The Women’s Desk of the Program Unit on Ecumenical Education and Nurture held an Ecumenical Women’s Jubilee Conference last November 11-13. This activity is part of the yearlong Jubilee celebration of the NCCP. Seventy women from NCCP member-churches and the Ecumenical Women’s Forum gathered at the GEMS Hotel and Conference Center in Antipolo to look at the present ecumenical challenges, celebrate the contributions of women to the ecumenical movement and to deepen commitment to the life, work and ministries of the NCCP especially on the work on women.
The dialogical keynote address was given by Ms. Lizette Tapia-Raquel of the Union Theological Seminary and Ms. Gert Libang of GABRIELA. The “dialogue” Key note was a conversation between a person taking a perspective of women of faith in the Bible especially that of Deborah and the women’s struggle throughout herstory/history. Participants were challenged to emulate Deborah as a woman of great faith, of strength of character, courage and leadership.
Part of the conference is looking back at the women’s struggle and participation in the different issues of the church and society. The presenters were Ms. Carmencita Karagdag, Emma Cantor-Orate, and Ms. Darlene Marquez-Caramanzana. Testimonies from women who were part of the different ecumenical women’s formation became powerful messages for the continuing journey of women in the ecumenical movement.
Ms. Sharon Rose Joy Ruiz-Duremdes gave an input on the Philippine Ecumenical Movement and the Role of Women in Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. During the workshop, there is a discussion on how the women define their role in addressing issues on human rights, poverty, environment, good governance and peace in a workshop.
Highlight of the Conference is the recognition of 24 women on their contribution to the work of the church, the ecumenical movement and women’s rights and empowerment in general. Recognized posthumously were Rev. Lydia Niguidula, Bishop Nelinda P. Briones, Lirio B. Victorino, Violeta Marasigan, Sr. Nila Bermisa, Sr. Xavier Bual and Rev. Luzviminda Gran. Other women who were recognized were Sharon Rose Joy Ruiz – Duremdes, Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Tapia, Edna Orteza, Carmencita Karagdag, Sr. Rosario Battung, Sr. Mary John Mananzan, Rebecca Asedillo, Rev. Ruth Ocera-Cortez, Eugenia Lily “Henie” D. Camba, Liza B. Lamis, Corazon Tabing-Reyes, Arche L. Ligo, Emma Cantor-Orate, Sr. Virginia Fabella, Sr. Aurora R. Zambrano, Angelita Bolinas-Broncano and Dr. Ruth Hernandez.
The conference ended gracefully with a Unity Dance performed by the participants and guests.