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carol christ“In Goddess religion death is not feared, but is understood to be a part of life, followed by birth and renewal.” -Carol P. Christ

Carol Patrice Christ died peacefully on July 14 from cancer. Carol was and will remain one of the foremothers and most brilliant voices of the Women’s Spirituality movement. At the conference on “The Great Goddess Re-Emerging” at the University of California at Santa Cruz in the spring of 1978, Carol delivered the keynote address, “Why Women Need the Goddess: Phenomenological, Psychological, and Political Reflections.”

Christ proposed four compelling reasons why women might turn to the Goddess: the affirmation and legitimation of female power as beneficent; affirmation of the female body and its life cycles; affirmation of women’s will; and affirmation of women’s bonds with one another and their positive female heritage (Christ 1979).

Carol graduated from Yale University with a PhD in Religious Studies and went on to teach as a feminist scholar of women and religion, women’s spirituality, and Goddess studies, at institutions including Columbia University, Harvard Divinity School, Pomona College, San Jose State University, and the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she was an adjunct professor since the inception of the Women’s Spirituality, Philosophy and Religion graduate studies program in 1993. Christ published eight profoundly thoughtful and inspiring books, several in collaboration with her friend and colleague Judith Plaskow, whom she met at Yale:

  • Diving Deep and Surfacing: Women Writers on Spiritual Quest (1986)
  • Woman Spirit Rising: A Feminist Reader in Religion, anthology co-edited with Judith Plaskow (1992)
  • Odyssey with the Goddess: A Spiritual Quest in Crete (1995)
  • Weaving the Visions: New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality. Anthology co-edited with Judith Plaskow (1989)
  • Laughter of Aphrodite: Reflections on a Journey to the Goddess (1987)
  • Rebirth of the Goddess: Finding Meaning in Feminist Spirituality (1998)
  • She Who Changes: Re-imaging the Divine in the World (2004)
  • Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology. Co-authored with Judith Plaskow (2016)
  • A recent interview conducted by Anne Gauldin and Cheri Gaulke, October 19, 2019, Zaros, Heraklion region, Crete, Greece

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UUWF Board and Staff August 2007 smEllen Ann Spencer, 69, died peacefully at her home in Brookline Massachusetts, January 2, 2021. She was predeceased by her father Raymond Jesse "Bud" Spencer and her mother Anastasia Eagle Spencer of Middletown, CT. She was also predeceased by her longtime life partner Paul.
A graduate of Boston University, Ellen was an avid reader and loved to travel, especially to Europe and the United Kingdom.

Ellen retired from 32 years with UU Women's Federation in 2014. She was the Executive Administrator at that time.
Ellen is survived by her Siblings Madeline Spencer Fazzino and Raymond Jesse Spencer Jr. Both of Higganum, CT and 3 nieces and nephews and other loving family members.
A memorial is to be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ellen's name to the museum of your choice.

Meg BowmanDr. Meg Bowman ("Bowoman" on her nametag) passed away peacefully in San Jose on Monday, November 23, 2020. While she will miss the 2020 winter solstice, she lived long enough to see Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win the Presidential election. Meg celebrated her 91st birthday on July 28th. She was among the founders of Women & Religion with Rosemary Matson and others. She earned a PhD in Sociology and taught at San Jose State University. Meg was an editor for the book Telling Our Stories, Celebrating Ourselves, which includes the history of the W&R Task Force and was published by the PCD-UUA in 1998.

With deep sadness, we report that Liz Fisher passed away September 25, 2020 after several months in hospice care for cancer. She shared these thoughts with us in May 2020.

Liz Fisher 552 IMG 4446

As I look back over my 72+ years of life in this body I am amazed at all I have experienced, thought and felt. During my years from early 1980s to the present, Women and Religion has been my nourishment. As Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826-1898) of the 19th century taught so well, the early societies that proceeded patriarchy have a profound message for us.

The purpose of Women and Religion is to proclaim our ancestral stream of concern for fair, compassionate, kind, and most of all, mutually supportive inclinations. This tendency is to be blended with the contemporary concerns of positive modeling of non-violent co-existence and protection of the natural world – plant, animal, stone and star.

Dorothy May EmersonIt is with sadness we share that Rev. Dr. Dorothy May Emerson passed away on May 13th, 2019. Dorothy was beloved in her community. Her life and works touched many. Her memoir “Sea Change: The Unfinished Agenda of the 1960s” was published just last year. We are grateful to have this glimpse of her life’s experiences and philosophies written in her own words.

A memorial service for Dorothy took place on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 10:00 am, Melrose Unitarian Universalist Church, 70 W Emerson St, Melrose, MA 02176. All welcome.

Rev. Dr. Dorothy May Emerson * 
November 20, 1943 – May 13, 2019

Also read A Goodbye to Dorothy from Melody Lee

Rev. Dr. Dorothy Emerson was a semi-retired Unitarian Universalist minister. She and her spouse Donna co-founded Rainbow Solutions to promote socially responsible investing as an important tool for social change and to offer consulting services to support those who want their lifestyles and business practices, as well as their money, to reflect their core values. After Donna and associates have launched Rainbow Investment Solutions, the focus of Rainbow Solutions was on Dorothy’s ministry and publications.

A member of the UUWR core group that revised the bylaws in 2005, after her term Dorothy continued to be a mentor and advisor, and a frequent presence at the UUW&R booth at General Assembly.

Dorothy gave public lectures and led workshops and worship services. She also performed weddings, funerals and memorial services, child dedications, and a variety of other special rituals. She specialized in interfaith ceremonies, personally designed to suit your needs and reflect your values.

Dorothy has edited and published feature articles and books. She also helped create programs to help adults grow spiritually and gain insight into ways to implement their values in daily life.

In addition to her ministry, Dorothy was active in UU and community organizations:

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