If you have read my reports about the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), you know I represent UU's for the interfaith Working Group On Ratification. The back issues of WOMUUNWEB on GWA's website have the most recent of these reports.
The following exciting news means we all must respond, PLEASE:
FULL SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2002
10:15 AM DIRKSEN SENATE BLDG. ROOM 419
TO BE CHAIRED BY SENATOR BARBARA BOXER (D - CA), CHAIR, SUB-COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS & TERRORISM
EVERYONE: PLEASE CALL OR FAX THE PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY OF STATE TO URGE THEIR FAVORABLE SUPPORT OF THE HEARING AND RATIFICATION OF CEDAW.
PLEASE ACT NOW!
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
Phone: 202/ 456-1414 or 202/ 456-1111
FAX: 202/ 456-2461
SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL
Phone: 202/ 647-6575
FAX: 202/ 261-8577
IF YOU ARE IN THE D.C. AREA, PLEASE TRY TO ATTEND THE HEARING.
If there is a "full house" and a crowd in the hall, it sends a clear message this is a "hot" hearing on a topic of interest to many. Also, please, call, FAX or Email Senator Joe Biden (D - DE), Chair of Senate Foreign Relations committee, to thank him for his support. Phone: 202/ 224-5042, FAX: 202/ 224-0139 Email: Senator@biden.senate.gov
The opposition has the ability to generate masses of electronic mail and has, for months, been doing so. In your FAX or phone call, urge your senator to attend the Hearing or be sure to send a staff member. Whether you have been taking actions for years or this is a first, now that we have a chance, GO FOR IT!
The message is, simply, that we support U.S. ratification of the CEDAW treaty. As the worlds' leader in support of human rights, the U.S. should demonstrate its commitment by ratifying this treaty for the rights of women.
This is really all that's needed (along with your full name and address) for the staffer who'll receive your message and tally it on the yellow pad by the phone marked "Pro".
If you wish to add reasons why, you might find something in these paragraphs from a letter to President Bush, sent from our Working Group On Ratification:
"This treaty provides a universal standard for women's human rights. It addresses discrimination in areas such as education, employment, marriage and family relations, health care, politics, finance and law. To date, 169 countries have ratified the treaty for the rights of women. The United States is the only industrialized nation that has failed to do so, and as such, is in the company of countries such as Iran and Afghanistan.
"In the last several months, the world has seen an even greater struggle for freedom and the promotion of fundamental human rights principles. We see the protection of women's rights as vital to the success of these efforts. There can be no civil society in Afghanistan without the full restoration of women's rights. The treaty for the rights of women is critical to ensuring that the future of Afghanistan will have a democratic government that includes equal rights for women and protects the human rights and freedoms of all its citizens."
After you call or FAX, President Bush, Secretary Powell, Senator Biden and your two senators, send out your good vibes and/or prayers on June 12 at 10:15 AM to give energy to our intention to get CEDAW to the Senate floor for a vote while the 107th. Congress is still in session. Finally, we have a chance! Let's go for it! Helen Popenoe, 301/229-0549
Note: Below is an introduction from the new Continental Co-Conveners to us in the District level of the W&R movement. Their news carries on the MATRIX newsletter tradition of the Continental W&R movement. --Helen Pop
March 26, 2002
Dear Conveners of UU District Women & Religion organizations, and our associates and friends,
Joan Fitz-Randolph and Barbara Schonborn, co-conveners of the Unitarian Universalist Women & Religion organization, send you greetings. Co-treasurerPat Simon joins us in greeting you. Our contact information is at the end of this newsletter, UUW&R Matrix 3, No. 1.
We are grateful for the significant work that many women and several men have done through the 25 years since unanimous passage of the UUA Women and Religion Resolution in 1977. This is a year of celebration! We are excited about the future, and invite you to join in creating it.
Joan is seeking leaders and interested folks in all UU districts, as the UU Women & Religion organization continues expanding in the 21st century. Please contact Joan if you have news, want to find your UU district's W&R convener(s), or would take a leadership role in a local UU society or UU district Women & Religion committee.
