OUR SPECIAL KIND OF STUDY/ACTION ISSUE
From this year's UU annual meeting, General Assembly - 2000 in Nashville, we have an environmentalist plum. Soon there will be an education packet in your church office. These study materials are for group discussions and action, leading up to the vote at General Assembly - 2001. Do you have such groups in your congregation, yet? Often they're called Simplicity Circles.
Sharon Sundial, Womuunlink from UU Church of Arlington's group submitted this:
We would like to share your suggestions, too. Please, email them to Sharon Sundial at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for next issue: Nov. 22
The name of the Study/Action Issue, when you go for the packet, is "Responsible Consumption As a Moral Imperative".
P.S. Also, THANKS, Sharon, for WEBWORKS' new name. HP
WOMEN AND RELIGION AT GENERAL ASSEMBLY (GA)
Women and Religion's (W&R) booth made a great impression, judging from the many conversations with those who stopped. The continental W&R signature banner was the focal point. Our "parlor" to rest in was well used; I think, because the whole atmosphere was so welcoming. The materials and wall hangings from Central Midwest, Pacific Central, Florida, Central Mass, New YoRK Metro, Thomas Jefferson and our own Joseph Priestley District were invitingly displayed. We gathered pages of sign-ups from women wanting more information. These days, feminist group process is our message. Those of us staffing the booth felt proud to belong to our continental W&R movement. Thanks go to Florida district's UU in the Pines retreat center who, once again, sponsored our booth space.
Thanks, also, go to Laurie James and Rowe Camp (who gave us our program slot). The W&R program this year, came from Laurie's interesting script, "O Excellent Friend!", based on actual letters, essays and journals which revealed the hot/cold relationship between Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The staged reading (including another professional actor doing Emerson) was well attended and well received. All 100 copies of the flier announcement went from the booth and there were less than 100 programs left of the 400 printed. Laurie has quite a following of fans who come to GA each year. She received an invitation to repeat "O Excellent Friend" in one of the East Coast churches and the West Coast folks asked her to bring her solo drama (the one she did for us at last spring's Murray Grove W&R retreat) out there again.
Each of the five UU women's organizations had several events at GA - 2000: UUWF had 5, UU Women's Heritage Society had 2, MsUU had 2, LREDA had 2. Women and Religion can hold its head high because we had one really outstanding event and a successful booth!
By Rosemary Matson and Helen Popenoe, Continental W&R Co-Conveners
WHO WE ARE CONTINENTALLY:
The Continental Constellation of Women and Religion is a sisterhood dedicated to liberating all humanity and the earth from effects of historical hierarchical indoctrination by empowering everyone to use partnership ways and by giving full value to the UU Principles and Purposes.
W&R AND UUWF ARE BUILDING A BRIDGE
A bridging committee is working toward bringing W&R and UUWF (UU Women's Federation) reconciliation. As FL District's Gloria Marvin wrote in their W&R newsletter, "For those who may not know why such a committee is being set up, briefly stated, it is that certain events of 1996-1997 either remain unresolved or insufficiently addressed thus far. The committee's purpose is to 'define a multi-step process of reconciliation…to effectively help build/rebuild healthy trust among the women of the two groups, whereby a truly collaborative environment can be created.' "
ALSO LEARNED AT GA:
1. For those of us who engage in creating Wheel of the Year ceremonies, good information on how to be true to others while being true to ourselves was gained from the workshop, "Appreciation or Appropriation: A Conversation on Religious Pluralism". Respecting religious ways of another's culture through symbolism and the senses of our bodies, gives a context for understanding and relating to what is extremely personal to those within that faith. IT'S OK TO INCLUDE THE WORDS AND RITUALS FROM OTHER TRADITIONS IF IT IS RESPONSIBLY WOVEN INTO A LITURGY THAT IS BASED ON OUR UU HERITAGE. First we have to be grounded with authenticity through experiential expression of our whole selves. Such ceremonial experience can give a window for removing ignorance of another faith tradition. It can lead to wholeheartedly appreciating diversity, a relationship promoting pluralism.
2. REVOLT - NO MORE PATRIARCHY was the theme of a Southern Girls Convention that was to happen soon after GA in Louisville, KY. It's their 2nd. annual one "because we live in rural towns overrun with religious piety. Because we live in big cities overrun with racial tension. …Because we reject the Southern Belle archetype and any passive, second place gender role thrust upon us."
3. PRAIRYERTH UU FELLOWSHIP continues as "an Earth-centered congregation in the Central Midwest District whose purpose is to bring people into harmony with themselves, each other and the Earth".
