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Guild of Reformed Church Women
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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 women’s groups in the local Reformed Church: the Missionary Society, the League for Christian Services, the Young Women’s Fellowship and the Ladies Aid. It was the Ladies Aid that instigated the founding of the Reformed Church in Hasbrouck Heights in 1883.

In 1958 the national department of women decided that "Women’s 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 went down.

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 and programs.

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 can’t afford. Recently we sent two pounds of clipped coupons.

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 Mother’s 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 Father’s 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 Christian friendships.

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 women’s 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. ###

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