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By Joyce Durrant
What a privilege to attend the 57th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) as a delegate of the Presbyterian Church! There are about 70 Presbyterian delegates – and it’s been a delight getting to know them! As I write, I’ve completed my first week of the CSW and have another week to go. It’s been an insightful time of meeting women and men from all over the world, joined together to eliminate violence against women. Our host is the Presbyterian Ministry at the UN (PMUN), http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/un/ . This small staff works hard to educate Presbyterians about the United Nations and to advocate for the PC(USA) at the UN. They are a wonderful group of talented and endearing individuals. The PMUN is housed in the Church Center at the UN (CCUN) which is just across the street from the UN, making it a convenient place to meet between meetings. I was fortunate to receive a UN grounds pass, so I spent much of my week attending meetings at the UN on all kinds of topics: Violence, Economics and War; Safety of Women Journalists; Reclaiming Public Spaces for the Empowerment of Women and Girls; Plans to Intensify Efforts for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation; Violence Against Women in War Zones; and Gender-Motivated Killings of Women, Including Femicide. As you can imagine, I have heard stories that make my spirit soar and stories that break my heart. I also attended a meeting this week sponsored by UN Women, entitled Ending Violence Against Women and Girls. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was on the panel and began the discussion. He spoke passionately about the need to end violence against women worldwide. Ban Ki-moon said that “only when women achieve gender equality will the world have sustainable societies and economies. “ In the upcoming week, the PC(USA) delegation will continue to advocate for our positions to be included in the agreed to conclusions which will be the final outcome of the 57th CSW, http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/57sess.htm.
It’s been a rich time of Worship, as well. There is a Worship Service every weekday morning at the CCUN. Last Sunday, I worshipped at FPC Jamaica, Queens, founded in 1662. It’s the oldest, continually ministering Presbyterian Church in the US. This Sunday, I plan to worship at Madison Avenue PC, where Covenant’s own Rev. Becky Jones will be preaching – can’t wait!
Watch Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide March 8 at 10 p.m.
Half the Sky:
Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a four-hour television series for PBS and international broadcast, shot in 10 countries: Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and the U.S. Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, the documentary series introduces women and girls who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable — and fighting bravely to change them. Traveling with intrepid reporter Nicholas Kristof and A-list celebrity advocates America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde, the film reflects viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offers an actionable blueprint for transformation.
The 2012-2013 scholarship recipient is Arrington Grimmer from Jonesboro, Arkansas. Arrington will graduate in 2014 with a major in art.
“This past summer, I attended Dwight Mission Presbyterian Camp and Retreat for two camps.
The first camp, Leader-In-Training was two weeks long. It was for high school students to learn leadership skills and how to work better with other people.”
Follow this link to read Courtney’s whole article.
An application was granted for support funding from Indian Nations Presbytery for outreach community health ministry. Grant funds are in a separate account in First State Bank under the Trinity Presbyterian Church account. The formal relationship between Trinity Presbyterian Church (TPC) and Redeemer Lutheran Church (RLC) is an example of interfaith collaboration for a singular purpose: community health outreach. This is most important because the 73111 zip code community shared by TPC and RLC is the ‘sickest’ community area in the state.
The Trinity-Redeemer Health Ministry held two health seminars for senior citizens in 2012: April 20th, and October 26th. Currently, the goal is to hold two seminars per year, spring and fall, to evaluate effectiveness, and to make adjustments accordingly. The April 2012 seminar was funded through donations and gifts of money, door prizes, and giveaways from private citizens, organizations within the two churches, and area businesses, including Wal-Mart and the Senior Law Services Center. The cost of the April 2012 seminar was calculated at $1100, not counting physical donations (door prizes, giveaways, and the like).
Plans for the October 2012 seminar included a new approach to informing neighbors about the health focused seminars was implemented. Volunteers from the Health Ministry walked door-to-door in the neighborhood to share seminar flyers ad invite neighbors to the seminar. The seminar included health screening, referrals, disease management tips, free lunch, and a period of questions and answers with health professionals.
Program evaluations for both seminars (April and October 2012) indicated positive reception of content and method of presentation. However, it was noted that fewer than half of the participants were residents of the 73111 target zip code, even after door-to-door canvassing in the Fall. Analysis of the zip codes represented by participants indicated that the health ministry community outreach was reaching beyond the community immediately surrounding the two churches. Approximately 69 persons attended each seminar.
Planning began anew in January 2013 to determine how to approach the health ministry over the next few months. Target dates of the last week in April and the last week in October are set for community health-focused events. The probable focus for April 2013 is diabetes mellitus (DM) but final decision on topics may address topics identified by seminar participants who completed evaluations: health, disability, crime and scam prevention, advance directives, emergency preparedness.
Recommendations: 1) Estimates based on the first two seminars suggest that cost of each is approximately $1,000. 2) Canvassing the neighborhood twice before the next seminar may encourage attendance. 3) Provisions for transportation to and from the seminar may become necessary. 4) The treasurer and Co-treasurer are representatives from each church.
Elder Trinity Presbyterian Church Oklahoma City
From The Outreach Foundation in Nashville:
Experience first hand what God is doing in that nation! The Outreach Foundation gives women an opportunity to travel to Rwanda this summer to build relationships with the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda. For more information read the brochure and application form! For any questions please contact: Ebralie Mwizerwa, projects coordinator.
The Outreach Foundation
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst forth in song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
(Isaiah 55: 12)
Fire in Honey Grove, Texas
The historic (1901) Main Street Presbyterian Church in Honey Grove, Texas burned to the ground in the early morning hours of Sunday, February 10, 2013. It is believed that the fire is the result of a lightning strike. PDA is attempting to contact leadership in Grace Presbytery to determine how best to respond.