Author: Director RE

YoUUth Summer Virtual Adventure

This is of particular note to Unitarian/UU youth entering grades 6-12, their parents, and advisors. We want your input!

Unitarian youth in BC have historically been very connected to the UU youth in the Pacific Northwest Region of the United States. Although there is an international border, geographically we are much closer to the many congregations in Washington and Oregon than we are to the rest of Canada; there are also enough of them to create some truly wonderful programs. We go to their Cons, youth leadership schools, and family camps.

This April there were two Virtual Cons held by the Pacific Northwest district (Washington/Oregon/etc.) and the Mountain district (Montana/Colorado/etc.). The youth and adult staff worked very hard and creatively and both Cons were well received with positive feedback.  Since all in-person gatherings of UU’s have been cancelled for the summer, Pacific Western Regional staff (PWR) are working to create a week of Virtual gathering/learning/playing/celebrating online this summer.  These Cons, and leadership camps are transformative and uplifting spaces to gather in as Unitarian youth, and I encourage our BC youth to participate if you can.

All youth, parents, and youth advisors interested in PWR’s youth summer virtual adventure are invited to fill out this form to help inform planning–and to be kept informed.

Happy (Virtual) Trails!
–Kiersten

Online Kids, Youth and Families

Children, Youth, and Parents: FUUN!

We are putting in place some online connection times for children, tweens, youth, and parents. These times will stay consistent each week—drop-in any week to see familiar faces and new, connect and support each other in Unitarian fashion.

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, still I would plant my apple tree.

–Martin Luther

Virtual Post-it Doodle Gallery: ucv.im/kids-art

This is our art-board space where doodles, drawings, artwork of any kind can be shared and displayed. If you’ve made something you would like to see here, send it to Kiersten. [mailto:dre@vancouverunitarians.ca]

Children’s RE drop-in: Sundays 10:20—10:50 am Join URL: ucv.im/kids-zoom

Mairy and Nan host children’s time before the Sunday service live-stream. See each other, share a story and a simple activity or craft that we can do together at home.

(Target age is 5-9)

Crossing Paths RE: Mondays 1:00—2:15 pm Join URL: ucv.im/tween-zoom

Crossing Paths Tweens (ages 10-12) this space and time is for you! Check-in with each other, try out the virtual whiteboard, continue our explorations of World Religions and wherever your questions and wonderings lead us. New? Away for awhile? You are welcome to drop-in any Monday!

Youth Group Online! Sundays 3:00—5:00 pm Join URL: ucv.im/youth-zoom

Youth in grades 8-12 meet to share, explore, come up with distant game time, and generally connect. Drop-in any Sunday—from near and far.

Kiersten’s Friday Zoom Coffee-Break 10:30—11:30 am Join URL: ucv.im/coffee-break

Being home deserves a coffee break–and we all deserve to see each other! Family centered drop-in time for Parents. If kids can login on a separate device from parents, we can do break-out rooms!

 

Steven’s Virtual Tea-Time Drop-in Wednesdays 3:00—4:30 pm (beginning April 1st)

Join URL: ucv.im/steven-tea

Drop-in each Wednesday between 3:00 and 4:30pm for a social gathering time hosted by Rev. Steven Epperson. It is a soul fulfilling thing to see each other’s faces in this time of physical distancing and isolation. Come check-in with each other, bring your joys, your challenges, your questions and insights, your whole selves.

 

Other online events and gatherings can be found here: ucv.im/events

Virtual Post-it Doodle Gallery

This is our art-board space where doodles, drawings, artwork of any kind can be shared and displayed. If you’ve made something you would like to see here, send it to Kiersten. [mailto:dre@vancouverunitarians.ca]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Send Video Greetings for Sundays

UCV is up and running with online Sunday worship serviceThe virtual video greetings from members and friends around metro-Vancouver were a welcoming and heartening part of the service and we want to keep it going! 

For this week’s video (March 29) how about sharing “How IS everyone keeping busy?” Short and sweet—15 seconds max.  It’s a treat to see you and your families and know you’re well!  We will share these during the “turn to your neighbor” segment of the service. Send it by midnight Saturday for the following Sunday service! 

