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

http://www.uuabookstore.org/The-Complete-Guide-to-Small-Group-Ministry-P16944.aspx

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.

 

Neighbourhood groups

Post from October, 2019

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

 

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

Westside Unitarians (click for our googlegroup) Kits-ish people and those further south (Kerrisdale and Dunbar) and west (West Point Grey) are also welcome to join us. This group met for the first time in December, 2018, and has decided on a monthly gathering on the 4th Tuesday of each month. Thanks to Jeannie 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.