Author: Keith Wilkinson

Four National CUC Online Gatherings – Victoria Day Weekend

Thursday, May 14: Informal Plenary

3:30 pm PDT | 4:30 pm MDT | 5:30 pm CDT | 6:30 pm EDT | 7:30 pm ADT  – 1.5 hours
Prior to the AGM on May 16, the CUC Board invites you to an informal dialogue amongst congregational delegates, leaders, board members, and CUC staff to discuss issues of importance to congregations, in support of the CUC’s vision, goals, and strategic priorities.
Register in advance at  https://bit.ly/CUCPlenary to join the plenary.

 

Friday, May 15: National Gathering
3:30 pm PDT | 4:30 pm MDT | 5:30 pm CDT | 6:30 pm EDT | 7:30 pm ADT  – 1.5 hours
We will gather across the country, virtually, on the Friday of what was to have been the start of the National Conference. Come, we will join together to celebrate our connections and our faith. All welcome!

Register in advance at https://bit.ly/CUCGathering to join the gathering.

All are welcome.

Saturday, May 16: 2020 Annual General Meeting

9:00am – 12:30pm PDT | 10:00am – 1:30 pm MDT |  11:00am – 2:30pm CDT | 12:00pm – 3:30pm EDT |1:00p.m. – 4:30 pm ADT

WHERE: Online via Zoom. All members of CUC member congregations and fellowships can participate but only registered delegates can vote.

Register in advance at https://bit.ly/CUCAGM to attend the meeting.

 

Sunday, May 17: Cross-Canada Sunday Service – Live Online
9:30 am PDT | 10:30 am MDT | 11:30 am CDT | 12:30 pm EDT | 1:30 pm ADT | 2:00 pm NL
Join UUs from across Canada for a unique opportunity to celebrate in a national Sunday Service together. Rev. Norm Horofker from the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax, with his ministerial colleagues, will lead a worship service for Canadians across the country and worldwide. Let’s come together virtually to celebrate our national connection and our national conference. Join us on Zoom or watch on the CUC’s YouTube channel. We welcome you, wherever you are. Register in advance at https://bit.ly/UUSundayService to join the service.

 

“Enough angels in heaven, more needed in hell.” – Alastair McIntosh

The UK Unitarians Annual Conference 6-9 April 2020 was billed as Being Together – A three-day virtual gathering for spiritual connection. Mary Bennett and I, both from Vancouver, signed up to hear the keynote address at the conference on 8 April via zoom. It was scheduled in a Greenwich evening time slot (conveniently a Pacific mid-morning time slot!) and featured Alastair McIntosh speaking with 150 participants on the theme “The Revolution Will be Spiritual”. Alastair is described as an independent writer, broadcaster, speaker and activist who is involved in a wide range of contemporary issues, from land reform, globalization and nonviolence to psychology, spirituality and ecology. His forthcoming book ‘Riders on the Storm’ explores the science, psychology and spirituality of climate change, and of the need to build soul and meaning in these troubled times. Alastair is a Quaker, and is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University.

Meeting Safeguards – There were many safeguards in place for this zoom gathering to reduce the chance of zoom-bombing and meeting hijacking. All of this was carefully explained by the host to those who had been admitted. There was a password, a waiting room, all microphones were muted and under the control of the host, and chats and video sharing were disabled. The co-hosts, (zoom-bouncers for the zoom-bombers), watched and listened for malicious interlopers and were ready to eject them permanently from the meeting if some inappropriate video content was displayed. Happily, there were no disruptions.

The keynote theme – Alastair spoke on the “the interiority of the spiritual”, ethical activism in the form of small acts of kindness, and drew from a diverse range of spiritual writings including the Upanishads, the Bible, the work of American theologian Walter Wink, and WB Yeats’ poem, The Second Coming.

The 150 participants were divided randomly into 20 breakout rooms afterward for a short discussion of what we’d heard and how we were doing during the pandemic. Like many zoom activities, these small groups were intimate and interesting. My small group included participants from congregations in York and London in the UK, and me from Vancouver.

A recording of the video is expected to appear soon. Watch for more at unitarian.org.uk .

It is also linked at: http://www.alastairmcintosh.com/

Recordings of some of the other sessions can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNKHWNVhvQxTVcSnPh9Vdsw/videos?fbclid=IwAR3ZG8MtpHp4yv6fOXh7hlOVnAPGc4igze8-7B58IdbG3tyGjKXfeRTmkA4

“We shall be known by the company we keep”

UK General Assembly 2020 Closing Worship Service

Seventy-five participants joined in the Thursday (GMT) closing worship service of the three-day all-online annual General Assembly of the UK Unitarians. I was touched by this statement of gratitude, so suitable to our time, by Kate Brody McKenna, one of the worship leaders:

“Let us treasure the spirit that has danced between us on our screens.”

