Main Menu

About Us
Our Bishop
Contact Us
Convention Information
Current Issues
Donate Now
Job Openings
Legal Defense Fund
Media Room
Ministries & Departments
News & Events
Resources - Clergy
Resources - General
Office of the Treasurer
Diocesan Church Women PDF Print E-mail

Bishop Lawrence to Speak at DCW Annual Meeting, May 3


Bishop Lawrence will be the guest speaker/preacher at the Diocesan Women’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at St. Matthew’s Church in Darlington. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and after enjoying fellowship together until 9:45 a.m. we will open with the Eucharist at 10 a.m. The meeting will begin at 11 a.m. and lunch will be served at approximately 1 p.m. Peter Rothermel, Coordinator of Christian Faith Formation will also be joining us to speak during the gathering. Please make every effort to join us for this uplifting time together.  Register using the form below. We pray for the attendance and support of our clergy. We need our clergy among us because they are our spiritual leaders and we need and want their presence and support.

Register for the meeting here.

A Message from Mary Frances Ahl, President Elect, Diocesan Church Women

March 15, 2014


The Diocesan Church Women, like the Diocese of South Carolina, has been in a state of transition since the disassociation from the National Episcopal Church Women’s organization. 

This past year has been a year of prayerful discernment as to where the Lord is calling us in Women’s Ministry in the Diocese.  Under the authority of Bishop Lawrence, we have been working with Peter Rothermel, Director of Faith Formation in the Diocese, to move forward. The DCW board has been hard at work during the year developing new Vision and Mission statements that go along with the Bishop’s vision for the Diocese “Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age.”

Our new vision statement is – “To transform the hearts of women through the power of Jesus Christ.”

Our new mission statement is –“Equipping women to live out a Biblical model of womanhood from generation to generation by providing a network of resources, Biblical studies, prayer ministry, and mentoring through the transforming power of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

The Board and I look forward to working with, and along side, the Ministers and Women leaders in the Diocese anywhere there is a desire to promote the Biblical models of womanhood, whether it be a Women’s Bible study, equipping Prayer Ministers, or by allowing the “Marthas” in your church to become “Marys” for a while so they can continue to serve with a servant’s heart.

Please understand that we do not ask you to change what is working for you, but simply to enhance what you have.

Please pray with us, and for us, as we travel together- with the Lord- into the future.

Your Sister in Christ,

Mary Frances Ahl
Diocesan Church Women


The follAnn Dennisowing address was given by Ann Dennis, President of the Diocesan Church Women at the 129th Annual Meeting of South Carolina's Diocesan Church Women, April 13, 2013 at the Parish Church of St. Helena's, Beaufort.

Bishop Lawrence, Clergy, Delegates, and Special Guest, Ladies and Gentleman,

We are honored that you have joined us today.

Many changes have taken place in our Diocese since the last Annual Meeting of the Church Women.  Because of these changes we will use this 2013-2014 year as a transitional year.  

Today, we voted to affirm the Board’s decision to remain affiliated with and supportive of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina and our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence.  We also disassociated ourselves from the National Episcopal Church Women. We have voted to change our Constitution and By-Laws; among the changes is the name of our organization.  We will be called the Diocesan Church Women for this transitional year. Everything is being evaluated.  We are looking for ways to be better, stronger, and more representative of women’s ministries in our Diocese.  In the coming year, we need you to support the ministry of your Diocesan Church Women Board.  We want to hear all of your ideas and input as to how we can become better and more effective ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to His people.  Everything is open to  being changed or improved.  We welcome all women in our Diocese and all women’s ministries as members.  We welcome the strength that comes with numbers, and the unity of the Holy Spirit.  Don’t forget to include your clergy in your plans!  The Diocesan Church Women Board works under the authority of the Bishop, and the Parish Church Women work under the authority of the priest in their parish.  You know, they do have some great ideas that could use our support and participation, and also there are ministries that we will want to be part of.  We need the clergy, too.  We need their blessing and their prayers, their guidance and their wisdom.  We are the Body of Christ.

