Previous Conferences

If you have information about time past, particularly if you have kept the booklets from conferences before those recorded here (2005), please do drop us a line at and let us know about those old conferences.

February 2nd-4th, 2018 at Amagi Sanso: Changing with the Seasons, 61st Annual Women’s Conference
presentations (Hydi Peterson, Keiko Suzuki, Kristin Newton as well as Jill Ito), 
music (Brenda Handel Johnson, Shell Olson, and choir),
worship (Claudia, Linda, Maki and Naomi) ,
liturgical dance (Keiko Gray and Kathy Kampa),
12  enlightening workshops as well as
labyrinth (Mitsuyo Takeda),
tapestry- making (Julie Fukuda)
 yoga stretches and meditation (Chami Nagai and Sherilyn Siy,
hiking (Hydi),
snack table fellowship (Naomi Saito and volunteers),
registration team (Betsy and Ruthie) ,
the booklet (Sherilyn Siy),
the venue, staff, and media support of Amagi Sanso,
and the welcome team (Jen, Audrey), especially with the support of the two snow women who greeted us!
Attendees of the 2018 Women’s Conference enjoyed browsing the handmade items from Megumi Project.  There may be interest in the Megumi Project story by clicking this link:
Attendees: 57 in total

January 27-29, 2017 at Amagi Sanso: Our Stories, God`s Stories
(The red is because it was the 60th anniversary: red is the celebratory color when folks turn 60 here in Japan/kanreki/還暦 )
Chairpersons: Teresa Sherrill and Nancy Nakaoka co chairs
Committee: Betsy Terada, Ruthie Rogers, Esther Yomoah, Kathleen Froede, Ruth Ingulsrud, Sherilyn Siy, Susan Townsley, Julia Hargreaves
Speaker: Rev. Susan Townsley
Workshops: Hennie Symington on communicating effectively in marriage and other relationships. Claudia Genung and the joy of dancing to children’s church songs. Ruth Rogers sharing about the connections between our bodies and our environment. Beautiful Quilting with Julie Fukuda. Carol Sack graced us with a Harp Workshop. Ruth Ingulsrud delighted us with a puppet ministry workshop.  Mitsuyo Takeda guided us in a reflective and interactive Labyrinth workshop. Keiko Gray led an interactive time of stories and artwork related to Psalm 23.
Labyrinth: Mitsuyo Takeda & Carol Sack
Musicians: Madoka Yoshida, Shell Olson, Carol Sack, Nancy Pierson.
Snack table: Kathleen Froede
Attendees: 80 names in booklet


January 29-31 2016 at Amagi Sanso: Composition of a Lifetime

Chairperson: Emi Higashiyama


January 30 – February 1 2015 at Amagi Sanso: Nurturing Our Inner Garden

Chairpersons: Sherilyn Siy and Sarah Oba
Committee: Kelley Davidson, Lyn Sato, Noriko Sakoh, Belan Woo Siy, Julia Hargreaves, Pepper Lim-Del Rosario, Teresa Sherrill, Nancy Pierson, Carmen Tamba, Madoka Yoshida, Shell Olson, Hikari Chang, Sarah Oba, Debbie Umipig Julian
Speaker: Hennie Symington (Tokyo Union Church)
Workshops: The Joy of Sacred Dance (Claudia Genung), Quilting 101 (Julia Fukuda), Tapping into Freedom and Joy (LoAnne Olson and Karen Seevers), Balancing Body, Mind, and Spirit with Homeopathy (Myriam Mueller), Stress! (Karen Seevers), Women and Depression (Maggie Yamasaki), Puppers, Props and Parables: Gospel Storytelling (Ruth Ingulsrud), The Way of Tea (Sado) (Yoko Furukawa).
Labyrinth: Carol Sack
Attendees: 70 names in booklet

January 31 – February 2 2014 at Amagi Sanso: Through the Valley

Chairpersons: Ruth Ingulsrud and Sarah Oba
Committee: Lyn Sato, Karen Seevers, Julia Hargreaves, Kelley Davidson, Gail Mundt, Claudia Genung, Devorah, Umipig, Gigi Reyes, Sherilyn Siy, LoAnne Olson
Speaker: Sharon Draper
Workshops: Buttered Bones and Purple Possibilities (Sharon Draper), Spirituality for Dark Places (Andrea Johnson), Conveying Emotion through Art (Elsa Ingulsrud), Quilting (Julia Fukuda), Healing Hula (Claudia Genung-Yamamoto), Healthy Body, Healthy Mind (Karen Seevers and Kelley Davidson), Harp Music Meditation (Carol Sack)
Labyrinth: Carol Sack
Attendees: 66 names in booklet
Brochure; Flyer.

