Category: Recent News

The monthly e-newsletter selects about 5 news posts with this category. Priorities are news relevant to a wide number of people and especially of interest to visitors or new folk.

Redevelopment? Circle of Concerns Workshop

About 40-45 people attended the Circle of Concerns Workshop after the service on May 2, 2019 to share and explore their questions and concerns about the current UCV site redevelopment project.

This workshop was a followup event to the March 31 Listening Circle forum where at least 35 congregants gathered to share their questions and concerns. Issues raised at this fell into eight categories. There was considerable support at the forum for a followup workshop to extend this conversation to include more congregants and to explore the concerns and issues in more depth. (See http://tinyurl.com/y65th8hn for more information about the Listening Circle event; you can find the 3-page report from that meeting here: Mar31 Sharing Circle report.

The May 2 Circle of Concerns Workshop is the followup to the March 31 Listening Circle forum.
The intent of all these activities is bring new voices to the redevelopment conversation. There is no intent or desire to create divisions or dissensions; on the contrary, we believe that we will make better decisions when we include all voices.

Here is a summary of the notes from the Circle of Concerns Workshop. (You can get an electronic copy of the full notes here: May 26 Circle of Concern minutes.)

Top 3 concerns

Participants at the Circle of Concerns Workshop identified their top 3 areas of concern from the 8 categories identified in the March 31 Listening Circle forum, with these results:

Concern

Weighted votes

Timing

59

Existential Threats

53

Vision

41

Ability to Complete

15

Site redevelopment

14

Affordable housing

13

During construction

9

Design elements

2

No concerns

0

 

Groups were formed to discuss the top 3 concerns.
Here are some selected comments from these discussions:

Timing

  • The combination of an interim minister and temporary meeting places in trailers will lead to losing congregants and it will harder to attract new people. It will be very hard to maintain our regular activities and social events. The timing sucks!
  • Everyone in this group felt very strongly that it is essential to have the new settled minister in place before undertaking redevelopment. It will be a recipe for disaster if we do not have strong leadership.
  • We will limit the number and perhaps quality of ministerial candidates if a redevelopment project is a front issue for the new minister. It will be a threat to the very existence of the church if we cannot get a satisfactory new minister.
  • Proceeding with redevelopment under these circumstances can create a lot of stress and can lead to an antagonistic, divisive, destructive atmosphere.
  • We should not see our current exploration of redevelopment as a failure if we do not proceed with it.

Vision

  • The vision is the base – we should start with a vision.
  • We need a formal statement of how this project will exemplify our UU values.
  • A compelling vision would have housing affordability and environmental concerns built in; the current design doesn’t reflect our ideals because the social and environmental benefits are modest.
  • We have a chance to make an architectural statement; need more imagination – invite artists and architects to come talk to us.
  • Landlording is a nightmare – and UCV would be at least indirectly in that role. Would we trust a management company to go by our values? Where do we stand in a tenant-landlord issue? How much would we intervene? How much Board involvement would there be?

Existential Threats

  • Do we have the volunteer capacity to carry out this project?
  • How will we get new members during the construction period (2-3 years)?
  • Will our younger congregants be able to sustain this project financially?
  • How do we continue ‘doing church’ during construction (2-3 years)?
  • We are muddling through financially and are kind of sustainable now, so may be wiser to not launch a redevelopment project now, but to instead focus on growing our membership.

How would you vote today?

Workshop participants were asked during the last part of the workshop to indicate on a spectrum of choices what their position is today with regard to the redevelopment project. The following table summarizes their responses.

No.

%

1*

1%

Will likely approve redevelopment project as is or with minor changes.
Will approve only if (check any and all that apply)

13

18%

It is clear that the project fits our values and vision.

13

18%

The project is delayed until we have a new settled minister.

9

13%

Environmental considerations are given higher priority.

8

11%

The design of the building is significantly changed.

8

11%

Can stay on campus and use sanctuary during construction (acceptable washrooms).

4

6%

Possible to create truly affordable housing and still have significant return to UCV.

4

6%

Members step u to volunteer to liaise with developers.

4

6%

Other methods to improve finances are unsuccessful.

2

3%

Hewett Hall is not destroyed. The new building is built elsewhere on campus.

6

8%

Will almost certainly not approve.

72

101%

* maybe

Next steps

  • Hold an open meeting monthly, with chairs in a circle to encourage equal participation.
  • Get input from others who have done similar projects.
  • Who would live here? Survey Vancouver Unitarians to see how many would rent or buy (co-housing)?

Environment team has been really busy this year

Looking back on 2018/2019, it’s easy to see that the Environment Team has been very busy! We put on a series of highly successful events in addition to fundraiser lunches and monthly forums. If that wasn’t enough, members were busy throughout the year taking part in anti-pipeline and Climate Change rallies and attending film nights, workshops and fundraisers to protect the Environment and support Indigenous groups.

Check out what we did!