Service leaders were Rev Bob Janis-Dillon, Warrington Unitarians (right); Rev Kate Brady McKinnon, Bury Unitarians (left), and Rev Anna Jarvis, Monton Eccles Manchester Unitarians (below right).

Closing choral piece was We Shall be Known by MaMuse
(Worth hearing!)

 

Additional links added by Mary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX11MEtbkXI

 

Pledge! Your Unitarian community needs you!!

All Unitarian congregations call for pledges from their members and friends to provide support for their activities. Pledge drives are commonly held either in the spring (for a fiscal year beginning 1 July), or in the fall (for a fiscal year beginning 1 January). Check the details about how to pledge for a CUC congregation near you – or give to the national organization, Canadian Unitarian Council .
Keep the Unitarian movement strong by pledging!

To pledge or donate to Vancouver Unitarians go to the UCV Giving page.

“Permission is not required for film or video productions showing a general indication of currency and where there is no danger of images contributing to counterfeiting (e.g., for a television commercial).”  Bank of Canada / Banque du Canada

Cross-Canada Unitarian Online Services

Worship, Coffee Hours, Meditations, Multi-generational, Community Chats, Song…

Last updated by Keith Wilkinson, Vancouver Unitarians, 8 Apr 2020

Left Saskatoon;  Right First Toronto 

UU’s from across Canada may want to look in on what is happening at congregations in other communities. Following is a list of 20 Canadian UU congregations who are meeting electronically using zoom, YouTube, FaceBook and other online platforms (listed from East to West).  Website and email addresses are listed to help ensure access to the most current information. Times are for the sponsoring group!

 

Congregation Day, Local Time & Type of Meeting Website links
Halifax UUs, NS Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM AT, Service UUHalifax zoom
Fredericton UU Fellowship, NB Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM AT, Service Contact President@UFF.ca (before 10:15 on Sunday, if possible), for information on how to connect.
UU Estrie North Hatley, QC Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM ET, Service UUEstrie North Hatley

zoom

Kingston Unitarian Fellowship, ON Sun, 1000 – 1030 AM ET, RE

Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM ET, Service

Plus various weekly times

Email for online info

Via zoom

Peterborough Unitarian Fellowship, ON Sun, 1000 – 1100 AM ET, Service

Daily – Various other zoom events: Journeys, Music Circles, Sing Along…

PUF Online Event links

zoom

First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, ON Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM ET, Service

Sun, 200 – 400 PM ET, Youth Grp

Sun, 1130 – 1230 AM ET, Coffee Hr

Thurs, 700 – 830 PM ET, Song Circle

FUCO FaceBook

Youth grp requests:

Coffee hour requests  

First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, ON Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM ET, Service

Sun, 1130 AM – 1 PM ET, Coffee Hr

Chalice Gatherings:
Tues, 12 noon ET – Rev Shaun Newton

Thurs, 730 PM ET – Rev Lynn Harrison

First Toronto Unitarians

zoom & YouTube options

Unitarian Fellowship of NW Toronto, ON Sun, 1030 AM – 1200 noon ET, Service UFNWT zoom
Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga, ON Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM ET, Service

Plus various weekly times

UUCM Event Calendar

Via zoom

Winnipeg UUs, MB Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM CT, Service FUUCWinnpeg  zoom
Saskatoon Unitarians, SK Sun, 1030 -1130 AM CT, Service

Sun, 1130 AM – 1230 PM, CT, Coffee Hr

Saskatoon Unitarians

zoom & FaceBook options

Edmonton Unitarians, AB Sun, 1030 AM – 1130 AM MT, Service

Tues, 7 PM – 8 PM MT, Coffee Hr

Edmonton Unitarians

Zoom and podcasts

Westwood Unitarians,
Edmonton, AB
Sat 300 PM MT, Stories

Sun 1030 AM MT, Service

Wed 1000 AM MT, Chat

Westwood Unitarians

Westwood Online Calendar

zoom

Calgary Unitarians, AB Sun, 10 – 1030 AM MT, Pre-Coffee Hr

Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM MT, Service

Sun, 1130 AM – 1 PM MT, Post-Coffee Hr

Calgary Unitarians

zoom

Beacon Unitarian Congregation,
New Westminster, BC
Sun, 1030 AM – 1130 AM PT, Service Beacon Unitarians, zoom
Vancouver Unitarians, BC Sun, 1100 AM – 1200 PM PT, Service

