Thursday, March 12, 2015

Third Day at UNCSW59 - March 9, 2015

I'm a little behind in posting to the blog about UNCSW59. Each day is packed, beginning with ecumenical worship at the U.N. Church Center, about 5 blocks from our hotel, and ending with a debrief from 6:00-8:00 PM in the Episcopal Church Center, sometimes just the Episcopal Church delegation and sometimes with the women from Anglican Women's Empowerment. During the day the delegation spreads out, attending hearings at the U.N. and parallel events in several other venues. There is a lot of walking and talking together. Everyone is friendly, and we easily greet women from other parts of the world with smiles, "Hi, How are you," and "Can I help take your picture for you?"

Bishop Chilton Knudsen preaching at the Opening Eucharist

The Episcopal Church's delegation with Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori after the opening Eucharist

Digna de la Cruz (Dominican Republic), Coromoto Jimenez (Venezuela), Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Vaike Madisson (Honduras), and Connie Sanchez (Honduras)
Helen Abyei (Colorado), Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Joan Fraser (Provincial Representative from Long Island), and Lelanda Lee (Colorado)
Christina Hing and Inez Saley from the Diocese of New York, part of the Anglican Women's Empowerment host group, organizing snacks and meals during some of our ecumenical gatherings in the Episcopal Church Center's mezzanine gathering space. These women are long-time attendees at UNCSW over the years.

Ginny Doctor and Lelanda Lee. It was great to greet Canon Ginny, from the Mohawk tribe, who is the coordinator of Indigenous Ministries for the Anglican Church in Canada.  
Stacy Walker-Frontjes, a fellow blogger and Tweeter on the Episcopal Church's delegation.

Shirley Greiman, National Vice President for Program of the Episcopal Church Women, and Barbara Schafter, member of the Episcopal Church delegation and President of the United Thank Offering. 

Joan Grimm Fraser making some comments during a conversation in the Mezzanine space.

Gawain de Leeuw (Diocese of New York) and our only male delegate with Stacy Walker-Frontjes. Gawain serves on the board of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and cares deeply about reproductive rights for women, which is a major issue in gender equality and empowerment of women and part of the Beijing Platform for Action. 

Glenda McQueen, Episcopal Church Partnership Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean. Glenda teams with Lynnaia Main, Global Relations Officer and the church's primary United Nations link, to shepherd all of us, and most especially the Spanish speaking delegates.

Helen Achol Abyei (Colorado) leads us in prayer, using her smart phone. 

Jayce Hafner is the church's Domestic Policy Analyst out of our Washington DC Office of Government Relations. Joyce will be teaching us how to bring the advocacy messages of UNCSW59 home to our dioceses and communities. 

Lelanda Lee and Bishop Stacy Sauls, the church's Chief Operating Officer, in a selfie. Bishop Sauls welcomed the delegation to the Church Center in a session directly after the Opening Eucharist.
Helen Abyei and Joan Fraser.

Lynnaia Main and Barbara Schafer in a casual moment in the kitchen of the Mezzanine gathering space. 

Lynnaia Main making remarks in our evening debrief. She is the guide,  mentor, and leader par excellence of the Episcopal Church's UNCSW59 delegation. And she writes the most beautifully inspiring and informative emails that get posted sometime around 1:45 AM each evening. When does she sleep? Thank you for all that you do, Lynnaia! 

Our only "veteran" of UNCSW, Nellie Adkins (Virginia), representing the Native American cohort on our delegation. This is not her first experience with the women of the world interacting with the United Nations.

Reem Fouad El Far of Jordan gave a presentation in the afternoon on the Diocese of Jerusalem, where she serves on their Vestry Committee focused especially on the women of the diocese. She explained the cultural aspects of women's participation in their region in both society and church. She pointed out that the Christians in the region have been Christians for generations and are not converts from Islam as some people in and outside the region surmise.

A view of the audience during a presentation in the Mezzanine.

And another view . . .

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