As I floated on a tube in the lazy river at America’s largest waterpark one Sunday afternoon in August, I pondered what spirituality means to me. At that moment, I was at peace—with my boys laughing and enjoying each other’s company, with the warm sun drying us off after splashing our way down the water slides, listening to and kicking our feet in the water. I was connected with people I love, the earth and universe. That was spiritual, but spirituality is deeper. It is what gives us hope when a friend or loved one is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, or we make a mistake and we desire forgiveness from someone else or even ourselves, or we need to know we are loved no matter what. Spirituality comes from deep within ourselves and is expressed through various forms. 

Our homes are an extension of ourselves, giving us a place to rest and relax, to feel safe and secure and, ultimately, to live, to be and to become. We have a special section for the Rochester Area Builders Fall Showcase of Homes and Remodelers Tour (pages 13–21) in this issue. We hope you will tour some new and remodeled homes for ideas for your own home.


In this issue of Rochester Women magazine, you will find the program for the 36th Annual Women & Spirituality Conference (pages 26–50). This year, the event is being held in Rochester for the first time at the newly expanded Mayo Civic Center. Terri Allred took over the event and is making it bigger and better than ever. On the cover of this issue, Allred is featured, along with Cassandra Buck and Teaki Garcia (pages 23–24). Buck founded La Mese delle Donne annual women’s art exhibit that will be opening this year on September 14 at the Rochester Art Center in conjunction with the Women & Spirituality Conference. Garcia is coordinating the Maker’s Space for conference attendees to be creative. 

Toward the end of the issue, check out the article on five women artists who have found their niche in creativity (page 49). Take a trolley tour to explore cool Rochester shops (page 51), including Dwell Local, where many local artists sell their goods. In addition to Ladies’ Night Out, Rochester Women magazine has teamed up with Rochester Trolley & Tour Company for some fun fall trips, including going to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival (Sunday, September 24) and going to Chanhassen Dinner Theatres for Grease (Sunday, October 22).