Women of Trinity meet the third Tuesday of every month to share a meal, devotions, prayer, and to discuss the diverse needs of the church, the community, the nation, and the world. Our focus is broad, and our members willingly accept the challenges. Working together, we accomplish much. Our membership includes all women members of the church.
Our various missions include the following:
- Coordination and service of refreshments and meals for church and community
- Assisting children with dental needs in the community
- Support to St. Jude’s Ranch for children in Utah
- Support for Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena
- Support for our local Food Bank in Ennis
- Raising funds for Camp Marshall, located in the Flathead Valley
- Raising funds for Grace Camp, located in the Flathead Valley
- Coordination and administering a Trinity Prayer Chain
- Coordination and administering a Trinity Prayer Shawl Ministry
Through the Red Doors – What Compelled Them, Those Women of the Church?
On August 2, 1950, at age 87, Mrs. Jennie Ennis Chowning addressed the 60th Anniversary of Trinity Guild by saying, “Sixty years ago today – Aug. 2, 1890, fifteen women of the valley met to organize a guild to help carry on the work of the Episcopal Church.”
How would those fifteen have been dressed in August 1890? What was the weather that summer – hot and dry or cool and wet? By what means and how far did they travel? And, where did they meet, as the Parish Hall had not yet been planted? Those details are lost to history.
We do know, however, that Bishop Tuttle had established Trinity Mission in 1878 confirming ten communicants, including Jennie, “The building in which services were held at that time, was the Grange Hall situated across the road from the present Lawrence Jeffers’ home.”
Jennie tells us, “In 1902, Trinity Church was built at Jeffers by popular subscription and the guild made a generous contribution to it. After Trinity was built, our responsibilities increased. We were called upon to contribute to many worthy causes, Near East Relief, Diocesan Missions, Red Cross, Cancer Control, and many other charities.
What compelled those women, on the second day in August of 1890, to begin to formalize their work which she described as being to, “… welcome anyone who would wish to work with us for we are all working towards the same end – the Christianizing of the world.”
And, one detail not lost to history is Jennie’s use of the compelling word hope, “I think I may truthfully say we have all enjoyed working together and feel that we in a small way have done some good in the world. At the present time we are free from debt, have a few bonds tucked away and hope to carry on for another 60 years.”
Further, one may wonder, what happened to Trinity Guild? Roberta Clark Cheney reports in her book, The Episcopal Church in Montana, “There had been guilds in 36 towns that by 1958 were disbanded.” She also indicated that 53 towns in Montana still had active Guilds, including Trinity. And, in 1972 there was a Church mandate that said, “Dissolve all Guilds and establish an E.C.W. to which all Episcopalian women would automatically belong.”
Trinity Guild, with hope in their hearts, left us a stirring legacy – one that Trinity ECW carries forward into the next 60 years.