Greetings sisters and friends,

Many visitors at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference came and stopped by the Global Women’s Project booth which was set up for the week in the exhibition hall. It was such a blessing to connect with women who have been a part of Global Women’s project since its inception, women’s church groups who had never heard of the project but were looking for something to support as a community, and middle-school students completing a scavenger hunt with the question, “How can we help women?”

There was a powerful feeling in all of these encounters that people are looking for ways to reach out and connect in loving community, with other Brethren women here in the US and also women all around the world. In the speech which inspired the creation of Global Women’s Project, Ruthann Johansen said,

“Because we live on the top of the world economically, politically, militarily, educationally, it is easy not to see the effects of our lives and choices on others…None of us means harm to others. But when we look at the globe as a total unit, we are forced to conclude that, relatively speaking, we belong to the oppressor class…One symbolic way of redistributing our portion of the world’s wealth is to refuse to purchase luxury (non-essential) items or to tax our luxuries and redirect the “luxury” monies toward meeting the needs of people who are victims of our consumption.”

One way that many Brethren connected in Grand Rapids was during the many ice cream socials. Ice cream always makes my list of things I love about being Brethren. However, Ruthann’s words lead me to give a second thought to my consumption habits. Thus, I plan to begin taxing myself $1 for every time that I eat ice cream over the next year with the resulting funds to be given to the work of Global Women’s Project.

How might you give a second thought to your lifestyle this summer?


Sara White & GWP Steering Committee

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