Starting March 6 and running until June 2022, our next Outreach Opportunity Fund recipient will be the Wild Bird Trust of BC. WBT manages the Conservation Area at Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver. The Trust’s mission is to provide wild birds with sanctuary through ecological protection and restoration, and support communities with education, culture, and reconciliation programs. With 80,000 annual visitors, it features 5km of trails, a spectacular Nature House with year-round public artistic exhibitions, a social enterprise nursery, and wildlife education.
The Trust’s land is situated within the traditional and unceded territory of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN). Since 2017, WBT has embarked on a redress program to decolonize operations, giving up site governance to TWN and repairing the harm done by increasing cooperation and developing programs for the benefit of the TWN community.
The Outreach Opportunities Fund recipient for the period of February 2021 to May 2021 is the Mood Disorders Association of BC (MDABC) which provides treatment and support throughout the province for people living with a mood disorder. It aims to provide rapid access to services, promote wellbeing within communities, encourage effective self-help models, reduce the stigma of mood disorders and support research. Participative decision-making is encouraged for treatment options which include psychiatric services, counselling and CBT, support groups and workshops. MDABC is now a branch of the Lookout Housing and Health Society.
The Outreach Opportunities Fund recipient for the September 2020 -January 2021 period is The Treehouse Vancouver Child and Youth Advocacy Centre which has formed a multi-disciplinary team to intervene in and prevent child abuse and violence. The team comprises staff from VPD and three child and youth care agencies.
Its’ programs and services build networks and community support systems that promote safe and sustainable environments for children, youth and their families. A critical goal of the centre is to raise awareness of child abuse in Vancouver.
More about our financial support for organizations
Our Outreach Opportunities Fund recipient for the June-Sept 2020 period is the Burns Bog Conservation Foundation, which was set up in 2002 as an endowment fund for the Burns Bog Conservation Society. Burns Bog is a globally unique ecosystem functioning as a major regulator of regional climate and as the “the Lungs of the Lower Mainland”. Endowment funds are also to be used for research relating to peatlands/wetlands and the development of an Education Centre. Read more about the connections between Burns Bog and the Vancouver Unitarians.
Normally, the Outreach Opportunity Fund (OOF) donates a portion of the Sunday service collections to a registered charity over a four month period. Given the current circumstances, the OOF Committee took the decision to send a cheque for $2,000 to the current recipient, the Aboriginal Mother Centre (AMC), in mid-April rather than wait until the end of May. The funds are urgently needed to assist AMC extend its outreach services during this covid-19 crisis.
Even though OOF donations have decreased over the past few weeks due to having virtual services, we still found that there were sufficient funds in our OOF account to offer an additional $2,000 to another recipient. Our focus was on the Downtown Eastside (DTES), given the critical situation the homeless and other vulnerable groups are facing in that community. The Committee decided to award the funds to PHS Community Services Society to help meet the demand for more meals in the DTES as so many kitchens have closed down because of covid-19 restrictions. Meanwhile, we will continue to ask congregants to send in their donations to OOF to replenish our fund. A new recipient will be selected for the four month period beginning in June. All contributions are gratefully received. Donate Here
The Outreach Opportunities Fund recipient for October to January will be Sole Food. During the past seven years, Sole Food Street Farms―now North America’s largest urban farm project―has transformed acres of vacant and contaminated urban land in Vancouver into street farms that grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables. It has empowered dozens of individuals with limited resources and addiction and chronic mental health problems by providing jobs, training, and community support.
Every year, the OOF Committee selects three recipients to be given 25% of the funds from the Sunday collection. The Committee would welcome nominations from individuals or a group in the congregation for the next recipient of OOF funding. Nominated organizations must comply with the selection criteria: priority is given to local organizations undertaking social justice, refugee support and settlement and environment sustainability, with a focus on vulnerable or marginalized communities. For more information go the UCV website, or check the notice board in Hewett Hall for nomination forms.
Vancouver Unitarians have a dedicated “Meditation Room” that has been in continuous use for over two decades. Each Sunday morning and Wednesday evening an eclectic group of both Unitarians and interested Vancouverites meet for a 45-minute meditation session.
For the past five years the group has been led by Victoria Oginski who has been meditating herself for over 35 years. As an enthusiastic student of Buddhism, Victoria has gone on long meditation retreats in Burma, studied in Bodh Gaya in northern India where the Buddha attained enlightenment, and Dharamsala, the home of the Dalai Lama.
While the group is loosely informed by the Vajrayana school of Tibetan Buddhism anyone interested in meditation is wholehearted welcome!
On Wednesdays, after the meditation from 6:30-7:15 we take a break and then at 7:30 begin our book study. Currently we are reading (out loud) The Mind Illuminatedby Culadasa (John Yates, PhD).
All sessions held in Hewett Centre, UCV Saturdays from 1 – 4 pm.
February 23, 2019 – Topic: How to access our website and post news items.
March 16, 2019 – Topic: How to create events on the website.
June 1, 2019 – Topic: respond to needs expressed from those attending the first two sessions.
(Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find links to the events on the web.)
Learn the Basics:1-3 pm with instructor and 3- 4 pm Practice with volunteer coaches.
For Intermediate Level: 3-4 pm in Biddle for experienced web users to ask questions and work on a project with instructor and volunteer support. Instruction with Luke 3-3:30 pm and practice with volunteer coach 3:30 .- 4 pm
Who is this aimed at? How many people from each group can attend?
The sessions are aimed at volunteers of UCV Committees/Teams/Groups who would like to be able to post their committee information and events to the website. Each group can designate a maximum of two persons from within their group to attend the workshops. Computer knowledge level is basic but you must know how to log in to the UCV website. Before attending you will be given sign in access.
What must I bring?
Your own electronic device (laptop, tablet or smart phone).
The text for something you’d like to post to the website. (You’ll likely post as a draft and can add to it later)
Your sign-in user name and password (This will be sent to you prior to the class).
What can I do to prepare?
Try signing in at home to make sure you have access. (Login button is at the very bottom on the right)
There are videos and instruction sheets on posting to the website.
If you have ever posted to wordpress before, these would be helpful to look at for a review.
If you are absolutely brand new, look over these materials and decide whether it’s worth your time or you’d rather wait for the in-person training.
Must I attend all three workshops in this series or can I sign up for workshops separately?
Every year, the Outreach Opportunities Fund (OOF) Committee selects three recipients to be given 25% of the funds from the Sunday collection. For more information and a list of past recipients please go to this page.
Recipients receive the funds for four straight months: the average amount awarded is about $1,800. The Committee seeks nominations from the congregation.
Nominated organizations must comply with OOF’s selection criteria: registered charities that undertake social justice or environmental sustainability work with a focus on vulnerable or marginalized communities. Priority is given to smaller charities in the Vancouver area rather than large national ones. The charity must not have a formal affiliation with a religious organization or political party. Only nominate a charity with which you have some connection, e.g, donor, volunteer, board member, etc.