Episcopal Church Women
Diocese of Connecticut

From The President


President’s Message – Fall 2013


One of the most moving experiences for a delegate to an ECW Triennial meeting is when for a brief moment a delegate meets the Presiding Bishop and is presented with a cross. We wear the cross with pride as not only does it represent a public demonstration of our faith, but it is an acknowledgement of appreciation from the officers and members of the ECW National Board, as well as an instrument that binds us together as sisters in Christ.


For several weeks I have given much thought to what I would write about for this issue of our newsletter.  I made several attempts, but they just did not feel “right.”  Yesterday, I attended the funeral of someone who has been a friend for many years, truly in every way a “sister in Christ,” the late Barbara Bartosik, a member of Grace Church, Trumbull.  Barbara was the leader of the volunteers from Grace church who prepared and served free dinners on the fourth Tuesday each month to the homeless, the poor and needy people who sought help at St. John’s Parish, in Bridgeport.  She was always concerned about the welfare of those she served.   With her husband Vernon and a team of dedicated volunteers, she prepared delicious meals often with vegetables from her garden to the delight of those who benefited from her ministry.  She often provided funds to help families in distress, always without fanfare.


I remember well the day she said, “Val, you will need to get another group for fourth Tuesday, I am getting old, and so are the others.”   Later I learned it was not just age, but illness that caused her to stop.  Yesterday, I also learned that although she was ill even at the age of 84, she continued to serve the needy by volunteering at the food pantry at Grace church.  She was indeed one of the “pillars” of Grace church.  As with many of the churches in our Diocese, Grace has had periods of transitions.  However, one constant was Barbara, quietly serving, always encouraging, and as a registered nurse, always the caregiver.  She was truly an example of the Episcopal Church Woman.


There are many sisters like Barbara within our family of the Episcopal Church Women.   We are bound together by our faith.  We work together for the benefit of many, especially those in need; we support each other in times of need; we pray together.  As we continue on life’s journey, let us take time to acknowledge those among us that give so much of themselves; to give thanks for them and for the work they do. Finally, let us commit ourselves to continue in their footsteps with joyful hearts and the knowledge that we are not alone, we have sisters to love and cherish.


Valzie Peterkin



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