Feminist Spiritual Community records
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of meeting notes, which discuss the Community's decision-making process, as well as financial documents, newsletters, and by-laws. There are many examples of rituals the Community performed and various objects used in these rituals. The collection contains documents pertaining to the Community's Women and Power Conference, as well as their 10th and 20th anniversary retreats, and documents pertaining to the Community's publishing arm, Astarte Shell Press. In the Resources series, there are many sources of information pertaining to feminist spiritual movements across Maine and the nation.
- Feminist Spiritual Community (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Curator of the Maine Women Writers Collection.
Biographical / Historical
The Feminist Spiritual Community was born in June 1980. The Community formed after Professor Eleanor Haney's course Women in Religion at the University of Southern Maine in the spring of 1980. About fifteen students, half the students in the course, chose to continue meeting after the course ended.
Haney wrote a proposal to the United Church of Christ to fund the Community for three years. It was the first time that a regional Protestant church body funded an alternative spiritual community with no expectation of its becoming Christian.
The Community gathered on Monday nights at a series of locations around Portland. The last venue was the Maine Jewish Museum on Congress Street. The Community was a completely volunteer organization made up of a tiered membership (Members, Participants, and Friends). Members sat on a variety of committees and task forces.
The Community organized many events throughout Maine, including the grant-funded 1986 Conference on Women and Power, as well as ten and twenty year retreats. In 1993, Astarte Shell Press grew out of FSC as a book publisher of feminist, spiritual literature. In 1993, Brigit McCallum wrote her doctoral thesis on the Community.
The Community dissolved in 2016.
16 linear feet
Language of Materials
The collection is organized into the following twelve series: I. Financial; II. Membership; III. Personnel; IV. Meeting Minutes; V. Newsletters; VI. Correspondence; VII. FSC Herstory; VIII. Rituals; IX. Photos; X. Astarte Shell Press; XI. Events; XII. Resources.
The Feminist Spiritual Community records are temporarily housed in the basement of the Abplanalp Library, University of New England, Portland Campus, 716 Stevens Avenue, Portland, Maine 04103.
- Astarte Shell Press
- Astrology Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Feminism Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Newsletters Subject Source: Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms
- Portland (Me.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Rituals Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Spiritual retreats for women Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Spirituality Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Guide to the Feminist Spiritual Community records, 1975-2017, undated
- Jefferson Navicky
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Maine Women Writers Collection Repository
University of New England
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland Maine 04103 United States