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Bangalore ICWM Meeting

Updated: Jul 18, 2018

The meeting began at 10. 00 a.m. Due to heavy rain the previous day, there was a delay in beginning the meeting. There were ten of us.

Cynthia began by welcoming the participants and read out a poem which she had written.

Noella shared with the group the beginnings of the movement which began in with 113 women and 7 men at NBCLC, Bangalore in January 2013. The vision and objectives were also shared. She also touched on the fact that religion has always been the domain of men. This we need to challenge to be inclusive and dynamic.

Dr. Rini Ralte in her talk emphasised the need to unmask patriarchy and unlearn the process. There is lots of potential and lots of women’s power in the 4 lakhs North East women who reside in Bangalore she said. She emphasised the need for Christian women to be motivated and make larger connections She questioned leadership and asked to what extent and to what purpose... also mentioned that there are no models of leadership.

Women in the church have not been uplifted from the marginalized to the centre. What is the process of unlearning?

How do we bring the ground reality into our work? What is the criteria of assessing the situation?

Divorce is low – is that a good image? How to bring the cry of the marginalised to the center?

Reflecting on the women in the Bible of women who challenged the accepted system, Dorothy spoke on Sarai and Hagar were taken as what is the trauma and stigma woman carry when they are barren. How did Sarai respond to this? She invited Hagar a slave girl to bear a child for her. It is the first time that the Angel of the Lord appeared to someone and asked her to face her problem and find a solution. Hannah was another woman who was barren and cried each day before the Lord. Eli heard her praying and blessed her saying that she would bear a son, she breaks out in song and is the first one to name the Messiah as the Anointed One. The next is the woman who had an issue of Blood for the past 12 years. She who was deemed to be unclean dared to touch the hem of the cloak of Jesus and he felt power go out of him. She was frightened and yet Jesus addresses her as “Daughter” and invited her to acknowledge in public what had happened to her.

Cynthia spoke on how women are equal as mentioned in the Book of Genesis 2: 18 ….God created a mate compatible to him. Again in the letter to the Galatians, there is not Jew or Greek, male or female, we are all one in Jesus.

The topic of gender and sexual minorities was also taken up with a good sharing about the transgenders and other groups, Gays, Lesbians, heterosexuals, homosexuals were raised. This was initiated by Anshe Zachariah.

Group discussion was around the four areas as to how women are socialized through our childhood experiences, language, culture and media. Unconsciously we internalise roles given to us by people we love when we are young.

Five members present took membership for ICWM. We also came to know that there are some 17 members from one particular parish who are members of ICWM.

In order to take ICWM, the members present were asked whether they would like to take this forward and all were very appreciative of the same. A core group was put in place. Following are the names of the responsible persons.

Local Convener : Rini Ralte

Secretary : Ms.Brinda Adige

Team members : Esther Shamsundar, Jasmine Johnson, Anshe Zachariah

The decision to hold the National Conference would only be taken up after the deliberations would be shared with the national team.

Those present were happy about this initiative of bringing women of different churches together.

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