Showing posts from February, 2011

Looking Back Over an Amazing Week

Admittedly, by the end of the week my brain was on overload. I spent more time with more people from more countries, nations, societies, cultures, ethnicities, and religions from around the world than any other time in my life. In a compressed amount of time I  learned an incredible amount about our global humanity, the issues we face, the violence perpetrated against women and children, of despair and cynicsm that comes from the overwhelming onslaught of despair and abuse.

Across the board - from every workshop, from every person, from every issue - I learned that regardless of what policies, resolutions, treatisies, or laws are adopted, there is no mechanism of accountability for the implementation of these.

Here is a brief overview of how I spent the week:

Saturday, Feb. 19 I arrived at LaGuardia about 2:00 in the afternoon. I took SuperShuttle to my hotel and called Kim Robey, chair of AWE  (Anglican Women's Empowerment) to get a sense of what I could do to help her througho…

Human Rights, Not for Girls Only

I am coming to the end of my week in New York City attending the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. I have attended many workshops pertaining to issues of human rights, globally. A couple of key points seem to be universal to all of the workshops I have attended.

1. Countries and Nations around the world may readily adopt treatises and resolutions for human rights and gender equality...BUT there is almost no accountability for implementing and living into these, once signed.

2. We need to move away from policies and language that further diminish women by focusing on the victimization of women while failing to acknowledge the role and responsibility of perpetrators of violence against women.

3. Globally, victim-centered resolutions allow men/perpetrators to be invisible and unaccountable for actions.

4. The internet has contributed to heightened invisibility of sex-trade and sex-slave market, from the workshop Corporate Responsibility: The Internet and Sex Trafficking

Compassionate Nonviolent Communication

Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Lessons in Honesty, Empathy, and Self-Care” Offered by Marion Little, MA Dispute Resolution, Canon Pastor, Diocese of British Columbia Sponsored by AWE (Anglican Women's Empowerment)and the Anglican Consultative Council An NGO parallel event offered Tuesday, Feb, 22, 2011 at the 55th UNCSW

The workshop invited the participants into a reflection on how to implement non-violent communication practices, with the self and others, when facing conflict. Using the Wizard of Oz movie as a "modern myth" Marion Little, the workshop leader, described the “compassionate nonviolent communication” process by which we can understand and articulate our “internal story” of navigating through times of conflict. Compassionate nonviolent communication addresses the inner turmoil by providing tools to recognize our deep needs; honoring both ourselves and others. Honoring the internal story is crucial for self-awareness and other-awareness in resolving conflict. To…

A Question of Activism

Sunday was an amazing day of listening, sharing, and learning between a large group of ecumenical women attending the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) and the parallel NGO events.

Monday many of us attended an NGO orientation at the Salvation Army on 14th between 6th and 7th streets in NYC. The keynote speaker was Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and current Under-Secretary-General at the United Nations and Executive Director of the new United Nations Women. In July 2010 the UN passed a resolution creating the UN Women, which formally combined four previous entities into an official structure of the United Nations. Having Ms Bachelet as the Executive Director of UN Women and as the Under-Secretary-General is amazing - women have a voice at the top level of the United Nations.

Michelle Bachelet gave an inspiring and informative speech articulating the goals of UN Women, which you can read here. She said, in part:

I wanted to share with you how UN Wo…

Differences in Priviledge

Saturday I flew from Chicago to New York City. The flight, only two hours long, was smooth, until the final 30 minutes it took to land. The process of landing was complicated by high winds that caused the plane to sway and the passengers to become motion sick. It could have been a lot worse.

I'm staying at a cute little hotel on 42nd Street on the East side, just a few blocks from the United Nations. In the past, when I've visited NYC, I stayed at the southern end near Little Italy and Soho. But, that was almost thirty years ago.

So, it's interesting being in mid-town. But it's more interesting to be in the lobby of the hotel watching an international crowd gather around the bar. People of all colors and languages. Some loaded down with shopping bags from Burberry and Victoria's Secret. Some, like me, using the free internet available in lobby/bar area, saving me the expense of paying for wifi in my room.

I'm keenly aware, as I sit here, of the differences in …

Back to Ordinary

The festivities of the week are over. Back to ordinary time, back to green blogskin...

 The rest of this week will involve finalizing the insurance claim on our car - our son was in an accident last week. He's fine. The car, not so much. Plus I have to pack and organize myself for my trip to NYC. I'm use to short, two or three day trips. I'm use to week long, or longer trips, if I drive. But packing to be gone 8 days when I'm -  flying, staying in a hotel, and need to be "professional"  - is going to challenge my organizational skills in order to have two carry-on bags.

Still, I am excited to be back in NYC. I don't think I've been there since 1983.

Sunday Prayer, Epiphany 6A

Loving God, we seek to follow your desire
And walk in your ways
To observe your commandment
Love God, love self, love others

Bless, O God, this land and
All the lands of the earth
Fill the minds and hearts
Of leaders with wisdom

As your servants may we labor
For Your purposes, building
Gardening, watering,
Reconciling, growing – peace

May we work together
Sister and brother, brother
And sister, as God’s field
God’s gift to you, to me

Loving God, we seek to follow your desire
And walk in your ways
To observe your commandments
Love God, love self, love others

Crossposted on RevGalBlogPals and A Place for Prayer

Preparing for the UNCSW

From Feb. 19-26 I will be in NYC representing the Episcopal Church at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW). I am being sponsored by AWE (Anglican Women’s Empowerment).

On Sunday, I will represent the Episcopal Church at an all-day orientation provided by Ecumenical Women I will also attend an evening reception for Ecumenical Women.

Monday all participants will hear keynotes, presentations and participate in small group discussions on the theme at an all-day program planned by the NGO CSW committee and hosted at the Salvation Army. NGO Orientation

Beginning Tuesday, February 22, AWE will welcome over 100 women and a few men to the Episcopal Church Center for the 55th Session of the UNCSW. The theme is Access and participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work.

Hundreds of parallel events or workshops put on by NGO’s be offered at venues aroun…

Monday Musings

It's no longer morning but I have just now been able to sit and muse about my week. It's snowing outside, a beautiful snow. And I'm enjoying a cup of early grey tea with skim milk and a piece of dark chocolate wit cherry swirl.

I have reading to do this week in preparation for my trip to NYC next week. I'm going to be in NYC Feb. 19-26 representing the Episcopal Church at the United Nations Commission on Status of Women. I'm being sponsored by AWE - Anglican Women's Empowerment. There are many many workshops offered by NGO's in addition to training sessions, worship opportunities, receptions, and dinners. I need to get a grip on what workshops I want to attend...

That's my work for the week...what about you?

Sunday Prayer: Epiphany 5A

God of righteousness -, enfold the suffering
in clouds of mercy.
Reach into the tragedies of this earth,
Especially the chaos and despair in (Egypt)
Help us Be Salt, enhancing your love
your compassion in all creation

Guide the leaders of nations – in grace
Teach us, your people to be Your heart,
your love abundant.
Like a mountain of love reaching to the heavens
A gift of the Holy Spirit given, that we may be
A place of refuge in the dust, hope in darkness
In your light may we see, may we be light

Merciful God, be with us all, - this day
The sick and the dying, the worn, and fearful
And all who suffer.
A fountain of mercy pouring forth
You who lift us up, known before birth
By the Spirit of God,
Salt of the Earth,
Light to the world.

Gracious and Holy One, we give thanks
For all the blessings of this life
Miracles of grace
Of birth, of air and water
Of food, song and prayer,
of peace
Enlighten us, salt from salt,
bread of life
cup of your delight.


crossposted on RevGalBlogP…

Be Salt

A reflection on the readings for Epiphany 5A: Isaiah 58:1-12, Matthew 5:13-20

I woke up the other morning thinking of the word Iconic, so I decided to “Google” it, just to see what came up. Referring to iconic as something that has “cultural significance” I chuckled when I read on Wikipedia that The Christian Examiner nominated it to its list of overused words, finding over 18,000 "iconic" references in news stories alone. The third item on that Google page was a story published in the Seattle Times, titled, An Iconic Storm. The story described the experience of one woman stranded for eight hours in her car on Lake Shore Drive during the recent snow storm.

I spent 23 hours of that storm in a house without electricity or heat as temperatures plunged to subzero. I was grateful my family made it home and no one I knew was stuck outside in their car. In the snow storm of 1979 I was one of those trying to get home on public transportation – a forty minute trip took me over five …

RevGals Friday Five: Gifts of Ministry

kathrynzj, over at RevGals is pondering the gifts of ministry and asks us to reflect on five:

1. walking with people in their daily lives, through joys and sorrows, offering prayers and a listening ear and heart - this work is really a privilege and feels sacred to me.

2. attending to people in their dying hours and gathering the family for prayers at the end of life, standing on holy ground, guiding them as they help their loved one labor through the process of birthing the soul from this life to the next

3. preaching, thinking through creative and engaging ways to open the Word - challenges me and helps me grow - likewise I hope others grow in their faith too.

4. baptism - I love teaching people who are preparing for baptism about the beauty and mystery of the Christian faith and why baptism is still meaningful and relevant - then I love the baptismal liturgy and the power of water and the Holy Spirit to fill the moment

5. weddings - I happen to enjoy (usually) the process of prepar…

Twenty Three Hours

My biggest fear a few days ago as we prepared for the worst of the snow storm was family members stuck in their cars trying to get home. The storm started in the late afternoon. But 6:30pm I had shovelled the driveway twice, with several inches both times. It takes about 45 minutes to shovel the driveway. By the time I was finishing the second round my husband arrived home, my son was safely at a friends, and our daughter was home.

I sighed with relief. Dinner was ready and we were prepared. Later, while watching a television show, the lights flickered. And a few minutes later the power went out. It was 8:30pm. Actually, the power outage left us with low level power, like a brown-out. So we had some low level light, as if all the lamps had 10 watt bulbs in them. But not enough wattage to recharge cell phones, charge computers, run a television, light the oven, or run the furnace. We did have hot water and I could light the stove top with a match. So. We made hot tea and climbed into …