Support Your Women and Religion Movement . . . We Support You.

Our Joseph Priestley District annual report hasn’t come out, yet, but here’s a boost for our spirits from Central Midwest District. I see lots of programming successes for our inspiration.

Annual Report
Women & Religion Committee (CMD)

The 14th Annual WomanSpirit Conference was held in January 2000, at the Hickory Ridge conference Center. The title was "Nourishing the Spirit Within" with Vicki Noble as our keynote speaker. There were 319 women in attendance at our second conference center experience. Of that number, 104 were first timers, 30 maidens, 8 children, 27 workshop presenters, and 23 vendors. Thirteen women requested mentors. The Saturday banquet was attended by 292 women. Twenty women utilized home hospitality. We gave out $1,595 in full and/or partial scholarships. Our social concern project was The Greater Chicago Food Depository which received $2 per participant ($638) plus the Sunday collection and other anonymous funds. We are pleased at the continual interest in Women’s Spirituality issues and feel pride in the quality workshops and keynotes that these conferences are able to provide. The main difference between conference center gatherings and churches is that, in conference centers, we are able to build community and eat together in ways that were not possible before.

The ninth annual WomanSpirit Summer Conference was held in August at Camp Ronora in Watervliet, Michigan. Since 2000, our attendance has increased by 4 women each year. In 2002 there were 80 women and maidens in attendance for our conference titled, "Everything We Do is Magic." Over the past couple years the organization of both conferences begins a year in advance. The Women & Religion Committee provides a liaison to each of the local planning committees to provide both planning ideas and support. We have found this to be a critical role and one which has helped to maintain the overall feeling of well-being at both of our conferences.

During 2002, SOPHIA, our quarterly publication of UU Women’s voices, changed hands editorially. Editorship passed from the capable rebirth editor, Lynn Marie Helvey of Elkhart, Indiana, to Patti Ussery of Homewood, Illinois. Many further changes have occurred, including a decision to gift each WomanSpirit participant with a one-year subscription to SOPHIA. This was done to help ensure that the voice of SOPHIA is heard and read by many and to ensure that there is a wide representation of writings from our district. Please submit articles to: wolfmayv@aol.com or write to Patti at 18903 Center Ave., Homewood, IL 60430.

Our webpage, under the skill of webmaster, Gretchen Ohman, communicates all of our activities to people around the world. See it at www.womenandreligion.org.

Our Lending Library has over 100 volumes. Peg Saintcross started the library in 1999. It has been expanding ever since mainly through donations. Anyone who attends our conferences can borrow materials either at the conference or by contacting Susan Zuern (W & R Wisewoman and Librarian). The materials are loaned out free of charge. We do ask the borrower be responsible for the postage to return the materials to the librarian in a reasonable amount of time. You can write to the librarian to request a book list: Susan Zuern, 2426 N. 73rd St., Wauwatosa, WI, 53213 or e-mail her at rillabee@aol.com.

Our Roadshow Goddess, Carol Hosmer, continues to promote worship services conducted by current and former members of the Women and Religion Committee. During the last year, we have presented our service, "Honoring our Grandmothers" -- a service in which we celebrate our female ancestors in story, poetry and song at United UU Society of Mukwonago, WI and Berrien UU Fellowship in St. Joseph, MI. In March, we will be presenting the service at Lake Country UU Church in Wales, WI. We continue to enjoy meeting folks from other congregations and spread the word about the work and activities that are available to the women in the Central Midwest District.

Our most recent conference took place at the Clock Tower resort in Rockford, Illinois. The title was, "Women of Radiance Blossoming" with keynote, Wendy Doniger, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Chicago, who talked about the Kama Sutra from a feminist perspective. There were 310 women in attendance at this conference. We are planning for upcoming conferences and already have the committee in action for the 2004 Winter Conference at the Tinley Park Conference Center in Chicago’s southern suburbs. We are hoping to have upcoming conferences in St. Louis or Wisconsin.

Our Women and Religion Committee has seven strong leaders, two of whom are stepping down. We have two replacements in the wings and remain open to having a full compliment of nine members.

Here’s a letter to all supporters.

I just received the new UUW&R tri-fold. If you would like a copy to have an official donation form, please, send me your address.

