Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is elected each year at the annual general meeting in November.
Scroll down for board-sponsored upcoming events and recent posts from the board.
Current board members (2021-22)
President: Dr. Bruce McIvor
Bruce and his partner, Emilie Adin, have been actively involved with the Church for more than ten years. Their children, Mojave, Tavish and Phaedra are enthusiastic participants in UCV events. Bruce is a member of the Opportunities Outreach Fund Committee and the IBPOC group. Bruce has given three homilies on indigenous rights and systemic racism and participated in several discussion groups on the issue of reconciliation with Indigenous people.
Bruce is a leading practitioner of Aboriginal law in Canada. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law. His collection of essays entitled Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It will be published in the fall of 2021 by Harbour Publishing. He is a member of the Canadian Board of Directors of Amnesty International and is a member of the Manitoba Metis Federation. Bruce is a partner and founder of First People’s Law.
Vice President: Leslie Hill
Leslie started attending UCV shortly after moving to Vancouver in 2004. Before that Leslie began as a Presbyterian, migrated to the United Church and much later spent five years living and working in the Findhorn Foundation, a spiritual community in northern Scotland. In the fall of 2004, Leslie joined the UCV choir and the following spring, she became a member of the church. Leslie has sung with the choir ever since. One Saturday a month she gardens with Patti and the Buildings and Grounds garden crew. She is a member of the Ministerial Transition Team and the Congregational Identity Team.
Leslie taught high school for twenty-five years in Toronto.
Secretary: Lynn Armstrong
Lynn is on the Ministerial Transition Team and has been active with our Social Justice, Environment and Canvass Teams. She has been a Unitarian for over 30 years and a member of five congregations. From 2015 has been a member of Vancouver Unitarians. She has served in many congregational roles including several years on boards and has chaired Membership, Denominational Affairs, Social Justice and Intern Committees and was Canvass Co-Chair in two congregations.
Involvement at the regional and national levels of the Unitarian movement has also been important to Lynn, attending many conferences, annual meetings and training events. Lynn is currently on the CUC Nominating Committee.
Lynn describes herself as a retired social worker, happy grandmother and justice activist. She offers to bring commitment and enthusiasm, together with a deep belief in the value of our Unitarian movement, to the role of secretary on our next Board.
Treasurer: Gordon Gram
This past year I have served as Treasurer, replacing John Taylor who also contributed for a number of years to the finance and investment committees. Fortunately we have a very capable and experienced Finance Committee with whom I have been working closely.
I found my “church home” at UCV when attending UBC in the 1960s, thanks to my wife Charlene and generations of family attending church. My working career included overseas work in book publishing, experience with BC’s Agricultural Land Commission and a number of roles in commercial real estate, land and project development. Volunteer work has included serving on several boards – MSA Community Services Abbotsford, Seniors Housing Society New Westminster, Katherine Sanford Housing society Vancouver and Douglas Park Community Association Vancouver. Recently my wife and I have become active with Vancouver Food Runners.
At UCV I served on the Buildings and Grounds committee in the early 2000s for a lengthy period.
Members At-Large (5)
John Boyle (Continuing)
John is an active member of the Environment Team, especially its Wild Salmon Action Team where he led the creation of its new, activist website. He has been a member of the Redevelopment Committee, a Sunday greeter, and a participant in the Mystery Pals and Coming of Age programs. An environmental activist since his teens, John is mostly retired from an international career in environmental management. In that domain, he worked in both the public and private sectors with a particular interested in training, including the development and management of an international online training course in which he still participates. He takes an active interest in outdoor activities, the arts, and trying to understand our wonderfully complex world and how to effectively engage with the various crises afflicting our blue planet, especially the climate emergency.
2nd year of 1st term
Louise Bunn (New)
Louise has an absorbing interest in nature religions, wrote the widely popular UU ARE curriculum “Paganism 101”, and recently completed her master’s degree in “Myth, Cosmology, and the Sacred” at the University of Canterbury in the UK. She has been an active member of UCV since 1996. She has been a lay chaplain, on the search committee and an active member of the worship committee. She is currently a youth advisor, a lay chaplain, and an active member of the Pagan group, helping to lead public rituals and teaching classes for ARE.
Louise works as a sculptor and painter with a busy studio on Granville Island. In her artwork, she is inspired by the processes of change and transformation, and is interested in how we, as human beings, find meaning during our time here.
She is honoured to be asked to serve on the board and looks forward to contributing in this capacity.
1st year of 1st term
Ingrid Luters (New)
Ingrid attended UCV services and events for about a year before becoming a member in November 2019. She has – literally – served the UCV community as a member of the coffee service team and found the kitchen was an excellent vantage point for learning about the church’s members, committees and forums. As a lifelong printing and publishing professional, Ingrid is always interested in anything that has to do with books and has enjoyed the book/magazine offerings of the library and participated in Book Bash. She is particularly interested in environmental issues and has a few subversive ideas to address the problem of plastic pollution.
Ingrid would be pleased to join the UCV board of directors in a role wherever her skills could best contribute.
1st year of 1st term
Jenny Malcolm (Continuing)
I am honoured to be asked to serve on the board of my beloved UCV. My family and I joined in 2013 after moving back to Vancouver from London, UK. We found a welcoming community here. I also serve as chair of the DREMC (Director of Religious Education Management Committee). My first career was in communications and public affairs. I retrained as a Clinical Counsellor 5 years ago and now work in a primary care clinic with indigenous people. I love reading, gardening, the outdoors, and live theatre which I miss almost as much as I miss Sunday services!
Catherine Ponsford (Continuing)
I have been attending UCV on and off for almost 20 years. It has been there for me in times of need, and I want to give back, to keep the flame alive. I have sung in the choir, and served on the HR committee. I bring the perspective of busy, working parents who value spiritual inquiry in our commercialized world. I work in the environment field and have two teenage daughters.
Past President: Diane Brown
Diane is very happy that her committed work as President these past two years went towards helping to usher UCV into an invigorating time of growth and optimism. UCVs future is very exciting with the now completed Sanctuary Upgrades that allow for increased flexibility and inclusivity, new staff to increase administrative capacity and membership outreach, and enhanced RE programming.
Diane is the Artistic Director of Ruby Slippers Theatre, and she and her son Dylan have been members of the community since Dylan was four years old. Diane used to work with the kids on Sunday mornings and realizes that she misses doing this after recently leading a session with them on theatre games. She continues as an active member of the UCV Environment Committee, and is a fourth Sunday greeter.
Minister: Rev. Lara Cowtan
The minister is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Board of Trustees. Link to bio
View recent Governance posts from the Board:
- What’s in a name? Update from the WDWCO task force
- Vancouver Unitarians Cherish Our Ministers
- Triumphs and Turmoil: A Community Look Back at UCV’s Ministerial History – Wednesday, November 16, 6:30 – 8:30pm
- Engagement and Buy-In Checklist for Big Projects and Complex Decisions (DMTF Weekly Lesson #4)
- Fair voting explained: Update from the What Do We Call Ourselves Task Force
Upcoming Board and General Meetings
Anyone who has been a member for at least three months can vote at a general meeting
To stand for election you must have been a member for six months.