L to R: ECW Diocesan President, Helen Sharpe Williams, Grace Church, Norfolk; Treasurer, Nancy Smith, St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach: Parliamentarian, Dr. Renee Escoffrey Torres, St. Cyprian's, Hampton;First Vice President, Odessa Maxwell, Good Shepherd, McKenney; President, Laura L. Manigault, St. Cyprian's, Hampton and The Very Reverend Dr., Ronald E. Ramsey, Rector, St. Cyprian's.
ECW Diocesan President, Helen Sharpe-Williams, presided at the meeting. She will complete her two-year term at year-end. To commemorate her service, Barbara Taylor, St. Francis, Virginia Beach, ECW Diocesan President 2013-2014, presented Helen with the Past President's Cross. In 1979, ECW President, Barbara Grice, received the first Past President's Cross fashioned by her husband, Alexander Grice III. To make the cross, Alex used wood from a cherry tree located on Jamestown Island, hewn down to make way for the Jamestown Island development. A silver Jamestown cross is superimposed on the wooden cross.
ECW presidents are bound together by the cross in the past joy and privilege of serving as ECW President, and, their responsibility to move forward in continued loving service to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to the Episcopal Church Women.
During Helen's term, her goal has been to raise awareness about the plight of women and children in our diocese suffering from abuse, homelessness and trafficking. To launch her outreach project, Love Thy Neighbor, she invited the Rev. Becca Stevens, founder of Thistle Farms, to speak at last year's Fall Annual Meeting. Over 200 people attended the annual meeting Love Heals Conference. Helen has shared a wealth of information on who we can help and how we can help them. Many thanks for a job well done.
Beblon Parks, ECW President, Province III, keynote speaker at the meeting, announced that Province III ECW will celebrate its 100th Anniversary of founding this spring. The Diocese of Easton and the Diocese of Pennsylvania will host the meeting in Philadelphia. Watch for details to be announced. Beblon was elected to serve a three-year term in office in 2017. She has served as the Social Justice, Member at Large on the ECW National Board and as ECW President, Diocese of Virginia.
Terron Watkins, Assistant Director of Advancement, gave an update on activities at Jackson-Feild Homes.