Dear Friend of UU Women & Religion,

The Resolution of 1977 transformed the basic framework of the UUA denomination forever by initiating a search of religious roots of sexism within its structure. Since that time Women & Religion has been active at the local, district and continental levels, educating, supporting and helping women and denominations overcome patriarchal and sexist traditions, by offering classes, educational material, retreats, religious services, study groups and more.

In 1995 the Women & Religion Committee was sunsetted by the UUA, who considered the work called for by the Resolution to be accomplished. Following suit, many districts withdrew their financial support from the Women & Religion committees throughout the denomination. Since that time, UU Women & Religion has continued to operate on the support and work of a few dedicated contributors and a handful of districts that recognize that the work is not yet done. Some District W&R groups are dependent on their districts for money; some support themselves through conferences. UU W&R is only supported through contributions. Everywhere we see evidence of patriarchal and sexist mentality creeping into our lives (even within our denominations) and UU Women & Religion committees continue to work on these issues in their congregations, districts and in the larger world.

In 2002, UU Women & Religion gained affiliate status once again in the UUA, thanks to the dedication of a few women who refused to be sunsetted. With our new affiliation come new possibilities. To meet the challenges and work ahead, we have developed a modest budget to continue with programs and support at the continental level.

This year we will be promoting the course, "Unraveling the Gender Knot." We will have a booth at General Assembly; offer two workshops and a worship service. Also, throughout the year we will be working to coordinate and dispense information that will help the districts and individual churches to further their programming on these important issues. Each of these activities requires a financial outlay.

We know that you are deeply committed to these issues as well. In light of that, we are asking you to become a contributor. We need your financial support to help us carry on this important work and to help continue and expand our programs.

Please give generously to UU Women & Religion. Help us continue the work that was started in 1977 by our courageous founders.

Please detach and mail back with your contribution to: Joan Fitz-Randolph

P.O. Box 101, Scottsdale, AZ85252-0101



City__________________________ State________________ Zip___________________

Congregation ____________________________________ District _________________

Phone_______________________________ E-mail _____________________________


Thank you for your support!

Thank you,

Core Group, UU Women & Religion

P.S. Please, when you send your check, write JPD on the memo line (if that’s your district). Thanks in advance! HP

P.P.S. The text of the above letter came out of Core Group consensus. It was authored by Janet Matson, UUW&R Core Group member, for all of us to use for this year’s fundraising. You might see this letter, again. What’s the UUW&R Core Group? As referred to in the Winter WOMUUNWEB, it’s made up of the women who attend the annual November Gathering and, through this, automatically become the new churchyear’s "Board of Directors" (the Core Group). It’s a self-choosing system based on personal motivation and depth of commitment to the UU Women and Religion movement. HP


(Depending on how much we get from this year’s donations)

A W&R Workshop on How To Create and Conduct a Ritual (e.g. Wheel of the Year)

Ritual is a part of all religions. Those of us who are working on the district level are finding that groups which are women-led are creating different ritual than the usual UU ritual. It is more egalitarian, involves emotion, and beauty and spontaneity and is fun, yet encompasses all of our deep UU roots. This workshop will explore these findings and ask participants to share their ritual successes.

Also, we plan to have a workshop on THE GENDER KNOT CURRICULUM, led by main author, Barbara Schonborn. It will be similar, in content, to the JPD W&R Spring Conference Workshop.

(See description in the JPD news, below.)

Note: Final wording for the Women and Religion GA Events will come out in the Summer 2003 WOMUUNWEB.

Beautiful Women's Month

Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen.
Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.
Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister (Mum I can't go to school looking like this!)
Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly"-- but decides she's going out anyway.
Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" -- but decides she doesn't have time to fix it, so she's going out anyway.
Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "clean" and goes out anyway.
Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am" and goes wherever she wants to go.
Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.
Age 70: She looks at herself & sees wisdom, laughter and ability, goes out and enjoys life.
Age 80: Doesn't bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.



This annual event will take place in Timonium, MD on April 4th as part of the District Conference. See the registration form in your congregation office’s JPD Packet.

