From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
PRESBYTERIANS PREPARE FOR JOURNEY TO CHINA
05 May 1996 08:38:15
95251 PRESBYTERIANS PREPARE FOR JOURNEY TO CHINA
By Julian Shipp
LOUISVILLE, Ky--Sponsored by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and
Women's Ministries Program Area of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 30
participants will depart for China Aug. 28 to attend the Non-Governmental
Organization (NG0) Forum, a parallel event to the Fourth World Conference
on Women in Beijing.
The group will also travel to China, speaking with men and women in
the Christian community about their ministry in churches and ecumenical
"At the NGO Forum, 40,000 women and men from around the world will
gather to discuss their ongoing work related to global women's concerns,
celebrate women's achievements and examine strategies for working together
to realize the goals of equality, development and peace," said the Rev.
Richard Kilmer, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.
"Many diverse activities will take place at the Forum, including daily
plenaries for critical reflection and assessment of current global forces,
workshops, theatre, marketplace and regional and issue caucuses," Kilmer
said, adding NGO participants will also examine how to work with
governments to shape and implement policies regarding women.
The NGO Forum itself is not a policy-making body, but at the United
Nations-sponsored Fourth World Conference on Women Sept. 4-15, governmental
representatives will examine the continuing obstacles facing women
globally. Part of their work will be to produce a Platform for Action that
will provide the basis of action to be carried out nationally, regionally,
and internationally for the advancement of women to the year 2000 and
Kilmer said the world's governments will agree to work toward
strategic goals and objectives in such areas as poverty, education, health,
violence against women, human rights, armed conflict, economic structures,
decision-making, the advancement of women, human rights, the media, the
environment and the girl child.
"The Platform for Action seeks to support and empower women in their
diverse cultures and roles in their public and private lives," Kilmer said,
adding the PC(USA) will send several observers to the governmental
conference to monitor and report on its proceedings.
Following the Forum, seminar participants will travel to the cities of
Zian, Nanjing and Hangzhou to explore the life of the church in China and
the accomplishments and challenges particularly of women as they work in
the Chinese Christian community. Participants will also examine China's
rich and diverse history and culture.
The Presbyterian Church, through its programs, General Assembly
actions and ongoing involvement in the "Ecumenical Decade: Churches in
Solidarity with Women," has been actively involved in efforts to overcome
discrimination and to seek justice and equality for women worldwide. This
concern for global women's issues is in part exhibited in the church's
ongoing involvement at the U.N. as a NGO.
The General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church have commended the
U.N. for its past women's conferences and affirmed the goals of those
consultations. Additionally, the church, through General Assembly policy
and programs, has addressed nearly all the areas of concern to be discussed
at the Fourth World Conference on Women.
Upon returning home, participants will share their experiences in
China within their congregations, presbyteries and synods.
Kilmer said participants were chosen on the basis of their active
involvement in the life of the church, its peacemaking efforts and women's
constituencies and are responsible for their own funding.
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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