ANNUAL MEETING HAPPENED IN MASS
This year's November Gathering was the most meaningful of them all, in my experience of about 8 years of going to them! Our Women and Religion diversity work took on stronger importance in light of the September 11th. Tragedy. We belong to the peace movement of promoting inclusive decision-making. It's a resolve to nurture and appreciate the inherent worth and dignity of all. I see our budding new curriculum, being forged by Barbara Schonborn and Rosemary Matson and named "Unraveling The Gender Knot", as stimulating new consciousness raising and small group action to change our congregational governance. Our personal effect on life in our home congregations is the Women and Religion's traditional concern. As that tradition continues, my dream, sparked by Elise Kreiger, is that the UUA will establish a Consensual Democracy Department to bring in Roberta's Rules for making Robert's Rules of Order more consensual and fair. One day our promotion of the feminist process will become so culturally accepted in UU circles that it will be considered the right thing to do.
Here are some tidbits from the Gathering to give food for your thoughts:
Representatives of both groups will get together for open dialog to explore opportunities for collaborating and promoting feminism. Note: "Both groups" means the UUWF and W&R for this first step.
UUW&R is dedicated to freeing ourselves, others and the earth from traditional, historical and contemporary oppressive and patriarchal systems. We continue to work together to implement the 1977 UUA Women and Religion Resolution.
Acronym - UUW&R
Note: To all of you who submitted your ideas to me for the acronym we should adopt, thanks. Your ideas were sent out to all who attended the Nov. Gathering and taken into consideration when deciding on our mission statement revision. The new acronym is the only logical one to go with the name we have chosen to call ourselves.
Note: All the jobs inferred by the above ideas had volunteers come forth to do the work.
We had a good annual meeting with these Districts represented by 18 women:
Pacific Central , Joseph Priestley, Northeast, Pacific Southwest, Clara Barton, NewYork Metro, Florida, Mass. Bay, Ballou-Channing. The new Continental UUW&R Co-conveners are Barbara Schonborn from Mass. Bay and Joan Fitz-Randolph from Pacific Southwest.
Fundraising - General Assembly Booth rental is about $300. There will be expenses for printing of materials and perhaps a large ad in the GA book and/or the World to announce the 25th anniversary celebrations. We agreed that it would be important to communicate what the expenses are to encourage the district women to contribute. Helen Pop
JPD NEWSLETTER GIVES DEADLINE:
...for submitting entries for the Margaret Fuller Awards Program - Feb. 1, 2002. The awards range from $500 to $5,000, and support projects in religious feminism, scholarly work, creative arts endeavors, material for use in congregations, conferences, innovative events. Contact UU Women's Federation, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02908.
ANNUAL W&R MURRAY GROVE RETREAT
The weekend is April 19 - 21. The program looks like this, so far, with a meeting of the Facilitators Circle on Jan. 5th. to finalize plans:
"Whole Woman Whole Life
Whole Woman Whole Life is unique in that it allows a woman to see her life from a visual perspective. By working with a circle model, Janet has created an innovative process that can be used every day of one's life to continually hold on to a vision and actions of wholeness."
I've been attending these since the early '80's and know it's a long trip for us women in the southern part of the district to get to Lanoka Harbor, NJ. However, it's well worth it. I'm glad to carpool. Call me at 301/229-0549
WINTER SOLSTICE SERVICE, SUNDAY, DEC. 23, 5 PM AT RIVER ROAD CHURCH
We gather in the Fireside Room. Hymn 55 pleads, "Gentle darkness, soft and still, bring your quiet to me." What can you find hidden within at this dark time when we begin to tilt toward the sun, again? We will address the meaning of this in our lives through meditation, circle movement with Diane Popper, song and words. All are welcome (children over age 10, too). Please, bring a memento, drinks &/or nibbles and your own cup.
CANDLEMAS SERVICE, SUNDAY, JAN. 27, 5 PM AT RIVER ROAD CHURCH
Want to join the planning group on Jan. 6th.? This is a joint endeavor with the CUUPS group from Pt. Branch and here are some seed thoughts about the content of what we will plan:
"What are the key elements, traditions, etc. that you would like to use? I have often celebrated this holy day with such things as celebration of Brigit, burning of the Yule log and planting of seeds with ashes mingled in dirt, and powerful personal healing (phoenix rising from transforming flame type of thing).
Possibilities, possibilities....", says Gina.
We will travel to Pt. Branch for the Jan. 6th. planning. I'm game to carpool. Helen Popenoe
HERE ARE THE DATES for the rest of the year's Wheel of the Year services at River Road:
Jan. 27 - Candlemas (Imbolc)
March 24 - Spring Equinox
May 5 - Mayfest
June 23 - Summer Solstice
Sept. 22 - Fall Equinox
Nov. 3 - Hallowmas
Dec. 22 - Winter Solstice
YULE RITUAL IN BALTIMORE
Dear Unitarian Universalists, The Daughters of the Meadow Coven is hosting a Yule Ritual and Ordination of our High Priestess, Kaylin Keith, as clergy. The celebration will be in the sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore on Saturday, December 22, at 4:00 p.m. Details are in the attached flyer, and I will also copy them into this email at the end in case you can't retrieve the attachment.
Please forward this to anyone in your congregation who is interested in Pagan ritual or who is in a CUUPS group, or anyone else you think would be interested. For more information, please call me at 410-685-2330 or call Kaylin at 410-426-6866.
Linda Shaw Winter Solstice Ritual And Ordination Saturday, December 22, 2001 at 4:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary of The First Unitarian Church of Baltimore at the corner of Charles and Franklin Streets in downtown Baltimore.
Daughters of the Meadow Coven follows the Eastern European Oral Tradition handed through many generations from Grandmother to Daughter to Grand-daughter. The Coven has recently incorporated and become a recognized religious organization in the state of Maryland. At this Yule ritual, the Coven will ordain High Priestess Kaylin Keith as clergy, in recognition of her more than 30 years as a teacher and public spokesperson of this tradition. This will be a time to honor and celebrate this public stance of an ancient Goddess tradition in the modern world, and to appreciate the Unitarian Universalist commitment to religious freedom that makes such a celebration welcome in this sanctuary. Come celebrate with us!
The building is wheelchair accessible and the ritual will be signed for the Deaf.
AFFINITY GROUP STRENGTH FOR THESE TROUBLING TIMES
HEADS-UP - Since the JPD W&R budget does not allow for a postcard mailing to our women in the south, I will send to all Woman Links the towns and zipcodes of our 9 pages of names (from when Dorothy Britt did the snail mailing of our W&R newsletter). The purpose is for you to invite those who may have lost contact with us to come to your congregation for activities and for you to notify all who are near your congregation when the WOMUUNWEB goes on the web, (four times a year, at the start of each season).
Events sponsored by the Salisbury Earth Based Spirituality Group:
Directions to our Event Locations
December 2001 Events:
Wednesday 5th: "Cloth Holiday Wrapping Bags", 6:30pm UUFS
Bring large scraps of holiday cloth, ribbon, and lace to make pillow case like bags to wrap presents in, instead of wasting trees for wrapping paper! You can find cheap remnants at Walmart or just buy a yard or so of something pretty!
Sunday 16th: "Jingle Bell Hayride" at Trap Pond State Park Laural DE, 1pm
Hayride includes hot chocolate with marshmallows, as well as some cheerful songs and a decorated wagon complete with sleigh bells!$3.50/person, pre-register by calling the nature center at (302)875-5153. Seats fill up quickly! Parking is $5/car and bring a blanket! You can meet us there at 1pm, or carpool from the UUFS leaving their parking lot at 12:15pm sharp!
