International Fellowship of the Least Coin in Slovenia
For the 37th Annual Meeting for the International Committee for the Fellowship of the Least Coin (ICFLC), representatives from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America met in Slovenia from October 12 to 21, 2017. I felt the warm welcome and hospitality of our hosts, the women of the World Day of Prayer (WDP) Committee of Slovenia and former WDP International Committee Chairperson Rev. Corinna Harbig, as soon as I arrived at the airport in Ljubljana.
The Slovenian women shared how their committee, one of the most recent to join the WDP movement, was chosen as the writing country for 2019 and how they came up with their theme, “Come, everything is ready.” The youngest women on their committee provided us with English translation throughout our trip, including our visit with women from a Roma settlement and at Katherina’s Table, an ecumenical gathering about faith and everyday life named after Katherina von Bora, Martin Luther’s spouse.
We spent several days in meetings to carefully and faithfully review scholarship applications for young women and grant applications for projects, which benefit women and communities in the areas of education, empowerment, employment, health, and advocacy. We also celebrated the 18 years of service of Cora Tabing-Reyes to the ICFLC, first as the representative of the Christian Conference of Asia and then as the executive secretary. We also welcomed the ICFLC’s new executive secretary, Dr. Liza B. Lamis.
Throughout our time in Slovenia, I saw the energy and commitment of young women in both the WDP and in the Fellowship of the Least Coin movements. They were taking on leadership positions and they were active in ecumenical gatherings in their country. At the same time, seasoned women were encouraging them to serve by helping them lead, participate, and attend meetings through their prayers and financial resources.
Something that I will never forget is the silent pilgrimage we went on before our meeting officially started. A young Slovenian woman read Genesis 1 out loud. After a moment of silence, Rev. Corinna emphasized how good Creation is. She invited us to see, hear, and smell how good Creation is as we walked silently through a forest, up a hill, and through a vineyard. It was a two-hour trek spent in silence and in awe—for the stones along the path, the trees providing shade, the grapes on the vine, the birds singing around us, and the fresh country air. I didn’t speak that whole time. I felt full of wonder and gratitude. It was a beautiful and refreshing way to begin the work we came to do: to prayerfully review and approve grants for women and communities and to be good stewards of least coins, tokens of all the prayers for peace, justice, and reconciliation that came from women around the world.
Thank you for this opportunity to serve our neighbours and our Church!
Awit Marcelino is 32. She is the Canadian representative and vice-chairperson of the ICFLC, and a WICC council member. She lives in Toronto, ON.