In her Sunday sermon, Sharon Draper concluded with wonderful words to send us off. “Be a tree, spread your branches to create shade, drink plenty of water, put down roots, let some leaves fall to the ground and sprout new leaves, stand strong in all seasons – rain, snow, or sunshine.”

January 25-27 2013 at Amagi Sanso: Treasuring Our Gifts
Chairperson: LoAnne Olson
Committee: Jules Hargreaves, Betsy Terada, Julie Fukuda, Karen Seevers, Ayah Kakinuma, Yuka Shigeno, “Pepper” del Rosario, Susan Townsley, Gail Mundt, Devorah Umpig-Julian, Lyn Sato, Sarah Oba
Speaker: Ms Lorelie Johnson Verlee, living in the USA, daughter of missionaries to Japan now running
Workshops: 28 Days to happiness; Emotional Freedom Technique (Karen Seevers) Gifts of Age (Mary Beth Hoirai); Hallelujah Hula (Claudia Genung-Yamamoto); Puppets for communicating important truths (Ruth Ingulsrud); Quilting – when life gives you scraps, make quilts (Julia Fukuda); Seekers (Teresa Sherrill); A time with the harp (Carol Sack).
Attendees: 64 names in booklet

January 20-22 2012 at Amagi Sanso: Relive, Revive, and Restore
Chairperson: Debbie Umpig-Julian
Committee: Julia Hargreaves, Shell Olson, Carol Sasaki, Karen Seevers, Teresa Sherrill,Jill Sinclair-Ito, Susan Townsley, Betsy Longacre-Terada
Speaker: Ms Koko Kondo, living in Japan, Christian advocate for peace, and survivor of the Hiroshima Bomb at age of 8 months.
Workshops: Emotional Freedom Technique (LoAnne Olson); Bible Study (Lillian Soga); Holistic approach to health (Yuka Shigeno); Interpretative dance (Melanie Honrubia Sinex); Living with loss (Janet Takeyama); Patchwork (Julia Fukuda); Reliving the Bible (Susan Townsley); Sparkling future for Japanese education (Andrea Johnson); Self discover through drawing (Kristen Newton).
Attendees: 64 names in booklet

January 21-23 2011, at Amagi Sanso: Health and Healing, mind body and spirit.
Chairperson: Karen Seevers, Susan Townsley
Committee: Susan Townsley, Betsy Longacre-Terada, Rev. Claudia Genung-Yamamoto, Debbie Umpig-Julian, Sarah Oba, Julia Hargreaves, Carol Sack
Preacher: Susan Townsley, UCC minister, living in Japan.
Workshops: Asking the right questions (Julia Darrigan); Individual counselling/sharing (Julia Darrigan); Balancing body mind and spirit with homeopathy (Myriam Mueller); Emotional Freedom Technique (LoAnne Olson); Foot washing (Teresa Thompson Sherrill); Healing stories from the Bible (Lillian Soga); Lullabies, nature and nurture (Carol Sack); Mandalas (Rosalyn Hagiwara); Meditative yoga (Alison Gray); Open health discussion (Karen Seevers); Prayer (Sally Witmer); Shibashi (Emma Cantor); Self discovery through drawing (Kristen Newton); Walk with Mary (Mary Beyler); Treasure hunt (Karen Seevers)
Attendees: 47 names in booklet (54 actually attended)

January 22-24 2010 at Amagi Sanso: Following the Jesus Way
Chairperson: Teresa Sherrill
Committee: Winnie Shiraishi; Sarah Oba; Julia Hargreaves; Susan Townsley.
Speaker: Diana Butler Bass, living in USA, author speaker and independent scholar.
Workshops: On foot to the onsen (Mary Beyler); Harp ministry (Carol Sack); Praying with body and soul (Rev. Stephanie Bartsch); Fair trade (Alison Gray); Our foremothers (Gloria Bauer Ishida); Yoga, holism and environmental sustainability (Sherilyn Siy); Worship through sign language (Jean Ware); Hula dance for worship (Rev Claudia Genung); Health and life discussion (Karen Seevers), Proprioceptive writing time (Sara Oba, Alison Gray, Nancy Nakaoka)
Labyrinth (Mitsuyo Takeda, Carol Sack)
Attendees: 46 names in booklet

