Showing 326 results

Authority record

Fitts, Frederic Whitney

  • Person
  • 1872-1945

Frederic Whitney Fitts was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on April 11, 1872. He graduated in 1893 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned his B.D. from the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, in 1901 before completing his education with a degree from Harvard University in 1902.

From 1902 to 1907, Fitts served as an associate priest of St. Stephen’s Church, Boston, and as an associate rector of St. John’s Church in nearby Roxbury. Both parishes, which served primarily poor and minority communities, were among the leading Anglo-Catholic congregations of the otherwise low and broad churches in the Diocese of Massachusetts at that time.

He became rector of St. John’s Church in 1908, a position he held for 37 years, where he was known for his instructional classes. He mentored Massey Shepherd, who was an assistant at St. John’s Church in the early 1940s. Fitts was a lecturer of interest on Church symbolism; well-known for using the Sarum ritual and scheme of liturgical colors, which was rarely practiced in the United States; and he maintained a close relationship with the Order of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge.

Frederic Fitts died in 1945.

Executive Office of the General Convention

  • Corporate body
  • 1970-

The Executive Office of the General Convention (GCO) is one of the three offices of The Episcopal Church. The others are the Office of the Presiding Bishop and the Office of the President of the House of Deputies.

The GCO administers the governance of the Church in a variety of ways, including organizing and overseeing the triennial General Convention, supporting the activities of the various interim bodies of the General Convention, participating in official meetings of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, generating the Church’s annual Parochial Report, and promoting the ministry of the ecumenical, inter-religious, and inter-Anglican bodies of the Church.

In addition, the GCO supports the Executive Officer in their role as corporate Secretary of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, Secretary of the Executive Council, and Registrar of the General Convention.

Executive Council

  • Corporate body
  • 1964-

Organized in 1964, the Executive Council is the chief oversight body for implementing the programs and corporate business of The Episcopal Church in matters affecting its domestic and foreign mission, its ecumenical relationships, and its place in civil society. The Executive Council is the direct successor body to the National Council (1919-1963) and inherits the role held by the Board of Missions of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (1835-1918). The Executive Council marks the consolidation of authority for the implementation of national and international work of the Council under the single executive office of the Presiding Bishop. Membership is composed of individuals elected by General Convention, Provincial Synods, and ex-offico members.

Episcopal Women’s History Project (EWHP)

  • Corporate body
  • 1980-

Founded in 1980 as an independent national organization of Episcopal women, the Episcopal Women's History Project has played an important role in recovering and documenting the lives of women who have made outstanding contributions to The Episcopal Church. The Project aims to raise awareness about the historic place of women in the Church and their ethnic, racial, regional, and class diversity. Since its formation, the group has produced historical resources, conducted oral history interviews, published a newsletter, distributed grants, and supported and encouraged research and scholarship related to the historical role of women in The Episcopal Church.

Episcopal Service for Youth

  • Corporate body
  • 1909-1976

The Episcopal Service for Youth was formed in 1911 as The Church Mission of Help (CMH). Its original purpose was to promote family life by assisting unwed mothers to remain with their families and make it possible for them to take care of their children for at least the first two years. The scope of its case work grew through the 1920s to include preventative care for at-risk children. By 1930, it had not only expanded its scope, but also added 13 more societies to its mission field.

The Episcopal Church continued to support CMH, but in the face of declining diocesan funding, the General Convention cut its appropriation by half in 1934. As a result, the bylaws of the organization were radically amended along with a substantial reduction in staff. In 1945, after much discussion, the name of the organization was changed to The Episcopal Service for Youth to better reflect its purpose and better appeal to the young people whom it served. In 1960, much of the society's work was assumed by the Department of Christian Social Relations. The Episcopal Service for Youth continued primarily as a scholarship organization until its dissolution in 1976.

Episcopal Divinity School

  • Person
  • 1974-20171974-2017

The Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) was established in 1974 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, through the merger of the Philadelphia Divinity School and the Episcopal Theological School. EDS was a respected and progressive institution that sought to prepare both men and women for the ministry, whether lay or ordained. In 2016 the board of trustees decided to sell its Cambridge, Massachusetts campus and the following year, EDS affiliated with Union Theological Seminary in New York City, creating EDS@Union.

Episcopal Church Women

  • Corporate body
  • 1985-

Originally authorized by the General Convention in 1871 to coordinate the work formerly conducted by a large number of isolated women’s missionary societies, The Woman’s Auxiliary to the Board of Missions initially served in an advisory role, however, the Auxiliary evolved into a planning and promotion group. The first General Meeting of the Auxiliary was held in 1874, when the women resolved to meet concurrently with General Convention and came to be known as the Triennial Meetings of the Woman’s Auxiliary.

During the 1956-1958 triennium women’s work in the Church was reorganized. The Auxiliary transitioned into a division of National Council and was renamed the General Division of Women’s Work. Rejecting the auxiliary status, diocesan organizations began to name themselves the Episcopal Church Women. Symbolic of the turbulent social climate of the late 1960s and 1970s, the Church initiated structural reorganizations aimed at integrating women into the Church on every level. As part of these changes, the General Division of Women’s Work was dissolved in 1968.

