Women’s Retreat Recap

The 2023 Women’s Retreat was held on October 13 & 14 at the UUFC building. Keynote speaker Jana Svoboda led 44 women in exploring Mindful Compassion through connection with ourselves and with each other. Nine workshops on yoga, rock painting, story-telling, crafting, eating, dancing, drumming, word play, and self care provided opportunities to learn, process and create together. A bit of craziness added fun to the mixture, as you can see in this group photo. Join us next year if you missed this one!

Women’s Retreat 2023

When: Friday, October 13, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 14th, 9:45 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where: UUFC Building

Theme: Mindful Compassion

Keynote Speaker: Jana Svoboda

Cost: $50 (full and partial scholarships available, includes catered lunch and dinner on Saturday, snacks, and materials)

To make payments online for the Women’s Retreat, go to the Online Collection Basket on the website. https://uucorvallis.org/welcome-to-the-online-collection-basket/

Select Give to 23-24 Operations, make a one time gift of $50 (or more if you’re also contributing to the Scholarship Fund), and write Women’s Retreat in the memo. 

For more information, email womensretreat@uucorvallis.org.

If you identify as a woman in a way that is significant for you, you are welcome to join us for our annual Women’s Retreat. We are pleased to have one of our own UUFC members as this year’s keynote speaker. 

Jana Svoboda is a long time Unitarian, mental health advocate, and lover of stories, the moon, and the natural and scientific worlds. She has difficulty with Marie Kondo’s secret of  decluttering as EVERYTHING GIVES HER JOY. She’s led professional and lay-public workshops on creativity, mental health, dealing with trauma and countless other topics, and given UU sermons on uncertainty, “the other”, and a UU lens on sin. She practices clinical social work in her cozy cluttered office downtown, with the help of a big purple couch and a teakettle, along with occasional use of props and crackerbox prizes for homework well done. In both her talks and her private practice, she considers her strengths to be making connections, staying curious, and bringing in lightheartedness to difficult times. You’ll gasp, you’ll giggle, you’ll groan, you’ll become wiser and more connected to yourself and each other, and you may even find yourself in 1980s op dress doing an impromptu funky chicken dance break out after the session. So come open-hearted and open-minded and let the wild ruckus begin!

Last Year’s Women’s Retreat: 2022

Linda Carroll
Linda Carroll
Linda Carroll, Keynote Speaker

Our keynote speaker is Linda Carroll, author of Love Cycles: The Five Essential Stages of Lasting Love, which has been translated into four languages, and the highly-acclaimed book, Love Skills, published in 2020. Linda holds a master’s degree in counseling and has practiced psychotherapy, specializing in couples and communication, since 1981. She works in Corvallis, Oregon, and coaches’ clients virtually, by phone, and in person all over the world. Linda first joined the UU in 1978 and is also a co-founder of a nonprofit serving migrants in Tijuana called Just One Story at a Time. just1atatime.org

Linda has authored three books on personal growth and healing. She grew up in a conservative Catholic family in San Francisco during the 1950s and came of age during the countercultural 1960s. From her traditional childhood, she preserves a faith in the importance of service, mystery, and reverence for all forms of life, and from her early flower-child leanings, she maintains a belief in looking outside the box for approaches to healing. Visit her website at lindaacarroll.com/.

Retreat Schedule:

Friday, Oct. 7
6:30 p.m. – Greetings, registration, workshop sign-ups, and sing-along
7:00 p.m. – Program begins in the Sanctuary
                    Welcome & Housekeeping – Kris Egan
                    Chalice lighting – Jill McAllister
                    Speaker introduction – Amy Ayers
7:15 p.m. – Keynote Presentation – Linda Carroll
8:30 p.m. – Bedtime Story and Singing – Ann Marchant
9:00 p.m. – Housekeeping announcements and Dismissal

Saturday, Oct. 8
9:00 a.m. – Gather and Greet in the Sanctuary
9:15 a.m. – Announcements and chalice lighting – Kris Egan
9:20 a.m. – Speaker introduction – Bonnie Morihara
9:30 a.m. – Focus on Connection, Community, Caring – Linda Carroll
11:50 a.m. – Lunch and break announcements – Heather Thomas
12:00 p.m. – LUNCH and Recess
1:00 p.m. – Break-out Workshop #1
2:00 p.m. – Break-out Workshop #2
3:00 p.m. – Break-out Workshop #3
4:00 p.m. – Bathroom break; Re-group and Gather in Sanctuary.
4:15 p.m. – Singing
4:30 p.m. – Love in Action suggestions – Priscilla Galasso
4:45 p.m. – Closing thoughts – Jill McAllister
6:00 p.m. – Dismissal

Workshops and More!

