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This Issue's Theme

The greatest power in the world is the emotion of an idea -- Jeannette Rankin

"Force is something you use in the present -- you cut down a tree, you build a bridge, you do something. That's force. But power, it's something you can use in the future, and the greatest power in the world is the emotion of an idea." -- Jeanette Rankin, the first female representative to the Congress of the United States and activist for women's suffrage and peace.

Shifting into Positive

Shift-shaping Progress Words of Addae

Throughout our lives, some of us have likely been told that the actions of one person will seldom have a measurable impact on the world. Yet in our willingness to stand up for what we believe in rather than decrying what we oppose can turn the tides of fate. The thoughts that are projected as we choose to adopt a positive perspective will provide a means to actively promote our values and, eventually foster lasting change. Every value we hold dear is an expression of either support or opposition, and it is only our perspective that determines whether we are for something or against it. Being for something creates a positive shift in the universe, which means that neither you nor those who share your vision are likely to have trouble believing that transformation on a grand scale is possible.

When supporting a cause, whether active or passive, it is a contribution to optimism that fuels all affirmative change. It is only natural that the pendulum swings out of balance for a while so that we may have the experience of what we do not want. But as women embrace the fullness of who they are as individuals, it is up to us to bring the pendulum back into balance, strengthening the sacred sisterhood at its core. There are things that women can only learn from other women, and only we can make the change in how we are seen and understood, not just by other women but by the world at large. If we hold a global vision where women support and help each other find their place in an ever-changing world, then we must become the change that we want to see. Criticism and judgment are refuges for the insecure. Speaking positively about each other to other women and to the men in our lives, informs them, that we expect to be treated with the respect that everyone deserves. Now is the time for a shift into positive.

Editor's Note: I am grateful for this statement. It carries on what I started in the Fall issue as a column for responses, "Shift-Shaping Progress." Dear Readers, please, add to these personal reflections by submitting your reactions to what this column states by giving WOMUUNWEB your thinking about progress. The deadline for the winter issue is December 10. Helen Popenoe

who is Rev. Addae Watson?

Rev. Addae Watson The Reverend Addae L. Watson is the minister of First Universalist Church of Southold, where she has served since August 2006. Prior to relocating to the North Fork of Long Island, N.Y. Addae lived in San Francisco, California, as an active member of First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco. Prior to graduating in 2004 from the Starr King School for Ministry in Berkeley, California, with a Masters degree in Divinity, she served as Ministerial Intern at The Community Church of New York, Unitarian Universalist.

Before answering her call to ministry, Addae worked for over fifteen years as a mental health counselor in community mental health organizations, describing her call to ministry as the second volume of life. “Volume one” was all about marriage and being a stay at home mom with her five children--four sons and a daughter. All grown up, they have contributed six grandchildren, all of whom reside in various parts of the country.

Working on both district and denominational committees, Addae is a member of the Anti Racist/Anti Oppression and Multicultural Committee of the (UUMA) Unitarian Universalist Minister's Association, and Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM). Her passion is to support women in realizing their fullest potential, which led to accepting the position as Co-convener of the continental Core Group of Unitarian Universalist Women and Religion.

In a belief that “Focus on discovering ways to narrow the gap of social, educational and financial inequities of women, will lead us to better global relationships with each other, (after all half of the world’s population are women.)” is why Addae agreed to serve on the advisory planning committee of The International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women, to be held in Houston, Texas in 2009. She considers her work with the core advisory committee for the curriculum revision of Cakes for the Queen of Heaven a meaningful contribution to women, and a personal highlight.

In 2005 Addae began pursuit of a PhD in Philosophy and Religion, with emphasis on Women’s Spirituality, at the California Institute of Integral Studies, in San Francisco, California, which she is now continuing through on-line classes. The Reverend Watson is joined in the parsonage with her daughter and 12 year old grandson, along with her loving pets—15 pound Main Coon cat, Charlie and two Toy Poodles, King Solomon and Queen Makeda. She enthusiastic about working with her UUW&R Co-convener Laura in envisioning for the future of Women and Religion, and our place in Unitarian Universalism.

The other members of the Continental Core Group are:

Co-Convenor Laura Nagel has lived in Houston since the summer of 2000, with her husband Harry. He is an engineer with Anadarko Petroleum, and they have two daughters, Samantha, 26, who lives in Los Angeles, and Erica, 21, who lives at home and is attending the University of Houston. Laura became a Unitarian Universalist when she was 14, and has been a member of several UU churches as they have moved around the country. She served as board president for First Jefferson UU Church in Fort Worth in 1998, attended leadership school in the Southwest District, and worked for five years as a fundraising consultant for the UUA.

Laura became president of Southwest UU Women (SWUUW) in 2000 and oversaw its transition to a nonprofit and Independent Affiliate of the UUA. She is also very active with the Partner Church Council. SWUUW has been operating for 20 years in the Southwest District sponsoring an annual conference attended by several hundred women. They have had a growing desire to connect with UU women across the country and to connect with the international women’s movement. Since last year, Laura has been SWUUW’s first paid administrator. Spring 2007 they received a grant of $10,000 from the UUA Funding Panel to support planning for an International Convocation of UU Women.

Grassroots Coordinator and Joseph Priestley District rep Nuala Carpenter lives in St. Davids PA, and attends Main Line Unitarian Church in Devon in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. She is currently the convener of Joseph Priestley District Women and Religion. She has been involved for 10 years or so and has been the convener for 5 or so years. She has been to several gatherings of the core group, in Boston, Chicago, St. Louis and Portland OR.

Grassroots co-coordinator Gretchen Ohmann, St. Joseph, MI, grew up the eldest of three girls in NW Michigan, learning Unity metaphysical teachings at home along with occasional family attendance at local protestant churches. She's been a UU since 1984, participating in her local Fellowship in SW Michigan: music, RE, board, newsletter. In 1999 she was invited to join the CMwD W&R where she served as treasurer, conference liaison, and webweaver. She continues to serve as part-time office manager, computer trainer and archivist for the CMwD W&R Committee. She is part-time Communications Coordinator for the UUA Central Midwest District, and designs web sites in her SPARE time!
Gretchen is the chair of the 2008 Winter WomanSpirit Retreat committee in the CMwD.

