Advancing justice for women and girls and promoting their spiritual growth

News – February 2018

So much is in the works at this time of year! We don’t have all the details on some events, but we’re passing along what we do know so you can keep these things on your radar.

Deadline for UUWF Women’s Justice Sermon Award Feb. 15

Reminder that the annual UU Women’s Federation Women’s Justice sermon award entries are due Feb. 15. .  This past year’s Women’s March and follow up Convention, the #MeToo movement, and the ongoing sexual and economic injustices we are faced with provided rich and challenging fodder.

If you have delivered a sermon in this category anytime in 2017 up to the deadline, you are encouraged to submit it in written ( can be transcribed) form. Prize- $500 and the opportunity to deliver it at the General Assembly in Kansas City. The contest is open to  UU persons of any gender, lay or professional. For more information and instructions for submission go to

General Assembly Plans

General Assembly is June 20-24 in Kansas City, MO. The theme this year is “All Are Called.” Come celebrate the announcement of the winner of the annual UU Women’s Federation Sermon Award who will deliver their sermon on “Women are Called to Preach.” Join us in an interactive dialogue between participants to explore the ways that “all are called” to build this movement for gender equity through a spiritually-sustaining lens. Also stay tuned for details on our Thursday morning breakfast and the UUWR Friday morning breakfast. We’ll announce the times and locations as soon as we finalize those details! We have reserved an extra-large booth again this year, including the UUWR Store and the Red Tent.

Family Leave as a UU Women’s Justice Imperative

February 5 was the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), our nation’s unpaid leave law. On that day, UUWF joined the National Partnership for Women and Families in celebrating what was a giant step forward in this country — the result of what the Partnership reminds us was “a story of passion, patience and persistence.” It was a hard fought fight over nine years to make FMLA the law of the land.

This groundbreaking legislation, which was introduced in Congress every year until 1993, was blocked repeatedly by entrenched, well-funded opponents. While finally passed by both houses in 1991 and 1992, it was twice vetoed by then-President George H.W. Bush.

It took a broad-based coalition, thousands of activists and newly-elected President Clinton, who signed the bill in 1984 as the first accomplishment of his new administration.

In celebration of legislation made into federal law a quarter of a century ago, UUWF endorsed the Partnership declaration that the passage of this historic legislation “transformed our culture, challenging stereotypes that held back women in the workplace-advancing gender equity.” In the years since its enactment, the FMLA has been used more than 200 million times, helping mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters across the country. It was a monumental first step. All these years later, there is still urgent work to be done to make FMLA available to all workers who need it.

In addition to remembering the historic victory, the National Partnership for Women and Families has released a new analysis of demographic data in all 50 states and the District of Columbia that reveals what they describe as a significant and growing need for national paid family and medical leave plan that covers all working people for the full range of serious caregiving and medical reasons. “The consequences for the economic well being of families and states can be serious when people are not able to hold paying jobs while providing and receiving critical care,” the report reveals. “Working families from coast to coast are caught between the demands of job and family—and it’s getting worse.”

Last June at our UUA General Assembly in New Orleans, the latest statement of conscience: Escalating Economic Inequality, was passed overwhelmingly. The statement recognized that women are especially vulnerable to economic disparity, identifying access to pay family leave and other economic support for those who care for children, the elderly and people with disabilities as key to a moral economic system.

UUWF is committed to putting this commitment to paid family leave into action, both on the federal level and within our own UU congregations and institutions.

What is the family leave policy in your faith community?

Want to know the status of paid leave in your state? See National

 — Rev. Marti Keller

Denny Davidoff’s Memorial Service

You can now watch the Celebration of Life held on February 3 for Denise Taft Davidoff, at

Denny served on the UUWF Board from 1973-1985, both as a member and President. She also served on the task force to revision the organization from a membership organization to primarily a grant-giving one, in response to a change in the lives of UU women, who were much less likely to join and participate in traditional daytime church groups. READ MORE ABOUT DENNY DAVIDOFF and UUWF…

HEResies Archives at Meadville-Lombard Theological School

A project to document UU women’s herstory in a special collection at Meadville-Lombard has been an ongoing project, one that was close to Denny’s heart. She had asked UUWF specifically to contribute a substantial amount to the preparation of the HEResies Special Collection archives to be converted to searchable online documents. In addition to contributing many boxes of rough-scanned herstorical documents and several artifacts such as quilts, the UUWF Board has committed to funding the bulk of this project. Once the physical and digital collections are complete, in a year or so, it should make researching our herstory and the women who made it a far easier task.


Here are a few photos from the anniversary Women’s March on January 20 and 21. You can still share yours on social media – just tag photos with the hashtag. Then search on that hashtag to see who else has contributed.



News from UUWR:

Among our networks is the UU Womenspirit group that grew out of a district UUW&R. They’ve been holding retreats for over 30 years at The Mountain in North Carolina. If you have the opportunity to attend one of their completely volunteer-run events, don’t miss out! UUWomenspirit’s quarterly newsletter is filled with original stories, poetry, art and photos. Edited by the amazing Lisa C. Sherman, the Midwinter issue of SHE SPEAKS is available here:

If you love their logo, be sure to check out more of Kathy Kemerait’s art at

Get to know UUWR Co-Convener Twinkle Manning

One of two co-conveners of the Continental UUW&R core group is “Twinkle” Marie Manning (pictured at right), an active UU community minister residing in Maine. You may have met her at General Assembly in the UUWR booth. One of her websites says,

Twinkle walks in between the secular, artistic and spiritual worlds. In addition to serving as a freelance preacher in various church pulpits and a workshop & retreat leader, she is a development consultant, book publisher, and television and event producer. Twinkle offers a haven in her home in Maine to friends seeking spiritual solace. It has organically become the UU spiritual gathering place in Pittsfield (Maine).

Featured Book

In Black Dirt Days, UU Poet and journalist Nan Lundeen gives voice to rural Iowa of the 1950s “where cornfields sang in summer/and winter howled at our throats.” Currently residing in Michigan, Nan is active in her local UU church as a speaker, ritualist and singer as well as sharing her poetry.

“In these poems, Nan harvests the stories of the land and the people that she came from and both will forever live in her well-worked lines.” – Glenis Redmond, Teaching Artist & Poet.


Leaping From Our Spheres

Rev. Marti KellerDon’t miss the “little gems full of both passion and facts” in the Blog of UUWF’s Affiliated Minister, Rev. Marti Keller.

UUWF’s Affiliated Ministry