Tuesday, July 22, 2008
A feminst perspective on social justice
'The Lambeth Witness'- the daily publication of Inclusive Church and Integrity, is on Day Three. We're following the themes of the day being discussed by the bishops. Here's my entry.
I spent my first morning at Lambeth getting acclimated to the geography of my Canterbury neighborhood before venturing out to the Market Place.
I was very keen to visit the booths where there are women’s ministries, but I especially wanted to get to know the women of WATCH (Women and The Church). From everything I’ve read, WATCH seems to be the Church of England equivalent to EWC (Episcopal Women’s Caucus) of which I am president.
Imagine my surprise when I was introduced today to Christina Reese, the president of WATCH. I was surprised because I had met her just the day before. Turns out, we’re roommates in the same house.
The Holy Spirit is clearly in this place and She is up to her usual tricks. She’s also simultaneously providing a wonderful reminder to laugh at myself once in a while.
I was listening to the description of a project WATCH is doing in collaboration with the IAWN (International Anglican Women’s Network), which describes itself as seeking “to empower women to participate in decision-making in the councils of the Church. . .”
“This is really wonderful, “ I said, “How did you come up with the idea for this project?” One of the women smiled kindly and said, “Well, we asked the women what they needed, and this is what they told us.”
Social justice, from a feminist perspective, is not just about “doing good.” It’s about listening, hearing, and empowering participation in decision-making – as the rest of the mission statement of the IAWN states – “ . . to meet challenges with courage and hope.”