Rosemary Matson GA Events Coordinator Rosemary Matson lives in Carmel Valley, CA, and is a member of the UU Church of the Monterey Peninsula. In 1977 she helped passage of UUA Women and Religion Resolution and served as co-convener of the first W&R Continental Committee. Also co-convener of Pacific Central District W&R Task Force. Rosemary initiated and processed the W&R application for affiliate status with the UUA in 2001. She initiated and co-authored the Gender Knot curriculum in 2003. Currently she is writing the history of UU women and religion movement, as she experienced it.

Rev. Shirley Ranck GA Events Coordinator Rev. Shirley Ranck style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:Verdana'>
A Crone of wisdom and power who has touched the lives of many women through her writing and teaching, the Reverend Dr. Shirley Ann Ranck brings both personal professional insight to her work. Trained in education, psychology and ministry, she has drawn upon all these disciplines as well as her various personal lives as wife, mother, and single parent to create the female spiritual journey contained in the feminist thealogy curriculum and book, Cakes for the Queen of Heaven.
While working full time and birthing and raising two daughters and two sons, Shirley managed to earn her Master's degree in religious education from Drew University, an M.A. in clinical psychology from City College of New York, a Ph.D. in urban school psychology from Fordham University, and her Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley. She has been an educator and a licensed psychologist in California as well as an ordained minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association. She has worked in hospitals, clinics and a county jail for women as well as in private practice. She has served as minister in several Unitarian Universalist congregations including Cincinnati Ohio, Mobile Alabama, San Rafael California, Kennebunk Maine, and Olympia Washington. She is currently serving the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada in Reno.

Helen PopenoeWOMUUNWEB Editor Helen Popenoe, Bethesda, MD, has been involved in Women and Religion work since 1980 when the Joseph Priestley W&R'ers were so involved with publishing "Reaching Sideways" and the rewriting of the UUA Principles. She served on the District W&R Committee from that time till she retired in 1999(?) after four years of being District Convener. Simultaneously with her later tenure on the JPD W&R Committee, she participated as part of the Continental W&R movement, acting as Co-Convener several intermittent terms until 2004. To become a children's book author with strong female characterization is her present endeavor outside W&R.

Marnie Singer Membership List Keeper Marnie Singer lives in Sunnyvale, CA, where she is a member of UU Church of Palo Alto. Her past and present roles in W&R (both on the district and continental levels) are Pacific Central District new sole co-convener, co-organizer of numerous PCD W&R retreats, keeper of the PCD and continental W&R databases.

Rev. Dorothy Emerson Past Co-Convener Rev. Dorothy Emerson, Medford, MA, is a UU community minister, focusing on economic justice and empowerment. In the mid-1980s she served as co-convener of the Mass Bay District Women & Religion Committee. She founded and directed the UU Women's Heritage Society for many years and edited a book of UU women's writings, called Standing Before Us: UU Women and Social Reform, 1776-1936. More recently she edited Glorious Women, a compilation of sermons about women that won awards from MSUU (Ministerial Sisterhood Unitarian Universalist). She has been on the Core Group since 2004 and currently serves as co-convener. She lives near Boston with her long time partner, whom she was able to marry in 2004 thanks to the establishment of marriage equality in Massachusetts. Her great joy is that she is a grandmother!

Past Treasurer Geri Kennedy, Redwood City, CA

District Representatives

Central Midwest District -- Gretchen Ohmann (see photo and bio above)

Florida -- Sarah Snyder is from Seminole, Fl, between Clearwater and St. Petersburg on the west coast. She and Carol Andros are in their second year as co-chairs for Florida Women & Religion. Sarah became active in FL W&R; in the late 80's, and have been to two GA W&R meetings (in the past), and other regional and national womens' spirituality conferences and retreats. Florida W&R continues to recruit leaders for and support two retreats a year; fall 2005 is "Laughing at Sacred Cows" about humor and spirituality. She is a consultant and trainer for non-profits and governmental organizations.

Misty SheehanHeartland -- Misty Sheehan Empire, MI, has been a UU since her children started school many centuries ago. She served on the original Chapin-Crane Women and Religion Team in Michigan from 1978-1985. Her life took her to India and China for several years, then she was an Asian studies professor at College of DuPage in Chicago. There she joined the Central Midwest District Women and Religion Committee from 1999-2003. She joined the Continental Core Group in 2003 and became Co-Convenor for the 2005-2006 year.

Pacific Central-- Barbara Schonborn, Mountain View, CA

Joseph Priestley District -- Nuala Carpenter (see photo and bio above)

Southwest UU Women -- Elizabeth Mueller

Laurie JamesNY Metro -- Laurie James
Laurie James Credits: Original one-woman dramas on tour: Winter Wheat, The Betrayal of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Her Woman's Bible; Men, Women, and Margaret Fuller. UU churches, theaters, festivals, UU General Assemblies; The 13th Street Theatre, NYC; The Burbage Theatre, Los Angeles; theaters in Mexico, Hong Kong, and Scotland.
Original docu-dramas, Roots of Rebellion (also WBAI featuring Gloria Steinem); Look Who's on Third!; and Sliding Home! at The Community Church of New York (CCNY); UU Congregation of Central Nassau; GA.
Plays authored/acted: O Excellent Friend! (first prize, Pen and Brush Club), the story of Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson, GA. Gotta Learn the Rule, second prize, Collaboraction Theatre (Chicago), produced at The Producer's Club in NYC.
TV: The Cambridge Forum, "Feminist Ahead of Her Time;" BBC-Scotland TV, Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Guest star, Trial By Jury with Raymond Burr.
Off-Off-Broadway: Gibran; Paradox; The Yellow Wallpaper.
Directed Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues (CCNY); UU Congregation at Shelter Rock.
Panel, GA: "Emerson's Circle of Women;" article with same title, Journal of UU History, edited by Dean Grodzins.
You can buy some of Laurie's books in our STORE!

