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Hallo again to all.

UNCSW 2018We were thankful this week to be able to worship and work alongside the Anglican Episcopal Delegation at the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The CSW was established in 1946 to place concerns specific to women at the forefront of the attention of the United Nations, and Anglicans have had a robust presence in this annual work of advocacy. The focusing theme of this session is the empowerment of rural women and girls—persons who face extraordinary challenges in terms of access to water, maternal and infant health care, literacy, and birth registration. They are also persons who experience disproportionate vulnerabilities connected with climate change, war, gender-based violence, economic instability, and food distribution.

This year, the 44-person delegation includes members of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Church of the Province of Central Africa, the Church of England, the Province de L'Eglise Anglicane du Congo, the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean, the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, the Anglican Church of Korea, la Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, the Anglican Church of Tanzania, the US-based Episcopal Church, the Church in Wales, and the Church of the Province of West Africa. Seven delegates are from the Mothers' Union; seventeen are Episcopalians from the United States and Venezuela. They are lay and ordained, younger and older, first-time visitors to the United Nations, and long-term veterans of the commission's long lines and long sessions. Everyone comes away with tired feet every day.

It is meet and right that the Anglican Communion—one of the world's largest non-governmental organisations—should bring its voice to the councils of the United Nations in this way. It is also meet and right that women should be the bearers of our communion's commitments and concerns (there are men among our delegates, but few) as women have in recent decades generally situated themselves outside of the schisms or North-South divides of our church life. One would be hard pressed in this truly diverse group to find the obsession with the church-division that steals headlines. One would rather be more likely to find an impressive focus on the grassroots mission of the Church—the building up of one another's ministries around the world, the digging of wells, the teaching of girls and boys, the protection of the vulnerable, advocacy for the land in which our food grows, and an intentional expression of the words of the Magnificat sung by our Lady:

And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.

This hard work will not reach the Breaking News updates on any of our smartphones, nor shall it find its way into the pre-dawn Twitter salad of Hoban's Folly. But it is the work of the Gospel: the raising of valleys, the preparation of a way in the wilderness, the leveling of rough places, the transformation of what is ruggedness into something better and smooth. The women and men engaged in this work deserve our wholehearted support from near or far, in prayer and funding, in attention and in gratitude.

See you next week.

Our Signatures

Richard Mammana


All of us at Anglicans Online

18 March 2018

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