December 15, 2009
Creative Arts Coach Eileen Mahoney and friends led the group with meditation, music and poetry in a "Ceremony of Light" based on the Universal Worship Service created by Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sufi Master and Founder of the Sufi Order International. The ceremony drew on readings from major religious traditions and other meaningful expressions on the theme of light.
Introducing Harvest Dishes
Moving words were shared at our annual November meeting to celebrate the Harvest. After a bountiful harvest meal, we gathered around a magical altar. The altar held objects which symbolized the harvest of seeds of our personal aspirations. Each woman showed her symbol and then spoke of its meaning. We listened as women spoke of dreams manifested in publications, a CD, community programs, and of inner qualities of greater self-trust, of belonging, of aliveness and authenticity. I came away enriched and inspired.
During this gathering we will focus on and experience some of the powerful gratitude & manifestation tools and techniques that change lives.
As a community of women of faith, we will create an altar of gratitude.
As a circle of grateful women we will share with each other the harvest of our blessings.
This program is facilitated by Satyena Ananda, Co-founder and Director of Starseed Healing Sanctuary and Retreat Center in Savoy,MA. Satyena is a Holistic Educator and spiritual counselor who has spent the past 38 years creating and offering programs, retreats and ceremonies with women that transform and restore body mind and soul.
What to Bring:
~An object for the gratitude altar that represents the good that you are harvesting from the seed intentions you have planted.
~A Harvest potluck dish that blesses everyone who shares it.
In addition . . . we will continue our FOOD & CLOTHING DRIVE,in collaboration with BRIDGE. (Berkshire Resources For the Integration of Diverse Groups and Education.)To help those in need, we invite you to contribute an article of clothing or non perishable food item.
Youth Alive senior steppers Michelle and Talya at Indashio fashion show
Thank you to Shirley Edgerton and the Youth Alive step team who were the guests at our September 13 Potluck Program. Shirley outlined her vision for a Rites of Passage program for adolescent girls that would include multi-cultural women's studies, health education, support for trauma, and programs that build self-esteem. The Women's Interfaith group would like to be a source of support for this project by becoming mentors or serving on the Advisory Board.
Three talented Youth Alive dancers and choreographers clapped, stomped and danced their original dances for a very appreciative audience.
Two themes resonated for me at last night’s potluck: that we are all leaders, and that no one should be invisible. The first is the mission of Women’s Interfaith in the Berkshires--supporting women’s spiritual leadership; the second is the mission of Multicultural BRIDGE. These themes came together last night and were made manifest as we enjoyed lovingly-prepared heritage dishes, and the songs, words and personal sharing by our presenters about how their faith becomes manifest in their daily lives. It was an enlivening evening of warm connection.
posted by Ani Grosser
Gabrielle Cruz shares a heritage dish
Save the Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Join us for our first potluck of the year as we celebrate our 2009/2010 theme:
Interfaith Interface: Deepening Connection Through Unity and Collaboration
Our scheduled speaker is Gwendolyn Van Sant, co-founder and executive director of B.R.I.D.G.E. Gwendolyn will share the mission of her organization and has invited four women to speak about their faith and how it drives them. An open discussion will follow.
Presenters:Mikka Barkman,Gabriela Cruz,Shirley Edgerton and Kaya Stern-Kaufman.
Reflection Questions: What does faith mean to you and how does it manifest in your life?
What does WII's theme "Interfaith/Interface: Deepening Connection through Unity and Collaboration mean to you personally and in connection to WII?
Please bring a traditional "heritage dish" to the potluck to share.
Where: Church on the Hill Chapel
55 Main Street
(The brown building is down the street from the main church, and across the street from Nejaime's Wine Cellar. Please use entrance on right side of building.)
When: 5:45 - 8:45pm
5:45 Gathering with food
6:00 Welcome circle
6:15 Potluck supper
8:45 Closure and clean up
From a July 2009 story in the Berkshire Eagle:
Yazuri Santos, 6, helps other students in the BRIDGE summer youth program count to 10
in both English and Spanish on Tuesday. (Photo by Darren Vanden Berge.)
BRIDGE's new home in
June 16, 2009
Women's Interfaith Initiatives Cross Borders
with John A. Sellon Charitable Trust
Reverend Natalie Shiras and Pauline Dongala's Faith in Action
Join us on a journey to Ghana and the Congo as Reverend Natalie Shiras and Pauline Dongala share their stories and a slide show about initiatives that were funded through the Women's Interfaith Institute and the John A. Sellon Charitable Trust.
Reverend Natalie Shiras, pastor of Church-on-the-Hill in
Pauline Dongala, former WII board member, reaches out to the Republic of the Congo with her WII Initiative funded by the John A. Sellon Charitable Trust
Pauline Dongala is supporting two projects in the
May 14, 2009
The Feminine, Sufism and Islam
Join us for an enlightening talk about the Feminine in Sufism and Islam. Zumurrud Butta from Vienna, Austria, is a Senior Teacher in the Sufi Order, Retreat Guide and European Head of Universal Worship. She will discuss the role of the feminine in the mystical traditions of Sufism and Islam. She is a member of the Ibn'Arabi Society and fluent in Arabic and Urdu. In addition to her many accomplishments, she is a delightful, warm person who is sure to leave us with a deeper appreciation of being women on the spiritual path.
Katharine Houk and June Wink initiate "Women, the Arts and the Sacred" with the lighting of a candle and a prayer
“WOMEN, the ARTS and the SACRED”: A Thank You Note
WII Program March 19, 2009, at Church on the Hill Chapel in Lenox
Thank you for your participation in this inspiring evening, for being a part of the Women’s Interfaith contribution to the First Annual
Through the written, visual and performing arts, we experienced the intricacies of personal relationships; the source of dedicated service to others; creative approaches to healing; the beauty and power of our natural environment; the Cosmos revealed through color and form, rhythm and movement.
So many of you shared your intimate personal beliefs and chosen art forms. Presenters and audience often became one being in the showing or performing of a piece. I received many emails from women expressing their appreciation for the entire evening’s experience and highlighting individual moments.
Thank you for bringing your art work, food for the Reception, your promotional material, and for making the arts a “common ground” where we can all meet.
With gratitude and blessings,
Shirley Paukulis, Event Producer
Katharine Houk persenting her artwork
"Heart with Wings" by Maggie
Women's Interfaith Institute in the Berkshires co-sponsors "The Power of Women in the Arts" at Bard College at Simon's Rock March 6-7