You are invite to the International Convocation of UU Women


By Rev. Dr. Dorothy May Emerson, '05-'07 Co-Convener, UU Women & Religion, Program Coordinator, International Convocation of UU Women

Unitarian Universalist women and other progressive women of faith are being summoned to Houston, February 27-March 2, 2009, to share and learn ways we can work together to improve women's lives around the world. This will be the first major gathering of UU women since WomanQuest in 1990, and the first ever gathering that specifically includes international UU women.

SouthWest UU Women are providing the major leadership for this unique event, which is supported by an initial grant from the Fund for International Unitarian Universalism. UU Women & Religion are co-sponsors, and many other UU organizations are represented on the Advisory Committee.

A Convocation is a gathering in response to a summons. The word comes from the Latin convocare "to call together," from com- "together" + vocare "to call," from vox "voice." We are being summoned to respond to a hurting world, to gather as women of faith to share and learn ways we can improve women's lives. We are coming together in recognition of the need for action.

The call we hear today is not unlike the one issued nearly a century and a half ago, by our Unitarian foremother Julia Ward Howe:

Arise all women who have hearts…
Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies…
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let us meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let us then solemnly take counsel with each other as the means whereby the great human family can live in peace.

The goals of the Convocation are:
To take stock of challenges that lie before all women around the globe
To showcase programs that serve as models for achieving equal rights, opportunities and security
To explore and learn from women's accomplishments in the past and how their work has improved women's lives
To discover common interests, emergent ideas and priorities for the future
To worship together and connect spiritually with our individual and collective power, caring and humility
To adopt action plans that will engage individual women, UU congregations, and women's groups to form global partnerships and move forward together toward women's equality, social justice and world peace.

We are planning for 1000 women to attend the Convocation in Houston, but even if you are unable to come in person there are ways to participate in the Convocation process. We are developing a Global Literacy Program for congregations and women's groups, to help us consider what we need to know to be competent global citizens and to strengthen our UU global village network. The six sessions, which will feature profiles of UU women and progressive women of faith from around the world, will engage participants in learning about major issues in women's lives and how they are being and can be addressed, as well as outlining ways groups can become involved with the Convocation process. One of the key ways groups can support the Convocation is by raising money for travel funds and scholarships, particularly for international women.

You can learn more about the convocation and begin participating in the Convocation process by visiting the website at www.icuuw.com. Check back often as new information will be posted as it becomes available. Major events of the Convocation will be broadcast live and available as podcasts.

We hope those who participate in the Convocation process will benefit from new friendships and connections among women from different countries. We hope you will all join in creating and supporting new and strengthened global partnerships and a renewed commitment to action.

For more information and to make a donation, please contact Laura Nagel, Convocation Coordinator, at convener at icuuw.com Details are found at www.icuuw.com.

Women's Rights Worldwide and the Philippines

By UU Church of Annapolis Woman Link, Susan Eckert

Women's Rights Worldwide  A professor from the University of Baltimore, who is the 2007-2008 Fulbright-Sycip Distinguished Lecturer, tackled issues involving business strategies in Asia and women in two separate lectures at Silliman University, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines.

Dr. Christine Nielsen spoke on "The Global Chess Game…Or Is It GO?" in the morning of September 13 to a group of students and teachers coming from business schools in Negros Oriental. She explained how Asian companies are dominating the world by examining it in the framework of the GO - a board game that originated in ancient China which objective is to control a larger part of a board than the opponent as a result of having placed one's stones such that they form territories that cannot be captured by the opponent.

In the afternoon of the same day, she had an audience composed of NGOs and women's groups for her lecture "Buhata Pinay - Do It, Filipina: Model Program for Women's Development in the Philippines." This lecture tackled women's issues and concerns, and discussed Buhata Pinay, a movement concerning women that she helped establish a year ago in collaboration with the UU Women's Association of the Philippines and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis.

W&R Women's Event Calendar is online!

http://www.uuwr.org/calendar.htm. On it you will find announcements such as this:

Friends, For those of you who haven't heard of the Bioneers Conference, let me shout its praises! BIONEERS IS A JOLT OF HOPE FOR THE FUTURE! This will be my 6th year of attending Bioneers, and this year I have offered to organize a Women's Gathering the afternoon before the conference.
The idea of the Gathering will be "Going Local" ...i.e., one of the main themes of Bioneers. Every year that I have gone to Bioneers I have been exhilirated with the energy! And the cutting-edge ideas and solutions. There are so many interesting people, many of them women over 50, that I decided it was a shame not to have a way to meet more of them. So I had the idea of Gathering before the Conference starts. This way we can meet each other, make friends, gather resouces and return home with information, an email list of connections, and ideas for how to address our own issues in our own communities. The Gathering will be held from 4-6 on Thursday, Oct 18th, and there is no cost.
Any woman over 50 that is registered for at least one day of the Conference is warmly invited to attend. The conference is from Friday, Oct 19th thru Sunday, Oct 21, in San Rafael, Ca.
Don't miss this opportunity to attend the most exciting of visionary and sustainable future conferences imaginable! And to meet some of the other interesting and activist women in this country! Consider the Conference. Check them out at www.bioneers.org. And register soon! After you have registered, contact me. Georgeann Johnson, and I will register you for our Gathering. Come join a circle that will keep rippling out.
Warmly, Georgeann
PS When you get on the Bioneers site, check out the Beaming Bioneers...there might be one near you.

(SouthEast US) Womenspirit
October 17-21, 2007
"Spiraling Out from Our Center" at UUWomenspirit in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina while the leaves are at their most colorful. Our event will also feature the final opportunity to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of this wonderful community. We will worship, laugh, sing, dance, reconnect with old friends and meet new ones as we grow and expand. Keynote speaker Donna Henes.
Contact Toni Stephenson

To add your events, please e-mail Gretchen. Be sure to include your District, date and location of the event, and a contact name and e-mail or direct link to more information. We generally will not publish phone numbers here.

Cakes: In Ancient Times now shipping!

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven: Cakes for the Queen of Heaven: In Ancient Times
a five-session religious education curriculum
in feminist thealogy for adults and older youth
Shirley Ann Ranck

Unitarian Universalist
Women & Religion


OR, to order online through PayPal, Click HERE.


