Author: Mary Bennett

Trading stuff for community connections (plus stuff)

Do you want to declutter without contributing to the landfill?

Want to meet some nice people who also want to live a simpler lifestyle and care about the environment?

We had our first Bunz mini-meetup on Saturday May 4 from 3 -4 pm, Cayla Naumann brought some of her items and Mary had plants to share. Both shared their perspectives on the Bunz app and how it contributes to waste reduction. Cayla went home with some herbs; Mary got a mini tarot deck and book, Coral got a tiara. We all had fun! Reusable name tags donated for UCV events.

We’re thinking about Bunz Mini-Meetup #2 – possibly 2pm on Sunday, May 26. Send a note if you’re interested.

Here’s what Cayla posted on our zero waste email group:

  • Another Unitarian shared this with me and I’ve recently been using the Bunz app (and there’s a Facebook group too) and really enjoying it. The whole idea is to ‘trade’, no cash exchanges. You can also offer services or less conventional trades. Pretty cool idea and way to reduce waste, consumerism and build community. They do have a BTZ currency as another option.Have you tried Bunz? Sign up using my link and get an extra 100 BTZ when you activate your wallet. My username is @catatonic489  https://bunzshare.page.link/tTqz2ejBmxBhdWQR8

If you’ve every frequented (or have ever fantasized about) a “free store” – here’s a way to try it out.

We plan to set up some other meeting times to make pre-arranged trades and possibly bring extra stuff to browse at. Let earthspiritucv@gmail.com know if you’d like to participate.

Mary will be potting up some mint for bunz trades. Surprisingly mint plants got a lot of likes on bunz!

Any leftovers will be passed along to our Refugee Committee’s table for sale by donation.

Here are some videos if you’d like to learn more:

BUNZ Intro – meet the people who use bunz and why…

BITZ – How the “rewards program” works

How to activate your wallet

 

BITZ

May Days – Take a staycation this weekend at UCV

Celebrate May Days – Keep this list!

UCV has many celebrations lined up to celebrate the coming of the May! You can plan a staycation and hang out at our campus for most of the weekend! And the weather report has changed from 60% chance of rain to “sunny”. (May the 4th be with us indeed!)

  • Fri. May 3 – 6:30 pm – Potluck and Film Screening “She’s a Boy I Knew” – all welcome. (sponsor: UCV Genders & Sexualities Alliance)
  • Sat. May 4 – 1-5 pm World Labyrinth Day & Jane’s Walk VancouverWalk as One at One – painting/colouring the plants on the labyrinth (pastels, crayons and paper provided).
    • Tara Bonham plays her harp on the labyrinth at 2:30 pm
    • Wish Tree and Flower Crowns 4 – 5:30 pm
  • Sat. May 4 – 5 – 8 pm Messy Church potluck dinner
  • Sun. May 5 – 10:30-11 and 12-12:30 pm Maypole dancing before and after the service in the courtyard
  • Sun. May 5 – 12 – 1:30 pm Mexican Taco lunch by Environment and Refugee committees
  • Sun. May 5 – 2 – 3:30 pm Maypole dancing with instruction
  • Sun. May 5 7:30 pm – Donna’s Favorites Choir Concert $20 or pwyc
  • Tues. May 7 – 6 pm Beltane/May Day Earth Spirit Circle – Make flower garlands with Mairy Beam
  • Tues. May 7 – 7-9 pm Maypole Dancing with the Circle Dance group, coordinated by Mary Bennett

All events are on the web with additional details. http://vancouverunitarians.ca/eventlist

A Mass for Peace – Join North Shore Unitarians on May 11th

The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace was commissioned for the millennium by the U.K. Royal Armouries and had its premiere in London. The CD was released on September 10, 2001.

On May 11th, our church community will join many other singers from the wider community to make a strong, collective statement as to the folly of war. A choir of over 100 singers will perform this powerful and intensely moving work as a concert at Highlands United Church.

