From the Archives... Our Amazing Women 1930's - 1970's

What would we do without women in our lives?  Although their voices were stifled for years in church and public meetings, the women of First Parish Church, similar to other churches around the country, developed a robust women’s group.  As we celebrate not only Mother’s Day this month, but take time to recognize women who enriched our lives, our Sanctuary Archive Display contains programs and newspaper clippings from the activities organized and sponsored by our active women’s group from the 1950’s – 1970’s.  At the end of this article, if you wonder a little about life in 1924 and 1974, please take a few minutes to read our May church bulletins from 100 years ago and 50 years ago.  H.G. Well shares his opinion on the most important books in the world and a 1974 bulletin shows our church income and expenses for six months.

Initially called The Women’s Alliance, this 1950-51 program below demonstrates the impressive array of activities that brought the women of First Parish together for civic, religious and personal reasons. As you look over the program and news clippings you will either remember or discover that married women were identified by their husband’s name so only those women who were not married had their first names revealed. Yes, thankfully, life has changed a bit.

(Click on images to see an enlarged version)

Below are a few of the news clippings from the Times Record or the Maine Sunday Telegram about featured activities of these women’s groups.

This was a silver tea in 1968 open to the public to benefit the Maine Indian Children.
The Maine Sunday Telegram shared more information about this silver tea to raise money for “the annual Indian Home Stay” giving Indian children from the Pleasant Point Reservation in Perry, Maine, just north of Eastport, the chance to spend two weeks (June 16-June 29) in Brunswick with local families.  The article stated that 30 boys and girls from 6 to 13 years old would be guests of these families.  Imagine how different Maine might have been if 30 of the Brunswick children had spent two weeks as guests on the reservation!
The women were preparing for the annual Valentine Dessert Bridge and Game Party. Note: Mrs. David Widmer on the far left is our own Lois Widmer who might be able to answer questions you might have about this annual event.
In 1970, preparations were being made for the Valentine card party and dessert buffet as Billy Langbein, son of Nancy and Ed Langbein, kisses his sister during a photo op!
Preparations for the 1971 annual Valentine dessert and Bridge (or another game) party held in Pilgrim House on a Friday afternoon.  A silent auction for “odd dishes, recent books or unwanted gift shop items” were also a part of the afternoon festivities.
In May 1975 the Women’s Council sponsored a daytime and evening wear fashion show featuring outfits from Senter’s Department Store.
Four of our young girls, donned in adorable sunbonnets, show their hats and other children’s items for the December fair in 1975.  On the far left is Susan Millar, daughter of Chris and Bob Millar and on the far right is Margaret Widmer, daughter of Lois and David Widmer.
Barbara Fleming, leader of the Bible study group at First Parish and Sue Blakemore, youth director, look over bibles which will be on display Sunday. This event in 1976 was planned to highlight the publication of the complete edition of the Good News for Modern Man.

Below are our church bulletins published in 1924 and 1974.

(Click on images to see an enlarged version)

God bless our Mothers and the other women who have nurtured and tended to us and our Earth!

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A multi-colored wooden sign reading "Welcome"

An Ongoing Appeal to Help New Mainers

Stained Glass Windows Restoration Project Update!

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