Summary

Five page booklet of proceedings, prayers are scriptures for the ecumenical church service held at the 1995 Swan Hill Women on Farms Gathering. This service was held on the Sunday morning and included musical performances by local women Bronwyn Jones and Monica Oliver.

Physical Description

Photocopied five page booklet created from folded A4 sheet with single A5 page insert. Unbound. Cover image features an illustrated border of a grapevine.

Significance

Bringing women together in song, prayer and storytelling, ecumenical services are an important feature of the annual Victorian Women on Farms Gatherings. The idea to incorporate these services into the Gathering weekend first emerged in 1991 at the Sea Lake Gathering. During the early 1990s the Sea Lake and wider Mallee region was experiencing a longstanding drought, and many rural women and their families had been severely impacted by this drought. Organisers of the 1991 Sea Lake Gathering decided that a religious service might help to lift communal spirits and to bring women together with a common goal. A service was therefore organised on the Sunday morning and held at the Sea Lake Secondary College Library, whereby participants crammed into the small library and prayed for their friends and families, and all of those that were affected by the drought. Since then, ecumenical services have continued to be a regular feature at Victorian Women on Farms Gatherings. While the Gatherings themselves are not religious and the ecumenical services are optional, they are always well attended and a highlight for the women that attend, regardless of their religious persuasion. Not only do these services bring women together in prayer; they also provide an occasion for women to speak about the issues affecting their lives and families, as well as to reflect on the broader issues affected rural Victoria more generally.

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