So far this day has been full of impressions and encounters. So many old and new acquaintances. Friends of course and seminars. We started with morning prayer in S:t Peter’s church. Ignatian spirituality. 20 minutes meditation and I was together with Jesus outside Jericho meeting with Bartimaios, son of Timaios. A Blind beggar. But his name and family history has been recorded. Fascinating! After a nice lunch with good friends from Malmö I have listened to Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, organizing some 70 million Lutherans in more than 150 countries. He mentioned the revolutionary impact of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses and said that Luther wanted people at that time to understand that they were relying on false security spending their money on that. Not so difficult to apply on today’s society. His topic was: Church as part of the society. After that a panel discussed foreign Aid in the future. Sten Rylander (I have mentioned him before and will come back later), Erik Lysén, Director of the International Department at the Church of Sweden Head Office and last (but definitely not least) Dr Agnes Aboum from Kenya. She is a member of the Central Committee of the world Council of Churches. They agreed on the importance of a strong Civil Society, free media and the upholding of the Rule of Law.
Anyhow, the best lecture today was given by Dr Fulata Lusungu Moyo. She was born in Malawi but is now working at the World Council of Churches as Programme Executive for a programme called: Women in Church and Society.
The theme of her presentation was: “Who is missing at the table?” She started by saying that she has a problem with the concept of “table” and prefers to talk about the court yard, a place in Malawi where decisions are being made. Still she asked questions about the table and about the menu. In conferences and round table talks all over the world women are represented but who sets the agenda? (And by the way, she said: most of those tables are not even round!) She admitted that things have changed but added that sometimes they haven’t changed much.
She took us through the history of the Ecumenical movement seen through women’s perspective and it was an eye opener. Like the Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women (1988-1998) which ended up as a Decade of Women in Solidarity with Women or even Women in Solidarity with Churches.
She touched upon domestic violence (and there she was very critical way that kind of violence is called domestic as it had to do with the private sphere, while it is part of a structural violence – which has to do with the public sphere.
I could go on describing important issues that she mentioned. I am happy to have met her and listened to her and I have to go home and think of how my new task in South Africa can be inspired by what she and many other women are saying.
One aspect is definitely the need of meetings were men also talk about the role of the man in society. What is our identity?
But this I shall blog more about another time. Now I need to catch up and join for the manifestation later tonight!