Controversial Christian feminist group appears to be dissolving

Posted: Friday, June 27, 2003

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The Re-Imagining Community, a group that developed out of a controversial 1993 meeting of radical Christian feminists, appears to be dissolving.

The group's seventh gathering last weekend, held at a University of Minnesota campus, drew about 200 devotees, compared with 2,200 at the original Re-Imagining conference.

The organization has no plans to hold future meetings and indicated its small office at the Minnesota Church Center is likely to shut down.

At the Re-Imagining conferences, all held in Minnesota, mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics celebrated feminine images and names for God, and challenged Christianity's patriarchal traditions.

Conservatives organized to fight such concepts within the United Methodist Church and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), denominations that aided the original conference.

The intensity of the Re-Imagining movement has subsided, some participants said, or has diffused into other expressions of radical feminism in congregations, seminaries and organizations around the country.

''I know Re-Imagining will always be with us. It will re-emerge and bubble up all over the place,'' said Mary Bednarowski, who teaches at a United Church of Christ seminary in New Brighton, Minn.

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