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Earlier this year when Inspire was postponed and Synod canceled, hope of gathering women in person to mark the 25th anniversary of ordaining women was lost. The Women’s Leadership Advisory Team and I began imagining an alternative gathering. We invited Ellen Duffield of BRAVE Women and Girls to lead us in a webinar where 60 women leaders and clergy gathered from across the United States and Canada. One participant commented, “This was timely and inspiring.”

Ellen led us through an interactive, engaging session related to using our voice for the sake of others which led to reflection on why we keep silent. When asked what was the most significant learning during the session, many remarked how powerful it was to gather with other women experiencing similar challenges. 

The comment of one woman summarized the experience:

 “I am not alone in the specific struggles I’ve been facing! Wowto see my pains and doubts and the debates I’ve had in my head articulated by so many others and backed up by data was powerful and so good for me! Thank you for bringing this community around me!

Over half of the women signed up to continue to learn and encourage each other in small groups to discuss Ellen’s book, "The BRAVE Way: Where Will Your Brave Take You Today?" Each week throughout the month of June the groups met to discuss a section of the book, and on one week they had the privilege of having Ellen join them.

Our experience in BRAVE groups is reminding us of the power of community. And we want to continue this. Join us for our monthly Women Leadership Cafe—Thursday, June 24 at 3:00pm Eastern. Here's a link to register. We'll continue these meetings every fourth Thursday of every month as well, so stay tuned!

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