By Helen Popenoe

Considering the UU Service Committee's Drumbeat for Darfur campaign, I have participated in a project my congregation has supported and recommend it to you. It helps the women of Darfur avoid rape and/or murder by buying a solar cooker ($30. each) so they don't have to gather firewood outside the refugee camps. Send checks to Jewish World Watch, Solar Project, 16944 Ventura Blvd #1, Encino, CA 91316.

Joseph Priestley District Retreat
By Anne Slater, co-convenor JPD Women and Religion Facilitator's Circle

i just returned from an invigorating 3-day retreat in Haverford, PA, with 30 other UU women from all over the district. It was enriching to meet many new friends, to think deeply about my life (the theme was "A Weekend to Change Your Life"), and to walk the grounds of this peaceful retreat center. Next year's retreat (mark your calendars, this will be SPECIAL) will be held at Murray Grove (near Tom's River, NJ) featuring herbalist and Wiccan Sarah Campbell. The theme is "The Goddess in/and Nature". You can get a fore-taste by going to the website of Sarah and her daughter's shop/massage studio "Radiance" in Lancaster.

These retreats connect UU women in many ways, as many as there are attendees. Together, we support the work of the Continental Women and Religion movement, assuring a woman's voice is present and heard in the UUA administration.

Attentiveness is my watchword
The distant point I steer toward.
I breathe attentiveness in,
Inhale it as a mantra
Bringing myself back
Again and again to that quiet place,
That calm intensity
That brings it all together,
Allows me to see the interactions,
The flow, the rhythm,
The tapestry, the intent being woven
By each thread, word, movement.

Barbara Jean Vaughn


What are YOUR questions and comments?

By Prill Hinckley , a longtime W&R activist from MA
This is a column that invites reader comment.


Unitarian Universalist Association  A possible example of what hints of patriarchy Prill is pointing to in her new column that ended in our Fall issue with "Thus are we obscured again!" By Helen Popenoe, UU W&R Representative for PROPOSED "Support and Inclusion Network."

UU W&R, having met all the new criteria when we applied for our renewal of Independent Affiliate status (and were rejected), has been put into an alliance of a half dozen or so past affiliates. We are being expected to create a new entity with these groups in order to gain official recognition again. It appears to me (after two teleconferences) to be forced conformity that dilutes our uniqueness into a single, large unit now named "Support and Inclusion Network." Below is initial questioning from UU W&R Core Group member and "Cakes…" author, Shirley Ranck:

It causes me to wonder "Who makes these decisions for us?" It may be that we need to look more carefully at the attitudes of the people WE send to decision-making groups. We say we affirm a democratic process. If so many people in affiliate groups are so unhappy, what recourse do we have? In what direction do we want to see UUism move? How do we use the democratic process to make it happen?

It feels to me like we have been moving with great energy in all kinds of interesting directions for some years now, and now a more cautious contingent wants to rein that in. Is that a fair assessment or just my limited perception?

It also makes me think that we need to do something very visible and perhaps provocative as our G.A. contribution. It may be very important to find ways to show how this diversity of groups is one of our greatest strengths. -- Rev. Shirley Ranck

UU World magazine
Editor's Note #1: See page 53 of the Fall, 2007 UUWorld for background information about this affiliates matter.

Editor's Note #2: In the last conference call I brought up that a behavior we were dealing with from those in charge smacked of patriarchy. In response, after agreeing with me, the representative from the People With Disabilities group recommended to all of us the work of Allan Johnson. I felt like advertising our UU W&R Gender Knot course (based on Allan Johnson's work), but didn't.

Send replies to Prill before the Fall issue deadline of December 10, 2007, please.

Published by Pacific Central District W&R, "The Water Ritual" by Carolyn McDade and Lucille Longview is the original worship service "Coming Home, Like Rivers to the Sea: A Women's Ritual," created for the November 1980 Women and Religion Continental Convocation of Unitarian Universalists in East Lansing, Michigan. $5.00

WOMUUNWEB DEADLINE for Winter 2007 issue is December 10, please.

Send your news to Helen Popenoe or mail to Helen at 6307 Wiscasset Rd., Bethesda, MD 20816-2111.

Many thanks to Gretchen Ohmann, UU W&R Webweaver for creating the formatting and all necessary logistics for publishing WOMUUNWEB in the first place! See WOMUUNWEB issues and the rest of our website at http://www.uuwr.org

Unitarian Universalist Women and Religion

Formerly an Affiliate Organization of the
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
c/o Secretary Gretchen Ohmann
P.O. Box 1021, Benton Harbor, MI 49023-1021


To subscribe or unsubscribe, contact Gretchen.






UU Women & Religion Annual Gathering and Celebration

Our continental organization, UU Women & Religion, UU W&R, an affiliate of the UUA, welcomes all adults and youths to the annual gathering from 9 am to 4 pm on Thursday, June 23 in Fort Worth, Texas, before General Assembly 2005 begins that evening.  It will be in the Metropolitan Room of the Radisson Hotel.

The theme of the gathering is “Toward a New Day”, in celebration of 27 years of change since the UUA’s Women and Religion Resolution called on UU’s to examine and put aside sexist assumptions, attitudes, and language.  What are we doing to secure the future of this commitment?

Time is allotted for everyone to speak his/her mind on where we are and what needs to be done.

UU musician, Carole Eagleheart, will inspire us with new visions of our future and bring profound beauty to this, the first UU W&R pre-GA event!

The $50-$25 sliding-scale registration fee pays for lunch, refreshments, and equipment, materials and professional entertainment. To register, please send an email with your name, address, phone number, and UU congregation and district, if applicable, to bschonborn@aol.com; OR mail a note with the same information to Barbara Schonborn, 1963 Rock Street, Apt. 19, Mountain View, CA 94043. Payment by check in advance will insure your lunch reservation.

UUW&R and Other Feminist Programs at General Assembly

UU Women & Religion will sponsor two events officially at General Assembly 2005, and will conduct a third event with the generous sponsorship of Rowe Camp and Conference Center.  UU W&R, also, supports, Core Group member, Dorothy Emerson’s workshop (sponsored by the UU Women’s Heritage Society).  See below for descriptions.  These events will be repeated.

