From Theory to Imagination and Action

Gina Tonn, Reunion Program Manager, The St. Olaf Fund at St. Olaf College


Just over a year ago I was in New York, and then I went home to Chicago where I was living and serving with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, and I wrote a blog post called “No more business as usual.” Since then, I have spoken about the concept too, including at my current place of work, St. Olaf College.

One year later in New York and I wonder, do I practice what I preached? Have I carried out the commitment I proclaimed?


On Saturday morning, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women, told the Ecumenical Women delegation that it’s time for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and said verbatim that we cannot do business as usual. I hear this and I realize, no, I haven’t really carried out my commitment. I am human and I fall short of expectations. The institutions I participate in fall short.

The pace of change is slow and bureaucracy is complex, but that is no excuse not to listen, not to do what can be done.

What can be done? Continue reading “From Theory to Imagination and Action”


Naming the Women Here With Us

Sister Tashina Good, Program Assistant for Constituent Engagement, ELCA World Hunger


We are here!

After months of planning and preparation we have arrived in New York City at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

Without being sure what to expect I found myself surrounded by hundreds of powerful women from around the world. Our second day was the Ecumenical Women at the United Nations Orientation Day. We were given an overview of CSW, what we will be experiencing this upcoming week, and how we can be agents for change.

Although there were powerful moments throughout the particular one that struck me most deeply was during our closing worship when we were asked to close our eyes and name the women who are not here that we carry with us. All throughout my life, I have been surrounded by amazing women who have grounded and shaped me, who have influenced me and shown me what it means to live into who I am today. This task to name these women struck me because my understanding of faith in this world is through the community of people surrounding me. It is a living faith active through the work, lives, and love of others working for justice and living out their vocation. It is not stagnant or trapped within walls, but Christ living and breathing in this world through the body of believers. We are called into action together. Continue reading “Naming the Women Here With Us”

Gospel Across Boundaries

Caitlin Zimmerman, Assistant for Justice for Women through Lutheran Volunteer Corps

ELCA Justice for Women

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 1.35.16 PMYesterday was our Ecumenical Women orientation at Sixtieth Session Commission on the Status of Women. As our hosting organization, we joined for worship, song, and prophetic dialogue from across our partner churches. We came together and had to find a way to pray together and hear the gospel across boundaries. What came to my mind was something I heard Nadia Bolz-Weber say at an event last fall: that the particularities and differences make us strong and preserve our communities and denominations, but “the more we try to draw lines the more the Holy Spirit tries to kick at those lines.” Continue reading “Gospel Across Boundaries”