JPD Women and Religion is sponsoring a workshop, "The Gender Knot" to introduce a new continental W&R adult RE curriculum which is based on the book with the same title by Alan Johnson. The book describes how we are all living with an oppressive gender legacy called patriarchy that limits the lives of both women and men. In a non-confrontational way, Johnson points out how the influence of patriarchy permeates all aspects of our lives.

This curriculum, which will be explored in a participatory manner, reveals the extent of patriarchy and how both men and women can see themselves as part of the process of change.

This workshop will be held on Friday evening and will be led by Laura Shemick and Nuala Carpenter. Come and hear about this exciting new curriculum that you could offer to your congregation. Also please visit our display table for more news of Women and Religion in JPD.


April 25 - 27 at Murray Grove, Lanoka Harbor, NJ. The theme is "Women and Wisdom: Exploring Spiritual Practices" with the Rev. Doddie Stone, former minister of UU Church of the South Jersey Shore as the featured facilitator. Registration forms have been sent to all JPD WomanLinks. Also, there’s a form on the JPD website www.jpd.uua.org. (Please see page 2 of the JPD Women and Religion Newsletter.)

The description of the program says that participants will have opportunity to:

Experience meditation practices for the busy woman.

Learn the difference between meditation and prayer.

Demystify ritual.

Experiment with your creative self through music, art, poetry, and movement.

Raise a joyful sound through drumming and chanting.

Explore new ways of connecting with the Spirit of Life.


"Mary Magdalene: An Intimate Portrait" is a 45-minute documentary, rather than theological, portrayal of one of the most misunderstood women in history. The film comes with a discussion facilitator’s guide and asks viewers to interpret Mary Magdalene’s role in early Christianity: saint, sinner, disciple of Jesus, his lover? Loan time is 2 weeks.

Contact Sandy Eckert at 717/533-5331 or jabuda@paonline.com for more information and to borrow curricula.


Environmental Concerns, Green Scene Move Up on Church Agendas

There may be white on the ground, but there’s green in the air as many JPD churches move Green concerns higher on their priority lists.

Launching its effort to be designated a Green Sanctuary by the UUA, First UU of Berks County, Reading, PA last fall began an energy audit of the church, set up an informational Green Table for members, initiated a "Green Corner" column for its monthly newsletter, and began "Discovering a Sense of Place," an eight-week discussion course.

Last summer the board of Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church, Alexandria, VA approved the congregation becoming a "green sanctuary". The church’s Green Sanctuary Group also presented a check for $350.00 to be used to increase the church’s energy efficiency.

The Green Sanctuary program of Bull Run Unitarian Universalists, Manassas, VA moved from the planning to the operational phase by launching its Green Sanctuary Year in the fall.

Throughout the year, there will be environmental projects at three Wildlife Refuges, an annual field trip to a local landfill, sewage treatment and power plants or organic farm, and a year of providing information on recycling and energy conservation and learning to live with less and enjoying life more.

UU of the Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem, PA created a new "Green Sanctuary" Task Force, brainstorming how the church can become more energy efficient, with the goal of applying for accreditation as a UUA Green Sanctuary.

UU Fellowship of Pottstown, PA also sent to the UUA its application for becoming a Green Sanctuary. Within the past year the congregation voted to buy 100 percent wind energy for electricity, worked on recycling and trash reduction and through special services and articles worked to develop awareness of environmental issues.

Together with several state and local agencies last fall, UU of Harrisburg, PA hosted and co-sponsored a conference on global warming. The keynote speaker, Donald A. Brown, reported on the earth summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

P.S. I belong to River Road Church’s Environmental Task Force (ETF) and am glad to report our interest in the Green Sanctuary Program. (See below.)

Also, Marney Bruce, ETF member, has been doing simplicity circles at River Road (RRUC) and is now launching the "Discovering a Sense of Place" course.

