While the General Convention takes place, so does the Triennial Meeting of the Episcopal Churchwomen. This gathering, like the General Convention, brings in representatives from dioceses around The Episcopal Church. These women participate in plenary presentations and workshops, and honor distinguished women from each diocese. They also collect the diocesan offerings to the United Thank Offering at a special Eucharist open to all the participants in General Convention and the Triennial Meeting.
This year, for the first time, the ECW will host a 5K run and walk in partnership with the National Episcopal Health Ministries early on Sunday morning (leaving plenty of time to complete it and still get to Eucharist). The race’s proceeds will benefit the John P. Craine House, Indianapolis, IN, a work-release facility for non-violent female offenders and their preschool-aged children.
Colorado sends a delegation to the ECW Triennial gathering. Below are the members of this year’s delegation:
ECW Triennial Delegation 2012
President: Robin Woods Sumners, Ph.D.
Robin is a life-time Episcopalian and is married to The Rev. Charles Sumners. She has six children, two step-children and twelve grandchildren. Robin holds a master’s degree in English and a doctorate in child development. She has had a long career in the toy and collectible business. Robin says she grew up watching the women in her family put pennies and nickels in their blue boxes everyday—this symbol of thankfulness for the abundance of life has had a profound impact on her. Robin Sumners has served a United Thank Offering Coordinator for The Diocese of Colorado for three years, and as Board Vice President for one year. Robin enjoys event planning and found being the Chair of the 2011 Annual Gathering fun and challenging. She considers The Chapel of Our Saviour, Colorado Springs her home parish, though she visits many churches in the Diocese with her husband as he serves as supply priest for many parishes.
Secretary: Barb Swinson
Barb Swinson has spent much of her life quilting. Has there ever been anything more about hospitality than a “Quilting Bee?” This is the time when women get together to do something for others—to create an object that is decorative, useful, and made with tender loving care. Barb has been a “competitive” quilter, winning awards for her creations, having one woman shows and at the same time offering great works of art from her hands. Barb frequently offers workshops in quilting. Barb offered to be on the 2011 Gathering Committee because of her love for hospitality; that propelled her into a board office; the board is grateful to have her as secretary. She is co-president of the ECW at her home church, St.Raphael’s, Colorado Springs.
Chaplain: The Reverend Twyla Zittle
Twyla Zittle is a Colorado native—a rare breed in this state. She has been a middle school teacher, high school counselor and was on the administrative staff at Adams State College in Alamosa, and attending St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Alamosa when she met her husband-to-be Bill Zittle. Twyla and Bill were raised up to become Canon 9 priests. Following Bill's death 1998, after much discernment, Twyla went to off to Chicago to attend Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, and returned to Colorado after graduation/ordination. She serves as Assistant Rector at St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church, Colorado Springs. Twyla makes lovely fabric angels, which are given as blessings to those who need them. Each angel is made specifically for the recipient, and each arrives with a prayer. Twyla has been charged by the ECW Board to help define the task of being Co-Chaplain to the women of the Diocese—job that is in the process of more clear parameters and responsibilities.
UTO Coordinator: Nel Benton-Hough
Nel Benton-Hough, of Grace Church and St. Stephen’s is the new UTO Coordinator for the Diocese of Colorado. Nel was elected to this position at the 2011 Annual Meeting of ECW Colorado, and began her new tasks with the Ascension season. Nel will be a member of the ECW Colorado Triennial Delegation. As part of the General Convention Sunday Eucharist on July 8, 2012, Nel will present to the Presiding Bishop, a check for $26,000.00 + dollars contributed to the United Thank Offering during 2010-2011. This ceremony each General Convention is a dramatic demonstration of the dedication and power of the women through out the church as they faithfully give thanks with daily offerings which translate into dramatic and extraordinary programs that are developed world wide using the mission dollars contributed by the women of the church. Nel has been involved in ECW at Grace and St. Stephens in Colorado Springs for the past four years. In addition to her service to the ECW Colorado board, she is on the board of The Thrift House, a Colorado Springs ECW outreach effort. Nel is a life long Episcopalian.