Two  scripture passages (1John 3:1-2 and Mark 12:28-31 — See below) are at the core of what calls us forth to advocacy, especially to give voice to the concerns and issues of women and girls who do not currently have a voice in this world.  These readings focus on the nature of our relationship with God and how that leads us to be in the world.

1John 3:1-2 reminds us that it is by means of the love of God for us that we are to be called the children of God.  This is what we are: children of God, sisters and brothers of Christ, and by this we are also sisters and brothers of one another.  By our baptisms we are bound forever to God, in the name of the Holy Trinity.  Our walk with Christ informs all aspects of our lives,  especially the question of  how we are to live this out, individually and working together.  In Mark 12:28-31, we can see our way forward to serve both God and this world.  We are called to love the Lord our God with everything we have and are, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.  The love of us by God and our love toward God propels us forward to care for others, not only those who are in our closest circles, but also those neighbors who are new to us, or different from us, or in great need.

This leads directly to advocacy and to outreach.  The work of Ecumenical Women at UNCSW is an opportunity to live this out on a global scale, directly impacting the lives of women and girls throughout the world.  UNCSW 59 is a Review Year for the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.  It is very important as we go forward that we see what has been accomplished and what is in great need of attention.  Together as people of faith we are called to make a difference together, as well as in each of our member organizations.  Let us love one another as Christ has loved us.

Let us pray:  Almighty God, in you we live and move and have our being:  We humbly pray you so to guide us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and work of our lives, especially the work of Ecumenical Women, may we not forget you, but be ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 [Revised Standard Version (RSV)] 1John 3:1-2  See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  And, Mark 12:28-31  “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one;  and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”