Annual UU Women and Religion Continental Gathering Minutes:

Unitarian Universalist Women & Religion - Continental Gathering in Scottsdale, Arizona October 25, 2003

Present - Joan-Fitz-Randolph, Cathy Stanton, Rosemary Matson, Sue Guist, Helen Popenoe & Geri Kennedy.

Read Minutes from prior year
Amended section regarding report to GA - it should have said that Janet would contact Bill Sinkford regarding the mandate from the Resolution that a report be done at each GA by the President.

Amended to reflect that a written report had been received from Pacific Central District.

Consensus to accept the minutes as amended.

Follow up on Past Year's Work
Joan reported that trying to get the financial statements sorted out from prior year was very difficult. Money had been comingled with Mass Bay and Gender Knot funds. A check for $267 was received as a balance forward. An account had been opened in Phoenix. Still need to set up 501c3 status. Balance at present $947.40. Financial report accepted.

Joan expressed concern about the lack of support from the districts.

GA Booth - each district was given the opportunity to put out their own things - most left items and then did not help to staff the booth.

Communication is always difficult. Noted the ongoing need to have a website.

GA Report from Joan - July 6, 2003

"At GA, I went to see as many workshops presented by women as time allowed and did two on Perceived Gender Roles vs. Reality. The rest of my time I spent in the booth talking to people passing by.

A website needs to be a top priority. We have some money left over to use for this and for the core gathering in Phoenix October 24 - 26.

The At-large chapter had the most interest as some who stopped by had active Districts. People from Mtn. Desert, Clara Barton, Metro NY, Heartland, Med-South, Mass. Bay, Joseph Priestley and NW wanted more information.

When I asked one woman if she was interested in attending our workshops, she said she had already seen Cycles of Ritual. Explaining what W&R was all about, took time, but people were interested. One man, a member of a social action committee, took information for the women at his church.

The booth worked better than I had hoped. Although the women selling from their district were not there, they put out the price list and counted on honesty for the money owed. Grace from NE sold her song books and CMW sold pins and CD's. Geri brought 12 t-shirts from last year. Seventy dollars was put into the core group coffers. Here again we trusted people. It worked. Thank you Geri.

A majority of people still do not know about W&R. A few were leery about signing their names for contact. At my workshops, the people were eager for information about the Gender Knot and the course, Unraveling the Gender Knot.

Thanks again to the NE women for getting us started financially to JP for sending $164 from their fundraiser. As the core group meeting is coming up, we need to get busy planning our two workshops and booth for Dec 1 deadline for GA 2004 in the Long Beach.

Thank all of you for your help. Joan"

Expenses - Helen submitted a request for reimbursement for printing costs to send continental tri-folds to JPD women with the expectation of gaining funds for Continental support.

Discussion ensued regarding whether Continental should pay for local printings.

Districts have retreats and activities related to their own needs. Not focused in general on Continental. Are we representing the districts or are we W&R doing the big stuff within the denomination.

Joan noted that districts have different funding methods.

Move to reimburse Helen $24 for printing of 75 tri-folds. Consensus is yes.

District Reports

Helen - JPD - still considered a gender focused resource by district board - they usurped the funds that had been gathered as W&R was using their (JPD's) tax id #. All funds flow through the district now. Womanlinks is well established for communication with around 60 of the 68 congregations in the district. JPD Directory has a separate listing for Womanlinks as a line item for each congregation. Gender Knot curriculum was focus for the year. Annual retreat in April was well attended. JPD W&R's status continues to be as a committee of the District. There's a District W&R newsletter that goes to all Womanlinks and Helen does WOMUUNWEB, a general communication for UU women and men with heavy focus on W&R - web only. It can be found on www.gwa.jpd.uua.org.

Sue - PCD - plan for outreach to each congregation through letter - minimal response - plans to create a catalog of resource materials - April retreat successful - W&R presenting program on Shared Leadership at District Leadership Day. District provides funding through their budget. Fundraiser for next year is High Tea with 3 dead ladies.

Cathy - Florida - successful conference in January with guest speaker - May retreat - Finding Your Inner Faerie - intergenerational - upcoming retreat in November - Flowing to the Sea - printed newsletter distributed before each retreat. Affiliate of district. Self supporting. Church services on W&R were encouraged.

