by Gary Wunder
Joyce Green is well known to the National Federation of the Blind, having been a leader in the Oregon affiliate since 1971 when she was one of the charter members of the NFB of Oregon. She is a Sister of Providence (Catholic Sister), assuming that role in 1960. She was asked to serve as chairperson for their annual four-day conference in 2015 which she, with the support and aid of an able committee, successfully did in late July of this year.
Joyce’s commitment to carry out the responsibility of chairperson of this event involved appointing a planning committee, scheduling necessary meetings of the committee, preparing a meeting agenda, traveling from Portland to Seattle to chair the meetings, and maintaining good communications among the planning committee and sisters at large. It also involved arranging for speakers, presentations, reflections, and discussion times. Working out the daily schedule including timely breaks and arranging for technical support and catering were challenges that Joyce and her committee needed to meet.
The efforts of Joyce and her committee came to a joyful conclusion July 27 through 30 at the Hawley Conference Center in Renton, Washington, near the regional office of the Sisters of Providence in the Northwest. The religious congregation originated in Montreal, Canada, in 1843 to serve the critical needs of poor, aged, ill, and uneducated people. They answered an invitation to send sisters to the Northwest in 1856 to meet similar critical needs.
Joyce grew up in Missouri, received her BS degree from Southeast Missouri State, and worked in a clerical capacity in St. Louis. She then came to the Northwest, entered her religious congregation, subsequently earned her MSW from St. Louis University, and served as a professional social worker at Providence Portland Medical Center, a major medical facility in Portland, Oregon. Her service as a Sister of Providence took her to Seattle for her initial phase, down to Burbank, California, and then to Portland where she now lives and serves. The sisters belong to small local communities, and Joyce serves as coordinator of her local group.
Of her membership in the NFB of Oregon, Joyce says, “I want to be a part of bringing blind people into the mainstream of society in every aspect. The collective action of blind people working in concert with relatives and friends is the only effective way to do this, and the NFB has a philosophy which has always been my own.” Joyce has served in various capacities on the state board, including six years as its treasurer, and in her local chapter as president and as treasurer at various times.
Regarding the conference recently chaired by Joyce, other sisters had positive comments such as:
“Now you should be proud of your having been the chair of the whole affair. All is well that ends well. You did a great service for the Sisters of Providence of Mother Joseph Province, and you should be very proud that you took the risk to be the chair. I am happy for you that it is over. It really is a unique experience.” Mary H.
“By the way, you did very well being the chair of the chapter! You made the chapter very much alive because of your sense of humor! You were very organized, and I think you should chair every year! Thank you for sharing your talents in chairing and enlivening the Chapter. We enjoyed it very much.” Felma C.“Just … read your delightful letter. You really have a great way to catch the reader's attention and tickle our funny bones as well. Great job as always. I think the sisters are going to miss your updates after July.” Barb S.