Presbyterian women have many opportunities in the coming months to work for justice and peace.
Join the PC(USA)'s SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge, November 17–23, 2013!
While living on a food stamp budget for just a week cannot come close to the struggles encountered by roughly 45 million low-income families week after week and month after month, it does provide those who take the Challenge with a new perspective and greater understanding. Learn more→
Join with denominational leaders taking the PC(USA)'s SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge, November 17–23, 2013, either by taking the actual challenge (choosing for one week to live on the average amount of food stamp support in your state) or by joining in solidarity through various activities including child and adult education, outreach in communities and prayer.
The SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge draws attention to the gross injustice of poverty and hunger in the United States and opens new opportunities for understanding, education, compassion and solidarity. This challenge is not only a call to hunger and poverty awareness but a call to action. Learn more→
Second Annual PW Together in Action Day(s)!
This January, Presbyterian Women will observe its second annual Together In Action Day(s) to end human trafficking! Last year we aimed for one day—January 11, Human Trafficking Awareness Day—but we heard from many of you that activities continued beyond that time frame. In 2014, we are dedicating the week surrounding January 11 to educational events, discussions, worship services and actions to end human trafficking.
In 2013, Presbyterian Women groups met to watch documentaries about human trafficking, heard from practitioners in their area who work to end trafficking, raised money to support organizations working to end human trafficking (including the PW Mission Pledge), did a moment for mission about human trafficking, planned workshops for their churches on human trafficking, and even organized citywide trainings in identifying and stopping human trafficking for professionals in legal, medical, law enforcement, social work, and other fields! You can get involved too. For more ideas, download the Human Trafficking Toolkit prepared by the PC(USA)’s Human Trafficking Roundtable.
Women of Faith for the 1000 Days Campaign
Nutrition is important to human development, and the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until her child’s second birthday, are among the most critical. With this in mind, the1,000 Days campaign was launched in 2010. Through Bread for the World, women of faith are joining the campaign, and pledging to be champions for maternal and child nutrition. They are committed to increasing action and investment for the improvement of nutrition for women and children through the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. Presbyterian Women has joined our sisters in faith to share the message of the 1,000 Days campaign.
During the next 1,000 days, Presbyterian Women pledges to hold 1,000 conversations around the importance of maternal and child nutrition and health. You can help make this happen with a “Jar of Conversations.” Fill a jar with slips of paper bearing facts related to the 1,000 days. Invite women at one of your gatherings to pull a slip of paper containing a fact and share it with at least five other women. See how quickly the info is shared and how the conversations continue. If you need conversation starters, contact Carol Winkler for a list of over 100 facts that can be used in your jar. Become a “Champion for Nutrition,” and help end poverty and hunger by joining Women of Faith for the 1,000 Days and having 1,000 conversations.
Stop Domestic Violence Now
Domestic violence awareness is still a focus for the Justice and Peace Committee of the CCT. Take action to raise awareness of violence against women.
· Read the great article on a multifaith response to violence against women in the July/August issue of Horizons magazine.
· Watch for the next issue of Justice & Peace Links; Wanda Beauman has a wonderful story in that issue called “Ring the Bell.” Visit PW’s website to subscribe to J&P Links. It is free!
· Learn more and download resources from the Presbyterians Against Domestic Violencenetwork.
· Wear orange on Orange Day (the 25th of every month) to raise awareness and work for an end to violence against women and girls. Orange Day is part of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women. PW supports the UNiTE campaign by urging women to wear orange on Orange Days and participate in activities that raise awareness and advocate for an end to violence against women. You can soon order orange polo shirts with the PW logo from Presbyterian Distribution Service; check out the PW Boutique or go to www.pcusa.org/store and type “orange” in the search box.
58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
Advocacy is an important component of PW’s work, and the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) provides an excellent opportunity for such work. The 58th Session of UNCSW will tentatively meet on March 10–21, 2014 in New York City. The 2014 theme is “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.” The CSW convenes annually to formulate policies that promote gender equality and the empowerment of women worldwide. Participation in UNCSW inspires and equips Presbyterians to advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Presbyterian Women plays a key role in Presbyterian participation in the CSW. Click here to learn more about participation in UN CSW.
Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD), March 21–24, 2014
Since 2012, Presbyterian Women has made ending gun violence a priority. In 2014, Ecumenical Advocacy Days, a weekend-long ecumenical training and advocacy event in Washington, D.C., is themed “Jesus weeps; resisting violence, building peace.” It is an opportunity for Presbyterian women to put their commitment to ending violence into action!
Guided by the image of Jesus weeping over a capital city that turned from peace (Luke 19:41–42), Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2014 will expose the violence that pervades our culture and world. As people of hope, we are consoled by the promise that “justice and peace shall embrace” (Psalm 85:10), and are reminded that peacemaking requires justice. EAD participants will confront and imagine how to transform the violence in our world together. Through prayer, worship, speakers and advocacy training, the conference will discover a faith-based vision for national policies that “guide our feet into the path of peace” (Luke 1:79), and culminate in a chance to speak with lawmakers during Congressional Lobby Day.
Learn more at www.advocacydays.org and check www.presbyterianwomen.org for information on scholarships! Also, see below for an opportunity to combine this trip with a trip to the Brethren Service Center in Maryland.
Brethren Service Center and Ecumenical Advocacy Days—March 18–24, 2014
Again in 2014, Presbyterian Women is making a combined mission and advocacy trip available to Presbyterian women. The trip will begin with a visit to Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Maryland, for hands-on volunteer service, followed by participation in Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) in Washington D.C.
A Brethren Service Center-only option is also available, or you may choose to attend EAD on your own without opting for the Brethren Service Center trip.
Brethren Service Center houses organizations that work in areas of relief and development, disaster response, social justice, peace education and hospitality. It is the distribution point for many of the hands-on mission projects that PW works on including clean-up kits for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, new mother/baby kits for IMA and health and hygiene kits.
Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) is a weekend-long ecumenical training and advocacy event in Washington, D.C., where, for more than a decade, a coalition of more than 50 denominations and ecumenical and faith-based groups has been bringing together hundreds of Christians in the nation’s capital to learn how to effectively advocate on issues, following Jesus’ example of standing up for marginalized people. The theme of EAD 2014 is “Jesus weeps; resisting violence, building peace,” so it is an excellent an opportunity for Presbyterian women to put their commitment to ending violence into action.
Those interested in this opportunity have three options:
· Brethren Service Center only: Arrival March 18, departure March 21; registration fee: $250, including shared accommodations, all meals, local transportation and tour leader.
· Brethren Service Center and Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Arrive Brethren Service Center onMarch 18, depart for Washington, D.C., March 20. Registration for the Brethren Service Center: $200, including shared accommodations, all meals, local transportation and tour leader. Registration for Ecumenical Advocacy Days, arriving at the Doubletree Hotel, Crystal City, onMarch 20, is to be done individually. For more information, and to register for EAD, go towww.advocacydays.org/2014. EAD registration is $195 per person. DoubleTree Hotel reservations can be made directly with hotel, through the EAD website. The special rate for EAD participants is $125 per room.