At the annual meeting of the Council of Episcopal Women's Organizations (CEWO) January 10-12, at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City, those present received a quick course in reaching new audiences through blogs, Facebook, YouTube, iPods and other electronic forms of staying in touch. They also received helpful hints for their existing web pages and newsletters. It was all part of a lively set of discussions that focused on identity, visibility and networking.
By the end of the meeting some groups were exploring the possibility of a pilot YouTube project.
Conversations with staff in Episcopal Life Media and Women's Ministries focused on both how these centers could better serve the groups and how the groups could better use the resources available to them. It was noted that the reorganization of the church center will provide opportunities for women's organizations to work with the help of the Women's Leadership and Ministries Office in the Mission Leadership Center, and connect with program officers in the other program areas.
The gathering included a discussion with David Booth Beers, chancellor to the Presiding Bishop, who helped clarify the relationships of the groups to the institutional church, especially in regards to tax and insurance issues.
Episcopal Church Women (ECW) tries to reach all women who are Episcopalians; others have specialized missions; some receive staff or office space, or have board members chosen by church agencies or bishops. The groups range from an official committee of the Executive Council (the Committee on the Status of Women) to a group with membership extending beyond the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion (Daughters of the King).
On display throughout the meeting was the prototype for a traveling exhibit on the history of women in the church available from the Episcopal Women's History Project. Those in attendance included: Church Periodical Club, Committee on the Status of Women, Daughters of the King, Episcopal Asiamerica Women's Convocation, Episcopal Church Women, Episcopal Women's History Project, Girl's Friendly Society, National Altar Guild, and United Thank Offering.