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CD 1aThe Women's Drumming Circle of First Unitarian Church, South Bend, Indiana

Many, many moons ago, a group of women gathered at the church for support, education, encouragement and friendship. And it was good. A Circle was cast and opened to welcome and include all those seeking spiritual connection through Sisterhood. Over the years, the group ebbed and flowed in energy, membership and participation, trusting that all was as it was meant to be. During that time, the gifts of the Circle flowed freely and we witnessed transformation, growth and empowerment among those within the sacred space. Perhaps more importantly was how the energy rippled out into the larger community effecting change both locally and globally. We came to know the beauty and responsibility of the Circle and saw firsthand how the gifts blossomed when shared with honorable intentions and loving hearts.

More of the story at www.drummingwomen.org

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This may be more information than you want but I am sending you the complete text of a lecture I gave in 2016 during my annual summer lecture series on the history of All Souls (NYC), as we approach[ed] our 200th anniversary in 2019. In it there is information that may be useful to you.
Mary-Ella Holst

Women Within Unitarianism

Mary-Ella Holst July 19, 2016

Last week, the lecture on the ministry Theodore Chickering Williams ended with his death in 1915 at the age of 59.

However, there was a concluding question: “What about Velma?” And a promise to explore more fully what the emerging women’s movement offered women before they ever got the chance (and legal authority) to vote. This week, as promised, I will be examining the role of women in the Unitarian movement including Velma Wright Williams as well as other All Souls women and their individual accomplishments and … their progress within the Unitarian denomination. The structure upon which this exploration builds is the establishment of women’s groups within the congregation and ultimately, on a national basis.

I just came back from our local women’s weekend retreat.  Almost 50 women attended at a lovely lodge outside Seattle. The theme for the weekend was OWL (Our Whole Lives) for adults. The woman leading the discussions had the official OWL training and has led many classes, in addition to working for Planned Parenthood for many years. I had some trepidations, but the conversation was lively and wide ranging, from parsing out what is meant by non-binary to our sexual needs especially for older women. There was much laughter and comradery.  We also took hikes, walked a labyrinth, played games and swapped scarves, books and jewelry. A wonderful, refreshing time. I hope your women’s group also has a retreat planned or at least one in the planning stages. -- Geri Kennedy


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