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Welcome! The Women and Religion Movement is alive and well in the 21st Century. A grassroots project started by lay leaders in the 1970s as an effort to promote examination of religious roots of sexism and patriarchy within the UUA and beyond, UU Women and Religion officially began as a task force following the unanimously-passed WOMEN AND RELIGION RESOLUTION at the 1977 UUA General Assembly. Although the Task Force was eventually sunsetted, the movement still exists in UU communities that hold Women & Religion programs and gatherings for those who identify as women. It exists at the UU General Assembly, where UUW&R brings our Store to the Exhibit Hall and occasionally hosts a gahering. And it lives in the hearts and lives of people who have been touched by the many changes inspired by this movement.

"We do not want a piece of the pie. It is still a patriarchal pie. We want to change the recipe!" -- Rosemary Matson

UUW&R doesn’t really have memberships these days, though you can volunteer to work with the core group anytime. You might consider joining UU Women’s Federation. They are a membership organization and you can join for a donation of any amount: https://www.uuwf.org/donate-join

We’re currently in conversations with UU Women's Federation on consolidating. We're hoping to co-create new ways to move together into the future! We’ve already partnered with UUWF on several projects, including a combined presence at General Assembly.

In the past decade or so, UUW&R has focused on networking among the remaining District UU women’s groups, keeping essential -- and new -- women’s spirituality materials available, and handling publication of the classic curricula and some books. A new structure and funding may help us do even more. We have several curriculum projects in the works. What would you like to see us do in the future? https://www.uuwf.org/survey

May 2006

*Listen to "Sophia Fahs and Me" by Rev.Dr. Shirley Ranck

April 2006

*Listen to "Augusta Chapin and Me" by Dr. Shirley Ranck
*Listen to "Amy, Jake and the Dilemma of Heinz" by Dr. Shirley Ranck
*Listen to April 16, 2006,  11a.m. Service Topic: "Do You Know A Phoenix"
Dr. Shirley Ranck
*Listen to April 9, 2006,  11a.m. Service Topic: "Diving Deep and Surfacing"
Dr. Shirley Ranck

March 2006

*Listen to Mar 26, Sermon topic "Celebration Sunday" byDr. Shirley Ranck (mp3)
*Listen to the March 5 Sermon "The Global Woman"   by Dr Shirley Ranck
*Read the text of the March 5  Readings and Sermon "The Global Woman"   by Dr Shirley Ranck

February 2006

*Listen to  February 19th Sermon How Unitarian Universalists Can Change the World by Rev Shirley Ranck (mp3)
 * February 5, 2006 Sermon "Brigid, Candlemas and Ground Hog's Day" by Rev Shirley Ranck (mp3)
*January 15, 2006 " The Dream and the Lie"    by Dr. Shirley A. Ranck (mp3)

January 2006

 *January 15, 2006 " The Dream and the Lie"    by Dr. Shirley A. Ranck text format
*Listen to the January 8 Sermon "The Free Mind and the Reluctant Radical" by Dr Shirley Ranck
*Read the January 8 Sermon "The Free Mind and the Reluctant Radical" by Dr Shirley Ranck

December 2005

*Listen to December 11 Service topic: "The Rainbow Connection" by Dr Shirley Ranck (mp3)
* December 4, 2005 "Treasures of Nag Hamadi" by Dr Shirley Ranck
Listen in mp3 format

November 2005

*November 6, 2005 "She Changes" by Rev. Dr Shirley Ranck listen in mp3 format

October 2005

* October 30, 2005 "The Necessary Angel" by Rev. Dr. Shirley Ranck Meditation (mp3) Sermon (mp3)
* October 9, 2005 "What Do Unitarian Universalists believe?" by Rev. Dr. Shirley Ranck (text format) 
Listen in mp3 format
* October 2, 2005 Broken Images and Practical Cats by Rev. Dr. Shirley Ranck
Listen in mp3 format
September 2004
September 12, 2004:  Walking Together by Rev. Dr.Shirley Ranck  


Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

Brigid's Grove (ceremony resources)

Things We Don't Talk About (Red Tent movement documentary)

LucilesRedNotebook.org (UU Women and Religion movement herstory)

Covenant of UU Pagans

New Prophetic Sisterhood UU

Ministerial Sisterhood UU

HEResies UU women's history/herstory archives at Meadville-Lombard (in development)

Clara Barton District

UUWomenspirit Logo 1
Southern Region

MidAmerica Region

EliotWWLogoWhiteSt. Louis area

Pacific Central District UUW&R
UU Women and Religion of the Pacific Central District



SouthWest UU Women  - Southern Region

Florida NorthEast Cluster has an annual retreat!! Check the Southern Region calendar for more.