Please tell Barbara whether you want to receive future informal newsletters like this one. She can send you the new 2002 brochure for UUW&R, with a form for membership in the continental organization for a minimum annual donation of $10.
Joan designed the new brochure, and an identical brochure with space for your district's convener(s) names and addresses. Tell Barbara if you would like a copy of the district model for duplicating. If you prefer to use your own brochure in your district, please include the W&R sunrise logo, and continental UUW&R dues, a minimum annual donation of $10.
Co-treasurer Pat Simon will accept continental and district dues (minimum annual donation of $10 for each). She will forward all district funds collected to the designated person in each district.
Eighteen Women & Religion district conveners and friends from across the continent had an inspiring annual gathering in Newton, Mass., Nov. 9-11, 2001. This news report contains information from that meeting, and solicits your news about the work you and your associates are doing or want to do for liberation.
Our organizational name is now Unitarian Universalist Women & Religion. The acronym is UUW&R.
The Mission Statement, revised in November 2001, follows:
Unitarian Universalist Women & Religion 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 & Religion Resolution.
UUW&R Delegation Met with UUA President William Sinkford
On December 18, four representatives of UUW&R who lived in the Boston area met by appointment with the new UUA President, the Rev. William Sinkford. Heexpressed pleasure to meet Lucile Schuck Longview, initiator of the W&R Resolution, and to greet Janet Gould Matson, Pat Simon, and Barbara Schonborn. UUA Executive Vice-President Kay Montgomery also attended the meeting. President Sinkford welcomed our work for liberation from patriarchal oppression, and compared this work to that of UUs working for racial justice.
UW&R is Now an Independent Affiliate Organization of the UUA
We are pleased to report that at its meeting in January, the UUA Board approved the application of continental UUW&R to be an Independent Affiliate Organization of the UUA. Rosemary Matson, Pacific Central District, worked for some years on theapplication process, and received assistance from Geri Kennedy and Sue Guist, PCD., UUA Executive Vice-president Kay Montgomery, and several UU ministers and district leaders.
Affiliate status gives us two program slots to sponsor events at each annual UUA General Assembly, and an exhibition booth to share materials and information.
This Year is the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the UUA Women and Religion Resolution
Several ideas have been proposed for gala celebrations across the continent of the 25th anniversary of passage of the Women and Religion Resolution. We willsend you a proclamation soon.
Geri Kennedy, Betty Ortez, and Rosemary Matson, of Pacific Central District, are creating a religious service of celebration that will be available by mid-June for use in your UU society or district. Let Barbara know if you would like a copy.
Laurie James has three docudramas with complete instructions for production. Let us know if you have plans, or would like ideas for celebrations in your local UU society or UU district.
Former continental co-convener ilá Benavidez-Heaster is collecting memories of the Women and Religion movement for a publication to be distributed at General Assembly and elsewhere. Please send ilá your stories, anecdotes, poems, reminiscences, songs, letters, program announcements or program folders, brochures, or anything else you'd like to share, as soon as possible: ilá Benavidez-Heaster, 924 Louisiana Street, Vallejo, CA 94590; phone; (707) 642-4084; email: email@example.com.
We would be delighted to see you at UUA General Assembly in Québec City, Québec, on June 20-24. We will have a booth and four events, two in the name of UUWL&R, and two sponsored by Rowe Camp and Conference Center and Metro New York District. One event will be a celebration and sharing of 25 years of Women and Religion friendships, achievements, and memories.
Look for the ad for the 25th Anniversary of UUW&R at GA in the next UU World. If you plan to attend GA, please let Barbara know.
We welcome your news, comments, and questions. Barbara and Joan wrote this UUW&R Matrix 3, No. 1, the first newsletter of our convenership. It follows numerous issues of Matrix published by district W&R commitees in rotation in the early years of UUW&R, and Matrix 2 edited by ila for the Continental Constellation of W&R.