The human longing for peace is a visceral presence in this mass, as each movement adds to the larger story of war’s devastating impact. The various texts, as well as the music itself, embrace time periods from the first millennium B.C. to modern times, incorporating the poetic beauty of Islamic, Hindu, and Christian cultures.

ALISON NIXON, MUSIC DIRECTOR

Alison was appointed Music Director in September 2003. She conducts several other choral groups in the area including the Douglas College Choral Society, Note Bene Women’s Choir and SummerChor.

Alison is an accomplished violinist and has performed with orchestras in Britain, Switzerland and Vancouver. She is responsible for the church’s music program, which includes a 40-member adult choir, classical ensemble, folk choir and children’s choir. Alison also coordinates the musical component of the weekly Sunday services.

 

If you’re 18-35 and want to meet other Unitarians your age…

A special invitation from the Canadian Unitarian Council to new-to-UU young adults

Are you interested in connecting with other young adult (18-35 year old) Unitarian Universalists? Gathered Here is a monthly 75-minute online check-in and gathering that will give you a chance to meet other UU young adults and experience the warmth of our national community.

2nd Monday @ 5pm on Zoom

Join other UU 18-35 year olds on Zoom (a video-conferencing platform) for the sharing of joys and concerns, deeper check-ins, prayerful reflections, and an opportunity to process current events with a spiritually grounded community. Gathered Here generally takes place on the second Monday evening of each month at 5pm Pacific/ 6pm Mountain/ 7pm Central/ 8pm Eastern/ 9pm Atlantic. It’s a free drop-in gathering, so no advance registration is necessary. Search “Gathered Here” on the CUC website or on Facebook to find upcoming dates and login instructions.

Here are some more ways for UU young adults to connect online.

CUC Website

http://cuc.ca/young-adults/

Our congregation supported this year-long project

http://cuc.ca/young-adults/young-adult-project/

Facebook Links

Canadian Unitarian Council Youth and Young Adult Ministry page

https://www.facebook.com/CUCyayaministry/

UU Young Adults in Vancouver

Closed Group (You can ask to join)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/122226307860396/

90 members

UU Young Adult Connections

Closed Group (You can ask to join)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/698574876830392/

A continental group only for those between 18 and 35

1300+members

Description

There are a lot of UU young adults* wandering the continent but it’s easy for us to feel isolated. This group is here to combat that feeling and connect us to each other. Feel free to share events and information, ask questions, and invite other young adults you know. THIS GROUP IS INDEPENDENT OF THE UUA. *The UUA defines young adults as people between the ages of 18-35. If you are younger than 18 or older than 35, this is not the group for you. Note: We also welcome anyone who identifies as a U/U (Unitarian or Universalist) rather than as a UU.

 

Painting with Pat on the Labyrinth

Pat MacBain will be painting on the labyrinth again this year. And available to coach kids at 3pm.

We’ll have crayons and pastels for kids and others to use to create labyrinth art. You can create an art piece of the scene, a flower or learn to draw the labyrinth pattern.

Here are some photos from 2018 World Labyrinth Day.

A painting begins. And then the light shifted….

painting, walking, running.
Hawk was very interested in learning about oil painting from Pat.
Several people joined at 3pm through Jane’s Walk advertising.

Make a Flower Crown for May Day/Beltane

Flower Crowns

Our plans for the flower crown activity on Sat. May 4 (4-5:30pm) and then at the Earth Spirit circle on Tuesday, May 7th are evolving.
Sandy brought in some ivy that had been twisted to form a base.
Mary was given some white wool. We did a walk around the gardens to see which flowering shrubs could benefit from a bit of judicious pruning and which flowers will be so plentiful they could be given over to this project. The cranesbill geraniums are just coming into bloom and will be plentiful.
Here’s a good link if you want to make these at home.
We’ll have (but you could also bring) ivy, laurel, rosemary and lavender for a good base.
We’ll also bring wire, twist ties, ribbon and yarn for fastening things on.
And here’s a very easy approach to do with kids. Paper bags and duct tape are involved.

Herbal Tea from the UCV Gardens

From World Labyrinth Day (May 2018), photo of Sandy serving her herbal teas to an enthusiastic group. Sandy makes a ginger-sugar syrup and uses apple mint for the tea.

Herbal teas

We’ll have several craft activities for kids and others for World Labyrinth Day, but of course you’re welcome to just walk the labyrinths and… have a sip of herbal tea. Served around 2:30 pm.

So, if you’re not into decorating a tree or making a flower crown, don’t worry. Just add some herbs to your tea. They say all herbs are healing on Beltane and will surely fix you up. Please bring your own mug!

The point is, Beltane is a holiday for our renewal, time for new hopes and beginnings. Anything you decide or wish or manifest over a cup of tea on Beltane could actually work this time. (from mookychick)

There’s lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage around the grounds. Please pick a sacred bundle for using fresh or dried. Just add hot water.

Mint Tea

Most people have tried mint tea, and we have a growing selection of mints at the west side of the garden path labyrinth – in pots! pineapple mint, chocolate mint and “ordinary” mint. Really you can just take some, crush it a bit to release the flavour and scent, and add to hot water. Or you can make a mix and try it out.

Here are some recipes from Sandy.

Recipes for teas

From Sandy Riecken

Ginger syrup recipe – makes 1 litre/ quart

¼ cup cane sugar

3 ¾ cups water

1/3 c. (approx.) thin sliced fresh ginger root, unpeeled

Put all ingredients into a pot and heat for 3-5 minutes or until it is steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat, stir and let cool. If possible leave overnight to cool and then remove ginger pieces.

Put one slice of lemon into the bottom of the jar or container for ginger syrup. *

Mint tea – for 6 litre / large container

Cut garden mint the day before. About 6 – 8 cups before washing, sorting and trimming. Choose stems with the largest leaves.

Cut stems to remove roots, discard any damaged or yellowed or too small leaves or stems. Cut stems short enough to fit into the salad spinner or the large glass container that will hold the tea.

Place bunches of stems into a salad spinner after all the stems have been soaked in a large container completely covered in water for 20 – 30 minutes.

When the bunches of mint have been processed lay them in the bottom of the large tea jar until the container is ¼ to 1/3 full. Boil water and pour over  leaves until the container is more than half full or double the depth of the layers of mint. Can be up to 2/3 full of water. Leave overnight to cool with the mint in place.

Remove all the stems of mint once it has completely cooled in the morning. Add ice to the container before serving if you wish to have the tea chilled.

Other teas and herbs:

Black Tea – Sandy uses Murchie’s Golden Jubilee, the rest of the pot for tea I made for my morning bed tea. I like this one as it doesn’t get strong and acid like some black teas do.

Peppermint – from tea bags. I used 5 or 6 tea bags in about 1 litre of boiling water and then left it to cool overnight.*

Save some of the processed mint stems with leaves and place into a jar with water.*

Cut some lemon balm stems as well. Wash and place them in a jar. *

To serve tea:

Place lemon balm leaf into bottom of the cup, pour in a tsp or so of the ginger syrup and then fill up with the mint tea.

* Refrigerate these overnight

Tea Recipes from Sandy

For Sandy’s tips and recipes for tea, click here.TeaRecipes

What’s in the garden labyrinth?

Pick some fresh herbs to make or add to tea as you walk. A pinch of this; a pinch of that.

The following are available.

  • sage
  • lavender
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • calendula
  • mints and lemon balm (in pots on west side of labyrinth)

To find suggestions and health benefits, just google “sage tea benefits” etc.

Last year we enjoyed a herbal workshop with staff from Gaia Gardens.

If there’s interest, we could do again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wish Tree for May

Jodie Miller will be on site for World Labyrinth Day and encouraging you to write a wish and hang from our trees.