Joan - PSW - self supporting affiliate. Gender Knot for teenagers presented at District Assembly.

NE - is also a committee of their district.

Organization of W&R

What is our perception of how we should operate - as a grass roots organization representing all districts - an independent group or a combination of both.

Joan feels that we should have broader district representation with representatives letting us know their wishes for the core group.

Helen - When we were a UUA Board appointed committee, products were produced to promote the liberation of the UU movement from patriarchal systems. The work of that committee gave inspiration for grass roots W&R work, indirectly. They were a support system through their educational materials and their gathering information from all the UUA districts. We have a lot of good thinkers who have produced good materials which needs broader dissemination. Perhaps creating a central catalog of materials, including where to order, etc.

Rosemary expressed concerns that when we consider only those who are able to attend the Fall Meeting as the Core Group, it dismisses many regular W&R women. We must keep enlarging our group and growing, not shrinking. We should open our yearly gathering to any person wanting to participate, not just the co-convenors. We need to become a clearing house for change - encourage feminist process, shared leadership, non-heirarchical and find ways to open the decision making process.

In addition, the UU W&R Independent Affiliate of the UUA should continue to be the feminist conscience within the denomination, being mindful that the rock we stand on is the W&R Resolution.

Our communications should make reference to the Resolution, indicating its importance and relevance. We haven't as yet implemented the charges in the W&R Resolution and must seek to stay visible and on the cutting edge until we do. We must remain the feminist guiding light for the UUA.


Co-convener - Helen
Co-convener - Cathy
Treasurer - Geri K/Rosemary
Recording Secretary - Geri K
GA Coordinator - Joan
Communications - we will contact some of the other women who could not attend.
Membership Development - Outreach -
Web Savvy Person -
Clearing House Person for Reference Material - Sue

Cathy and Helen will make every effort to communicate on Wednesdays. One year only.

GA Workshop Proposals
Janet Matson - Beyond Patriarchy Living by a New Model
Barbara Schonborn & Rosemary Matson - Gender Knot - final presentation
Pat Simon - Allan Johnson - Peace, Power & Difference

Agreed to select the Gender Knot final presentation and the Allan Johnson program if it is not selected by the planning committee and that Janet's program would be used if Alan Johnson's is sponsored by the Planning Committee.

Agreed to do a specific fundraiser if needed for Allan Johnson geared toward those who have done the pilot programs.

Booth - thoughts - have pre-designated spaces for district materials with district providing $25 - $50 for their spaces. Any sales by districts will be the responsibility of that district. Districts will be given a copy of the sign-in sheet for their districts. Size of booth will depend upon response.

Banner - Sue volunteered to receive booth banner and deliver it to GA.

GA Report by President - need to contact Janet Matson to determine whether she had contacted Sinkford last year.

No UUA President's report has been given since at least 1996. Agreed to submit a suggestion to Sinkford that would include the affiliation. Geri & Rosemary will prepare draft for submission to Sinkford.

References to "November" gathering change to "Annual" Gathering with the understanding that it will still be usually held in the fall.

Next Gathering - agreed to meet October 1,2,3 in Kansas City, MO.

Goals for year
Resource clearinghouse - a listing of resource materials available, bibliography of pertinent books, etc., including cost and where to order. To be available on W&R website (if created) or, alternatively as a link on another hosting website. The purpose will be to enhance district programming and knowledge.

Promote the use of the Gender Knot Curriculum - agreed to provide support to see that the actual 4. Peace - as a subtext we should always promote peace and encourage peace curricula as an example, updating the Sexism and Peacemaking curriculum and encouraging participation in 3rd Sunday of the month Silent Walk for Peace. As a part of our support for peace, we will hold a silent Peace Walk at GA in Long Beach. The new co-conveners will pursue convincing the UUA Program Planning Committee to make the Peace Walk the social justice public act for all GA attendees.

Trifold - agreed that generic W&R information/fundraising trifold would state "Suggested annual donation $25.00". Also agreed to add "The Shared Ministry Sourcebook" edited by Barbara Child to the inspired work section. Also, the part that lists benefits for contributors ("Information about activities, progress, Invitations to UUW&R meetings, events and Opportunities to change the system") needs to have "progress" changed to "programs" and needs to have "to gain:" following the introductory words, "Participate with UUs"

Women's Federation - plans to give up membership organization format and become a funding organization. This increases the need for W&R to become more visible and active in promoting women's issues within the UUA.