We plan to distribute this issue to the nearly 100 people on the UUW&R mailing list, and hope to update that list based on responses.
Yours in faith and hope,
Barbara Schonborn, phone (978) 392-8617, Email BSchonborn@aol.com
Joan Fitz-Randolph, phone (480) 947-7629, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-conveners, UU Women & Religion
Pat Simon, phone (781) 373-1410, Email email@example.com
P.S. If you're going to the UU General Assembly this June, stop at the W&R booth in the display area to see all that's planned for our 25th. Anniversary. --Helen Pop
ANNUAL SPRING W&R RETREAT, A SATISFYING SUCCESS
Now that we're used to the annual JPD W&R Retreat being in the Spring instead of the Fall (as it always used to be) our attendance is back up to more than 30 women. Still, to drive to Murray Grove is a long distance for those of us in the South of our district. Only two of us attended this year. Shirley Eatmon-Creager from Sugarloaf and I carpooled. Janet Matson's "Whole Woman Whole Life" experience gave me good insights over the weekend and continues to do so as I fill out the blanks in Janet's workbook. Hope you can attend with me next spring. --Helen Pop
NEWS OF MENTORING PROJECT TO HELP CHILD CARE ENTREPRENEURS
Affordable Housing Corporation is now making loans to women in DC to expand and improve their home-based childcare. When they complete their GED, these women can earn a higher rate of reimbursement for the care they provide - and thus better qualify for these low-interest business loans from UUAHC. Would you be willing to help tutor one of our borrowers in reading or math? Your help in the next few months would directly boost the earning power of these women. To volunteer, contact Gladys Clearwaters at UUAHC by calling 301/588-5533 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS FROM THE JPD NEWSLETTER
UU Congregation of Fairfax, Oakton, VA, UU Fellowship of Pottstown, PA and UUS of Bull Run, Manassas, VA, recently deliberated options to become Green Sanctuaries. On the recommendation of the Social Justice Committee, the Pottstown congregation planned to vote on beginning the process. Fairfax UU began exploring energy use, and gardening and landscaping, using as a guide the Unitarian Universalist Manual on Green Sanctuaries. Bull Run is working toward initiating environmentally sound practices in 17 areas. Among them are energy, recycling, buying green, establishing an environmental information center, a church-wide project and children's courses. The three churches are among more than 100 other UUs developing such programs, although no church has yet to be certified. The Green Sanctuary program is affiliated with the UUA's Seventh Principle, recognizing the relationship and interdependence of man and his environment.
NEW COMMITTEE GETS W&R REMINDER
Letter to the Music and the Worship Arts Committee Co-Chairs, Bob and Jay Gibson of the UU Society of Mill Creek
Dear Bob and Jay,
I'm sorry to have missed you at the JPD Conference in Timonium. We of the Women and Religion movement in JPD are interested in your work to assist the District's congregations in their offerings of music and worship arts. What you are doing is a blessing since we no longer have MUUSICA.
After reading your annual report and talking with Richard Speck, he suggested I write to remind you of the JPD UU's who worship according to earth-centered traditions. This UU Sixth Source orientation has such services as those honoring the eight solar points on the Wheel of the Year, e.g. Summer and Winter Solstices and Fall and Spring Equinoxes.
Thank you, in advance, for including earth-centered ways of worshipping in your work.
from the JPD Women and Religion Facilitators Circle
cc: District Executive Rev. Richard Speck,
Nuala Carpenter, JPD W&R Convener
WOMEN AND RELIGION JPD SPRING CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - A HUGE SUCCESS!