If you have a smartphone or tablet, just open up your camera, flick it over to video mode and then flip the camera to selfie mode so you’re in the frame. Then press the record button and say a few words with those around you (remember, less than 15 seconds please). 

When you’re finished, click the sharing icon (square with an arrow pointing up on Apple devices, dot to two dot triangle on Android) and then email that video to us at video@ucvrefugees.ca. 

That’s it! We’ll broadcast what we receive on Sunday morning and it would be a real treat to see familiar smiling faces. 

Here’s an example video. 

If you’re not sure about how to email a video, if you think you’ll have trouble viewing the service on Sunday morning from vancouverunitarians.caor if you’re struggling with Zoom for a church online eventplease let us know here and we’ll be in touch to help you get connected. 

Not cancelled – gardening with the grounds crew this Saturday–Mystery Pals …

I’ll attempt to add here events that are going ahead at UCV.

Grounds crew regular 3rd Saturday gardening 9am – contact Patti Turner for more information.

Depending on your situation, here are some ways to enjoy this time of relative low-contact.

Get outdoors. Dr. Bonnie Henry says the virus does not transmit outdoors. At UCV come and garden, walk the labyrinth or just sit outside in the sun.

Go for a walk. Use phone or email to connect up and plan a walk or visit with a UCV friend you’ve been wanting to get to know better.

Mystery Pals

Anonymous letter writing through email–physical distance with social connection.

Adults, children, youth, and young adults are paired up (by Kiersten–our Director of Religious Ed) and write letters to each other anonymously for four weeks.

At the end you get to find out who your Pal is! Families and Pals are encouraged to continue the relationship throughout the year.

All letter writing will be facilitated through Kiersten’s email:  dre@vancouverunitarians.ca

sign-up at ucv.im/pals

Annual Ancestor Shrine–Come and visit

Origins of Our Tradition

Mary, Catherine, Nancy, Terence, Morgan and Jen first created an Ancestor Shrine with the children’s program back in the fall of 2013. Transforming the meditation room into a place of remembrance at the end of October has become a firm tradition since then. It is something our children remember and connect with over the years.

Please come explore the Ancestor Shrine after Sunday service on October 27th.

You may bring a photo or remembrance to leave on the altar if you wish (to be returned the following Sunday), and there will be paper and twine with which to write your own remembrances and hang from the willow branches.

May we remember where we come from, and how the tree of life shows us that truly all that exists on Earth is related. Further back we find that we have evolved from the dust of exploded stars–what great mystery!

Welcome back to a new program year from Kiersten

As you prepare to return to school year routines and schedules I want to offer you a glimpse into the rich material we are planning to cover with families this year at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. Looking back through pictures reminds me of how much fun we have building community around here–and that certainly continues on!

What are we up to on Sundays?

We are continuing our structure around Soul Matters monthly themes and adding a focused exploration of World Religions—one of the six sources of wisdom, guidance, and spirituality that Unitarian Universalists draw upon. We are organizing into three groups this year:

  • Elementary Passport to Spirituality (ages 4-9)
  • Intermediate Crossing Paths (ages 10-12)
  • High School Youth Group (ages 13-19).

This is an OWL year for the youth

That’s shorthand for Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education and this year we are running workshops for grades 8, 9, and older youth who haven’t had an opportunity to take OWL before. Registration is open—you can read more on our website and contact Kiersten Moore, DRE for more information.

Worship Bingo Returns

Kids are given a bingo card on entering and when they’ve recorded hearing all of the words on the card, they yell out “Bingo”. Then get a reward at the end of the service.

Water Communion and In-gathering service

We start September 8th with our all-ages Water Communion and In-gathering service—Bring a bit of water from home or from travels to add to our communion bowl. If you haven’t collected water from your summer explorations, you may bring an item or memento for our altar—just be sure to pick it up again after the service.

“What does it mean to be a people of Expectation?”