Meeting adjourned 6:15pm Saturday!!! publication is accomplished.

Collaboration with Women's Heritage Society - to explore what this collaboration would look like. Helen will follow up. Agreed to sponsor Janet Matson in the development of a course for churches in collaboration with the Heritage Society. This is a sponsorship only - not a commitment for funds at this time.

Communication - it was reported that Pat Simon suggested that she be the first connector to set up a networking chain for all interested W&R participants to find out the latest and keep those who attend the fall annual gatherings in the loop.

Geri suggested working through the district administrators to get access to the individual congregation newsletters for press release information keeping folks informed about W&R Continental. Geri & Rosemary to do the first release about the fall gathering.

Question - will the UUA host W&R website - we will ask Chris Heydon from PCD to find out.

Rosemary and Geri to write a PR blurb about this meeting for release to UUA newsletters.

Guidelines/Bylaws - Consensus to make the following changes:

Article I subheading to read "An independent affiliate organization of the UUA". Article 3 to read "others and Earth"

Respectfully submitted,
Geri Kennedy, Recording Secretary for Gathering

Note from Helen -

Financial Report as of March 2004
With UU's from 8 UUA Districts contributing (in 2003) and after expenses, the total amount in our bank account now is $943.40. Our new year's fundraising goal is $3,600. It should be noted that following the meeting, Joan Fitz-Randolph withdrew her offer to coordinate the GA booth. Rosemary Matson took on that task. It would be great if any of you readers have responses to the questions embedded in the minutes. As the '04 Core Group deals with them, your input will aid the decision-making. We would, also, appreciate volunteers for the unfilled positions or as advisors. Thanks in advance. H. Pop hpop@verizon.net


Dear Friend of UU Women and Religion,

The problem is not us, not them. It is the patriarchal system!

Now in 2004, comes a great new consciousness raising tool that promises the same kind of impact as our "Cakes for the Queen of Heaven" course. The new course, "UNRAVELING THE GENDER KNOT" will be unveiled in the UUA Bookstore at the upcoming General Assembly in June. UU W&R lives!

We are very grateful for past money that has been donated to KEEP OUR SUN RISING and give life to our HEALING AND LIBERATION WORK. Thank you to the steadfast few of you who have realized the importance of not allowing the UUA's sunset to keep us down in these challenging times. If we are to succeed in promoting and reaching out with our new course, it will cost an amount of money we have never raised before. We need the rest of you, friends, to help the steadfast few, NOW, please. 2004 DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

Our "Unraveling the Gender Knot" course, thanks to authors Alison Campbell, Rosemary Matson and Barbara Schonborn, turns on its head the attitude of generations that dominant/submissive relating is the only way to solve problems and progress toward right relations. Like seeping air pollution, PATRIARCHY PERMEATES SO MUCH OF OUR DAILY LIFE AND CONGREGATIONAL GOVERNANCE, we most often can't recognize its grip. "Unraveling the Gender Knot" contains thoughtful recommendations for action with the realization that correcting the problem of patriarchy is a long-term, bit-by-bit process. SUBSTITUTING AN EQALITARIAN FOR A PATRIARCHAL CULTURE BENEFITS MEN AS MUCH AS IT DOES WOMEN AND CHILDREN.

This past year, UU W&R adjusted to our new affiliate status by instituting our first ever "board of directors". THE CORE GROUP is our name for this consensus-run circle of equals. The '04 Core Group consists of Sue Guist, Rosemary Matson, Geri Kennedy, Helen Popenoe and Cathy Stanton. Yes, Cathy's a descendant of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. GERI KENNEDY 263 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City, CA 94062 is our TREASURER and will accept your checks written out to UU W&R.

As we look to the future with our new course being published, the prospects for W&R's STRONG EVOLUTIONARY INFLUENCE are bright. Your being a contributor will show your personal commitment to "freeing ourselves, others and the Earth from traditional, historical and contemporary oppressive and patriarchal systems" (from UU W&R's mission statement).

