Author: Mary Bennett

Coming of Age Orientation night – One mentor’s perspective

To This I Give My Heart: Coming of Age Orientation

One mentor’s perspective

by Mary Bennett

Seven mentors and seven youth (mentees) gathered in Hewett Centre on Sunday, September 20th, most in person and another 4 via zoom, to begin a year-long journey of getting to know each other. Olivia Hall, youth coordinator, and Kiersten Moore, DRE, facilitated an evening of games and conversations, some one-on-one and some in the whole group. The photo shows us playing “All my friends and neighbours…”

We had a couple of introductory exercises, the first included: what pet would you have if you could have any pet at all (including imaginary ones). Responses included elephants, monkeys, octopuses as well as dogs and cats and one person said, “No thanks. I don’t want a pet.”  

Then we paired off with our partner and were asked to come up with the one thing we would choose if we got to name something to help save humanity. I expect other pairs had the same kind of free-ranging conversation that my partner and I had. The final results were intriguing: phytoplankton; the internet, Steven Spielberg’s computer, fresh air…  What would you choose? Get ready for the zombie apocalypse now in case you’re asked.. 

Each pair will meet on their own once a month. As well as having a bit of fun together, our mission is to  work through the Coming of Age journals* we were given. 

When asked to share what we hoped to get from the program, there were responses of friendship and learning. After the broad concepts, one mentor said,  I just want to get to know my mentee better. The mentee beamed. 

While leaving the hall, a friend said to me: “Who’s the mentor and who’s the mentee? These young folx are so interesting and interested, the hardest part for us adults may be to keep up.”

For myself, I see my role as being a bridge between our religion and this one young person. I’m looking forward to exploring our history especially as my mentee is interested in history. 

Often the young people write their own Credo (statement of belief) and may present to the congregation. If my mentee chooses to do this, I can be a coach and/or cheerleader. Speaking to the congregation, I believe, is an honour and a challenge, an opportunity I have personally appreciated very much and grown from.

Next month, there might be a post by another participant, or a pair, from this program so you can have a glimpse about how it evolves.

 

Zoom October Update

October’s theme is Deep Listening

and yes! deep listening is possible on zoom!

Learn more about Soul Matters themes here: https://www.soulmatterssharingcircle.com/ and on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/soulmatterssharingcircle

Virtual coffee hosts

  • John Smith – 1st Sunday
  • Donna – 2nd Sunday:  includes Book group at 12:30 pm
  • Erin – 3rd Sunday
  • Nan – 4th Sunday – includes Refugee committee at 12:30 pm

Usual breakout rooms include: Sermon discussion, all ages/family zoom (Mary Bennett facilitates), and random chat.

All Ages/Family chat is where kids’ voices are centered. Some of us are doing crafts while chatting or engaging in show-and-tell live or through screen share of photos. If you’re doing the Chalice Home program and have an altar at home, we’d love to have you share it.

Volunteer opportunity: We’re looking for someone to host 5th Sundays and be a backup if one of the regulars isn’t available. Training and a nice team available to help.

Facilitators for break out rooms always welcome. There have been rooms for discussion of indigenous studies, anti-racism and could be on the monthly theme, i.e. Deep Listening for October. If you want the discussion questions just ask at the UCV office for the Soul Matters package to be sent to you.

If you’re not sure how to contact the hosts, the office staff can help you access an online directory (“Breeze”) or look up contact info for you.

The GSA (Genders and Sexualities Alliance) now meets on the 1st Thursday. Sometimes we watch a film or video together. We’re discussing ways to provide more education on trans issues and update our bathroom signs among other things. You are welcome, whether queer or straight.

On the Neighbourhood Chat first Tuesday, you have a chance to zoom in and meet someone (new?) from your neighbourhood. We’re spread out all over the place, so sometimes a neighbourhood is a pretty large area, but you’ll likely have a chance to meet someone new. Zoom room opens by 7:15pm, check in starts at 7:30 pm. Depending on numbers we use breakout rooms or stay as a whole group. We will start using the questions from the Soul Matters packet for our group.