4. GAIA COMMUNITY, a UU Congregation in the heart of Greater Kansas City, has the guiding principle, "Live simply that others may simply live". Their office space is on Troost, the historic black/white color divide in the city, in order to make concrete their commitment to the urban core. <www.gaiacommunity.org>
Dear Reader, if you need background information on any item, let me know at <email@example.com>. Helen Popenoe
CEDAW (U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women)
CEDAW will, eventually be ratified by the U.S. Senate; I believe. We cannot give up. Our UUService Committee and UU Faith in Action D.C. offices are supporting our grassroots efforts with letters including one to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urging stronger support from her. Senator Barbara Boxer's Senate Resolutions, this year, brought good consciousness raising. However, we only have a very few days left for Senate action. There's pressure from the House of Representatives, too, with their Resolution in 1999. Included in the sponsors list are Representatives: Norton of D.C., Morella and Cummings of MD, Hoeffel and Brady of PA, Payne and Roukema of NJ and Scott of VA. Amongst the Senators supporting ratification are Senators: Biden of DE, Lautenberg and Torricelli of NJ, Mikulski and Sarbanes of MD, Robb and Warner of VA and Specter of PA. UU's in our 4 DE congregations are trying to educate Senator Roth. Here's what Joe Farrell from the UU's of southern DE told me after a phone conversation, this month, with the aide in charge of CEDAW information in Senator Roth's D.C. office: Senator Roth "has an open mind, not opposed, has some concerns". It was a good conversation in which the concerns were listed.
Looking ahead to the Nov. 7th elections, the Democrats, definitely , have CEDAW in their platform to support. The Republicans give a vague statement wanting to be sure any treaty the U.S. signs is "placed in the context of respect for the fundamental social institutions of marriage and family". The entire House of Representatives is up for re-election. There are 34 Senate races. I know Senator Roth is up for re-election.
We need UU's to educate Senator Santorum of PA. To volunteer, email me at <hpop@bellatlantic,net> and I'll give you a briefing. Would someone from PA let me know if Senator Santorum is up for re-election, please? One great thing is both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have passed Resolutions supporting U.S. ratification of CEDAW.
We need 67+ votes for CEDAW in the Senate. Only a 1 vote majority is necessary. On Nov. 7th., it's important that we locate and vote for the candidates who support CEDAW ratification. GET OUT THE VOTE IN YOUR PRIMARY AND ON NOV. 7th.! How 'bout one of you readers volunteering to be JPD's contact person to receive alerts and to help me facilitate actions. On Oct. 17 and 18, here in D.C., their's to be the first CEDAW trainers workshop. It's at the American Bar Association and will be excellent. Want to learn how to be a community leader with this special training methodology? For an electronic version of the flier contact <firstname.lastname@example.org> You're welcome to stay at my house. Helen Popenoe
WOMUUNLINKS RECRUITMENT IN JPD, SOUTH
A WOMUUNLINK is a woman who supports our Women and Religion movement and is game to spread the word about upcoming W&R events and to be a liaison between the JPD W&R Facilitators' Circle (the "officers") and those in her congregation who would like to know of our work. Men are welcome at the Wheel of the Year ceremonies held at River Road Church in Bethesda. When we have a district conference, men are included then, also. This GWA website has a job description for being a WOMUUNLINK. If you have an interest in promoting feminist values and non-hierarchical ways of functioning and are from Bull Run, Columbia, Fairfax, National Memorial, Paint Branch, Sugarloaf or Silver Spring, please, volunteer by calling me at 301/229-0549. Thanks in advance. Helen Popenoe
PS If you call before October, you get to be invited to a delightful WOMUUNLINK SPIRALING, Oct. 6/7.
FACILITATORS' CIRCLE RECRUITMENT IN JPD, SOUTH
Our mission is to create an environment of support, caring and discovery for women as we move on life's journey. As women in community, we empower one another to explore our authentic selves, be an agent for change and mark the passages of our lives with kindness, compassion and celebration within our families, our congregations, our society and our planet. Needed is one more woman from the southern part of JPD to join me for our 5 yearly meetings. We have 5 women from PA and 2 from NJ so, we meet in the northern part (usually PA). I would enjoy sharing the after-glowing with someone on the trip back home. The Facilitators meetings are always very stimulating and restorative. It's a terrific group of women to belong to!
