Today the church remembers Julia Chester Emery, Missionary, 1922.On this day we celebrate the amazing ministry of an entire family, the children of a sea captain of Dorchester, Massachusetts. Two sons became priests. One daughter, Helen, cared for an invalid sister and maintained a household on 24th Street in New York City that she made into a place of refreshment for missionaries on leave. Another daughter, Mary, was National Secretary of the Episcopal Women"s Auxiliary from 1872 until 1876. She was the visionary who dreamed the dream of what the Auxiliary could do in the foreign and domestic mission field. A third daughter, Julia, brought the dream to fruition through forty years of tedious and exhausting work. Julia Chester Emery was National Secretary of the Women"s Auxiliary, now called the Episcopal Church Women, from 1876 until 1916. She was a modest and self-effacing Victorian lady who was so careful to stay out of the limelight that it is difficult today to piece together all the things she did to advance the missionary efforts of the church and to enable women"s ministries. She lead in the effort to get canonical status for deaconesses. She invented and brought into being the United Thank Offering. She was the indefatigable “Miss Julia” to a whole generation of missionaries, both men and women. Her entire life was focused on devotion to this one cause: the spread of Christ"s kingdom among all people. Grant us courage and strength, O God, to serve you as we are called, and use us to inspire others to your service. Amen.
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God of all creation, you call us in Christ to make disciples of all nations and to proclaim your mercy and love: Grant that we, after the example of your servant Julia Chester Emery, may have vision and courage in proclaiming the Gospel to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our light and our salvation, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.