The Green New Deal Town Hall

The third annual Intergenerational dinner

Two film screenings in support of Indigenous groups:

The Radicals: (Klabona Keepers, Xwisten, Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, Haida)

Raven People Rising: Heiltsuk

And we put on the Easter/Earth Day Service too:

Deep Green Change

Interested in joining the Environment Team? Contact environment@vancouverunitarians.ca

New — Earth spirit circle dance gatherings in the summer

NEW: Earth Spirit ritual and circle dance gatherings

Summertime and the living is easy.
While our regular Monday and Tuesday evening circle dance gatherings are on hiatus, we’ve decided to combine two of our interests and put together a combo: earth spirit ritual with circle dance.
Coordinated by Mairy Beam and Mary Bennett, we will combine some earth spirit components with probably 8 or so circle dances.  As always with circle dance, this is a self-care circle – so if you want to sit out or adapt the steps to suit your body’s preferences, that’s absolutely fine.
We will start out with casting a circle, calling in the four directions and honouring the divine masculine and feminine. We’ll use a combination of readings, lighting candles and dances that correspond to this sequence.
In the middle we will do more circle dancing related to the season and some earth-centred activity (planting, harvesting, making) and then end the evening with opening the circle with devocations and a closing dance/chant.
We will likely dance to some or all of these pagan chants in each session
For more details contact Mary Bennett at earthspiritucv@gmail.com
Or check out all earth spirit listings at vancouverunitarians.ca/earth-spirit

RSVP appreciated but not required.

Walking a sand labyrinth at Spanish Banks East

If you’ve never walked a labyrinth in the sand, here’s your chance. For summer solstice, Les will draw a Chartres-style labyrinth in the sand at Spanish Banks East on June 22. Come and walk any time between 3:30-5:30 pm.

Click here for the meetup event.

If you have any questions, please email Les at:  walkingalabyrinth@gmail.com

Check his website any time for updates: http://walkingalabyrinth.blogspot.com/

I plan to be there and several of us are planning a picnic dinner at 5:30pm.

Send me a note if you’re interested: earthspiritucv@gmail.com

Come and enjoy a picnic with some of us who are going to walk the solstice labyrinth at Spanish Banks.

Eva, Mary and Angela are confirmed. We expect about a dozen or so.(Best guess!)

RSVP here very helpful:

https://spanish-banks-picnic.eventbrite.ca

 

New benches at UCV

The Buildings and Grounds Committee is delighted to announce the installation of three new benches on the UCV campus.  Sheila Lindfield has generously donated these benches to the church in memory of members of her family.  Thank you, Sheila!

Please contact Catherine Stewart at stewartcm@shaw.ca if you are interested in donating a bench to UCV as a way of commemorating a person or event (or just to beautify our church grounds).

Green New Deal Town Hall a success!

On Friday, May 24th, the Vancouver Unitarians Environment Team hosted a Town Hall for the Pact for a Green New Deal in Canada. An enthusiastic group of about 100 participants generated a wealth of ideas for what the Pact should and shouldn’t include. We capped the evening singing “Make a Green New Deal”, a familiar tune with new words by Patrick Dubois. Our Town Hall was one of about 150-200 being held across the country, and the overall results will be collated for all to use in demanding urgent political action.

Make a Green New Deal Today

(Lyrics by Patrick Dubois, 2019/May; sung to the tune of “We Shall Overcome”)

(Verses 1 and 3)
Make a Green New Deal.
Make a Green New Deal.
Make a Green New Deal today.
oh, We take a stand.
We all demand:
Make a Green New Deal today!

(Verse 2)
True equality.
Bio-diversity.
We can build a better way.
oh, We take a stand.
We all demand:
Make a Green New Deal today!

Please watch us singing “Make A Green New Deal” by Patrick Dubois.

New Outreach Opportunity Fund recipient

The new recipient of OOF funding, starting June 1, will be the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. The recipient was nominated by the Social Justice Committee.

Every day, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre supports over 500 women, children and seniors in crisis to meet their immediate health, housing and other needs. It helps women escape from poverty and violence by offering long-term support, education and peer mentorship. In addition, it advocates to increase awareness of inequalities and systemic injustice against women.

 

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…)

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”

Canada Needs a Green New Deal

The climate crisis is here. Arctic permafrost is melting, forests, towns, and Indigenous territories are burning. States of emergency – declared for once-in-a-century floods – are becoming commonplace, and millions around the world already face dislocation and starvation.But that’s not the only thing keeping us up at night. Many of us are struggling to find an affordable place to live, or a decent job to support our families. Hate crimes and racism are on the rise. And promises to Indigenous peoples have yet to be implemented.

We need an ambitious plan to deal with multiple crises at the same time.

A bold and far reaching plan to cut emissions in half in 11 years in line with Indigenous knowledge and climate science, create more than a million good jobs you can support a family with, and build inclusive communities in the process.

We need a Green New Deal — for everyone. And we need everyone to be a part of building it. Will you join us?  https://greennewdealcanada.ca/

The  UCV Environment Team is hosting a Green New Deal Town Hall  (the first in Vancouver !)

Friday, May 24th 7:30pm

Hewett Hall at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver

949 49 AVE W, Vancouver, BC

This event is one of many Green New Deal town halls being held in communities across the country in May 2019. The conversation is being led from the ground up through town halls bringing together people from all walks of life to discuss our vision for a new economy — one that cuts global warming pollution, sees the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Right to Free Prior and Informed Consent, and the TRC recommendations, creates millions of green jobs, and makes sure no one gets left behind. The input from these town halls will be used to inform a vision for a Green New Deal for all.

Please RSVP at:

https://act.greennewdealcanada.ca/town-halls/