Helen Popenoe <email@example.com>
THE MOSTARIAN WOMEN PROJECT
As a member of the Development Committee for the International Assoc. of Liberal Religious Women, IALRW, and as a part of the JPD, which has the Cumberland, MD Fellowship in it, I am working to give aid to a Bosnian War victims group of women in Mostar, Bosnia/Hercegovina. A refugee woman brought here and given support by the Cumberland Fellowship, Majda, is my contact with Women of Mostar.
We of the IALRW, an interfaith movement which includes UU women from all over the world, are building a support system for 8 women who are in the Women of Mostar organization. They live in a Muslim ghetto of Mostar. They have Old World skills such as crocheting and embroidering. The last time I reported to you, I was going through the process of trying to persuade SERRV,(the 50 year old, non-profit organization that runs shops called "1,000 Villages" to help the needy sell their hand-crafted products) to accept Mostarian Women's goods. Well, it appears they are not interested since, they haven't responded to our submission of the application form.
In August, I received an email from IALRW's President, Kayoko, informing me that she had sold the 3 crocheted items I had sent her (simply to be samples). Since then, I have received a check for $40. to send the Mostarian women. With this good development, I've mailed my 10 remaining items to Kayoko in Japan with the hope she can sell them, too.
It's an exciting endeavor. Anyone want to join me in this very creative process? Because of the great distances involved, it's a slow moving deal. Our next IALRW meeting is in 2 years in Budapest, Hungary. (You wouldn't have to go with me, though.) When I think of the good that could come from our efforts, I am re-energized. Those women in that Mostarian ghetto have endured so much and continue to suffer; I'm sure, e.g. present-day landmine worries besides the psychological aftermath of the War.
I'll close this request for a helper with these words from Mikiko of IALRW: "I appreciate your cooperation. Thank you, very much. I wish you will catch all the happiness. I hope our fruitful activities will spread all over the world."
(World March of Women, 2000 flier)
CREATING SAFE CONGREGATIONS - TOWARD AN ETHIC OF RIGHT RELATIONS
We have 1500 ministers in fellowship now. Clergy misconduct is happening. As Nancy Bowen says, "Too often our congregations have mirrored the alarming incivility of the secular culture. In a tradition that seeks active engagement with the struggles of the secular world, this is not surprising. It is, however, disappointing." This is a workshop for ministers, religious educators, candidates and lay leaders to deal with how we are all responsible to make our congregations places of peace, liberty and justice. For more information on this Oct. 13/14 workshop at the Annapolis church, contact UUChurch of Annapolis at 333 Dubois Road, Annapolis, MD 21401
MONTGOMERY PRIDE DAY
Sunday, October 1st., from noon to 5:00 PM there will be a gathering to celebrate Montgomery County's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities with the theme, "Take Pride - Take Action". Call 301/231-3550 or email at <Information@MontgomeryPride.org>
OCT. 6/7 WOMUUNLINKS SPIRALING
If you're a WOMUUNLINK now or wish to be, join us at the Towson church (just outside Baltimore, MD in the center of JPD). It'll be an experience full of information, self-affirmation, renewal and fun starting with a slumber party and going till the afternoon of the next day. Fliers will be sent out but, if you need one, contact Sandra Marrone, 1922 Wexford Road, Palmyra, PA 17078, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, 717/533-5331
This not intended to be a money making event, just a special honoring of WOMUUNLINKS.
WOMUUNCIRCLE WHEEL OF THE YEAR CEREMONIES BEGIN FOR THIS CHURCH YEAR
Come experience how we UU's can have a religious service that reconciles our intellectual, rational values with the mystical power of feminist spirituality. Fall Equinox is a time for us to consider balance as the daylight hours match the length of the day's dark hours. When taking stock of your life, inward in the present, behind and ahead in time, what gives you balance? And, when knocked off balance, what helps you regain your equilibrium? Through communion with spirit through movement and ceremony and reconnection with the earth and through heart sharings and symbolism, we will give the possibility of feeling the oil of wholeness enter our lives together. We begin at 5 PM upstairs at River Road Unitarian Church on Sept. 24th. Please, bring snacks &/or drinks (and your own cup) for refreshments afterwards. Both men and women welcome.
Hallowmas service is to happen at the same time and place on Nov. 5th.
Winter Solstice service is to happen at the same time and place on Dec. 17th. Helen Popenoe
ANOTHER SEPT. 24th. FALL EQUINOX CEREMONY NEAR PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY
Silver Spring Church's ceremony begins at 4 PM. Contact David or Doneby <email@example.com> or
ANNAPOLIS CHURCH'S FALL EQUINOX CEREMONY IS ON SEPT. 24th.
