Michelle Armster and I have agreed to help coordinate a gathering of North American women theologians at the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Assembly in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, along with Mary Anne Isaak, a Canadian Mennonite Brethren woman involved in church leadership.
Space has been set aside each day for women theologians from each continent to gather for fellowship and networking. The time for North American women is on Wednesday, July 22, 1:30-3 p.m. (Asian women will be meeting on Tuesday, African women later on Wednesday afternoon, and Latin American and European women on Thursday afternoon.)
I have included some background information below on the history and goals of these gatherings, as well as information on a joint gathering to take place on Friday afternoon.
If you are planning to attend MWC, we welcome your thoughts on this opportunity.
- Please let us know if you are interested in participating.
- Suggest topics for the group conversation.
- Share any other questions or suggestions for such a gathering.
Background information: The purpose of the Global Women’s Space is to facilitate women at MWC meeting and learning from each other. In Zimbabwe in 2003, the African Women Theologians (AWT) shared their story, and this inspired Latin American to form their own Latin American Women Theologians Movement (MTAL). In Paraguay in 2009, the Latin American women held their first continental gathering and also included time with women of other continents.
The Global Women’s Space in Harrisburg in 2015 is a way for MWC to demonstrate its support for these movements, and also to gain important insights and feedback on how MWC can best support the global women’s movements in strengthening their presence in the different continents and in serving the needs of sisters in church leadership.
On Friday, July 24, 1:30 – 5:00 p.m., representatives from all continents will come together to discuss forming a Global Network of Women. The questions to be discussed there are:
- Thinking about the women in your continent, what would be the most important objectives of a Global Network?
- Get to know each other
- Share experiences
- Support each other
- Pray for each other
- As groups (movements, networks, etc.) of women, what can we offer and ask of Mennonite World Conference?
- What processes are underway to involve generations of young women?
- What are the problems we have as women in our continent and how can we support each other?
For more information, if you have questions, if you want to contribute to this conversation or simply to let Linda know you are interested in participating, email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, Linda and Michelle for your work to organize this event!