We are going beyond the sunrise!
Thank you,
'04 Core Group UU Women & Religion


The Women and Religion Resolution of 1977 transformed the basic framework of our UU Association forever by initiating a search for religious roots of sexism within the UU movement's structure. Since that time, Women and Religion has been active at the local, district and continental levels, educating and supporting women, men and congregations to overcome patriarchal gender and governance issues. We have an established tradition of offering classes, educational material, retreats, religious services, study groups and more spiritual events.

In 1996, the Women and Religion Committee was sunsetted by the UUA who considered the work of the W&R Resolution to be accomplished. Following suit, many districts withdrew their financial support of W&R, also, although there was and still is experiential evidence patriarchal and sexist ways exist within our congregations. We are not emancipated from patriarchy yet.

January 25, 2002, UU W&R gained affiliate status in the UUA thanks to a few women's dedication and the continuing reality of district level work by those who refused to be sunsetted. Beginning with the 2003 Core Group, we have had one experimental year as an Affiliate of the UUA. We are the sunrise, steadily progressing in our shining, new affiliate form. H. Pop

Note from Helen
The letter above is going out to all JPD Womanlinks with the hope you will give it respectful handling, please.


UU W&R'S Laurie James, author and actor, will perform her one-woman docudrama, "Men, Women and Margaret Fuller" at the UU Women's Federation Spring Conference in Bloomington, Illinois. Email Pat Goller at dome@interserv.com immediately for more information.

Note from Helen - I've seen this docudrama twice. It's well worth your while to attend.


Hello Marchers and March Organizers!
I hope everyone's organizing is going well. Here in the Washington Office, things are busy and progressing quickly- less than two months until we March for Women's Lives!

The main announcements in this email include:

Housing registration information
Volunteer sign-ups
UU Schedule update
March registration
Website info

Housing registration information Our website is online and ready to receive requests for housing! If you are seeking a home stay or church stay for the weekend of the march, please visit http://www.jpd-uuyan.org/marchforwomen/. Please keep in mind that this records your request for housing- it is not a guarantee that your request can be filled. This will all depend on the availability of volunteer hosts (more on this later). Once your registration is received, you will receive an automatically generated confirmation email. Our housing coordinator will contact you once space for you has been found. If you have problems or questions when registering, please email marchforwomenslives2004@yahoo.com.

Volunteer sign-ups
If you live in the greater Washington DC area, please consider volunteering your time or space in your home the weekend of the march. UUs from all over the country are depending on our hospitality to make their stay more comfortable and affordable. To register to host one or more UUs on your home (any space will do!), visit http://www.all-souls.org/socialjustice/womenstaskforce/ To volunteer your time at UU events that weekend, register at http://www.all-souls.org/socialjustice/womenstaskforce/. We appreciate any and all assistance with this important public witness effort. Please share this request with members of your congregation!

UU Schedule update
Following is the most current version of the weekend's schedule. Please update your materials and plan accordingly.

Saturday, April 24th
5:30 PM Dinner at All Souls Church- $5 (1500 Harvard Street, NW)
7:30 PM Join Rev. Bill Sinkford, UUA President, Gini Courter, UUA Moderator, for a UU Ingathering

Sunday, April 25th
9:50 AM Special worship service at All Souls, with Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker
11:00 Head down to the National Mall together, via Metro or foot 12:00 PM March! UU meeting place TBA
1:00 PM Rally on the Mall with UUs and thousands of others for Women's Lives!

Special seating will be available for people with disabilities. The rally program will be signed for the hearing impaired. The route is wheelchair accessible and transportation will be provided for those who cannot negotiate the route.

March registration
Please register your group with the march planners. Sign your congregation or group up as a delegation (group of at least 20 people). You can also sign up as an individual. Please do both with our coalition partner, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice at http://www.rcrc.org/get_involved/march_03_2004/register.htm It's fine if you register (or have already registered) with the main march office. Just make sure you indicate that you would like to march with UUs, so we can all be together!

Make sure to let me know you're coming, too! I'm trying to get an idea of the numbers to expect. Email Kierstin Homblette in the UUA Washington Office for Advocacy at khomblette@uua.org.