Open to men, women and youth, 12 and over with parental permission. $5.00 to cover expenses.
Hallows to be Oct.29
Winter Solstice to be Dec.17 Andrea Kuhn 410/721-7624 or<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Also, Annapolis has Full Circle Events, a participatory, experiential, spiritual program. Circle celebrations integrate a variety of earth-centered traditions with UU principles. We will sing, dance, create craft items and feast! The Full Moon Women's Circle celebrates the seasons, cycles of the moon, our relationship to the earth and our place in the universe. Participation is open to women ages 18 and older. A materials fee of $60.00 for the year, or $30.00 each fall and spring sessions will be charged.
PT. BRANCH'S CUUPS (Covenant of UU Pagans) GROUP HOLDS FULL MOON RITUALS
in the Meeting House starting at 7:30 PM on Sept. 13, October 13, Nov. 11 and Dec. 10
Tish Hall 301/588-2376 or Charley Winter 202/532-3082
CUUPS website is run by Phaedre Orbeck <www.cuups.org>
COLUMBIA HAS 3 PAGAN GROUPS
They focus on nature centered spirituality and community with one another, men and women alike. They meet on the 1st. and 3rd. Sundays of each month from 1:30 - 4:00 PM Nancy Lewman 410/988-9200
DAVIES HAS WOMEN'S CIRCLE
1st. & 3rd. Fridays Joyce Dowling 301/372-9922 & <email@example.com>
FAIRFAX HAS 3 WOMEN'S GROUPS
Click & Stitch continues plus 2 new support groups: For people concerned about elderly relatives, Jan Taddeo, 703/742-6076 and
For pregnant women and mothers of young babies Zaneta McGaha, 703/536-1862
ARLINGTON'S SACRED CIRCLE CONTINUES
beginning Sept. 26, Terry Lang, 703/323-1197 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ARLINGTON'S LABYRINTH OPEN WALKS ARE:
Sept. 10 (Sun.) 4 - 6 PM and Sept. 29 (Fri.) 7 - 9 PM
Oct. 15 (Sun.) 4 - 6 PM and Oct. 29 (Sun.) 4 - 6 PM
Nov. 3 (Fri.) 7 - 9 PM < www.uucava.org/laby2.htm>
ARLINGTON'S LABYRINTH CONFERENCE 2000:A JOURNEY TO HEALING AND FORGIVENESS
Friday, Oct. 20 & 21 featuring Tara Brach founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and Isabella Bates, cantor at Washington National cathedral's Taize Service and a staff member of the Center for Integrative Medicine. <Labconf@aol.com>
NEXT ISSUE'S CALENDAR NOTE: Send information on future events to Helen Popenoe by Nov. 22.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA wants us to know that the June U.S. Supreme Court decision that had a vote of 5 to 4 striking down a state ban on abortion procedures shows us how close we came to losing reproductive rights. Four justices being willing to allow government interference with doctor's medical decisions concerning women's health is too small a margin for us to feel our reproductive freedoms are safe with the present Supreme Court.
CAMPAIGN TO STOP GENDER APARTHEID IN AFGHANISTAN BEING LED BY FEMINIST MAJORITY FOUNDATION
A letter protesting gender apartheid imposed by the Taliban on the women and girls of Afghanistan that has been signed by more than 180 organizations worldwide urges the President and Congress of the U.S., leaders throughout the world and the United Nations to continue to deny recognition to the Taliban militia until women's human rights have been fully restored.
WORCESTER WOMEN'S HISTORY PROJECT SPONSORS NATIONAL CONFERENCE in Worcester, MA
This is an action oriented event with workshops in Health & Relationships, Government & Politics, Education, Work: Vocation and Avocation, Oct. 20 - 22. Sweet Honey in the Rock and Sol y Canto will entertain and a historical reenactment of the 1850 Worcester women's convention will give inspiration from our foremothers. <www.worcesterwomen.com> & <email@example.com> give information.
Thanks to W&R friend Betty Hoskins, I have been reminded that the Water Ceremony so many congregations have as a fall ingathering tradition came out of the Grailville and East Lansing UU women's conferences that preceded the 1977 Women and Religion Resolution. Betty says, "So many think some clergyperson invented it for reopening church each fall". Not true. It's ours, originally.
Many thanks to Al Carlson, GWA Webmaster, for publishing this WOMUUNWEB ISSUE #1 on the GWA website. Respectfully submitted by Helen Popenoe, W&R Reporter. Sept. 6, 2000