Our sister and brother UUA affiliates and the UUA associate UU Women's Federation will sponsor numerous inspiring events. The UU Women's Heritage Society will offer Rev. Dorothy Emerson's program, "Arise...Women of this Day! Make Peace!" and Rev. Helen Zidowecki's program, "Activism and Worship Across the Centuries." These will be repeated.


The UUWF will sponsor " 'Breakthrough': Approaching Women's Rights Through Popular Culture," "What Exactly Are Liberal Religious Feminisms?" "Young Women of Color Dialogue with Their Parents," and "Remembering May Sarton: Radical Lessons for Life."

The Southwest UU Women will sponsor "Dances of Universal Peace." The UU Men's Network will sponsor "HusbandSpeak: How Men Do Marriage."


Check the GA Program book for exact titles; and the dates, times, and places.  After May 1st, the Program book can be found on <www.uua.org/ga/prog.html>

Laurie James’ solo drama:

WINTER WHEAT:  The Betrayal of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Her Woman’s Bible

Betrayal surrounded Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s struggle to publish a bible revealing woman’s patriarchal degradation.  Colleagues, including Susan B. Anthony, objected, isolating her from the woman’s movement at age of eighty, fifty years after innovative, visionary leadership.  A story more timely today than a century ago.  Solo drama, actress/author Laurie James.

Rosemary Matson and Laurie James’ workshop:

Women Open a Window on the Bible

Women over the ages have sought to examine the religious roots of the words of the Bible which seriously impact the lives of all living beings and things; these words are used as a tool by those who would dominate and control others. We will expose and exorcise these words.

Misty Sheehan’s workshop:

Feminist Theology Rising

UU Women and Religion observes that women who attend retreats in their districts walk to a new theology that serves them spiritually.  Feminist theology from the academic sector walks with these women with similar goals. Women cross class, race, and international borders to create a better life.

Dorothy Emerson’s workshop:

"Arise . . . women of this day!"  Make Peace”

Friday, June 24, 6:45 PM-8 PM

Convention Center Room 101

UU Women’s Heritage Society, sponsor

As UUs we have a rich heritage of role models who can inspire and guide us, if we only knew their stories.  Come meet some remarkable women, peacemakers from the past, from whom we can gain wisdom and empowerment for our work for peace today.

UU W&R will have a booth in the General Assembly Display Hall, again.

There will be pre-designated spaces for district materials in the booth, with each District providing $25. for an 81/2” X 11” sized table space with allowance for a stand-up display board behind.  $50. gives double that space.  Any sales by Districts will be their own responsibility.  Each will be given a copy of its District sign-in sheet (from interested passers-by).  Booth space for displaying and selling the “Unraveling the Gender Knot” course will be given first priority.  Contact Helen Popenoe, 301/229-0549, hpop@verizon.net, GA Booth Coordinator.  Note: Helen’s departure for Ft. Worth will be in the morning of June 22nd.  Get your display boards to her by June 8th, please.


An unfolding world event that’s good news is well described by Dorothy Emerson, UU W&R Core Group member, in “The Microcredit Revolution.”  Empowering women pays off for all concerned.  From the past and, sadly, the present, women face great discrimination in employment and wages.  It is now being recognized that for a society to move forward, the empowerment and education of women must happen in partnership with men, alongside efforts to overhaul unjust systems.


“It is as timely trend: The United Nations has proclaimed 2005 the International Year of Micro-credit in an effort to raise awareness of its importance in the eradication of poverty,” says Dorothy.  Women’s work is changing the developing world.

Women’s Rights Worldwide

A Study/Action Issue submitted by Community Unitarian Church at White Plains (NY) and by the UU Church of Annapolis (MD), December, 2004

Issue: What can Unitarian Universalists do to secure fundamental human rights for women, while eradicating discrimination, abuse and torture worldwide? 

Background and reasons for study: In 1995, the Beijing Accords, created at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on the Status of Women, declared that “women’s rights are human rights.”  Ten years later, there is ample evidence that the oppression of women continues around the world.  Women endure subtle discrimination in certain spheres of life and horrific abuse and torture in others.  Statistics regarding women’s inequality in the exercise of their economic, political, civil, and socio-cultural rights indicate that the problems are deep and extend across developed and developing countries.  (to be continued)


Recommended Reading from Misty Sheehan, UU W&R’s Core Group –

Relating to Misty’s GA ’05 workshop about the cutting edge of today’s feminist theology:

The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology by Susan Frank Parsons, Cambridge U. Press, 2002

Important Current Women’s Rights News from Randa Todd, JPD W&R Co-convener:

This is important because it relates to why we need to get the “Women’s Rights Worldwide” Study Action Issue, SAI, accepted by the GA Delegates this June, so we can have the support of the UUA’s Washington Office in our work for ratification of CEDAW.

Note -  To get the text of the SAI, read the excerpts between each segment of this WOMUUNWEB issue.  Also, the source of the following news is OneWorld.net and its title is

“Abortion Stance Isolating U.S. at Global Women’s conference”, March 4, 2005.

The sense of the article I get is that the U.S. had been trying to insert a statement into the U.N.’s Beijing Conference Platform on women’s equality.  (This platform includes CEDAW, the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.)  That first U.S. statement (for inclusion in the Platform) was dropped due to “intense pressure from other nations and women’s advocates at home.”  However, the U.S. Executive Branch launched a new statement push to establish that “the Beijing platform is not a legally binding document, that issues such as abortion are issues of national consensus, national policy”, according to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Ellen Saurbrey.  This watered-down admendment has gained no support, so far.

The original U.S. statement that was dropped, demanded that a U.N. declaration on women’s equality state that there is no international right to abortion.  CEDAW, by the way, has nothing in it about a right to abortion.  Still, U.S. politics has been keeping the Senate from ratifying it!  As the U.N.’s Beijing Conference Platform now stands, the text, simply reaffirms the 1995 U.N. blueprint adopted originally in Beijing.  This was reported by OneWorld.net on March 12, 2005 when the Fifth World conference on Women had ended.  “This reaffirmation was not enough for many who attended the two-week U.N.conference of ministers, government delegates, first ladies and non-governmental representatives from around the world.  Women’s rights are human rights,” said OneWorld.net.