Website info
Make sure to keep checking back on the website, as this is the first place current information and schedule changes will be listed. As a reminder, the UUA Washington Office for Advocacy web page is at www.uua.org/uuawo. The official March for Women's Lives website is at www.marchforwomen.org. The housing and resources page is at http://www.jpd-uuyan.org/marchforwomen/.

As always, please keep in touch with me and let me know if you have any questions or problems. Also, feel free to forward this email to other UUs working on march organizing or interested in attending.

I'll be in touch again soon!

In faith,

Kierstin Homblette
Legislative Assistant for Women's Issues
UU Women's Federation Clara Barton Intern
Washington Office for Advocacy
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
1320 18th Street NW, Suite 300B
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 296-4672 x13
(202) 296-4673 fax

Note from Helen -
I, also, need to make a tally of how many W&R'ers (Womanlinks, Core Group and friends) are joining the March so I can get our name, Unitarian Universalist Women and Religion, into the All Souls program of participants. hpop@verizon.net

Susan Starr Sered in "Priestess, Mother, Sacred Sister" says that Our feminist spirituality movement confronts patriarchy from a central moral behavior that is rooted in particular relationships. Our focus is "on the nearby and the known."


UU of Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem, PA received the city's Green Ribbon Recycler Award at ceremonies in December. In addition to receiving a plaque from the city's mayor, Bethlehem Recycling Center will feature the church's efforts in its quarterly newsletter, distributed to businesses and residences throughout the city. The Recycling Center also will film a TV commercial at the church, to be shown with the city's other recycling commercials for one year on a local channel and cable stations. Lehigh valley's recycling program is one of many environmental efforts, begun in the past year and aimed at applying for Green Sanctuary certification. The recycling project was a joint effort of the church's Green Space Committee and the Alliance for a Globally Sustainable Healthy Environment.

In other "green scene" news, the congregation of UU of Annapolis, MD voted in November for UUCA to apply for Green Sanctuary Candidacy. Annapolis reports that it has already achieved eight of the 12 requisites for candidacy. Among these are green coffee hours, a recycling program, a carpooling campaign, Religious Education lectures, and an annual Green Sanctuary service. UU Congregation of York, PA initiated its first monthly "Green Transit Sunday'" encouraging members to carpool, walk or bicycle to the first monthly worship service.


APRIL 16 - 18, 2004

Friday evening through Sunday lunch
Retreat Center in the heart of the Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch country
Just off Route 30 near Lancaster, PA

Honoring the Goddess as Body and Earth

Join us and explore our connections to each other and with our personal images of the Goddess. Through such interaction, introspection and action during this weekend, we will connect with the Goddess as Body and Earth.



Marcia has extensive experience in the performing arts as a storyteller, musician, and dancer/actor. She is a registered somatic movement therapist and certified Motional Processing facilitator, and was also an editor and writer for the Children's Literature Council of Central Pennsylvania

In 1997 she opened her own business, The Expressive Arts Center in Mechanicsburg, PA. A breast cancer survivor, she has presented workshops for women confronted with cancer and to support her own personal discovery.


When you register, suggestions for materials you might bring to the retreat will be sent to you along with detailed directions to the retreat center.


This year we have moved our retreat to a new location more centrally located in the Joseph Priestley District: a Catholic* Retreat Center in the heart of the Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch country and surrounded by gently rolling farmlands-just off Route 30 near Lancaster, PA.
Detailed travel directions will be sent with your registration confirmation.

Don't be put off by this. It's a beautiful, hospitable place

Accommodations and Food

The building that houses the bedrooms, meeting rooms and dining room is comfortable, clean and attractive. The bedrooms accommodate two people and are roomy, comfortable and attractive. We have reserved a few single rooms, so if you want one, be sure to get your reservation in early. Bathrooms are nearby and are spotlessly clean.

The meals are tasty and nutritious and prepared on site. Snacks and beverages are available at all times in the dining room at no extra cost.

The cost for two nights and six meals (including Sunday lunch, which is a complete meal) is $125 for a double room and $140 for a single.

This year we can also take COMMUTERS-women who do not stay overnight, but who will pay for their individual meals. The charges are $7 for breakfast, $10 for lunch, and $12 for dinner. These charges include the fee for use of the Center and snacks. A registration fee will be charged for Commuters, and we will need to know which meals you're requesting.