The Diocesan Church Women may have changed its name, but our ministries of service, worship, prayer, missions, Spiritual Life, and Christian Education have not changed.  There may even be new ministries and ideas we want to try!

To take what Joy Hunter said about the Diocese of South Carolina in an interview…and apply it to the Diocesan Church Women…we are who we always have been since we began meeting as the Women’s Auxiliary in 1885. We have not become a new entity since we terminated our
association with the National ECW.  We are still the Diocesan Church Women we were from the beginning, before we affiliated with the National ECW and will be long after we have disaffiliated with them.  We are looking to find new beginnings in the way we organize and work with each other.

Now seems to be a good time to introduce to you my theme for the coming year!

“For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.”
I Corinthian 4:20

We are not left to spin gold out of straw.  In Matthew, the Great Commandment given by our Lord,  “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”  And in Luke,  “And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power
from on high.”

We can count on more than just our own strength to answer God’s call to us.  God clothes his people with his power to do his work.  Thanks be to God!  And we look to him now to breathe life into our missions and ministries as we follow his lead.

I am excited and looking forward to these new beginnings.

In the midst of these changes, we must remember that the most important thing will never change…Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. And It is in Him that we live and move and have our being.  To Him be the glory and honor and power!

God’s blessing,

Ann Dennis
Diocesan Church Women
Diocese of South Carolina


This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Minutes of the 129th Annual Meeting

The Church Women of the Diocese of South Carolina
April 13, 2013
The Parish Church of St. Helena, Beaufort.

The 129th Annual Meeting of the Church Women of the Diocese of South Carolina was held at the Parish Church of St. Helena, Beaufort, on Saturday 13th April, 2013.

After registration and refreshments, President Ann Dennis called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.

The President opened with remarks of welcome to all attendees, and introduced the Rev. Jeffrey S. Miller, Rector of the Parish Church of St. Helena, who extended a warm welcome, then gave the opening prayer.

Vestry representatives, Dianne King and Cyndi Allison, welcomed all attendees on behalf of the host team.

Ann Dennis recognized all distinguished guests, giving special mention to their ministries, and drawing attention to the various ministry displays exhibited in the Parish Hall.

Members of the clergy were introduced, and thanked for their ongoing support of the ministry of the Women of our Diocese.

Past Province !V President and  Past Diocesan President Margie Williams, and Past Diocesan President Catherine Jones were recognized and thanked for their ongoing work in the Diocese.

Special thanks were extended to Mary Lou Cullen, Vola Whitcomb, Barbara Hathaway, Jane Hincher, Carole Knapp, Catherine Quackenbush, Deb Parker, Nancy Pickering, Frances Byers, Kathleen Cosco, Dianne King, Cyndi Allison, and Nancy Chesnutt for their work to prepare for the board and Annual Meetings, and their kind welcome to each of us.

Special thanks were extended to the Rev, Jeffrey S. Miller, for graciously allowing the Parish Church of St. Helena to host the Board Meeting and the Annual Meeting.

Ann Dennis introduced the officers assisting her with the Annual Meeting.

Marco Tomat, Director of York Place Residential Home and Treatment Center, reported on the necessary changes taking place in order to enhance the use of all facilities, and extending care beyond the current geographical boundaries, by combining with Thompson's Child and Family Focus, North Carolina.

Catherine Jacobs, founder of "Pass the Legacy", reported on her work with that ministry, and the recent conference "Courageous Grand-Parenting in a Turbulent World."

Lisa Lovette, President of the "Princess Warriors", reported on the work, and ministry, of that organization.

Catherine Quackenbush, gave the report of the Credentials Committee: a total of 112 people registered, with 50 of that number as delegates representing 24 churches. Ms. Quackenbush declared a quorum to be present.

