2021 UWD Watchword:
"Christ Jesus came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off
and peace to those who were near." Ephesians 2:1
On Friday March 4 please join with many Moravian Sisters around the world participating in the 2021 World Day of Prayer. This is a worldwide, ecumenical movement of Christian women who join together for a common day of prayer. This year’s service calls us to build our ministries and lives on a firm foundation: Jesus’ love. Watch on Friday March 4 - or any time - on YouTube.
World Day of Prayer is initiated and carried out by women in more than 170 countries and regions.
It brings women of different races, cultures and traditions together in fellowship, understanding and action throughout the year.
Through World Day of Prayer, women affirm that prayer and action are inseparable and have immeasurable influence in the world.
The motto of World Day of Prayer is “Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action.”
“Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action” is the World Day of Prayer motto. This could also be the motto of the monthly Unity Women’s Voices as we share voices of Moravian women in order to inform and guide our prayers for one another.
International Women's Day 2021 Look for "UWD International Women's Day" Program on YouTube and Facebook - March 8
International Women’s Day, Sunday March 8, 2021 offers another opportunity to join your voice with that of women and men supporting human rights for women globally. UWD will post A Moravian International Women’s Day program on YouTube and share the link on our website and Facebook. Celebrate with us! Bishop Blair Couch will share a message and we will have a multi-language reading of the Unity Creed.
This year’s theme: Choose to Challenge. “A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let's all choose to challenge. Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”
10 years of UWD Ministry - Give Thanks and Celebrate!
UWD is building on the firm foundation of Jesus’ love and the many Sisters who worked to establish the Unity Women's Desk - from the first initial call for a way to help Moravian women who were suffering - shared at a conference in 1995 - to the Unity Board's official recognition of this global ministry in 2011. Sister Joan Smith of Jamaica reflects: “The 10th Anniversary is indeed a milestone for the group of us who were interim Advisors before the Unity Synod sanctioned the UWD. The UWD history is being written now and I can remember Unity Synod when the Rev. Patricia Garner, the Inspired Conceptualizer, presented the proposal for a UWD. Indeed the Holy Spirit was dominant in the presentation of that proposal.” We celebrate all who worked for years to establish the UWD, and the many Moravians - Sisters and Brothers- who have given their time, prayers, money, expertise and encouragement to move the ministry forward. In 2021, we “choose to challenge” ourselves to increase our impact by challenging our church to protect women’s human rights.
Challenge leads to change, and we are excited to share a symbolic change for our second decade of ministry. Our new logo, designed by Salem College senior Laura Kuhn, incorporates basic elements of the previous logo - 4 colored figures representing the 4 Unity regions, a circle representing the earth and unending love. The new logo was inspired by the photograph below of women at the 2018 Women’s Conference. It represents women of the 4 regions connected by a blue cross of Christ, which also represents the waters and skies connecting our regions. THANK YOU to Laura for her care and skill (and patience) in this creative process!
Laura is also helping us update our website. Check out the new TRANSLATION button! You can read it in Albanian, Estonian, and Czech - not to mention Spanish and Kiswahili! Let us know if we need to add another language!
UWD LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT
Where is the UWD? Click hereto see where Advisory Board and Sub-Desk Coordinators live.
The OFFICE of the UWD is in Winston-Salem, NC, but we are truly a global ministry. Our Advisory Board (which makes the decisions about loans, scholarships, and projects) and our Sub-Desk Coordinators (who implement the decisions of the Advisory Board), the UWD Coordinator, (who manages the logistics and documentation for the Advisory Board) and our faithful Secretary and Treasurer, live in Cuba, Jamaica, the USA (North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania), Suriname, Canada, Albania, Germany, South Africa, and Tanzania (Mbeya, Morogoro and Dar es Salaam) 14 women from 12 provinces, in 9 countries, in 5 time zones. Serving one Lord and Moravian women and communities globally!
In the middle of the pandemic, on February 19, 2021, we had our first-ever meeting of all 4 UWD Advisory Board members, 6 of 7 Sub-Desk Coordinators and secretary. Through the magic of ZOOM, University student Dorcas Wood, UWD Nursing Scholar in Honduras, blessed us by serving as a Spanish-English interpreter. We are grateful for the gifts of our younger Sisters stepping up to help us! We would like to expand our internship opportunities to include young women from different UWD provinces who can work with us online. If you are a young woman in search of a professional internship in journalism, marketing, website design, or photography, please contact Julie!! We also ask you to pray for our Provincial Coordinators - working with us in almost every Unity Province, Mission Province and Mission Area.
Last month we highlighted Sub-Desk Coordinators Alay Gonzalez and Ruth Stephenson of Latin America/Caribbean Region and Fatima Kiongosya of the Africa Region. The other Africa Region SDCs are Rev. Agnes Njeyo of Tanzania and Sister Colleen Cunningham, of South Africa.
Sister Colleen Cunningham Sub-Desk Coordinator for South Africa
Sister Colleen Cunningham, UWD Sub-Desk Coordinator for South Africa, works as a Clinical Healthcare Unit Manager. She loves to share about her hometown Genadendal, where the Moravian mission started in South Africa, and she now lives with her family in Cape Town. Colleen has been an active leader in Moravian and ecumenical women’s organizations for many years. She has served twice as a delegate for the Lutheran World Federation at a training on Human Rights and Violence Against Women and has organized many workshops and advocacy events in South Africa. Colleen also serves as Regional Coordinator for the Women in Church and Society for Southern Africa. One of the many issues she has worked to impact is Gender Based Violence. She and many Moravian Sisters in South Africa wear black on Thursdays to express support for women suffering from violence and to raise awareness of this issue. You can join them this and every Thursdays in Black.
