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Episcopal Church Women
Diocese of Connecticut

News and Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

UTO 2013 GRANT AWARDED

 

A Grant of $12,800.00 was awarded to Church of the Holy Advent in Clinton for 2013. The grant will help to convert two acres of overgrown church property to grow fresh produce for the needy families who turn to the Clinton Food Pantry in the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries network. It will provide fresh vegetables to at least 600 individuals.

Please join us for the United Thank Offering Fall Diocesan Ingathering on November 7th, 2013 at Holy Advent in Clinton and hear a presentation by Margaret Larom. Please bring along your parish fall Thank Offerings. Remember to invite your priest to attend.

 

 

 

 

NEW UNITED THANK OFFERING PROGRAM LEADER

 

The Connecticut Diocesan Board of the Episcopal Church Women is pleased to announce the appointment of a new United Thank Offering Program Leader for the diocese, LaDene Monegan.

 

LaDene Monegan attends Old St. Andrew's parish in Bloomfield.

 

LaDene and I will meet this fall and discuss the job description. LaDene will begin as program leader in January of 2014.

 

The Fall Ingathering monies will be sent to me, and the books will be closed at the end of December, 2013. Beginning in January of 2014, all checks will be sent to LaDene. She will write the spring United Thank Offering letter and give reports at the board meetings and the annual meeting.

LaDene hopes to be available to visit parishes and promote the United Thank Offering.

 

 

EPISCOPAL CHURCH WOMEN

DIOCESE OF CONNECTICUT

132st ANNUAL MEETING

 

The Aqua Turf, Plantsville, CT                                                                                                          May 2, 2013

 

On Thursday May 2, 2013, over 300 women gathered at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville, CT to celebrate together and enjoy fellowship.  Our speaker for the day was The Rev. Timothy Safford, Rector of Christ Church in Philadelphia.  His talk focused on three founding mothers of the Episcopal Church in the USA.  The presentation was very informative and enjoyable, as we heard especially about Alice, a former slave, who was a member of Christ Church in Philadelphia.

 

On Saturday, September 21, 2013 the Diocesan Board gathered for its annual retreat day at Camp Washington in Lakeville. 

 

The Annual Ingathering for the United Thank Offering took place at the Church of the Holy Advent in Clinton on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 11:00 am.

 

 

Susan Pople,

ECW Secretary

 

Nike Air Max Shoes On Sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Reality depends upon your engagement.”

By Rosemary Williams, Founder and Director of Women’s Perspective, and author of The Woman’s Book on Money and Spiritual Vision

 

A few months ago I heard a story about a young African woman who received a $15,000 prize at the 2012 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. When asked what she would do with her prize money, she responded, "I'm going to bring it home and share it with all the other women in the village so we can all rise up together."

 

This story impressed me and resonated with my own feelings of wanting women all over the world to rise up together. When I first visited Haiti over 20 years ago we spent much time listening to the women. They talked about their lives and told us their problems and described the needs they noticed in their villages. One specific need that was described over and over again was the need for better prenatal care, childbirth care and infant care.

 

As I listened to the stories the women told about their own experiences of childbirth, I realized how utterly privileged I was by an accident of birth to live in the United States and have access to the medical care available here.

 

I knew that had my last two premature childbirth experiences taken place in Haiti, I would have died and my babies would have died as well. In that moment I made a decision to work, whenever possible, to provide women in developing countries the same advantages that I have at home. This notion has infused my work personally and professionally ever since.

 

Another thread in my career trajectory was the invitation of the YWCA of Bridgeport Connecticut to teach financial literacy to women returning to the workforce in the 1980’s. The YWCA has had a place in my heart ever since. And the theme, “financial literacy,” echoes in my career. It is no surprise that I find myself immersed in a discussion of collaboration with the YWCA of Kenya. We are preparing a faith-based economic empowerment training to take place in Nairobi in 2014.

 

The Connection to Kenya began in 2002 when I traveled to Kisumu, Kenya with three other American women and a few trunks full of wedding dresses. We went to facilitate a Women’s Perspective workshop on money and spirituality at a conference for 400 HIV/AIDS widows. We brought the dresses to enable some women to begin a small wedding dress rental business

Ann Smith, former director of Women in Mission and Ministry with the Episcopal Church, was the catalyst for this invitation from Margaret Auma, Director of Springs Ministry and creator of the conference in Kenya. Both the conference and the training were successful, and Women's Perspective was invited back to continue the work of financial empowerment in 2004 and 2006

As a result of these workshops and the relationships they fostered, Alice Abok subsequently invited Women’s Perspective, to design faith-based financial empowerment training for the Kenya YWCA.

In March 2013, I met with Irene Kizito, the new General secretary of the Kenya YWCA to continue the planning for the Faith Based Financial Empowerment Training.  This training will adapt the Women's Perspective, Money and Spirituality Workshop to the Kenyan culture and financial infrastructure.