Nancy Mathews, seconded by Marianne Holmes, moved to dispense with the reading of the Minutes of the 128th Annual Meeting, and to accept them as published. Motion adopted.

Parliamentarian, Yvonne Duty, addressed the meeting regarding the unique circumstances surrounding a necessary series of votes, which arose after disaffiliation with The Episcopal Church. It was explained that members of the Executive Committee met with Bishop Lawrence and discussed the future of the Church Women. The Bishop suggested that the President and Board continue to serve for an interim year; agreed with the suggestion that our name be changed to the Diocesan Church Women for the interim year; suggested that the future of our association with the United Thank Offering, and the Church Periodical Club be discussed with the Board, voted on, with the results submitted to the Bishop.  Necessary changes had been made to the Bylaws and Constitution, then submitted to all parishes in accordance with procedure.  It was further explained that all issues had been thoroughly discussed, then voted on, at the Board meeting. Laura Dixon outlined all changes to the Bylaws and Constitution.

A question and answer session followed to ensure all voting members were clear about the issues. The Rev. Jeffrey Miller, past Chairman of the Standing Committee, assisted the Parliamentarian with some clarifications.

Cyndi Allison, seconded by Deb Parker, moved that the group be named Diocesan Church Women for the interim year 2013-2014. Motion adopted.

At 10:10 a.m. Vice-President, Mary Frances Ahl, took the chair. Carole Knapp, seconded by Dab Dent, moved that Ann Dennis serve as Diocesan Church Women President for the interim year 2013-2014. Motion adopted.

At 10:12 a.m. Ann Dennis resumed as Chairperson. Mary Lou Cullen, seconded by Dab Dent, moved that the Diocesan Church Women disaffiliate with the United Thank Offering. After a briefing by Nancy Pickering, UTO chairperson,  to answer a pointed question, the vote was called. Motion adopted.

Nancy Mathews, seconded by Sue Harrison, moved that the Diocesan Church Women disaffiliate with the Church Periodical Club. Motion adopted.

Margie Williams, seconded by Catherine Jones, moved to approve by acclamation that the current Board members serve during the interim year 2013-2014. Motion adopted.

Catherine Quackenbush, seconded by Mary Lou Cullen, moved to approve the changes to the Bylaws and Constitution for the interim year 2013-2014. Motion adopted.

Sheri Boyles presented the Treasurer's report: The account has been transferred to South Carolina Bank and Trust. There is a total of $3523.45 in the account, of which $535.00 is earmarked for scholarships to the 2014 Retreat.

The Budget for 2013-2014 was presented. Nancy Mathews, seconded by Sue Harrison, moved to approve the Budget as presented. Motion adopted.

Mary Frances Ahl reported on the 2012-2013 Project,  Grace Home for Women: A total of $4644.00 has been raised to date. Mary Frances Ahl, seconded by Mary Lou Cullen, moved that the current Project (Grace Home for Women) and Prayer Partners (St. Alban's Chapel, Citadel, and Coastal Crisis Ministries) remain for the interim year 2013-2014. Motion adopted. Nita Smith, on behalf of Grace Home for Women, gave a short summary of the ministry, and thanked everyone for their support.

Vicki Sheedy reported that all Church Periodical Club funds had been disbursed - in the name of the organization - and the account closed. The remaining funds supported Seminarians in the form of a check to cover partial cost of textbooks; went to various organizations in the form of Bibles, Prayer Books and Hymnals. A new account in the name of Diocesan Periodical Club will now take its' place, and operate much the same as before, continuing to be the ministry of the printed word.

Nancy Pickering reported on a transitional replacement for the United Thank Offering fund. All funds raised will be used within the Diocese. A committee will be formed to oversee an application/request funding program for the Diocese of South Carolina. Instead of a blue box, all are encouraged to begin a "Praise and Glory" jar, to be used to collect change, but - more importantly - as a prompt for prayer and thanksgiving.

The meeting recessed at 10:45 a.m.
The meeting resumed at 11:05 a.m.

