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.

For more on our history, please read:   2017 Grace Notes article  

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 that 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 and some informational programming.   At the April, 2022 meeting, it was decided to gather the 2nd Tuesday at 1:30, every other month starting in September for the coming church year and we will rotate the facilitator role. In May 2023, we were able to have a spring luncheon at Charter House and we hope to enjoy another gathering in 2024. 

Meetings for 2023-2024:  Sept.12, 2023, Nov. 14, Jan. 9, March 12, May 14, 2024.

Clara Barton maintains a separate checking account/CD, managed by a member Treasurer. Funds have primarily been raised by organizing a Rummage Sale/year (in past years, we sometimes did 2 sales/year). In the spring of 2023, we organized a smaller rummage sale focused on children (infant- age 12: clothes, toys, games, books, etc.). This netted about $1560, but the group decided not to organize another sale for the spring of 2024.  We will be revisiting the discussion about fundraising.

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 (if available) to:
          – Church projects which will enhance the worship experience.
    – Organizations (mostly local) that improve the lives of women, children, and families.

Examples of Past Contributions to the Church:
Donation to support First UU Youth Boston Trip
Mutiple donations to support Hawthorne Helps
Donation toward lobby water fountain
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. for decades, 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:
ArtAbilities (Possabilities)
Bolder Options
Hawthorne Helps
Planned Parenthood
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

If you have questions or you are interested in being added to the email list, please contact Linda Thompson.