To add to other accomplishments, we are instituting River Road’s first Earth Day and Clean Energy Expo (April 27), which includes joining the ministers for doing the Sunday service. We meet March 2 for bringing our final plan into shape with such ideas as displaying hybrid cars, having a Sierra Club table and banner and literature promoting Energy Star products. (See www.energystar.gov

Here is some information on the Green Sanctuary Program that I mentioned to you earlier.  We have been asked if the ETF would like to work on this for RRUC.  To start the program, we would need to request $100 for the application from the Social Justice Council.   If you read the information below, you may agree that RRUC is really already doing most these things so I don't think it would be very difficult.  -- Suzanne


The Seventh Principle Project

Earth, Spirit, and Justice

P.O. Box 1523
Arlington, VA 22210

The UU Green Sanctuary Program
How YOUR Church Can Get Involved

The Green Sanctuary manual summarizes many reasons for transforming a church into a Green Sanctuary and strategies to accomplish it. The Seventh Principle Project Green Sanctuary Program is a collection of some of the most effective strategies we have seen for maximizing the impact of a congregation on environmental challenges. Please feel free to borrow (read steal!) the ideas here and implement them in a fashion that makes sense!

As an aid to congregations that wish to follow guidelines for development, and to provide some standardization for the use of the term Green Sanctuary, the Seventh Principle Project manages an accreditation program for recognized Green Sanctuary churches and fellowships who have undertaken the simple process that follows.

The first step for congregational leaders interested in the process is to understand and discuss the goals of the program. There are five equally important goals:

a. To build awareness of societal environmental issues among UU's

Awareness precedes attitude change, which precedes behavior change. This manual contains a brief synopsis of the most significant global environmental issues, their manifestation in American communities, and important references for further exploration. A Simplicity Circle or an adult RE study group may be a critical format for building awareness within a congregation.

b. To generate commitment for personal lifestyle changes

Think globally, act locally. The most local issue is each of our individual lifestyles. Many of the issues summarized in this manual address individual lifestyle choices. Once a community of people is on a guilt-free path of growth and change there can be tremendous excitement. Again, the Simplicity Circle is the keystone building block for working toward this goal.

c. To motivate UU's to community action on environmental issues

Once there is an understanding of the gravity of the crises, and a personal commitment to change, the next level of personal action is turned outward into the community. This is the path of compassion and connectedness to other beings and is another critical link in developing a practice of environmental commitment. The all-church project is a primary vehicle for accomplishment of this goal, and there are many ideas for projects summarized in this manual.

d. To build a connection between spiritual practice and environmental consciousness

For many spiritually grounded group members, development of a path of environmental commitment will be a spiritual activity from the beginning. For others not as familiar with earth-centered spirituality, the connections may be examined, felt, tried and meditated upon. Environmental services and speakers, RE Classes, ritual and song can all bring spirit to the work and values being developed.

e. To build awareness of and rectify environmental injustices

Perhaps the most deeply integrated and compassionate expression of our caring for the planet is our recognition of the plight of beings who are not flourishing. Some of these beings are other species whose simple right to existence is not recognized by their oppressors. Some of these beings are humans who suffer environmental oppression from unjust discrimination of the wealthy and advantaged in society. To act boldly (even radically) in raising such plights to the recognition of our fellows and provide relief to the oppressed is perhaps the pinnacle of our work in environmental commitment.

 Obtaining Recognition

1. To begin the application process, the applicant church must document the formation of a Green Sanctuary standing committee, with a designated chair. The committee must declare its intent to seek recognition as a Green Sanctuary church.

2. As part of its application for "candidacy" status, the church must document completion of one accomplishment in each of the first three Action Areas listed below (Energy Conservation and Environmental Practices; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; and Church Communication).


Here’s the website to obtain the complete text:



I learned that the Annapolis Church ‘s Green Sanctuary group has been serving shade grown, fair trade coffee at the 3rd Sunday "Green Coffee" events for several months now. Shade grown coffee is grown in the shade of native trees so it preserves bird habitat and fair trade means the farmers are not exploited. www.uuca-md.org/

Dear Readers, please, let me know if your congregation is concerned in specific ways to improve our biosphere. Helen hpop@bellatlantic.net


Thought you might appreciate knowing that Kay & Fred Cox celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary Feb. 12!  Quite an accomplishment!

Sending forth the peace that starts at home –-

"Go forth committed to work for world peace.

May peace be before us and behind us, beside us and around us.

May peace be above us and below us, inside us and throughout the world." Diann L. Neu, D. Min, WATER



It’s Sunday, March 23, 5 PM at River Road Unitarian Church, on the corner of River Road and Whittier (one block from Goldsboro). We’ll be upstairs in the Fireside Room and outside on the courtyard, weather permitting. Please, remember to bring snacks and/or drink and your own cup.