Father Charlie Walton opened the session with prayer.

Denyse Steen reported on the success of the March 2013 Retreat, and the overwhelmingly positive reviews received from 100 surveys. Denyse then announced dates for the upcoming combined Diocesan Church Women/Daughters of the King Retreat: February 28-March 2, 2014 at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center.

Mary Lou Cullen introduced Michelle Edwards, member of the Parish Church of St. Helena, who gave a short inspirational talk, reminding us to "Call upon the Lord" and quoting Psalm 46.

Ann Dennis introduced, and thanked, members of the Board. She then went on to announce the retirement of Frances Wray-Carnes - Orangeburg Deanery Director, who has health issues, and thanked her for her faithful service. Vicki Sheedy has been appointed Orangeburg Deanery Director for the interim year 2013-2014.

Ann Dennis highlighted the events of the past year in her Annual Meeting Address. She then announced her theme for 2013-2014: "For the Kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power." 1 Corinthians, 4:20.

Ann Dennis introduced Keynote Speaker, The Right Reverend Mark Lawrence, Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina. Bishop Lawrence opened his address with the scripture from John, chapter 11, about Lazarus. He went on to speak of the other emotions that death brings, explaining that death either locks you in sorrow or grief, or opens you up to the possibility of tomorrow and resurrection. He expanded on the theme, ending with the simple truth that the Gospel sets us free.

Members of the Resolutions Committee were Nancy Pickering and Deb Parker. Nancy Pickering delivered the following resolutions for the Annual Meeting:

BE IT RESOLVED, that we, who are attending this 129th Diocesan Church Women’s Annual Meeting, offer our thanks to The Reverend Jeff  Miller, Rector, clergy, staff, vestry, and congregation at the Parish Church of  St. Helena’s, for their gracious invitation to hold our 2013 Diocesan Church Women’s Annual meeting at their historic location in downtown Beaufort.
The warmest “Southern” hospitality was offered to us. We were treated to God-filled
music by Pat Gould at the organ.

RESOLVED, that our appreciation and gratitude, be extended to Chairperson Mary Lou Cullen, for her commitment and service to our Lord, in hosting this meeting. Our heartfelt thanks also go out to her Parish Church Women (PCW) committee members:
Deb Parker, Catherine Quackenbush, Vola Whitcomb, Barbara  
Hathaway, Jane Hincher, Carole Knapp, Nancy Pickering, Frances
Byers, Kathleen Cosco, Diane King, Cyndi Simpkins and Nancy         
Chesnutt…and most assuredly, thanks & blessings to our chefs
Debbie Covington and Catherine Guerard.

RESOLVED,  that Michelle Edwards’ very touching testimony reached all in attendance. She is a beacon of light at the Parish Church of St. Helena’s.

BE IT FURTHER, RESOLVED, that we are very very thankful, to have The Right Reverend Mark Lawrence shepherd us so diligently in the Diocese of South Carolina. His keynote address and homily, today, were certainly messages we need to take to heart, and then share with those at home and around us. May his leadership in the Diocese of South Carolina continue to be blessed by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

BE IT FINALLY, RESOLVED, that our daily prayers continue to include President Ann Dennis as she begins this transitional year, guiding the women in this Diocese.  Her dedication to this service has truly been spirit-filled. The Lord’s scripture reading “For the Kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” 1Corinthians 4:20 will lead her, and provide us all strength throughout this year.
We, also, will continue to support and pray diligently for our Diocesan Church Women Project, Grace Home for Women, and our prayer partners, Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy & St. Albans Chapel, at The Citadel.               .

Deb Parker, seconded by Catherine Quackenbush, moved that the resolutions be accepted as read. Motion adopted.

Devvy Ridgill extended an invitation to all Diocesan Church Women to attend the 130th Annual Meeting  to be held 3 May, 2014, at St. Bartholomew's, Hartsville.

Bishop Lawrence gave the Benediction.

