Catching UP

posted Mar 5, 2015, 10:57 AM by Carolyn Hampton

by Carolyn Hampton
Communications Coordinator, Cascades PW
    As you've probably noticed, I've been remiss in updating this website!  At 65, I'm away from the house working and commuting to work more than I have ever been in my whole life ... a new and challenging experience for me.  As life is settling into a new routine, I'm picking up the pieces of my volunteer work, so you should notice more regular updates here.
    Working at Wal-Mart as a cashier has brought me into contact with people I (and probably you) have never met before, and I am loving this enriching experience.  Wal-Mart is now headed again by people who have come up through it's ranks, and I'm seeing the influence Sam Walton had on them in terms of putting people first - both customers and employees.  You will notice some of these changes in the stores, and others will only be seen 'behind the scene' by employees, but believe me they are there and real, if still a bit rough around the edges as the whole corporation culture again changes.  It is a very hopeful place to be these days, and I hope you will support these changes as I will.
    A blessed Lent to each of you,

A Blog for Lent 2014

posted Mar 10, 2014, 11:45 AM by Carolyn Hampton

by Sharon Fries

Treasurer, PW in the Presbytery of the Cascades

Last night we had our Ash Wednesday service here in Corvallis and Pastor Matt spoke of going into the desert to walk with Jesus.  It was pointed out that he had to open a door knowing that it would change his whole life and what would it take for each of us to make that type of choice?   What would it take to leave my home on a windy rainy night and go to church?  What would it take for me to leave my quilt room and go to feed the hungry – and you have to know that I love my quilt room.  It is where I feel free to try to be creative and transforming but this is all very inward and perhaps God has to nudge me at times to get me out the door.  So as you go through Lent I invite you to ask the following questions – do it once a week because I am sure that the answers will differ over time as our lives move from spring crocus to desert sands.

What would it take for me to unlock my door and go out to do….

What busyness needs to be set aside….

What sadness, worry and concerns can I trust to God so that I can go and do….

I pray rich blessings on you as you enjoy the blessings of spring contrasting with the struggles of Lent.

Connecting with other PW groups

posted Jan 29, 2014, 5:00 PM by Carolyn Hampton

by Cathy Ures 

Cluster Liaison for the South Coast, 

and Mission Interpretation Cascades PWP 

In December I drove down to Bandon from Florence.  Harriet Smith and I attended Bandon PW 's Christmas Luncheon plus it was a "Baby Shower for Jesus".   They hold this event each December.  Each woman brings a wrapped baby gift.  After the luncheon the gifts are handed out to the women.   They unwrap them and then they are all admired by one and all.  Many were hand made hats, booties and blankets.

Much love went into their selection - you could tell.  I got a girl's sleeper because I have no daughters nor granddaughters.  It was so fun to be able to shop in the girls department!  After all have seen the presents they are taken to the local hospital to be given to young Moms in need.   


It was a wonderful day including a Christmas turkey buffet and Christmas carols.  We had the introductions of the coming year's PW officers.  Donna Young, out going Moderator was given a beautiful blue orchid plant as a thank you for her leadership.    The incoming Moderator  spoke about what she hopes to  achieve

in the year ahead.  They will have a series of speakers focusing on the needs of the Bandon area.


We met old friends and made new ones, too.  We need to make connections amongst our local PWs.  This was such an opportunity.  If there is an event on your local PW calendar - your Cascades CT members would be happy to attend.  The CT wants to have better communication with the local church PWs.  


When we shared our experience in Bandon with our Florence women they were enthused about the "Baby Shower for Jesus".   Maybe Bandon  will invite us back!!!  Or  we can invite them up to Florence.


PS - invite us and we will make every effort to come and see what you are doing in your local PW.

PW at 25 years

posted Aug 22, 2013, 4:38 PM by Carolyn Hampton   [ updated Aug 22, 2013, 11:52 PM ]

by Teaching Elder Carolyn Hampton
Coordinator for Communication and Resources
Cascades Presbyterian Women

"What?  Only 25 years???  We know PW has been going for lots longer than that!"

That's what several people have said to me about the 2013 celebration of PW's 25th Anniversary.  I feel a bit the same way ... I know I've been a part of PW for over 35 years.  But each time change comes -- division, reunion, sometimes reorganization -- we wind up with a 'new' PW, at least in name.  I remember Presbyterian Women's Organization (PWO) and in fact have my Mother-in-law's PWO pin that she got at "Purdue National Meeting" (now known as Churchwide Gathering).  I remember United Presbyterian Women (UPW) as our organization at the time I joined PW.  I remember that the 'Southern Church' had Women of the Church.  I remember hearing about the older incarnations of PW, such as Women in Mission, Ladies' Aid Society, and others.  

