This post has been cross posted from the National Council of Churches.

This March, the Justice for Women Working Group of the National Council of Churches is celebrating Women’s History Month with weekly articles touching on a diversity of Women’s experiences in Churches and in the world.

Our topics will range from women of faith and their involvement in the United Nations, to the connections between the suffrage and abolition movements and what they can teach us about ending human trafficking today, to examining the connections between faith and feminism and the value of women meeting together through a focus group report on Helen LaKelly Hunt’s Faith and Feminism, A Holy Alliance.

But for now, during this first week of Women’s History Month, the week preceeding International Women’s Day (March 8), and the week beginning the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women, we thought we would check out what our Member Communions are doing to celebrate.  Here’s what we found—for your convenience we’ve organized the links into three categories: History, Resources, and Advocacy.

First of all, some history:
∙ For general background, we found this article from womensenews.org helpful.

∙ Are you a women’s history buff?  Try this quiz from the National Women’s History Project
∙ The Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends gives some interesting background on two prominent women of faith, Lucretia Mott and Sojourner Truth.
∙ Histories of women in the Reformed Church of America, and in the United Methodist Church.  Make sure to scroll all the way down!


Looking for Resources?

∙ The Episcopal Church has composed special Lenten bulletin inserts for International Women’s Day, March 8, about the Anglican delegates to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

∙Women of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are also offering Lenten reflections by women in their resource, Looking into the Mirror: A Lenten Reflection http://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Ministry/Women-of-the-ELCA.aspx

∙The International Council of Community Churches  recommends the book Women at the Well, Volume 2: Meditations for Quenching Our Thirst, for Women’s History Month and Lent.

∙Women’s Ministries of the Presbyterian Church (USA) offers a range of resources from reflections and sermons to inclusive language hymns on their website.

∙The United Methodist Church’s General Commission on the Status and Role of Women has made available a variety of bulletin covers, litanies, and bulletin inserts all in keeping with the 2009 Women’s History Month Theme: Women taking the lead to save our planet.

Next Steps: Advocacy
∙ The United Church of Christ remembers women through work on the Congo Sabbath Initiative.  According to their website, the Congo Sabbath Initiative is “an effort to engage faith communities in raising awareness about violence against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

∙In remembrance of International Women’s Day, the National Council of Churches and several of its Member Communions are supporting the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA).  One of these supporters is the United Methodist Church, whose General Board of Church and Society says this about the Act:

The International Violence Against Women Act supports innovative programs to help women and girls do things we so often take for granted — go to school, earn an income to take care of their families, gather food or water without fear of rape, be free to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. It also works to support leaders in their own countries who are working for broader social change that supports women’s rights to be free from violence. Simultaneously it integrates the issue far more effectively into our foreign policy and aid.

More information on the IVAWA can be found here through Women Thrive.
And a petition is available on the UMC website here.

We, here at the National Council of Churches Justice for Women Working Group, are looking forward to a month of remembering, discovering, working, and worshipping together!  We will continue to update this list of resources throughout the month, and would love to hear about what else is going on during Women’s History Month in your community of faith.  Keep checking back during March for new articles and additions to this list!

Information and events can be sent to Meagan Manas at mmanas@ncccusa.org.