Having announced that a Celebration of Holy Eucharist would take place immediately following the meeting, and that lunch would be served in the Parish House after the service, President Ann Dennis declared the 129th Annual Meeting of the Diocesan Church Women of the Diocese of South Carolina adjourned at 12:12 p.m.

Respectively submitted,
Yvonne Duty - Recording Secretary


DCW Diocesan Project, 2013-2014

Hebron Colony Ministries – Grace Home for Women

Grace Home, an extension of Hebron Colony Ministries was established in 1953 for women who need help with alcohol and/or drug abuse and offers it in a Christian setting.  Located near Santee, SC Grace Home offers a free, ten week residential/spiritual program for women willing and having an honest desire to learn to live a sober and drug free Christian life.  These women must come drug free or sober for (96 hours or longer) of their own free will, earnestly desiring victory, and be willing to cooperate in the work program.  Through Chapel services, one-on-one counseling with pastors and staff, and thought-provoking Bible studies, women can leave with a deep understanding of Christ’s plan of salvation as well as scriptural life-application that can help them to be victorious in Christ and free from their disease.

DCW Prayer Partners, 2013-2014

St. Alban’s Chapel – The Citadel

St. Alban’s Parish was organized in 1941 as the Episcopal parish to serve cadets at the Citadel.  The stated purpose at that time was:  “for the development of better laymen for the Episcopal Church”.  While the time and day of services have changed through the years, the vision of St. Alban’s as a chapel to reach out in ministry to Citadel cadets has remained the same.
This ministry has resulted in hundreds of Cadets coming to know Christ and walk in discipleship with him over the years.  This discipleship has produced not only laymen, but over 150 Citadel alumni that are in full time ministry – both in the Episcopal Church and other denominations.  Among the Episcopalian alumni have come seven Bishops who have served dioceses in South Carolina, the Gulf Coast, North Dakota, and Western North Carolina.

Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy

Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy is a “ministry of presence”  that provides comfort and support to those who are suffering – whether the time of need is brought on by crime, death, an accident or a missing loved one.  Founded in 1990 by the Rev. Rob Dewey the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy exists to help those who are in the midst of realizing their worst fears, and ministering to the first responders whose work deals with the immediate aftermath of life’s most painful events.  Volunteer Chaplains bring their comforting prayers, helping hands, listening ears and connection to resources and information to families during times of severe crisis.  The Chaplaincy also provides invaluable pastoral care to those emergency workers who have been through traumatic experiences in the line of duty.



Diocese of South Carolina

April 25, 2013

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

My name is Mary Frances Ahl and I am blessed to be the Vice-President of the Diocese of SC Diocesan Church Women. One of my responsibilities, is to be your contact for the 2013-2014 Diocesan Project. This year it was approved at the Annual Meeting to keep Grace Home for Women as our project with St. Alban’s Chapel – The Citadel, and Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy remaining as our prayer partners for this 2013-2014 interim year.  Grace Home is a place for women to receive help with alcohol and/or drug abuse in a Christian setting; it is also an extension of Hebron Colony Ministries.

Who is Hebron Colony Ministries?  During the years of World War II (1941-1945), Reverend E. Archer Dillard, Sr. a pastor and Bible teacher in Charlotte, NC was concerned about the alarming increase of alcoholism.  In the summer of 1946 he approached a number of friends about organizing a “Christian retreat for alcoholics”.  That fall a board was formed and plans were made to purchase the Whiting estate at Shulls Mills, NC.  In 1947 a men’s facility was opened.  Hebron Colony Ministries, Inc. is incorporated under the laws of NC as a non-profit, non-denominational and non-sectarian corporation.  It is governed by a Board of Directors.

In 1953 Grace Home for Women was opened a mile from the men’s facilities.  In 2001 it was relocated to South Carolina and is situated between Holy Hill and Santee, close to the Santee Cooper lakes on over 40 acres of land.

