ECW stands for Episcopal Church Women, which means all the women in the Episcopal Church. You don’t have to complete a membership form, you don’t have to study, or have a sponsor. If you are 18 years old and above, and are a member of an Episcopal Church, then you are part of the Episcopal Church Women.
The Episcopal Church Women originated in 1871 as the Women’s Auxiliary to the Board of Missions. At this point in time, women were not able to serve in the Episcopal Church; the Women’s Auxiliary came about as a way for women to use their gifts in the life and work of the church. The Women’s Auxiliary changed names over the years until the Episcopal Church Women, Episcopal Church, USA, was formed in 1985.
There’s ECW at the parish level, the Diocesan level, and the National level. At the parish level, some ECW’s are structured with officers, and some simply have an EWC Liaison. The Diocesan Board is made up of women from the Diocese, and they hold the positions of President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President of Program, Vice President of Information, Church Periodical Club/Diocesan Seminarian Ministry Chair, Missions and Christian Social Relations Chair, Bena Dial Scholarship and College Work Chair, Communications Chair, Altar Guild Chair, and United Thank Offering Chair.
The National ECW consists of 9 Provinces. The Diocese of Upper South Carolina is part of Province IV along with the Dioceses of Alabama, Atlanta, Central Florida, Central Gulf Coast, East Carolina, East Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Southeast Florida, Southwest Florida, Tennessee, West Tennessee, and Western North Carolina. The National Board has representatives from the Provinces.
The mission of the Episcopal Church Women is to empower women to do Christ’s ministry in the world. The vision is for all women of the Episcopal Church to become a vibrant blend of all ages, coming together as a peacemaking, healing part of the Church. We aspire to be a Godspark – shining and sharing the love of Christ.
I hope this information helps to let you know a little bit about the ECW. If you want to know more about the Diocesan ECW, please visit our website at http://www.eduscwomen.org and feel free to contact any of the Board members. If you want to know more about the National ECW, please visit their website at http://www.ecwnational.org.