What Is The Point of Having W&R Retreats?
Always it’s to strengthen my resolve for standing up to patriarchal situations that I encounter and to try and turn those circumstances into teachable moments, somehow. Our Joseph Priestley District Women and Religion retreats never have failed to give me the inspiration for “standing strong.”
When I first recall the very good experience I had at this year’s recent retreat (from enjoying my room, food and beauty of the environment to my breakthrough awareness I found for a very confusing situation I’m presently living through), I feel immense gratitude for what the Facilitators’ Circle created for us participants. The emotional climate, easy schedule and the content were exactly what I needed.
A highpoint was Heather Gehron-Rice’s “just-right” service she gave us Sunday morning (especially the story about the shards of glass.) I’ve heard that story before and never quite got it until Heather put it into words.
I have been at most of the JPD W&R retreats since 1980 and expect the quality to be a spiritually fulfilling experience every time.
This time I decided, beforehand, to not bring up my personal situation in order to emphasize positive energy. My expectation was to find enough healing to be able to face the problem when I returned home. I ended up coming home with much more positive energy and healing than I could’ve dreamed would be possible (because I felt enough trust to share my problem.) The after-glowing I feel is blessing me with new lightheartedness and peace in a continuing undercurrent for my daily life, now. I know I have my JPD sisters’ faith and love and return those same vibes to all of them.
Helen Pop, Germantown, MD Sugarloaf Congregation of Unitarian Universalists
My 2010 International Association of Liberal Religious Women Defining Experience
How can I live my life to benefit all? This question is ringing from my heartstrings after returning home from the IALRW conference, the first week of September, in India. Most important for me from that experience were the well thought out, meaningful ideas and memes*. I found I could integrate many of those bright women’s thoughts into my core values. Now, as I savor the brilliance of the full moon, I realize my new insights are like the moon’s light that becomes blocked into darkness intermittently by passing clouds. How the conference was a defining experience will be addressed in future WOMUUNWEB issues as more clarity comes to me.
Here I will share Dolma’s kernels, seeding my inspiration, since her presentation dovetails with the recent UUA General Assembly’s Statement of Conscience on “Creating Peace.” (Please, see that Statement of Conscience story in the WOMUUNWEB Summer, 2010 issue.)
2010 Annual Gathering at General Assembly
UU Women & Religion Breakfast - June 25, 2010
Millennium Hotel, Minneapolis, MN
Attendance: (See sign-in sheet for complete names) Gretchen, Nancy, Shirley, Dorothy, Roberta, Terri, Lynn, Laura, Caroline, Rosemary, Sue, Colleen, Linda, Susan, Martha, Laurie, Claudia(?), Geri, Misty
I. Opening: Gretchen Ohmann led us in the chant, “I give thanks” with drumming.
II. Introductions Around the Circle (sign-in sheet was also passed)
III. What is Women & Religion all about?
Gretchen presented a brief recap of the UUWR annual report. Projects included: the International Convocation of UU Women; a vendor / information booth at General Assembly selling curriculum, CDs, jewelry, etc.; participating in the Margaret Fuller celebrations; promotion of “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” curriculum.
Gretchen reported that two new women’s regional groups have been initiated this year, in Florida and St Lawrence District. They join active women’s groups in the following districts: Central Midwest, Northern New England, Pacific Central, Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Priestley, and South West. She encouraged all groups represented to send notices of their events to UUWR so that they can be posted on the website and included in the newsletter.
At this time, UUWR is focused on facilitating communication and sharing of resources between the various UU women’s groups.