After more than 21 years of use by thousands of people, you can imagine I have received some very meaningful reactions. Here is a sample:
~ From Names of Endearment, Names of Love, Sunday sermon preached by the Rev. Lilia Cuervo, First Parish in Cambridge, March 28, 2010
“A major experience with the names for the Holy happened in seminary, where I received an invitation to attend, Rise Up and Call Her Name. This curriculum honoring the feminine side of the divine is an approach to Earth-based spiritualities. It is not only exciting but very enriching culturally and religiously speaking. It promotes ecological awareness and inspires hope by helping those participating, change many old paradigms about race, women, and nature, into new, healthier paradigms.
At first, however, I was very reluctant to attend a workshop about the Goddess. Although I considered myself quite liberated at the time, still, old fears of the consequences of deviating from the all-powerful, masculine image of God confronted me. Now, I feel ashamed confessing, that in my ignorance, I was convinced that anything concerning Goddesses or Earth spiritualities was a thing of backward and simplistic people. For me the most powerful argument against attending the workshop however was that it had taken me years to finally erase from my mind the idea of God as a man with a beard. I did not want to start thinking of the Holy as a woman with long hair and addressing her with feminine names.
I knew, however, that one important challenge that we Unitarian Universalists face is the free and responsible search for truth and meaning, wherever we can find them. Therefore, wanting to be open and responsible, I put away, at least momentarily, what I thought were insurmountable doubts and attended the workshop. It was exciting to learn that many women and men in my own Unitarian Universalist religion had already overcome the old nature patriarchal teachings and provided a loving mother and Goddess for themselves. I could do the same.
One of the first things that impressed me the most was the staggering amount of names given to the Goddess; 11,000 according to one account; another surprise was the qualities expressed by those names. The awareness of the existence of the Goddess and of her different names and attributes in so many cultures, has added new dimensions to my spiritual life. It is enriching loving a cosmic mother in her different manifestations. I especially love her as Hecate, Isis, Kali Ma, and Kuan Yin. To this day, for me, the best effect from attending Rise Up and Call Her Name was that finally I could accept without a trace of doubt that, as a woman, I was not inferior to men, as I had been trained to believe. This for me was a huge source of inner peace and liberation.”
“The Rise Up curriculum is simply so rich in the areas of pre-Christian and world religious approaches in theology/thealogy, and is presented in such an engaging way. Everybody will benefit from the spiritual and social transformation that the curriculum makes possible.”
~Rev. Gregory Stewart, Religious Education Director
“Its innovative approach skillfully integrates a variety of spiritual and intellectual methods of exploration…a model for woman-centered programming.”
~ Elinor Gadon, author, The Once and Future Goddess
“This curriculum teaches itself it is so well organized!”
~Andrea Paulson, group leader of Rise Up in Belmont Massachusetts.
“I’m so glad you are re-issuing it. Rise Up remains one of the best works in the field.”
~Dianne Jennett, Co-Director of Women’s Spirituality Program
New College of California, San Francisco