WOMUUNWEB Fall 2007
CONTINENTAL ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER
OF UU FEMINIST INSPIRATION
NEWS TO USE FOR MORE THAN JUST PERSONAL GAIN
This Issue's Theme
"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.
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
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.
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.
WOMUUNWEB 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.
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.
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
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.
Heartland -- 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
NY 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!
TO THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONVOCATION OF PROGRESSIVE WOMEN OF FAITH:
WEAVING GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS TO IMPROVE WOMEN'S LIVES
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.
By UU Church of Annapolis Woman Link, Susan Eckert
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.
http://www.uuwr.org/calendar.htm. On it you will find announcements such as this:
BIONEERS CONFERENCE AND WOMEN´S GATHERING
OCTOBER 18TH-OCTOBER 21, SAN RAFAEL, CA
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.
YOU CAN HELP ME GATHER THE WOMEN BY SENDING THIS EMAIL ON! OLDER WOMEN, ACTIVISTS, HOUSEWIVES, HERETICS, ETC...THANK YOU!
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.
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 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
Women & Religion
PRINTABLE ORDER FORM
OR, to order online through PayPal, Click HERE.
DARFUR SOLAR COOKERS
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.
THE NEW SHUFFLING OF UU AFFILIATES
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
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.
FEATURED UUWR STORE ITEM:
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
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