When designating a ministry to receive funding from the Diocesan Church Women, financial responsibility is important.  Hebron Colony Ministries, Inc. is a work of faith.  No charge is made to the person who comes for help.  They stress to the men and women that they must live by faith and the staff lives by the same principle.  Most of Hebron’s support comes from churches, appreciative graduates and from loyal friends.  There is a continual need for financial support.  Your generous financial donations to previous projects have been most important in continuing the work in mission and ministry at home.  We ask each parish to prayerfully consider another generous contribution in order to continue the essential work of Grace Home for Women.

I look forward to the opportunity to attend your women’s meetings, or church events and share information about Grace Home for Women with you.  Also, please continue to prayer for our prayer partners:  St. Alban’s Chapel- The Citadel, and Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy.  I also have information available on these two worthy missions.  Contact me at: 843-552-7063 or e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Please make your donations payable to Diocesan Church Women Project and remit to:

Mary Frances Ahl
8200 Governors Walk
North Charleston, SC 29418

100% of donations go directly to Grace Home for Women.

Your  Sister in Christ,
Mary Frances Ahl
Diocesan Church Women/Vice-President
Diocese of South Carolina

The 2012/2013 Board of the Diocesan Church Women

President: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , St. Matthew's, Darlington
President Elect: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,
Project Chairman: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,
Corresponding Secretary:
Catherine Quackenbush, Parish Church of St. Helena's
Recording Secretary:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Holy Trinity, Grahamville
Margie Williams, St. Jude's, Walterboro
Yvonne Duty

Ministries Chairs

Spiritual Life:
Denyse Steen, Good Shepherd, Charleston
Mission and Ministry at Home:
Mary Kauser,
Mission and Ministry in the World:
Joy Holl, Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston
Christian Education:
Dab Dent, St. Matthew's, Fort Motte
Altar Guild:
Marianne Holmes, St. Jude's, Walterboro
Church Periodical Club:
Vicki Sheedy, Church of the Epiphany, Eutawville
United Thank Offering:
Nancy Pickering, St. Helena's, Beaufort
Communication and Handbook:
Laura Dixon, Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston

Deanery Directors

Beaufort Deanery Director: Debbie Parker, St. Helena's, Beaufort
Charleston Deanery Director: Sarah Hinkle Forbes, St. Philip's, Charleston
Charleston-West Deanery Director: Nancy Scales, St. John's, Johns Island
Florence Deanery Director: Robin Downing, St. Matthews, Darlington
Georgetown Deanery Director: Nancy Mathews, St. Paul's, Conway
Orangeburg Deanery Director: Frances Wray-Carnes, St. Matthias, Summerton

ECW Retreat 2012To watch a slide show of the Women's Retreat click here:

2012/2013 Project of the Diocesan Church Women

Grace Home, Hebron Colony is the 2012-2013 Project

Our 2012/2013 Prayer Partners: Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy and St. Albans Ministry at The Citadel

Upcoming Events

All women in the church are welcomed into the fellowship of the Diocesan Church Women. Please join us!

Links to Affiliated Organizations

a. Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy,

b. The Ministry at St Alban's, the Citadel

c. National Altar Guild

d. The Order of the Daughters of the King


f.. Water Missions International




Follow us on Facebook
Diocesan Seal and Facebook Logo
Visit Bishop's Blog
Sign up for our e-newsletter.
View past issues of e-newsletter.

Latest News

latest newsJohn Barr's Convention Sermon, "I am the Door"

“I am the Door ” Sermon Excerpt
By The Very Rev. Dr. John Barr

This is an excerpt from the sermon the Very Rev. John Barr, Rector of Holy Comforter [ ... ]

latest newsDiocese Welcomes New Churches; Moves Forward in Strength

CHARLESTON, SC March 4, 2014 – The Diocese of South Carolina will hold its 223rd Annual Convention at Christ Church in Mt. Pleasant, March 14-15. Ne [ ... ]

Other Articles