Zoom Practice: We are now meeting once a month on the first Tuesday at 4 pm. Mary, Donna and John facilitate and we usually have Unitarians from across Canada join us.

The series of tech workshops is now complete for now. Contact John Henderson or office staff if you want links to handouts and videos on slack, breeze and what’s app.

 

Picnic, Chat and Labyrinth Walk

We sat outside, ate the lunches we’d brought (or purchased from across the street) and walked one or more labyrinths.

Mary brought her plarn (yarn made from plastic bag strips) and a spiral was laid out under the tree nearby. (See photo for how plarn is made with strips of plastic bags. Yes, more bags are appreciated, especially purple, blue, orange, red in that order.)
Several of us enjoyed being on UCV grounds on Sunday afternoon.

Earlier Donna brought Mary and 50 or so bricks for enhancing the labyrinth pathways and we’ll do more of that. (Help for unloading, transporting, placing bricks very welcome). Thanks Way and Vivian for your help.

Catherine played her concertina for us. It was a lovely sunny afternoon with old friends and new.

Discovered “free dirt” near compost bins and moved some to cover dried leaves. Help with more of that would be appreciated as well. And of course weeding. If you’re there and you see grass amongst the plants, please pull it out!

 

Family Zoom – join any Sunday at noon

from Mary Bennett

Although many children’s programs (and Kiersten!) are on vacation right now, there’s now a team to make sure there’s a kid-focused space during coffee hour every Sunday as a breakout room during virtual coffee hour. Myself, Sandy, Catherine and Meaghan take turns facilitating, often with a few conversation starters or an activity, but as often just a willingness to meet our kids where they are. Kids often do a show-and-tell with some artwork or tell us about something they did that week. And we love hearing that.

On the first Sunday of each month, we especially like to provide a chance for Mystery Pals to check in with each other.  We hope some pairs might want to use the chance to have a breakout room of their own to check-in, whether for 5 minutes or more.  They can do a quick check-in and then return to the main session if they want.
The Family breakout room will still be there for any of you, whether or not you’ve been a mystery pal.

In other news, if you missed Sunday’s service, do check it out with link from main page vancouverunitarians.ca  Until Saturday only it includes the kids’ play and Rose reading the Connections are made slowly poem. The procedures UCV is now using is that the greetings are edited out immediately after the service, and then after a week (6 days actually) everything except for the sermon is removed. Contact Marie, chair of communications team, at communications@vancouverunitarians.ca if you have any questions about the procedures.

The next mystery pal program will start up as usual in spring 2021 (we assume), but in the meantime, I’d really encourage you to find some way to connect with past pals if possible. If you need contact information, you can contact the administator or office assistant Monday to Friday. If it’s urgent, ask me.  info@vancouverunitarians.ca 604-261-7204. If you want a directory of members and friends either hardcopy, pdf or Breeze database access, Aurora or Marcus can help with that.

Labyrinth picnic anyone?

Some of the kids have enjoyed our garden path labyrinth at 49th and Oak. I enjoyed visiting it briefly when I was there this past Sunday (for the first time in four and a half months).  Once this heat wave passes, I’d love to meet with a few of you to walk, play (and weed!) the labyrinth. Drop me a note if that would be of interest. We’d socially distance of course, but there’s a lot of space there to spread out.

Some links you might find of interest:

Last week’s service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4J_jD52taU&feature=youtu.be
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Vancouver.Unitarian.CYRE/
Covid-19 Plan for UCV site: https://vancouverunitarians.ca/ucv-covid-19-go-slowly-forward-plan/

Note the Main hall can be used for up to 20 people by arrangement with the office in advance. Details on procedures can be found at that link.

I will likely send regular notes about what’s coming up for Family Zoom (and anything else I might know and think you’d want to know too).  You’re not obligated to read everything (LOL!) and if you don’t want to receive at all, just let me know.

If you did not receive this message via email and want to receive them in future, please just let me know.

connect@vancouverunitarians.ca

Singalong with Patrick

Two of the songs in this Sunday’s service will be singalongs! Here are the words which are also in this week’s order of service. You can print the order of service (or this), bring it up on your screen, or just make up any words you’re not sure of.

