100 Dresses

October 2016 Additional Meeting Update

The theme for the evening was taken from the  Newbery honour book, written by Eleanor Estes, “The Hundred Dresses“.

The book tells the touching story of a little girl without friends, who wears the same dress to school every day, and is relentlessly ridiculed by her classmates. The child tells her classmates that she has one hundred dresses in her wardrobe at home, but the bullying continues. It later emerges that little Wanda’s dresses are those she has beautifully illustrated, and which ultimately win an art competition at school.

There comes a point when the class realise the truth about Wanda’s 100 dresses, but by this time is to too late for apologies…in the end though, she teaches the entire school a lasting lesson about kindness and forgiveness.

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100 dresses
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Tables were laid out with journal jars, journals and pens
Special Dresses

A short excerpt from the book was read by Margaret S;  Sarah, Agnes and Moira read poems about the importance of special dresses in peoples lives.

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Next, four sisters spoke about dresses that were special in their lives.

Eve told us the importance of her wedding dress, especially now that she is sealed to her husband for time and eternity.

Sonia explained the importance of the colour red in her culture and that she was also wearing that dress when she said goodbye to her husband Robert, until they were finally reunited after a year.

Rachel told us that although her prom dress wasn’t really that special, it signified the end of her school days and the start of her university life. She admitted that she did feel really pretty when wearing it.

Frances told of a little dress she worn as a little flower girl at a wedding. She still had the hat as a keepsake, perfectly sealed a preserved for posterity. She is holding it in the photo below.

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The book, and how we can tell our story

Nancy explained how Eleanor Estes wrote the book a Hundred Dresses, as part truth, part fiction in order to apologise to a little girl at her school, who had experienced events similar to the girl in the book. The one thing Eleanor could do was to write her story to set things right – to reach out to the girl who had stood lonely and silent against the red brick wall of the school.

Nancy then explained the importance of keeping a Journal. Saying ” We too can write our stories, maybe not all at once, or as a novel, but piece by piece, one journal entry after another”. This undertaking would also go toward us attaining another goal in our Celestial University Course.

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The importance of writing down our feelings and stories, to pass on to our families, was discussed by Isobel.  She then explained how to keep a journal using the Journal Jar method, how it can seem hard to remember things from the past. Prompts from the journal jars can help us recall, and our creative juices quickly start to flow…as we later learned when some sisters were so intent on their writing they barely stopped for refreshments!

We need to keep adding to our journals, and Isobel suggested that just 15 minutes on a Sunday was all it would take for us to soon fill our journals.

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Fiona summed the evening up nicely, and encouraged each of us to start decorating and fill up the journals that were waiting for us on the tables.

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We all headed to the tables and began to decorate our journals with the materials provided, and, using the Journal Jar method, we started to write the first pages in our journals.

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The journal jars contained plenty of prompts to get us all started

Some of the journals were looking very bright and cheerful with pretty flowers and butterflies – very tempting to try to find out what stories lay inside the covers.

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Refreshments were then served, consisting of biscuits and cheese, various sliced cakes – and for the health-conscious there were low-fat health bars and fruit punch.

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The evening was most enjoyable, with a good attendance, and feedback from the sisters has been good – that makes it special for the committee, as they contemplate the next meeting.

Thanks to everyone who took a service card from the basket, and quickly helped to clear up the hall and kitchen.

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~ Frances

 

One thought on “100 Dresses”

  1. Thanks to all of you for all your hard work in putting this together – I enjoyed the evening!
    Thank you Frances for posting. 😀

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