Author: Karen Theroux

January 2021 In the Interim

We did it!  2020 is now in the rear-view mirror, hindsight, so to speak.

A new year doesn’t erase the old year, nor do things change with the flipping of the calendar page, yet it does feel as if we are closing one book and opening another.

It would take many books to catalogue and explore all that has happened and changed in the past year, in the larger world and also here, in this beloved congregation. While change is a fact of congregational life, this transition period in between settled ministers and amidst all of the upheaval and physical distancing wrought by the pandemic, this ministerial transition period is unlike any other ever experienced. It has been incredibly challenging, and not without some bumps!  However, I continue to be humbled and amazed by the resiliency, creativity and dedication of folks at UCV, and feel honoured and blessed to be serving this community during this historic time. Yes, it has been hard, AND you have done some amazing things! First among them is that you keep showing up, keep bringing your presence, supporting one another and UCV, planning for a future that is rapidly unfolding in new and unexpected and exciting ways.

Our Soul Matters theme for January is “Imagination”, which will be explored in our worship, small groups and religious exploration.   What does it mean to be a people of Imagination?

Maybe our most important work is to re-imagine imagination. Imagination’s great gift is improvement. At least that is what we’re usually taught. The deep magic lies in the way it can reshape our reality. We are urged to imagine the world we dream of. A world with more justice. More peace. More love. From that, a mysterious magnetism arises, a magnetism that pulls our imperfect present into an improved future. Imagination moves us forward. It makes us better.

And illuminates it too. That’s right. Imagination isn’t just a force that drives us forward toward a more perfect future, it also pulls the sacred into our impoverished present. Imagination is what transforms trees from potential firewood into wise friends. Imagination is what moves us from lording over the natural word to seeing ourselves as part of it. It gives the world a soul. And not just the natural world, but the ordinary world too. Through the lens of imagination, we perceive the common as precious, even miraculous. The laughter of our children becomes the sound of angels. Sunshine on our face becomes a greater treasure than gold. Our “everyday” lives are understood as amazing adventures and inexplicably lucky gifts.

So friends, this month, do everything you can to soak in the many messages of imagination. It’s not just shouting, “Improve the world!” It’s also pleading, “Let the world come alive!”

This month, let us begin to imagine the future of UCV together.

In faith,

Rev. Lara Cowtan

P.S. If you haven’t ordered your ‘I survived 2020’ t-shirt yet, you still have time. Click here. (

Do you love books?  and lunch? 

by Karen Theroux

The new UCV Potluck Book and Lunch Club brings together good books, delicious food, and lively conversation.  Unlike most book clubs, the PLB&LC doesn’t choose one book for everyone to read. Instead, members bring one, or two, or more favorites to describe and recommend. We go around the table highlighting what’s special about our choices, sometimes reading passages aloud, and we talk about how the books—magical, tragic, uplifting, revealing, inspiring, or sad—have touched and changed us. All books and all readers are welcome. 

If you love books, why not join the club?  Meetings are the last Thursday of the month, 11 to 1 in the Fireside Room.  

Here are some of the titles from the club’s most recent meetings: 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

The Shoebox Bible by Alan Bradley

Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kampkwanda

The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King 

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Celia’s Song by Lee Maracle

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Sustenance by Rachel Rose

The Trans Generation by Ann Travers

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Annabel by Kathleen Winter 

Once Upon a Time by Jane Yolen 

This One Looks Like a Boy by Lorimer Shenher