History of the Guild
The St. Nicholas Sisterhood of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas was organized in the early 1930’s by a very small group of women. Its purpose was to “assist by work and financial help in the beautification and decorum of the church, help the needy, and give mutual moral support to the members of the corporation.” Another purpose of the Sisterhood was to acquaint the American public with Russian culture. In order to do this, they organized cultural activities, such as dances, bazaars, lectures etc.
As in many newly formed organizations, the Sisterhood, in its early beginnings, kept no records. For many years, all monies we raised were turned over to the Church, which was in constant financial need. Eventually, Natalia Emilianoff, known to many of you and remembered by many of you, recognized that, due to its growth in membership and responsibilities, the Sisterhood should be chartered. Thus in 1941, the by-laws and a charter were developed, approved by the membership, and recorded in the District of Columbia under the name of “Uspensko-Nikolaevskoe Sestrichestvo.”
Since the Sisterhood is a service and sacrifice organization rather than a social one, our tasks carried us into other areas of service to the church. Many Sisterhood members belong to and are leaders in other organizations; some are choir members; we have sewn, embroidered, provided dining room and church linens; have hosted lunches for the Metropolitan, visiting dignitaries, organizations etc., specializing in Russian food and delicacies. The Sisterhood has been and is responsible for decorating and beautifying the church for all major Feast Days throughout the half-century of the life of our church.
All the money that the Sisterhood has ever raised has gone to the Church. In addition to the Iconostasis* which cost over $50,000, some of the other major contributions have been: $4,000 towards the purchase of the land on which the present church was built, all the different sets of vestments for the priests and deacons, the various oblecheniye, wall-to-wall carpeting for the rectory, large lump sums donated towards the purchase of the church annex and rectory, a large lump sum towards the final payment of the church mortgage in December 1973, and assisted with financial donations when the Church was in need.
The Dormition Sisterhood voted in 1999 to become the Dormition Guild and to admit men as members. Currently (2010) the Dormition Guild has 40 members.
Goals and Objectives of the Dormition Guild
1). To help perpetuate the Orthodox Faith through services to our cathedral and our membership.
2). To assist in the completion and decoration/beautification of our cathedral and to maintain the appropriate vestments and all cloth coverings used in our church.
3). Maintain or provide mutual moral support for members of the Guild.
Current Guild Activities
DORMITION GUILD ICON PROJECT
Blini Luncheon on Forgiveness Sunday
Palm Sunday Luncheon
Palm Sunday Bake Sale
Distribution of Grapes on Transfiguration
Dormition Luncheon - a free meal the Guild provides on its Patronal Feast
Vestment purchase and repair
Church Beautification/Flowers for Feasts
Repasts for Members