Interim Minister: Rev. Lara Cowtan
Rev. Lara Cowtan joins us in August and her first service in the pulpit will be the 2nd Sunday in September.
Currently she is busy meeting groups and individuals via zoom, jitsi or in person.
Contact our congregational administrator if you require more information.
(an updated bio and photo will be posted here shortly. You can also search for “Lara Cowtan” in the search bar.
2001-2020: Parish Minister: Rev. Dr. Steven Epperson
Now retired, Steven was our parish minister for 19 years. Here’s his bio:
Crossing boundaries has been a constant feature in Steven’s life story: from rural to urban and Mormon to Unitarian, from university professor of religious studies and history to parish ministry, from US citizen to Vancouver resident. There have been constants as well: an obsession for learning, a passion for great music (from Bach to Shostakovich to Radiohead), a commitment to social justice, and a crazy love for his partner Diana and their four children.
He knows how to darn socks, clean a bathroom, read good stories out loud at bedtime, and shingle a roof. He wants to see religion work and be real – for it to deepen our spiritual and ethical lives and lead us to serve others and, by so doing, find our better selves.
Education and Experience
BA, Brown University, 1979
MA, Divinity School, University of Chicago, 1980
PhD, Temple University, 1989
History Curator, 1986–1993
Assistant Professor of Religious History, 1993–96
Instructor, History of Philosophy and Ethics, 1996–98
Humanities Council Program Director, 1998–2000
Intern/Interim Unitarian Universalist Parish Minister, 2000–02
What Is Community Ministry?
In the Thick of Things
A community minister is one who has chosen to build community by working in the community rather than in a parish church. There are four community ministries in Canada, of which two are in the greater Vancouver area.
Community ministry is about taking the values, principles, experience, questioning, and thoughtfulness of Unitarian Universalism and moving outside of the walls of the church. Community ministers work wherever they are passionate – in hospitals as chaplains, building community gardens, working for legislative change, building a peace movement, running a homeless shelter… the possibilities are as diverse as the people in our congregations.
Unitarians have a rich history of community ministry. One of Vancouver’s community ministers is Reverend Laura Imayoshi.
What is Laura’s Ministry?
Rev. Laura Imayoshi has worked with this congregation since 2004, and was ordained here in 2007. Her ministry is about creating meaningful connections between people. She serves in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, working to build bridges of sharing and understanding between the Downtown Eastside and the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.
Rev. Imayoshi’s ministry has been formally endorsed by the Unitarian Church of Vancouver but she is not paid or employed by the church.
Reverend Laura Imayoshi
Rev. Imayoshi was raised attending the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. She did her undergraduate work in Religious Studies at UBC and her post graduate work at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California. Laura trained extensively with the Faithful Fools, an interfaith street ministry in San Francisco. She brought their humour, wisdom and inspiration to Vancouver to start serving in the streets as a Unitarian community minister.