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
UU Women's Herstories
Lately I've been hearing from women who want to be sure our UU women's stories are not forgotten. So far I know of a few projects that are online:
I know there are more in the works. What's the herstory of your UU women's group? Maybe we can share these at GA this year.
Email me! -- Gretchen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Music for Women's History Month
Someone was asking -- what hymns in the UU Singing the Living Tradition (STLT) hymnal speak to women's history and/or are by women composers or lyricists? I did a bit of checking around. Hmm, I see we still have a ways to go. The STLT Index of Composers only lists around 80 women composers, arrangers or lyricists … out of several hundred. Which ones speak to you?
I especially like anything by Carolyn McDade: 121 We’ll Build A Land, 123 Spirit of Life, 346 Come Sing A Song with Me. I think she speaks more to present and universal experience than to history, but that's just me.
Margaret Fuller - A New American Life
Megan Marshall's book on Margaret Fuller is coming out March 4 in paperback. It's also available for tablet readers like Kindle and Nook.
"The award-winning author of The Peabody Sisters takes a fresh look at the trailblazing life of a great American heroine—Thoreau’s first editor, Emerson’s close friend, first female war correspondent, and passionate advocate of personal liberation and political freedom.
"From an early age, Margaret Fuller provoked and dazzled New England’s intellectual elite. Her famous Conversations changed women’s sense of how they could think and live; her editorship of the Transcendentalist literary journal The Dial shaped American Romanticism. Now, Megan Marshall, whose acclaimed The Peabody Sisters “discovered” three fascinating women, has done it again: no biography of Fuller has made her ideas so alive or her life so moving.
"Marshall tells the story of how Fuller, tired of Boston, accepted Horace Greeley’s offer to be the New York Tribune’s front-page columnist. The move unleashed a crusading concern for the urban poor and the plight of prostitutes, and a late-in-life hunger for passionate experience. In Italy as a foreign correspondent, Fuller took a secret lover, a young officer in the Roman Guard; she wrote dispatches on the brutal 1849 Siege of Rome; and she gave birth to a son.
Yet, when all three died in a shipwreck off Fire Island shortly after Fuller’s 40th birthday, the sense and passion of her life’s work were eclipsed by tragedy and scandal. Marshall’s inspired account brings an American heroine back to indelible life."