“However,” OneWorld.net reports, “Washington stuck to its guns in insisting that the declaration adopted at the end of the U.N. commission on the Status of Women’s Equality, Feb. 28 – Mar. 11, not ‘create any new international human rights’.”

Recommended reading from Helen Popenoe, UU W&R’s Core Group:

The latest “waterwheel”, Volume 17, Number 1, 2004 – 5, has an outstandingly good lead article entitled “Feminist Feminism” by Mary E. Hunt of WATER, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual.  The byline is “Gender exclusive feminism is and ought to be dead.”  To obtain a complimentary copy, go to water@hers.com.  WATER’s website address is http://www.hers.com/water

Springtime Beauty from Barbara Vaughn, Davies Memorial UU Church


I fingered the hem of day
As dawn arose in her whispering gown,
Dusting the morning dew away,
Tossing green on barren branches.
She split forsythia buds wide with golden bursts,
Scented the blossoming lilies and
Smiled as she skipped along
Beyond the bounds of time or place.



I am introduced by a friend to laughter.
Shared, it blossoms the brighter.
I love my quiet time, alone in nature
Where remembered laughter radiates.
But laughter needs friends to grow.
A turn of a phrase, a connection,
A juxtaposition of experiences,
Even a funny movie,
One that evokes belly laughs
Needs an audience for its retelling.



I am dressed in green
Just as the trees have donned
A new green to greet the spring.
My heart is light and soft,
Opening to new opportunities.
Blossoms are already falling
From the cherry trees,
Dancing along sidewalks in the breeze.
What do I need to let go of,
To be ready for what is just
Around the corner?
Smiling, laughing, loving –
This is the path I choose.
Come along.
There is more fun in togetherness.

Women’s Rights Worldwide

A Study/Action Issue submitted by Community Unitarian Church at White Plains (NY) and by the UU Church of Annapolis (MD), December, 2004

Significance to Unitarian Universalism: We respect the dignity of all individuals within the interdependent web.  This has long called us to fight for women’s rights in the United States and helped us develop a tradition of women’s leadership here.  It should compel us also to fight for the rights of women around the world so that women in all cultures can live in conditions of freedom, dignity, and strong personal identity. Women’s rights are intertwined with children’s rights, their families’ health and stability, and society’s security and prosperity. A proactive position by Unitarian Universalists supports the interdependent web of human lives on this planet.


From UU Congregation of Fairfax’s Susan Bennett 

Woman’s Spirit Circle Forms at UUCF

A woman’s spirit circle formed last December has been meeting regularly at UUCF.  A small group of lively woman comes together twice a month to share their spiritual journeys and discuss women’s issues.  Our stated goal is to create a sacred space where we can explore our spirituality and where we can organize to take action on women’s issues.  We believe women’s’ spirituality empowers us to take action for ourselves and all women.  Contact person is Susan Bennett 703 716 0150 scbennett@cox.net

From UU Church of AnnapolisSusan Eckert

Full Circle’s Earth Centered Celebrations

Full circle celebrates the new and full moons and the eight solar holidays of each year.  The full moon circles focus on feminine energy and are open to all adult women.  New moons are limited to women registered for the Weavers Covenant Group.  Solar holidays, called Sun Circles, celebrate the Wheel of the Year, with seasonal celebrations such as solstices and equinoxes, include men and youth, too.  All events are followed by a potluck feast.  New participants of all backgrounds and beliefs are always welcome.

Full Moon Women’s Circles meet on each full moon throughout the year.  We explore personal issues and our spiritual connection to Goddess and God.  We celebrate with song, dance and sharing in a sacred and safe space, opening wide the opportunity to celebrate with other women.  Bring an ingredient to add to a potluck green salad.  Spring full moon circles are scheduled for March 25, April 24 and May 23 from 7 -9 p.m.

Sun Circles celebrated the spring equinox on March 20.  As we awaken to our place in the interconnected web of all existence, we seek to restore the wholeness of the web.  Following the Council of All Beings tradition developed by Joanna Macy and John Seed, we created masks and honored plants, animals and other nonhuman beings. We ate seasonal food for our feast and had a drumming circle.  On May 1st, in celebration of May Day, also known as Beltane, we deck ourselves out to match the beauty of the flowers and weave a community of love and playfulness with a maypole dance.  Sun Circle festivities begin at 6:00 pm.

JPD Women and Religion Retreat, April 22 – 24, 2005

Unraveling The Gender Knot – Challenging the System that Binds Us

Precious Blood Spiritual Center in Columbia, Lancaster County, PA

Web site: http://www.pbspiritualcenter.org

Registrar: Lois Morrigan, 610/872-2884 or <LoisMorrigan@aol.com>

Presenter:  Barbara Schonborn, Ph.D, will provide leadership throughout the weekend for all persons who identify as women, including those with xy chromosomes.  The weekend will feature some background of issues, lots of opportunities safely to reflect on your experiences and exploration of a future where all persons fulfill their potential.  If you feel knowledgeable, share your wisdom.  If these issues are new to you, come to discover.  If you’re weary of the struggle, come for renewed strength and courage.

This is an opportunity to connect with other women and enjoy free time.  Also, we’ll have a coffee house where you can share poetry, a short story, skit, songs, musical performance, joke, etc.


Women & Religion on the Paths of the Ancient Mother: Pilgrimage to New Mexico

JPD W&R is proud to partner with Trisha Sinnott, director of Pathway Tours, to offer an 8 – day Women’s Journey, October 15 – 22, 2005.

Fly from your local airport to Albuquerque to visit Old Town with its Gradalupe chapel and Indian Pueblo Culture Center.  A drive to Coronado State Monument will admit us to an underground Indian kiva with colorful paintings and nearby museum.  Our side trip to Santa Fe will include a visit to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and a walk on the Old Santa Fe trail.  The tour features ancient Acoma Pueblo, Sky City and Georgia O’Keeffe country.  We will visit Petroglyph National Monument and the Echo Ampitheater and visit Ghost Ranch at sunset to walk the labyrinth.  We’ll see White Place, featured in O’Keeffe’s paintings and the ancient Anasazi site of Bandalier National Monument with its ancient ruins, cave dwellings and sacred kiva.