Our leader, Laura Shemick and her W&R Workshop on Leadership Styles (see Spring WOMUUNWEB) drew such a large crowd, we had to have a couple dozen more chairs brought into the room. Her ability to get us to focus in a personally involved way brought out fresh thinking and discussion around such questions (which I've paraphrased) as:
With good workshops/roundtable discussions like W&R's 2002 JPD one, I feel we're spreading the message of complementarity well. SHARED LEADERSHIP IS THE ANSWER is my motto. --Helen Pop
SUMMER SOLSTICE SERVICE
June 23rd., upstairs in the Fireside Room at River Road Church
All over age 10 are welcome to come to our circle at 5 PM in the Fireside Room to celebrate the longest day of the year. The world as it once was is no longer possible. Still, in celebration of when light triumphs, we can most easily see the sacred in our natural world. We can recommit ourselves to healing of all kinds with this inspiration. We will serve one another through the foundational pagan perception that is based not on scripture and book, but on our own human experience of being in the world and seeing sacred reality.
Please, bring your own cup and snacks or drink. A symbol of healing or a coping strategy you employ in your life is welcome for creating our circle's centerpiece.
Helen Pop, 301/229-0549
P.S. I find that I don't have the stamina to clear the room and do the set-up plus facilitate the ceremony. Volunteers, please, expect to show up at 4 PM. If you can help, in any way, give me a call. H.P.
Dates for the remaining Wheel of the Year '02 Services are:
FROM ANNAPOLIS' SUE ECKERT -
Full Circle's Earth Centered Celebrations
Full Moon Women's Circles meet on each full moon throughout the year. Open to women only, 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. Gatherings for the summer are scheduled for June 24th, July 24th and August 22nd, from 7-9 p.m. There is a requested donation of $8 per person, per gathering, to cover materials. You may bring food or drink to share.
Mabon/Fall Equinox Water Ceremony is an open circle for men, women and children. It is scheduled for September 22nd to begin at 5 p.m., with an hour and a half of crafts and ritual, followed by a dinner feast. Please bring food to share. Requested donation is $5 per person or $10 per family.
For more information about Full Circle and related events contact Cee Cee at
(410) 990-9448 or email@example.com or Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women's Covenant Groups
The Annapolis church currently has two women's covenant groups and is adding a third women's group this summer. Our covenant groups are small relational groups of 6-12 people who meet on a regular basis to share spiritual and personal experiences in an open and honest forum. Membership in a covenant group is envisioned to be a long-term commitment, in order to achieve and sustain relationships of depth. However, opportunities for joining and leaving groups are provided three times a year in June, October and February. For inquiries about our covenant groups, please contact Susan Eckert at (410) 266-8044, X-110 or email@example.com.
FROM CUMBERLAND'S MARILYN MOORS -
The UU Fellowship in Cumberland held its usual month of women's programs during March, the most exciting of which was homegrown. Eight women from age 5 to 82 talked about the challenges of this particular decade of their lives, how women's issues have changed for them, and what they are looking forward to in their next decade. It was eyeopening, fun, funny, and very warm and inspiring. Mel Martin, a new member who's moved to the area from Vermont and opened a knit shop in town, did a great job in organizing it for us, and we've challenged the men to do something similar next fall.
FROM ROCKVILLE'S BONNIE LATTERNER -
May 3, Midnight, our cat of nearly 23 years was killed at 12:30 pm on her own driveway because of careless dog owners letting their dogs roam freely in the Muddy Branch Park that backs up to three neighborhoods. Please join us and the park police, the local police and the animal control services professionals in seizing the moment to speak with these owners in you neighborhood or in the parks who do not walk their dogs on a leash. A good approach is admiring the dogs. Another approach, as long as the dogs are friendly, is to read their tags and report to the animals vet; request the owners' name and address and report them. There is a leash law in Montgomery County which includes the parks and our neighborhoods.
We do not want this to happen to another healthy animal, child or fragile senior citizen! Midnight's vet and we expected her to healthily live for another two or three years!
If anyone would like to show support, please donate money to the Humane Society in Midnight Latterner name or better yet, go to the one of the pounds and adopt a 1 - older cat. I'd be glad to provide free cat tips and visit your home to help the cat(s) adjust to their new families. If cat claws are trimmed every week, they will not claw furniture nor rugs. Also, there are now cheap claw posts that have rope raps - than the cats know the difference and actually prefere clawing the rope.
