Women's Faith Group to Mark 75th Year

Article excerpt

Byline: Nancy Luebke Daily Herald Correspondent

For 75 years, Church Women United has worked to promote peace and justice around the world. This year the local group, comprised of women of several faiths, will gather for a 75th celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the St. Peter and Paul Catholic Ministry Center, 36 N. Ellsworth, Naperville.

After lunch at noon, Jesse Cabrera, a nurse and director of volunteers at the DuPage Community Clinic in Wheaton, will explain what services are provided for those in DuPage County who are uninsured or underinsured.

The cost of the luncheon Friday is $10. Any woman interested in attending should make reservations by Monday by calling (630)355- 1803.

"The goal of Church Women United is to strengthen families, and our local group felt that it's important to know about services like those provided by the clinic. Members of Church Women United who volunteer at their churches or other organizations can pass this information on to those who need," said Betty Hemmeter, president of Naperville Church Women United.

A presentation about the history of the group will also be part of the meeting. It began in 1917 with prayer meetings in the parlor of the First Evangelical Church in Naperville. Women from the local church missionary societies of three churches - the First Congregational, the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren - were at the first meeting.

"By 1918, 80 women belonged to the federation, which was called The Federated Union of Women's Missionary Society. Women's groups involved with different area churches joined together in the federation," said Hemmeter.

By 1920, the women's federation in Illinois was meeting twice a year to celebrate a day of prayer in February and in October. In 1930, women from the Church of the Brethren joined The Federated Union of Women's Missionary Society, and in the 1940s the rest of the country caught up to what was going on in Illinois.

"Women of faith from three interdenominational women's groups representing 70 denominations convened in Atlantic City in December 1941 to form the United Council of Church Women," she said. …