If you register by March 24th, the Registration Fee will be $45 instead of $50. Registration deadline is April 5th. For more details or information, call Lois Morrigan at 610-872-2884 or e-mail at LoisMorrigan@aol.com.

Women and Religion's costs for registration amount to $50 per person. This covers fees for our presenter, printing, mailing, and other incidental costs, such as beverages, name tags, etc.

It is our custom to invite you to add a small amount to your check if you can afford to do so to help pay the cost for a sister who cannot afford the full fee. If you are one who finds the cost of our retreat is more than you can afford (or if you have childcare needs which we may be able to subsidize), please let our registrar know. We attempt to be inclusive of all women who are interested in our work. In the past, we've found that the amounts our sisters donate will offset the amounts needed to honor special requests.


In addition to scheduled activities, the following are available: enjoying the beautiful grounds, exploring the surrounding countryside, browsing our resource materials or the items in our silent auction, yoga, meditating, journaling, sharing our stories, chanting, music (bring your audio and VHS tapes, CD's or instruments).

If you'd like to help plan next year's retreat, please let us know (even if you're not coming this year). Let the registrar know by email, phone or snail mail. We'd love to have your help and input. Let the registrar know by email, phone or snail mail. We'd love to have your help and input.

------ Registration Form (may be duplicated) ------

PHONE: Day: _____________________
Eve: _____________________
UU Church Affiliation (if any):___________________________
Roommate Name(s): _________________________________
PLEASE INDICATE your Choice: Room choices will be honored on a first-registered, first-served basis.
Single Occupancy _____$140 per person for two nights and six meals
Double Occupancy_____$125 per person for two nights and six meals
Enter cost of accommodations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $____________
Commuters only:
Friday dinner @ $12 __ Saturday breakfast @ $7__
Saturday lunch @ $10 __ Saturday dinner @ $12 __
Sunday breakfast @ $7 __ Sunday lunch @ $10 __
Total Commuter Meals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $____________ Registration, $50 or
Early Registration (by 3/24), $45 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $____________
Please accept my additional
contribution to help a sister attend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $____________
TOTAL: (add lines above) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $____________
Special dietary needs?___________________________

Make check payable to:
Joseph Priestley District
(Payment-in-full required by April 5th)
and mail to:
Lois Morrigan
6 Waterford Way
Wallingford, PA 19086

Note from Helen - Having experienced the inspiring leadership of Marcia Bowers, I highly recommend your attending the Spring Retreat. I'll see you there!


We've chosen a more centrally located center in the hope that many of you will join us. And for women in the Lancaster area, we'll be able to accept commuters (registration fee and meals only).

Here are the details and registration form that you can print off and mail in for a reservation. We hope to have you join with us for a great retreat.

SAVE THAT DATE--APRIL 16, 17 & 18, 2004
Blessed be,
The Facilitators' Circle Nuala Carpenter, Kay Cox, Chris Higgins, Lois Morrigan, Colby Tippins, Randa Todd

JPD W & R is also sponsoring a workshop at the JPD Spring Conference in Wilmington, DE, on March 19-20, 2004. The subject of the workshop will be An exploration of sexism, racism and patriarchy from a womanist perspective presented by The Reverend Monica L. Cummings of the UU Fellowship of Lower Bucks, PA. If you come, stop by the W & R information table and say hello.

Don't forget that W & R maintains a resource library that is kept by Sandy Eckert of the Harrisburg Church. We have continued to build our lending library that has a variety of materials, videos, and books etc., available to loan to women's groups in the JPD congregations. A listing of the materials available can be obtained from Sandy Eckert jabuda@paonline.com 717 533 5331.to arrange to borrow these materials.


Women and Religion publishes a newsletter to keep us all informed of upcoming events of interest to women in the JPD. This works only if we all supply the editor, Kay Cox, with information. So please send her details of upcoming events at your congregation that would be of interest to other women-speakers, rituals, circles, etc. To contact Kay, e-mail her at kaycc1000@aol.com or mail to 610 Gale Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011.

Many thanks women in our congregations who are serving as a WomanLink. We hope to see you at our retreat in April!