January 2002 Events:
Wednesday 9th: "Make Your own Clean and Green Cleaning Chemicals", 6:30pm UUFS
This Social is the SECOND Wednesday in January, because I didn't think anyone would want to meet the day after New Years Day! Please save up any empty spray type bottles between now and then to bring along. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! ;)
February 2002 Events:
Wednesday 6th: Candle Making for Imbolc
We will be making Bee's Wax Sheet candles and if you have any wicks or sheets of wax you would like to contribute, it would be apreciated!
Sunday 10th: "Tree Lore Slide Show and Hike", 2pm Shad Landing
$1/person, parking free, includes a 15 minute slide show and 45 minute walk. You can carpool with us, meeting at the UUFS parking, departing at 1pm or meet us at the Shad Landing Nature Center at 2pm. Dress warmly and bring binoculars! In the case of bad weather I will post any changes to the email list and here on the web site.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Salisbury, MD
Salisbury Earth Based Spirituality Group
Join us at our "Merry Meet Socials" for Family fun!
Mystic Earth Rising-
Creating a Spiritual Environmental Awareness
THE COMMITMENT TO WOMEN OF MOSTAR
Thanks go to Gertrud Vural, one of the International Assoc. of Liberal Religious Women's (I.A.L.R.W.) Canadian members, for writing to one of the Women of Mostar (in German) to try and begin a friendship through letters and be pen-pals. However, after trying, more than once, to begin a pen-pal program, we have to wait and try later because we could get no answers to our first letters.
Thanks go to Kayoko Yokota for receiving the package of handwork made by the Women of Mostar and selling the items with the help of our Japanese members. They sold all and sent a money order payment to me. I, successfully, sent the payment to our Bosnian contact, Alma Elezovic, to divide up amongst the eight Women of Mostar who did the beautiful handwork.
Finally, thanks go to Alma who diligently gave the information for credentialing the project and who wrote the background report presented to our last I.A.L.R.W. conference (held in Canada). My friend, Majda Paunovic, Alma's aunt, was the one who presented that report.
Our Women of Mostar project has been successfully completed with a hope in my heart that it may start up again. What we of I.A.L.R.W. gave, helped those Bosnian War refugee women do the practical things like pay a rental bill to stay in their meeting place and, then, to buy materials for the items of embroidery, cutwork and crocheting they sent us to sell.
I do not know why they did not choose to keep the project going except for the fact that Alma had to stop her volunteer job with Women of Moster in order to find paying work. If another woman volunteers to start up our project, again, I will let you know. I hope we will have another opportunity to support them again.
We cannot know all that our gift of dignity gave.
It was a gift of love that cannot be measured. I feel very good about how I.A.L.R.W. has honored our commitment to the Women of Mostar. I have written an invitation to Alma, inviting her to our July Conference in Budapest. I will write, again, since I have not heard an answer from her. Helen Popenoe
The new MD law forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has gone into effect. If you donated money to fight against the petitioning for a state-wide referendum to overturn the new law, pat yourself on the back and consider yourself a winner. Whew! This win took 10 years!
"This is a tremendous victory for Maryland and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community," said Lorri L. Jean, executive director of NGLTF.
There is the sad note, however, that this new law won't protect transgendered persons. Rev. John Manwell says, "Many feared that if transgendered persons were included, the law could not pass. So they were left out. This judgement may have been accurate, but still, it hurts. ...Are we ready to go further, and advocate for transgendered persons, who face even greater popular hostility and for whom we still need legislation?"
WASHINGTON AREA UU CHURCHES WHO PARTICIPATED IN SENDING MONEY TO CLEAR A MINEFIELD IN AFGHANISTAN ACTUALLY GOT THE JOB DONE BEFORE THE SEPT. 11 TRAGEDY.
Many thanks to Al Carlson, GWA Webmaster, for publishing this WOMUUNWEB issue #6 on the GWA website www.gwa.jpd.uua.org
Respectfully submitted by Helen Popenoe 12/2/2001