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Unity Women's Voices
 
April 2021

Focus:  Early Vision for UWD
 
"Our Lamb has Conquered.  Let us Follow Him." We Moravians love to proclaim this motto - each in our own language, from Albanian to Zulu. Moravians (and others) have portrayed the victorious Lamb in many beautiful designs - sometimes looking forward, sometimes looking back - always gathering us and guiding us. 
 
As we face challenges in 2021, we draw inspiration from reflecting on how previous generations sought to follow Christ. The Unity Women's Desk is also eager to celebrate what Christ has accomplished through this young ministry and to follow Him through the next decade and beyond.  Each issue of Unity Women's Voices in 2021 has highlighted part of the history of the UWD as well as members of our current leadership team so you can join in praying for our future ministry. Our new logo celebrates how Christ's sacrificial love on the cross connects the 4 awesomely diverse regions of our Unity.  It is through God's grace, symbolized in the halo on the Lamb seal, that the UWD seeks to empower Moravian women for global change.   
1995 - "Choose Today"
History of the New Vision for Moravian Women

Rev. Cicely Athill-Horsford
Sister Cicely Athill-Horsford shares highlights of the development of the Unity Women's Desk, from the first vision for a global ministry dedicated to empowering women in 1995 through the 2016 consultation, which was the first consultation organized after the Unity Board officially recognized the Unity Women's Desk. 

     "In 1995 a group of women from around the world gathered in North Carolina. We discussed Violence against Women; Ordination of Women; Women in Ministry, the Economic plight of women and generally Women in the Moravian Church. After all the discussion, we agreed that it was the first consultation. This was the brainchild of Sis. Sallie Greenfield.  She was assisted by Sis. Gail Walker of the Board of World Mission. 
     The meeting closed with a worship service with the theme “Choose today.”  The sermon was preached by Rev. Cicely Athill-Horsford of the Eastern West Indies Province. A Steering Committee was set up with the blessing of the Chairman of the Unity Board.  
     Sis Evadne Morrison of NY in the Northern Province was named as Chair. The other members were: Sis. Mary Kategile of Tanzania, Sis. Joan Smith of Jamaica, Sis. Jane Hutchings (now Dixon) of the British Province; Sis. Mallie Graham of the Southern Province and Sis. Cicely Athill-Horsford of the Eastern West Indies Province. Sis Morrison was unable to take up her position as chair so Sis. Cicely Athill-Horsford was asked to take the position and Sis Tamra Thomas of the Southern Province was named as Treasurer.
     
  
Members of the Steering Committee 
Joan Smith, Tamra Thomas, Mallie Graham, Cicely Athill-Horsford, Jane Dixon, Mary Kategile


 
2nd and 3rd Unity Women's Consultations - The Vision takes Shape
"For such a Time as This" (2001 - South Africa)
"Valiant Women in a Violent World" (2008 - Germany)
Sister Cicely continues: "The immediate task of the Steering Committee was to plan the second consultation. This was held in South Africa – June 14 – 20, 2001.  Fund Raising was the top of our agenda, if we were going to get at least 3 sisters from each Province, knowing that this event would not be a priority for the Provinces.  This was a mammoth task.  We estimated that it will cost the Committee some $300 000.00.
      Over 75 sisters gathered in Port Elizabeth, South Africa under the theme: “For Such a Time as this.”  At the opening service, with many of the local congregations gathered, Sis. Cicely Athill-Horsford again was the preacher. Those gathered were challenged to make use of the moment, for this is the time.  Areas looked at were:  
             -Bible Study -  the Book of Esther
              -Women and the Economy – led by Sis Andrea Charles-Browne,
                United Nation staffer stationed in Kenya and from the EWI.
              -Ordination of Women led by Sis Angeline Swart, Pres Moravian Theol. Seminary of South Africa
              -Violence against Women and Girls
              -HIV AIDS
              -Education of Women and Girls
              -The establishment of a Women’s Desk.
Several proposals were sent to Unity Synod 2002. Other proposals were sent to individual Provinces. Many of these proposals were passed and are now Resolutions, guiding the Moravian Church Worldwide. 
The Steering Committee met in Barbados, Eastern West Indies Province to evaluate the 2001 Consultation and to start planning for the next one - 2008 in the European Region.  The Women’s Desk started to take shape.  
Who will carry this forward?  Sis Jane Hutchins assumed the chair of the committee. The Committee started to monitor the implementation of the Resolutions in the Provinces.

