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Evangelical (Hope) Lutheran Women fonds
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10cm textual records. –1 photograph.
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The first meeting of what became known as the Hope Lutheran Women was held at the Queenstown home of Mrs Jens Aasgard in 1915, to organize a committee to raise funds for the summer parochial school taught by the Pastor. Nine women attended, with Mrs Osten Johnson, Mrs. Ragnhild Thompson, Mrs. J. Morseth, Mrs. Pete Soli, Mrs. Signe Moger and Mrs. Chris Hellevang electing Mrs Aasgard as President, Mrs Anna Johnson, Treasurer, and Mrs Margit Johnson, Secretary.
Most of the business of the early meetings was conducted in Norwegian, which was also the language used for hymns and prayers. An offering was collected at each meeting – held on the 2rd Thursday of the month from 1915 until 1971 – and in the first year the women raised $9.15. In 1917 they began raising funds outside of the meetings, and held an auction of hand-made items that brought in $75.60. Over the next many decades, the women, commonly referred to as the Lutheran Ladies Aid, or simply the Aid, raised funds for a range of church-centered initiatives including building projects, Missions and clothing drives, through activities such as bazaars and bake sales, catering, and operating booths at events like the annual Race Meet.
During the 1940s, minutes and records began to be kept in English as a new generation took on leadership roles in the organization. Their roots were not forgotten however, as evidenced by their 1950 donation to the Scandinavian Seaman’s Mission San Francisco.
Part of the Women’s Missionary Federation beginning in 1948, the group became affiliated with the American Lutheran Church Women in 1960, and Bible studies became a regular part of each meeting. In 1967 the church became a member of the Evangelical Church of Canada, and the organization became the Evangelical Lutheran Women, or ELW.
In 1958 the church moved from its country location in Queenstown to the town of Milo, and while the new site included a basement kitchen that was available for social activities connected to the church, the Ladies Aid continued to meet primarily in the homes of its members until the late 1960s, when the church was rebuilt following a fire and renamed Hope Lutheran Church. At this time they became known as the Evangelical Lutheran Women Hope Lutheran.
By 2007, membership had declined to the point where ELW Hope Lutheran fundraising efforts were increasingly being taken on by non-members, and meetings were only being held every second month. In the summer of 2010 the national body of Evangelical Lutheran Women was dissolved, and the remaining Milo area members changed their name to Hope Lutheran Women.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of books of minutes, including membership lists, attendance records and financial information, from the Lutheran Ladies Aid (1946-1947), Lutheran Ladies Aid / Women’s Missionary Federation (1948-1958), Women’s Missionary Federation (1959-1967) and the Evangelical Lutheran Women / Hope Lutheran (1967-2012), as well as a hand-written, undated history of the “Queenstown (Milo) Ladies Aid”, and a black & white group photograph from the 1940s.
Immediate source of acquisition
Marilyn Nelson, Evangelical (Hope) Lutheran Women member
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Script of material
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no restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
no further accruals expected
Some information for Admin History from Snake Valley II: a history of Lake McGregor and area, published by Milo and District Historical Society.