Each day counts! Snowfall has been 3 X deeper than normal. What’s done is done. What’s to come; we don’t know. Let us focus on nature’s sustainability and springtime’s balance, dark and light. We can embrace the light and find light within ourselves and within the strength of our circle to carry beyond for world peace.

Helen Popenoe hpop@bellatlantic.net

The next River Road Wheel of the Year service will be May 4 for Mayfest.


PBCUUPS Spring Equinox Ritual: A Greek Ritual Honoring Artemis and Pan

Greetings everyone! We are having another community ritual!

On Friday, March 21, 2003, at 8:00 p.m., Paint Branch CUUPS will be performing a Greek offertory ritual honoring Goddess Artemis, God Pan, and other Greek Nature Deities. We will be giving thanks for untamed Nature and will be asking for environmental healing. Weather permitting, the ritual will occur in the grove outside the Paint Branch UU Church; otherwise it will occur in the Meeting House of the Church. All are welcome to attend!

Ritual preparations will begin at 7:45 p.m. with drumming to purge away all negativity. The ritual will also include drumming and dancing in honor of the Deities. So, if you can, bring an instrument to play (drum, tambourine, panpipe, flute, recorder, lyre, zither, etc.). We will have extras if you don't have one.

During the ritual, we will be making the traditional Greek offerings of barley, oil, water, and incense to the Deities. We will also make offerings of bread, juice, and wine, and will be toasting the Deities.

So, if you can, bring a poem or a short story to tell about these Deities, your favorite wild animal, vegetation, or wild place. You are also welcome to make vows or express wishes. And you are welcome to bring an image to place on the altar during the ritual.

A potluck feast will follow the ritual, so, if you can, bring something to share for the feast.

If you have any questions, please contact Marija at Miovski@cs.com

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Assembly (on deck)

Ritual Preparations (drumming) & Ritual Introduction (on deck)

Procession to Grove & Processional Chant

Invocation of Artemis; Prayer to Artemis

Invocation of Pan; Prayer to Pan

Traditional Greek Offerings of Barley & Oil

Water Libations to the Nature Deities

Incense Offerings for Peace, Protection, Justice, Health, Wisdom & Love

Bread, Juice & Wine Offerings

Sharing of Bread, Juice & Wine; Harvest Chant

Toasts to the Nature Deities

Silent Meditation

Chant: Hoof and Horn

Dancing & Drumming in Honor of the Nature Deities

Circle Blessing

Devocation of Artemis

Devocation of Pan

Closing Chant

Pot-luck Feasting, Discussion & Socializing (in kitchen)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Directions from the Beltway:

Drive around I-495 to Exit 28A on New Hampshire Ave. Stay in the right lane.

Turn right on Powder Mill Road. Go 1 mile, bearing left at the next traffic light and proceed up the hill. The church is on the right at 3215 Powder Mill Road.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Directions from Columbia/Baltimore:

Take I-95 South to Exit 29B West on Powder Mill Road (MD 212). Proceed 1 1/2 miles past 3 traffic lights to the church. The church is on the left at 3215 Powder Mill Road.

Hi all...

The 2003 dates from the Mystic's Wheel of the Year calendar have been posted on the calendar website: www.WheeloftheYear.com


There are web pages for each religious tradition, including, of course, Paganism (Celtic, Greek, Norse, Roman, Egyptian, etc.). There are also separate pages for Native American religions, Santeria, Hinduism, and Buddhism. And there is a page that includes Zoroastrian, Taoist, and Shinto dates.

There are also pages focused on different topics:

* Solar & Lunar Cycles & Eclipses

* Meteor Showers

* Visible Planets

* Astrological Periods

* Environmentalist & Deep Ecology dates

* Feminist, Human Rights & Social Justice dates

* Peace & Disarmament dates

* Experiential Meditations

* Empowering Meditations

* Action Offerings

* Art as Meditation




Earthbased Celebrations on the Hinges at Accotink

Join men, women and teens for eight turnings of the year. Spring Equinox is our next celebration on Friday, March 21 from 7:30-9:30 PM in our sanctuary with Summer Solstice on Friday, June 20. Our celebrations draw from practices and rituals from a variety of sources. Bring your altar candles and a nibble to share. Contact Michele Porzel at porzelmi@erols.com or Marsha White at mf.white@verizon.net for details.