Part of most evenings will be spent in group processing and ritual.  We will have a ritual inside Windows in the Earth, an incredible sanctuary carved within a cliff.  Options may include a trip to Chaco Canyon, weather permitting.

The trip costs $1,700, plus airfare. With a $500. deposit due by June 1.  For more information, contact Sandy Eckert at 717/533-5331 or jabuda@verizon.net

Pt. Branch & Rockville Women’s Retreat happens May 13 – 15.

mountains, the Rev. Dr. Margee Iddings will lead a retreat to focus on deepening one’s spiritual life.  To learn about this retreat center go to <http://RisingPhoenixRetreat.com>

Women’s Rights Worldwide

A Study/Action Issue submitted by Community Unitarian Church at White Plains (NY) and by the UU Church of Annapolis (MD), December, 2004

Possible study questions:

What needs to be done to insure implementation of the Beijing Accords, and U.S. ratification of UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), so that the U.S. may resume a leading role in the international community working for human rights? 

Can we build bridges and work constructively across barriers of cultural and religious difference so that we can understand and eliminate structures and practices that are harmful to women and girls?

On what basis can men and women challenge cultural and religious traditions which deny women equal access to education and health care?

What can we do to strengthen women’s economic, political, and civil rights worldwide?

How can we work to improve the record on women’s rights in the U.S., particularly in the areas of violence against women, HIV/AIDS, and economic equality?


2005 Montgomery County Women’s Fair, Saturday April 16th.

8:30 AM – 5:00 PM 

North Bethesda Marriott Conference Center

Workshops * Exhibits * Seated Lunch and Keynote Program

Keynote Luncheon Speaker, Dr. Andrea Pennington, President and Founder of the Pennington Institute for Health and Wellness in Silver Spring, MD is a vibrant, charismatic physician, acupuncturist, motivational counselor and author.


Dear March for Women’s Lives folks,

I wanted to send this announcement out to you, as I met many of you in my time in this position, and I know that many of you know young women and men who would be amazing assets to the program. Please forward this along to those who you think might be interested! Most of our applicants hear about the program from an adult affiliated with their congregation or campus group.

I can’t believe my time in the office is coming to a close, but I am excited to start the search for a new and exciting person to serve the office as I did. I have had many great experiences in my time here, but the March tops the list. So glad I could share it with all of you!

In faith,


Kierstin Homblette
Current UUWF Clara Barton Intern
Legislative Assistant for Women's Issues
Washington Office for Advocacy
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
1320 18th St. NW, Suite 300B
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 296-4672 x13
(202) 296-4673 (fax)

Applications are due Monday, April 18 for UU Women's Issues Internship

For an application, see http://www.uua.org/uuawo/new/article.php?id=87.

Women’s Rights Worldwide

A Study/Action Issue submitted by Community Unitarian Church at White Plains (NY) and by the UU Church of Annapolis (MD), December, 2004

Possible Actions:

Educate ourselves by reading first-hand accounts written by women from other cultures.

Collaborate with the United Nations Office of the UUA and other organizations that work for women’s rights in developing countries.

Lobby the U.S. government to ratify CEDAW.

Lobby the U.S. government to remove barriers to funding for international family planning.

Work to achieve the level of access to reproductive health services promised by national governments at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Egypt.

Fight against the feminization of poverty by supporting organizations that give micro-loans to businesses created by women in developing nations.

Work on literacy and educational projects which bring opportunity to women around the world.

Educate men, women, and children about the importance of gender equity and shared responsibility.

Enact and enforce strong laws that protect women from violence.

Please, urge your congregations’ GA Delegates to vote for this Study/Action Issue which will be submitted by the Community Unitarian Church at White Plains, NY (co-author, Rev. Carol Huston ) and the UU Church of Annapolis, MD (co-author, Christine Nielson), in Fort Worth, Texas at the UUA GA.  Also, recognition goes to Julie Agarwal of All Souls Unitarian Church for her work on this SAI both for the ’04 GA and the ’05 GA.

An apology from Helen Popenoe:

Salman Rushdie said “Smiles are more dangerous than frowns”.  I hope, in the Winter WOMUUNWEB issue, that I didn’t offend any reader by my humor about President Bush’s radical right stance.  I was very angry at his administration and decided to release it publicly.  If it helped you laugh, I guess I did no harm.  However, I will not be tempted to employ sarcastic humor in WOMUUNWEB again.  I’m sorry.

WOMUUNWEB DEADLINE for Summer, 2005 issue is June 30, please.  Send your news to Helen Popenoe at hpop@verizon.net

GWA Webmaster, for creating a link to this Freewebs site for readers to access the WOMUUNWEB ARCHIVES on <http://www.gwa.jpd.uua.org>.

Respectfully Submitted by Helen Popenoe, March 27, 2005

Remember your first women's retreat? Decades ago it was a huge deal to get away and attend...because it was the only chance you had to gather with like-minded women. These days we are gathering all over!

The great news is that St. Lawrence District women have formed a W&R group and will be hosting a retreat this fall...and the Florida District W&R which just disbanded has discovered a whole new group of women willing to start it back up! I know we'll be hearing more from both regions. Revitalizing UU Women's Groups: A How-To Manual created by The Association of Universalist Women of Minneapolis some years back, is still available online. CMwD W&R and SWUUW publish conference guidelines on their websites.

Here are some of the upcoming retreats:

SWS2010Central Midwest District Women and Religion

August 6-8, 2010
You are invited to join us for our annual Summer WomanSpirit retreat held at Ronora Lodge and Retreat Center in Watervliet, Michigan! Workshops, woods, walking, worship and more.

“Sowing Seeds of Gratitude” is our theme. We all have so many things for which we are grateful, and each one is a viable seed to plant and nurture allowing others to share in the labors which created the seeds.  During this retreat we will take a special look at the gratitude we have toward the Earth and all she provides.  We will also look at things for which we are grateful on a personal level, sharing what we are comfortable sharing and learning how those around us perceive their own gratitude.

UU   WomenSpiritThomas Jefferson District

Womenspirit Fall retreat will be held September 15-19 at The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center in Highlands NC.