The Rainbow Connection

Williams, Ascher

Why are there so many songs about rainbows

And what’s on the other side?

Rainbows are visions, but only illusions

And rainbows have nothing to hide

So we’ve been told, and some choose to believe it

I know they’re wrong, wait and see

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection

The lovers, the dreamers, and me

 

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered

When wished on the morning star?

Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it

Look what it’s done so far

What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing

And what do we think we might see?

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection

The lovers, the dreamers, and me

All of us under its spell

We know that it’s probably magic

Have you been half asleep, and have you heard voices?

I’ve heard them calling my name

Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?

The voice might be one and the same

I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it

It’s something that I’m supposed to be

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection

The lovers, the dreamers, and me

La-da-da, de-da-da-do

La-da-da-da-da-de-da-do

 

We’ll Meet Again

Parker, Charles

We’ll meet again

Don’t know where, don’t know when

But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

Keep smiling through

Just like you always do

‘Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

 

So will you please say “Hello” to the folks that I know

Tell them I won’t be long

They’ll be happy to know that as you saw me go

I was singing this song

 

We’ll meet again

Don’t know where, don’t know when

But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

Happy Pride 2020

Greetings: Happy Pride! What does Pride Mean to You? 

Vancouver Pride is first weekend in August so during the July 26 worship service we want to include a diverse selection of UCV members and friends wishing us all “Happy Pride”. A 15-second (maximum) video saying “Happy Pride” and or what “pride” means to you or what you are doing this year to celebrate Pride. 

We hope you’ll have some flags, posters, buttons and maybe even feather boas in your video!

You can record and send your video any time up until Saturday noon July 25, but the earlier the better. We’d like to include as many as possible and also have a handle on the length of time required.

Here’s a link to make it easy for you to record or upload your video:

Sunday Greetings

 

 

Vegan Cooking with umami

Twelve people participated in our (first?) vegan cooking zoom call.
There seems to be enthusiasm so we may pursue this further, possibly with a monthly “ethical eating” zoom call, sharing our questions, answers, recipes. If you’d be interested, let me know at connect@vancouverunitarians.ca.

Possible topics

  • vegan desserts
  • environmental effects of the animal industry
  • nutrition issues
If you want to review the recording (technology glitches and all!) just click here:
Access Password: ucvucv1!

Resources

Denise has sent me a lot of information that I’ve pasted below.

If you’re on Facebook, do join us at the Unitarian Ethical Eating Group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/unitarianethicaleating/

Goals of the Ethical Eating Group:

  • build education and awareness around the importance of food choices
  • respect individual choices and diversity – provide support and information for people wanting to shift their eating choices
  • encourage congregational engagement on ethical eating and action.
  • provide information on Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist initiatives related to ethical eating and encourage people to engage as individuals or as congregations

approved by the Environment Committee of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver on October 13, 2013.

More resources from Denise

And here are some links and information from Denise sent after the session for sharing:

Vegan Cheese

Chao Cheese is quite decent, and fairly mild.
Then there is the local Daiya, which has been around a long time. I find the mozzarella or pepperjack shreds work well in pizza, pasta, enchiladas and a ton of other applications. It’s cheaper than some other cheeses. Daiya cream cheese works well too in recipes.
Someone was saying they are limiting saturated fat consumption. Me too. I only use such commercial cheeses for special occasions.
One of my favorite cheese brands is Nuts for Cheese especially the “Red Rind” and “Super Blue”. These are strong flavours. Can sometimes be found at a steep discount at Sunrise Market (Gore @ Powell).

I like Miyoko’s Kitchen Cheeses available from Vegan Supply 250 East Pender

https://vegansupply.ca/  and in natural food stores.

And this website links to her almond ricotta recipe.

Her book Artisan Vegan Cheese has recipes for yogurt, rejuvelac, and such ingredients for making cheese, as well as the actual cheese recipes.
Here is a favorite tempeh recipe of mine. I use olive – not coconut – oil; and I use maple syrup, not molasses.

