Episcopal Women’s Caucus

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The Episcopal Women's Caucus, formed on October 30, 1971 is a pro-abortion organization which seeks to empower women and men to "challenge oppressive structures in the global community, nation and church... and to challenge the church to free itself from racism, sexism, clericalism, heterosexism, ableism, and from teachings and practices that sustain and reinforce power inequities."


The organization's mission is found on its website:[1]

"The Episcopal Women’s Caucus is a justice organization dedicated to Gospel values of equality and liberation and committed to the incarnation of God’s unconditional love. We work to realize this vision by:
  1. Empowering women and men to challenge oppressive structures in the global community, nation and church;
  2. Modeling non-hierarchical ways: shared leadership and decision-making, womanist/feminist/mujerista theology and spirituality;
  3. Giving visibility and respect to women’s perspectives and actions in the work and struggle for justice, peace and the integrity of creation;
  4. Enabling the church to free itself from racism, sexism, clericalism, heterosexism, ableism, and from teachings and practices that sustain and reinforce power inequities.
  5. Adopted by the EWC Board 6/93 (and edited 11/98) based on the World Council of Churches’ statement for the Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women (1988-98)"


The Episcopal Women’s Caucus was formed on October 30, 1971, during a meeting of professional lay women and deacons. The meeting was notified that the House of Bishops had created a study committee on the ordination of women, without having taken action on its previous studies. They then informed the Presiding Bishop of their refusal to cooperate further and constituted themselves as the Episcopal Women’s Caucus.

Regional organizing conferences were held in 1972, and EWC chapters were created in many parts of the country. Following the ordinations in Philadelphia and Washington in 1974 and 1975, a special conference was called to develop strategies for the 1976 General Convention. These strategies contributed to the action of the 1976 Convention making the ordination canon equally applicable to women and men.

Marge Christie compiled an expanded history of the EWC in September 1996 for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Episcopal Women’s Caucus. It is taken from back issues of Ruach, the Caucus’ newsletter, dated Spring, 1974, through Winter, 1996.[2]

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

The Episcopal Women's Caucus is listed as a Member Organization of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.[3] The organization also has a representative on the Board of Directors for RCRC. John Vanderstarr is the representative and is a retired attorney.[4]



Board of the Episcopal Women’s Caucus

As at August 2012, the following served on the board for the Caucus:[5]


As at August 2012 the following worked for the Caucus:[5]

Networking and Coalitions

The Episcopal Women's Caucus lists other groups it is affiliated with, some which are also of a similar politically liberal nature. These include:[6]


  1. Episcopal Women’s Caucus: Mission (accessed on Aug. 20 2012)
  2. Episcopal Women’s Caucus: History (accessed on Aug. 20 2012)
  3. Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice: Member Organizations(accessed on August 19, 2012)
  4. Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice: Board of Directors(accessed on August 19, 2012)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Episcopal Women’s Caucus: EWC Board (accessed on Aug. 20 2012)
  6. The Episcopal Women's Caucus: What We Do(accessed on August 19, 2012)