Priest reflects on her United Nations appointment

by Laura Marie Piotrowicz

Laura P
The Reverend Laura Marie Piotrowicz, Rector of St. John’s Port Dalhousie, attended her first United Nations Commission on the Status of Women conference in March 2017. Photo: Submitted

I was honoured to be appointed by our Primate Fred Hiltz to represent the Anglican Church of Canada as one of 20 Anglican Communion Delegates (ACD) at the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2017.

The ACD statement to the Anglican Consultative Council, highlighting lessons learned from the experience and proposing a number of actions for the church to continue working towards gender justice, can be found here.

The presence of women of faith is important and prevalent at the CSW; a primary source is Ecumenical Women (EW). Founded in 2000, EW’s mission statement reads: Grounded in our faith and commitment to global justice, Ecumenical Women trains and empowers our expanding network to advocate for gender equality at the United Nations.

To meet this mission, the coalition provides a number of resources to participants: educational resources and briefing papers, theological and academic articles, a guide to Advocacy while at the CSW, bible studies, prayers and liturgical resources. During the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women conference, EW holds orientation training, hosts networking dinners, leads daily worship and generally strives to provide the best possible experience for CSW participants.

These resources reflect significant planning from a wide variety of members. Volunteers from EW’s 20 member churches and organizations connect to share their gifts and skills to best equip and empower those attending CSW. Meeting monthly by teleconference, the work is divided into four main working groups: advocacy, member orientation, worship and communications.

It is a privilege to serve as the Canadian Anglican on EW. This experience will allow me to continue my work in gender justice issues, with particular attention to ministries of concern to Canadians and Canadian Anglicans, such as creation care, human trafficking and Indigenous rights.

As with all experiences of the broader church, I expect this will enhance my ministry within the parish as I will be afforded the opportunity to share a broader perspective of being the universal body of Christ.

My hope is that the work I am doing will enhance the experience of CSW for future participants, as much as EW helped me.

For additional information on the UNCSW and/or EW, please contact below.

The Rev Laura Marie Piotrowicz is Rector of St. John’s Port Dalhousie.