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UU Congregation of Fairfax, VAAfter a number of years of very little woman centered activity at UUCF, we are happy to report that feminist spiritual consciousness is alive and well in our corner of Northern Virginia! It all started 4 years ago when I was foolish enough to ask the question, where is the women’s group in this congregation? As a woman who had moved around the country and been a member of 3 other UU congregations, I was surprised that there was no organized woman’s group. It was my time to step up. I started the first Women’s Spirit Circle, now known as the Artemis Circle. I became the Woman Link for our congregation to the JPD district chapter of UU Women and Religion. I attended a JPD Women and Religion Retreat. I was hooked!

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven

Leaders representing the CMwD Women & Religion Committee and the UU Women's Connection (CMwD UUWF successor) will jointly present a District Assembly workshop and five facilitator training events for the newly revised, ground-breaking curriculum, Cakes for the Queen of Heaven: In Ancient Times. These events will be held in Peoria and Milwaukee in November 2008.

What would it have been like to grow up in a world where the divine was imagined as female?” — Rev. Shirley Ranck, PhD

Rev Shirley Ranck at ICUUW Feb 2009

“Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” was credited on its introduction 21 years ago with providing women an opportunity of discovery and empowerment within the UUA goddess movement. Now, this revised, multi-session curriculum by Unitarian Universalist Minister Shirley Ranck will bring the break-out feminist theology curriculum in its updated version to those who wish to teach it in their local congregations to the many young and new UUs who have never experienced it. Or to others who want an injection of inspiration. “Cakes: In Ancient Times” is rising again in UU congregations all over the continent.

Would you like to present this curriculum in your congregation? This is an opportunity to receive facilitator training and purchase the curriculum.
CAKES Train-the-Trainer (T3) workshops include:

Rev. Shirley Ranck's keynote speech at the UUWR Annual GatheringWomen & Religion held its annual gathering in the morning of the day on which General Assembly began in the evening.  It was therefore a small gathering, perhaps twenty people.  We took some moments to appreciate the beautiful altar that had been created by Florida District W&R’s Susan Pendergraft, and to remember with sorrow, and some anger, the two UU W&R women and their children who had been murdered a few months earlier in Clearwater, Florida.  We did make some important decisions.  One was to support Laurel Hallman for President of the UUA.  Another was to choose Gretchen Ohmann and me (Shirley Ranck) as the new Co-Conveners.  I, also, gave a talk about prophetic women who have lived on thresholds in the past, focusing especially on the work of Sophia Lyon Fahs.

International Convocation of UU Women, Feb 26 - Mar 1, 2009


Our theme for this section of WOMUUNWEB has been inspired by the work of Unitarian Universalist women to organize the first-ever official international gathering of U*U women and women of progressive religious outlooks. The gathering, called the International Convocation of UU Women, ICUUW, will happen in Houston, Texas, in February 2009 (2/26 – 3/1).

Hurricane Ike came to H-town
Command Central for the ICUUW planning efforts
Swaying pines, lashing lines
A streetlight down, live but dead
No power for days
Some with houses full of muck
Thousands of children without books or schools
The beach, gone
Echoing life after natural and other disasters in many lands

Global warming?
Maybe so.
We all watched as the storm gathered its forces
This was just a Category 2
So many prepared as such
No window tape, just batteries, pitchers, and ice chests stocked
Width is a dimension to be noted
Never before had a 2 been as wide as a 4
Imagine 50 to 120 mph winds
Across a 200 mile diameter
With looping swaths of winds swirling at various miles from the center of the storm
There we were
And as such were linked with others in a loop of a certain speed of force
With UUs and nons
In a circle also moving forward
An interconnected web
With millions who experienced the same forces of air

The UU women are gathering
Some may think it will be only a Category 1 or 2
Depth is a dimension to be noted
Never before have women UUs from around the globe gathered
Imagine 500 women of heart and fire
Across a single building
Concentrating their forces
The power will be in another dimension
Also to be noted
And the effects could link and affect millions
Of UUs and nons
In a vast interconnected web of purpose
Spinning and weaving across multiple swaths of influence
Who are called to attend to the gathered voice of the nurturers of the world
They will sing
“Come – sing with us – a song of beauty – of the world as it must become.”


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