UU Women's Connection

Our 58th Spring Conference
June 3-5, 2016

Pilgrim Park, Illinois

Keynote Speaker: Christine Organ

“Honoring Our Sacred Stories”

Christine Organ is a writer, author, and speaker who seeks to inspire, connect, and celebrate the human condition.

Her book Open Boxes: the Gifts of Living a Full and Connected Life is a collection of stories about grace, wonder, and everyday miracles. Her work has appeared on The New York Times website, Washington Post, and Huffington Post, among several other well-known publications. She frequently speaks at UU congregations on topics related to everyday spirituality, and has led a number of writing workshops. You can find her online at www.christineorgan.com.

Christine’s topic was “Honoring Our Sacred Stories.” She will focus on the importance of accepting, honoring, and sharing our stories. Following a quiet reflection on our own stories, women had an opportunity to share their own untold stories.

AIR is the element we honored at our 58th Annual Spring Conference for UU Women’s Connection. We danced to sacred songs, flew some kites, and watched our handmade prayer flags float in the breeze. We drummed and chanted around the bonfire in the evenings, and shared our talents at Open Mic on Saturday night.

 

Workshops at the Spring Retreat

Writing as Spiritual Practice - with Christine Organ (Keynote Speaker)
Participants will discover the ways writing can serve as a spiritual practice, and through various exercises, experiment with different methods of using writing as a tool for tending to your spirit.

Christine Organ is a writer, author, and speaker who seeks to inspire, connect, and celebrate the human condition. Her book Open Boxes: the Gifts of Living a Full and Connected Life is a collection of stories about grace, wonder, and everyday miracles. Her work has appeared on The New York Times, Washington Post, and Huffington Post, among several other well-known publications. She frequently speaks at UU congregations on topics related to everyday spirituality, and has led a number of writing workshops. You can find her online at www.christineorgan.com.

Sacred Movement - with Juli Cicarelli
We'll learn to choreograph simple flowing movements to some of our favorite UU hymns: “Spirit of Life”, “Come Sing A Song with Me (A Rose in the Winter Time”), and “’Tis a Gift To Be Simple.” You don't have to be a dancer to enjoy this workshop. Juli and her friends have taught and performed these simple movements in her church services, religious education programs, local nursing homes, and previous retreats. It truly brings joy to move gently to the words and spirit of these beautiful hymns.

Creating Prayer Flags - with Jenny Ross
Join in creating your own personal Prayer Flag in this hands on workshop, led by Jenny Ross. In the Buddhist tradition, prayer flags carry silent prayers and blessings that are spoken on the breath of nature. Prayer flags are simple devices that, coupled with the natural energy of wind and air, quietly harmonize the environment. They release happiness and good fortune among all living beings. Modern interpretations include The Prayer Flag Project (www.theprayerflagproject.blogspot.com) and individual Flags for Peace initiatives. In our workshop, participants will use fabric, stencils, paint and optional embellishments to create one or more personal prayer flags and a communal project for display at future UU Women’s Connection events.

In her professional life, Jenny Ross is an engineer and works for the FAA. She completed her first embroidery project as a small child playing with burlap, large plastic needles and knitting yarn while her mother sewed and did laundry. More than 45 years later, she continues to be fascinated with the many magical things that can be created with fibers and needles. She is a longtime member of North Shore Unitarian Church in Bannockburn, IL, and has attended several Connection retreats.

Using Air for Healing, Play, & Social Justice - with Heather McMeekan
Air is an essential element for life. Unseen, but felt by all living beings, many of us already use air as a tool of meditation and relaxation. Air can also be used for grounding, body awareness, healing, mindfulness, gentle physical activity, social justice, and good ol' fun! Join Air Savant Heather McMeekan in this workshop designed to give every participant an "air element tool kit" suitable for using the air to bring more joy, healing, & hope into their lives and communities."

Our popular Open Mic is on Saturday evening. Bring your poems, stories, musical talents, and songs to share. Of course we'll be bringing our usual board games, or drums, or whatever you choose. This after all is your weekend, away from responsibilities and a time to share our talents, joys and concerns.