UCV Directory of Small Groups and Committees

UCV Directory of Small Groups and Committees

Wanting to get involved with a group but not sure what’s available?  Our newly updated Directory will help you navigate our complex Unitarian community. You can find hard copies on the Welcome Tables or in the office.

If you’d like an electronic version, please contact Sheila at sresels@gmail.com

About small groups posts

Come here anytime to browse an online copy of the latest small groups directory, the one with its cover shown on the right.

Posts tagged as small groups posts form an occasional series of items of interest to people involved with – or wanting to find out more about – one or more of the groups listed in the directory.

Come here anytime to review the list of all posts tagged as small groups posts. Each entry includes a snippet view of the post.

See also the UCV website page Small Groups for its links to helpful offsite resources.

Find your way here from any page on the UCV website by entering “about small groups” in the search box on the right in the page header and clicking on the title you want when you see the search results.


Directory of small groups, committees, and teams

The featured image shows the cover of the March edition of the directory, announced in March. The latest edition is available in hard copy at the welcome table. Click here if for some reason you want to read the March directory online instead of the latest edition. For more on the latest edition, see below.

This is a small groups post. Be sure to read the post about small groups postsit is kept up to date: unlike this one it always links to a copy of the latest edition of the directory and features an image of its cover.

updated 2019-04-24 … this post now looks like the legacy post it is: here for the record and to direct you to the post about small group posts, a post updated with each new edition of the directory

Small Groups

There are numerous small groups in the congregation for various purposes.

To get an idea of the various groups and get connected with someone who can tell you more about the ones that interest you, you can fill out this form here

There are on occasion various kinds of small groups that form, for example:

  • compassion circle (nonviolent communication)
  • as well as learning groups such as spiritual practice groups such as meditation and sacred circle dancing.

Closed groups

UCV has numerous closed groups who usually meet for at least a year before considering adding other participants. Some groups have met for over 10 years with largely the same individuals.

The reason for closing the group is to deepen relationships and connection with whatever the topic or focus of the group is.

Most groups rotate leadership.

If a group like this sounds appealing, attend some of the open gatherings for a while and consider what your ideal group would look like. Our Connect & Engage team can then help by making suggestions about how to attract a few more people. Some of the groups started with only four people and then over time decided if and when they wanted to add others. Usually after forming initially additional people are added on the recommendation of group members.

Small group ministry/covenant groups

There are several books on small group ministry (covenant groups) and sometimes workshops are offered at regional and national gatherings.

Image result for small group ministry uua book


More UUA.org postings about covenant groups and small group ministry.

Canadian Unitarian Council resources including Climate Change Action covenant group developed locally by Karl Perrin and Keith Wilkinson.


Women’s gatherings – spaces available in 3 women’s groups

There are many groups and events that provide a chance for women to meet together and connect across ages and stages. The connect and engage team can help facilitate women connecting through monthly women’s groups, supper clubs, collage/art and writing gatherings, feminist thealogy course (“Cakes for the Queen of Heaven”) and even informal drop-in meetups over coffee.

Women’s groups

Right now there are opportunities in all three of the women’s groups formed in 2019 for new members. Contact Sheila R if you are interested.

These groups of six to 12 women rotate leadership with the facilitator for that month selecting a topic after consultation with the group and preparing a starting point for a group discussion. Currently there are five groups; three started this year and others have been going for over a decade. On occasion a group is looking for new members or is willing to mentor a new group in forming. Once formed, the groups are closed for a period of time to deepen connections.

Check on the form linked here if you’d like to be notified when there’s an opportunity.

Annual Women’s Gathering

There are usually about 50 women who come in early January for the annual women’s gathering. Afternoon workshops; potluck dinner and evening activities including circle dance and a conversation circle for women already in women’s groups. Plus there are lots of ways to connect and meet each other. This year it will be a fundraiser for our Refugee Committee. Suggested donation $25. Our goal is to raise $1000.

Women’s Supper — or Brunch — Clubs

Here’s the idea: twelve women form a group and take turns arranging a restaurant meal out. With busy lives, we expect six to eight from the group might attend on any one night. One group has formed and we are taking a wait list for a second group, possibly focused around East Vancouver restaurants. The initial group is focused on Fairview/Kitsilano/West Point Grey areas. Click here for details on how the group is planning to operate and let us know if you’d like to be part of a similar group. This first group started with an inaugural meeting of four women who then invited others until there were 12 on the list.

