The Clara Barton Guild and its former versions have been a part of our church’s history since the early 1900’s. The group promotes & advances justice for women, children, and families through service to the Church and the greater community. The activities of the Guild support the spiritual, service, and social missions of the church.

Currently there are about 45 UU’s on our email distribution list. Most members are retired and over the age of 65, but the group has always been open to anyone interested.  Historically, it started as a women’s group in the church.

Regular Gatherings:
The group was meeting regularly every other month prior to the onset of the 2020 pandemic, sponsoring a holiday luncheon for members and church staff in Nov./Dec. and a May luncheon.  Jessie Finch and Laura Lukes served as hosts/facilitators for seven years and stepped down from their organizing roles in 2021.  Ella VanLaningham, our past Treasurer, also moved out of town last year.  Linda Thompson is currently serving as the communication lead & facilitator.

With the effects of the pandemic and the advancing age of those who have been the regular participants, the future of this group is in transition as they decide how to move forward, but members want to continue as a group, maintaining the opportunities for social interaction.   At the April, 2022 meeting, it was decided to gather the 2nd Tuesday at 1:30, every other month starting in Sept. for the coming church year and we will rotate the facilitator role.

Clara Barton maintains a separate checking account/CD, maintained by a member Treasurer. Funds have primarily been raised by organizing  a Rummage Sale/year (in past years, they sometimes did 2 sales/year).

Moving forward we want to:
Honor the legacy of this Clara Barton Guild as we adapt to the future.
Continue to provide support, with personal service and financial resources to:

  • Church projects which will enhance the worship experience.
  • Organizations (mostly local) that improve the lives of women, children, and families.

For more on the Clara Barton history at First UU, read the article linked HERE.

Examples of Past Contributions to the Church:

Donations to support Hawthorne Helps
First aid kits from the Red Cross for Chalice campers and counselors
Scholarships for Women’s Retreat, General Assembly, Midwest meetings, Chalice Camp
Donation towards the training of OWL facilitators
Donation towards the trip made by the youth to Boston
Financing the printing of the 25-year church history book
Donation towards the 150th Anniversary stained glass window

Clara Barton provided all Sunday morning beverages, sugar/creamer, kitchen cleaning supplies, etc. until these expenses were included in the annual hospitality church budget several years ago.

Contributions (usually ~$300 – 500/year) to Community Organizations during the last 10 Years:
Planned Parenthood
Hawthorne Helps
Jeremiah Project
Bear Creek Services
Southeastern Minnesota Immigrant Legal Defense Fund (thru Diversity Council)
Women’s Shelter
Family Promise
Mission 21
Project Legacy
Community Food Response
Quarry Hill
Gage Empowerment Center

Questions or Interested in being added to the email list? 

Contact: Linda Thompson

Watch for announcements in the weekly ENews on upcoming plans for the Clara Barton Guild.