Tempea brand local tempeh

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world among meat eaters and vegetarians alike, especially among young women.
Including vitamin C-containing food along with your iron-rich foods can greatly enhance absorption of the iron.
Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds (see photos of their ‘butters’) are very good sources. (I use Crofters jam (has Vit C) over my toast spread with pumpkinseed butter).
Legumes (lentils, peas, beans) and grains (quinoa, wheat, teff, oats, etc., so breads and pastas) as well as dark leafy greens contain a fair bit of iron as well.
Many veg meats are sky-high in iron. Check out Gardein products, for example. (Their “Fishless Filets” also contain long chain Omega 3 fatty acids).

But if one is already iron-deficient, taking a round of supplements will likely bring iron levels up faster.

Here’s a list of umami condiments and ingredients.

  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Vinegars
  • Soy Sauce & Tamari & Shouyu
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Chili Sauce & Gochujang
  • Black Bean Sauce
  • Miso & Doenjang
  • Sauerkraut & Kimchi
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Rejuvalac & Shio Koji
  • Certain Spices, e.g. black salt (kala namak);
  • smoked salt;
  • turmeric

Basic umami food ingredients

  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Seaweed (Kombu)
  • Olives
  • Beans
  • Soy Protein
  • Cheeses
  • Concentrated Foods (i.e. dried, reduced, dehydrated, etc.):
  • Dried Mushrooms and Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Bouillon Concentrate
  • Yeast Extracts
  • Balsamic Reduction
  • Dried Fruit
  • Roasted, Toasted, Browned Foods:
  • Toasted Nuts and Seeds
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Seared Tofu & Tempeh & Seitan

Fermented Foods

  • Sugar-Based: Alcoholic Beverages, Kombucha
  • Veg-Based:  Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Pickles
  • Mylk-Based: Cheeses, Yogurt, Kefir, Buttermylk
  • Grain & Tuber-Based: Breads & Porridges; barley malt; Rejuvelac
  • Bean-/Seed-/Nut-Based: Miso, Soy Sauce; Natto; fermented tofu (fulu, or chou doufu); Dosa (fermented lentil & rice crepe)

Here are some websites on umami

https://tabesuki.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-umami/

https://sweetvegtable.com/vegan-umami/

https://www.delishknowledge.com/plant-based-umami/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5KwRV7Se1w

https://www.seriouseats.com/roundups/umami-ingredients

Zoom Security: Be sure you’re updated to version 5 before coffee hour on Sunday

Post update May 29, 2020 by Mary Bennett

If you’ve been zooming, you might have been invited to update to version 5 – with higher security measures.

Zoom is making it mandatory after Saturday so you’ll need to do this before Sunday morning to connect to coffee hour.
If you phone into zoom, no problem. Continue as you were.
Here’s an article explaining why.

How do I upgrade to Zoom 5.0?

There’s no point waiting, you might as well upgrade your app right now, if you have time. Updating is pretty simple —if you don’t have the app you can download the latest version. If you already have the Zoom desktop client installed, you can check for updates by signing in, clicking your profile picture, and then clicking “Check for Updates.”

If you use the Zoom app on your mobile, the latest version is available from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Zoom includes some detailed instructions in its Help Center. If you prefer a visual guide, a YouTube video is available explaining how to update.

Using Zoom securely Love it or hate it, most of us have to use Zoom at some point. Therefore, it’s important that we are as secure as possible when we do.

Embedded Passwords

The Communications Committee has confirmed that we can embed the password in a link but the zoom link will not be posted on any website or facebook and has never been used before. So for zoom calls, if you follow the shortlink (e.g. ucv.im/coffee-hour) you shouldn’t need to have a password. If there’s a problem, contact the person who set up the call.

In other words, if you’ve used the links that start with ucv.im in the past, those will still work: You just won’t have to type in a password.

You can test it out between 9 am and 10 am on Sunday morning if you’re not confident. I’ll have ucv.im/coffee-hour open for you to drop in and say hello.

