Nordic Women's Conference - August 2015
In 2009 we went to Denmark, in 2012 we travelled to Norway and this year we gathered in Sweden for the Nordic Women's Conference 2015.
75 women from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway travelled by car, ferries, trains and/ or by plain to Sjovik Folkhogskola in Sweden. Some of the women had participated in Nordic conferences before, but for some, it was their first time. It is always wonderful meeting old friends, but it is refreshing and a big blessing making new friends, all with the same faith, but with different life-experience. Sharing your life stories can make a big difference for someone!
With the topic: EQUAL BEFORE GOD - A CHALLENGE TO PROTECT OUR SISTER the organizers had hopes for the conference, that it would be a valuable experience and a source of inspiration for the participants to move forward in equality with care for each other and for the other sisters.
Committed women, from different countries, with different backgrounds and experience, shared their views on the subject in an engaging way with the audience.
Karin Wiborn, General Secretary of the Christian Council of Sweden shared thoughts from her long experience of female leadership and of working with the issues of the role of women in the churches.
Olga Tshiwewe Kangas from the Democratic Republic of Congo, working for World Council of Churches with questions on women's rights. She shared information and stories on the campaign "Thursdays in black", to stop rape and other violence against women. This campaign is an ongoing drive to raise awareness and encourage people to work towards a world without rape and violence against women and children.
Lina Mattebo, journalist, author and editor of the current Anthology feminism and CHURCH, shared exciting views on equality in Christians’ environments.
Eva-Maria Munck is passionate about global justice issues. She shared her experience working on an exciting project with young women in Thailand.
Walla Carlsson told about her own childhood and about the situation for women in Lithuania. She has for many years invested time and effort in supporting mothers sitting in prison in Lithuania. It is hard for these vulnerable women to protect their children while they are imprisoned.
Synnove G Angen from Norway representing the European Baptist Women's Union (EBWU) gave information about EBWUs work for the last five years and also shared her long-standing work to support women in Sierra Leone and ex-prostitutes in India by selling Freeset bags (through the Baptist women of Norway). Her stories from the visit to Lebanon meeting Syrian refugees touched the women and they gave a love gift to EBWU's Relief fund for Syrian women.
Lena Lonnquist and invited guests talked about We are all sisters - however with different belief and different traditions.
Görel Bystrom Janarv is a journalist and filmmaker specializing in religion and philosophy of life, she shared her "Multi-religious travel bag" with us by making us reflect in groups, over different religious symbols / effects.
Music, singing, prayer and worship, workshops, relieving/ liberating movements and breathing was fun and good for body and soul.
Pilgrimages in surrounding area (one short and one long) with reflection-breaks and communion created contemplation and peace for mind and soul.
Conversation during meals and just enjoying nature and beautiful summer weather made a wonderful atmosphere for the participants! Someone was even taking a bath in the lake!!
We give big thanks to "Kristen & Kvinna" / Aina Rasmussen and Lena Lonnquist for arranging and making this conference possible. Thanks to old and new friends for listening, sharing and making this "a good place for Sisters to be"! Next time we meet in Denmark!!
Synnove G. Angen, Norway
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