Womenspirit gathers each Spring and Fall and offers two sessions: The Institute and The Gathering. Each session focuses on sharing sacred time together through worship, learning, and individual and group activities. Women may choose to attend Institute or Gathering or both. E-mail: Membership@uuwomenspirit.org   More information: www.uuwomenspirit.org

NNE women and religion

Northern New England District

NNE UU Women and Religion present a Special Croning edition of the Fall Retreat: September 24-26 at Geneva Point Conference Center in central New Hampshire. E-mail:lifedancer1968@yahoo.com More information: http://www.uuwomenandreligion.org

JPDWRJoseph Priestley District

October 1-4 The Theme Within:  Intuitively access your inner wisdom through the process of collage. Friday Dinner through Sunday lunch. Meet and explore with other UU women in a peaceful suburban retreat house. Ample free time; close to a lovely nature trail (45 minute walk) at Haverford College. E-mail: slater.anne[at]gmail.com More information: www.jpdwr.org

SLDUUWR-moonSt. Lawrence District will be holding its First Annual Women's Spirituality Conference October 15th & 16th, at May Memorial UU Society in Syracuse. Registration starts at 5PM on Friday and is followed by dinner, vespers and a concert. Saturday starts with breakfast followed by a panel of speakers who will be discussing "How I put my spiritual beliefs into action." There will be workshops in the morning, then lunch, followed by two additional workshop times with topics including Sacred Movement, Art & Spirituality, Journaling, Healing, Bodywork, Yoga and many others. We'll close with worship. For more information please contact Planning Committee Chair Jody Brown at jfb523@gmail.com or (315) 476-0447. Information will also be on the SLD website. Here's the Initial Brochure. Visit our Facebook page: http://www.slduuwr.org Visit our Facebook page: www.slduuwr.org.

UU Women's Connection of   the Central Midwest DistrictCentral Midwest District UU Women's Connection
Fall on Lake Geneva in Williams Bay, Wisconsin  November 5, 6 & 7, 2010

Plans are afoot for this year's event which will be planned again by the Connection Council. Stay turned for news as the program develops. Save the date and meet your sisters there again!

Northeast Cluster FloridaYou are invited to share a weekend with other women of Florida's Northeast Cluster. Our goal is to share, learn, laugh, reflect and generally strengthen our connections to one another. This time together will take place at the Canterbury Conference Center in Oveida Florida February 4th, 5th and 6th 2011. One of the activities, for those interested, will be to discuss reactivating the Florida chapter of UU Women and Religion. There will be structured time as well as time to just hang out alone or with friends. Final program details to be determined; your input is welcome. Cost: $220.00 per person which includes double occupancy accomodations, six meals, hospitality bar (coffee, tea, water, soda fountain, whole fresh fruit) and use of the conference facilities. The grounds are lovely and will offer the opportunity to enjoy the natural surroundings. Check out the facility online at www.canterburyretreat.org.

Please email Allie by Friday June 18th if you are interested in attending.

A nonrefundable deposit of $20 is due by July 1st with final payment due October 1st, 2010. Checks are made out to Northeast Cluster with UU Women's Retreat on the memo line. Checks to Allie Gore 8062 SW 81st Loop, Ocala, Fl 34476

Central Midwest District Women and Religion

February 25-27, 2011 at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart, IN -- Balancing our Power: Spirit, Self and Earth, featuring Margot Adler

Margot Adler 2010Margot's keynote address will have the same title. She'll ask:
How do we use our power for good?
How do we relate to people who have more or less power, status or resources than we do?
How do we negotiate the power in our own lives?
How do we use our power to preserve and protect the Earth?
How do we build a sturdy spirituality in the face of these issues?

Many people think there are two different Margot Adlers. One is a 40-year veteran of public broadcasting, who is currently the New York correspondent for National Public Radio and a frequent voice on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition. The other is a chronicler and spokesperson for the contemporary Wiccan and Pagan movements, the author of Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, and a Wiccan priestess who gives workshops in ritual and song. Shush! Don’t tell anyone. It’s the same person!

Adler started in radio in 1968 as a newscaster, reporter, and later the host of three talk shows in the 1970s and 1980s. She pioneered live, free-form talk shows that dealt with spirituality, feminism, ecology, and the interface between politics, religion, and culture.  Adler is also the author of Heretic’s Heart: A Journey through Spirit and Revolution, which deals with her experiences as a student at Berkeley, a participant in the Free Speech Movement, a civil rights worker in Mississippi, and an activist and journalist during the Vietnam War.

A longtime Unitarian Universalist, Margot keynoted WomanSpirit 2000 in Milwauke Wisconsin, has led and participated in panels and rituals at the UUA General Assembly, for the Continental UU Women and Religion and Covenent of UU Pagans, and was one of the keynote speakers at the International Convocation of UU Women in February 2009. Adler resides in New York.

E-mail : wws@womenandreligion.org More information: www.womenandreligion.org


Southwest UU Women Conference March 2011

Southwest District UU Women's Conference (SWUUWCon)
SAVE THE DATE!  March 4 – 6, 2011
Holiday Inn Select 2645 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX (same location as 2010)
Celebrate 25 Years with us!
Rev. Tamara Lebak
Associate Minister All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, OK
For more information please contact co-conveners
Southwest Unitarian Universalist Women  www.swuuw.org

Greetings All,
Voices of the Sacred FeminineI was encouraged by friends and radio show listeners to give this a try! They, like me, want to hear topics like we discuss on Voices of the Sacred Feminine on mainstream television instead of the "bread and circus" stories with so little substance the media wastes so much time with.  So please, if you would be so kind, check out my vision for a show on Oprah's new television network.  This isn't about me.  It's more about giving ideals of the Sacred Feminine a platform in the mainstream world.  Here's the link below.  Please leave a vote for me if you like this and leave comments.  I'm really entering this contest very late and have to move quickly to catch up.  Please send this around to anyone who might help us accomplish this goal!


By the way, I interviewed Rev. Shirley Ranck on my Voices of the Sacred Feminine internet radio show last Wednesday night! It's a featured episode and you can download the mp3 to listen!

Blessings and Thanks,

Karen Tate


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