Wendy Hunter Roberts in her book Celebrating Her remarks, “Of all the signs on the horizon, perhaps the most interesting are the countless homegrown women’s spirituality groups that have sprung up all across the nation and beyond.” The phenomenon of “homegrown women’s spirituality groups” has been especially widespread within Unitarian Universalism as women worked together to implement the Women & Religion Resolution.
Let us not forget that it was the women in our congregations who stood up every time sexist language was spoken until the ministers and worship leaders changed the words. It was the women in our movement who demanded that sexist language not be part of our Principles and Purposes. It was the women who demanded a hymnal free of sexist language. It was the women who brought home from women’s conferences and incorporated into Sunday worship the sharing of joys and concerns; the sharing of the waters collected on summer vacations; the arrangement of chairs in half circles rather than rigid rows; the closing words “Blessed be.”A spirituality of personal experience and warmth of community across all theological positions gradually began to replace the cool intellectual sermon. The spontaneity of drums and chanting was heard along with the old hymns. Trees and vines and rocks and shells were added to the décor, and the elements of earth, air, fire and water were named and honored. Winter Solstice celebrations became as common as Christmas and Hanukah services. Women in “homegrown spirituality groups” made it happen.
So now in many, perhaps most, of our congregations we have women’s spirituality groups which continue to meet a need for many women, but often are isolated from one another except for an occasional district retreat or conference. Our Women & Religion Core Group wonders if we could establish a network of women’s spirituality groups so as to share resources and communicate new ideas that arise in our discussions. We already have this newsletter, and an online site. Maybe our “homegrown women’s spirituality groups” would like to get to know each other and to express their needs and hopes for the future. Can we perhaps develop a list of women’s spirituality contacts in the many congregations that have such groups? Let us hear from you!