News Release

Local Church Celebrates 175th Anniversary of Global Women’s Organisation


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently celebrated the 175th Anniversary of the formation of the Relief Society organisation. Over 60 women from across Western Sydney attended the event held at their local chapel in Minchinbury, NSW. The event’s activities were in harmony with this year’s Relief Society theme for the Penrith region. This theme was based on the hymn “Scatter Sunshine”, which is about becoming a source of light and happiness in an ever increasingly turbulent world.

The event provided opportunities to help women forge new friendships and participate in acts of service for the community around them. These activities included making blankets for donation to families of stillborn children, knitting and crocheting blankets that are shipped to those in need of warmth, baking goods for church members, learning face painting skills for future community service, indexing of family history records for public use and writing letters to missionaries to show their support for the work they do. The event also provided an opportunity to collect food donations for Ronald McDonald House. The sisters involved in the Relief Society Choir also sang classic songs to the residents of the nearby Minchinbury Manor retirement village.  Those there enthusiastically sang and clapped along with the music.


The next day, a musical event that was filled with scriptural references, songs and spiritual messages enhanced the theme and concluded the two-day event for the anniversary. During the musical event, the Relief Society leaders challenged all women to develop a greater understanding of their own divine nature as daughters of God, feed the light within and take on a greater role to spread the light of Christ to others. Merril Betham, Relief Society President for the Penrith region said, “As we absorb and then reflect the light that comes from Christ, over time, we become a more perfect reflection of him.” The use of social media to find and provide service for those around them was also encouraged.

 Rachael Howard, Second Counsellor in the Relief Society Presidency for the Penrith region, reflected on the topic of Relief Society, “It is an organisation that allows women to work together, uplift and strengthen each other, and have a great time being sisters and friends. It builds relationships that last forever.”

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