23-25 January 2009 at Amagi Sanso – Storytelling: Where are you going? Where have you been?
Chairperson: Alison Gray, Julia Hargreaves, Nancy Nakaoka
Committee and helpers: Sarah Oba, Teresa Sherrill, Sumika Sase, Shell Olson, Emi Mase-Hasegawa, Lois Enomoto, Elizabeth Gray, Cecelia Barker, Claudia Genung, Linda Schmidt.
Speaker: Megan McKenna, lives in USA, author, storyteller and theologian
Workshops: Finding stories to help and heal (Ruth Ingulsrud); An introduction to speaking circles (Rosalyn Hagiwara); Zazen (Sr. Kathleen Reiley); Proprioceptive writing (Angela Jeffs); Hula dance (Claudia Genung); Pearls of prayers – weaving your own stories (Emi Mase-Hasegawa); On foot to the onsen (Mary Beyler); Health and life discussion (Karen Seevers); Japanese tea (Maya Nagaoka); Memoir (Angela Jeffs).
Labyrinth (Carol Sack)
Attendees: 70 names in booklet

January 25-27 2008 at Amagi Sanso: Friendships for growth – finding spiritual direction
Coordinator: Rev. Linda Schmidt
Committee and helpers: Shell Olson, Sarah McAiley Oba, Devorah Umpig-Julian, Darlene Nomura, Claudia Genung Yamamoto, Ruth Ingulsrud, Julie Fukuda, Alison Gray, Kathy Correia, Kyoko Kohri, Reiko Shimada
Speaker: Jeannette Bakke, live in USA, Spiritual Direction leader and author, a faculty associate at Bethel Theological Seminary, where she was professor of Christian education from 1978 to 1994.
Workshops: Children and worship (Nozomi Brownell); Worship dance (Keiko Gray); Writer’s workshop (Angela Jeffs).
Attendees: 45 names in booklet

January 2007 at Amagi Sanso: Jubilee
Chairperson: Judy Newton
Committee and helpers: Sarah Oba, Claudia Genung Yamamoto, Ikuko Chujo, Yoko Mizuguchi, Ruth Grubel, Teresa Sherrill, Jill Sinclair, Carol Hastings, Devorah Umpig-Julian, Hiroshima Jogakuin (a school I suppose) did the printing, Ai-chan
Speakers: Rev Mariellen Sawada Yoshino of Wesley United Methodist church in San Jose, California, USA and Dr Talia McCray of University of Rhode Island, USA.
Workshops: Writing from within (Angela Jeffs); Bible for this year (Judy Newton); Psalms at the bedside (Carol Sack); Domestic violence (Leny Tolentino); Tea ceremony (Mary Beyler); Japanese drums (Jun Stinson); Puppets and sermons (Ruth Ingulsrud); Christian Noh (Yuko Yuasa, Masako Nakajima); Asian Rural Institute (Meghan McConnell, Mirjam Jekel).
Attendees: ? No list of names in booklet. From memory, perhaps there were 50-60 people.

January 27-29 2006 at Amagi Sanso: Come, Holy Spirit
Co-coodinators: Rev. Claudia Genung-Yamamoto and Kathryn Treece
Committee and helpers: Jean Michalec, Naoko Iyori, Hazel Terhune, Sarah McAiley Oba, Mary Anne Jorgensen, Carol Hastings, Julie Fukuda, Jill Ito, Darlene Nomura, Shell Olson, Seena Reese, Teresa Sherrill, Nancy Beckedam, and all who hosted Dr Chung around Kansai and Tokyo.
Speaker: Dr Hyun Kyung Chung, Professor of ecumenical theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, USA, and lay theologian of the Presbyterian church of Korea. Feminist and eco-feminist theologies and spiritualities from Asia, African and Latin America, Christian-Buddhist dialogue.
Workshops: In a higher key (Judith May Newton); Zen meditation (Kathleen Reiley); The spirit moves (Claudia Genung-Yamamoto); Mandala (Jonna Douglass); Healing hands (Yuri Morita); Gregorian chant (Jean Michalec); Prayerful presence through voice and harp (Carol Sack).
Labyrinth (Kathryn Treece)
Attendees: 69 names in booklet

January 21-23 2005 at Amagi Sanso: Hear My Cry! Healing for self, family, the whole world.
Coordinator: Gloria Bauer Ishida
Theme speaker: Dr Kathleen D. Billman, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicgao, Illinois, USA.
Committee and helpers, including workshop leaders: Claire Gelder, Keiko Gray, Elizabeth Gray, Winnie Inui, Mary Anne Jorgensen, Takako Kohri, Yumiko Kondo, Debi Russo, Erin Sakakibara, Teresa Sherrill, Mari Shiobara, Lillian Soga, Kyoko Kohri, Nadine Hughes, Hiroko Sanda, Gloria Nakane, Shell Olson and Lorraine Kress, Jill Sinclair-Ito, Kathryn Treece.
Workshops: Liturgical dance; Crying and healing through music and movement; Crying and healing through poetry writing (Haiku); Strengthening, healing marriage.
Attendees: 60 names in booklet

