|A Different Call
A Different Call: Women's Ministries in the Episcopal Church, 1850-1920 by Mary Sudman Donovan
Publisher: Morehouse-Barlow, Wilton, Connecticut
Partly because women claimed no credit, and partly because church leaders have rarely sought to analyze the process of change, the effect of women's work on the church's ministry has been overlooked by historians.
The activities of women between 1850 and 1920 literally transformed the Episcopal Church by providing the labor force and the moral initiative to establish social service ministries, by structuring the support system necessary to enable missionary expansion and by developing a communications network that fostered a diocesan rather than a parochial identity for individual church members.
Dr. Donovan tells the gripping stories of some pioneer women such s Mary Abbot Twing, Anne Ayers, Julia and Margaret Teresa Emery and Susan Knapp, and their widely influential organizations and sisterhoods. She traces the evolution of various forms of ministries for women within the Episcopal Church and demonstrates how those ministries brought about a new awareness and responsiveness to the aged, the poor, the uneducated and the sick, both at home and in the foreign mission field. Though the social gospel was preached by the male clergy, she contends, it was accomplished largely through the efforts of the church's women.