United Society of Friends Women International


Pam's ADVOCATE articles for USFWI


EAC Award


Mother-Daughter Banquet


Father-Family Lunch


Rummage Sale


Apple Dumplings


Work Days


Bulletin Board


USFW Combined Meeting June 12, 2007


History of the United Society of Friends Woman

     After a great revival among young people in Indiana Yearly Meeting in 1860, Rhoda Coffin and other Friends Women became deeply interested in finding ways for these young Friends to take part in the over all work of the Society of Friends.  From this concern grew the earliest organization of women Friends in home missions service.  During Yearly Meeting in 1866, a group of women met at the home of Rhoda M. Coffin and they write the first constitution and by-laws and named officers.  The next step was to call all Indiana Yearly Meeting women together and 700 women assembled, joyful to have an opportunity to labor for Christ through home missions.  In 1883 the women of Indiana Yearly Meeting formed a Foreign Mission Board which developed much interest in foreign missions.

    At Winchester Friends in 1911 a Women’s Messenger Society was formed whose duty it was to visit the sick, shut-ins, poor and strangers.  This society and a Ladies Aid Society were active at Winchester Friends.  In 1948 the Yearly Meeting formed the “United Society of Friends Women.”  In the years after 1948 the two societies at Winchester combined and began meeting together on a regular basis. 

    The purpose of the USFW is to enlist and unite all Friends Women of Indiana Yearly Meeting in Christian fellowship and service at home and abroad, and to stimulate their spiritual development, to cultivate Christian stewardship, to assist in the nurture of the missionary spirit among Friends, and to foster missionary education in the membership of local meetings.

    Since the formation of a meeting house in Winchester, Quaker women have used their gifts in homemaking to minister far and wide to people of this community and to overseas missions.  Countless meals have been served to the community to raised funds for projects; meals have been served to organizations in this community, rummage sales held almost yearly, and boxes full of supplies, layettes, bandages, and quilts were sent to Friends overseas and local mission fields.  Money was raised during the 1950’s by a “Silent Auction.”  Crafts and food items were brought to the meeting house, bidders wrote their offer on paper in front of each item, and the item was sold to the highest bidder.  From the Silent Auction came the Christmas Bazaars during the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.  The last large bazaar happened in 1984.  In 1985 the USFW women began serving a Harvest meal/Country Fair to the community one Friday each fall.  The sale of apple dumplings began at that time and continued until 1997.  In 1998 the USFW began selling apple dumplings from a booth at the annual Winchester Community Mardi Gras in the first weekend in October.  In the year 2006, with help from 60+ Winchester Friends and Wick’s Pies in procuring ingredients and storing frozen dumplings, 1195 baked dumplings were sold, 1105 frozen dumplings were sold, raising over $3000 for future mission projects.

    Over the years, Winchester Friends USFW dispersed profit from their projects to home and foreign missions, including, but not limited to :  Angel Tree and Christmas Food baskets, Gas Help Fund, local food pantry, Native Americans in Alabama and Oklahoma; projects, hospitals, and schools in Belize, Cuba, Jamaica, Kenya, Palestine, and Russia; Chicago Fellowship of Friend’s inner city ministry; and White’s Residential and Family Services near Wabash, IN.

    Every year for as long as anyone can remember, the USFW sponsors a Mother-Daughter Banquet and a Father-Family brunch/lunch.  In addition to these special activities, the members of the USFW have consistently visited and/or provided meals and flowers to the people of our Meeting and community who have been sick or are shut-in.  USFW women regularly offer to provide a funeral meal for the family of members of our meeting and others associated with our meeting.  Countless cards have been mailed, and books made available to read with the purpose of educating and enriching each members and others within the meeting.

The history of the USFW at Winchester Friends is rich.  The future is full of opportunities for ministry and mission for two very active USFW groups.


1966 Blue Cookbook, 1983 Butter 'n Love Cookbook and 2001 Sustaining the Reputation Cookbook
The three Winchester Friends USFW cookbooks.


Evening USFW Meeting:     Second Tuesday of each month@7 PM
Afternoon USFW Meeting:  Second Wednesday of each month @1:30 PM
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