We’ve decided on the vine maples in the courtyard. We considered the tree/s in the centre of the garden path labyrinth, or the two at either entrance, the cherry blossom at south entrance or the vine maples in the courtyard or our orchard of 14 apple trees. We especially liked that it’s easy to get to and visible to all. It’ll be easy to invite kids and all others to “make a wish” on Saturday, May 4. Watch this space for the transformation.
We will let the wishes fly for a while and then collect and bury them (as Yoko Ono does). So we’ll have to decide on a nice spot for the burial as well. Ono buries them at the Peace Tower in Iceland. Suggestions for UCV are welcome! (This is our first year doing this, but we already expect it will be the first annual).
Suggested colours are:
  • gold to symbolize prosperity
  • blue for courage
  • white for fidelity
  • pink for tenderness
  • green for good health.

Here’s a description of Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree Ongoing Installation.

And the instructions:

Make a wish. Write it down on a piece of paper. Fold it and tie it around a branch of a Wish Tree. Ask your friends to do the same. Keep wishing. Until the branches are covered with wishes.[2]

Yoko Ono’s comment:

  • As a child in Japan, I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin paper and tie it around the branch of a tree. Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people’s wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar.[1]
Here’s a good news story about making a public wishing tree. (I love good news stories). Traci Bunkers is the artist involved with a kids art camp and guerrilla art group.
A search of google reveals that wish trees are becoming popular for weddings and baby showers.

Herbal teas

If you’re not into decorating a tree at all, don’t worry. Just add some herbs to your tea. They say all herbs are healing on Beltane and will surely fix you up.

The point is, Beltane is a holiday for our renewal, time for new hopes and beginnings. Anything you decide or wish or manifest over a cup of tea on Beltane could actually work this time. (from mookychick)

There’s lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage around the grounds. Please pick a sacred bundle for using fresh or dried. Just add hot water.

Flower Crowns

We’ll have (but you could also bring) ivy, rosemary and lavender for a good base.
We’ll also bring wire, twist ties, ribbon and yarn for fastening things on. If you have “floral tape” or “floral wire” and can bring along, please do.
And here’s a very easy approach to do with kids. Paper bags and duct tape are involved.

April on the Garden Path Labyrinth

The grape hyacinths are in abundance. Snowdrops and crocuses have now gone back underground.

We have a few daffodils lingering on and the tulips are blooming.

The primulas are in full bloom or coming into their own. Thanks to Hanno for the pale pink perennial primulas. Last fall I divided some of them up so they’re spread around a bit.

We lost the Huntington’s carpet rosemary over the winter, but the other two rosemary plants at entrance on south side are doing fine. (Yes,you can pinch a sprig if you wish.)

Around the courtyard labyrinth, 3 of the 5 new lavender are healthy. A 4th looks like it’s alive — barely, and the 5th might well be dead. But perhaps only sleeping?

I’m watching for calendula sprouts. We’ve usually had lots of calendula but I haven’t spotted a sprout as yet.

I divided up some echinacea and rudbeckia from other parts of the grounds and planted around the perimeter. They won’t bloom for months yet.

Did you buy some tulips or daffodils in a pot and don’t need them any more? Bring to the labyrinth. They say they don’t bloom again, but they will. Maybe not this year, but the following year and we have lots of space. Or are you the kind of gardener who digs up everything as the season progresses. All “old unwanted” bulbs are very welcome. Just contact us if you want to leave them somewhere if we’re not around.

Thanks to Keith Wilkinson for these photos.

New Study Group: The Earth Has a Soul

Update: This group will start in September as an in-person gathering on the 4th Sunday of each month 12:30-1:30 pm

Members of the Earth Spirituality group are planning a monthly study group following the chapters in this book of quotations from Carl Jung. We will meet in person or by zoom for an hour each month. Participants will take turns leading the group. Please send a note to earthspiritucv@gmail.com if you’d like to be involved. Give us your preference for online or in person and what times work for you.

Fill out this google form here to let us know when and where would work for you.

We’ll set up a doodle to finalize a regular date once we get some preliminary feedback.