Dear friends in EWA 1 and 2,
As EWA 2004 Coordinator, I am taking this opportunity to thank again the members of the old Continuity Committee for the time and energy they shared to keep the dream of EWA alive in its crucial beginnings: Pushpa Joseph, 2003 EWA Coordinator; Andrea Si, PRO/Webmistress; Evelyn Monteiro and Antoinette Guztler, editors of EWA 1 book; Christine Burke, EWA 2 Program Coordinator; Nunuk Murniati and Intan Darmawati, EWA 2 conference hosts; Sanae Masuda, care-taker of our funds; Grace Chung (Nov. 2002-Jan.2004) Theresa Tsou. Also acting as our consultant is Annette Meuthrath, who works with the Asia desk, Institute of Missiology, Missio.
Following is a report of what we have achieved in the past two years::
1. Set up an EWA website and a yahoogroup
2. Articulated EWA’s Vision-Mission
3. Organized the EWA 2 conference on “Body and Sexuality: Theological-Pastoral Perspectives of Women in Asia”
4. Published a book containing the essays that were presented at the EWA 2002 conference. A selection of 16 articles from this collection had been translated into German and will be published in Germany in 2005, courtesy of Missio, Aachen.
5. Made the bishops aware of the existence of EWA in the 8th FABC Plenary Assembly on “The Asian Family: Towards a Culture of Integral Life” through our participation and distribution of EWA brochures
6. Formed a new team to continue the work of EWA with a structure that reflects shared and participative leadership. Together with the new team, we:
a. Renamed the “Continuity Committee” (Cc) as Coordinators Team (CT) to emphasize that all the members are coordinators in different fields of concern (e.g. finance, documentation, website, etc.).
b. Replaced the title “vice-coordinator” with “executive coordinator” to do away with any connotations of hierarchy and to reflect the greater role or function she (Sharon Bong) will assume. The executive coordinator shall ensure the planning, implementation and evaluation of ongoing programs and special projects.
7. after deliberating on the matter for some time before and during the EWA 2 conference, we in the CC made the decision to move EWA from simply being an informal forum with a network of friends into an association of women doing theology on the academic, pastoral and grassroots level with by-laws, membership, etc. The new CT has been entrusted the task of ensuring the formalization of EWA as an organization.
To those who were not able to participate in EWA 2, I would like to introduce the members of the new Coordinators Team: EWA Coordinator: Evelyn Monteiro (India), Executive Coordinator: Sharon Bong (Malaysia); Treasurer: Virginia Saldhana (India); Secretary: Julia Ong (Singapore); Webmistress: Andrea Si (Philippines); Publications: Agnes Brazal (Philippines). We also decided to have a special East/Central Asian representative, former Cc member, Theresa Tsou (Taiwan).
We believe we have a competent and efficient Coordinators Team. Let us wish them all the best for the next two years! For the members of the old CC who will no longer be with us in the Coordinators’ Team and all the others in our network of friends, let us continue to keep in touch as EWA evolves into becoming an association!