Join us!


Déjà vu All Over Again on Contraception

 (1)Originally posted for Feminist Studies in Religion

I was in front of the Supreme Court on March 25, 2014, on a snowy spring morning when the justices heard oral arguments for the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby case about the provision of birth control as part of health care. Maybe it was the miserable weather with wet snow flakes the size of silver dollars that made me wonder what we were doing in 2014 lining up on two sides of a one-dimensional issue. Democracy demands patience, but enough already when it comes to women’s bodies. Read more.

Learning from “Lady Parts” By Mary E. Hunt

 (1)Originally posted for Feminist Studies in Religion

Teachers need vivid imaginations to keep students interested and materials fresh. Kathryn D. Blanchard and Jane S. Webster demonstrate creative pedagogy and innovative scholarship with Lady Parts: Biblical Women and the Vagina Monologues (Eugene, OR: WIPF and STOCK, 2012). This is a unique project both in content and method. It is bound to generate others like it and, with luck, change lives. Various women from Hebrew and Christian scriptures are brought alive by 21st century scholars, students, and others.

The texts of Lady Parts are hard to read. It is not because they are poorly written, nor because they are uninteresting. To the contrary, I found them painful. Stories of ripped, torn, abused, bloodied, mistreated, ignored vaginas are not easy to read. I hope they never become so, because a major goal of the book, according to the authors, is to stop violence against women. One cannot stop something one does not know about. Read more.

Kaye Ashe’s Spirit Lives in Those She Inspired

 (1)Originally posted on National Catholic Reporter

By: Mary E. Hunt and Cathy Jaskey

Dominican Sr. Kaye Ashe was part of a generation of smart, committed, gutsy women who opened the world’s eyes to Catholic women’s potential and barriers to its fulfillment. She died Feb. 15 at the age of 84.

Rooted in her faith and religious community, Ashe pushed for women’s social equality and full participation in the Roman Catholic church. Like so many of her cohorts, she was deeply accomplished. She earned a doctorate, published several books (Today’s Woman, Tomorrow’s Church in 1983 and The Feminization of the Church? in 1997), taught widely, administered effectively, and served as prioress of her religious congregation, the Sinsinawa Dominicans. Read more.

In Memory of Her

 (1) You can remember or honor someone special or an occasion by giving a donation in their name to WATER’s In Memory of Her Fund. You are invited to send your donation with a check and an accompanying note, or donate on our website via PayPal and send us an email to honoring your loved one.

Where does “in memory of her” come from? According to Mark (14:9), Jesus said of the faithful woman who anointed him “and truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Church history has since conveniently forgotten her name. In Memory of Her honors people from all religious or non-religious traditions. Read more.


April Ritual: Earth Day Praise By Diann L. Neu

 (1)April Ritual: Earth Day Praise
By Diann L. Neu

Praise Earth, our planet home,
For abundance of life.
Praise to you!

Blue sky and flowing waters,
Birds of the air and fish of the sea,
Praise to you!

Sun and moon, stars and planets,
Nights and days, years and centuries,
Praise to you! Read more.

Women of Dignity/WATER Retreat June 13-15, 2014

 (1)Holy, Wholly Holy
Catholic Women’s
Routes to Holiness
A Gathering for All Women
June 13-15, 2014

Retreat Center at Bon Secours
Marriotsville, MD

The Women of DignityUSA and Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) team up for a third retreat led by lesbian and queer women. This year we will focus on holiness, sainthood—our own and other’s—and how we get there. The weekend will include prayer, quiet, recreation, celebration, and conversation. Women saints will guide our way. Wholly holy women will emerge.

For more information contact or

Read more.

May 5 WATER Meditation/Contemplative Prayer

 (1) Contemplative Prayer
with Phoebe Knopf 
“Being with Beauty”
Monday, May 5, 2014
7:30 PM (EDT)

WATER offers a regular contemplative prayer opportunity each month. This is a communal meditation, a time of silence and reflection followed by a short discussion. You can join us in person at WATER or over the phone. Read more.

April 9 Teleconference with Margaret Mann

 (1) “Life is Tough
Deal with It”
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
1 -2 PM EDT

Margaret Mann is a writer and activist whose book A Dramatically Different Direction (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2011) is an autobiographical commentary on disability. She is a bi-racial Unitarian/Buddhist, a lesbian, and a community organizer par excellence who makes her home in Hawaii. Margaret is a museum docent and a counselor. She brings a great deal of spiritual wisdom to our conversation.

RSVP by sending an email with the words “Register Me Teleconference” to by March 4th to receive dial-in information. Read more.