Sun 1200 – 1 PM PT, Coffee Hr

Tues 700 – 900 PM PT, Neighbourhood Grps

Wed 1000 – 1130 AM PT, Books & poems

Wed 300 – 430 PM PT, Minister’s Tea

Thurs 200 – 300 PM PT, zoom practice

Vancouver Unitarians Service

Zoom , YouTube, and podcast options

Northshore UUs, West Van, BC Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM PT, Service North Shore Unitarians
YouTube & Slido
First Unitarian Church of Victoria, BC Sun 1030 -1130 AM PT Service Zoom and Facebook
Request Access
  Mon-Sat 830 -930 AM PT, Social Justice Storytime Request zoom access via EVENTS CALENDAR
  Mon 7 – 8 PM PM PT, Men’s Group Request zoom access via EVENTS CALENDAR
  Tue 1 PM – 2 PM PT, Guided Indigenous Film Discussion Series Request zoom access via EVENTS CALENDAR
  Tue 8:30 – 9030 PM PT, Parent and Caregiver Check-in  Request zoom access via EVENTS CALENDAR
  Monthly, TBA, Soul Matters soul matters link
  Wed 1:30 – 3:30 PM PT, Women’s’ Group Request zoom access via EVENTS CALENDAR
  Monthly TBA Book Club Request zoom access via EVENTS CALENDAR
  Tuesdays TBA  Request zoom access via EVENTS CALENDAR
Nanaimo Unitarians, BC Sun, 1100 AM – 1200 PM PT, Service FUFON zoom
Comox Valley Unitarians, BC Sun, 4 PM – 5 PM PT, Gathering CVUF zoom
Canadian Unitarian Council

Staff are distributed across Canada and are online.

Many zoom webinars and round tables. Various days, topics, and styles.
CUC led in introducing zoom to Canadian congregations.
CUC zoom Calendar…AND

Resources for congregations with sub-folders on:

Virtual meeting resources.

Interactive spreadsheet

*Note: Times posted are those for the host congregation, so you may have to do some math or geography to get the times right for you! 

AT=Atlantic Time; ET=Eastern Time; CT=Central Time; MT=Mountain Time; PT=Pacific Time.

Vibrant UU global communities during a time of pandemic

Unitarian centres around the globe are switching to online services to continue worship and community engagement during the current coronavirus pandemic. In most cases, we’re interested in maintaining strong connection and support for people in our immediate geographic community, but we are also part of a global community. Outlined below are some of the many online services  currently available. In most cases you can just drop in, but in some instances, you may need to be invited. For a taste of the richness of the UU community world-wide, check some of these out!

International UU Online Services – Spring 2020

Worship, Chat, Meditation, Multigenerational…

Last updated by Keith Wilkinson, Vancouver Unitarians, Canada, 6 Apr 2020

Here is a partial and constantly changing list of international UU congregations that are meeting online using zoom, YouTube, FaceBook and other live-streaming services. Website and email addresses are listed to help ensure access to the most current information. Times are for the sponsoring group!

Australia, New Zealand & CLF Day, Local Time & Type of Meeting Website links
Norwood, Southern Australia Sun, 1030 AM, ACST SAUC Webpage, Facebook
Auckland, New Zealand Daily, 1100 AM, Virtual Morning Tea AucklandUC  zoom
Church of the larger fellowship Long-standing online programs for UUs. CLFUU Webpage
European Congregations Day, Local Time & Type of Meeting Website links
UK 2020 Annual Conference – Online Wed, 8 Apr 2020, 6:45 pm Greenwich time,
10:45 AM Pacific time
UK Annual Conference info 
St Mark’s Unitarian Church
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Sun, 11 AM, GMT, Service SMUCE

Zoom

Roslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, UK Sun, 11 AM, GMT, Service RHUC, YouTube
Other UK Congregations – Various online services, live and pre-recorded, are offered by different UK congregations. Visit individual websites for best information.

You can also try the UK Unitarian Online Services   which leads most often to FaceBook accounts for the named congregations.

