Author: EnvironmentNews

Early Days of the Enviro Team

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Above: Karl Perrin dressed in character protesting the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (Illustration by: AnneD)

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I’d been studying the abolitionist movement in the United States against slavery, and I thought of this phrase: Where Quakers lead, Unitarians will follow. I’m a Unitarian and Ruth Walmsley is a Quaker. So, when she got arrested… I decided that I would get arrested. — Karl Perrin

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Above: Hans and Margo Elfert

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I have my first record of an Earth Day Service in April 1997. We’ve held an Earth Day Service every year since.

— Margo Elfert


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Pilgrimage to Burns Bog

So you’d like to know more about the Pilgrimage to Burns Bog? Many Unitarians have heard of this annual meditative walk, usually in conjunction with the Earth Day Service put on by the Environment Team.

For others, Burns Bog is a big mystery. What is it? Why is it so important? Why would Unitarians help organize a pilgrimage to a “swamp”?

Karl Perrin a long-time member of the Environment Team, answers those questions.

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Plant Based Eating

Nearly 30 years ago, Denise Swanson and the Environment Committee began to promote plant based eating to respect animals, protect the environment and support healthy eating

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Left: Plant based Sunday brunch 2008
Right: Photo by Keith Wilkinson | Apple tree in community garden at UCV

By Denise Swanson — June 2020

One of my strongest lifelong interests has been the protection and promotion of respect for animals. In 2007, there wasn’t any committee at UCV with that particular mandate, and the Environment Committee seemed a good choice to work with on this pursuit. Especially so, given that animal agriculture is one of the top industries responsible for environmental destruction.

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Dismantling Racism Survey

A future where Unitarian Universalist congregations actively work on dismantling racism: that’s what we’re focusing on. The CUC’s Dismantling Racism Study Group needs your help. We’ve put together this short survey to find out where we’re at, and where we could go. Give us 15 minutes of your time today to honestly tell us about what you’ve observed in your own congregation – we’d really appreciate it.

Click the link to go directly to the survey!
–> https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DRSGSurvey <–

UCV’s Tamiko Suzuki and Doug Ennenberg are both part of the CUC Dismantling Racism Task Force.

Birthday Party Fundraiser a Rousing Success!

On a cold, rainy night in January, over 50 friends and family gathered in Hewett Hall to celebrate Tamiko Suzuki ‘s 60th birthday. After a moving welcome by Sto:lo elder and activist, Kwitsel, the evening turned raucous with parlour games. Guests were given coloured dots on their name tags to show how they were connected to Tamiko  (family, work, UCV, book club, etc) and asked to sit at a table with as many colours as possible! The tables then competed in games of rock/paper/scissors  (in Japanese!), Name that Tune (music from TV and film from the 60’s,70’s  to today), Trivial Pursuit, and Charades, all with some connection to Tamiko’s life. Try to imagine contestants acting out the charades challenges;  “Being charged by a rhino” (which was a true story) and “skinny dipping on New Year’s Day (also true). The winners got to dress Tamiko with items from a box so that at one point she was wearing a diving mask, blond wig, life jacket, and belly dancer belt.

The games were followed by delivery of a cake decorated with a dinosaur and speeches both funny and warm. The evening finished with International folk dancing and many brave friends trying out  Bolivian, Finnish, and Greek/Roma dances.

Instead of presents, Tamiko asked guests to make a donation to  RAVEN Trust’s anti-TMX campaign and over $3000 was raised. An additional $400 was donated to support the Wet’suet’en opposition to the Coastal Gas pipeline.

A big thanks and much love to the Environment Team who sponsored the event, provided the food, set up, cleaned up, matched a portion of the donations, and took part in the games and dances with grace and humour.

 

Winter News from the Environment Team

The UCV Environment Team continues to be extremely active. Here’s what we have planned for the next few months..

December 1 Forum: Zero Waste Holidays! Forum; Zero Waste Team

One of the  Zero Waste ideas is to donate to a charity for someone. Here is a list of charities that the Environment Team came up with. It is far from complete, of course, but it will give you an idea of the range of international, national and local groups looking for your financial support.

charities list 

Save Our Salmon sub-committee

Last month we held a petition signing event to remind MPs of their election campaign promise to move open net fish farms out of the ocean and onto land.

The SOS group is now meeting with those MPs to discuss plans of action of how we can make their promise a reality .

If you would like to get involved, contact John Boyle  john.boyle@shaw.ca

 

January Pull-Together Fundraiser 

Saturday January 18, 2020 @ 7pm

Tamiko Suzuki, our Environment Team Outreach Coordinator,  is turning 60 and she’s holding a fundraiser to celebrate!

UCV Friends and family are invited to enjoy some appies and cake, a bit of music, games and perhaps some folk dancing!

She requests no presents please but instead make a donation to RAVEN Trust’s Pull Together Campaign https://pull-together.ca/ supporting Indigenous groups’ legal challenge against TMX.

More information to come later.

If you would like to help put on the event, please contact environment@vancouverunitarians.ca

 

 

CUC Dismantling Racism Study Group

 

Members of the Canadian Unitarian Council’s “dismantling racism” study group are preparing for their audit of anti-racism work in Canadian congregations. The group plans to distribute a survey on this topic to Canadian Unitarians, with its release tentatively set for January. Rev. Julie Stoneberg of the Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough, co-chair of the eight-person group, says they are hoping for the broadest possible participation by Canadian clergy and laypeople.

Doug Ennenberg and  Tamiko Suzuki from UCV, and Catherine Strickland from NSUC, are the western representatives in the group.

https://cuc.ca/enews-november-26/?utm_source=Canadian+Unitarian+Council+List&utm_campaign=0ac6efa9c1-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_12_15_08_49_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9434666947-0ac6efa9c1-328231665#dismantling

Environment team has been really busy this year

Looking back on 2018/2019, it’s easy to see that the Environment Team has been very busy! We put on a series of highly successful events in addition to fundraiser lunches and monthly forums. If that wasn’t enough, members were busy throughout the year taking part in anti-pipeline and Climate Change rallies and attending film nights, workshops and fundraisers to protect the Environment and support Indigenous groups.

Check out what we did!

The Green New Deal Town Hall

The third annual Intergenerational dinner

Two film screenings in support of Indigenous groups:

The Radicals: (Klabona Keepers, Xwisten, Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, Haida)

Raven People Rising: Heiltsuk

And we put on the Easter/Earth Day Service too:

Deep Green Change

Interested in joining the Environment Team? Contact environment@vancouverunitarians.ca

Green New Deal Town Hall a success!

On Friday, May 24th, the Vancouver Unitarians Environment Team hosted a Town Hall for the Pact for a Green New Deal in Canada. An enthusiastic group of about 100 participants generated a wealth of ideas for what the Pact should and shouldn’t include. We capped the evening singing “Make a Green New Deal”, a familiar tune with new words by Patrick Dubois. Our Town Hall was one of about 150-200 being held across the country, and the overall results will be collated for all to use in demanding urgent political action.

Make a Green New Deal Today

(Lyrics by Patrick Dubois, 2019/May; sung to the tune of “We Shall Overcome”)

(Verses 1 and 3)
Make a Green New Deal.
Make a Green New Deal.
Make a Green New Deal today.
oh, We take a stand.
We all demand:
Make a Green New Deal today!

(Verse 2)
True equality.
Bio-diversity.
We can build a better way.
oh, We take a stand.
We all demand:
Make a Green New Deal today!

Please watch us singing “Make A Green New Deal” by Patrick Dubois.