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Parallel events for CSW53 have been announced!  You can view the calendar at the NGO Committee on the Status of Women website.

Events sponsored by Ecumenical Women are:

Positive Masculinities: Gender Partnerships for equal sharing of responsibilities
March 3 – 12:00 pm
10th floor, Church Center for the United Nations (CCUN)

HIV/AIDS caregiving, race and gender
March 4 – 2:00 pm
2nd floor, CCUN

Empowering the Girl Child
March 5 – 4:00 pm
10th floor, CCUN

Faith-based Grassroots Experiences in Caregiving & HIV/AIDS
March 10 – 10:00 am
2nd floor, CCUN

Today I’m blogging live from the Transformative Lutheran Theologies conference in Chicago.   We’ve got 156 women and men thinking deep thoughts and asking tough questions, both about church structure and society, as well as identity, love and suffering.

This morning Caryn Riswold, a professor from Illinois College and future Ecumenical Women delegate (we’re excited!) talked about her life as a religious academic who is trying to bridge the gap with feminists.  Third wave feminism recognizes that women have an intersection of identities simultaneously at work: race, class, gender and nationality.  She has found that for the most part, third wave feminists have glossed over religion, finding it irrelevant or just another impediment.  So Riswold is carving out a space where they connect, and asking: what do Christians want to do with feminists?  And– what do feminists want to do with Christians?

Quoting sociologists, Riswold argues that as society we create products and ideas, which then take on a life of their own.   This means that we are producers of our reality, and that God too is a cultural product.  Therefore to assume the image of god is fixed is to miss an opportunity– because really, our image of a patriarchal God has not kept pace with the times. From Luther she takes the understanding of a God that humbles, and the belief that human enterprise must be humbled.  After all we humans are failures, we can’t even create a peaceful world.  She argues that we must reset the balance: where there is privilege, sew humility and where there is poverty, sew empowerment.   After all, she says, the God of creation is a redeeming God, and he trusts our power as creators.

by Rosangela Oliveira

Today is a historical day in United States of America. I did not vote for Barack Obama: I am Permanent Resident of the United States, not a US citizen. I did vote for a candidate that in many ways resembles the message of change that Obama represents. I voted for Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (“Lula”), the President of Brazil. It feels good to have Lula in Brazil and Obama in US. Both bring to the table issues of justice and the elimination of discrimination. As a Latina in United States, it is an issue that I believe must be attended to.

People gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to watch the historic inauguration of Pres. Barack Obama

People gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to watch the historic inauguration of Pres. Barack Obama

But I’m missing all the inauguration and excitement of the moment in New York City. I’m writing from a plane on my way to Brazil. The Amazonian region of Brazil, in the city of Belém, Pará, will be at the center of the world social movements. I’ll attend the World Forum on Liberation and Theology focusing the issues of water, land and theology.

Then, I will join United Methodist Women delegation to the World Social Forum, together with leaders from Methodist youth and women leaders in Latin America. We will be a total of nine women and young women.

The World Social Forum is a plural space full of hope – “Another World is Possible”. Civil society, religions, social movements, grassroots communities, and people get together to share hope and build together alternatives that can impact our local and global world.

As a GBGM Regional Missionary I come to these Forums to be at the global table that is still able to dream and send a strong message of social change. I expect to be part of a global network of solidarity for economic justice, peace and equal rights. I am here motivated by my Methodist tradition of faith, which ecumenically, extends the love of Christ to the whole world and creation. I am here to expand my concept of mission, as stated in the purpose of United Methodist Women, through being together with women of the world to learn their issues and concerns, and express solidarity. I am here to deepen my understanding of some specific struggles such as the Amazonian Region and its indigenous peoples.

I pray that this experience help me to be more faithful to the mission call.

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