Further queries or updates by Email to UK Unitarian Information Officer

rcastlejones@unitarian.org.uk

Search here for information on specific UK congregations:   UK Unitarians Find a Congregation

 

 

International Unitarian Church of Prague, Czech Republic Wed, 7-8 PM, Czech time, Discussion  IUCP zoom or Email

mark@pragueunitarians.com

USA Congregations Day, Local Time & Type of Meeting Website links
UUA The UUA offers many resources related to online worship, but doesn’t currently have a page listing all congregations with online services. If you’re thinking about dropping in on an online service/discussion in a community of interest to you, just find the website for that community and look directly there for what they have to offer. Below are examples of active congregations in Western, Central, and Eastern USA. UUA Resources

 

Live streaming technical tips

WESTERN –
First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR
Sun, 1005 AM, PT FUCP web or Live via BoxCast, YouTube, Facebook
CENTRAL –
Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church,
Kansas City, KS
Daily online Evening Fellowships 5:30 PM

Daily Children’s Online Programming

KansasCity

Online schedule

EASTERN –
All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation,
New York City, NY, USA
Daily remote programming. Sign up to receive emails from All Souls, including instructions for remote programming. Sign up
  • GMT = Greenwich Mean Time. Posted times are those of the sponsoring congregation.

 

Delegates for the CUC National Conference Online

(Updated 5 May 2020) UCV has named its 8 delegates to represent Vancouver Unitarians at the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) Annual General Meeting on Saturday 16 May 2020. They are Galen Elfert, Hanno Pinder, Jennifer Fell, Keith Wilkinson, Kiersten Moore, Lynn Armstrong, Olivia Hall and Rev Steven Epperson.  Delegates were to attend in person in Halifax, NS, or from elsewhere via zoom but with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, all will now be attending from their homes. All UCV members and friends are welcome to attend the online zoom AGM but only official delegates are eligible to speak at the meeting and to vote.  Vancouver’s delegates were approved by the UCV Board and used zoom orientation sessions to learn how to use the zoom polling feature for voting with instant national results! They also received reading packages to become informed about proposed CUC strategic initiatives, budgets, and a proposed technical change in the bylaws to improve continuity in board work.

CUC AGM details here.

The UCV Connections pages includes additional postings about UCV’s global connections.

The following pages are older posts related to National events.

Can we penetrate the darkness?

The featured image for this posting is the detail of a drawing titled “Many suns cannot penetrate the darkness” created in 1989 by the late long time Vancouver Unitarian member Daphne Naegele. Now, 30 years after Daphne created this image and posed this question, we are still faced with it — can Unitarian Universalism help penetrate the darkness? Part of the answer to this question resides in our capacity to sustain ourselves financially. To examine our options, the UCV board has created a task force to examine the many facets of this question over the summer and fall. Get in touch with Sheila Resels or Keith WIlkinson if you’d like to be part of this discussion.

The UCV Board established a Financial Sustainability Task Force (FSTF) in July 2019. The purpose of the Task Force is to review and strengthen the financial sustainability of the Vancouver Unitarian congregation in the face of reduced levels of pledging, possibly static membership growth, and the general decline of religious community across North America over recent decades.

The Task Force includes the following working groups and teams:

  1. Membership Growth Team
  2. Member Generosity Team (which includes the Canvass Committee)
  3. Legacy Team
  4. Space Use Team
  5. Transition Team
  6. Site Development Team
  7. Investments Committee
  8. Fundraising Events Team
  9. Risk Review Team
  10. Marketing/Fundraiser Initiative Team
  11. UCV Internal Funds Review Initiative
  12. UCV (ad hoc) Budget Committee
  13. Other working groups/teams approved by the Board.

These groups and teams are relatively self-directed and are guided by the recent working document UCV Financial Sustainability Matrix. The working groups and teams are expected to prepare reports in time for the board and the congregation to discuss them well in advance of the 2019 AGM scheduled for late fall 2019 when a vote of the membership regarding possible site redevelopment is anticipated.

For further information, or to provide support to some of these working groups, please contact one of the co-chairs of the Financial Sustainability Task Force (FSTF):

CUC National Programs Update – May 2019

Latest eNews from the May 2019 CUC Annual General Meeting

The New 2019-20 CUC Board:

President: Margaret Wanlin | Western Region | president-board@cuc.ca
Vice-President: Chuck Shields | Eastern Region | chuck@cuc.ca
Treasurer: Joanne Green | Western Region | treasurer@cuc.ca
Secretary: Kiersten Moore | British Columbia Regionkiersten@cuc.ca
BC Region: Michael Scalesmichael@cuc.ca
Central Region: Tanya Cothran | tanya@cuc.ca
Rev. Rodrigo Solano Quesnel | rod@cuc.ca
Eastern Region: Glenna Hanley | glenna@cuc.ca
Minister Observer: Rev. Debra Thorneminister@cuc.ca
Youth Observers: Liv Gardiner and Fiona Butler | yob@cuc.ca

Executive Director: Vyda Ng vyda@cuc.ca

“Sort of” clockwise from 12 o’clock rear: Michael Scales, Kiersten Moore, Vyda Ng, Glenna Hanley, Joanne Green, Rod Solano Quesnel, Chuck Shields, Rev Debra Thorne, Tanya Cothran, Liv Gardiner, Margaret Wanlin. (Thanks for serving this big country!)

