Welcome! The Women and Religion Movement is alive and well in the 21st Century. A grassroots project started by lay leaders in the 1970s as an effort to promote examination of religious roots of sexism and patriarchy within the UUA and beyond, UU Women and Religion officially began as a task force following the unanimously-passed WOMEN AND RELIGION RESOLUTION at the 1977 UUA General Assembly. Although the Task Force was eventually sunsetted, the movement still exists in UU Districts that hold Women & Religion programs and woman-focused gatherings. It exists at General Assembly, where UUW&R has an annual gathering and a booth in the display area. And it lives in the hearts and lives of women and men who have been touched by the many changes inspired by this movement.
"We do not want a piece of the pie. It is still a patriarchal pie. We want to change the recipe!" -- Rosemary Matson
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2015 ASWM Symposium Portland, OR April 11th
The Association for the Study of Women and Mythology (ASWM) supports the work of those whose scholarly/creative endeavors explore or elucidate aspects of the sacred feminine, women and mythology. ASWM is a not-for-profit membership organization whose dues and fees support the organization’s work.
Call for Proposals
“Tales and Totems: Lineage and Myth in Goddess Scholarship”
The work of Goddess Scholarship is intrinsically bound within a framework where we actively seek out, document, and honor the stories and concerns that animated the lives of our foremothers. We do this so that these stories will contribute meaningfully in the context of modern life. The research methodologies have focused on representing our historical, thealogical, philosophical, mythological, symbolic, cultural, linguistic and aesthetic lineages.
In keeping with this emphasis of our methodology and our discipline, and embracing the sacred Nature of this year’s conference location in the Pacific Northwest rich with the tales and totems of the First Nations, ASWM invites papers and panels including, but not limited to the following topics:
The Water Ritual
We [were] asked to make available the original worship service Coming Home, Like Rivers to the Sea: A Woman's Ritual for distribution at the 1997 General Assembly of Unitarian Universalists in Phoenix, Arizona.
We originally created the worship service for the November 1980 Women and Religion Continental Convocation of Unitarian Universalists in East Lansing, Michigan.
As we worked to give the service shape, our awareness increased of water's presence and deep meaning in our lives. Water is more than simply a metaphor. It is elemental and primary, calling forth feelings of awe and reverence.
Coming back to this service again after seventeen years, we see in it a deeper meaning than we had been aware of earlier. Acknowledging that the ocean is considered by many to be the place from which all life on our planet came—it is the womb of life—and that amniotic waters surround each of us prenatally, we now realize that “Coming Home, Like Rivers to the Sea” was for us a new story of creation.
Margot Adler Passes at 68
Author and long-time NPR correspondent Margot Adler passed away July 28 at the age of 68, after a battle with cancer. Pictured at right at General Assembly in 2006, she was well-known as a leader in many circles, including CUUPs, and at UU women's gatherings such as the 2009 International Convocation of UU Women (photo below).
I first met Margot in 1996. CUUPS was having a Summer Solstice ritual as part of General Assembly. As I recall, Margot led the spiral dance outdoors in a park in downtown Indianapolis. It was a joyful and peaceful event, only nudged at the end by local police, informing the group that they couldn't dance on the grass.
May you dance to your heart's content in the Summerland, Margot.
-- Gretchen Ohmann
The news and some responses:
General Assembly 2014
At General Assembly 2014 you could find UUW&R in exhibit hall booth 114.
Many many thanks go out to the cadre of women who helped make GA2014 spectacular for UUW&R. I spent most of my time in the Store area talking with dozens of well-informed and committed UUs every day. Nancy Aurora Rogers and Kat Graham who organize a regular Red Tent Women's Gathering at the UU Church of Marlborough and Hudson Massachusetts, lovingly guided the sacred space that was The Red Tent. Hundreds of women spent time in the tent, by themselves or with whoever gathered at that moment. Most said there was a clear shift of energy upon passing its threshold, and one told me she could feel the energy from several yards away.
The Red Tent was not only a sacred space dedicated to women's spirit, it was breathtakingly gorgeous. My photos (more on Facebook) don't do it justice. Nancy's are better (her Facebook album). Dozens of people felt compelled to take their own pictures of it, whether they entered the space or not. It was, if not THE hit of a GA where many spectacular events come together, at least a very memorable visit for a large number of women. I think many got the ideas that we not only need sacred space of our own, we can create it ourselves. I hope many were inspired to create a similar experience in their communities. The Red Tent is only one of the many forms women's sacred space takes. How do you gather with your sisters?
A To-Do to Gain Control of Violence toward Others
Back on January 23, 2012, I attended a Key West discussion in the UU One Island Family meeting room. The Rev. Randy Becker gave this introduction, acknowledging that it had been 40 days since the Newtown Massacre: One of the time-honored formulas of many religious traditions is the “40 days and 40 nights” one. Time to sit, live, walk, sleep, dream with the emergent realities of any situation for that period of time, allows for a necessary movement from shock through anger and depression to something more creative. That period is happening, more and more -- one was the Pittsburg high school stabbings. Rev. Randy said that such violent acts bring up questions about our culture, system of rights and privileges, our quest for security and our values.
“Songbird Hunter: What We Each Could Notice in Order to Help” - My thoughts in fictional form