Category: Books Theatre Writing

library and book club posts, writing workshops, theatre events and information

Do you love books?  and lunch? 

by Karen Theroux

The new UCV Potluck Book and Lunch Club brings together good books, delicious food, and lively conversation.  Unlike most book clubs, the PLB&LC doesn’t choose one book for everyone to read. Instead, members bring one, or two, or more favorites to describe and recommend. We go around the table highlighting what’s special about our choices, sometimes reading passages aloud, and we talk about how the books—magical, tragic, uplifting, revealing, inspiring, or sad—have touched and changed us. All books and all readers are welcome. 

If you love books, why not join the club?  Meetings are the last Thursday of the month, 11 to 1 in the Fireside Room.  

Here are some of the titles from the club’s most recent meetings: 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

The Shoebox Bible by Alan Bradley

Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kampkwanda

The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King 

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Celia’s Song by Lee Maracle

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Sustenance by Rachel Rose

The Trans Generation by Ann Travers

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Annabel by Kathleen Winter 

Once Upon a Time by Jane Yolen 

This One Looks Like a Boy by Lorimer Shenher

Our Library Has Pride

Our library has the following books touching on LGBTQ2S themes.

Photo shows Barb Taylor, Jean Stanton and Aphrodite Harris, some of our volunteer library committee members.

  • “Gay Men and Women Who Enriched the World” by Thomas Cowan
  • “There’s Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You” edited by Loralee MacPike
  • “A Parent’s Guide to Teenage Sexuality” by Jay Gayle

In fiction we have:

  • “Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World” by Janet Cameron
  • “Funny Boy” by Shyam Selvadurai
  • “Inside Passage” by Jane Rule

We have the children’s book:

  • “Daddy’s Roommate” by Michael Willhoite

We have placed the above books on display on the cart below the window in the library.


Also, two collections by Ivan Coyote

Barb Taylor for the Library Committee


Do you enjoy life writing? Register for the new group

UPDATE: The group is now full and Andrea is taking a wait list in case there are cancellations in future.

A writing group will start meeting every two weeks starting in September facilitated by Andrea Nicki, author of three prose poetry books, editor, and professor in ethical leadership at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In each meeting of 90 minutes the group will discuss short pieces of life writing or prose poetry on a topic, write individually about the topic, and then share writing with others (optional) in a spirit of mutual appreciation.

Topics will include self-love, relationships, family, genealogy, trauma, illness, loss, life transition, healing, fun and play, movement, dance, beauty, nature, pets and animals, social justice, spirituality and mystery. All genders and ages 19+ are welcome!

Registration is required:
The meeting time of the group will be determined after taking a poll of registrants.
sponsored by Arts Committee.

Andrea Nicki

Andrea’s website:

“Irreparable Harm?” Creation of a documentary theatre piece

Did the protesters at the Trans Mountain facilities in Burnaby cause irreparable harm to Kinder Morgan, one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America, by delaying a few trucks for a few minutes on a few days in 2018? That’s what the BC Supreme Court believes. That’s why there’s an injunction barring anyone from coming within five metres of any site owned by Trans Mountain Pipeline. The 230 people who were arrested in 2018 for breaking that injunction have a different opinion as to who is causing irreparable harm to whom.

Most of those who were arrested and charged with criminal contempt of court for breaking the injunction have either pled guilty, or been found guilty by Judge Affleck – the same judge who created the injunction. These land and water protectors have made many impassioned speeches in court, trying to alert the judge to the harm that this pipeline expansion, if it proceeds, will cause to First Nations, and to the land and water that we all depend on for life. For that we have been labelled ‘sinister’, and told that by showing defiance of the law, we are inviting chaos and threatening civilization.

Several of the land and water protectors have formed the Sinister Sisters Collective to develop a documentary theatre piece about our journey through the BC Supreme Court. We are calling it “Irreparable Harm?” Using video footage from the arrests, excerpts from the court documents, and re-enactments, we will shine a spotlight on how our justice system treats those who are in opposition to the interests of large corporations.

We will be working over the summer months to compile the most dramatic moments of our encounters with the justice system. Our goal is to present a workshop in October, and then a full production of our theatre piece in the spring of 2020.

Stay tuned.

