Women’s Groups

Women’s Groups

Women’s Benevolent Society

The Women’s Benevolent Society was established in 1803 to promote the missionary activities as well as the social and spiritual life of the women of the First Church of Christ in Longmeadow. The society is thought to be the oldest continuously active women’s group of its kind in the country.

Program meetings that include a potluck lunch are usually held on the first Friday of September through May. Planning meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at 10:15am.  All these meetings are open to the women of First Church and their friends.  Representatives from the area causes WBS helps support are also invited to the planning meetings.

Please enjoy these photos from recent WBS events:

Women's Benevolent Society Events

The annual “Church on the Green” Christmas Fair, held on the first Saturday in December, is the groups major fundraising project from which all the proceeds are donated to local charitable organizations. Pictures from the most recent Christmas Fair can be viewed on our Flickr album.

The History of the Women’s Benevolent Society was presented as part of our Heritage Sunday program on October 20, 2013 and is available in a two-part video series:

[Watch part 1]   [Watch part 2]

Prayer Shawl Ministry

The Prayer Shawl Ministry is a quiet but determined group of ladies, some of whom have been getting together for over 10 years knitting and crocheting in order to bring prayers and a reminder of God’s love to those in need. Prayer shawls are given to folks who are grieving, healing, or are otherwise in need of comfort. They have also been given to Hospice, as well as to new mothers or people who have celebrated special occasions. In their time as a group, they have given away well over 500 shawls.

Each shawl is delivered with a card attached containing a prayer of Love, Hope and Peace: “As you place this shawl around your shoulders, may you feel the loving arms of God enfold you as he holds you in his care. May you find comfort, peace and healing from the prayers that have been offered for you by the knitter. From [knitter’s name] and your friends at First Church.” Many thank you notes have been received from people who feel God’s love and caring when wrapped in the shawl as well as many prayers given by the knitters.

It took about 6 million stitches to make the first 500 shawls, and the needles are still going!…

Sacred Circles

What are sacred circles?

Sacred Circles are groups of women who meet regularly with the goal to nurture themselves spiritually.  Women’s circles are formal or informal gatherings in the interest of bonding, sharing energy, and creating ritual.   The origins of women’s circles are ancient, but their applications are as modern as the women who participate in them.

How do sacred circles work?
Basic principles are: council / circle sharing, listening without an agenda, shared ownership / leadership, confidentiality, taking responsibility for one’s own needs, self-reflection, focus on spiritual development, and commitment.

Are there already sacred circles at First Church?
Yes. First Church currently has four active Circles, two of which were formed recently.  We hope to form more circles at First Church; so more women experience this unique & powerful opportunity for spiritual growth.

I’d like some more information on sacred circles.
Please fill out the following form and someone will be in touch with you about the opportunity to join a Sacred Circle.