Aids were the WA’s forerunners; in the early years, these units went unrecorded, just doing what needed to be done, spiritually, financially, and socially.

Today, that spirit of generosity continues in active UCWs in congregations, presbyteries, and Conferences from coast to coast to coast, united in expressing their devotion to Jesus Christ in Christian witness, study, fellowship, and service.

In 2017, we will celebrate our 55th anniversary at Celebrating Spirit in Vancouver, July 10–14, hosted by the BC Conference UCW.

Read more about the history of the UCW in the UCW Guidelines, available under Downloads, below.

Bread Not Stones Child Well-Being Initiative

Dolls presented to London Council as reminder of child poverty.
Dolls presented to London Council as reminder of child poverty.
Credit: 
Linda Woods

Children living in poverty and their families deserve affordable housing, affordable child care, and nutritious meals each day. Bread Not Stones is a project to raise awareness of and eliminate child poverty in Canada.

Congregations across the country support this initiative; UCW groups have also adopted it as their national project. Learn more on the Bread Not Stones website or in the Bread Not Stones resource available under Downloads, below.

Grants and Bursaries

Agatha Kaasa Bursary Fund

  • Eligibility: any woman who is part of the United Church and not in paid accountable ministry
  • Supports leadership training and education, continuing education, and projects or events that promote education, mission, outreach, spiritual nurture, and ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, locally or abroad.
  • Up to one third of the total expenses related to a request can be received, with a maximum bursary of $1,500.
  • Application deadlines: April 15 (for June 15 decision); October 15 (for December 15 decision)
  • Application form under Downloads, below.

Dorothy Amos Fund

  • Eligibility: any woman who is a UCW member
  • Supports greater connection of members of the UCW with church women in Canada and around the world. These connections may be fostered by visits, exchanges, or support of UCW members attending special events.
  • Application deadline: May 30
  • Application form under Downloads, below.

Life Membership

In recognition of a UCW member’s service, a UCW group may choose to present them with a Life Membership, which is registered with the national office and confirmed through the presentation of a Life Membership Pin and Certificate.

Full details on this honour are found in the UCW Guidelines; this handbook and the Life Membership Application Form are available under Downloads, below.

Keeping in Touch Newsletter

The UCW’s Keeping in Touch newsletter is distributed three times a year through the church’s Infopac mailing and to individual subscribers. Back issues can be read in the United Church Commons document library; to get on the mailing list, contact the National UCW (see below).

Conference UCWs and Related Organizations

Contact

To get in touch with the National UCW, contact

Nancy Sutherland
National President
f.n.sutherland [at] sympatico.ca

Emily Pettypiece
National Secretary
emily.pettypiece [at] gmail.com

Amy CrawfordTeam Leader, Communities in Mission416-231-7680 ext. 4186
1-800-268-3781 ext. 4186
acrawford [at] united-church.ca