By Mairy Beam, arrested at the Kinder Morgan Burnaby Tank Farm gates on August 24, 2018, found guilty by Judge Affleck on Dec 5, 2018 and sentenced to serve 28 days of house arrest and 125 hours of community service.

Sarah Kendall (Sunday, March 17, 2019)

Writer and poet Sarah Kendall spoke at the March 17 service on loving determination. After the service she kindly lent us her marked-up notes on the topic for distribution. Next Sunday, ask at the lit stall for your copy.

The above is a lit stall post. In the bulleted list below are the three latest posts with that tag.

If you haven’t read it already, please see the post about lit stall posts for more information.

Book Bash March 24th

Book Bash March 24th

9:00 am to 2:00 pm

The UCV Book Bash is coming up on Sunday March 24th

from 9 am to 2 pm.  Come and have a look at gently used

books in all genres priced from $1 to $5

Proceeds go to the church.

Feminist Book Club on Zoom

Meet with feminist Unitarians from across Canada to discuss books by feminists and/or about feminism.

The group is open although we expect a core group to emerge.

We meet on the 2nd Sunday of each month from 4-5 pm Pacific time.

How to Join

To get updates on the books to be discussed and how to connect, send an email to

Locally Mary Bennett is involved.

From CUUWA Chair Jo-Anne Elder-Gomes

Hello all,
The Canadian Unitarian*Universalist Women’s Association, an affiliate of the CUC, invites all to join the Canadian U*U Feminist Book Club. Mary Bennett initiated this group and Jo-Anne Elder-Gomes agreed that it should be added to CUUWA’s activities.
We will be meeting by month by Zoom. We’ll use the same link each time, and I’ll invite people who haven’t used Zoom before to join early.
This group will be open. You don’t have to worry about missing a call or not being able to read the book we’ve chosen to discuss.
We’ll meet once a month, for one hour. Meetings will be on the second Sunday afternoon/evening of each month: 4 pm Vancouver, 7 pm Eastern, 8 pm Atlantic)
We’ll start on March 10, as part of a full calendar of CUUWA activities for International Women’s Day / Month. Check out our package of activities at:<
We will be reading books on feminist subject and/or by Canadian feminists. Feminist is to be understood in a broad and intersectional way, inclusive of the perspectives of trans/nonbinary folx and racialized / marginalized people. (Feel free to add your requirements/wishes for full and respectful participation)

Here’s a format I’m proposing.
We’ll go around the circle twice:
1. Intros: 2 min. each (or less, depending on number, for a maximum total 25 minutes): name, pronouns, location and either a brief or a deep check-in relating to the book / our lives
2. Impression or highlight: 2 min. each (or less, maximum total 20 minutes): comments on the book and how it contributes to your understanding of feminism
Then we will invite final comments; depending on time this may be either a sentence about what you liked best about the book or further discussion of how it inspires you or concerns it raises. After the online discussion, we will continue with comments posted here. Again, all are invited to participate by asking questions, making comments, raising issues.
At our first meeting, we will be discussing two books by Indigenous women of two different generations: read one of them or both, if you have time, or feel free to join and listen!

1. Lee Maracle, I Am Woman, Press Gang, 1988;
2. Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries: A Memoir, Counterpoint, 2018.
Links and more information is sent to the googlegroup.

At each discussion, we’ll pick a moderator and a book for the next month, and post it here for those not able to attend. We’ll compile a list of books to draw from; please add your suggestions.

Canadian Unitarian Universalist Women’s Association – CUUWA

The Canadian Unitarian Universalist Women’s Association (CUUWA) have compiled a 29-page package of writings and images to help women’s groups celebrate International Women’s Day. Of course the readings might be used at any other time as well.

The focus is on Journey and includes some “before and after” images and writing of the members of the CUUWA. You might like to write your own or share your stories in your women’s group.

Announcing the 2019 International Women’s Day Service Packet

Canadian Unitarians on Wikipedia

During March some of our members are learning to edit wikipedia and searching for relevant pages where Canadian Unitarian and Universalist women may be under-reported or nonexistent.

We are starting with a seminar with an an experienced wikipedia editor, on March 2 4-5pm before Messy Church. Please note there is no age restriction for wikipedia editors so our youth might be interested in coming early and becoming an editor.

