from The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski, EWC Convener
The Episcopal Women’s Caucus has long been an advocate for justice and a change agent in the Episcopal Church, standing firmly at the nexus of sexism, misogyny, racism, ageism, and heterosexism in the church. It formed in 1971 as a caucus, not a committee or task force, making explicit its founders’ intention to be a politically potent agent in the polity of the church.
The Caucus’ advocacy initially focused on advocating for women’s ordination and the full inclusion of women in the governance and ministries of Church life. The Caucus’ focus on gender equality not only raised the Church’s awareness of adverse practices that enable sexism and other power inequities, it also worked with other social justice advocacy groups to help the church understand the interlocking nature of oppressions. The Caucus works under the umbrella of The Consultation, which also includes Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry Advocates, Episcopalians on Baptismal Mission, Episcopal Network for Economic Justice, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Episcopal Urban Caucus, Integrity, TransEpiscopal, and the Union of Black Episcopalians. These groups joined forces to advance an agenda of social justice based in the baptismal imperatives of seeking and serving Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves, striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being.
The Caucus understands that politics is simply the way humans organize to get things done. From its beginning it has helped members learn how to be effective workers within the polity of the Church. From helping members be effective deputies to General Convention by understanding convention protocol and Robert’s Rules of Order to initiating resolutions and organizing people to testify effectively before committees and on the floor of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, the Caucus has worked to shape people and policies in the church. The Caucus effectively organized and helped pass the resolution granting women ordination to all orders in The Episcopal Church. In the decades that have followed the Caucus has worked on justice issues from racism to the rights of the LGBTQI community.
On June 22-23 the Caucus is convening “Women Rising” in Dallas, Texas to honor our history and to plan our future. The gathering will consider the deep seated ways sexism and misogyny are being revealed in our world today, how we can become more aware of how these reside in each of us, and how we can work within the Church and society to overcome this. We will develop tools that invite us to deeper awareness of ourselves and increase our capacity to be supportive of others. We will create plans of action and ways to implement those plans, both at General Convention 2018 and in our home dioceses and parishes.
For more information and to register to attend please go to the Episcopal Women’s Caucus website: