What is TUCWomen? Ministry by women for women.
We sponsor, organize and produce activities, gatherings, worship, and education relevant to the women of UU Westport.
We facilitate mutual support among women.
We rally women’s participation in support of TUCW.
Our goals are to provide a rich set of opportunities to support women’s engagement in the TUCW community and for women to build deeper relationships, and to nurture feminine spirituality.
All women are invited to all TUCWomen activities. We encourage all women to join the TUCWomen mailing list so they will know about what’s happening.
Questions and ideas can always be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Report – June 2021
TUCWomen is a ministry by women for women.
TUCWomen organize, create, sponsor and support programs, workshops, worship and gatherings relevant to the women and values of UU Westport. We rally women’s participation in support of TUCW. Our goals are to provide a rich set of opportunities to support women’s engagement in the TUCW community and, over all, to provide a variety of opportunities where women can build deeper relationships and nurture feminine spirituality. Additionally, TUCWomen acknowledge the call for racial justice and have created programs to educate the community and encourage activism.
In this pandemic, TUCWomen responded with clarity of focus and depth in a number of ways. For purposes of this report, those actions are organized into three categories: Community Building, Activism and Spirituality.
Building community requires communication. Through the leadership and efforts of Sari Bodi, Elizabeth Macdonald and Beth Cliff we had regular communications in Soundings and in the TUCWomen’s newsletter. Kitchens are frequently where much sharing takes place and a sense of community is created. Thus we began a virtual gathering called “In Grandma’s Kitchen” to share not only recipes and cooking together, but also stories of the host’s ancestors and culture. Furthermore, we continued our monthly virtual potlucks, chaired by Eileen Belmont, where women could gather to be nourished by the sharing of ideas and creativity that took place on zoom.
In the area of Activism, Janet Luongo continued her leadership as chair of UUtheVote and enlisted many women to write, call or text what altogether amounted to thousands of messages to voters to ensure voter registration and voters getting out to vote. This “sacred activism” is ongoing. The Gender Equity team, with co-chairs Sudha Shankar and Cheryl Dixon Paul, provided the “Brave Space” service to make transparent our UU values of inclusivity and honoring diversity. The Gender Equity Team and TUCWomen’s team collaborated to create a #MeToo service, “Chards of Pain to Mosaic of Hope” to support women and girls who have been traumatized by sexual violence. This service also reminded men of their responsibility to be supportive. Included in this year’s activism is the work toward racial justice as seen through a group of women who created a Black Lives Matter Statement as a guiding principle and followed up with hundreds of hours of work to raise awareness of and address issues of racism and white privilege. This work is ongoing. Actions included a special service, “Four Mothers”, describing the realities of parenting Black children in our country to this day. A group of women focusing on BLM meets monthly to address three specific topics by way of subcommittees: Police Accountability, chaired by Rainy Broomfield; Education, co-chaired by Sari Bodi and Jamie Forbes; and Revealing History, Why it Matters, chaired by Lisa Donahue-Olivieri. The Police Accountability team has helped educate us about legislation, created a meeting with 3 local police chiefs to discuss discrimination and practices within police enforcement and hosted a meeting with Ken Barone who trains police to decrease the violence in law enforcement and follow the new legislative guidelines for policing. The Revealing History team has focused on educating our UU community to the impact of racism by way of creating a series “Revealing History: How We Got Here, Why It Matters”. The first event focused on justice and mass incarceration. This team collaborated with The Equal Justice Initiative to bring in a speaker and display art from EJI’s website. Collaboration also included original poetry read by slam poet “Lyric”. The second in this series emphasizes “Racial Health Inequities” with speaker Rev Robyn Anderson, Director of the Ministerial Health Fellowship. Revealing History is ongoing and will present 4 programs a year. The Education team produced a Career Day with professionals who are POC for students, most also being POC, at Beardsley School in Bridgeport, Ct. The BLM committee also hosts a BLM book discussion monthly and a BLM movie discussion biweekly. We thank all who have given so generously of their time and energy. We acknowledge and thank several people here as our guides and our conscience: Althea Seaborne, Shanonda Nelson, Kristin Trost, Lisa Brown, Denise Page and Ellie Grasso.
In the area of Spirituality, under the auspices of Women, Spirit and Imagination Programs, we have had the following offerings by Carol Hamilton: Weekly Tapping Circles (using the Emotional Freedom Technique) which provide relief from stress and anxiety and invite participants to connect to their authentic selves; Journaling, a 4 session series to promote self reflection, creativity and finding one’s voice; and The Listening Path, a 6 week series on deep listening to oneself and to the outer world so as to clear the mind, gain focus and live intentionally. Janet Luongo offered a 4 part series on writing about the “other” from one’s experiences and inner truth. Women’s Sacred Circles, under the leadership of Grandmother Nancy Andry, continue to take place twice a month and provide access to deeper ways of knowing through nature and indigenous ways. Shared leadership brings other meaningful topics to this circle to provide education and prompt greater self discovery and sharing.
All women are invited to all TUCWomen programs and gatherings. We encourage all women to join the TUCW mailing list for information on the current offerings and events. Questions and ideas are always welcome and can be directed to the co-leaders.
Pat Francek and Sudha Sankar, co-leaders