Consultation # 3 got on the way in Herrnhut, Germany June 19 - 25 under the leadership of Sis Jane Hutchings, with the theme “Valiant Women in a Violent World.” Present were two female bishops Sis. Blair Couch the American Region and Sis. Beth Torkington from the British Province. Bishop Blair Couch was the Preacher. There were proposals were sent to Unity Synod 2009. Again, some of these proposals were passed e.g. Resolution #16 and Resolution # 18. Resolution # 16 speaks to the Unity Women’s Desk (UWD) and its responsibility; and of an Advisory Board. Resolution # 18 speaks to the Unity Women’s Consultation be held every seven (7) years and that each Province and Region to hold Regional Conferences."
 
2011 Unity Board Recognizes UWD as a global ministry - 
2016 - 4th Consultation:  "We are our Sisters' Keepers" - Suriname 2016
Sister Cicely:  "The question was asked earlier, “who will take the Women’s Desk forward?”

Sis. Patricia Garner. Sis Garner was wrestling with her call to ministry. She was present at the service of the first Consultation. She made the choice; she answered the call to ministry. It’s no coincidence that she gave her all to the setting up of the Unity Women’s Desk and in 2011 the Unity Women’s Desk became a reality.

Consultation # 4 was held in the Caribbean Region – in Suriname in 2016 under the theme “We are our Sisters Keeper." It was an honour and tremendous blessings for me to be one of these Valiant Women in a Violent World (2008), having made the decision to go Preach Christ (1995), at such a Time as this (2001), knowing that we are our sisters keeper (2015)

 May God continue to call women into His service."        Blessings, Rev. Cicely Athill-Horsford

[We are truly grateful for all who worked so hard to give birth to this vision and for their continuing work to move the vision forward. In the next months we will highlight UWD Founding Leaders Rev. Patricia Garner and members of the Founding Advisory Board, from 2011- 2018].


 
5th Unity Women's Consultation 2023 
"With Hearts and Hands and Voices"
 
The Unity Women's Desk was conceived and birthed through past consultations.  We are working to strengthen our global network of  UWD servant leaders and to increase our impact and lift up girls and women so they can develop their gifts and follow Christ's call to them with all they have been given, with hearts and hands and voices. The Advisory Board and Sub-Desk Coordinators are planning the 5th Unity Women's Consultation to build on all the work of previous consultations. We will focus on human rights for women. The new date  has not been set - but we are still planning to have the consultation at Laurel Ridge, in the mountains of North Carolina, and in Winston-Salem, hopefully in 2023.

 

(Current) UWD Leadership Highlights Continued: 
Sister Merita Meko

 Sub-Desk Coordinator for Europe

Sister Merita Meko of Albania is a member of the Lutheran Moravian Church Albania, Tirana. She was a founding sister in the Moravian Church in Albania and she has served the church in many capacities, helping women and children, organizing Bible studies, camps, projects, and welcoming visitors.  She earned a Bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of Tirana, and later studied Christianity, Political and Social Studies in Denmark  Sister Merita has extensive management and program experience working with international Christian foundations and organizations and with non-governmental organizations including the United Nations. She loves building bridges and breaking barriers "for a brighter future through the shining light of the love of our Lord." She is eager to encourage cultural exchange between Moravian women through personal visits. We are so excited to welcome Merita to the UWD leadership team.  She is currently working with European Region Advisory Board Member Erdmute Frank to strengthen a network of "UWD Connectors" throughout Europe.  If you are interested in helping promote UWD programs, please let us know! 