Walking Connections – Priscilla Galasso

We will begin with circle time in the parking lot to introduce ourselves and focus our attention on the possibilities for connection during our walk. We will walk on paved paths west along Circle Blvd to Witham Hill Nature Area, where we will follow the Upper Loop trail through the woods and then return to the UUFC. The total distance is approximately 3 miles with about 200 feet of elevation gain. The pace will be moderate. Please dress for the weather, wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring your water bottle.
This workshop will run from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Listening and Telling: The Yin and Yang of Connection – Shikha Gottfried

The stories we choose to tell others reflect part of the identity we portray as we move through the world. In this workshop, we’ll explore deepening our connection to one another by sharing small slices of our stories via a few guided questions, and perhaps along the way finding threads of shared experiences that you didn’t know existed in this community. This workshop finds inspiration from the book Between the Listening and The Telling: How Stories Can Save Us by Mark Yaconelli. Please bring a small object that symbolizes for you a time when you were either deeply cared for, or that you really gave of yourself to care for someone else.
One hour

Connections within sewing and stitching circles – Amy Ayers

A brief history and celebration of women gathering in circles to knit, sew, quilt, or practice any other needle art as a part of community, necessity, charitable works, and political action. Please bring any portable needle art project you may be currently working on such as knitting, crochet, needle point or embroidery to work on while we share our projects and consider the power of women gathered together in sewing circles for connection, learning, and sometimes to promote political and social change.
One hour

Poetry and Hats – a lighthearted way to share poetry. – Jean Gilbert

Please bring three poems and three hats. ALL types of hats are welcome! We will read the poems aloud while wearing the hats, with stories about our choices as time allows. I’ll have a few extra poems and hats in case you forget to bring them.
One hour

Foods to build Community, Connection, and Caring – Ann Marchant

Community: Each person’s micro-biome is a community of microbes – some beneficial, others not so much. Which foods promote a healthy gut community?

Connection: the Gut – Brain Connection plays a major role in mental health. Food choices help guide that connection.

Caring: What do you bring to potlucks? Is everyone welcome at your table? Introducing “Universal Meals,” developed by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. Even most people with food sensitivities can enjoy these delicious recipes.   https://www.pcrm.org/universalmeals 
One hour

Ukraine and our connection to the world community – Irja Galvan

Join Irja as she shares her knowledge of and caring connection to the Ukraine. Learn and discuss more about the current crisis and how we all are connected to it.
One hour

Word Play – Bonnie Morihara

Come play with your choice of different “illuminated” acrostic forms. Add words to represent various UU or personal values and color the pages. Or complete an alphabetical acrostic. What fun! Materials: pre-printed forms, colored pencils and pens which Bonnie will supply. Your playful, creative mind: you supply.
One hour

Belly Dancing – Dawn Dirks

Come learn some basic belly dance moves. For Dawn, this dance form is sacred dance, ritual dance, Goddess dance. Sacred dance has probably been practiced for as long as humans have been able to move and to think about what it means to practice spirituality. This workshop will include gentle stretches and slow, low-impact movement. No dance experience is necessary – just bring your open heart and willingness to move your sacred body in ways that may be new for you. Dawn will bring hip scarves and silk veils for participants to use during the session. Please bring a yoga mat if you have one for a short meditation at the end of the session.
One hour

Living Room Conversations – Nancy Haldeman
Limited to 8 participants

Join Nancy in discussing “Coronavirus – Reflecting and Transitioning”. Each person speaks to questions provided for up to 2 minutes each with no cross talk.
1½ hours

2022 Women’s Retreat Planning Team:

Amy Ayers: 1stnewamy@gmail.com
Priscilla Galasso: p.galasso821@gmail.com
Kris Egan: egankris@gmail.com
Heather Thomas: hhlive2ski@yahoo.com
Bonnie Morihara: moriharb@wou.edu