United Church Women (U.C.W.)
UCW was founded in 1962, when the Women’s Missionary Society and the Women’s Association became one organization uniting the women of the congregation for the total mission of the church. Thus providing a means through which they might express their loyalty and devotion to Jesus Christ through Christian witness, study, fellowship and service. Meetings are held on the second Monday afternoon each month, except in July and August. Meetings include worship, business and program. Often, special speakers from the community and the wider church are invited. Fellowship and light refreshments are included in each meeting. Participation of all members is encouraged as the year’s program is planned at the January meeting. Interested UCW members can also join the quilters on Monday mornings or make Comfort Caps for cancer survivors. These are available for no charge at the church office or by calling Donna at 705-436-2578.
UCW is involved in many of the activities at St. James. An Annual Bazaar featuring crafts, baking, lunch and a Marketplace for children is held the first Saturday of November. It is organized by the UCW members but many members of the congregation devote their talents and time to the event. In December, a Christmas Luncheon is held for all the women of St. James as well as women from several other churches in the area. The UCW is also available to cater for funeral luncheons and celebrations for groups and individuals in the community. The funds raised at these events support a great variety of projects in the church, community and around the world. Contributions to the General Fund of St. James are made on a regular basis as well as money for the maintenance of the church property, gardens and furnishings. In 2015, the UCW replaced the carpeting in the Christian Education wing and had the kitchen repainted. Each year UCW supports the Mission & Service Fund, Out-of-the- Cold Program, Massey Centre, Women’s Shelter and other outreach projects. In March, The UCW hosts, on a rotational basis, the ecumenical World Day of Prayer Service, an outreach ministry of the Women’s Inter-Church Council (WICC), which supports many diverse projects for women around the world.
UCW members also belong to Living Waters UCW Presbyterial which holds four meetings each year for the 90 UCW units in the presbytery. In February 2016, the St. James UCW hosted the presbyterial meeting. Through the presbyterial we contribute to the bursary fund for ministerial students, Camp Big Canoe and other projects initiated by the presbyterial, conference or National UCW.
The members provide spiritual and emotional support to each other, as well as the congregation as a whole. Regular contact is maintained with members who are ill, grieving, lonely, celebrating special birthdays or unable to attend services or meetings. Life memberships in UCW are awarded to members who have made a significant contribution to the local unit or the wider organization.
All women of the congregation are welcome at the meetings and there is no membership fee. UCW provides opportunities for women to develop their leadership skills and form new and lasting friendships.