Take a Spiritual Journey to Peru

Michele Porzel, Co-Chair of the Earthbased Spirituality Group at Accotink UU Church and owner of her own energy work/massage business, is leading a once-in-a-lifetime spiritual journey to Peru in May. Michele previously participated in a Spiritual Journey and was so moved, she is leading a group this year. You can be part of this group and experience firsthand the Sacred Valley area (including Machu Picchu) and Lake Titicaca. Depart on your own spiritual journey May 24 and return June 4.6/4. The energy of Peru is intense and joyful, and you will experience ceremony at the sites. All UU women and friends are invited to contact Michele Porzel at 703-455-4627 or e-mail porzelmi@erols.com for more information.

Women's Book Discussion

All women are welcome to attend our monthly book discussions. Our next selections include a biography of your choice (Feb), Atonement (Apr), Bel Canto (May), The God of Small Things (Jun), and The Lovely Bones (Jul). Since we meet in homes, contact Marsha White at mf.white@verizon.net for location information.

Circle/Folk Dancing

While not just for women, Accotink offers circle and folk dancing two Saturday evenings a month from 8-10 PM in our sanctuary. This is a fun, no stress, no dancing talent needed, and no partner required event. Our next series is 3/8, 3/22, 4/5, 4/19, 5/3, 5/17, 5/30, 6/7 and 6/21. The cost is just $10/person/session or $35 for the series.

Sewing Circle AKA Quilting Group

Want to learn quilting in a slow, no homework required group? Then

Accotink's quilting group is for you. We meet most Sundays from 4:30-6 PM in the sanctuary. We are working on a circle of friends quilt designed by one of our women. You are welcome to cross stitch names for the church or bring your current project to work while we enjoy conversation. Call AUUC to confirm dates.


Full Circle’s Earth Centered Celebration

Full Moon Women’s Circles meet on each full moon throughout the year. Open to women only, the circles focus on feminine energy. We explore personal issues and our spiritual connection to Goddess and God. We celebrate with song, dance and sharing in a sacred and safe space, opening wide the opportunity to celebrate with other women. Spring circles are scheduled for March 18th, April 16th and May 15th, from 7-9 p.m. There is a requested donation of $5 per woman, per gathering, to cover materials. All circles are followed by a potluck feast.

Sun Circles celebrate the Wheel of the Year, with 8 seasonal celebrations and are open to women, men and children. The Spring Equinox will be observed with a joyous celebration on March 23rd. At Ostara, the dead earth is reborn and we awaken to our place in the interconnected web of all existence. We seek balance and sustainability. Sun Circles will celebrate May Day on May 4th. We deck ourselves out to match the beauty of the flowers and weave a community of love and playfulness with a maypole dance. All Sun Circle festivities begin at 5:00 PM. Requested donation for Sun Circles is $5 per person or $10 per family. Like Full Moon Circles, Sun Circles are followed by a potluck feast.

For more information about Full Circle and related events visit the UUCA website at: www.uuca-md.org; click on "Click Here for Activities," then click on "Full Circle."

Women Promoting Peace & Justice

A reading of Lysistrata, Aristophanes’ bawdy ancient Greek anti-war comedy, was given by church member Roberta Wells-Famula on Monday, March 3rd to protest the rush to war on Iraq. Lysistrata tells the story of women from opposing states that unite to end a war by refusing to sleep with their men until they agree to lay down their swords. Powerless in their society, with too many of their sons and husbands being slaughtered in battle, the women take the only tactic available to them: a sex strike. The suggested donation of $5 was designated for Anne Arundel Peace Action.

Also, on March 3rd, a group of women from Annapolis joined other UU women at "Code Pink," a vigil of women for peace, which has been taking place outside the White House at Lafayette Park since November 17th.