What has happened is that we Presbyterians who happen to be women have a long, long history of being 'church' in our own unique way, no matter what our official name is!  We have been in the forefront of mission.  We have kept deep and exciting Bible Study going for decade after decade.  We have prayed miracles into happening.  We have made life better for untold -- and unfathomable -- numbers of men, women, and children (especially the women and children!) for a couple of centuries.  We have stood for peace and justice in our cities, and states, and nation, and around the world.  We have brought multinational corporations to account for their actions and products.  We have joined with our sisters through Church Women United to foster inter-religious understanding and coordinated actions between denominations and faiths.  We work with our Presbyterian/Reformed sisters throughout the world to keep the church relevant for all and effective at bringing the fullness of life to each person around the world.  Not to mention the laughter, tears, and fellowship we've experienced along the way.  

Jesus our Savior has been our leader for all this time, never rejecting or confounding the work of the women He calls.  God has kept covenant with us, and we have done extraordinary works!

So let's celebrate the last 25 years of our ministry together as Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).   Join us for a day of remembrance, celebration, and journeying into our future on October 26, 2013 at Central Presbyterian Church in Eugene when we come together as PW in the Presbytery of the Cascades for our Fall Gathering.  Gatherings are always full of fun, learning, worship, singing, and fellowship.  At PW, a good time is always had by all!

Is PW dead?

posted Aug 3, 2013, 6:13 PM by Carolyn Hampton   [ updated Aug 22, 2013, 11:52 PM ]

by Lynne Martin

Cluster Liaison & Directory Editor

Cascades Presbyterian Women

When I first became involved in PW in the late 70s my church in Corvallis had five circles and an active and thriving PW organization. Mary Martha Circle nurtured the young women in the congregation, Sarah and Rebecca Circles were for women just slightly older, Deborah focused on women in their senior years, and Vesper drew women who worked outside the home. While our local PW organization is still viable and active, we now have just one circle which, while offering enlightening and thought-provoking Bible studies and discussion, only manages to attract about five or six participants a month. We have tried different meeting times and formats to no avail. Despite monthly articles in the church newsletter, emails to those who’ve expressed interest in the past and personal invitations, the same small group gathers month in and month out. 

Each year the PW Presbytery Coordinating Team spends hours discussing and planning what we hope will be a worthwhile day that will attract Presbyterian Women from all over the presbytery. As with the circles at my church, the attendance has dropped over the years. But, also like the circles at my church, we forge ahead because we know these gatherings are valuable and meaningful to those who attend. 

The issue of what it takes to attract more women to PW events has been going on for a long time. Gone are the days when church activities were at the center of family life. There are so many choices offered to all of us that PW events have become just another opportunity to consider, and are no longer a priority. Even women who have long been PW supporters and participants are dropping away and focusing on other pursuits. To some degree these other activities parallel what PW is doing, from raising awareness of social issues, to Bible study, to social gatherings. Many women perhaps aren’t aware that these types of activities are available through PW; whatever the reason women in the Presbyterian Church do not seek out PW like they used to.

Despite this reality however, a stalwart group of Presbyterian Women carries on, planning programs, leading Bible studies and seeking to gather Presbyterian women together in fellowship, caring and love. We seek to carry out our Statement of Purpose: 

“To nurture our faith through prayer and Bible study; 

To support the mission of the church worldwide; 

To work for justice and peace; 

And to build an inclusive, caring community of women 

that strengthens the Presbyterian Church (USA) 

and witnesses to the promise of God’s kingdom.” 

Is PW dead? Not by a long shot! We may be smaller than in years past but our mission is the same:

To continue serving Presbyterian Women everywhere and to live out our purpose to the best of our ability.

Small Things Confound the Wise

posted Mar 4, 2013, 5:45 PM by Carolyn Hampton   [ updated Mar 4, 2013, 5:47 PM ]

by Sharon Fries,

Treasurer for 

Cascades Presbyterian Women

For years I kept trying all sorts of craft projects trying to find something that I liked and where I would find my creative, magical self.  What I discovered was that I could copy others but wasn’t able to come up with original ideas.  Because of this I always admire those who seem to use common items to make uncommon things.   When I retired a few years ago someone introduced me to quilting and at last I found my niche.  It was wonderful to find color, texture and infinite variety with fabric so that each quilt is unique and useful.  But there is still much to admire in those who are able to create new patterns and come up with the unexpected.

 Recently I was introduced to the idea of saving my small scraps (selvages, triangle ears, bits of fabric cut when squaring up a block, etc.) and using them to make dog beds that can be donated to our local humane society.  It has been amazing to see how these little bits seem to accumulate so quickly and how what was once waste is now useful.  The Scriptures speak of the simple things confounding the wise and when I consider the simple ideas that crafters have to make amazing things I am reminded of this truth.  God can take the common and make it uncommon, useful and beautiful.  What we would throw away, God can make new.  So today I open my heart and mind with the prayer that God will lead me to see familiar things in a new way.  

