2018 Annual Tea and AGM

Our Feminist Book Club

Canadian U*U Feminist Book Club

Welcome to our low-stress, low-maintenance, open, intentionally queer-positive and intersectional, feminist-in-its-broadest definition book and chat club. We explore books by feminists and about feminism and, perhaps even more importantly, share our experiences as feminists. You are free to join us whenever you can, whether or not you have read the book selection, whether you want to share or listen… We meet for about an hour most months throughout the year. Check out our selections and topics here.

Day and Time: We meet most months on the second Sunday at 8 pm Atlantic, 7 pm Eastern, 6 pm Central, 5 pm Mountain, and 4 pm Pacific time.  Jan 12, Feb 9, April 12, June 14, etc. 2020 
Details: Email Jo-Anne, message us on our Facebook page, or join our Google group for confirmation of the date, information about the book, and the Zoom link

Privilege Talk – Gender and Privilege

Join the CUUWA for a conversation on Privilege and Gender, as part of IWD/Women’s Month. The conversation will be facilitated by Catherine Strickland. Before our discussion, please watch this sermon Catherine gave to North Shore Unitarians on this topic.

These calls are open to all members and friends of the CUUWA and are free of charge. The discussions are designed for us to work through the various layers of privilege in our own lives, develop empathy for and learn from others, and share our personal experiences and reflections with other feminists. They take place on Zoom; here is the link and the details for Monday’s chat:

March 25, 2019 at 3:30 PM Pacific time, 4:30 Mountain and Saskatchewan, 5:30 Central, 6:30 Eastern, and 7:30 Atlantic

Join Zoom Meeting on the web at https://zoom.us/j/373322268 or on the phone at 6475580588 with meeting ID 373 322 268.

Feminist Book Club – April – The Red Word by Sarah Henstra

We will be discussing The Red Word, by Sarah Henstra. Our first meeting was wonderful, and we look forward to talking to new or continuing members of this open, low-commitment book club: we welcome you to attend whether or not you have read the book, to listen or to chat.

The battle of the sexes goes to college in this nervy debut adult novel by a powerful new voice

A smart, dark, and take-no-prisoners look at rape culture and the extremes to which ideology can go The Red Word is a campus novel like no other. As her sophomore year begins, Karen enters into the back-to-school revelry — particularly at Gamma Beta Chi. When she wakes up one morning on the lawn of Raghurst, a house of radical feminists, she gets a crash course in the state of feminist activism on campus. The frat known as GBC is notorious, she learns, nicknamed “Gang Bang Central” and a prominent contributor to a list of rapists compiled by female students. Despite continuing to party there and dating one of the brothers, Karen is equally seduced by the intellectual stimulation and indomitable spirit of the Raghurst women, who surprise her by wanting her as a housemate and recruiting her into the upper-level class of a charismatic feminist mythology scholar they all adore. As Karen finds herself caught between two increasingly polarized camps, ringleader housemate Dyann believes she has hit on the perfect way to expose and bring down the fraternity as a symbol of rape culture — but the war between the houses will exact a terrible price.

The Red Word captures beautifully the feverish binarism of campus politics and the headlong rush of youth toward new friends, lovers, and life-altering ideas. With strains of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, Alison Lurie’s Truth and Consequences, and Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons, Sarah Henstra’s debut adult novel arrives on the wings of furies.

Discussion is on April 14th at 8:00 pm Atlantic, 7:00 Eastern, 6:00 Central, 5:00 Mountain and Saskatchewan, and 4:00 Pacific.

Join Zoom Meeting online at https://zoom.us/j/328662153 or on the phone at 6475580588 with meeting ID 328 662 153.

March CUUWA Update

March is just around the corner! To mark International Women’s Day, the CUUWA has planned a number of activities to take place in March 2019. Materials for worship and study are available free to the public at:

Announcing the 2019 International Womens Day Service Package

March 3, 2019, and March 10, 2019. Congregations are encouraged to do a service for International Women’s Day. Materials in the package include original words for Chalice Lighting, Responsive Reading, Blessing, Joys & Sorrows, the Offering, and the Closing, as well as options for sermons or a panel of presenters, and an abundance of poetry. Other materials are included for individual reflection and for study, discussion, and small ministry groups.

From March 3 to March 10, special postings on IWD and Journey will be posted on our Facebook page. Share your experiences in response to a series of reflection questions.

March, tbd. IWD Edit-a-thon: Women editing Wikipedia. Details forthcoming from Mary Bennett.

March 10, 8:00 pm. Atlantic, 7 Eastern, 6 Central, 5 Mountain, 4 Pacific. First meeting of the monthly online Canadian U*U Feminist Book Club at at https://zoom.us/j/328662153 At our first meeting, we will be discussing two books by indigenous women of two different generations: read one of them or both, if you have time, or feel free to join and listen! Books: Lee Maracle, I Am Woman, Press Gang, 1988; Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries: A Memoir, Counterpoint, 2018. Open to all.