September 15th we open our journey exploring the connection between expectation and the UU idea of Ongoing Revelation, the belief that we should expect our truths to change and grow. This expectation of growth leads us directly into our World Religions focus:

Passport to Spirituality (ages 4-9)

This class will imagine they are all travelling the world. At each country they visit, the children will receive a passport sticker, learn about a different religion, how it relates to the month’s theme, and engage in a spiritual practice utilized by that religion. The focus is to both learn a bit about religions around the world and see how they can be utilized to gain wisdom and develop our own spirituality.

Crossing Paths (ages 10-12)

This class follows a long tradition of Unitarian middle school field trips and explorations of neighbouring faiths. We will engage in a more in-depth exploration of five religions throughout the year, beginning with our own Unitarian faith. Crossing Paths is a direct Soul Matters curriculum that takes the approach of religious pluralism. Instead of claiming that one religion is best or that all religions are basically the same, pluralism understands religions as separate systems of belief dealing with distinct human challenges.

Parents of Tweens (ages 10-12) Please Note:

September 15th is our opening orientation for Crossing Paths and parents are included! Please plan for at least one parent to attend the Sunday RE session with your child beginning at 10:45 am. Crossing Paths group will not attend the beginning of service this week. This class offers parents an opportunity to learn alongside your child and to deepen your own spiritual understanding.

Youth Group (ages 13-19)

Our Youth plan to hit the ground running with the final zero waste results from last year’s action project and move forward on the youth group movie project. The youth choose their own curriculum or focus with their advisors in the fall and follow a small group ministry style of discussion with the aim to deepen connections to their selves, each other, and the wider community. Youth also hold social gatherings, attend conferences and regional events, participate in multi-age celebrations and pageants, and a lot more.

Registration open for Harry and UU Summer Camp!

Another year at Hogwarts

Plans are rolling for a second year at Hogwarts. August 12-16 will see Hewett Centre once again transformed into the Great Hall and Hogwarts classrooms.

Harry and UU summer camp is theatre in action for kids ages 7-12. There are volunteer leadership opportunities for youth ages 13+ with a Red Cross first aid certificate. Visit our Summer Camp page to register now to hold your spot in the 2019 Hogwarts West experience.

This year our social justice focus will centre around water inspired by the national Canadian Unitarian Ripple Effect project. We will identify two local water issues to explore and learn about Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. The DA Creators will create a theatre as social action piece to fight our Horcrux. It becomes a week of living theatre, social justice, and a unique summer camp experience for Vancouver children and youth. (more…)

Sharing Our Faith grant received for our Hogwarts Summer Camp

Thank you to the Canadian Unitarian Council

I am pleased to announce that our Harry and UU Summer Theatre Camp has received a generous grant in the amount of $3,000 from the Canadian Unitarian Council’s Sharing Our Faith Fund. This grant will help us hire camp staff at a fair compensation rate, provide an excellent student-counsellor ratio, and insure affordability for Vancouver families. Check out our summer camp web page for more details.

Sharing Our Faith

The Sharing Our Faith program provides funds for congregational initiatives which enhance ministry, aid congregational projects and outreach, and enhance the Unitarian Universalist movement in Canada. Once a year, congregations are encouraged to hold a “Sharing Our Faith” worship service focused on the UU faith in Canada, with a special collection for the Sharing Our Faith fund. The fund consists of these monies, often supplemented by a Foundation Fund administered by the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. The funds are allocated in the form of grants to congregations for growth projects and initiatives.

Your Support

Part of the grant asks for a show of faith from us in supporting our own initiative. You can help families with limited financial resources attend our engaging and unique program by donating to our Campership Fund.

A campership may include before and after care, public transportation, and lunch if requested. Applications will be processed on an ongoing, first-come, first-served basis as long as funds are available. A deposit in good faith of an affordable amount is requested to hold a spot.

Donate to Campership Fund

Donations to our Campership Fund are tax deductible and ensure that all children are able to attend camp with us, regardless of their family’s financial situation. Click the link above to send a secure donation by credit or debit card. Cheque donations to the Unitarian Church of Vancouver with “HP Summer Camp Donation” in the memo can be submitted using the Sunday morning donation envelopes or mailed to:

Unitarian Church of Vancouver
Attn: HP Summer Camp
949 West 49th Ave
Vancouver, BC V5Z 2T1