Welcome to the Cascades Presbyterian Women's Blog!

posted Nov 4, 2012, 7:39 PM by Carolyn Hampton   [ updated Aug 22, 2013, 11:50 PM ]

by Teaching Elder Carolyn Hampton,

Communications and Resources Coordinator 

Cascades Presbyterian Women

With the advent of our new Cascades PW website, we are instituting several new features:  this blog, an interactive contact page, podcasts from our local gatherings (and perhaps other PW feeds), a list of our local PW groups and how to contact them, photos of our activities and mission, and more.  I’ll be working hard with our technical experts to keep these pages current and interesting.  

Your Coordinating Team would love to have posts from local PW circles and church groups telling about your special events, mission projects, and life as Presbyterian Women in your local church and town.  Please contact me to arrange submissions.  They will be featured on our Sharing Page.

If you have any questions about content, trouble using any part of our site, or suggestions for information we might include, please e-mail, call or write me!  Our site will only be as good as WE make it     :-)

My First Blog!

posted Nov 4, 2012, 7:38 PM by Carolyn Hampton

by Sharon Fries,

Treasurer for 

Cascades Presbyterian Women

Well, it is good to know that we can still have firsts in our lives because this is the first time that I have blogged.  As I understand it blogs allow us to share our thoughts, random as they may be so pardon me if this all seems random, disorganized.  As this PW year completed, I finished my third year as moderator in my local church but note that early in the year, this plan was shared with our group.  The thing is you run out of creativity; you can get stuck in your own routine or that of others; you may actually be preventing someone else from stepping forward and doing an outstanding job.  This last I know is true because at a former church I had my hands in many pots and when we moved, I asked people to consider taking over leadership (sometimes asking two shy folks to share leadership).  The results for some have been awesome and I am so excited to see what those women have accomplished.  

People don’t realize that I really am uncomfortable as a leader and have avoided it but God has had other plans for me the last few years.  The trouble starts when one forgets to rely on God, his wisdom, grace and strength.  I always start to think that it is all up to me which is so wrong because I just drive myself crazy with worry!  So now it is my prayer to wait on the Lord, let Him tell me what I should be doing and expect wonders – who will I meet along the way and what kind of things are about to happen.  I know that I have been richly blessed by God in many ways with my husband, church family, neighbors and desire to help.  Yes, it is a gift to care and we should not be afraid of this gift.  So as you spend the summer with a slower pace and hopefully some wonderful Oregon sunshine, let me encourage you to think about God’s gifts to you and if you are doing God’s calling.  If you have exhausted yourself in one place, perhaps the refreshment of finding something new is just waiting to be discovered.

Blessings from Sharon Fries, Treasurer for Presbyterian Women of the Cascades 

PW Angels

posted Nov 4, 2012, 7:36 PM by Carolyn Hampton

by Lynne Martin,

Directory Editor & Cluster Liaison for 

Cascades Presbyterian Women

September 1978 I was newly married and attended my first PW salad potluck. It was held at noon in the upstairs fellowship hall at my new church, First Presbyterian in Corvallis, on a bright day in late summer. I walked in with my Waldorf salad, not knowing a soul, and sat next to an angel named Willie. Willie’s daughter and my husband had been classmates at Corvallis High School and her husband Jack was a partner in the local appliance store where we were to shop many times over the coming years. Willie died some time ago but I will never forget her welcoming, generous spirit and have tried in the years since we met to welcome others in the way she welcomed me.

I’ve met many PW angels since then: Sue, who visited me at my home after my first child was born; Alice, who not only invited me to the young mother’s circle but picked me up and brought me home from my first meeting; Idilia, who encouraged me to accept a position on the PW Presbytery Board (as it was called back then), then insisted I go to my first Churchwide Gathering in 1988; Alice, who held many positions of leadership on our local Coordinating Team and in the community but is now too incapacitated by illness to do much beyond attending the monthly meetings; and, most recently, Muriel, who quietly serves with a devotion unmatched by most.

These Presbyterian angels continue to inspire me every day, whether by what I see them doing for others and for the church right now, or in my memories of their faithful service long ago. I hope to carry that spirit forward, to welcome, encourage, and perhaps even inspire those I encounter every day. 


About our Blog

posted Nov 4, 2012, 7:31 PM by Carolyn Hampton   [ updated Aug 3, 2013, 6:20 PM ]

This blog will have a new entry monthly from one of the members of the Coordinating Team of  Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of the Cascades.  We’d love to have you respond via this site or to the author directly.  This page can become the ‘kitchen table’ discussion of Presbyterian Women in western Oregon, southwest Washington, and Tulelake, California.  

The Authors

Carolyn Hampton

Connie Brenner

Sharon Fries

Cathy Ures

Lynne Martin

Shirley Patton

Kathy Conner

MaryLou Williams

Would you like to post an entry? 

Please contact Communications Coordinator Carolyn Hampton:  

We’d love to have you!

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