We will check to see if women mentioned in the Concise Portraits and Invisible Influence books have pages. If so, we may find additional information or corrections to make. If not, we can consider whether to propose a page. We will learn about the rather stringent requirements for this.

We can also look over this page and see what we might add:,_Universalists,_and_Unitarian_Universalists

Wikipedia notes: This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.

Here’s another resource to check out:

March 3 – At the monthly CompuTech session, Galen and John will help you sign up as a wikipedia editor.

During the month, we’ll compare notes on a google document about our findings and by the end of March decide how to proceed.

With the renewed interest in women’s groups in our congregation, we are setting up various ways to celebrate International Women’s Day this year and hope these projects will become a tradition.

Along the way we’ll likely find other wikipedia references to Unitarians we’d like to have changed or added.

Join me for this adventure?

Some things we (and other Unitarians) might consider:

Unitarianism is not listed on this Religion Portal:

Where would you put us?

Unitarian Church of Vancouver Wiki Page

Our UCV page had been deleted. It’s been restored. Let’s update it and do what would be necessary to ensure it won’t be removed again

Canadian Unitarian Council

There’s a note that says: This article may rely excessively on sources too closely associated with the subject, potentially preventing the article from being verifiable and neutral. Please help improve it by replacing them with more appropriate citations to reliable, independent, third-party sources.



Canadian Unitarian Book Clubs on Zoom

Starting in January, 2019, there will be one or more cross-country book groups meeting using Zoom technology.

This idea was initiated by Mary Maler of the Montreal congregation. Email Mary Maler to learn more, make suggestions or read further for other ways to share your ideas.

Mary Maler was looking for online book clubs and noticed that the European Unitarian Universalists have a book club.  Because of time zone differences, they met at a time that was inconvenient for her. She proposed through the CUC e-news that we start one in Canada. 

You can vote on which books will be discussed here. until Dec. 28, 2018.

For now we’re sticking to the winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards for the past ten years. CUC will provide a Zoom link for the groups. 

We suggest each group have a maximum of 8 people, possibly starting with five or six and then adding people once the group has worked out their guidelines. 

To be on the call you should have read the book, be prepared to participate and have registered in advance. Confirmation of participants, book title and date/time will be sent out on the googlegroup.

From the response so far it looks like there may be three different popular time slots: Sunday 4:30pm Eastern; Saturday 1pm Eastern and a weekday at 4pm Eastern. 

Keith Wilkinson will share a format for the one-hour conference including a 15-minute period before the start of the book discussion for anyone who is unfamiliar with zoom to get online and some tech support.

Over time, each group will develop their own time frame, guidelines and likely rotate responsibility for facilitating the book discussion as well as someone else who will handle the technical part of setting up the zoom conference and assisting people with the technology.  

Here’s what went out in the CUC e-news in early December.

Canadian Unitarian Online Book Club

Winter has arrived in Canada, and wouldn’t it be nice just to curl up at home and discuss a good book with like-minded folks, without having to brave the weather? Mary Maler from the Unitarian Church of Montreal is proposing an online book club that could meet every month or so via Zoom at a time convenient to those interested, possibly Sunday at 4:00 ET, to discuss some of the classics of Canadian literature. Please contact Mary Maler if you’re interested.

Mary Bennett from UCVancouver has helped to set up a survey to help  choose the initial books to be discussed and polling people as to their preferred time. 

We’ve narrowed the choices to the winners of the Governor General’s Literary awards for fiction in English over the past ten years.  If this idea proves as popular as we think it will be, specific groups may form for discussion of YA fiction; non-fiction or other genres. 

We’ve put several possible times (each session will be an hour or more if the group wants) as well. That will help us narrow it down.

Decisions for the January book and date/time will be made by Dec. 28 and announced by Jan. 3. 

We’ve also set up a googlegroup for book discussion and recommendations. You can join by sending an email to

Google Group Welcome message:

Welcome to the Canadian Unitarian Book Group. Our intention is to meet monthly online using zoom for an hour each time. We will choose a time and date as well as selected books for discussion by voting online. We hope you will introduce yourself and contribute to the discussion here. The intention is that this email group/forum supplements the online zoom discussion so is primarily for people who intend to be online for the monthly discussions.

Here’s a link to past winners and finalists of the Governor General’s Literary Awards. To browse through the lists, you can choose various options, such as fiction only, English only, winners only .