November 1, 2018 I   I 616-574-7307
Our program by Tom Dilley planned for Thursday, November 8th, will be rescheduled on a future date
Read on about Janet Sheeres’s serious-yet-light-hearted presentation on one set of unheralded women community builders: clergy wives.
Based on her book For Better, For Worse, the stories of the wives of the first Dutch pastors in West Michigan will offer a fresh glimpse of early Grand Rapids history. 
The Wives (and Lives) of Early Dutch Pastors

by Janet Sjaarda Sheeres

author of For Better, For Worse:
Stories of the Wives of Early Pastors of the Christian Reformed Church

Thursday, November 8, 2018, 7:00pm
Ryerson Auditorium, Grand Rapids Public Library

Contrary to expectation, the stories of early local pastors’ wives are riveting. When Janet Sjaarda Sheeres was editing a 700-page tome on early synod minutes of the Christian Reformed Church (1857-1880), she realized that she had waded into an all-male world, where women’s concerns were seldom considered and their stories never recorded. 

Sheeres immediately recognized a worthy historical subject! She has been in the business of finding the remarkable in seemingly ordinary women, their stories virtually always sidelined in early historical records. From lists of births, she has illustrated the lives of early Dutch midwives; from shipping indexes, created pictures of single women immigrants crossing the Atlantic on their own. Now she has turned her attention to pastors’ wives, a group of women whom no one else has thought to consider. 

The biographies of early male ministers have been well documented. Rescuing their wives from obscurity in her new book,  For Better, For Worse , Sheeres proves they were important community builders in their own right, and highlights their living conditions and the challenges they faced. Her fascinating slides will also make visible aspects of their lives and give us another angle on nineteenth-century area history. 

For Better, For Worse  is Sheeres’s fourth book.
She has also published 70 articles in national and international journals on Dutch emigration/immigration history and is the editor of Origins , the historical magazine of Calvin College's Heritage Hall Archives. After her program Sheeres’s book will be available for sale as will a 2018 special issue of Origins magazine focusing on women’s history! 
Be inspired to expand her project into the broader community!
This program is open to the public and parking is free.
Co-sponsored by the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, the Grand Rapids Historical Society, & the Grand Rapids Public Library
Before the program, the Council will meet at 6:15 pm to vote on, and welcome, new board members. Details coming!
Use the evening to become a member-supporter, if you aren’t already!
GGRWHC |   | 616-574-7307
Hats off to the historical women who've shaped West Michigan!
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Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomenal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a supporter of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider investing in our work as a volunteer or with an annual donation .  Visit our  website  for more information and the ability to donate online.