UU Women and Religion

... toward a new day ...


WOMUUNWEB 18 Winter 2004






This year’s UU W&R Annual Gathering was held in Orlando, FL, Oct. 1, 2 & 3 (including one of the teleconferencing sessions, Oct. 2). We used a teleconferencing service all three weekend days of the annual meeting sessions: Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9, to allow as many as possible to be included in the decision making. Those women are:

Carol Andros (FL), Laurie James (NYC), Rosemary Matson (CA), Helen Popenoe (MD), Barbara Schonborn (CA), Misty Sheehan (MI), Pat Simon (MA) and Cathy Stanton (FL).

Barbara, as a new co-convener, stated that she is eagerly seeking a co-convener to join her. Misty Sheehan is grassroots development coordinator.

Following are excerpts from the minutes plus updated information:

We would like to operate UU W & R in a way to meet these goals:

To develop our power to continue having influence and credibility, in order to educate, practice and model consensus decision-making, provide spiritual empowerment and raise UU consciousness of the necessity of our work.

Good planning is underway for W&R’s General Assembly (GA) presence. General Assembly is the UUA’s annual meeting and will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, June 23 – 27, 2005. We in W&R will “meet” informally, June 22, while setting up our booth. Our Annual Gathering with its business meeting, meets 9 AM – 4 PM, Thursday, June 23. All interested in the work of the Core Group are welcome to attend these pre-GA UU W&R events. (This means we will have to travel on Tuesday, and stay overnight Tuesday and Wednesday nights. GA opens, formally, after dinner on Thursday. One benefit to us is that we can register for GA early Thursday between work times at the booth.)

Our booth’s theme: “Women & Religion Challenges Patriarchy.”

Barbara says,

Read more: WOMUUNWEB 18 Winter 2004

District News Fall 2009

Sadly, the Florida chapter of UU Women and Religion is in the process of disbanding. Several women have been in touch with the Continental co-conveners, and it does look like some of their memorabilia will be maintained by the Continental group, against the day when Women and Religion again lights up the Sunshine State.

St. Lawrence District has formed a new W&R chapter. Their first event will be a retreat in the Fall of 2010. They've already lined up their keynote speakers and convention facility!

Northern New England Women and Religion announces the Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont UU Women’s Fall 2009 Retreat will take place the weekend of October 30th-November 1st, at Rockraft Retreat Center in beautiful Sebago Lake, Maine. We will be "Celebrating Samhain" during our last time at Rockcraft before the center closes at the end of the year. This is the time of year when the veil between the worlds are the thinnest. The perfect time to divine what the future has in store for us; and remember our loved ones who have passed. We will honor the sacredness of Samhain and rejoice in the playfulness of Halloween.

Michigan women are still talking about forming a W&R chapter. Dr. Misty Sheehan reports that she got re-acquainted with another one of the original Chapin-Crane W&R women (whom she hadn't seen in 30 years!) at a Carolyn McDade weekend in northern Michigan. They are talking with Rev. Shirley Ranck about a retreat soon in southern Michigan.

Joseph Priestley District is getting ready for their Fall retreat, Discover Your Voice!

October 16-18

LOCATION: Bishop Claggett Center, Buckeytown, MD
(You can view the beautiful retreat site at: www.bishopclaggett.org)
Anne Slater, registrar: 610-896-6468/ \n slater.anne@gmail.com This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
complete information at our website: www.jpdwr.org


Pacific SW District has a San Diego area retreat happening this month, "Women Together." More details are on their website.

Central Midwest District women are always busy. Current Chair Nancy Irons reports they're been working on strengthening their organizational structure and getting ready for their February 2010 retreat.

Winter WomanSpirit 2010StarhawkThe theme for Winter WomanSpirit 2010 is:
"Nurturing Ourselves -
Sustaining Our World."
February 26-28, 2010
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Our Keynote Speaker will be STARHAWK!
Her Keynote address is titled
"Earth Spirit, Earth Justice"
Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more details!
Southwest UU Women report their annual retreat in February will be posted on their website soon - www.swuuw.org
Women all over the U.S. have been reporting the scheduling of Cakes for the Queen of Heaven classes. Check the calendar on the Cakes website!
Speaking of calendars, did you know you can post your women's retreat or event on the UUW&R calendar? Go to our CALENDAR page and click the big "plus" sign to Add an Event!
What's happening where YOU are? Let us know!


Correct Attribution

Hi!  I was Googling for a May Sarton poem I know and came across this W&R newsletter attributing it, or lines clearly adapted from it, to Barbara Vaughn.

Barbara's words, as quoted in the newsletter:

The Woman I am Becoming
Now I am becoming all
I am meant to be.
Its taken time, many years,
Many places. Now to stand still,
To revel in the silence.
My poems, my words
Shape the shaper.
All fuses, falls into place
From thought to desire to action.
I watch, reflect, enjoy, savor
My work, my love my time, my place
Gathered into one intense me,
Made so and rooted so by love.
- Barbara J. Vaughn

Sarton's poem:

Now I Become Myself
Now I become myself. It's taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
"Hurry, you will be dead before--"
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem, is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted so by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the Sun!

I know it is 4 years ago now, but it lives on the internet.  Perhaps you could publish a correction in the next newsletter.

Take care,

Editor's Note: Thanks, Amy! And, we've corrected the original page to read "adapted from May Sarton."

Men killing families list 2009

All these murders really occurred in 2009.  I decided not to include those from previous years because the incredible number that occurred this year alone has such emotional impact.  I learned of them because I check CNN.com daily and watch some local TV news.  They can all be verified by googling.  Sadly I didn’t list most of the names of the women and children in order to be brief.

