April: National Poetry Month at the CUUWA

CUUWA and Vancouver Unitarians invite CUU Feminist Book Club members and CUUWA members and friends to join the Women’sMeditative Poetry Circle for a 15-20 minute online “poetry break” every Saturday and Sunday in April, at noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific.  

April is National Poetry Month and our women’s meditative poetry group is celebrating by inviting all women and non-conforming genders to try us out. We are an intimate little group, currently four regulars. We don’t mind being small AND we’d like to share our group and poetry practice with others.

This year’s theme for National Poetry Month is INTIMACY. We trust that even if we double or triple in size, by the nature of what we do together, read and reflect on poetry, this will always be an intimate group. In April, participants will be reading poems on that theme, most by Canadian women writers.

We started in the fall of 2020 and have met at 9 am Pacific on Saturdays and Sundays ever since. It’s usually only 15 minutes long and the very longest it goes is 30 minutes. One person in the group chooses a poem and reads it three times. In between the readings, we have one minute of silence and some brief sharing. The very longest it goes is 30 minutes. If it’s a long poem we sometimes read it only twice, but that’s rare.

Listening and sharing is focused like this:

The first time, listen for words or phrases that jump out at you.

The second time, pay attention to feelings and memories that are evoked by the poem.

The third time, ask yourself: Is there a message here for me? For today, this month, this year?

We have an email group and have now decided to forward all the poems we read so that those who can’t join us will get a specially curated poetry collection. To join the group, send a message to: womens-meditative-poetry+subscribe@googlegroups.com

To just show up during April, sign in to here ucv.im/cuuwa just before the start time.

April is “just try it” month, and the doors are open for all women and non-conforming genders. Ultimately, we’re looking for people who would usually attend at least once a week.

Feminists of all genders are also invited to attend our regular Canadian Unitarian*Universalist Feminist Book Club meeting on April 10 at 6 pm Eastern, 3 pm Pacific on Zoom. Participants are invited to bring a poem by a Canadian feminist writer from any period. Your own creations are especially welcome.

Canadian U*U Feminist Book Club

2021-2022 Schedule

We meet every month for the Canadian U*U Feminist Book Club on the second (or alternative) Sunday at 3 Pacific, 6 Eastern, so let’s meet then for an hour on Zoom: 
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 328 662 153
Passcode: CUUWA
I Zoomed into Vancouver in the fall to talk about the waves of feminism, and thought we would use that to structure our discussions. Each month we’ll talk about a different wave and I’ll suggest some writers from that period. Of course you can choose a different book or article from that period, watch a TedTalk or a video on them, etc. I’ll give a quick intro and then we’ll go into breakout rooms to talk about our experiences with a related issue. 
Here’s our schedule: 

November 14, 2021: First wave feminism. Discussion: voting and citizenship


Invisible Influence: Claiming Canadian Unitarian Universalist Women’s History – edited by Jean Pfleiderer, Heather Fraser Fawcett, Kathy Sage

Mary Wollstonecraft, Sojourner Truth, Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan Brownell Anthony

Note: Postponed to December 19, 2021, instead. Second wave feminism. Discussion: consciousness-raising, employment equity and reproductive rights, 1960s and 1970s activism

Suggestions: Adrienne Rich, Gloria Steinem, Germaine Greer, Dorothy Livesay,
Margaret Laurence, Sylvia Plath

January 9, 2022: Third wave feminism. Discussion: intersectionality, privilege and disadvantage

February 13, 2022: Fourth wave feminism. Discussion: the internet, technology, global concerns

March 13, 2022: Fifth wave feminism. Discussion: Dismantling patriarchy, racism, colonialism, and capitalism

A Sunday Service in Fredericton used the resources (which will be published in the future) from our discussions to celebrate feminism on March 6, 2022.

All congregations are encouraged to hold an IWD service on a Sunday in March. Four congregations we know of (Ottawa First, Toronto First, Halifax, and Fredericton) held services on March 6 to mark the occasion.

To plan IWD service in the future, please explore the resources and theme packages on our website.

2021 CUUWA IWD Service

The recording of the 2021 CUUWA IWD Service, featuring an original sermon by Reverend Kathy Sage and original artistic creations including Dreaming, Demystifying, Decolonizing, Dreaming, Devoting by Ilara Stefaniuk-Gaudet, songs by Rev. Wendy Luella Perkins, and poems and readings by CUUWA members, can be found here or under videos on our Facebook page. Read more about using or sharing the recording and contributing to our creators on this page.

Sacred Space: 2021 IWD Theme for Worship and Study

For International Women’s Day, 2021, the CU*UWA invites you to take part in our Worship service and to reflect on the theme at home. We have prepared a package of materials on the theme of Sacred Space for worship, study, reflection, and inspiration. Download the package here.

The Canadian Unitarian and/or Universalist Women’s Association (CU*UWA) invites all Unitarian*Universalists and congregations across Canada to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 7 or March 8, 2021. March 8 is International Women’s Day, and the CUUWA will be holding an IWD Service on March 7, 2021, at 5 pm Eastern, 2 pm Pacific time, on Zoom.

Meditative Poetry

CUUWA and Vancouver Unitarians host several gatherings each week for you to drop in and hear a poem by a Canadian (usually) woman poet. Current dates are:

Saturday and Sunday 12 noon Eastern

The zoom link is sponsored by Vancouver Unitarians. A few minutes in advance just follow the shortlink ucv.im/cuuwa

The facilitator for the day reads the selected poem three times with a minute of silence and brief sharing in between each reading. It’s usually a small group of 4 to 5 and so it’s a nice “break” in your day –taking about 15 to 20 minutes and never more than 30. On occasion if it’s a long poem, we read it only twice.

We also have a googlegroup where we often post titles and authors and send an occasional reminder. You are welcome to join even if you just want to see the poems and aren’t planning on joining the zoom gathering.

Contact Mary Bennett at ucvconnect@gmail.com if you want more details.

Updates are often posted at vancouverunitarians.ca – Just search for “poetry” or “CUUWA”.

No obligation to be a poem reader. Many of us who are reading consider it a rare privilege to be able to read aloud a (new) favorite poem to attentive listeners.

Feminist Book Club

Our book club meets Sunday, February 7th this month with a focus on #MMIWG (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls). We usually meet on the 2nd Sunday at 7pm Eastern, but changed the date because the annual March for MMIWG is on Sunday, February 14th.

Facilitators: Hisako and Mary Bennett from Vancouver.

We will send out a resource list on our googlegroup.

Meeting on zoom.

CUUWA Virtual Winter Social

Social for CUUWA Members and Friends

We’d like to invite you to a Winter Social on Zoom!

We can’t share tea and cookies in the same room, so let’s exchange power stories.

Join us on December 12, 2020, for a series of virtual conversations about where we have felt powerful, where we gather strength and power, where we see woman or mother or queer or goddess or sacred mystery and power.

Come and meet CUUWA past and current National Council members, participants in our low-stress feminist book club and our Cakes for the Queen of Heaven course, feminists across Canada who identify as U*Us, and others who would like to learn more about the CUUWA and chat.

Message Jo-Anne for the Zoom link.

Topic: CUUWA Winter Social

Date: Dec 12, 2020

Time: 16:00 Atlantic, 15:00 Eastern, 14:00 Central, 13:00 Mountain, 12:00 Pacific time

Format: 60-90 minutes, in breakout rooms