January 23-25 2004 at Amagi Sanso: Worship and the Arts
Speaker: Dr Mary Oyer, Professor Emeritus Goshen College and Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Indiana, USA. According to the committee chair of The Mennonite Hymnal “Mary did more work on than any other one person”.
Convener: Joyce Magee
Committee and Helpers: Teresa Sherrill, Setusko Sugiyama, Marie Kawabe, Takako Inagaki, Kim Essenburg, Julie Fukuda, Carol Hastings, Ikuko Komiya, Linda Schmidt, Karen Seevers, Carol Sack, Maria Martin Thacker
Workshops: Banner Making, Julie Fukuda; Labyrinth Reflections, Kathryn Treece; Liturgical Dance, Keiko Gray; Music Thanatology, Carol Sack; Poetry and writing, Kim Essenburg.
Labyrinth (Kathryn Treece)
Attendees: 62 names in booklet

January 24-26 2003 at Amagi Sanso: Responding to the call of the Spirit
Speaker: Sister Miriam Therese Winter, professor of liturgy, worship, spirituality, and feminist studies, and director of the Women’s Leadership Institute at Hartford Seminary, CT, USA.
Special Guest: The Reverend Sharon Delagado, Executive Director of Earth-Justice Ministries, California?, USA
Chairperson: Lynn Thompson Bryant
Committee and Helpers: Mary Anne Jorgensen, Vickie Beneke, Diane Stanton-Rich, Judy Newton, Ruth Grubel, Karen Seevers, Rev. Claudia Genung-Yamamoto
No workshops, Karen Seevers & Janet Yahiro led “Caring for the temple”, and Yuri Morita Stinson “Taiko Drum Spirituality”.
Labyrinth (Kathryn Treece)
Attendees: 64 names in booklet

January 25-27 2002 at Amagi sanso: Keeping the Sabbath Wholly: ceasing, resting, embracing, feasting
Coordinator:Maria Martin Thacker
Speaker: Dr Marva J. Dawn, professor of spiritual Theology at Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Special Guest: Betty Swain, who wrote the her-story of the Women’s Conference
Committee and helpers: Suzanne Hale, Teresa Sherrill, Sayuri Kist-Okazaki, Angela Im, Diane Stanton-Rich, Lynn Thompson Bryant, LoAnn Olsen, Sarah Yoshimatsu, Linda Schmidt
Labyrinth (Kathryn Treece), Music (Diane Stanton-Rich)m Prayers (Dawn Whittle), Bible Study (Linda Schmidt), worship (Lynn Thompson Bryant)
Attendees: At least 83. That number in brochure, plus a few more on a correction page
Comments: “She [Marva] is a prophet for this age”, Linda Schmidt

January 26-28 2001 at Amagi Sanso: Dead Man Walking, Respect for Life – Respect for Creation
Speakers: Sister Helen Prejean, from USA (Louisiana?), author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty. Sister Marya Grathwohl, living in Montana, USA
Special Guest: Dr Yuko Yuasa, director of Kyoto Yugen Institute of Noh Studies
Chairperson: Susan Adams
Committee and helpers: Hiromi Hadley, Linda Schmidt, Judy DeRolf, Linda Gomi, Claire Debenham, Sanda Dooley, Kyoko Khodru, Claudia Genung-Yamamoto, Kathy Burton-Lewis, LaVerne Kroehler, Melody Herr.
Labyrinth (Kathryn Treece)
Workshops: Spiritual journey (Helen), Loving the World as God does (Marya), Noh (Yuko)
Attendees: 93 named in booklet
Comments: This year was often discussed in years to come, for a snowstorm which resulted in the electricity and heating failing at Amagi Sanso.