1.    Ervin Lupoe shot and killed his wife, Ana, and his 5 children, Brittney, 8, twin girls Jaszmin and Jassely, 5, and twin boys Benjamin and Christian, 2 years and 4 months then committed suicide because of job loss in Wilmington (LA) California, Tuesday, January 27, 2009.  It was the third mass murder and suicide of a Southern California family committed by a man in 6 months.

2.    Theodore Bayly strangled his wife, Janice, 40, and his 11-year-old son, Colton, then committed suicide by gun shot because of financial problems, in Belle Valley, Ohio, February 18, 2009.

3.    Pablo Josue Amador shot and killed his wife, Maria, 45, and 2 daughters, Priscilla and Rosa, 13 and 14, then committed suicide in Miami, Florida, Wednesday, February 25, 2009.  A 16-year-old son, Javier, escaped.

4.    Guillermo Lopez shot and killed his estranged wife, Lazara Mendez, 50, and her daughter, Nayla Canfux,19, the daughter’s boyfriend, Francisco Casas, 27, and his grandmother, Maria Lefran Christ, 77, at a birthday party then committed suicide in Miami, Florida, March 15, 2009.  The detective at the scene, Ervens Ford, is listed as an alternative to google for the shooting.  The man’s name is too common to find easily.

5.    Charles Nettlebeck killed his wife, Barbara Jo, 52, and his stepdaughter, Bretta Joan Hawkins, 33, with an ax in Orting, Washington over impending divorce March 15, 2009.

6.     Devan Kalathat shot and killed his daughter, Nehga Dev, 4, his son, Akhil Dev, 11, his brother-in-law, Ashok Appu Poothemkandi, 35, and his sister-in-law, Suchitra Sivaraman, 25, and the couple’s 11-month-old daughter, Ahana Ashok, and then committed suicide in Santa Clara, California, Tuesday, March 31, 2009.  He also shot his own wife, Abha, critically wounding her; she apparently survives.

7.     James Harrison killed his 5 children, ages 16 to 7, then committed suicide in Graham, Washington, Saturday, April 4, 2009, after learning his wife, Angela, was leaving him,  The children were Maxine, 16, Jamie, Samantha, Heather and James, 7; accurate information is not available for the other’s ages.  (See AP archives; also google under “5 children dead”.  His name is too common.)

8.    Kevin Lee Garner shot and killed his estranged wife, Tammy, 40, his daughter, Chelsea, 16, his sister, Karen Beaty, and her son, Robert, 11, then committed suicide in Green Hill, Alabama, Tuesday, April 7, 2009.  Divorce hearings were in process.

9.     Christopher Wood shot, stabbed and killed his wife, Francie Billotti-Wood, 33, and his 3 children, 2 sons, Chandler, 5, and, Gavin, 4, and his daughter, Fiona, 2, as they slept in Middleton, Maryland, Saturday, April 18, 2009.  He almost cut off his children's heads using a kitchen knife and pruning saw, the sheriff said. He then committed suicide. The family had severe financial problems, and he struggled with depression.

10.    William Parente of Garden City, New York, killed his wife, Betty, and his 2 daughters, Catherine, 11, and Stephanie, 19, by beating and suffocating them then committing suicide by stabbing himself, in a hotel room in Towson, (Baltimore) Maryland Monday, April 20, 2009.  He was under investigation for allegedly running a $20 million Ponzi scheme.

11.    Troy Ryan Bellar, shot and killed his wife, Wendy, 31 and 2 of his sons, Zack, 5 months and Ryan, 8, then committed suicide using a 7.62 mm rifle in Lakeland, Florida, Sunday evening, May 3, 2009.  He chased his 13 year-old son, Nathan, shooting at him but the son escaped unharmed.  His wife may have been attempting to leave the home with 2 of the children.

12.    Chris Coleman has been charged for the strangulation of his wife, Sheri, 31, and his 2 sons, Garrett, 11 and Gavin, 9, in Columbia, Illinois, Thursday, May 7, 2009.  (Maj. Jeff Connor of Major Case Squad for additional google resource).  He has pleaded not guilty.

As of the end of June, there have been no more of these mass family murders since May 7.  According to Allan G. Johnson, in The Gender Knot:  Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy, there are underlying social problems and oppressions that contribute to them which are ignored.  Instead, society focuses on each family having its own unique problems.

Jeane Orjas
First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco

Unitarian Universalists Hold First International Women’s Convocation

HOUSTON - The first-ever international gathering of Unitarian Universalist women took place Feb. 26 through March 1, 2009 at the Hilton of the Americas in Houston, Texas, USA.

Convo organizers Barbara Beach and Laura NagelNational Public Radio personality Margot Adler and Francis Moore Lappé, author of the popular book Diet for a Small Planet, participated as keynote speakers. Other speakers included: Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, Third Wave Feminists and authors of Manifesta; Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, theologian; Carolyn McDade, songwriter; Gini Courter, Moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association; Dr. Caren Grown, Professor at American University; emma’s revolution, award-winning peace activist musicians; Rev. Meg Riley, Director, UUA Advocacy and Witness; Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman, First UU Church of Dallas and Candidate for President of the UUA; Rev. Dr. Ann Peart, Unitarian College, Manchester, England; Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, Fourth Universalist Church, New York, NY; Dr. Kalpana Kannabiran, sociologist, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, India; Dr. Diana Strassmann, Rice University, editor International Journal of Feminist Economics; Rebecca Adamson, CEO of First Peoples Worldwide; and Dr. Sharon Welch, Provost, Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago. (Pictured are Convo organizers Barbara Beach and Laura Nagel.)

600 women from 17 countries and 38 states attended. They gained knowledge and friendships across the great social divides of our time -- geographic, socio-economic, age, gender, race, expertise etc.

Read more: Unitarian Universalists Hold First International Women’s Convocation