Canadian UU Women

Disbanded but archives online

Joseph Priestley District W&R

Northern New England W&R

Florida District (disbanded in 2009 - archives online)
Metro New York
Mass Bay District
Mountain Desert
Women's Spirituality Group and Women's Drumming Circle, First Unitarian Church, South Bend, Indiana

More UU Women's Groups

(if you would like to be listed, contact the Webweaver)

Sister Circles at UU Church of Eugene, Oregon

Association of Unitarian Women First U of Minneapolis, Minnesota

UU Sisterhood at UU Church of Ft. Lauderdale

In The Company of Women, retreat at Ferry Beach, Saco Maine

Artemis Women's Spirit Circles at UUC Fairfax Virginia

Women's Group at Holston Valley TN UUC

Women's Spirituality Group at First UU Austin TX

Womanspirit Retreat at Las Cruces, NM


Unitarian Women's Group in the UKin the UK

In The Company of Women

Revitalizing UU Women's Groups: A How-To Manual

Our Mission

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, which calls us to examine and put aside sexist assumptions, attitudes, and language. We extend that work by learning anti-oppressive attitudes, languages, and behaviors.

Our Future

UU Women & Religion ...

CHALLENGES women, men, and children to affirm, defend, and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

PROGRESSES toward our goals, using shared leadership and consensus building.

WORKS to end patriarchal systems, which undermine achievement of a world of peace and justice with respect for every person and for the interdependent web of all existence.

ENCOURAGES each person's own path to spiritual growth

EMPOWERS all people to choose how to change unjust systems, as we walk together toward a new day.

UU Women & Religion is open to all people who embrace our mission. WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US.



  • Information about activities, programs
  • Invitations to UUW&R meetings, events
  • Opportunities to change the system

Suggested annual donation: $25
Send this form (check payable to UUW&R) to:

Patti Clark, UUW&R Treasurer, 3224 Timmons Lane #165, Houston, TX 77027
Name ___________________________________________________________
Address _________________________________________________________
City / State (Province) / Zip ________________________________________
Phone________________________ Email ______________________________
UU Society_______________________________________________________
UU District_______________________________________________________
Amount enclosed ___________

GUIDELINES/BYLAWS -- As Amended October 22, 2005

Article 1:  NAME

Article 2:  CHARTER
WOMEN AND RELIGION RESOLUTION passed by the UUA GA, Ithaca NY, June 23, 1977 (see attachment)

Article 3:  PURPOSE
UUW&R is dedicated to freeing ourselves, others and Earth from traditional, historical, and contemporary oppressive and patriarchal systems.  We continue to work together to implement the 1977 UUA Women and Religion Resolution.

Article 4:  MEMBERSHIP
Any person is eligible for membership in UUW&R who is in general accord with the above-stated purpose and who supports the work of the group.

Article 5:  GUIDELINES
UUW&R shall be guided by the Core Group as described in Article 7.

The work of UUW&R shall be carried out by a feminist process as we understand (based on "Peace & Power" by Peggy Chinn and "Shared Leadership" by Elizabeth Fisher)

Article 6:  MEETINGS
The annual meeting of UUW&R shall be held at times and places set by the Core Group. Special meetings, social events, public programs, etc. may be scheduled by the core Group or a designated committee.

Article 7: CORE GROUP
The Core Group consists of: District Officers, Officers of W&R at the continental level, Committee Chairs and participants of the Annual Gathering. Any woman is welcome to join the Core Group and assist in the work of UUW&R at any time by committing to do so.

Article 8:  BUDGET
The budget for the fiscal year from December 1-November 30 will be established at the Annual Gathering after receiving up-to-date financial statement. Expenditures must have prior written approval from Co-Conveners and Treasurer.


  1. Said organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
  1. No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof.  No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under sections 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code
  1. Upon dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.  Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

These Guidelines will be reviewed at each Annual Meeting and revised as necessary.

Certificate of the Officers

Regarding Adoption of the Bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Women & Religion

We certify that we are the duly elected and acting President and Secretary of the Unitarian Universalist Women & Religion and that the foregoing pages are the bylaws of this organization as adopted and amended by the members on November 19, 2005.

Rev. Dorothy Emerson, President
Geri Kennedy, Treasurer


2021 Officers are
Patti Clark, Treasurer
Geri Kennedy
Gretchen Ohmann, co-convener

Article 1: The UUA no longer has Independent Affiliates. UUWR is one of the UUA's "Related Organizations."


PattiClark-Convo2009Treasurer Patti Clark, Houston, Texas, has also served as Treasurer for SouthWest UU Women (SWUUW), and the International Convocation of UU Women. She did double duty as Registrar for the 2009 Convo.

A CPA, Patti also manages her condo association.


Geri Kennedy, Seattle, WA, believes in gathering the women. A past UUWR Treasurer, who has often staffed our UUWR booth at GA and saved our hides on more than one occasion, Geri is also currently the Treasurer for International Women's Convocation.

Gretchen Ohmann 2017Co-Convener and UUWR Storekeeper Gretchen Ohmann, St. Joseph, Michigan, has been a UU since 1984, participating in her local Fellowship in SW Michigan: music, RE, board, newsletter. In 2001 she joined the CMwD W&R and served as treasurer, conference liaison, and webweaver. She was part-time office manager, computer trainer and archivist for the CMwD W&R Committee from 2005-2010 and was a former Central Midwest District representative to UUWR. She also served several years as Administrator for SW UU Women. Currently the part-time Technology Coordinator for the UUA MidAmerica Region, she also designs and hosts web sites.

Gratitude to past core group members:

Liz Fisher headshot

Liz Fisher passed on in 2020 and we miss her presence deeply. Best known as the author of the Rise Up and Call Her Name curriculum, Liz was a researcher, writer and social activist. Her deep knowledge of the UU Women and Religion movement helped inform our work over many decades.

See Liz's bio at https://lucilesrednotebook.org/liz-fishers-wr-autobiographical-statement/

Twinkle Marie Manning 2017Co-Convener Twinkle Marie Manning, Pittsfield, Maine is an active  community minister who gathers the women in many ways. You may have met her at General Assembly in the UUWR booth. One of her websites says, Twinkle walks in between the secular, artistic and spiritual worlds. In addition to serving as a freelance preacher in various church pulpits and a workshop & retreat leader, she is a development consultant, book publisher, and television and event producer. Twinkle offers a haven in her home in Maine to friends seeking spiritual solace. It has organically become the UU spiritual gathering place in Pittsfield (Maine).

2014-15 Core Group:

Pam Backstrom - Iowa (former Prairie Star District/MidAmerica Region)

Susan Bennett - Virginia (Joseph Priestley District/Central East Regional Group)

Treasurer Patti Clark, Houston, Texas (SW District/Southern Region)

Patricia Fahey - North Carolina (SouthEast District/Southern Region)

Kate Gillis, West Warwick, Rhode Island (Ballou-Channing District/New England Region) is a life-long UU. She loves the Women’s Group at Westminster UU Church in East Greenwich RI, is President of Womensphere, the Ballou Channing District women’s group, is a very active member (RE, choir, events) and past president of Bell Street Chapel UU in Providence RI, and goes to Woman Soul at Ferry Beach. She likes The Association for the Study of Women and Mythology and learning about labyrinths.

Molly Nolan - Connecticut (Clara Barton District/New England Region)

Co-Convener and UUWR Storekeeper Gretchen Ohmann, St. Joseph, Michigan

Melinda Perrin - New York (St. Lawrence District/Central East Regional Group)


helenpopenoe2009-02-27WOMUUNWEB Editor Helen Popenoe, Bethesda, MD, has been involved in Women and Religion work since 1980 when the Joseph Priestley W&R'ers were so involved with publishing "Reaching Sideways" and the rewriting of the UUA Principles. She served on the District W&R Committee from that time till she retired in 1999(?) after four years of being District Convener. Simultaneously with her later tenure on the JPD W&R Committee, she participated as part of the Continental W&R movement, acting as Co-Convener several intermittent terms until 2004. To become a children's book author with strong female characterization is her present endeavor outside W&R.


shirley ranck 2013Past Co-Convener Rev. Shirley Ranck is a Crone of wisdom and power who has touched the lives of many women through her writing and teaching, the Reverend Dr. Shirley Ann Ranck brings both personal professional insight to her work. Trained in education, psychology and ministry, she has drawn upon all these disciplines as well as her various personal lives as wife, mother, and single parent to create the female spiritual journey contained in the feminist thealogy curriculum and book, Cakes for the Queen of Heaven.
While working full time and birthing and raising two daughters and two sons, Shirley managed to earn her Master's degree in religious education from Drew University, an M.A. in clinical psychology from City College of New York, a Ph.D. in urban school psychology from Fordham University, and her Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley. She has been an educator and a licensed psychologist in California as well as an ordained minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association. She has worked in hospitals, clinics and a county jail for women as well as in private practice. She has served as minister in several Unitarian Universalist congregations including Cincinnati Ohio, Mobile Alabama, San Rafael California, Kennebunk Maine, Olympia Washington, Vancouver BC, and Reno Nevada. Shirley was the featured Keynote Speaker at Central Midwest District W&R's WomanSpirit Feb. 2008. She finally retired, and has moved to Michigan. We carry some of her books in our STORE!

Addae-WatsonPast Co-Convener The Reverend Addae Lee Watson served as consulting minister for the First Universalist Congregation of Southold during her time with the UUWR Core Group. Fondly known as Rev. Addae, she believes that service in ministry is about building bridges between the church and the community, so that pastoral care extends beyond the church walls, enhancing the vitality and growth of our congregations, as well as reinforcing our Unitarian Universalist principles as we live out our values in the world.
Rev Addae received her undergraduate degree in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco, and her Masters of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry, in Berkeley, California. She was ordained in the summer of 2004 at The Community Church of New York, Unitarian Universalist, after serving as the congregation's intern, and summer minister.
She is a member of the Anti Racist/Anti Oppression and Multicultural Committee of the (UUMA) Unitarian Universalist Minister's Association, (DRUUMM) Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries, and (UUWF) Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation. Rev. Addae calls San Francisco home, where she is enrolled at (CIIS) California Institute of Integral Studies in pursuit of a Ph.D in Philosophy and Religion in Women's Spirituality. 

Laura NagelPast Co-Convener Laura Nagel currently lives in California, with her husband Harry. They have two daughters. Laura became a Unitarian Universalist when she was 14, and has been a member of several UU churches as they have moved around the country. She served as board president for First Jefferson UU Church in Fort Worth in 1998, attended leadership school in the Southwest District, and worked for five years as a fundraising consultant for the UUA.
Laura became president of Southwest UU Women (SWUUW) in 2000 and oversaw its transition to a nonprofit and Independent Affiliate of the UUA. She is also very active with the Partner Church Council. Laura also helped organize the International Convocation of UU Women.

Nuala 2005Past Grassroots Coordinator and Joseph Priestley District rep -- Nuala Carpenter lives in St. Davids PA, attends Main Line Unitarian Church in Devon in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. She has been a member of the Facilitators' Circle of Joseph Priestley District Women and Religion. She has been involved for 10 years or so and was been the convener from 99 to 07. She has been to several gatherings of the core group, in Boston, Chicago, St. Louis and Portland OR.
Nuala has been a UU since the 70s and has held many leadership roles in her congregation. She was born in Ireland and lives with her husband Mike. Their five grandchildren are the light of her life.

Past GA Events Coordinator Rosemary Matson who passed away in 2014, lived in Carmel Valley, CA, and was a member of the UU Church of the Monterey Peninsula. In 1977 she helped passage of UUA Women and Religion Resolution and served as co-convener of the first W&R Continental Committee. Also co-convener of Pacific Central District W&R Task Force. Rosemary initiated and processed the W&R application for affiliate status with the UUA in 2001. She initiated and co-authored the Gender Knot curriculum in 2003. She completed writing a portion of the history of UU Women and Religion movement, as she experienced it.


Marnie 2005Past Membership List Keeper Marnie Singer lives in Sunnyvale, CA and is an M.Div. student at Starr King School for the Ministry.

Her roles in W&R (both on the district and continental levels) are former Pacific Central District co-convener, co-organizer of numerous PCD W&R retreats, and keeper of the PCD and continental W&R databases.


Dorothy 05Past Co-Convenor Rev. Dorothy Emerson, who passed away in May 2019, was a UU community minister, focusing on economic justice and empowerment. In the mid-1980s she served as co-convener of the Mass Bay District Women & Religion Committee. She founded and directed the UU Women's Heritage Society for many years and edited a book of UU women's writings, called Standing Before Us: UU Women and Social Reform, 1776-1936. She edited Glorious Women, a compilation of sermons about women that won awards from MSUU (Ministerial Sisterhood Unitarian Universalist). Dorothy completed her memoir, Sea Change: The Unfinished Agenda of the 1960s, in 2018. She was on the Core Group from 2004-2010 and served some time as co-convener. She lived near Boston with her long time partner, whom she was able to marry in 2004 thanks to the establishment of marriage equality in Massachusetts. Another of her great joys was becoming a grandmother! We carry some of her books in our STORE.

Past District Representatives

Central Midwest District -- Gretchen Ohmann - (see above)
Florida -- no current rep; the Florida W&R group has dissolved.

Misty SheehanHeartland -- Dr. Misty Sheehan, Empire, MI, has been a UU since her children started school many centuries ago. She served on the original Chapin-Crane Women and Religion Team in Michigan from 1978-1985. Her life took her to India and China for several years, then she was an Asian studies professor at College of DuPage in Chicago. There she joined the Central Midwest District Women and Religion Committee from 1999-2003. She joined the Continental Core Group in 2003 as the CMwD rep, and became Co-Convenor for the 2005-2006 year.

Pacific Central-- Barbara Schonborn, Mountain View, CA

Joseph Priestley District -- Nuala Carpenter (see photo and bio above)

Southwest UU Women -- Laura Nagel (see above).

NY Metro -- Laurie James
Laurie James passed away in 2016. Credits: Original one-woman dramas on tour: Winter Wheat, The Betrayal of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Her Woman's Bible; Men, Women, and Margaret Fuller. UU churches, theaters, festivals, UU General Assemblies; The 13th Street Theatre, NYC; The Burbage Theatre, Los Angeles; theaters in Mexico, Hong Kong, and Scotland.
Original docu-dramas, Roots of Rebellion (also WBAI featuring Gloria Steinem); Look Who's on Third!; and Sliding Home! at The Community Church of New York (CCNY); UU Congregation of Central Nassau; GA.
Plays authored/acted: O Excellent Friend! (first prize, Pen and Brush Club), the story of Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson, GA. Gotta Learn the Rule, second prize, Collaboraction Theatre (Chicago), produced at The Producer's Club in NYC.
TV: The Cambridge Forum, "Feminist Ahead of Her Time;" BBC-Scotland TV, Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Guest star, Trial By Jury with Raymond Burr.
Off-Off-Broadway: Gibran; Paradox; The Yellow Wallpaper.
Directed Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues (CCNY); UU Congregation at Shelter Rock.
Panel, GA: "Emerson's Circle of Women;" article with same title, Journal of UU History, edited by Dean Grodzins.
Books include Men, Women, and Margaret Fuller, a biography; Why Margaret Fuller Is Forgotten; The Wit and Wisdom of Margaret Fuller; How I Got to Harvard, Off and On Stage with Margaret Fuller; Outrageous Questions, Legacy of Bronson Alcott and America's One Room Schools. Member of CCNY Community Women; Board Member, UUWA Metro District, UU Women & Religion; The Dramatists Guild; The Actors Studio P/D Unit; The American Renaissance Theatre.


General info about UUW&R


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