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November 8, 2021

UN campaign against gender-based violence inspires Churches Beyond Borders 2021 devotional

Churches Beyond Borders—made up of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America—has developed devotions written by laity and clergy, timed with and inspired by the United Nations’ annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

Writers have been deeply involved in work related to the campaign’s theme, addressing issues of: missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls; trafficking; women at the borders; and, domestic violence. The devotions have been designed to be read from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10, and readers are encouraged to continue use of the writings throughout the year.

November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women; Dec. 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women; Dec. 10 is Human Rights Day. In 1991, the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute started observing the intermediary 16 days as a chance to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. The campaign is coordinated yearly by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas on the liturgical calendar, overlaps the campaign starting Nov. 28. For this reason, Mary’s Magnificat—found in Luke 1:38-55—was selected as the guiding text for the booklet.

“The writers’ reflections on Mary’s word offer hope and invite our shared witness and action across all borders against gender-based violence,” said the Rev. Margaret Rose, deputy for ecumenical and interreligious relations for The Episcopal Church.

In addition to ELCIC National Bishop Susan Johnson, contributors include Sydney Brouillard-Coyle (co-chair for Proud Anglicans of Huron; a consultant for Faith, Worship & Ministry on transgender liturgies and inclusion; a member of Public Witness for Social & Ecological Justice; and, parish music director); the Ven. Jordan Haynie-Ware, rector of Good Shepherd Anglican Church and Archdeacon for Social Justice and Community Connection in the Diocese of Edmonton; and, an excerpt from a previously published article in the Anglican Journal by the late Rev. Canon Virginia “Ginny” Doctor, former coordinator of Indigenous Ministries; and, a major architect of the self-determining Indigenous Anglican church in Canada.

Other Churches Beyond Borders leaders include Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; the Most Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church; and the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Download the devotions here.

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