Sister Agnes Njeyo Sub-Desk Coordinator in East and Central Africa:
Sister Agnes is a pastor in the Southwest Province of the Moravian Church Tanzania. She was born in Zambia, where her father worked as a copper miner until he retired and returned home to Tanzania. The move disrupted Agnes’ secondary studies but she later studied theology for 2 years at Lutengule Seminary, completed a course in clinical pastoral education at Kilimanjaro Medical Center and several years later completed secondary school. She also earned a Diploma in Management and Development at CORAT College in Kenya. In 2020 the International organization Outreach Care International recognized Agnes with an outstanding community service award. “I like to volunteer to serve those in need, to participate in different women’s forums. My gift and my favorite work is counseling.” Agnes has attended counseling seminars in Rwanda, women’s empowerment courses in Kenya, and numerous seminars on AIDS and sexual violence. Her favorite Bible verses are Genesis 3:20 “Adam named his wife Eva, because she would be the Mother of all the living,”and Psalm 68: “The Lord announced the word and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.” In addition to serving in Moravian Church positions as Secretary of Women at the district and provincial levels and MCT Women Coordinator, Agnes served as Chairperson of the Women Christian Council of Tanzania since 2013. Sister Agnes, who was ordained in 2010, notes, “The UWD is a very important group that values women, and their work is visible. They do so many things to enable a woman to rise up and recognize herself. Without UWD, many women and girls would not have studied higher education. The role of women in ministry is also more visible now.”
The Advisory Board is sad to report they have had postponed the 5th Unity Women's Consultation - planned for Sept 2022 in NC, USA, due to concerns about COVID and related travel logistics. Our top priority is to hold the consultation in person, when it is safe for all regions to travel internationally. Program planning continues and your prayers are appreciated. Here is the official consultation logo! Adapted from pencil drawing by Lynn Waggoner, Southern Province USA.
June 2022 - Latin America/Caribbean Region Consultation on ZOOM. Sister Muriel Held, Sister Ruth Stephenson, and LA/C Leaders are planning a zoom consultation for sisters in this region. Pray for increased connection between the Sisters of all these provinces. Many are suffering greatly from COVID-19, recent hurricanes and political tensions. Sisters in Britain, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, South Africa, Uganda, and the USA have asked us to pray for those impacted in their countries. More details from the planning committee in the next Unity Women's Voices!
Please lift up in prayer all our scholarship recipients - from kindergarten through graduate programs in your prayers, as well as women working to build businesses to support their families. Continue to pray also for those afflicted by the pandemic and those suffering violence.
Dancing into our second decade.
Ecclesiastes 3: 4 tells us that there is
"a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance."
2020 was a tough year, and most of our countries are still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have much to celebrate and we want to DANCE INTO OUR SECOND DECADE!
Below you will find instructions for submitting a 7-minute instructional dance video. Get some friends together and send us a dance video . Sister Judy-Rose Cyster and her South African team will edit these into a Global UWD Dance video and we'll celebrate a GLOBAL DANCE party in November! Stay tuned for more information. Contact Julie with any questions.
Click below to download a pdf with more details and instructions.
Sister Judy-Rose Cyster of the Moravian Youth of South Africa continues working on our Global Dance Party video production. Our "deadline" for dance video submissions is officially March 15, but we are flexible! Just email Julie by March 15 if you want to submit a video and we will be happy to receive it. Please watch this very short video to see one example. Please note: Judy-Rose has a team that will EDIT your video to look like this - we will add any sub-titles, split screens etc. We just need you to send us the basic video content. Join the fun! We already have submissions from Uganda, South Africa, and NC and we hear Jamaica, Suriname and Tanzania are working on it!
The Unity Women's Desk works to connect women and resources throughout the Unity and empower them to work for justice as God's hands and feet on earth! We are planning the next Unity Women's Consultation: Sept 2022 in North Carolina. Please continue to pray for Coordinator Julie Tomberlin and the members of our Advisory Board, Rt. Rev. Blair Couch, Rev. Erdmute Frank, Sister Muriel Held and Sister Rachel Lwali, as well as our Sub-Desk and Provincial Coordinators, our Secretary Sister Liz Venable and Treasurer Sister Jean Richardson.
We want to share voices of as many different women from as many provinces as possible. If you don't see your province here, it's because I haven't been able to visit you and get pictures! I invite Sisters in all provinces to send in updates, needs, concerns, praise, and yes --- PICTURES PLEASE (with names, date, location and a description of the picture). Please send anything I can share here or on Facebook or our website! PLEASE SEND IN ANY CORRECTIONS to this and previous issues -names, dates, events...people not named. I will correct them for our archive and our website.
2021 Application Deadlines:
Scholarship applications- May 1, Aug 1, Nov 1.
Loan applications : Nov 1.
We will announce changes in loan application review process in April.
We can only consider COMPLETE applications –. Please contact your Provincial Coordinator or Sub-Desk Coordinator for assistance. If you need contact information, email Julie. You may submit applications directly to the UWD office by email, but we will need confirmation from the Provincial Chair and the Sub-Desk Coordinator before we can consider the application.
The Advisory Board makes all decisions by vote.