An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Triennial, The

A national meeting of Episcopal Church Women which occurs at the time of General Convention, sometimes called the “Women's Triennial,” because it meets every three years. The 1871 General Convention discussed the role of women in the missionary and educational work of the church, and concluded that women needed a national organization. At the meeting of the Board of Missions in Oct. 1872, the Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions was organized. At the 1874 General Convention, the first general meeting of the Woman's Auxiliary was held. It met annually for the next four years. Beginning with the General Convention of 1880, the Woman's Auxiliary met every three years when the General Convention met. This meeting was called the Triennial. It was called the “Third House” of the General Convention, along with the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, although it had no canonical basis or authority. The United Offering, now called the United Thank Offering, was established at the 1889 General Convention. When the 1919 General Convention reorganized the Episcopal Church, the Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions became the Woman's Auxiliary to the National Council, now called the Executive Council. In 1958 the Woman's Auxiliary transformed itself into the General Division of Women's Work of the National Council. Local units were encouraged to call themselves Episcopal Church Women. See Episcopal Church Women (ECW).

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.