Gather the Women is growing!
This fall, Mary Cunningham, our Regional Coordinator Convener, has been sending out an enthusiastic email announcing women around the country who want to be Regional Coordinators in their area. (A full list is on our Website under Circles.)
Gather the Women’s bylaws are written in language that aligns with who we are as an organization. The Conveners are the board of directors. There are eight of us, each with our own area of responsibility. As the Regional Coordinator (RC) Convener, Mary welcomes women to GTW, invites them to be Regional Coordinators in their part of the world, and maintains a list.
In September, Rowdy Brewick from Rapid City, South Dakota, became a co-RC there with Suzan Nolan. Rowdy and Suzan are two dynamic friends who are deeply engaged in their community. Suzan and Rowdy were with us at the August Canadian gathering and it was so fun to see them together. They are community activists as are many of our GTW women.
On October 10th, Wilma van Lit-Gonsalvez became our Regional Coordinator in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. That makes two RCs in The Netherlands. Meriam Jansen is our other Dutch RC.
In the next week, Kathleen Jordan and Charlotte Backman became part of our circle. Kathleen will be joining Mary Kay Carle in the St. Cloud, Minnesota area. In her welcome email, Mary Cunningham said, “I know what an inspiring facilitator you will be for gathering women in your area!” Charlotte joined us from Laguna Hills in southern California, and will represent Orange County along with Joy Adams, our GTW Secretary Convener. Kathe Schaaf, one of the Founding Mothers of GTW, lives a few miles from Charlotte and Joy. In the same email introducing us to Kathleen and Charlotte, Mary introduced Lisa Yates from Nashua, New Hampshire, who will be getting together with our other Granite State RC Barb Thorngren.
Across the country, Jeane TuBears Jacobs and Lorraine Lima of Reno, Nevada, found GTW and joined as Regional Coordinators. Jeane and Lorraine have been holding circles in their area for years. They’re just a few hours from our Grass Valley, California, GTW group, and they’re also very close to Lake Tahoe. That’s where 2013 GTW Gathering will be held next September.
Meanwhile, Diane Jung, our Canada Convener, is thrilled to have a full blossoming of Gather the Women across the Provinces since our August gathering in Peterborough, Ontario. Right after the circle closed and the candle was extinguished, Diane met with the Canadian women and the planning began to revive GTW Canada. It has been heartwarming to watch GTW Canada grow over the past six weeks.
Our new GTW RCs in the Provinces are Pat Gagnon in Victoria, BC, Heather Plett in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Maia Heissler in Frankford, Ontario, Michelle Landry in Lindsay, Ontario, Evelyn Richter in Ottawa, Ontario, and Jennifer Ball in Waterloo, Ontario.
I personally feel that GTW is bridging a cultural divide between the women of Canada and the United States. It’s a subtle divide, but it’s there. Getting to know each other in circle very day, eating, laughing, crying, and singing together for those very full days was a profound experience for me.
The Fall email traffic amongst the Conveners has been about the new Website, Facebook, and Twitter. We’re doing the final “walk-through” on the website. We’re keeping busy with the Facebook accounts for Gather the Women, Gather the Women Regional Coordinators, and one for the Conveners. Please join our GTW Groups and follow us on @gatherthewomen on Twitter.
Lest this be all about nuts and bolts, I want to add that we want you, the women of GTW, to know that we love and appreciate you and all that you are doing in your lives. It is safe to say that many of us are engaged in other community building endeavors, artistic pursuits, international activism, and so much more. Know that the virtual circle of Gather the Women supports you in all that you do.