There are currently five members on the CMwD Women & Religion Committee:
We have all worked hard to make 2010 a successful and productive year as we have had to reconfigure ways in which we work. The committee has undergone some leadership and functionality changes and has had great success. Many factions have been reconfigured and the committee is strong, efficient and effective currently and is growing in our proficiency.
As the two major functions of this committee are the summer and winter retreats we have focused on making these retreats successful in theme and attendance and offers diversity and spirituality to the women that attend. We have had smaller than usual planning committees; however, they have been effective in delivering outstanding programs and retreats for the many attendees. The Winter WomanSpirit 2010 conference was held in February in Wisconsin and was well attended. A number of workshops were presented as well as a keynote address by Starhawk. Approximately 250 attendees attended and enjoyed the entire weekend event full of shopping with vendors, attending workshops and lively rituals.
The Summer WomanSpirit 2010 retreat again was held at Ronora Lodge, in Watervliet, MI with a warm and lovely weekend. The retreat had enough attendance to support itself and the energy level was as high as usual with women connecting for spirituality and camaraderie. At the end of the retreat a planning committee gathered to volunteer to work on another retreat for the next SWS2011!
CMwD Woman and Religion hold two major face to face meetings each year, one in May and one in October. May 2010 we welcomed Jessica Hunsberger onto our committee and Laura Cass become chair as Nancy Irons became past chair. We were joined by the SWS2010 planning committee as well as the chair and co chair for WWS2011. We welcomed Karen Books to the Wise Women and thanked her for her work on the committee. Our budget, goals and meeting schedule was set for the coming year.
In June Nancy Irons attended General Assembly in Minneapolis, MN. She expressed that she was not sure how effective it was for CMwD W&R to attend. In August Laura Cass attended Midwest Leadership School in Beloit, WI. She brought home many tools and skills in leadership that she has been able to use within the committee but also within her life and her church.
October brought us to our next face to face meeting in which many new ideas were presented and decisions were made. Denise Tracy opened her summer home to the committee for the meeting and it provided us an opportunity to bond and work in a relaxed environment. After much research and contemplation on moving our summer retreat to another location that could allow more woman the opportunity to attend by lowering our price we chose to remain at Ronora for the time being while we continue to research our options. We chose to accept Lee onto the committee at the Winter meeting rather than waiting until May as customary and therefore setting precedence for two entry points onto the committee; May meeting and Winter meeting, though all members will retire from their term at the May meeting when it has been served. Denise Tracy was nominated to be the next Chair and she accepted. A decision was made to reconfigure our May meeting to include just the committee members and no longer hold the May meeting at Ronora Lodge to help cut costs and be more efficient. The summer planning committee will hold their spring meeting at Berrien Springs UU with a lunch provided by W&R and the availability to visit the Ronora Lodge for planning purposes if necessary.
Shortly after our October meeting Gretchen Ohmann, the office manager resigned with 2 weeks notice. Laura Cass and Jessica Hunsberger met with Gretchen to be trained in some of the functions she had performed for the committee and after some trial and error and reconfiguring the CMwD Woman and Religion are functioning well and effectively on its own!
In the autumn and winter months the committee has been working towards joining with the district and is working hard to come into alliance with the policies and regulations as well as banking methods of the District to make the merge easier. Denise Tracy will be taking over much of the details of this as she becomes Chair in May 2011.
Looking into the Future, the SWS2011 retreat is coming along well with anticipation for another wonderful summer retreat. WWS2012 is being planned and will be held in Rockford Il.
Chair, Women & Religion Committee