2011 Global Exchange to India
The 2011 Global Exchange took 23 U.S. Presbyterian women and 4 PW and PC(USA) staff to India in October 2011. During the 14 days the group was in India, they met with Church of North India (CNI) Women’s Fellowship for Christian Service (WFCS) in Delhi, Agra, Kolkata and Durgapur and with the Presbyterian Women’s Fellowship, Presbyterian Church of India (PCI) in Shillong. After visiting schools, vocational training programs, churches and villages, new relationships and understanding had blossomed between U.S. and Indian women. In 2012, women from India completed the exchange, visiting PC(USA) synods and attending the PW Gathering in Orlando, July 18-22.
At the close of the trip, U.S. participants summed up their experience with the following commitment statement.
2011 Global Exchange Commitment Statement
As members of the 2011 Global Exchange, we recognize God’s call to seek justice in God’s realm through our mission and witness. We are grateful for and humbled by the faithfulness, hospitality and dignity of our sisters and brothers in India. We appreciate their daily struggle to seek an end to the violence, marginalization and subjugation in their communities. We celebrate progress made, and recognize that we are neither the authority nor arbiter of their destiny.
In partnership with women in India and throughout God’s realm, we commit ourselves to
- search for unity and mutual understanding with and for our sisters and brothers in India and wherever God’s people cry out for justice,
- pursue an end to the trafficking of children and women while recognizing the role that the global north plays in their continued victimization,
- work for the care and stewardship of God’s creation as we understand that our own actions and choices impact others at home and abroad, and
- support one another in times of struggle through mutual prayer while we lift up our joys and affirm our oneness in Christ.
As children of God, we live this day and every day with the promise of God’s redeeming grace and truth.
Hear from the participants
During the trip, participants wrote reflections on projects, people and experiences that they found particularly meaningful. Read their reflections to learn more about who they met, what they saw and what they took away from this experience. You can also view Presbyterian Women’s Flickr gallery of India images.
Participants are ready to provide firsthand accounts of their experiences. Invite the participant(s) from your synod to speak at a meeting or event.
Order the January/February 2012 issue of Horizons, which includes complete coverage of the issues the participants engaged, the people they met and an overview of India.
Memorandum of Understanding
At the close of the trip, the Women’s Fellowship for Christian Service (from the Church of North India) and Presbyterian Women of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Inc. signed this memorandum of understanding, outlining ways to strengthen the relationship between U.S. and Indian women.
“For we have many members in one body and all members have not the same office, so we being many are one body in Christ and every one member on of another,” (Romans 12:4–5). Trusting in these words of the Lord, today, October 23, 2011, we the women of Church of North India and Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Inc., come together to celebrate our oneness in Gods image as leaders.
This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is principally aimed at strengthening the relationship for better mission engagement in restoring the dignity and equality of women, where women suffer undue subjugation and marginalization, which adversely affect their humanity and subject them to violence and discrimination.
- Commit to partnership in celebrating our faithfulness and stand with each other in times of struggles through prayer support.
- Listen and learn how human trafficking and environmental issues and religious persecutions are impacting woman and children in Asia.
- Pursue the best interests of the trafficked children and women so that they will be provided with legal assistance and be offered protection of their rights and interests duly reflecting the principles of human rights.
- Develop partnerships to link with women at the grassroots level for whom we plan projects through CNI–WFCS, by supporting their initiatives prayerfully and providing resources where needed and as able.
- Live God’s call to justice and action.
As we engage ourselves in doing the above, we commit our partnership to sojourn with and to share our common call to liberate women wherever they are oppressed.