In my work thus far with ELCA World Hunger Leaders and the Lutheran World Federation, I have come to know and believe one thing very deeply—Lutherans, especially women and youth, are deeply committed, knowledgeable, gifted people.
On Monday, 27 February 2012, the Lutheran World Federation Women in Church in Society Office (WICAS) sponsored a side event of exactly these leaders in the Lutheran Communion. During the side event, “From Potential Impoverishment to Seeds of Sustainability,” Daniele, Irma, Jeannette, and Jessica each shared her relationship with rural women, her story of seeds to sustainability and her hopes for the future in this work.
Each woman’s story is her own and some of them will be highlighted here at other points, but as I sit here this afternoon, I want to highlight three key themes that shone through all their reflections and experiences:
- In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is coming down from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem and a multitude of disciples are singing his praise. The Pharisees told Jesus to quiet the crowd. Jesus said, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.” Through their witness, these Lutheran women shouted out and raised their voices for wholeness and reconciliation in all our homes, communities and throughout the world.
- At the Ecumenical Women orientation, Ana from Brazil who works with indigenous women shared a quote, “She learned not only to read or write…she learned to read the world.” These Lutheran women wrestled with, defined and redefined women’s leadership.
- At the non-governmental organization orientation, Madame Michelle Bachelet, executive director, UN Women said, “Women are at the heart of ending poverty and hunger. […] We cannot do this alone. We depend on you.” These Lutheran women shared about the relationships in their communities and churches that bind us together and grow seeds into sustainability.
So ELCA World Hunger colleagues, what are your reflections on those three themes? Share your story and join the conversation!
Also, a special word of thanks to Jen who has been assisting us with interpretation and translation all weekend, including on the panel. We can look forward to more of her story here soon.