 

Sister Margo Harris
Sub-Desk Coordinator for North America
Sister Margo Harris currently attends the New Dawn Moravian Church in Toronto, Canada and serves the Moravian Church in many capacities.  She is on the Board of Trustees, the Women's Outreach ministry, and the Provincial Women's Board.  She also served on the Social Justice Committee of the Eastern District, Northern Province from 2016-2020.  The UWD is blessed to benefit from her experience as Vice Chair planning the 2019 N. American Moravian Women's Conference and the Chair of the 2023 N. American Moravian Women's Conference. 

Professionally, Margo works as Vice President of “House of Culture” in Toronto, producing Arts, Culture, Culinary, Tourism and Hospitality Event planning  and special events in the cities of Ontario. 

Sister Margo is currently working with N. American Region Advisory Board member Rt. Rev. Blair Couch to establish a network of key contacts to help promote UWD programs in N. America.  If you are interested in helping, please contact us!


 
International Women's Day:  A Call Answered
Matching Funds Unlocked to keep 12 Girls in Boarding School and out of Child Marriage.

The Unity Women’s Desk  International Women’s Day Service (March 8) is still available on You Tube: . In that service, Pastor Rehema Taikoo in Tanzania shares the plight of 12 young girls who would have been married off at a young age if they did not receive scholarships to stay in Mbozi Moravian Boarding School. Since March 8, UWD has received more than $10,000 in donations and is honored to be able to help keep the girls in school. We are grateful to generous donors and offer praise to God for providing a safe haven for these girls. Please pray for these girls and the school which is providing them a safe have.  Pray also for the girls’ families as they learn to uplift and honor girls in new ways.
 

           

A REASON TO CELEBRATE TEN YEARS
A poem written by a group of UWD Scholarship Recipients in Uganda

 If you watch the International Women's Day service, linked above, you can hear it read by Violah Gagayi, whom the group selected to perform the poem.
 
Unity Women’s Desk!
The arm of Moravian Church
That unites Moravian Women, for a reason
The savior of a girl Child
I mean, the ladder for the Women.

We’ve a reason to celebrate
The provider of wings
The wings that make Women to fly
Socially, Economically and Politically. 

Oh! Unity Women’s Desk
A sword that fights domestic violence
An aircraft for human rights
A reason to celebrate.
Has sponsored many girls
I mean to have education

Oh, Unity Women’s Desk!
You love the girls and Women, like one’s last breath
In the deep bitterness of having nothing, you provide something
A reason to celebrate.

Unity Women’s Desk
A voice for Women economic empowerment
You have made Women entrepreneurs
You restored love and care for females
I mean the love a hating World had robbed from Women

Unity Women’s Desk 
Has turned Women’s fear into trust
Has led to Women of value
Oh! Your unity is power
With hearts, hands and voices
You have saved the girl Child

Oh, let me thank the donors
I mean donors to the Unity Women’s Desk projects
The reality is Unity Women’s’ Desk has turned to be
The gold that has shone on Women’s hands for progress
Long live Unity Women’s Desk…..

[There is much work to be done to live up to this young poet’s words! The impact the UWD has had is due to those who support it through prayer, donations, encouragement and ideas, women working in all the provinces, and mostly through God’s grace and guidance. Thanks so much for these inspiring images of what the UWD ministry can become- a ladder for women, an aircraft for human rights!]

 
Help us dance into our second decade!
Please don't forget to submit a dance instruction video for our anniversary celebrations!
To inspire you, here is a Jamaican example of how to teach YOUR dance!   Just 6 or 7 minutes.
Contact Julie with any questions. 

Don't worry - YOU do not need to do all the introduction and video editing they did - we have a team that will help with that!  We just need videos showing how to do the dance, and telling us who you are.  You can send in several shorter videos and we can edit them together.

We would love to have all the videos by the end of April, but let us know if you need longer because of COVID.

Represent your region!!
And even if you don't submit a dance, you can enjoy learning this Jamaican dance!!

Here is a link to a sample video from South Africa as well!

 
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.
 
 

 
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Unity Women's Desk 
459 South Church Street   
Winston-Salem, NC 27101 USA
website:  www.unitywomensdesk.org             

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