SWUUWCon 2021 Workshops


AM Workshops

A – Living in “The Except”

Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford

Join Rev Joanna to further explore the ideas presented in her keynote speech through discussion and Q&A.

The Reverend Joanna Fontaine Crawford was called to Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church as parish minister in August 2014, after serving First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, TX, and The Church of the Larger Fellowship. She lives in Austin with her family.

B – Zumba for Body & Spirit

Rev. Erin Walter

Dance as a spiritual practice, for all ages (adults and kids), abilities, and fitness levels. Set an intention for joy, energy, movement, and community. No equipment is needed but whatever type of clothes and shoes you prefer to wear for relatively vigorous dancing. That said, everyone can take the experience at their own level, so low-key or low-impact is also possible. It’s your time to dance as your body and spirit call!

C – A River Runs Through You: An Eco-theological Exploration of Social Justice

Gretchen Martens

Are you a forward-thinking, self-reflective woman who is committed to engaging deeply in healing the divisiveness in the United States? Are you curious about how engaging in social justice through the lens of the Beloved’s first cathedral, Mother Earth, can open new ways to view our Selves and our nation? Do you need to connect to what is and always has been virtually unstoppable. . . .the abiding presence of spirit in the natural world?

In this one-woman contemplative play, written during the pandemic and designed for virtual performance, the Potomac River narrates her own history paralleling that of the humans who have walked her shores. Motivated by her own timelessness, she is a metaphor for history and the choices we face that will shape our collective future. The performance will be followed by a facilitated conversation.

PM 1 Workshops

A – Dance Yourself and Find New Ways to Ground Yourself

Ana Coutinho

We are living in a difficult time and we need to be aware of the power of unity. Together we are powerful. In this workshop, we will use the power of our creativity to reset the old way of life.

Through music, movements, videos, and poetry we will create a statement for the years ahead. Using the Dance Yourself techniques and essential shamanism, let us call on our strength, love, and harmony. Let’s see a better world around us; let us recognize the power of the angels and helping spirits that are always ready for us, no matter what.

Please wear comfortable clothes and some space for the simple movements that we will be doing in the beginning of the session.

B – White Women and Racial Justice

Deborah LaPorte and Di Kerrigan

In late May, when the news broke of Breonna Taylor’s March 13th killing by Louisville police, which had been hidden from the public for 2 ½ months, we were outraged. We decided to do more than our usual sign a petition, attend a march, and send a donation. We felt a deep need to not only voice our anger, but dig deeper into how we, as White Women, may have helped prevent this, or even harder, how we as White Women may have unknowingly contributed to this tragedy. What was happening in our society that we hadn’t noticed because of our white privilege? And what could we do about it? Thus, our group,  #WhiteWomenDemandJusticeforBreonna was born. Between our private Facebook page and email group, we now number about 750 members.
In this presentation, we’ll discuss the process of organizing, our ongoing activism, what we’ve learned so far, and where we’re going. We hope for a discussion on ways to improve anti-racism efforts by White Women, how to better unite and energize, and how to sustain the movement of White Women for Black Lives.

C – With Malice Toward None

Diane Kirksey

Our first principle talks about the inherent worth and dignity of every being, yet over this past 4 years we’ve grown comfortable talking about our political opposites in rather undignified tones. Let’s get back to basics and how we can see their worth again. 

PM 2 Workshops

A – Yoga

Roxy Westhues

Join me for a grounding yoga class in which we will focus on matching breath to movement through yoga poses accessible for all. No experience necessary! All you need is a mat or towel and some comfy clothes to move around in. 

B – Mindfulness, Spiritual Practice and The Body:  Understanding and Managing Anxiety, Stress, Panic in a Pandemic and Beyond

Judy Shofner

Since 2016, we UU’s have been in a relay marathon of resistance against political forces that would damage the very foundations of democracy in America. The year 2020 has been a traumatic year for many in our nation and our world. Most of us know someone, by now multiple someones who have suffered the ultimate price due to the spread of COVID. Not in most of our lifetimes, have we experienced days like these.Self-soothing is key to surviving chronic stress. Mindfulness helps us tune in to the body in order to know which skills help most during particular stressors.

In 1999, I was diagnosed with severe panic disorder. I spent the next two and ½ years of my life barely able to go outside my house, other than to go to work. As a survivor of severe anxiety disorder, I chose to become a mental health professional who specializes in managing anxiety, panic, stress and tension. During my recovery and now as a Licensed Professional Counselor, I have learned the importance of nurturing the mind, body and spirit to deal with the stress of our daily lives and the greater world.

This workshop is designed to promote awareness of the impact of long-term stress, both personal and societal, on the mind and body and ways to use mindfulness practice that are often part of our UU faith in order to decrease the impact of long-term stress. Hard times such as these, on top of our already demanding schedules, relationships, physical challenges, etc., can create intense physical tension and anxious thoughts that lead to each of us becoming constantly keyed up and irritable. I hope to lead attendees in gaining awareness of these impacts, validating feelings, exploring outlets and practicing mindfulness skills such as breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization/meditation exercises, self-soothing skills, single object concentration and grounding.

C – Playing With Fire: Introduction to Torch Fired Enamel

Debbie Cannatella

Learn the basics of how to fuse colored glass powder onto a metal surface at very high temperatures. A centuries old technique used to create beautiful works of art including vases, bowls, and jewelry.

Debbie is a past president of SWUUW and works full-time as a professional studio artist at her home in Kentucky.