Last Year’s Women’s Retreat: 2022

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.

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

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. 
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:
Priscilla Galasso:
Kris Egan:
Heather Thomas:
Bonnie Morihara: