SouthWest UU Women's Conference
February 22-24, 2013

At the Omni Bayfront Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas

with keynote speaker Kimberly Dark
Storyteller / Speaker / Performance Artist / Activist / Scholar

and musician Kit Holmes
Grammy Award Nominee / Multi-Instrumentalist / Singer-Songwriter

You can also visit our Facebook event page to see photos http://www.facebook.com/events/187290508046532/!

mooncrescent-L100 Come Early moonfull Stay Late mooncrescent-R100
At The Conference Rate!

Over 100 Women and Maidens 13 and older joined us at the Omni Bayfront Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas for lovely views of the "sparkling city by the sea" in the Coastal Bend of Texas. The Omni overlooked a beautiful marina near the South Texas Museum of Art. Contact convener Debbie Cannatella if you have any questions.

Coastal excursions Friday & Sunday afternoons!




  • Registration begins at 2pm, Opening Ceremony, and admission to Bazaar (dinner on your own).
  • Buy your raffle tickets at the Bazaar. Raffle items donated by vendors and local artists.
  • Red Tent Room to relax and connect with others.


  • breakfast, lunch, and dinner with beverages
  • Worship Service, Keynote Speaker and workshops.
  • The Red Tent room Saturday night; more shopping at the Bazaar!


  • breakfast, worship service with maiden presentation, and closing ritual.


  • You may register online using a credit or debit card via PayPal at www.swuuw.org
  • Or mail the Registration Form with your check (made out to SWUUW) to the conference registrar: Lauren Cantatore-Causey, 6618 Bent Trail Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78413
  • Each person attending MUST register separately (even if you are in the same family or household).
  • Pre-register if at all possible to help us plan space, food and a wonderful weekend for you.
  • Early registration postmarked or online by January 12th, $165. Regular registration is $185 (same as last year)
  • Registering on-site will ONLY be possible if space is available.
  • There are no discounts for Workshop Presenters. Vendors who are also attending, please contact the Registrar.
  • You may apply to be a vendor on our website
  • To help our village stay in touch, we will distribute all participants’ contact info to all others via email unless otherwise requested.
  • In this time of economic turmoil, please assist our sisters who might otherwise be unable to attend.
  • Please donate generously to the Scholarship Fund

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$165 early registration postmarked by January 12, 2013
$ 40 down payment for Scholarship Applicants - Must be postmarked by January 12, 2013
$185 registration postmarked after January 12, 2013
$14 Men’s T-shirt(s): small medium large XL (2XL or 3XL add $2)
$14 Ladies’ T-shirt(s): x-small small medium large XL (2XL or 3XL add $2)

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Worship Leader Marisol Caballero, Interim Director of Lifespan Religious Education at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin and UU Ministerial Candidate. A lifelong UU, Marisol is not unknown in the south Texas area, and a favorite visiting ministerial candidate among congregations. She delivers her sermons with infectious energy.
Worship Leader Debbie Cannatella, Artist, published poet, and instructor Debbie Cannatella serves as Board Trustee and one of the Worship Leaders for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Corpus Christi. Reared in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, it was UCBR where she joined the Unitarian Church in the mid-90s, and has been working with worship in various UU churches since that time. A full time watercolor artist, Debbie travels teaching workshops nationally. She currently works out of her studio in Corpus Christi.

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Omni Bayfront Hotel (1-800-THE-OMNI 1-800-843-6664)
900 Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi TX
Our SWUUW conference rate for this premier hotel of $99/night (one king or two doubles) will be available until Friday, February 1, 2013 by 5:00 pm. Complimentary covered self parking included. An early departure fee will be charged by the hotel unless notified in advance. NOTE: SHUTTLE SERVICE from the airport is available to all SWUUW registrants. Become an Omni Select Guest upon registration for Complimentary Wi-Fi Service with your stay, newspaper, bottled water, morning beverage delivery, as well as other member-only special offers! This lovely non-smoking hotel has 2 racquetball courts, an indoor-outdoor pool and hot tub, a large pool balcony deck, a spa and fitness room, hair salon, Starbucks, and various shops. Also available is a free, covered, attached, patrolled garage and dog friendly rooms (with a $50 charge).

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 SWUUW REFUND POLICY - to be administered by the SWUUW Board -
* Only 50% may be refunded until January 1
* Only 25% may be refunded until January 12
* No Refund after January 12.
This refund policy will allow us to pay deposits and fees necessary prior to conference date.


swuuwcon-teesOur beautiful SWUUW 2013 Conference “Making Waves” logo was designed by David Catoire, a graphic designer from Prairieville, Louisiana, who donated his services. We selected a Caribbean blue tee shirt to celebrate our coastal conference.
Ladies’ style has fashion cut, a relaxed silhouette, and a 5/8" ribbed seamless collar.
Both styles have double-needle neck, sleeves and bottom hem and shoulder-to-shoulder taping.
The width is measured as a circumference.

Take advantage of this professionally designed logo and buy a tee-shirt!

  XL  2XL  3XL  4XL
Ladies Width  36 40 44 48 52    
Length  25 ½  26 ½  27 ½  28 ½  30    
Neck  7 7 ¼  7 ½  7 ½  7 ¾    
Sleeve Length  5 ½  5 ½  6 6 6 ½    
Men’s Width  36 40 44 48 52 56 60
Length  27 28 30 31 32 33 34
Neck  7 7 ¼  7 ½  7 ½  7 ¾  7 ¾  7 ¾
Sleeve Length  8 ½  8 ½  8 ½  9 9 ½  10

10 ½

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If you have a teenage daughter, or are guardian to a teenage daughter ages 13-17 that would like to attend our conference, we plan to continue the flexible maiden program this year. Maidens have a special Maiden Ceremony with gifts and words of wisdom from our female community. We particularly would like to ask that the women guardians and mentors of these maidens to begin collecting pearls of wisdom, insights, and words of affirmation and hope, which you will write down for these maidens and place in a hand sewn cloth pouch that each maiden will receive as a gift, specially crafted by local UU women.

The maiden program during our conference will provide supportive space for the young women of our religiously liberal faith. There will be two workshops specifically designed for them: O.W.L. The Power of Knowledge in Sexual Decisions for Teens, and Jewelry Making. We also encourage our girls to attend the Belly Dancing Basics workshop with the older women of our community, as well as any other adult workshops that might be of interest to them. Other fun events for the girls will be planned throughout the weekend. There will be a Meet and Greet gathering Friday night after our Opening Ceremonies. Please plan to bring the young women of your community to our conference and continue to build the next generation of strong and powerful UU women.

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1. SPIRITUALITY AND RITUAL: Rhythmic Waves for the Soul
2. CREATIVITY: Waves that Carve Into Being
3. SOCIAL JUSTICE: Making Waves for Justice
4. WOMEN AND FAMILIES: Splashing in the Waves
5. MUSIC AND MOVEMENT: Making Body Waves


AM Track 1 - Meditation as a Pathway to Sacredness -- Diane Weiner
Meditation practices to facilitate connection with your source of healing and original expression in life, gleaned from world traditions and grounded in quantum science. (Diane Weiner is an advanced meditation teacher, co-author of “The Gabrielite Work: Broadband Spirituality for the 21st Century” and teacher of a popular weekly meditation class at UUCCC).

AM Track 2 -  The Whole Woman Workshop -- Rachél Payne & Jessica Blasingame-Acox
Come into the circle of sisterhood and explore through dance, storytelling, and doll making the essence of who you are as a woman. (Rachél Payne, a life coach, and Jessica Blasingame-Acox, massage therapist and full-time mom, are best friends who cultivate creative lifestyles for themselves and their clients)

AM Track 3 -  Report of the Second International Convocation -- Laura Nagel
Zsofia Sztranyiczki and Laura Nagel both served on the organizing committee of the Second International Convocation of UU Women which was held October 4-7, 2012 in Marosvasarhely, Romania. The Convocation was to capacity and had an illustrious list of speakers. The Global Sisters process was used once again to discuss issues facing women, establish priorities and develop action plans. (Laura Nagel, past President of SWUUW, is current Executive Director of the International Convocation
of UU Women. Zsofia Sztranyiczki is a Unitarian from Romania who now lives half of the year in Houston. She has been active and involved in ICUUW since the first Convocation in Houston in 2009.)

AM Track 4 -  Triple R - Refocus, Reinvent, Rebuild! -- Jude Olson
Wondering about what you’d like the next chapter of your life to look like? You’re not alone! Join fellow adventurers on a guided, creative reflection of possibilities, and then design a collage change map for your future. Identify new ideas in a dialogue with others. Gain a fresh perspective and build a personal plan. Share your own turning points and stories. (Jude Olson, Ph.D. is a professional coach supporting individuals through personal transition - including leadership development, career change, and reinvention for retirement. She has worked in corporate, nonprofit and entrepreneurial environments. In addition to raising her family in Fort Worth over the past 25 years, she was President of First Jefferson UU Church and now enjoys writing, book clubs and the company of intelligent and spirited women.)

AM Track 5 -  Inspiration and Perspiration: The 'How-to's' of Creating Soul-GrabbingSongs Even If You're Not a Songwriter -- Kit Holmes
Songwriting is a practice, a honing of skills, a sharpening of 'tools', using perspiration to express the inspiration of our highest and best selves - just like we do in our spiritual practice. It doesn't matter if you're a songwriter, musician or none of the above, the Principles still apply to whatever our life's purpose is.

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EA Track 1 -  Working with Moon Cycle Rhythms for Balance and Growth -- Dr. Carolyn Faivre and Dr. Sara Faivre-Davis
Women are naturally synced with the moon's rhythms. Participants will experience how, through reconnecting with these rhythms they can bring balance and growth to their life. (Carolyn Faivre has led women's circles for many moons, and created Circle of Self, a transformational process incorporating moon cycles. Sara Faivre-Davis is a Circle of Self participant (see www.circleofself.com)

EA Track 2 -  Games for Writers and Culture Makers -- Kimberly Dark
An interactive collection of creativity games and theater games that people can share with others to jumpstart creativity and prompt an examination of social issues.

EA Track 3 -  Starting Citizenship Classes for Immigrants -- Marilyn Bremster
Without giving any legal advice, it is a tremendous community benefit to assist immigrants to become citizens. Using excellent USCIS issued teaching materials, it is exciting to help people from application to final interview. (Marilyn Bremster has taught ESL for many years and began helping students on their path to citizenship because the materials are so interesting, the sense of accomplishment for both teacher and student so memorable. Her patriotism was enhanced by living abroad for over 22 years, beginning as a teacher in Sumatra in 1957 and as a wife and mother in 8 different countries, returning to the States in 1985.

EA Track 4 -  Personal Financial Planning for Women -- Joanne Suweyn McGowan
This workshop will be based on participant interest in the areas of family budgeting and debt, divorce planning, estate and end of life issues, income tax planning, etc. (Joanne received her MBA: at the University of Central Florida, and is a CPA/Personal Financial Specialist and member of American Institute of CPAs, a Certified Financial Planner™, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, with a BS in Journalism & Communications, from the University of Florida. She has owned her own CPA practice for 25

EA Track 5 -  Chanting in Sacred Circle -- Gretchen Ohmann
An introduction to raising energy singing and chanting in sacred space. In addition to singing new and familiar chants, you’ll get a handout listing places to find the growing resources in this spiritual tradition. Bring your voice, your heart and your hands to join in circle. (Gretchen Ohmann is a past member of Central Midwest District Women and Religion and is currently a Continental UUW&R co-convener. Music Director at her local fellowship, she has led songs and chanting in congregations and women's retreats since the 80s.)

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LA Track 1 -  Visual Connections -- Susan Lowry
Following a short discussion of the term "spirituality", a guided meditation about connections, the participant will explore a visual spiritual practice, which is the major part of the workshop, where she will have the opportunity to meditate and journal on a printed image/picture that “speaks” to you. This allows one to connect with the image as well as what is beyond the image that is discovered during the meditation period. (Susan Lowry trained as a spiritual leader by Spiritual Ministries Institute and has led a number of retreats using different spiritual practices.)

LA Track 2 -  Leading and Living With Innovation: The Creative Process -- Connie McLeod
The creative process allows for imagining, building, developing something unique and remarkable. Expand your concept of creativity and learn to purposefully and intentionally achieve what you dream. (From Baton Rouge, LA, McLeod is an awardwinning Art Director with over 30 years experience. She has worked for ad agencies, higher education, nonprofits and has done freelance design.)