Mend–Make–Do: Monthly Mending Meetup

Not just for women, but so far that’s who’s attending. Our monthly Mending Meetup is a drop-in on the 4th Saturday from 12 noon to 2 pm at the Vancouver Unitarian Centre. Marie Witt sets up sewing machines and provides assistance to anyone who wants help repairing clothes to reduce waste. On occasion we’ll have some special focus and there will always be the tools and supplies to do some mending.


Several women meet on occasion in Kitsilano or at UCV to make “intuitive collages” on a weekday evening or Saturday afternoon. Mary Bennett coordinates and hosts in her co-op’s common room. These are closed groups at this point, but contact Mary if you’d like to know when we open the invitation list.

Women’s Writing Group

There have been women’s writing groups formed through UCV and we’re taking a wait list for any who would be interested. Like many of our groups this would be a self-led group with members sharing responsibility

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven – Feminist Thealogy Course

We hope to offer this 12-session curriculum in the new year.

Chat on a Sunday?

If you’d like to chat informally about ways to connect with other women, Sheila or Mary (or other women engaged in women’s groups) would be pleased to set up a time to meet up on a Sunday from 12 to 1 pm in Hewett Centre following the service. We would just put a sign up on one of the tables and have an informal gathering and share interests similar to the Sermon Discussion table. We may try to offer this once a month and ensure that at least one woman currently in a women’s group will be there to welcome you.

Get more details as opportunities arise

Sign up here to receive further information about any of these opportunities. 

You can also contact ucvconnect@gmail.com with any questions about getting involved through UCV.


Neighbourhood groups

We’re (re-)initiating neighbourhood groups for Unitarians around Metro Vancouver.

Each neighbourhood group develops their own ideas about when, where, how and why to meet. At this point, some are active and others exist solely with an email group where someone may occasionally post some information or an invitation. If you can help motivate your ‘hood to get together, please contact ucvconnect@gmail.com

News About Neighbourhood Groups

Upcoming events

No Events

How often do the groups meet?

In terms of frequency, they might decide to meet monthly at a regular time, or, more likely, decide to meet several times per year. It could be that one or more groups will exist primarily online as an email group that helps people to connect and arrange for get-togethers on merely a spontaneous level.

Larger gatherings would need someone/s to make decisions and issue the invitation each time there’s an event, of course. Over time, all those participating would likely take a turn at “hosting” an event. Hosting, however, doesn’t have to be a gathering in your home. It might be a meetup at a coffee shop, arranging a group to attend a film or theatre performance or a dinner out–probably in your neighbourhood.

Are they just social groups or do they have discussions?

Some groups will likely decide to have a focus for discussion; and others might be purely social. And in true Unitarian style, likely many gatherings will be both/and. The Westside Unitarian Neighbourhood Group (WUNG) has a monthly afternoon discussion with members of the congregation speaking on a topic. There is also a closed monthly covenant group on the Westside. On their email group, people sometimes post spontaneous invitations to go out for dinner or an event. This is the first established Neighbourhood Group. They started in December, 2017. Read more here.

A neighbourhood group could decide to have a book group, a film/DVD/youtube watching night, carpool to outside community events. It’s all up to the group to decide what works best for them.

What does the host do?

For each gathering, the host (or hosts) decide how many people, whether there’s food and if so what, and of course the time and date and focus of the gathering. We encourage people to team up for the host role–perhaps one person has a home that would accommodate a gathering and the other host would send out invitations and take RSVP’s.

Going out together

If it’s a gathering out, the host in that case would make arrangements, take an RSVP list and reserve space and tickets. Possibly they’d help with arranging car pooling.Some theatres (like Firehall Arts Centre) let you reserve tickets for a week without paying and cancel if they’re not taken up. This is a risk-free way to arrange to sit together. And if the group gets larger, most theatres give a discount for 10 or more tickets. Either share the discount or let the organizer have a free seat in return for their efforts.

Spontaneous connections

Each neighbourhood group has an email list, so members can fairly spontaneously connect with each other. This will also help new members at UCV to join and introduce themselves.

In other words, once the Connect & Engage Team helps you connect with those who live in the same area as you, it’s up to you to move forward.

Neighbourhood Email Groups

We have set up email groups to facilitate connection and are encouraging members to host to offer a gathering for these neighbourhoods:

New Westminster

New Westminster and nearby – includes some Beacon members who have/had connections with UCV. Cheryl and Rob hosted a gathering last March. The group might also take on coordinating a Movable Feast at a restaurant near the New West skytrain station.


Westside Unitarians (click for our googlegroup) Kits-ish people and those further south (Kerrisdale and Dunbar) are also welcome to join us. This group met for the first time in December and has decided on a monthly gathering on the 4th Tuesday of each month. Thanks to Jeannie and Caede for hosting and Sheila for managing the RSVP’s. maximum 15 people. Eva has initiated a monthly covenant group for Kits residents (full now). Mary sends out a spontaneous invitation for theatre or a dinner out on a fairly regular basis..

East Vancouver

East Vancouver – We have quite a few members in this area so delighted they had their first potluck in 2018. If you’d like to host a gathering, send a note or just announce it on the email list. Remember: Neighbours sometimes just invite a neighbour to drop in or meet for coffee. So while we anticipate that most gatherings will be planned a week or more in advance; other events might be as spontaneous as someone posting something they’re attending and offering to meet up or possibly share a ride.

Fairview/False Creek

Fairview/False Creek is just getting going. Contact Vivian Davidson to find out what’s happening and offer your suggestions.

Your Neighbourhood Group could plan a free event open to all and get a grant up to $500

All neighbourhoods have neighbourhood small grant programs. Events have to occur in the neighbourhood where the residents live. In other words, only the UCV members living in South Vancouver-Collingwood can get a grant and host it at UCV. Several Unitarians have received NSGs for events in their community. If you’d like to consider this, do go to neighbourhoodsmallgrant.ca and learn more. Applications are usually available in February and due in March.

Sunshine Coast – Sechelt etc.

Sunshine Coast Unitarians

For Unitarians who reside on Sunshine Coast. UCV member Juergen is hoping to form a group email:  Sechelt home: 778 458-2610 (messages can be left)

How to join one of the email groups

When asking to join an email group, send your name and your connection to UCV to the email owners. The groups are set up so “anyone can ask” to join. If you have trouble joining, contact the Connect & Engage Team by email. If your neighbourhood doesn’t yet have an email group, we can help!

Some suggestions on getting a new group started

Start small

And remember two or three is a group. You can start small and build from there.

Are people outside the neighbourhood welcome?

Hosts are welcome to invite others if they so wish – including friends who aren’t involved in the congregation and other Unitarians who are in other neighbourhoods. Cross-pollination is a good thing. As the intention is to grow connections within a particular area, some events will likely be for residents in that area only unless there is extra space. Inviting friends when there are only a few people attending from the neighbourhood helps build stronger bonds too.

Sharing your event

We recommend that gatherings be put on the website and in the weekly announcements and UCV events so new people (and those who are not on the email list) can know what’s going on. Unlike covenant groups which are closed groups, these are intended to be open groups. Probably each neighbourhood group will eventually have 25-30 people on their email list and 10 or so showing up at any particular gathering. But we’ll see.

If you want support in advertising your event, send the details and we’ll either offer you some advice or perhaps even do it for you.

Summary of who to send info to and when

Send to the UCV Office by Wed noon for the next Sunday’s Order of Service.

Post on the website by the 18th of the previous month to have it included in the next month’s email to 500 members and friends. If you can’t post directly, see if someone else in your group would be willing to take on this task or see if one of the web team could help you. Usually a committee or group nominates someone in their group to do web posts. We offer computer training for committees, usually on a Saturday morning.

Do you have an idea for a new group? Let’s make it happen!

We know it’s hard to get to know people on Sunday mornings. There are so many of us. And as is often said: There’s a lot that goes on around here.

UCV has lots of small groups where people get to know each other more easily. Some once formed are then closed. Others are drop-in. Several people are initiating new groups starting in September.

And perhaps YOU too have an idea of a group to get like-minded people together?

Sheila R. and Mary Bennett as the Connect and Engage team would like to support and encourage you if you do.

We can help you find the right committee to sponsor your group; learn how to book space and advertise.

We may do a forum in late August or early September if enough people want to learn all the how-to’s (and perhaps some what-not-to-dos) of running groups at UCV.

Interested? Please do say hello on Sunday morning or send us an email to ucvconnect@gmail.com

And of course, there may already be a small group that you’d be interested in – so check here.

Here are some good ideas for starting new groups: