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History celebrating and affirming women

In 1988 the Anglican Church of Canada held a women’s conference at Huron College, University of Western Ontario, to focus on The World Council of Churches' declaration of the Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women.

Women from all parts of the Anglican communion in Canada were invited to attend, or to send representatives from the various diocese. These women were asked to attend by the Bishop of their particular diocese.

The women from the Calgary Diocese were Patricia Curtis, Norma Farquarson, Margaret Hunziker, Nina Chiba, Maureen Firmstone and Corinne Wikjord from Medicine Hat. There may have been others who also attended but these are the ones identified.

The theme of the conference was “Images of Spirituality”, and it was designed to explore issues of spirituality for women in the Anglican Church.

Several days of discussion among the women attending, all of whom had differing viewpoints, it seemed, resulted in a commitment by each diocese to implement an action plan that would be appropriate for their particular diocese. This action plan was drawn from the recommendations of the conference.

On their return from the conference, the women of the Calgary Diocese resolved to develop an Anglican women’s conference each year which was to be called “Images of Spirituality”.

In 1997, the planning committee completed considerable work to re-develop Images as an ecumenical gathering for women. The mission statement was revised, the planning committee sought ecumenical involvement, and women from all denominations were invited to the 1998 gathering.

Today, Images of Spirituality is an ecumenical gathering organized by Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and United Church women for women of any Christian tradition.

The theme song for Images is She Flies On, an expression of the Holy Spirit as a feminine image of God.

Images of Spirituality
Themes and Speakers list

Year

Theme

Presenter(s) & Worship leaders

1989

Exploring the Feminine Side of Spirituality

Rev. Kathleen Zang, Rev. Sally Boyles
Norma Farquharson
(Anglican)

1991

Growing Together

Vi Smith
Rev. Helen Hengel (Anglican)

1992

Transitions

Pat Curtis
Rev. Kathleen Zang
Donalda Cormier (Anglican)

1993

Called and Gifted

Rev. Kathleen Zang (Anglican)

1994

Fullness of Life

Sister Rita Stang & Sandra Forsythe

1995

Sisters on a Journey

Eileen Sutcliffe (workshop by Sister Ita Connery)

1996

Blessings and Celebrations

Susan Dumoulin

1997

In the Beginning: Praising our Creator

Rev. Lynn McNaughton (Anglican)

1998

Textures of Desire

The Rev. Canon Gertrude Lebans (Anglican) and Ms. Ann Turner (Anglican) (Toronto)

1999

Milestones: Where we have been and where we are going

10th Anniversary

Rev. Sally Boyles & Rev. Kathleen Zang (Anglican)

Worship leader: Rev Julia Craig

2000

Playing with God: Discovering the Metaphor of Life

Susan Graham-Walker (Anglican Diocese of Toronto)

Worship leader: Rev. Julianna Wehrfritz-Hanson (Lutheran)

2001

“That we all may be one”: Celebrating Faith Journeys

Facilitator: Pat Curtis (Anglican)
Guest Speakers:
Rev. Pat Langlois (Anglican)
Rev. Margaret Waterchief (Aboriginal, Anglican)
Doreen Yochim (Roman Catholic)
Heidi Miller Zerr (Lutheran)
Rachelle Rabinovitz (Jewish)

Worship leaders: Rev. Rev Kathleen Zang with Pat Langlois and  Margaret Waterchief

Music Facilitator:
Hilary Rice

2002

Creativity and Our Story

Carolyn Pogue-Phipps (United)
Janet Campbell (Anglican)

Worship leader: Rev. Judy Chapman (United)

2003

Christian Women Today: To what are we called?

Sarah Donnelly (Roman Catholic)

Worship leader: Rev. Jean Morris (Presbyterian)

2004

We are in God’s Hands; We are God’s Hands

Pat Curtis (Anglican)

Worship leader: Barbara Andrews (Anglican)

2005

Call to Wholeness

Rev. Jean Morris (Presbyterian)

Worship leader: Rev. Jan Craig (United)

2006 A Call to Prayer: Cultivating your Sacred Garden Sister Rose-Anne Engel (Roman Catholic)

Worship leader: Rev. Cathy Fulton (Anglican)

2007 Rainbow Joy Rev. Helen Smith (Presbyterian)

Worship leader: Rev. Marty Tuer (Lutheran)

2008 Be Still ... Sarah Donnelly (Roman Catholic/Anglican)

Worship leader:Rev. Jean Morris (Presbyterian)

2009 She Flies On

20th Annual Gathering

Rev. Dr. Lynne McNaughton (Anglican)

Worship leader: Rev. Julianna Wehrfritz-Hanson
(Lutheran)

2010 And it was good… Carolyn Pogue
(United)

Worship leader: Rev. Marty Tuer
(Lutheran)

2011 Formation of the Human Heart: Walking with God Dr. Marilyn Elliott

Worship leader: Rev. Pilar Gateman (Anglican)

2012 Living Faith Everyday Rev. Julianne Barlow (Koivisto)
2013 Seasons of Life...Wisdom from the Psalms
Ps 30:11
Rev. Christine Conkin
2014 Exploring the Creative Breath of God 
 
Kathie MacDuff (Anglican)

Worship leader: Rev. Julianne Barlow (Koivisto)

2015 Seeking Sophia:Walking with Wisdom. Psalm 62:1. Rev. M.J. Leewis-Kirk, AOJN
2016 Mandalas for Spiritual Growth & Healing
Psalm 31: 2-3
Sr. Ita Connery, FCJ
Worship Leader: Rev. Carolyn Herold
2017 And So We Wait…Our Spiritual Journey of Transformation
Isaiah 40:31
Sarah Donnelly, M.Div
Eucharist Service: Rev. Carolyn Herold

 

Comments from past participants

“Again, a wonderful spirit-filled weekend. I look forward to this gathering all year long.”

“Absolutely excellent. Loved the atmosphere, the singing, the speakers. What a perfect balance – of challenge, variety, rest and God’s message of love.”

“I found the communion with and support of other women in itself very spiritual – but the intimacy and obvious presence of our Lord in the women of our small “group” was amazing.”

“This has been a very lovely weekend of community blessed by the Spirit. It nourished my spirit.”

“I had the most wonderful weekend in many years! Thanks to you all and thanks to the good Lord for sending us here. ”

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