Subsequent Triennial Meetings were organized by various ad hoc committees until the 1985 gathering, at which time bylaws were adopted forming the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) at the national level. This organization reclaimed its right as the successor body to the Woman’s Auxiliary and assumed responsibility for coordinating the women’s activities in the Church and for organizing the Triennial gatherings.

A resolution was filed at the June 1986 meeting of Executive Council confirming that the newly formed Episcopal Church Women “is the same or successor organization to the Woman’s Auxiliary, the General Division of Women’s Work, the Committee for Women, the Triennial Program and Planning Committee, and the Triennial Committee.”

Episcopal Church Publishing Company

  • Corporate body
  • 1917-2006

The first issue of “The Witness was published on January 6, 1917. The Rt. Rev. Irving Peake Johnson, of Colorado, was the first editor-in-chief and also formed the first board of directors for the publication. William B. Spofford succeeded Johnson as editor. In the earlier years, The Witness combined traditional church news and advertising with impassioned editorials concerning workers' rights and other issues of religious and social consequence.

Sometime in the 1940s, Irving Johnson and William B. Spofford, along with several other men, established the Episcopal Church Publishing Company (ECPC) that continued to publish The Witness. After Spofford’s death in 1972, publication temporarily ceased. Resuming in 1974 after the formation of a new board of trustees, the first issue featured the irregular ordination to the priesthood of 11 women deacons in Philadelphia.

Although it had undergone changes in frequency of publication and appearance, The Witness retained its emphasis on social action and justice in light of the gospel. Its roots remained Episcopal, but its readership ecumenical. Publication ceased in 2003.

Emhardt, William Chauncey

  • Person
  • 1874-1950

William Chauncey Emhardt was born in Philadelphia on January 29, 1874 and educated at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Divinity School, Columbia University, and General Theological before being ordained as a priest in 1898. After serving in various schools and parishes in Kansas, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, he was rector of St. Luke's, Newtown, Pennsylvania from 1907-1920.

In 1920, Emhardt resigned from the parish of St. Luke’s to become Field Director for Church Work Among Foreign-Born Americans, a position he held for ten years. During that time, he also served as Secretary-in-Charge of the Near East Chaplaincies and became a trustee of Near East Relief (formerly the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief).

In addition to his involvement in several other charitable organizations, Emhardt was a member of the Eastern Orthodox Relations Committee of the Federal Council of Churches, and the Commission to Confer with the Orthodox and Old Catholic Churches of the General Convention. He was American Chairman of the Russian Orthodox Seminary in Paris, France (1928-1934) and Chairman of the Hill School in Athens, Greece (1931-1936). From 1936 until 1943 he was vicar of the Pro-Cathedral of St. Mary, Philadelphia.

Ermhardt died in Oceanville, New Jersey, on August 4, 1950.

Emery, Mary Abbott

  • Person
  • 1843-1901

In 1871, Mary Abbott Emery was appointed secretary of the newly formed Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions and was chiefly responsible for its early development. Though she resigned as secretary in 1876 to marry the Rev. Dr. Alvi T. Twing, she continued to be actively involved. After her husband died in 1882, she was appointed honorary secretary of the Woman's Auxiliary. One of her greatest achievements was assisting in the passage by the 1889 General Convention of the canon that recognized and set standards and qualifications for Deaconesses. In addition, Emery taught a course on church missions at the newly created New York Training School for Deaconesses and visited missionaries around the world, later reporting on their work in articles that she assembled in the book, Twice Around the World (1898).

Mary Abbott Emery’s sister, Julia Chester Emery, was heavily involved with the Woman’s Auxiliary, taking over as secretary when Mary resigned in 1876. In addition, their sisters–Susan Lavinia Emery (1846-1914) and Margaret Theresa Emery (1849-1925)–were involved with The Episcopal Church and the Woman’s Auxiliary, although to a much lesser degree.

Emery, Julia Chester

  • Person
  • 1852-1922

Julia Chester Emery was appointed secretary of the Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions in 1876, after her sister Mary Abbott Emery resigned the position. During her forty-year tenure she directed the expansion of the Woman’s Auxiliary into every domestic and missionary diocese of The Episcopal Church and was key to the founding and growth of the United Offering (now the United Thank Offering). She traveled overseas extensively to promote the Auxiliary by addressing the woman’s missionary congress in London in 1897, representing the Diocese of New York at the Pan-Anglican Congress in 1908, and visiting mission stations throughout Europe and Asia. In addition, she authored several books, including “A Century of Endeavor” (1921), the centennial history of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. Julia Emery is commemorated in the Episcopal Calendar of the Church Year on January 9th.

In addition to Mary Abbott and Julia Chester, their sisters, Susan Lavinia Emery (1846-1914) and Margaret Theresa Emery (1849-1925) were involved with The Episcopal Church and the Woman’s Auxiliary, although to a much lesser degree.

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