FALL 2002 WOMUUNWEB

CONTINENTAL ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER OF

UU FEMININE INSPIRATION FOR WOMEN AND MEN

NEWS TO USE FOR MORE THAN JUST PERSONAL GAIN

CEDAW ALERT!

WE DID IT! NOW COMES OUR ONE LAST PUSH!

To those who joined the CEDAW action for gaining a full hearing in this summer's Senate Foreign Relations committee, THANKS. The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has been voted "out of committee"!

Now, a two-thirds majority of the Senate must agree to its ratification. So, we have to see to it that the full Senate will have the motivation to consider this matter during the 107th. Congress. The "target" Adjournment date is October 4th. This could change, but many Senators are anxious to get back home A.S.A.P. to campaign for the Nov. 5th. Election.

Here are the UU Joseph Priestley District (JPD) states having the Nov. 5th. Senatorial Election: Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia.

ACTION #1 - If you're from one of these three states, find out each of the Senatorial candidates' stand on CEDAW and specifically educate if any are undecided.

The entire House of Representatives is up for re-election, Nov. 5th. So, check to see if your Representative is "on board" and, if so, thank him/her. If not, you might inquire, "why not?" There's a House Resolution 18 expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Senate should ratify CEDAW. These Representatives from the JPD need our thanks because they are "on board" as co-sponsors of H. Res. 18:

DC: Eleanor Holmes Norton
MD: Connie Morella and Elijah Cummings
NJ: Donald M. Payne, Frank Pallone, Jr. and Bill Pascrell, Jr.
PA: Robert Brady and Joseph M. Hoeffel
DE: none!

In their House Resolution 18, they say, "the full realization of the rights of women is vital to the development and well-being of people of all nations."

ACTION #2 - THIS IS A NECESSARY REPEAT OF WHAT WE DID FOR THE FOREIGN

RELATIONS COMMITTEE VOTE. Everyone! Please, continue calls and FAXes to

President Bush and Secretary of State Powell to urge their favorable support for CEDAW RATIFICATION. Ask family, friends and your organizational colleagues to do the same.

THE WHITE HOUSE SECRETARY OF STATE POWELL

Phone: 202-456-1414 or -1111 Phone: 202-647-6575

Call between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

FAX: 202-456-2461 (Any time) FAX: 202-261-8577

As I understand it, there is no "formal" Administration decision yet. They do have a dilemma. They've placed CEDAW in Category III, i.e. Treaties that the Administration believes are generally desirable and should be approved. This is a big election year. Margins in both Senate and House are very close. The dilemma is: Do you offend moderate female and male voters in your party, who support CEDAW ratification or the extreme right-wing ones who do not?

ACTION #3 - ASK YOUR SENATORS TO PASS CEDAW NOW!!!

1. E-mail can be sent directly to your Senators through the League's Legislative Action Center by going to the following link: http://capwiz.com/lwv/issues/alert/?alertid=429331&type=CO and inserting your zip code into the gray box at the right hand side of the alert. This feature allows you to e-mail your Senator and help get CEDAW ratified when the Senate comes back into session.

2. Remember that you can copy this e-mail alert and forward it to other concerned citizens. Use the "Tell a Friend" feature, at the bottom of this alert at: http://capwiz.com/lwv/issues/alert/?alertid=429331&type=CO to easily contact your grassroots network, your friends and co-workers.

MESSAGE

1. Please ratify CEDAW. U.S. ratification of CEDAW would be an important statement of support for women worldwide and would give credibility to the United State's longstanding opposition to human rights abuses. Women in many parts of the world lack basic legal rights or protection of their rights under the law. CEDAW will promote the advancement of women and establish rights and equality for women worldwide.

2. CEDAW is relevant not just to the lives of women in countries with poor human rights records, but also to the lives of American women. The Convention assures American women that our government believes in, and will reinforce their equality.

Here are recent statements to help you express yourselves: June 18, 2002, New York Times report excerpt from Islamabad, Pakistan by Nicholas D. Kristof - "Twenty years of experience with the Treaty in the great majority of countries shows that it simply helps third-world women gain their barest human rights. In Pakistan, for example, women who become pregnant after being raped are often prosecuted for adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. But this Treaty has helped them escape execution."

June 13, 2002 letter excerpts from Foreign Relations committee Chairman, Senator Joseph Biden and Senator Barbara Boxer - "It's time to get the job done. The horrendous plight of women in Afghanistan under the Taliban reminds us that the battle for equal treatment for women is far from won."

"First Lady Laura Bush emphasized last month that even in Afghanistan women are making progress. She said, 'The world has watched with happiness as we see pictures of (Afghan) boys and girls going back to school, of women moving freely outside their homes.' But the obstacles to equality under the law remain formidable, in Afghanistan and in too many nations."

Ratification of the Treaty would not impose any new requirement in our laws - because our Constitution and gender discrimination laws already comply with the Treaty requirements. But U.S. participation could advance the lives of millions of women elsewhere.

As the First Lady noted in her moving radio address to the people of Afghanistan, 'a society can only achieve its full potential when all of its members participate. '"

July 7, 2002 from The Dallas Morning News said,

"U.N. experts on the Treaty said ratification by the United States would give it more weight. 'This encourages improvements and forces countries to be accountable for their poor records in human rights,' said Lee Waldorf, a U.N. specialist on women's rights. 'It gives a reference point to address governments.'

"Treaty advocates say they face a battle against the calendar, with control of the Senate up for grabs this fall."

You'll find more background information in past WOMUUNWEB newsletters on www.gwa.jpd.uua.org. Please, dear friends, HELP by responding to Action #1, Action #2 and Action 3#. Time is short! Helen Popenoe

LINKS

To read the treaty or for information on the treaty or on the CEDAW Committee see the UN Website http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw.

For current information on the status in the Senate and for how the Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee voted see http://www.womenstreaty.org.

"SUPPORT THE THINGS YOU LOVE - Ever try leaving your tomato plants unstaked? Sometimes it works, but mostly they slither all over the ground, the fruit decays and is prey to disease and furry friends. When you lovingly stake them and gently tie some rope around their delicate frames, they flourish and extend up to the sky." By Vivian Elisabeth Glyck

UU WOMEN AND RELIGION CONTINENTAL NEWS

TRADITIONAL WATER SERVICE IS OURS

Claim our creation and be glad to belong to the vitality of the Women and Religion (W&R) movement! I sure was when the Water Ceremony happened at my Sunday service Labor Day weekend. Betty Hoskins of Continental W&R says, "So many think some clergyperson invented it for reopening church each fall." The Water Ceremony, now often used for ingathering, end-of-summer Sunday services, came out of the Grailville and East Lansing UU womenís conferences. This preceded the 1977 W&R Resolution to rid our denomination of sexism (plus other consciousness-raising).

WANT TO BELONG TO CONTINENTAL W&R?

Weíre beginning fresh (including a newly written course) for our 25th. Anniversary year. The Continental annual Gathering happens in Illinois, 7 minutes from Chicago OíHare Airport. The dates are November 8, 9 and 10 and costs $135.00. The Cabrini retreat Center has private sleeping accommodations. I am so glad to be going there. I know it from having a W&R Gathering there, in the early 90ís. These Gatherings attract UU women from all over the Continent. To me, the weekend is a thrilling think tank with intelligent, creative, fun-loving women.

The Co-conveners, Joan Fitz-Randolph and Barbara Schonborn, write this about our Continental movement:

"We are a programmatic organization, creating and providing religious services, courses of study, conferences and retreats, programs at UU district assemblies and the annual UUA General Assembly, and opportunities to collaborate with other UU and community organizations."

If youíd like a registration flier, contact me right away to have the opportunity for a discount, 301-229-0549.

"We do not want a piece of the pie. We want to change the recipe!" (A Continental rallying cry)

UPDATE OF CONTINENTAL INTEREST

IALRW IN BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

Note: The Spring 2002 WOMUUNWEB gives background for the International Association of Liberal Religious Women, IALRW, July Conference. "Human Dignity" with a focus on "Peace in the Family" was my daily small group exploration.

River Road Unitarian Church, where I belong, here in Maryland, just completed a year of covenanting. As this special small group ministry is so important to me, I have chosen to be a River Road Facilitator. My July IALRW experience was a blessed extension of my yearís covenanting kind of communication.

For IALRW, there were two languages used, Japanese and English. The Japanese women, all coming from the liberal Buddhist tradition of Rissho Kosei Kai, were very used to covenant groups, a mainstay of their spiritual practice. I learned that harmony, accommodation and the people-power of collectivism is their approach to living. That faith tradition holds a different appreciation of time and timing than Iíve been employing in my life.

Because of the need for translation, there was intense silence during translation. It taught me the value of silence in our deliberate community building. As the facilitator of the Family group, I tried to learn to make my viewpoint clear and to speak slowly. The dynamics of the open-minded listening, talking and deep sharing was an unforgettable creative interchange. When we all got the circle memberís message, after translation, the circle became very close and attentive to what the next step would be for building upon the previous thinking. We spoke in the richness of personal storytelling.

I feel we all had a sense of our deeply Being together. Yes, I had to keep track of Cronos, chronological time, but we were spending Kairos, religious/spiritual time together. This extended, somewhat, to the rest of the Conference because my daily covenant group shared the same table for meals and all our Conference gatherings.

My precious IALRW interlude began with a joy of joys, the UU womenís Water Ceremony! Imagine my ecstasy. I had flown, alone, to Hungary, a country where little English is spoken, was suffering from jetlag and had, finally, made it to the spot where I was supposed to be. Then came the IALRW opening ceremony with the Japanese in charge of the familiar Water Ceremony.

Soft, live, continual music was played in the background. Their container was an ancient, ivy-decorated cauldron. Two, beautiful young girls with fresh, daisy and fern crowns, were the priestesses. They graciously welcomed each of us as we brought water from our many lands and faith traditions.

Traveling, especially to a new country, gives me a profound perspective on my life at home. This IALRW experience made that reality doubly meaningful. The next IALRW Conference happens in four years. I hope one of you dear readers will attend with me.

Helen Popenoe

"DIVERSITY - It takes many diverse voices to make a full chorus. In a blend of spontaneous voices, birds welcome the new day. All sound bright and enthusiastic. While each bird sings in its own full-throated voice and has its own unique song, there is harmony in this diversity." By Wanda McGee

JOSEPH PRIESTLEY DISTRICT W&R NEWS

SAVE THE DATE

The JPD Women and Religion annual retreat will be April 25, 26 and 27. We will return to the Murray Grove Conference Center in Lanoka Harbor, NJ.

MOVING ON, MOVING OUT

The JPD Interweave and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) concerns Committee will be holding their annual retr4eat at the Hashawaha Nature Center (north of Westminster, MD) on October 18th - 20th, 2002. The keynote speaker, JD Talasek, will speak on media images of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.

Hashawaha Environmental Center provides, at a very low cost, basic "kid camp style" sleeping quarters and food. There will also be tent camp space available, a short distance from the facilities, hotel option and additional cold vegetarian food options. What to bring: Sleeping Bag, Musical Instruments, Pillow, Games, Bikes, Basketball and Flashlight.

For more information, contact me (Helen) at 301/229-0549. The Co-Registrars are Walter Moyer and Margaret Almonte.

"RETREAT: a quiet, private, secure place; refuge, a period of seclusion or solitudeÖ It can also be a way to focus, to center your self in the moment. Our word for 'focus' comes from the Latin word for 'fireplace', the hearth at the center of the home. And the sacred fire was brought to the home from the temple of Vesta, the Greeks' Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth who personifies the archetype of the Self." Gail Ranadive

NEWS RELATING TO OUR JPD SOUTH CONGREGATIONS

Announcement from Helen:

It saddens me, GREATLY, that my computer crashed! My wonderful neighbor, Margaret Warker, volunteered to do the computer work for this issue. WHAT A NEIGHBORLY ACT! Due to her fortunate timing, Sharon Sundial was able to get her items in to Margaret. I apologize to anyone else who sent news. Perhaps, you could write it up as a report after the fact, PLEASE. I should be back online (with a new address book, etc.) by the deadline of December 2nd.

FROM ARLINGTONíS SHARON SUNDIAL

Here's news of a workshop at the Arlington UU Church to which both women and men are invited.

Secrets from a Woman's Dreams (AESP38)

Recording and studying sleeping or waking dreams and visions opens new dimensions in many lives - providing enrichment, added energy, and sustenance. This is a rich, slide-illustrated program based on an overview of the presenter's fourteen-year journey of dreams and visions. Opportunities will also be provided for participants to discuss some of their dream images and to explore these further through drawing or sketching. NO previous experience in dream or artwork is required, only an openness to exploration. The program is sponsored by UUCA's Dream Group.

Saturday, November 16, 9:30-11:30 am
$10 pledging, $15 non-pledging
Register with Linda Switzer at 703-892-9061

SEPTEMBER 22 EQUINOX SERVICE

At this time of need for balance and the Equinox gift of balance, we will consider the mystery of the human "shadow side". It exists, though a human baby arrives with inherent goodness and not Original Sin. Islam offers an understanding of sin as a process of "forgetting". We forget who we really are. Why do we forget ourselves?

Our Wheel of the Year circle is open to all over age 10 and begins at 5 PM in the Fireside Room of River Road Church. Weather permitting, we could hold the service outside on the courtyard. Ramana, the Sufi teacher who was with us for our last service, will join me to contribute, this time, too. Please, bring your own cup and nibbles &/or drinks to share afterward.

Helen Pop, 301/229-0549

WHY HAVE THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR SERVICES?

The POWER and INSPIRATION given by natureís strength brings us together. We seek to express where each of is in that dynamic of SUSTAINABLILTY as WE SHARE from our everydayness of life. Being a part of nature, we each have a particular kind and capability for ENDURANCE FOR LIVING WITH BALANCE AND HARMONY. In working out that balance, the OPEN COMMUNITY found in the Wheel of the Year services, gives participants opportunity for INTROSPECTION and SPIRITUALITY.

The form that spirituality takes in our own hearts brings individual INSIGHTS and truths to the surface. Our circle becomes like a flowered meadow of INTERDEPENDANCE with beautiful diversity of theologies and multiplicity of pathways up the mountain of truth.

Our religious imagination or intuitive intelligence is stirred by being together in the BEAUTY OF EMPLOYING ALL OUR SENSES for accessing body-centered wisdom. Itís an opening of the senses, not being led by our senses. Make-believe and metaphor are used to cede control to our creativity.

We tell (with "freedom to pass") our stories and listen, carefully, to find a resonance that no mere collection of facts can match. With silence and patience enough to wait for a personís story to unfold, meaning can become clear and COGNITIVE LEAPS made possible.

Nature can guide us to right action in good measure at the right time. GROUNDING in the sacred circle of life gives stability and faith in the future. Here are the dates for the rest of 2002: Hallowmas - Nov. 3 and Winter Solstice - Dec. 22. The 2003 dates are: Candlemas - Feb. 2, Spring Equinox - March 23, Mayfest - May 4, Summer Solstice - June 22, Fall Equinox - Sept. 21, Hallowmas - Nov. 2 and Winter Solstice - Dec. 21.

Our custom is to meet on Sundays at 5 PM with potluck refreshments following the, most often, hour-long ceremony. The actual length depends on the number of participants and the amount of extemporaneous speaking. All over age 10 are welcome. We are explorers who, in the frontier of human consciousness, try to integrate science and spirituality. The Wheel of the Year services are meant to remind us of our wholeness and connectedness to each other and to the Earth.

"RESPECT THE LIFE CYCLE REFLECTED IN THE HARVEST - Watch closely. Know when it's time to harvest what you have sown so that you can enjoy the benefits of your hard work and know when and what to give back to keep the life cycle flowing." By Vivian Elisabeth Clyck

ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR PERSONAL GROWTH AND NETWORKING

Job (or Lack Thereof) Got You Down? We're Here to Help!

FMF is proud to announce the arrival of a new FREE SERVICE - the Weekly
Feminist Jobs Digest. Get the latest feminist jobs and internships delivered
each week to your inbox. Sign up today and tell your friends!
http://www.feminist.org/911/jobs/911jobs.asp or send a blank email to join-jobs@ls.feminist.org

A PLUG FOR MY FRIEND

Katrina Messenger, my friend from Sojourner Truth congregation of Unitarian Universalists, is an inspiring leader. She runs Amber Eyes Productions, an event services company serving non-profits, small businesses and community-based organizations. The events can be as small as classes and meetings and as large as retreats, workshops, conferences, concerts and public feminist spirituality rituals. Katrina and her partner, Willow Kelly, can handle the less glamorous aspects of event production, I.E. logistics, housing, bookkeeping (the areas most prone to burn-out volunteers). Also, they can do the content and leadership.

Their Shadow Warrior Weekend retreat, last May, centered on a personís facing the mystery of the shadow. Itís not a problem to be solved, not an error, a failure or a flaw. Katrina says, "The shadow contains the parts of self that one has not or cannot consciously accept." Her web site is at http://ambereyes.net.

W2W SUMMIT IN OCTOBER

Note: This community dialogue might be especially appealing to UU women on Marylandís Eastern Shore.

The American Association of University Women, AAUW, has organized the "Woman To Woman Summit," to be held at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury, MD. Itís on October 11th and 12th and costs $50.00 before September 20 and $55.00 for late registration. Their registration form says "According to Shakespeare, Marc Antony said to the Romans, ĎLend me your ears." AAUW Maryland adds: Lend us, also, your presence, ideas and thoughts about some topics of concern to ALL women."

For more information, log on to http://www.aauwmd.org/special_events.htm.

"TAKING TIME OUT clarifies the flow of life's activities. What issues seem to get settled when you take time out from your daily life?" by Wanda McGee


Find out what else is going on in our congregations!

The GWA web site has links to the web sites of all the congregations in the Greater Washington (DC) Area. Go to www.gwa.jpd.uua.org. Then click on "GWA Congregations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia". This gives you a list of the congregations. Clicking on the name of a congregation brings up the web site of that congregation.


WOMUUNWEB DEADLINE for Winter, 2002 issue is December 2nd.

Many thanks to Al Carlson, GWA Webmaster, for publishing this WOMUUNWEB issue #9 on the GWA website www.gwa.jpd.uua.org. Please send your news to Helen Popenoe hpop@bellatlantic.net

Respectfully submitted by Helen Popenoe 9/4/2002


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