In conjunction with the Episcopal Society, the first Ladies’ Guild was formed in 1895. Some of the work supported by this guild was a Sunday school and a bible class. The Ladies’ Guild also raised several hundred dollars, which was applied to the first building fund of the church community.
In April 1909 the Women’s Guild of Montesano, Washington was formed and met monthly, averaging 7 members each meeting. During the year the Guild gave $100 to the building fund committee and $2 to the General Missionary Fund, kept the church building swept and decorated for all services, and supplied a Christmas tree for the Sunday School children. Their total receipts for the year-- $107.85. The Woman’s Guild leaders were: President Myra K. Bishop, Secretary Flora E. Wartman, and Treasurer Mrs. H. E. Clark. Other members were: Ms. Crow, Everett, Hupp, Story, and Davis.
In 1911 the Guild held their first Pancake Day social at the home of Dr. Franklin L. and Dille Carr, receiving $12. This annual event was the only regular activity of the Guild and St. Mark’s church from 1912-1920.
On Sept. 6, 1921, a new St. Mark’s Episcopal Guild was formed. The first officers were: President—Carrie Fosnot, Vice President—Mary Ninemire, Secretary—Mrs. P. E. Farr, Treasurer—Mrs. F. M. Hale, Apron Committee—Mary Ninemire and Mr. J. H. Johnson, and Music Committee—Edith Parker. (A separate Women’s Auxiliary was also formed, with no dues, but free will offerings were accepted. Its officers: President—Delia Conlee, Vice President—Mrs. Fairbourn, Sec. & Treas.—Mrs. G. Cloud. The business for the Guild in 1921 was to set up “committees of two” to clean the church each week, make aprons for use and sale, and fix the “prayer benches”.
On March 1, 1935 a new group known as ‘The Women’s Auxiliary of St. Mark’s Church’, affiliated with the Diocesan Auxiliary, was formed. Its first officers were: President—Sarah Way, Vice President--Miss Eldridge Turner, Secretary-Treasurer—Etna Shore. Its first business was to plan for Shrove Tuesday Pancake Day.
In 1936 an Altar Committee was formed from the Women’s Auxiliary to handle the weekly altar preparations and flowers and linens.
In 1949 the first white elephant sale was held, with proceeds of $29.60.
In 1950 the Auxiliary first bought 100 dozen dishcloths to sell. This activity has continued on regularly to the present.
In 1953 the first annual rummage sale was held, with proceeds of $169. This activity has continued on each year, either one or twice per year, to the present.
In 1954 the Auxiliary published a Women’s Auxiliary cookbook to sell (cost--$77 for 175 copies). They also paid for a new furnace (electric panels) for the church as part of the large church renovation--$1300 paid over 3 years ($300 from existing funds and $1000 paid back with a loan by Mr. & Mrs. John Mobray). And, they purchased for sale 72 8oz. bottles of vanilla to earn a premium of 60 complete sets of stainless steel tableware.
In 1955 the Auxiliary designed and furnished the new kitchen and the enlarged parish hall. They also paid for a new stove ($265 plus tax) and for rods & draperies.
Over the years, the Women’s Auxiliary (or Guild as they were later called), held at least annually: a Rummage Sale (with proceeds near $1000 each year); a joint bazaar with St. Luke’s, Elma for the 33 years of the joint mission; and the annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Day dinner (with proceeds of over $600 each year). These events were/are well known around this area and are supported greatly by the community.
Although the Women’s Guild no longer officially meets, in its name it has conducted and supported many items over the past almost 100 years:
Fundraisers—bazaars, teas, book reviews, pancake day dinners, card parties, bake sales, sales of aprons and other items made by members, and white elephant/rummage sales.
Money, etc.—support to: Sunday school, annual parish budget, building funds, worship/alter items including frontals and vestments and flowers, parish hall supplies, furniture, church sign, landscaping, Girl Scout troop, diocesan assessments, diocesan day funds, vicar salary, repairs to the facility, blue box/UTO, Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief, seminaries, advent offering, gifts & memorials to many people and bishops/ministers and the diocese, missions-money and supply boxes (clothing, etc.) to Wyoming, New Mexico, and Alaska, Christmas baskets for nursing home and families, and food & clothes to local banks.
Activities—visit the ill and send cards for bereavements, congratulations, cards for Christmas, call on new people, alter guild, cleaning the church, parties for Sunday school for Easter and Halloween and Christmas, decorating the church for Christmas and Easter, wedding receptions and anniversaries, bishop’s receptions, meals for convocation meetings, and honor dinners for high school graduating seniors.