January 21-23 2000 at Amagi Sanso: Rhythms – spirituality over a lifetime
Keynote Speaker: Rev. Anne Broyles, former co-pastor of Malibu United Methodist Church, retired to focus completely on her writing. Author of bestseller, “Journalling: A Spirit Journey”.
Special Guest Teacher: Moko Igarashi, Taiko and other percussion
Chairperson: Linda Schmidt
Committee and helpers: Lynda Gomi, Andrea Kasuya, Alyssa Hasty, Akiko Yoshizawa, Judy Newton, Heidi Siemens Rhodes, Susan Adams, Lynn Thompson Bryant, Kay Zebley, Carol Hastings
Labyrinth (Erin King)
Attendees: 78 names in booklet


January 23-25 1998: Women of Grace & Action
Main Speaker: Robbie F. Castleman, lives in Florida, USA(?), serves on Graduate ad Faculty Staff if Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. Author of 8 books and Bible study guides.
Special Guest Speaker: Chikako Saito, Senior Public Information Officer of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
Co-Chairpersons: Debbie Schmidt, Judith M Newton
Committee and helpers: Ruth (Ingulsrud) Grubel, Lee Argabrite, Tsuneki Miyano, Laura Fukada, Maria Schlatter, Belinda Groves, Meredith Maruyama, Hide Fujwara, LaVerbe Kroehler, Mollie Moore, Carol Sack, Carol Squier, Jeanne Sokolowski, Lillian Soga
Workshops: Hand-stitched jewelry bags, Maria Schaltter; Hospice care in Japan, Mollie Moore; More about refugees, Chikako Saito, Feeling good – looking good, LoAnne Olson; Working away from home, Joyce Magee; Women in Korea, Sarah Strawn; Making the most of the good times, Lynn Bryant; Getting older – getting better, Zenora Rackham; Health in Japan, Meredith Maruyama; Liturgical dance & prayer, Machiko Kaneko; Parenting in the pew, Robbie Castleman
Attendees: 126 names in booklet

1997: Prayer and Healing
Keynote speaker: Sister Joyce Rupp, a member of the Servites (Servants of Mary), Sister Joyce divides her time among writing, spiritual direction, speaking at conferences, directing retreats. Author os a number of books.
Bible study leader: Erin King, living in Japan, describes her work as empowering people to understand who they are in relation to God, self and others.
Chairperson: Claudia Genung- Yamamoto
Committee and helpers: Sayuri Kist-Okazaki, Kathryn Treece, Karen Rosch, Erin King, Carol Sack, Carol Squier, Jackie Rossini, Mayumi Mori Tabuchi, Debbie Schmidt, Maria Schlatter, Claire Debenham, Else Christensen, Mari Thorkelson, Barbara Lund, Ann Hargett, Phyllis Carlson, Alba Powell
Workshops: Art as meditation, Erin King; A Taize prayer service, Belinda Groves; Bible quilting, Julia Fukuda; Bodywork – Reflexology, Kathryn Treece; Chante and dance – a way to heal, Joyce Rupp; Contemplative prayer, Carol Squier; Healing breath – healing life; Mari Thorkelson; Healing the self, Mabel Blackwell; Hildegard for women today, Anne Norman; Journaling, journeying & Japan, Phyllis Kinley; Origami & meditation, Alison Young; Prayer & personality types, Sandi Wisley; Shibashi – 18 healing movements, Dr. Jane Pineda; Starting a congregational healing ministry, Carol Sack.
Attendees: 123 names in booklet

In 2007 at the 50th anniversary conference, Judy Newton wrote the following in the booklet..
“My participation in the Women’s Conference goes back to 1969, when a friend, Connie Kimos, and I led singing in Kyoto, using Beatles songs! The next year I helped Kathy Hasegawa with a conference based in Osaka. In 1979, while living in Sendai, I worked with Evelyn Kroehler, the conference was held at Sakunami and included a tour of Sendai schoold and churches. Thanks to Cornelia Schroer, a book was published afterwards, with speakers’ presentations and many photos (her husband, Gil, was a great photographer). Part of the Kobe Union Church committee, I helped plan the 1989 conference at Amagisanso, which was graced by the performance of Machiko Kaneko, a teacher of traditional Japanese dance, and stimulated by Bibles studies led by the Rev Lorraine McNeal. (Lorraine was the first woman assigned to my local church in northern California, and the first African American person). In the late 90s we tried to get Bishop Leontine T.C. Kelly, named a bishop in 1984 – the first African American woman to be consecrated to that office – to come; she had been a speaker at the Kyodan-related missionary conference in 1993. However, a stroke prevented her coming, so Sister Joyce Rupp was able to fill in. By the way, Bishop Kelly recovered from that stroke, went through breast cancer surgery, and battles daily with diabetes, yet maintains a vibrant spirit and witness. A few years ago, the former minister of my mother’s church in Santa Cruz, the Rev. Sharon Delgado, led sessions on theology and ecology here at Amagi Sanso.”

For information about the origin of the Women’s Conference and some early conferences: See the her-story, written by Betty Swain.

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