Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs

The 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) in New York City March 9 to March 20 will draw women and men from the Episcopal Church and throughout the Anglican Communion.

The 2015 UNCSW theme is a review of progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Program for Action, 20 years after its adoption at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995.

In 2015, the traditionally strong Anglican and Episcopal presence at UNCSW continues with more than 100 participants representing 16 countries or Anglican provinces. The Anglican Communion welcomes 20 accredited delegates, each officially representing her province. The Rev. Joan Grimm Fraser of the Diocese of Long Island will be the provincial delegate representing the Episcopal Church to the Anglican Communion delegation.

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The Episcopal Church will send its first official delegation:

  • Helen Achol Abyei, Diocese of Colorado
  • Nellie Adkins, Diocese of Virginia
  • (Lesley) Grace Aheron, Diocese of Virginia
  • Delores Alleyne, Diocese of Connecticut
  • Digna de la Cruz, Diocese of Dominican Republic
  • Jayce Hafner, domestic policy analyst for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society
  • Julia Ayala Harris, Diocese of Oklahoma
  • Pragedes Coromoto Jimenez de Salazar, Diocese of Venezuela, and a member of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council
  • Heidi Kim, missioner for racial reconciliation for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society
  • Lelanda Lee, Diocese of Colorado, and a member of Executive Council
  • The Rev. Gawain de Leeuw, Diocese of New York
  • The Rev. Vaike Madisson, Diocese of Honduras
  • Lynnaia Main, global relations officer for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society
  • Hollee Martinez, Diocese of Texas
  • The Rev. Glenda McQueen, partnership officer for Latin America & the Caribbean for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society
  • Erin Morey-Busch, Diocese of Pittsburgh
  • Consuelo Sanchez Navarro, Diocese of Honduras
  • Barbara Schafer, Diocese of Nevada
  • The Rev. Stacy Walker-Frontjes, Diocese of Chicago

Of note for the event:

  • The Episcopal Church will host an opening Eucharist on Monday, March 9 in the Chapel of Christ the Lord in the Episcopal Church Center, as well a closing Eucharist on March 20. Both services will begin at 12:10 pm Eastern and will incorporate the stories, songs and experiences of the delegates. The UNCSW Opening Eucharist will be celebrated by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori with Bishop Chilton Knudsen, Assistant bishop in Diocese of Long Island, preaching. The Prayers of the People were written by the youth delegates from St. George’s Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Closing Eucharist on March 20 will be led by members of the Anglican Communion delegation.
  • Regular midday Eucharist worship will continue Monday-Friday in the Chapel of Christ the Lord, with special guest celebrants throughout UNCSW: March 10, the Rev. Shane Phelan, CMA (Diocese of New York)
  • March 17, the Rev. Viktoria Gotting (Diocese of Texas)
  • March 18, the Rev. Canon Jeanne Person (Diocese of New York)
  • March 19, the Rev. Stacy Walker-Frontjes (Diocese of Chicago)
  • The Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations will host two events in the Chapel of Christ the Lord: on March 10, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary of the World YWCA, will speak. On March 12, Archbishop David Moxon, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Holy See, will celebrate the midday Eucharist, followed by a presentation in the Chapel of Christ the Lord.
  • On March 10 the Rev. Canon Alice Medcof, Anglican Communion delegate, will host a storytelling conversation on “Holding High the Platform” and the Diocese of Jerusalem will host a presentation.
  • Anglican Women’s Empowerment will host a Lunch and Learn event with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori on March 11, as well as a parallel event at the Church Center for the United Nations.
  • Episcopal Relief & Development will co-sponsor a parallel event, “Global Faith Perspectives On Sexual And Gender Based Violence: Survivor, Practitioner, Faith Leader And Academic.” The panel will be held at the Armenian Convention Center, V Hall (630 Second Ave., at 35 St.) with a gathering to follow at the Episcopal Church Center.

The Episcopal Church Center, located one block from the United Nations, will provide hospitality space for participants and will host advocacy debriefings by Ecumenical Women, an international coalition of faith-based organizations accredited to the United Nations. The Episcopal Church is co-chair of Ecumenical Women and both The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion are members.

Anglican and Episcopal delegates will also participate in Ecumenical Women’s advocacy, including training, ecumenical worship, visiting permanent missions at the United Nations, and continuing advocacy upon return to their local communities.

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