#CSW66: Hope through the Lens of our Faith at UNCSW66
By: The Reverend Marissa S. Rohrbach, Episcopal Church in Connecticut (Province I)
Throughout these last days serving as one of the Presiding Bishop’s Delegates to UNCSW66, I have been mindful of the work before us: to represent the Presiding Bishop, to represent General Convention, to speak for our church. In some ways as a Priest, that’s always a part of my job; to speak love into broken spaces and places in the name of the church, and ultimately in the name of Jesus. It’s been an exquisite privilege to be part of this effort at UNCSW66 and to advocate for the health, happiness, and well being of women and girls in all their diversity.
As I’ve listened to the stories of women and girls, to representatives of member states, to the leaders of NGOs, I’ve been struck both by the incredible hope of these stories and by the great distance we still have to go. What a gift it is to hear stories of success and change from so many different voices, in so many different languages and dialects, representing so many different parts of the world. How beautiful a thing it is to know that there are people advocating all over the world for a better life for women and girls. I give thanks to God for the generations of faithful people who have done this work. And I know and have heard so much this week about the work there is still to be done. Part of that work, I think, is about being willing to name it, and to look at it with the eyes of our faith.
We know that our earth is experiencing a climate emergency, that natural disasters are happening more and more often because of the stress we are creating on our island home. We know that women are disproportionately affected by the damage done to our earth and by these disasters. We know also that women of color and indigenous women bear more of the burden than those of us who are white. We know, too, that all over the world there are women who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ population who face death and abuse simply because of who God created them to be. And that women and girls all over the world face violence and abuse in ways too numerous to name.
As so many in civil society look at these problems and try to work through them, our lens as Episcopalians is unique. We can bring into the room that deep certainty that God created all people to be beloved, and that we are called to help build a world where each person is treated that way. This is why it’s such a powerful thing for our church to have a voice in these spaces, to be a part of these conversations. We bring Jesus into the room with us, so we can speak with authority on behalf of the Presiding Bishop and this church. We know that we serve a God who wants every little girl to chase after her wildest, fiercest dreams. For me, that’s what these two weeks have been about. Our presence in the room, our voice at that table, on behalf of the church is a reminder of God’s dream.
A reminder that, with God’s help, we can build a world where every woman and girl has the chance to discover God’s dream for them. I’m so grateful for the chance to have been even a small part of this work, to have learned from so many people in these last days, and to have served on behalf of our church.
About the author: The Reverend Marissa S. Rohrbach, Episcopal Church in Connecticut (Province I) serves as Rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wilton, Connecticut. She has served the Church in a variety of ways, including as the Chair of the Commission on Ministry and as a consultant. She is currently serving on the Bishop Transition Committee for the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. She is honored to serve as one of the Presiding Bishop’s Delegates to CSW66, to advocate for all women and girls and the fierce, wild dreams that God has for them. Marissa lives in Wilton with her wife and daughter. She loves Jesus, French literature, and to feed people good food. Marissa+ serves as a delegate on the Presiding Bishop’s UNCSW 66 delegation.
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