This morning, the chapel was nearly empty... only a faithful few staggering in, looking exhausted. Today was the last day of the UNCSW, and many of the normal worshippers were either departed, or slept in, or... well, they were somewhere else.
But this did not deter the worship team. Ever energetic (really, REALLY energetic!) chaplain the Rev Dionne led us through a worship of song and prayer, testimony and poetry, scripture and blessing.
We were reminded of the scriptural role of women as workers. We were reminded of our role as women, to be workers. We are do-ers. We are movers and shakers. We are empowered and energised to do the work of God that will bring the divine glory shining forth into the world.
And we have work to do! Like the opportunities that face us when we leave the Sunday morning worship and engage with the world, we who attended CSW have opportunities to come back to our homes and do the work. We carry the policy spirit of the CSW, and the spiritual sisterhood of our faithful sisters (and brothers!) form our time here, and the Spirit - that holy wisdom who stirs up all of creation and fires up a passion for mission and ministry within us - that Spirit will be carried with us and through us in the work that we will do.
So during worship we were asked: what will we do - really do - as we headed home. The answers we shared were realistic: we will work, teach, pray, sleep (it's been a long 2 weeks!), share, write, commit, preach... we will continue to live out the reality of empowering women.
The CSW Agreed Conclusions have been made, with strong commitments to gender justice through economic empowerment. Some of the issues directly addressed include the pay gap, decent work, the care economy, technological advances, parental leave, the 'pink tax', women in directorial and leadership roles, and a focus on indigenous women's economic empowerment. You can read the press release here
So we have work to do. We all have a responsibility to engage with these conclusions, with this work, with this ministry. It is now in our hands if we will act with integrity, with one another and with our governments, to make these agreements a reality.
May we rise to the challenge. May we overcome our tiredness, our lethargy, our apathy. May we recognise that an injustice to any one of our society is a detriment to us all. May we live our baptismal vows to respect the dignity of all and to seek Christ in everyone - regardless of gender or race or language or nation. May we become the generation who will make gender injustice a thing of the past. Sisters: brothers: we have work to do!