Meet Our Members
Meet some of our active members here. To see all of the posted testimonials, click here.
Grateful for the warm welcome from Vancouver Unitarians
In her search for community Mairy joined the First Unitarian Church of Toronto in the early nineties, thinking it was another liberal Christian denomination. The services were similar in format to those of her Presbyterian childhood. Slowly over the following months, she started to notice the differences but it was not until she attended the new members’ orientation a year later that she truly understood what UU was all about. There she learned about Starhawk and the Reclaiming tradition of paganism and found her spiritual home.
At Toronto First Mairy was very active in RE, the LGBTQ group, and Womynspirit. She served on the Committee on Ministry, the RE committee and as a Convenor. After moving away from Toronto, she was an active member of the Elora-Fergus Fellowship.
Mairy and her partner, Martha, moved to Vancouver in June of 2016 to be closer to grandkids. They were nervous about finding friends and communities here. They are grateful to this congregation for making the transition easier.
Mairy enjoys the many opportunities to dance with the Sacred Circle Dance groups. She appreciates the time spent with the kids in the RE program. She is delighted to join with others honouring the pagan holy days as well as maintaining and walking the labyrinths. She finds the sermons inspiring, and joins in the protests and other social justice and environmental activities as much as she can. Recently, she became a member of the Board. She appreciates getting her hands dirty in the gardens at UCV.
Another passion of Mairy`s is theatre. Several of her plays have been performed (one in Vancouver). Themes include: immigration, mental illness, forgiveness, gender. Her play, Let Me In, will have a reading as part of the Bodacious! Series on Saturday, Feb 24 at 7:30 pm at Presentation House, North Vancouver. Cast: Vivian Davidson, Killeen Delorme, Michelle Travis, Emily Beam
Admission by donation (suggested $5).
Whenever I go to a Unitarian church or event, I feel “at home”. Unitarian Universalists are diverse, and congregations are diverse, but I find some things are common in most of them.They are one of the few places where different generations enjoy each other: from babies to centenarians. We are a rainbow of ages. Since I am a life long Unitarian (I am also a Universalist, but too many syllables), I have experienced our religion from all the ages up to 72, so far. (More about Karl).
I was first introduced to the UU church and faith by a dear World Federalist colleague and long-time Unitarian who thought, given my love for being curious, asking questions, meeting interesting people and being open to new ideas, that I would find a home here.
The first service by Rev. Epperson he talked about climate change and politics. Having been raised all over the world and having been exposed to many religions and faiths I had not found any of them to be nearly as insightful, compassionate, all-encompassing as the Unitarian one seemed to be.
I have been one of many at the forefront of this movement of diversity and inclusivity in the arts.
In no particular order, I am an award-winning director and actor, co-founder and long-time Artistic Director of Vancouver’s own Ruby SlippersTheatre. I am the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Bra D’Or award, a national award annually presented by the Playwrights Guild of Canada, in recognition of years of championing works by women. I am a mom. A Masters Degree in Theatre holder. A Unitarian.
There is a paradigm shift going on in the arts, and indeed within society, where inclusivity and diversity are major values of social change and justice. These are Unitarian values. I have been one of many at the forefront of this movement of diversity and inclusivity in the arts..
And thus I invite you to Advance Theatre at the Fringe this year. Every weekday 1:30 pm by donation.
Read about Diane's involvement and Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women
I sat up and knew right then that I had found my church!
As the daughter of two non-religious scientists, I was never interested in church. As a university student in Montreal I checked out the Unitarians but decided the Sunday services got in the way of skiing, hiking or just sleeping in. Similarly, once I had a family, Sundays were for the kids’ hockey and soccer games.It wasn’t until five years ago, my kids grown up and gone, when my husband passed away suddenly, that I found a need to find a spiritual community.
I showed up at the North Shore Unitarian church and would sit in the back then slink home after the sermon. I felt I had nothing in common with all those white-haired West Van congregants until one day I joined some church elders at lunch after the service. We were sitting quietly enjoying the soup, when one grey haired lady suddenly slammed her fist on the table and said, “Can you believe what Stephen Harper just did?” That started a rousing discussion about what was wrong with the latest bill in Ottawa. I sat up and knew right then that I had found my church!
A year later, I moved from North Van to Vancouver and purely because I didn’t want to spend time commuting, joined UCV. I enjoyed the sermons and the music and this time I was more proactive. I started looking for a group to meet people and be able to help out. I found the Environment Team!
a world view
I’ve been told that people join the Unitarian Universalist movement for one reason and stay for other reasons. That’s partly true for me, but the main reason I stay is the same reason I joined 20 years ago – UCV, (Xundaohui, 寻道会, Seekers of the Way), is a community and physical space that helps me focus on living by principles that I value in the company of others who share those values.
I first came to UCV to attend a memorial service for a friend who had led a too short and rather unorthodox life. I was deeply moved by how the lay chaplain honoured and celebrated that life without doctrinal overlay. After the service I picked up a pamphlet that stated the UU principles and sources. I liked everything about them and returned to the church on a subsequent Sunday morning where I was greeted by a personable and articulate minister and invited gently into a complex and elegant worship service—people in community honouring all lives and spirits. I was hooked.