I’m Win Czum, WICC board member appointed by the United Church Women (UCW) of Canada. I bring information to the UCW national group who have communications reps to further share the news. As well as being the UCW rep on the board, I am a member of the Marketing/Communications team.
Over fifty years ago, I emigrated to Canada from the UK, and now live in Dundas, Ontario. My connection to this area began when I was training as a nurse in Edinburgh and met a fellow trainee from Hamilton, Ontario.
I became involved with WICC through World Day of Prayer planning committees as service locations rotated throughout Dundas. When Phyllis Buchner of the Hamilton area was finishing her term as the UCW rep on the WICC board, she asked me to consider being the next appointee. I was impressed by the justice initiatives, and so said yes!
I’m proud of how WICC pivoted during COVID-19. The virtual service created an opportunity for a wider audience to participate in WDP. The WICC website is clear and easily accessible. The grant program highlights initiatives around the world that help women get out of poverty. The WICC administration and board are impressive. These women are very skilled and passionate about justice initiatives.
I have worked with women for years as nurse/midwife including time at St. Joe’s in Hamilton. I was part of an integration committee that brought in midwife and lactation consultants. It’s important that pregnant and nursing mothers do not see pregnancy as an “illness”. In the spring of 2022, We-Connect will feature an article I’m writing related to birthing and changes over the years.
While I’m retired as a nurse, I continue in a caring role as a member of St. Paul’s United’s pastoral care committee. Many phone calls have been fielded about COVID since March 2020.
The following Bible verse by Amos reminds me of WICC: “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” Amos was a shepherd at the time, more like an immigrant worker now. This message is about crossing boundaries and opening doors.
In my role with WICC, I’m also inspired by the story of Ruth. It’s one that opens doors to relationships that cross many barriers: race, religion, customs, culture and age. It’s a story of great strength of character and self determination. It’s a story of renewal and hope and demonstrates what it means to be in a covenantal relationship with God. WICC, through the grant and other programs, opens many doors for women towards justice and self determination.
I’d like to close with the second and last verses of the hymn Draw the Circle Wide.
Draw the circle wide, draw it wider still.
Let this be our song: no one stands alone.
Standing side by side, draw the circle, draw the circle wide…
Let our hearts touch far horizons
So encompass great and small
Let our loving know no borders
Faithful to God’s call
Let the dreams we dream be larger
Than we’ve ever dreamed before
Let the dream of Christ be in us
Open every door!
Note on background of Win’s picture: The photo was taken on a river cruise ship in Avignon, France!! almost 2 years ago (before Covid!)