Episcopal, Anglican women gather in NYC for 59th annual UN Commission meeting

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March 9-20
The Public Affairs Office

The 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) meeting in New York City March 9 to March 20 will bring 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.  See more here   

In 2015, the traditionally strong Anglican and Episcopal presence at UNCSW continues with over 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.

The Episcopal Church will be sending 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 Executive Council of The Episcopal Church; Heidi Kim, Missioner for Racial Reconciliation for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society; Lelanda Lee, Diocese of Colorado and a member of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church; 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.

The provincial delegate and the Church delegates will be able to attend the UNCSW official meetings as observers on the floor of the United Nations and will represent The Episcopal Church/Anglican Communion in their advocacy, including joint advocacy with the coalition group Ecumenical Women. They will be able to report on United Nations meetings during evening debriefs, speak about official Episcopal Church and Ecumenical Women priorities with United Nations entities and permanent mission representatives, attend parallel events, and reflect during UNCSW on how they can take the knowledge when they return to their communities and train new women leaders.

In addition to the official Anglican and Episcopal delegations, many other groups and individuals will gather in New York City to attend UNCSW, including the Anglican Church of Canada, St. George’s Church in Fredericksburg, VA (Diocese of Virginia), Anglican Women’s Empowerment, Episcopal Church Women, and the Offices of Indigenous Ministries and Global Partnerships of The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. Two members of The Episcopal Church Executive Council’s Committee on the Status of Women and other interested individuals will also be present.

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, VA. The Closing Eucharist on Friday, 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. Dr. 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, Dr. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary, World YWCA will speak.  On March 12, Archbishop Sir David Moxon, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Personal 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 Dr. 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.


The Episcopal Church Center, located one block from the United Nations, will provide hospitality space for participants and will host advocacy debriefs 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.

For more info contact Lynnaia Main, Global Relations Officer.



For complete details, schedule and more information:

UNCSW 59: www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw59-2015

UN Women’s Beijing  Turns 20 beijing20.unwomen.org/

UN Women: www.unwomen.org  

Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations www.aco.org/ministry/un/  

Global Partnerships: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/global-partnerships

Ecumenical Women: www.ecumenicalwomen.org





The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org

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