During the Encuentro Pastoral visit to Deanery 6 in June, members of the pastoral team from Our Lady of Peace Parish in Williamstown shared the fact that Elizabeth Ministry is “new and flourishing” in their parish. We contacted Elaina Judge who was encouraged by her pastor to look into Elizabeth Ministry after she moved into the parish and missed the MOMS group she left behind. Surfing the website of Elizabeth Ministry International, their mission can be viewed: “We respect life, cherish children, encourage families, enrich marriages, and build communities.” On the website one can also find a brief history of this wonderful outreach. “Elizabeth Ministry began in 1991 at St. Bernard Parish in Appleton, Wisconsin, where Jeannie Hannemann was a pastoral and family life minister… Today, over 700 Elizabeth Ministry Chapters have been registered with our headquarters and exist on six continents. Although Elizabeth Ministry is Roman Catholic in origin and outlook, we are ecumenical in our outreach.” Elaina emailed young families in the parish, put notices in the parish bulletin and in the “cry room” and by April, they gathered for the first time. Now the fledgling group meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays from 10 to 12 at the parish and have Family Fun Night with a potluck supper on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. There is always an activity – often based on an upcoming feast or holiday. For example, the craft for the children near the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was making scapulars. July was a perfect time for an ice cream social, and in August, the children will have a Toy Swap, in which the value of sharing will be highlighted. No doubt, with the dedication of Elaina and those who join her, the “flourishing” will continue as a new year begins. If you would like to learn more about Elizabeth Ministry at Our Lady of Peace, contact Elaina Judge at 677-7180 or email her at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.