Mexico City, Mexico 1974

The women of the Christian Churches in Mexico faced a difficult task in planning to entertain the World CWF since so few of them lived in the capital city, where the convention was to be held. They had never undertaken such a large responsibility before, but they came through in a beautiful way, including in their plans many Protestant women of Mexico who are part of the ecumenical fellowship. By this time the retreat had become a tradition which everyone valued. Since the World CWF executive committee is never able, between conventions, to meet as a group, the retreat provides the opportunity to do many necessary tasks – review the finances, hold committee meetings for nominating officers, select countries to write prayer topics and the birthday worship services, agree on the service project to recommend to the Fellowship, etc. The fine facilities of the Union Theological Seminary provided a comfortable location for the retreat, which was attended by 33 women from 15 countries. Vice president, Mrs. Stella Salisbury of New Zealand led the Bible study periods and two delegates, Judge Heilia Phillips of the Philippines, and Dr. Kamal Luther of India, provided papers on the liberating power of the Gospel which became the basis for discussion periods. One evening the visiting women were guests of the Mexican women at the Christian Church in Mexico City where they were entertained by youth performing lively Mexican folk dances, and then enjoyed a meal of Mexican dishes lovingly prepared by the hostesses.

The Convention format at Mexico City provided for constituency breakfasts instead of luncheons, and although 8:30 A.M. is an early hour to begin a meeting, especially after a week of lengthy convention sessions and much sightseeing, by 7:30 women were crowding the staircase to the ballroom of the Maria Isabel Hotel. When the doors opened, 1200 women burst into the room, filling every available place at the tables. How fortunate it was that the president, Mrs. Parrilla, was able to preside and conduct the business bilingually, so that both English and Spanish speaking women were kept well informed. After transacting the organizational business, the women listened to two addresses on the theme, “God With Us – in Work and Leisure” emphasizing the family, employment, and the community, by Mrs. Kiyo Kamikawa of Japan and Miss Ruth Minerva Ramirez of Mexico. These addresses formed the basis for discussion in small groups following the general program. The retirement of Miss Helen Spaulding as secretary-treasurer was recognized, and the new secretary-treasurer, Mrs. Fran Craddock was introduced. An offering of $1302.51 for the newly accepted service project, the relief of world hunger, especially in Africa, was received.

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