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Guild of Reformed
[Links to HH Churches][HH Church Activities]
Story by Elsie Paolini
Twenty four women make up what we
call the Guild of Reformed Women in the Reformed Church of Hasbrouck Heights.
Theoretically all women of the
church are members but we twenty four are the ones who pay dues and, except for one, come
to meetings. (She is in a nursing home)
Why are these women special
enough to write about? Because for forty five years we have held together when so many
other Guilds have disbanded.
We formed a group in 1960 firmly
committed to the purposes of service, Christian fellowship and spirituality and we have
not departed from that commitment.
Before 1960 there were four
womens groups in the local Reformed Church: the Missionary Society, the League for
Christian Services, the Young Womens Fellowship and the Ladies Aid. It was the
Ladies Aid that instigated the founding of the Reformed Church in Hasbrouck Heights in
In 1958 the national department
of women decided that "Womens Work" be consolidated into one unit in each
church, to be called a Guild.
And so it was that our Guild
started to function in January 1960. At first there were almost 150 signed up but soon
members settled to 120, then 100.
The oldest member of the church,
one of the founders' was a Ladies Aid. She of course soon died and so did the other Ladies
Aiders. Women in large numbers started to work full time and so the members in the Guild
We met once a month as a whole
for business and programs and once a month in small "circles."
For several years there were ten
circles plus the Ladies Aid who also met once a month. Now the Guild meets four times a
year and there are two circles that meet once a month.
The circles met for devotional
studies, to learn what is going on the national as well as the local church, to plan
projects and to form lasting friendships. Eight original members are still active.
In 1960 we took on all the
activities of the four groups and we were busy. Spring luncheons were a biggie; so were
fish and chips and roast beef dinners.
We dressed dolls for our Arabian
Missions and made layettes for needy. For two years we did a special reenactment of The
Upper Room drama for Lent.
Over the years there have been
innumerable crafts made and sold, dinners, luncheons, rummage sales, all done to raise
money for missions, local charities and our church. Always there were devotional studies
Guild women played leading roles
in planning and carrying out events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our church in
1983. It was a year long celebration. Some also took part in renovating the church kitchen
and pink lounge.
From the beginning there have
been two Reformed Church Women on the board of Friendly Neighbors. Also from the beginning
we have participated in World Day of Prayer. Several have been honored by the Bergen
County Council of Churches.
Guild members conduct a Prayer
Chain. Anyone in need of prayer has only to ask and he or she will receive prayers. Call
the church at 201-288-1122.
Some of our members are elders
and deacons on the Consistory, the governing body of the church.
Right now labels from certain
food products are being collected to send to Cook College in Tempe, AZ, a college and
theological school for Native Americans and other minorities.
The coupons will buy a van and
other expensive items they need but cant afford. Recently we sent two pounds of
Health kits are being made up and
sent to Church World Service for tsunami victims. We would welcome help. Anyone interested
call the church.
Each Mothers Day is Blanket
Sunday. Money is collected and sent to Church World Service to buy blankets. A blanket can
be a tent, a garment, a blanket, a baby cover, when disaster strikes.
In the same way, for
Fathers Day, money is collected for Tools of Hope to help people become self
sufficient in carpentering, gardening, etc.
Coming up on April 9 is our
annual roast beef dinner and on April 22 and 23 our semi-annual rummage sale takes place.
Watch for the ads and come.
When we started our Guild in 1960
we had four purposes: to deepen spiritual life, to study and learn, to serve and to create
Most important was deepening
spiritual life for from that all the rest flows.
Though our members have dwindled
and our activities changed with the changing concept of womens role in the church we
still keep the faith.
We women of The Reformed Church
in Hasbrouck Heights like so many Christian women everywhere have made a difference.
We thank God for the
opportunities and will continue as long as He enables us. ###