On Friday, April 11th, at 8:00 PM one of our women’s covenant groups will sponsor a concert at the church to benefit Women for Afghan Women, a collective of Afghan and non-Afghan women who are committed to ensuring the human rights of Afghan women. Music will be performed by the Mariners String Quartet. No admission will be charged, but a collection for donations will be taken.



To get information or register for the March 29 event, go to www.uucava.org.  Information listed under Labyrinth heading.  Or call Jane Buckman at 703-524-3681.



All female members and friends of the congregation are invited to join in forming a UUFGC Women's Spirituality Circle. Our first meeting was a retreat held at the Fellowship in January from 1:30 to 8:30 p.m. Subsequent meetings are the second Saturday of each month, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., through June 14.

Using the UUA curriculum "Cakes for the Queen of Heaven" (with some upgrading by Joan) we will look at our relationship with our bodies, mother/daughter relationships, the treatment of women in the bible, what the blessed virgin Mary could possibly have to tell us today, the Gnostic Christians, the witch hunts throughout history, and neo-pagan or earth-based spirituality.

I've had a lot of experience leading these groups. The sessions will offer an opportunity to speak from our own experience and to form strong bonds with other women in our Fellowship. Attending the Saturday retreat implies a commitment to make your best effort to attend the remaining Saturday evening meetings. A flyer with additional information will be available after the first of the year. If you are interested, please RSVP to me (joansab@aol.com)

THOUGHTS by Phoebe Pfaehler

Watch your thoughts –-

They become your words.

Watch your words –-

They become your actions.

Watch your actions -–

They become your habits.

Watch your habits –-

They become your character.

Watch your character -–

For it becomes your destiny.



Dear friends,

Greetings! I'm writing from Unitarian Universalists for Drug Policy Reform -- a UUA affilate in the D.C. area.

Please forward this message to anyone who might be interested (including your congregation's e-mail list, Sunday order of service, UU young adult groups, etc.):

UUDPR is looking to hire someone as soon as possible to work 30-40 hours per week, at $10-15 per hour, for 6-12 weeks (with the possibility of revolving into a full-time, salaried position).

The employee will work under the direct supervision of the executive director in our office in Silver Spring, Maryland (a short commute from Washington, D.C.). The main job responsibility is to facilitate the efforts of our active participants to promote more just and compassionate alternatives to the drug war.

The ideal candidate will excel at the following:

* comprehending and following verbal and written instructions;

* cranking out massive numbers of persuasive phone calls and e-mails;

* giving clear instructions to our participants on what needs to be done and how to do it; and

* keeping good records of this outreach and organizing.

Please e-mail your resume to charlesthomas@uudpr.org as soon as possible. Attach it in text or rtf format, or paste it into the body of the e-mail message. Include day and evening contact information.

Feel free to include any questions that you have about the position.

Thank you very much!

All the best,

Charles Thomas, executive director

Unitarian Universalists for Drug Policy Reform (UUDPR)


Helen’s P.S. -– I’ve worked with Charles and have the impression he’d be a good boss. HP


Whether you're Right or Left on the issue of women's reproductive rights, please consider the following...

President Bush has announced his plan to select Dr. W. David Hager to head up the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee.

The committee has not met for more than two years, during which time its charter has lapsed. As a result, the Bush Administration is tasked with filling all eleven positions with new members. This position does not require Congressional approval.

The FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee makes crucial decisions on matters relating to drugs used in the practice of obstetrics, gynecology and related specialties, including hormone therapy,
contraception, treatment for infertility, and medical alternatives to surgical procedures for sterilization and pregnancy termination.

Dr. Hager's views of reproductive health care are far outside the mainstream of setback for reproductive technology. He is a practicing OB/GYN who describes himself as "pro-life" and refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women.

Hager is the author of "As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring Women Then and Now." The book blends biblical accounts of Christ healing women with case studies from Hager's practice. In the book Dr. Hager wrote with his wife, entitled "Stress and the Woman's Body," he suggests that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome should seek help from reading the bible and praying.

As an editor and contributing author of "The Reproduction Revolution: A Christian Appraisal of Sexuality, Reproductive Technologies and the Family," Dr. Hager appears to have endorsed the medically inaccurate assertion that the common birth control pill is an abortifacient.

Hagar's mission is religiously motivated. He has an ardent interest in revoking approval for mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486) as a safe and early form of medical abortion.

Hagar recently assisted the Christian Medical Association in a "citizen's petition" which calls upon the FDA to revoke its approval of mifepristone in the name of women's health.

Hager's desire to overturn mifepristone's approval on religious grounds rather than scientific merit would halt the development of mifepristone as a treatment for numerous medical conditions disproportionately affecting women, including breast cancer, uterine cancer, uterine fibroid tumors, psychotic depression, bipolar depression and Cushing's syndrome. Women rely on the FDA to ensure their access to safe and effective drugs for reproductive health care including products that prevent pregnancy.

For some women, such as those with certain types of diabetes and those undergoing treatment for cancer, pregnancy can be a life-threatening condition. We are concerned that Dr. Hager's strong religious beliefs may color his assessment of technologies that are necessary to protect women's lives or to preserve and promote women's health.

Hager's track record of using religious beliefs to guide his medical decision-making makes him a dangerous and inappropriate candidate to serve as chair of this committee. Critical drug public policy and research must not be held hostage by antiabortion politics.

Members of this important panel should be appointed on the basis of science and medicine, rather than politics and religion. American women deserve no less.




Please email President Bush at president@whitehouse.gov or call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414 and say "I oppose the appointment of Dr. Hager to the FDA Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Mixing religion and medicine is unacceptable. Using the FDA to promote a political agenda is inappropriate and seriously threatens all women's health."

The Planned Parenthood Action Network address is actioncenter@ppfa.org, if you’d like to join.

NARAL says "What You Can Do:"

  1. Sign NARAL Pro-Choice America’s petition in support of the "Freedom of Choice Act" by calling 1/877/YOU-DECIDE. The legislation would secure the right to choose for all women nationwide.
  2. View NARAL Pro-Choice America’s brief animated feature and forward it to your friends. Go to www.naral.org/generation/flash.html.
  3. Check out NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation’s report at www.naral.org/mediaresources/whod.html


It’s Saturday, March 29, at Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD. $15.00 –- Early Registration by March 14 ($12.50 for seniors and students) and $20.00 –- On-Site Registration ($15.00 for seniors and students) An $8.00 boxed lunch can be ordered with an early registration (March 14).

It’s an opportunity for women to network, to find out what’s going on in the county and to hear presentations in many areas.

www.mcwomensfair.org or call 301/949-2055 or contact me, Helen Popenoe hpop@bellatlantic.net for a registration form. The Women’s Fair has been a regular feature in Montgomery County, MD since 1980.


It’s July 12 – 19 (Early registration, 45 days prior to July 12)


To increase awareness and understanding of our own sexuality and that of others.

To explore models for being sexually healthy.

To increase the comfort and confidence of professionals in the areas of sexuality and sexual diversity education.

If you register 45 days prior to July 12, it costs $1350. Later - $1500

Three graduate credits can be earned from this experience. It happens in New York, a 30-minute drive from Syracuse. Contact me for the registration form hpop@bellatlantic.net


Remembering Shuttle Columbia Astronaut Laurel Salton Clark (a UU): Email to her mother and others the day before the explosion:

"Hello from above our magnificent planet ... I have seen some incredible sights: lightning spreading over the Pacific, the Aurora Australia lighting up the entire visible horizon with the cityglow of Australia below, the crescent moon setting over the limb of the Earth, the vast plains of Africa and the dunes on Cape Horn, rivers breaking through tall mountain passes, the scars of humanity, the continuous line of life extending from North America, through Central America and into South America, a crescent moon setting over the limb of our blue planet … Love to all"

For the complete text, see www.uua.org/news/2003/0030203.html

"Don’t walk in front of me,

I may not follow.

Don’t walk behind me,

I may not lead.

Walk beside me,

And just be my friend."


WOMUUNWEB DEADLINE for Summer, 2003 Issue is June 1st, please.

Many thanks to Al Carlson, GWA Webmaster, for publishing this WOMUUNWEB issue #11 on the GWA website www.gwa.jpd.uua.org

Please, send your news to Helen Popenoe at hpop@bellatlantic.net

Respectfully submitted by Helen Popenoe thanks to the formatting skills of Margaret Warker.

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