The second news bit is not timely but very wonderful! Myra Tate, Music Director of the UU Church of Rockville and Michael Ely, pianoist extradinare, have worked with developing Lora Latterner's voice and stage presence since she was 9 3/4. Lora sang with the large chorus at the GA in Nashville, TN and when she was younger sang with the Girls Ensamble and at two Soirees. Myra than referred her to a WDC based Opera Troupe. In 7th grade, Lora played and sang the role of Pamina in Mozart's "Magic Flute" and in 8th grade she was awarded the coveted role of Cherubino in The "Marriage of Figuro". This past summer she sang as the lead in singer (the person who sings before the well known established groups) at a gathering of nearly 3,000 paying adult professionals.
All this training and poise paid off because Lora was only one of four asked to sing on Channel 9 News during the Grammies (for singers and musicians). Lora was the only one under 32 selected and by the newscaster and cameraman's delight, the only one who could sing a cappela. The others are use to studio instrummental backups and sound effects.
Lora is glad to share her soprano abilities with UUs. Let us know if she can help you out.
Is there a menopausal group?
I'd like to connect to one so I don't have to continue this journey alone.
Love Bonnie firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE CLOSE FOR REGISTERING TO GO TO BUDAPEST FOR THE IALRW AND IARF CONFERENCES
The International Association of Liberal Religious Women (IALRW) Conference promises to be wonderful, again. It's from July 24th. to July 27th. We have daily circle group gatherings around the themes of Human Dignity, Gratitude, Non-Violence and Health, staying in the same circles for the whole 4 days. There're, also, folk dance and other cultural entertainment, interfaith services, sightseeing (by bus) and good opportunity for developing friendships with women from all over the world. I still need a roommate if you can decide by June 13th.
Then, immediately following, is the International Association for Religious Freedom Conference with the theme: "Make A Difference!" It's from July 28th. to August 2nd. There can be no peace in the world till there's peace amongst the religions. For more information, see IARF's website http://iarf-religiousfreedom.net The Conference website is www.conferences.hu/iarf2002. --Helen Pop
Amber Eyes Productions, LLC might be an organization that could help you and your group with an event you'd like to organize. Katrina Messenger (a friend of mine from the UU Sojourner Truth Congregation) is an inspiring and capable organizer. Two recent events she organized and lead were "On Shadows and Projections" and "Shadow Warrior Weekend". Those events were for feminist spirituality groups and anyone else interested in deep spiritual transformation.
If you have such a group within your congregation, have a need for event production services and/or you are interested in receiving announcements of specific Amber Eyes events, please, send an Email to email@example.com
ORIGIN OF THE WATER RITUAL
(taken from the latest issue of The Flame of the UU Women's Heritage Society)
All rituals have a first time, and so it is with the Water Ceremony, now so popular in UU congregations. The UUA adopted the Women and Religion Resolution in 1977, and in 1980 women held the first Women and Religion convocation on Femininist Theology in East Lansing, Michigan. In attendance were approximately 350 women and a few men.
Lucile Schuck Longview and Carolyn McDade created a worship service for that event, using the universal symbol of water. Women brought water from a nearby stream in East Lansing, from the desert near Albuquerque, from a mountain lake in New York State, from the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg, rain water from Maryland, from the mouth of the Mississippi, from the Pacific ocean near Carmel-by-the-Sea, and from the Atlantic Ocean.
Since that time, a water ritual has become a common ingathering ceremony at many UU congregations, usually taking place after the summer holidays as people bring back waters from their travels. Though practices vary, the basic ritual calls for participants to pour the water they have brought into a common vessel as they call out the origin of their contribution and, at the end of the service, for each person to take away a bit of the collected waters. As an alternative, the collected waters may be poured into a garden or around the roots of a tree near the meeting place.
Many thanks to Al Carlson, GWA Webmaster, for publishing this WOMUUNWEB issue #8 on the GWA website www.gwa.jpd.uua.org
Respectfully submitted by Helen Popenoe 6/5/2002