The Daughters of the King (DOK) is a national organization. It was founded in the state of New York in the 1880's and has spread throughout the nation and the world since that time. Prior to 2011, the Church of the Ridge
did not have a chapter. Our small group was organized that year and began the process of preparing for admission into the national order. The group met regularly to educate ourselves as to the goals and purposes of the Order. We followed the
handbook of the order, National Study Guide, Preparation for Admission into the Order of the Daughters of the King. Each of us determined whether we wanted to pursue becoming a member.
The purpose of the Daughters of the King is three-fold: PRAYER, SERVICE and EVANGELISM. For our St. Clare Chapter, we all agree that PRAYER is meaningful, needed and special to us and to those whose needs we lift up to our Lord. Whether for our church family or those known to us in this or other communities with which we are familiar, prayers are offered regularly, honoring requests for confidentiality always. Names may be placed on the Parish Prayer list or the St. Clare's confidential prayer list.
SERVICE to St. Clare members is meaningful and vital. During our year of preparation, we discussed many projects within our parish and within the community. This was informative and valuable, as we realized that we are "but one -, but we ARE one". Some ideas were too vast in scope for our group of six to undertake; others were perfect - and we soon learned the difference. We selected several ways to "serve" in our local community and believe that these are manageable and solid offerings of our collective talents.
EVANGELISM is the other component of DOK membership. Although ever mindful that we are called to "go out and spread the Word", we recognized that most of us are uncomfortable with overt forms of evangelism as currently viewed. We concluded as a group that evangelism can take many paths and the quieter approach was determined to appeal to the members of The Order or St. Clare. We believe that if our service shows commitment and purpose we have also addressed evangelism in its purest form. We pray for that to be the resulting view of those in the community with whom we come in contact, as they realize we are members of Church of the Ridge in their midst.
Throughout the course of the few years since our formation, St. Clare members have initiated and sustained the following projects and services.
- Regular Prayer Lists (both parish lists and confidential DOK prayers);
- Establishing the Pew Prayer Card ministry in which church members may submit a prayer request anonymously or otherwise during church) ;
- Association with and support for the Women in Unity Program, a local organization founded in Edgefield County to serve "at risk" children in our community (hosting Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving or Easter parties and suppers for the children; music afternoons with the children; pet therapy with the children; tutoring or reading and reviewing math with children there);
- Establishing the "BackPack Program" at WIU and obtaining a 'MATTHEW 25 Grant' from the Diocese to do so;
- Joining yet another BackPack Program at Mt Calvary Lutheran Church to serve another part of the County;
- Organized meals for ill Church members; toured places of worship or reverence to enhance our spiritual development;
- Participated in several "Quiet Days" offered at other parishes
- Studied books written for study by prayerful groups and other books recommended by our own members.
- We have made prayer "chains" and Lenten items in meaningful sessions.
- We participated and attended the Anniversary Celebration of our Sister Church in Edgefield, known as Trinity in the African American Community for its 100 year existence.
- St. Clare DOK hosted the Diocesan Board Meeting of the DOK, welcoming members from around the state in our Diocese. Our members prepared and served breakfast for the attendees. A service was held as well, led by The Reverend Tom DiMarco. Miranda DiMarco led the singing and was instrumental in the formation of our Chapter, as she has been a Daughter for some years. This meeting was held in the sanctuary in Ridge Spring, with the breakfast in the Parish Hall.
- Lastly, we have attended Statewide meetings in order to learn from others ways to serve and become engaged in answering the needs within our own faith community.
Without a doubt, this very small group of women find this ministry both meaningful personally, and as a group, committed to serving the needs of those with whom we worship . We were inducted to the Order after the 6 months of study and decision to establish this mission in our midst. Each of us was given the DOK cross at that time. All of us have commented that individuals in the community, even in other cities or states , have noticed the cross. Some know to what group this cross belongs; others do not know but comment that it appears very beautiful and special. We hope that others in our congregation will join us in membership as their time and interest permit.
Our projects have been supported in many ways by the congregation, through donations both individually and through contributions from a Parish-wide craft fair, and for that vote of confidence we are most grateful.
During this short time of the existence of the St. Clare Chapter of DOK, the group has grown in commitment to the cause and to each other. When doubting our individual effectiveness when faced with a daunting problem or obstacle in the Parish, the community or our personal lives, we all recall easily and reverently the charge of the Daughters , which is: