At General Assembly 2014 you could find UUW&R in exhibit hall booth 114.
Many many thanks go out to the cadre of women who helped make GA2014 spectacular for UUW&R. I spent most of my time in the Store area talking with dozens of well-informed and committed UUs every day. Nancy Aurora Rogers and Kat Graham who organize a regular Red Tent Women's Gathering at the UU Church of Marlborough and Hudson Massachusetts, lovingly guided the sacred space that was The Red Tent. Hundreds of women spent time in the tent, by themselves or with whoever gathered at that moment. Most said there was a clear shift of energy upon passing its threshold, and one told me she could feel the energy from several yards away.
The Red Tent was not only a sacred space dedicated to women's spirit, it was breathtakingly gorgeous. My photos (more on Facebook) don't do it justice. Nancy's are better (her Facebook album). Dozens of people felt compelled to take their own pictures of it, whether they entered the space or not. It was, if not THE hit of a GA where many spectacular events come together, at least a very memorable visit for a large number of women. I think many got the ideas that we not only need sacred space of our own, we can create it ourselves. I hope many were inspired to create a similar experience in their communities. The Red Tent is only one of the many forms women's sacred space takes. How do you gather with your sisters?
More contributors and booth workers were:
- Janet Sandretti, a WiseWoman of CMwD W&R and creator of a set of quilts featuring a goddess symbol from her group; she permitted us to display them in the booth
- Rev. Dorothy Emerson, past Continental UUW&R co-convener, who while conducting UU Class conversations in one corner of the booth, also talked with many about the thirteen-session Women of Wisdom curriculum she and Melody Lee co-wrote.
- Marcia Matthews, accomplished author whose slideshow on Goddesses in Boston and Cambridge area musuems never took off because I forgot my laptop power cord! She cheerfully helped in the booth anyway!
- Molly Nolan
- Kate Gillis
- Wendy Warburton, a circle sister of Kate's
- Twinkle Manning, a women's leadership facilitator and tv producer
Barbara Joy Jones, my co-driver for the trip home, who arrived to help pack up the Store and the Tent
and last but not least, UU Women's Federation president Kirstie Lewis who helped us pack up the booth at the end of GA!
Our booth included:
- a Red Tent for sacred time with sisters
- UUW&R Store with new jewelry and books by UU women
- reproductive justice resources
- virtual Goddess Tours
- and more of course!
Watch the Trailer for the Red Tent Movie to find out more:
Our Red Tent organizers say:
"The 'Red Tent' movement, a growing social phenomenon inspired by Anita Diamant’s 1997 book of the same name, supports today's woman in reclaiming the gift of community when women of all ages, faiths, and lifestyles gather together in an intimate, women-centered space. In this Safe Space of self-care, we share stories, needs and gifts, food, laughter, connection, and inspiration.
Ms. Diamant’s book weaves a tale of the story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah from the Book Of Genesis. This inspiring novel focuses on the relationship of the women in Dinah’s life -- her mother, aunts, grandmother, a beloved midwife -- and the role of their shared experience around their bleeding cycles, births, First Blood rites, the handing down of traditions. Most importantly, it is the job of the daughters to learn and pass on their mothers’ stories; this is how we keep ourselves alive in the culture. Many women who read this book identified the need for women in our modern culture to reconnect with one another at this very basic level to reestablish connections that have been lost and all but repressed in this world of competition that’s sought to erode the community of women at its core by cultivating a culture of self-hate, shame, peer bashing, and diminishing women’s values and emotional experiences that are unique to us.
The Red Tent movement emerged as a vehicle by which women can begin to reestablish actual local communities and a sense of bringing a united women’s connectedness into the greater world through creating a dedicated, indulgent, caring, quiet beautiful space that, through the love, nurturing and creativity of the women creating that Tent becomes Safe Space in which women can be themselves and share time together for conversation, inspiration, validation. This is a return to who we are, and who we are together." -- Nancy Aurora Rogers -- READ MORE...
Sneak peek: lovely pendants and earrings by southern Illinois metalsmith Nina Peacock!
SCHEDULE (Full GA Program Book)
|12:30 - 7||EXHIBIT HALL OPEN||BOOTH 114|
|visit UU Women and Religion in BOOTH 114|
|visit UU Women's Federation in BOOTH 129|
|visit International Convocation of UU Women BOOTH 304|
|1:45 - 2:00||Anima Rising (Goddess tour of Boston and Cambridge) presentation - Marcia Matthews||BOOTH 114|
|3:45 - 4:00||Anima Rising (Goddess tour of Boston and Cambridge) presentation - Marcia Matthews||BOOTH 114|
|9:45 am - 7 pm||EXHIBIT HALL OPEN||BOOTH 114|
|10:15 - 11:30 am||Reproductive Justice: Covenant and Context||RICC Ballroom D|
|4:00 - 5:15 pm||Crashing Waves: Multigenerational Feminisms - Young Adults at GA with UUA Witness Ministries||Dunk Providence Players Club|
|9:45 am - 7 pm||EXHIBIT HALL OPEN|
|10:00 - 10:20 am||BOOTH 114: THE RED TENT|
|noon - 12:20 pm||Sharing our Stories: A Gathering of Crones, led by Rev. Dorothy Emerson||BOOTH 114: THE RED TENT|
|4:00 - 4:20 pm||Storytelling: "Ariadne and the Labyrinth," led by Melody Lee||BOOTH 114: THE RED TENT|
|4:30 - 6 pm||UU Women's Federation Conversation - Make reservations at Booth 129
Presentation on Rev. Suzanne Nazian's project "Women's Congress," the 1893 gathering notable to us for the many Unitarian and Univeralist women involved in its planning.
|Biltmore Hotel Grand Ballroom|
|7:00 - 8:30 am||ICUUW Breakfast (Purchase Tickets $35)||Biltmore Hotel Renaissance Salon|
|9:45 am - 5 pm||EXHIBIT HALL OPEN||BOOTH 114|
|12:30 - 1:45 pm||
UU Women's Federation Workshop - Partnering for Social Justice
|Omni Narragansett C|
|12:30 - 1:45 pm||CUUPs Summer Solstice Ritual||Omni Narragansett AB|
|12:30 - 1:45 pm||Where Are the Guys? Men and Reproductive Justice||RICC 552|
|4:45 - 5 pm||Singalong||BOOTH 114|
|12:30 - 3:30 pm||EXHIBIT HALL OPEN TO PUBLIC||BOOTH 114|