Because of the lack of accurate records on the early organization of our Ladies Aid, there are few facts to relate. The information that we offer comes as the result of a pleasant afternoon in reminiscing with our charter members, Mrs. G.N. Korsmo and Mrs. Andrew Thingelstad and with some of the daughters of charter members.
In 1898 we find that there were three Ladies Aids, the North Aid, the South Aid and the Town Aid. The meetings were held in private homes with one hostess. The minister was the active leader and the duty of the president was to line up the meetings. The entire family attended and came by means of their horse and buggy and the men took an active part in the meeting. Often the attendance was so small that everyone could be seated at one large table where they found many kinds of cake, cookies, sandwiches, sauce, cheese and sometimes rommegrot and lefse. They paid 10 cents for lunch and took in between $2.50 to $5.00 at a meeting. These funds were used for mission work.
They later met in the church basement. Each fall all three Aids would hold a joint meeting and serve a supper and have an auction sale.
Through the untiring efforts of Mrs. Sonnack, the three Aids joined together in 1934.
By 1940 the membership had increased so that there were four hostesses for a meeting. Fifteen cents was charged for lunch and about $30.00 realized form each meeting.
Then came World War II. The Ladies Aid keenly felt the effects of food rationing and to meet the crisis they decided to serve a light lunch of two things and coffee for 25 cents and paid $8.00 to $10.00 into the treasury besides so as to meet usual needs and expenses.
Now in 1950 the Ladies Aid numbers 84 members. There are at least seven members to act as hostesses for each meeting. A full meal is served for 35 cents and an overage of over $100.00 taken in at each meeting.
Besides generous mission donations each year, local charities are given money. They help the Repair Fund, have completely remodeled and modernized the kitchen, tiled the basement floor and have helped our in many ways.
Ladies Aid is to be commended for the splendid spirit of cooperation and good will which prevails and for the earnestness in which they labor to carry out God’s work in our church.
We are also truly thankful for the many non-members who work with us and hope that by so laboring they have and will experience joy in the cooperative work of the Kingdom of God.
Church gatherings for the early settlers were social events. Women were there with aprons, coffee and lefse and were ready to serve whenever needed.
In 1893 women were included in the organizing of the Luther League. Three women were in the first confirmation class in 1898. In 1901 women were invited to join in the business meetings of the church. In 1904 five women were included in the first Christmas Tree committee.
The Ebenezer Dorcas Society is a comparatively new organization. It dates back to 1940 when it was organized at the home of Rev. Ringstad by a group of members from the Luther League and Ladies Aid. The first officers of this Society were: President – Mrs. J. Ringstad, Secretary – unknow, Treasurer – Mrs. Geo. Gunderson. Sewing committee – Mrs. Gust Haga, Mrs. Thilda Ostmo, and Mrs. Olaf Hoversland.
The purpose of this organization is to support the mission work both at home and abroad. Its aim is to instruct its members in the missions and to increase their interest in the missionary work.
This society meets on a Monday, usually once a month in the homes of members and occasionally in the church parlors. They gather to sew “fancy work” which is later sold at their fall sale, and the profit given to the missions. At each meeting a program is also given with devotions, musical numbers and literature on missions, followed by refreshments and social hour.
In earlier years of the church there existed a similar organization called the “Willing Workers”. It consisted of a group of young girls, supervised and instructed by several ladies in charge. However, there is no available record in connection with this organization.
May we as Christian Ambassadors and co-laborers with Christ be instrumental in bringing the gospel unto all nations and to help further God’s Kingdom on earth.
After 1970 Ladies Aid met monthly. The president, secretary and treasurer were elected. Membership was divided into five circle groups who also met once monthly. Each circle had bible study. A leader for each month was instructed by the pastor then brought the lesson back to the circle. They met in members homes. Lunch was served and an offering was taken. There was extra money making projects for local and world missions.
All the circles would meet once a month for a business meeting, program of some sort, music, speakers, reading or a play.
A large lunch was served. Often families and business people came for lunch. The offering was given to missions.
The Ladies Aid paid the phone bill for the church.
The Aid had fall bazaars, country stores, auction sales for homemade foods or other homemade articles. The ladies dispersed all funds at the end of the year. The Aid had clothing drives, made quilts for missions.
Each member had a thank offering box they filled over the year. At the fall thank offering gathering they were turned in.
The Ladies Aid hosted conferences, rallies and wedding receptions and showers.
The women cleaned and painted the parsonage between pastors. They served the birthday party in February at the local nursing home. There was lunch and a program.
Many members of the Ladies Aid were members of the Deaconess Hospital and Home Auxiliary.
The women used their money to furnish the church kitchen with supplies, stoves and refrigerators.
Some of the projects of the Ladies Aid were: meals on wheels, spring and fall rally, fall harvest dinner, style shows, the quilters spent a few weeks hand stitching quilt (set up at the Northwood Nursing home as Ebenezer had no room for that job) made money for missions when that was sold, made a friendship quilt – we took a blank block home and decorated it. Then we put it all together and hung it on the dinning room wall where the tornado took it out.
Moms brought their babies to the meetings. Later we got two Sunday school rooms and furnished a nursery. They studied well and worked together doing God’s work. Many life long friendships were made.