14 Mar 2017

The framework of our work

            What is the framework within which you live your life?
            That's a tough question, to be sure. We all have busy lives, where we can segregate different activities.
            I posit, however, that there are certain frameworks, certain consistencies, to the ministries in which we all engage - individually and corporately.
Monday, we watched the opening session of the UNCSW. As seating in the hall is limited, and NGO CSW has possibly the largest number of participants ever, the majority of people watched via webcast (http://webtv.un.org). For us Anglicans, we were welcomed into the chapel space at The Episcopal Church (across the street form the UN) and it was broadcast on the wall.
            There were many speakers, and many wonderful comments. The chair of CSW encouraged male ally-ship. The Secretary General articulated not only a commitment to gender justice, but a demand to keep the UN accountable to these goals. While men dominated the primary speeches, the second hour boasted many passionate woman, including the ED for UN Woman challenging the world: "We must change the established pattern!" The chair of CEDAW called for disaggregated statistics on violence against women. The ILO encouraged a re-evaluation of the care economy and prevention of violence in the workplace. The Youth Forum articulated that they are the last generation that can be proactive in climate change mitigation.
            ... the speeches were full of inspiration messages, and the details are abundant!
            While our space at TEC provided a comfortable location for us to watch these inspirational charges, it also provided a framework for our work here and at home: prayer.
            We are called to be people who prayerfully discern and respond to the need for justice. We are called to see the opportunity to share the bread of life with everyone we encounter.  We are called to be part of the community of the body of Christ, with those we know and agree, and with those we have not met and may not agree with. We are called to frame our work for justice in the context of prayer and praise and worship.

            We are called to know that we are not just another NGO or another face here at the UN, but that we are experiencing the face of God at the UN. We are witnessing God's beautiful diversity, highlighted and celebrated within this time together. We are called to delight in the continuation of that work, of that mission, of that ministry.

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