On November 4, in 1936, Lydia Emelie Gruchy became the first  woman minister ordained by the United Church of Canada and the  first ever woman ordained minister in Canada.   50 years later, St Andrews Theological College graduated another  female minister, Patricia (Pat) Wotton. Next to her ministry duties,  Pat's fascination with her first predecessor led to the writing of  Lydia Gruchy's biography.   This website was established to popularize the resulting book,                               -  With Love, Lydia  -   in order to celebrate Lydia Gruchy's life, her accomplishments, and her memory. The story of the life and ministry of Lydia Emelie Gruchy is a microcosm of the larger story  played out in world history, in Canadian culture, in the church, in women's lives, and in  theology. It encompasses the wave of immigration looking for a new world and a future for the  children; the terrible sacrifice and cost of two World Wars felt first-hand; the daily hardship of  the Depression Years on the prairies; the pioneering of new prairie towns - their hard years  and their heydays - sometimes one and the same. Her ministry saw the birth of the United  Church, and spanned the one-room school house to United Church House in Toronto, and  variations in between. It began with a horse and buggy, moved through a Model A Ford (the  envy of every man and boy in Wakaw, Saskatchewan in the late 1920s) to a sporty bright red  Corvair. Her generation coined the term "the Golden Years", perhaps because their earlier  decades were so turbulent, hard and anguished. Reverend Gruchy's retirement was spent in  relative peace in White Rock, B.C. - thirty more years of finding ways to be "useful". The story  of Reverend Doctor Lydia Gruchy, first woman ordained in Canada, is an important reflection  of cultural and church change over the 20th century - a story that needs to be told.
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