March 25, 2019, 3:30 Pacific, 4:30 Mountain, 5:30 Central, 6:30 Eastern, 7:30 pm. Atlantic. CUUWA discussion on Privilege and Gender, led by Catherine Strickland, NVC practitioner. Watch Catherine’s sermon on the topic here before attending: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn0H48XlW6c&t=772  Open to members and friends of the CUUWA. https://zoom.us/j/373322268.

Looking past March, please save the date for our Annual Tea and AGM, on June 8, 2019. Organize a cluster in your community, serve “subversive tea,” and attend the online Cross-Canada CUUWA Check-in and AGM. Starting at 10 am Pacific time, 11 am Mountain, 12 noon Central, 1 pm Eastern, 2pm Atlantic.

The CUUWA is governed by a national Council currently composed of the following regional representatives:  Atlantic (shared):  Jo-Anne Elder-Gomes, Chair and Anneke Elder-Gomes; BC: Lillie Lentz; Prairies: Christine Mishra; Ontario: Kathy Sage; At large: Margaret Linton (Treasurer/ Membership), as well as Ministerial Liaisons Rev. Linda Goonewardene and Rev. Christopher Wulff.

Membership is $25 per year, with reductions for longer periods and additional family/household members. Support our efforts to improve human lives.

Feminist Book Club – March 2019 – Lee Maracle and Terese Marie Mailhot

March 10th at 4 pm Pacific, 7 pm Eastern, 8 pm Atlantic etc. at https://zoom.us/j/328662153

At our first meeting, we will be discussing two books by indigenous women of two different generations: read one of them or both, if you have time, or feel free to join and listen!

  • Lee Maracle, I Am Woman, Press Gang, 1988;
  • Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries: A Memoir, Counterpoint, 2018.

The Canadian Unitarian Universalist Women’s Association, an affiliate of the CUC, invites all to join the Canadian UU Feminist Book Club.

Learn more about the CUUWA Feminist Book Club.

Betty Donaldson receives Knight Award


Dr. E. LISBETH DONALDSON, Professor Emerita, University of Calgary

Betty, as she is called, was an active member of the Unitarian Church of Calgary and became a member of the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship upon retirement. She served on the Board of each of those societies as well as several committees.

During her period in Calgary, she was a participant and leader in the Prairie Woman’s Gathering. She was also a trained facilitator for the two UUWF programs:  Cakes for the Queen of Heaven and Rise Up and Call Her Name.

In the 1990s, Dr. Donaldson won the UUWA Feminist Thealogy Award, the first Canadian to have ever done so.  She used the financial foundation from that award to develop the award -winning play  “Images of the Goddess” and to create a follow up video, which also gained international recognition

Betty was the last Canadian representative on the Board of the UUWA and when it changed its focus, she urged the CUC to develop a women’s organization to provide continuing education and programs for women in Canada and to support women’s equity issues.

Ultimately, working with women living in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba who had established the Prairie Women’s Gathering, as well as women leaders in Ontario, B.C. and Nova Scotia and other regions, the Canadian Unitarian Universalist Women’s Association (CUUWA) was organized.  Betty was the founding president, served seven years on that Board, and continues as an active member.

In addition, for more than a decade, Betty served as chair of the CUC Choices in Dying Monitoring Group, and conducted workshops, “What is a Good Death”.  After her retirement to Courtenay, this work allowed the CUC to be one of only three groups permitted to make representation to the BC Supreme Court regarding freedom of choice in dying. She continues to be active in the MAID issue and in the Green Burial movement.


International Women’s Day Packet 2018

The CUUWA (Canadian Unitarian Universalist Women’s Association) invites all congregations across Canada to celebrate International Women’s Day in a service on one of the Sundays close to March 8, International Women’s Day.

This year, we have compiled a theme package to help congregations and individuals plan their IWD activities. Our theme is Risk. You can find a large packet of materials to use in services and programs in March and throughout the years to come at:

CUUWA RISK package 2018

We hope that, one day, there will be International Women’s Day services in all congregations of the Canadian Unitarian Council. We provide outlines for services and other resources for IWD on the CUUWA website under Resources and on our Facebook page, Canadian UU Women’s Association

We would love to hear if/how you have used any of these materials, what your congregation did to recognize IWD, photos from your activities, and service ideas focused on women and/or feminism. Please send them to eldergomes@yahoo.com, and let us know if you give us permission to use them on our website and/or Facebook page.

Jo-Anne Elder-Gomes, Chair,  Reverend Kathy Sage, ret., Ministerial Liaison and Chris Mishra

Canadian Unitarian Universalist Women’s Association

with help from Anneke Elder-Gomes and Caroline Jondahl, CUUWA Council members, and many others. Thank you!