The vision is to train many facilitators from the seven YWCA branches in Kenya. After a five-day training in Nairobi the new facilitators will return home equipped with skills and materials to train local women to manage their money wisely and start small business. We believe this training will enhance their personal economic lives as well as the economic life of their communities.

The YWCA will supervise and monitor the local traders to ensure that training goals are met. This program is part of a larger strategic economic empowerment program for the women of the YWCA Kenya branch network.

Many volunteers have helped in the preparation for the training. Teachers have offered their time to help with lesson plans and curriculum, students have provided the research regarding the economic resources available to the women in Kenya, and friends and colleagues offer their expertise as advisors to the program. Kindness, collaboration, cooperation and generosity are the powers that will create the changes we want to see in the world. I call this Currency of the Heart.

 

We know that money is a vital component and driver of economic security, food security and peace. When women come to terms with their understanding and use of the power of money based on their core spiritual values, we will see changes that we can now only imagine. Women and girls are key participants in the emerging financial structure.

 

When women are not marginalized economically and they are empowered with practical tools for applying their spiritual values to their economic power, they will change economic structures. They will make wiser decisions that will help themselves, create new businesses, enhance their families and strengthen their communities.

 

Margaret Wheatley tells us, ‘There is only what we create through our engagement with others and with events. Nothing really transfers: everything is always new and different and unique to each of us. Reality depends upon your engagement.”

Episcopal Church Women know this and are engaged in the work of making the world a better place.  If Women’s Perspective can help in any way we are happy to share our experiences and expertise with you. We continue our workshops in the US and would be pleased to bring a workshop or give a presentation for any ECW gathering or church. You can reach me by sending an email to rosemary@womensperspective.org.

 

www.womensperspective.org

currencyoftheheart.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNCSW
By Spencer Cantrell

 

For two weeks in the beginning of March, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) met in New York City to discuss women’s issues on an international scale.  This year’s priority theme was “Elimination and Prevention of all forms of violence against Women and Girls.”  Women and men from all over the world met with the goal of generating one collaborative statement, known as “Agreed Conclusions” on this theme. There were representatives of many countries and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). I was fortunate enough to represent the Episcopal Church, which is a part of the Anglican Communion’s delegation.

For two weeks, I listened to state representative’s country reports, attended side events (hosted by states) highlighting issues women and girls face, attended parallel events where NGOs described their work on the ground helping women and girls, attended regional caucuses to see how the negotiations were going, and met with state delegations to share my views on what was important to include in the Agreed Conclusions.

At last year’s UNCSW, the states were unable to reach Agreed Conclusions, meaning there was no renewed agreement and no new international standard was set.  This year, there was increased pressure to create a strong statement in order to set stringent international standards.  Fortunately, agreed conclusions were reached, standards were created, and commitments were renewed.

At this point, the implementation of these agreed conclusions is crucial.  That is where NGOs and the Episcopal Church are vitally important.  NGOs, including churches, are the organizations doing the work on the ground; helping women file for protective orders, working in women’s shelters, answering rape crisis hotlines.  NGOs need the continued support of the Episcopal Church both in their day-to-day operations and in holding their governments accountable to their commitments to end violence.

Violence against women and girls is an ongoing problem in the United States.  The delayed renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) caused a cutback in services to victims of violence.  The statistics remain dire: 1 in 5 women in the U.S. will be raped in her lifetime, and 1 in 4 women will survive domestic abuse from a husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, or intimate partner.  (See the Center for Disease Control’s “National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.”)  A report published by Human Rights Watch at the beginning of 2013 showed that in Washington D.C., police officers frequently failed to file reports or misclassified sexual assaults as less serious crimes.

Micah 6:8 calls on us to “act justly and love mercy and walk humbly.”  We can act on this by praying for women in need, lending our gifts or talents through volunteer work, or actively supporting legislation that will help victims of violence.

The Episcopal Church is currently making great strides in reducing violence against women.  At the UNCSW, the Presiding Bishop hosted a fascinating and challenging discussion about human trafficking in the U.S.  The Episcopal Church has domestic programs to help people facing violence.  Priests are trained to address violence they might witness or hear about in their congregations.  The Episcopal Church has a vibrant mission program, sending people around the world to help out in various ways.  I participated in the Young Adult Service Corps, spending one year in Hong Kong helping female migrant workers who had been abused.

We must push ourselves to do even more of this important work.  Jesus says in Matthew, “When you refused to help the least of my brothers, you were refusing help to me.”  I am confident that we will continue our journey forward, walking hand-in-hand, together as sisters in Christ, to help stop and prevent violence against women and girls.

 

 

ECW Prayer

Almighty God, bless, we pray, our work

in mission and ministry in the world; and

make us so thankful for the previous gift

to us of your beloved Son, that we may

pray fervently, labor diligently, and give

liberally to make known throughout the

world the redeeming love of our Savior.

Amen.


             

 

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