———–

And check out this great resource – What we wish people knew about UU – statements from Unitarian Universalist Ministers across Canada, instigated by UCV’s Rev Steven Epperson (the 2019 President of UUMOC – Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada) and compiled by UCV’s multi-talented Marcus Hynes.

“Instruments of the Spirit”

UCV Demographics and Pledge Potential (DAPP) Report 2019

Executive Summary

In late 2018 the UCV Board asked interested volunteers to work together to provide some commentary on UCV’s demographics and pledge potential in the context of 2018-19 site development studies led by Michael Clague and Gordon Gram. Over the December 2018 to March 2019 period, a small group examined selected membership data provided by staff and began to examine other web-based resources on demographics and religious organizational trends. The resulting report provides a first analysis of data gathered and makes recommendations for the future.

Findings

  • Donations to UCV averaged $467,186 per year over the past decade excluding bequests but including capital donations. Annual variations have been sizeable. With inflation considered, the total value of donations has declined over the decade.
  • 21 bequests totaling approximately $132,000 were made to UCV over the past decade. The value varied widely year to year as did the size of the individual bequests.
  • Donations increased substantially at times when major capital improvements were being made.
  • The median donation in 2018 was $500 and the average donation was $1,041. Donations in 2018 were the lowest in a decade, totaling $375,734. However, this amount did exceed the $330,000 planned for achieving a balanced budget. A balanced budget also relied on rental and investment revenue. [**See note at bottom of page regarding 2019.]
  • A small number of donors have contributed most to the finances of UCV over the decade. In 2018 forty-two donors (12%) donated 50% of the funds and 319 donors (88%) donated the other 50%.
  • In 2018 the ten top donors (3%) donated 24% of all donations.
  • The ten top donors in 2018 were resident in eight different postal code regions of Metro Vancouver. Three of these resided in Point Grey. The others were, in alphabetical order: Dunbar-Southlands, Hillcrest, Kitsilano, New Westminster, Sunshine Coast, Victoria-Fraserview, and West End.
  • Postal codes were available for 99% of donors. Dates of birth were available for only 18% of donors.
  • Unitarian Universalist congregational membership declined approximately 21% in the USA and 19% in Canada over the period 2005-2015.

Recommendations for UCV

  1. Re-establish and animate a Legacy or Planned Giving Committee to help ensure that UCV members are giving consideration to recognizing UCV in their wills and in annual pledging. Bequests have been a significant source of funding for UCV and could grow as members of UCV age and die. Generous annual pledging is the heart of the church’s financial support.
  2. Give moderately high priority to adding birthdates to the church membership database (Breeze) to facilitate future planning for age-based services, donor planning, and ministerial transition.
  3. Continue to participate, animate, support, and celebrate the work of all Committees and Groups to foster a healthy and generous congregation. Membership and participation matter.
  4. Continue to call highly skilled professional ministers and religious educators. Churches in Canada with this feature seem to do better than those without.
  5. Thank our most generous donors.
  6. Consider asking generous donors to project their capacity to support the church in the future.

See the full 9-page report here: UCV Demographic and Pledge Potential Report – 20190308 Rev A

A site development report providing business plan options and other issues identified to date was distributed at a UCV Forum on 8 May 2019 and afterwards in the church. PDF copies of this report can be obtained by email from Gordon Gram (gordongram@me.com) or Michael Clague (Michael@clagueconsultants.com).

A group of congregants interested in discussing issues related to site development met as a Circle of Concern on 1 Mar 2019 and identified a number of areas needing further consideration. These issues of concern are summarized on this website here. Another forum for discussion of all three of these reports (Circle of Concern, Site Development, and Demographics and Pledge Potential) has been scheduled by the Circle of Concern for 12:30 – 2:30 pm, Sunday 26 May 2019 in the Fireside Room.

—————–

** As of mid May 2019, the average pledge by members and friends of UCV for 2019 was $2,023 per pledging unit (family or individual), and the median (middle point) pledge was $1,500 per pledging unit. Historically, pledge values have been slightly lower than actual donations. The church also has many “casual donors” who receive tax receipts for small donations. This partly accounts for the difference in value of 2019 median pledges and the 2018 median donations.