In 1972 Metropolitan Philip declared the establishment of Antiochian Women:
Last, but not least, we must realize once and for all that women have a definite ministry in the life of the Church. Very often we have the tendency to confine women’s role in the church just to the kitchen. Both the Old and the New Testaments testify beyond doubt to the important role which women played in the history of salvation. Time does not permit me to speak in detail about Ruth, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachael, the Virgin Mary, the ointment bearers, the deaconesses and many others who ministered to the Church and Christ and were instruments of His Divine purpose in history. We don’t have to consult the past too much in order to prove our point.
If you just look around you in your own parish, you find those devout ladies serving God as church teachers, choir members, youth leaders and fund raisers. It is very disappointing that in some parishes women are not allowed to vote or to be elected to Church Councils. We must definitely do away with this Medieval and archaic outlook concerning women. Our church does not teach that women are inferior to men. Despite their different functions, men and women are equal in the eyes of God because both were redeemed by His Precious Blood. St. Paul said. ‘There is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’ (Galatians 3:28).
I propose, therefore, that a National Sisterhood of Charity be organized in the Archdiocese. The structure and goals of this organization will be defined in the future. I also propose that the President of this Sisterhood, by virtue of her office, should become a member of the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese and should report annually to this General Assembly. Metropolitan PHILIP, Los Angeles, California, 1972
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead (James 2:14-17).
The purpose of the Sisterhood of St Nicholas Church is to engage in Christ’s loving kindness through acts of service to our parish, the Church at large, and the world.
Such an important ministry cannot be exercised without first being grounded in public and private prayer, study of the Holy Scriptures, and knowledge of the lives of the saints. The Sisterhood of St Nicholas is not a separate spiritual body from the Parish of St Nicholas and therefore its primary source of spiritual sustenance is the Holy Communion shared each Sunday and Great Feast uniting each member of the whole Church throughout the ages by the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. All Christian diakonia (service) must be united to our Lord Himself. It must be an expression of His love for all human beings and this cannot occur unless our service flows as a natural consequence of our union with Him through Baptism, Chrismation, and Holy Communion.