LA Track 3 -  Intro to Reproductive Justice -- Gretchen Ohmann
What is Reproductive Justice? Attendant to the social inequalities that shape the lives of marginalized women, the 'reproductive justice' framework was first created by women of color to work against 'reproductive oppression'—the exploitation of women, girls, and others through their reproduction, labor, and sexuality. Reproductive justice has four goals: (a) the raising of children in safe and healthy environments, (b) planned and healthy pregnancies, (c) ending or aversion of unwanted pregnancies, and (d) expression of sexuality. It works to address the myriad issues facing women in the context of their reproductive lives. (Gretchen Ohmann is co-convener of Continental UU Women and Religion. She has presented workshops on various topics for District Assemblies and Women's retreats since 2001. UUWR and UU Women's Federation co-sponsored this presentation as a webinar)

LA Track 4 -  Meetings at the Moon Curriculum for Mothers and Daughters -- Debbie Cannatella
Enrich the lives of tweens in your congregation as they embark on womanhood! Come explore this six-session curriculum for pre-teen girls and their female guardians. Written by Rev. Joanne Giannino from Bridgewater, Mass., Meetings at the Moon is a feminine-connecting, mother-daughter (or female guardian/caregiver) spiritual series that explores ‘becoming a woman’ in body, spirit, mind and emotion. This curriculum will be available for purchase at the conference. (Debbie Cannatella is the author of Teen Concept, a successful non-profit program for crisis-oriented youth that she ran for 10 years when she resided in Baton Rouge, LA. She has been a Senior Youth Facilitator, Bridging Mentor, and facilitator for the Meetings at the Moon curriculum. She currently resides in Corpus Christi, TX, where she is a full-time watercolor artist and workshop instructor)

LATrack 5 -  Belly Dance Basics -- Monica Arnold
Stretch, relax, and enjoy! Learn basic bellydance technique using the whole body: various isolations, simple traveling steps, and lovely transitions. Finish with a short choreography. (Monica started bellydancing in 1994 after studying ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and African dance. She has taught and performed bellydance in both Texas and New Jersey.)

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Visit Corpus Christi
Come Early, Stay Late – at the conference rate!

The Omni Hotel has offered the conference rate hotel rooms two days prior and two days following our conference, should you turn your visit into a mini vacation! Be sure to look into attractions and book any excursions, on your own, that you would like to take during your extended stay! 


Bird Lovers... the Coastal bend has been rated the "birdiest" city in the U.S. and you'll be here for migration! Bring your binoculars and, while you're here, visit Hans & Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge (Ennis Joslin Dr & Nile Dr.) and Hazel Bazemore Park (361) 387-4231
Captain Clark's Flagship (361) 749-6904 - dolphin cruises with full bar/concessions in a climate controlled cabin
Fun Time Rentals (361) 443-0707 - Paddle boats, kayaks, canoes, Jet Ski rentals, boat rentals and fishing guide service.
Take the short drive to Padre Island and enjoy horseback riding on the beach! (361) 949-1341 (Reservations required)
U.S.S. Lexington Museum - Enjoy this World War II naval aircraft carrier, equipped with a flight simulator and 3D Mega Theater. (361) 888-4873
Art Museum of South Texas (361) 825-3500 is located within walking distance to the Omni Hotel.
Art Center of Corpus Christi is home to local artists with numerous galleries to wander within, and is located just a half-mile from the Omni at 100 North Shoreline Boulevard. (361) 884-6406
Water Street Market Square is the place to shop, home of Treehouse Art Collective, Coffee Waves, Executive Surf Club, and Water Street Oyster Bar and Restaurant. Located on Water Street between Lawrence and William Streets.
Texas State Aquarium (361) 861-1200 is just on the other side of the bay. Dive shows, feeding demonstrations, hands-on experiences with stingrays, hermit crabs, underwater viewing of the dolphins, and see our sea turtles, raptors, and otters.
Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History (361) 826-4650 collects and preserves natural and cultural history with emphasis on South Texas.
Take the Trolley from the Omni Hotel across the bridge to the Lexington, the Aquarium and to North Beach to enjoy the bay shoreline.


Contact SWUUWCon 2013 Registrar, Lauren Cantatore-Causey



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A non-profit organization that supports women through worship, learning, leadership, community and social justice, SWUUW addresses women's issues, explores feminist theology, promotes friendships and celebrates the diversities that make us unique women on our individual spiritual paths. SWUUW is an organization open to all UU women, particularly those women in the Southwest District of the Southern Region of the UUA.


SWUUW aligns itself with the spirit of Welcoming Congregations as depicted by the UUA. All who identify as women are welcome.  Our definition of "women" is expansive and includes anyone who feels that they belong in this space, including those who identify as nonbinary.


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