Susan Starr Sered says in "Priestess, Mother, Sacred Sister"
"The prolificacy of literature (each year dozens of new books published) is not part of a campaign to create uniformity of belief." She recognizes we (in feminist spiritual movements) have an aversion to authoritative, sacred texts. Creativity is valued rather than conformity. Sered's fieldwork projects (around the world) found in religions dominated by women that there's great concern with interpersonal relationships along with an absence of transcendent monotheism. She says, "Continuing inspiration of the spirit is valued as inherently changeable."


All Soul's Jennifer Abercrombie

I just received the following email from the march organizers at All Souls. I would encourage all Womanlinks in neighboring churches to volunteer to help out and/or Provide housing to out-of-towners. The form is quick and easy-to-use. Just takes a couple of minutes to fill out and submit.

For more information on the march, folks can contact Stacy Jarboe from All-Souls at 301-891-3351, or Kierstin Homblette, the UUA Washington Office intern for women's issues, at the UUA Office for Advocacy at 202/296-4672, Ext. 13. To sign up for All-Souls march listserv, send an email to: jarboes@asme.org

Homestay/Volunteer Sign-up

Hi Everyone,

I have you listed as either interested in Volunteering some time to help plan, organize or be involved in ASC events happening the weekend of the March for Women's Lives, OR Offering to open up your home the weekend of the March so that visiting UUs have a place to stay.

We have recently completed the online sign-up forms for both and would greatly appreciate you visiting the one that applies to you and providing us with more information. You are actually the first people to try it out, so please let me know if you discover any problems.

Volunteer Sign-up

Homestay Offering Sign-up http://www.all-souls.org/socialjustice/womenstaskforce/homestay.php

Thank you so much for you time and/or hospitality. You are helping to make this an incredible weekend for many.

Suzanne Thurston
Volunteer and Housing Coordinator


A Spiritual Journey to Peru
"Encountering the Apus" Pilgrimage is a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in the energy and history of Peru. In June, Michele Porzel, of the Accotink UU church, will be leading 15 people on a magical journey to the sacred sites of Peru and Bolivia. We will explore Trujillo's palaces of the pre-Incan Moche culture; visit Maras, the Salt Mines of the Incas, Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Machu Picchu, Cusco and its sacred temples, Traditional Indian Markets, and healing pools. We will experience Tihuanaca in Bolivia on the Southern Hemisphere's Winter Solstice, and walk the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. There will be meditation or ceremony at every site and lots of opportunities to buy the wonderful textiles and crafts of Peru. Dates are 6/12-23, 2004. Cost is $1550, which covers all travel and hotels within Peru. Call Michele at 703-455-4627 or check out the itinerary at www.intuitivehealingcenter.com.

Earthbased Celebrations in Burke, VA
Join Accotink UU Church as we celebrate the Spring Equinox on Friday, March 19 from 7:30-9:30PM in the sanctuary. Our Summer Solstice/Litha ceremony is Sunday, June 20 from 7-9PM in our outdoor ceremonial circle (indoor for inclement weather). We'll welcome all ages as we welcome the seasons. Our celebrations draw from a variety of sources. Bring your altar candles and a nibble to share. Check out details on our new church web site: http://www.accotinkuuc.org/ .

Women's Book Discussion Group
We cordially invite women to share their thoughts on specific selections the 4th Tuesday of each month from 7:30-9 PM. We meet at member's homes; check out our newsletter for location information or call the church office. Here is our current schedule:
Mar 23: Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Apr 27: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman
May 25: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Jun 22: Bondwoman's Narrative by Hannah Crafts
Jul 27: When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka

Circle/Folk Dancing
While not just for women, Accotink offers circle and folk dancing two Saturday evenings a month from 9-10 PM in our sanctuary. This is a fun, no stress, no dancing talent needed, and no partner required event. The cost is just $10/person/session or $35 for the series (saving $15). Check the church web site for current dates: http://www.accotinkuuc.org/ .

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 continue work on a circle of friends quilt designed by one of our women. Women can also bring their own handiwork and enjoy conversation.



