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updated: 11/1/2013 1:59 PM

Writer Sue Monk Kidd to Speak at WomanSpirit 2014

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  • Author Sue Monk Kidd

    Author Sue Monk Kidd

Susan Birk

Sue Monk Kidd, author of the bestselling novel The Secret Life of Bees, will be the featured speaker at Winter WomanSpirit 2014: Wisdom for the Journey, Friday-Sunday, February 7-9, 2014, at DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church, 1828 Old Naperville Rd., Naperville, Illinois.

Winter WomanSpirit is a weekend-long gathering and interactive celebration of creativity, connection and inner strength for all women.

"Our mission is to provide a winter retreat on women's spirituality and, for one weekend, to create a women's community that nurtures and affirms," says Denise Tracy, a Unitarian Universalist minister and chair of the Women and Religion Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.

Participants will have the opportunity to talk with and hear Kidd speak on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Kidd's "fiction dances on the edges of magical realism as she celebrates the connection between writing, creativity and soul, and her non-fiction writings have provided a map for women seeking to expand and reclaim their own spiritual power," Tracy says.

The conference includes workshops, a concert, a talent show/coffeehouse, a vendor space for women artisans, a raffle (with proceeds benefiting the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago Patterson and McDaniel Family Center, the rape crisis center for DuPage County), and times for reflection and celebration.

Workshop topics and presenters include:

• Secrets of Stress Reduction with Ragani, a Ph.D. clinical psychologist with expertise in the Himalayan traditions of yoga, meditation and eastern music.

• Healing Power of Vibrational Sound with Peggy Patty and Phyllis Lau. Patty is a Reiki master/teacher, drum circle facilitator, crystal bowl facilitator and certified tuning fork practitioner. Participants will experience the vibratory effects of drums, crystal bowl, rattles, tuning forks and voice, and are welcome to bring drums and percussion.

• A Wise Woman Learns to Write a Blessing with Edna C. Groves, M.S., founder of Words that Endure, national workshop presenter and a former psychotherapist. Participants will begin to write a blessing for a descendant and leave with a framework for creating more.

• Tai Chi: A Moving Meditation with Rev. Denise Tracy, who has been a teacher of Tai Chi for 30 years. Participants will learn a series of simple movements that can be used as a meditation that supports balance, perspective and a sense of spiritual well-being.

• Collage as a Spiritual Practice with Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher, minister of DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church and an artist. Creating collages from magazine pages and decorative papers, participants will explore a medium that can give expression to spiritual questions and feelings without having to draw or paint.

Registration for the conference is $175. Hotel accommodations are separate. Reduced-rate rooms are available at the Hilton Lisle. To register and for more information, go to