Our Wheel of the Year Spring Equinox theme is related to confronting the negative through expression of our inherent worth, goodness and dignity. Earth-based spirituality emphasizes the immanence of divinity in all reality, including the overlapping forces and rhythms of nature and human beings. We meet March 21, upstairs in the Fireside Room at 5 PM, men and women and children over age 10. Please, bring nibbles/drink and your own cup. Our service includes meditation and whole body movement to release creativity in our circle of equals.

Helen Popenoe, 301/229-0549

Susan Starr Sered says in "Priestess, Mother, Sacred Sister" on P. 8 "The impact of gender on religion is quite limited - women's religions are not so very different from men's religions. It is necessary to make this statement precisely because 'Woman' in western cultures is so often treated as inherently 'Other' - as incomprehensible and mysterious. Having said this I do believe that the data offered in this book show that gender has a significant - although not absolute or universal - impact on the manner in which individuals grapple with the ultimate conditions of existence."



Note from Helen -
This is a cause that will "make you steam" like the need for CEDAW (See past WOMUUNWEB issues) and like Amnesty International's "Campaign to End Violence Against Women". Pauline plans to become an activist to stop the U.S. from being a major importer of sex slaves, most likely with VA-based Free the Slaves. Let me know if you want to join her efforts.

The sex -trafficking trade needs to be better dealt-with in the U.S. according to Peter Landesman. On January 25, 2004, his article, "The Girls Next Door", appeared in the New York Times Magazine. He points out, "The operating assumption among American police departments is that women who sell their bodies do so by choice, and undocumented foreign women who sell their bodies are not only prostitutes (that is, voluntary sex workers) but also trespassers on U.S. soil. No Department of Justice attorney or police vice squad officer I spoke with in Los Angeles - one of the country's busiest thoroughfares for forced sex traffic - considers sex trafficking in the U.S. a serious problem, or a priority. A teenage girl arrested on Sunset Strip for solicitation, or a group of Russian sex workers arrested in a brothel raid in the San Fernando Valley, are automatically heaped onto a pile of workaday vice arrests."

One cell of sex traffickers Landesman reported on "offered three age ranges of sex partners - toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens - as well as what she called a 'damage group'. In the damage group they can hit you or do anything they wanted." This was reported from an interview with an escaped sex slave.

Describing Mexican traffickers, Los Lenones, Landesman writes, "Like the Sicilian Mafia, Los Lenones are based on family hierarchies. The father controls the organization and the money, while the sons and their male cousins hunt, kidnap and entrap victims."

Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves extimates that there are 30,000 to 50,000 sex slaves in captivity in the U.S. at any given time. Laura Lederer, a senior State Department adviser on trafficking, told Landesman, "We're not finding victims in the United States because we're not looking for them."


Hi All--Just got this and it has some good reminders on it for all of us. Pass it on!


Seen them before but always a good reminder to be aware!

Please take the time to read this. I know you are smart enough to know these pointers but there will be some tips that will make you think, "hmm I must remember that."

After reading this forward it to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans: If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you.... Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.) DON'T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.


5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot or parking garage:

A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.

B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.

IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs.(Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

Another Safety Point Fwd: Crying Baby

Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird.The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.

Please pass this on! And DO NOT open the door for a crying baby. This e-mail should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America's Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana.

I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you you may want to pass it onto them, as well.


If someone says to you, "In the fortified city of the imperishable, our body, there is a lotus and in this lotus a tiny space:
What does it contain that one should desire to know it?"
You must reply:
"As vast as this space without is the tiny space within your heart:
heaven and earth are found in it, fire and air, sun and moon, lightening and the constellations, whatever belongs to you here below and all that doesn't all this is gathered in that tiny space within your heart."
----- Chandogya Upanishad 8.1.2-3

WOMUUNWEB DEADLINE for Summer 2004 issue is June 4, please.

Many thanks to Al Carlson, GWA Webmaster, for publishing this WOMUUNWEB issue #15 on the GWA website at www.gwa.jpd.uua.org

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

Respectfully submitted by Helen thanks to the editing and formatting skills of Margaret Warker

WOMUUNWEB DEADLINE for Summer 2004 issue is June 4, please.

Many thanks to Al Carlson, GWA Webmaster, for publishing this WOMUUNWEB issue #15 on the GWA website at www.gwa.jpd.uua.org

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

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