Any questions about this decision, contact Communications Committee chair Marie Witt communications@gmail.com

Post update April 8 by Mary Bennett

Last Saturday, Zoom changed all zoom call settings to require passwords on all scheduled calls and disable the possibility of people joining before the host. Many UUs across Canada and beyond were emailing and discussing on facebook how to let their people watch the Sunday service (ours is on youtube, so it wasn’t a problem) and get into coffee hour discussions (we do use zoom for that.) CUC responded very clearly and quickly with updates and recommendations. Your communications committee discussed and three co-hosts were deputized (as Erin referred t it) so that we could carefully screen anyone wanting to join coffee hour. We had 25 people on line in 5 separate breakout rooms and things went smoothly. For the hosts this is more time-consuming so there could continue to be a bit of a lag time at the start.

In addition to what Zoom required, UCV has

  • enabled “waiting room” – so only identifiable people are let into a call
  • disabled the “embedded” password in invitations
  • removed all links to zoom calls on website and facebook replacing with a “shortlink” (which by the way makes it easier for you to remember e.g. ucv.im/coffee-hour for Sunday coffee hour)
  • started workshops for zoom hosts and co-hosts to learn how to help with these measures

Alternatives to zoom

Galen and Christian, part of our tech team, are also exploring alternatives to zoom.

Help the hosts of our zoom calls ensure security.

Here are some things you can do.

On your zoom account, put your own picture and a name that we would recognize, e.g. Jane and John Doe is better than JJ ipad.

Make note of the zoom links somewhere safe. We have removed links from the website, so keep a cheat sheet or put the link into your calendar, whether paper based or computer-based.

If you are left in the waiting room for long, it may be because we don’t recognize your name. If you send the host of that particular meeting a note in advance, it will help to be sure. For larger groups like coffee hour and neighbourhood check-in, we are putting people into breakout rooms quickly so as to keep the main session available for people needing time to connect with the zoom technology and as double insurance in the event that somehow a “zoom bomber” has managed to crash the meeting. Please click JOIN to go to the breakout room. When options are available like coffee hour, if you want a particular breakout room be ready to say that as soon as you’re on the call.

Don’t share the zoom links on a web page or facebook; emailing to a friend is fine, in fact, encouraged, but don’t send to email lists where you’re not sure who is on it.

For coffee hour, remember, it’s a drop-in session. You can join a conversation when you arrive, so taking a real “coffee break” after the service and joining at ten past 12 would mean a smoother approach for the hosts to let people in a few at a time and set up the breakout rooms.

Future possibilities

We are trying to assure privacy, while not making it too cumbersome and discouraging for people to connect, because connections right now are more important than ever.

Some calls may start restricting to “authenticated users only”. This just means you have to be logged into zoom before joining (as zoom bombers are usually just trying to join “on the fly”). Authenticated users have to give their email address to zoom.

If a participant tries to join the meeting or webinar and is not logged into Zoom, they will receive the following messages The host would likely tell you in advance if they are using this function.

New to zoom?

You may have discovered that depending on what device you’re using, the controls are in different places. Here’s a good getting started resource that includes links to the various devices to help you. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697

Want to test your video or microphone before joining a meeting?

Here’s how: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362283-Testing-computer-or-device-audio

Zoom bombers

Many of us are using zoom for UCV events and also the many community and activist communities we’re involved with. You may have heard of “zoom bombers” who scour websites for new zoom links to “bomb” your meetings with pornography or racism, creating havoc. Zoom bombers can also just use random numbers so even if the number isn’t publicly posted, they may find it. The controls mentioned above should be enough to make our calls safe from zoom bombers.

Peter Bowden is a UU congregational consultant who offers web training on communications and social media for UU congregations. Here’s his 15-minute video about security for zoom.

It’s well worth watching (as our his various videos on welcoming guests and growing membership.)

Prevent Zoom Bombing: Tips, Settings, and Controls to Help Protect Your Meetings

What is Zoom doing about this?

Blog Post from CEO Eric Yuan

A Message to Our Users

To put this growth in context, as of the end of December last year, the maximum number of daily meeting participants, both free and paid, conducted on Zoom was approximately 10 million. In March this year, we reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants, both free and paid.

However, we did not design the product with the foresight that, in a matter of weeks, every person in the world would suddenly be working, studying, and socializing from home. We now have a much broader set of users who are utilizing our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges we did not anticipate when the platform was conceived.

These new, mostly consumer use cases have helped us uncover unforeseen issues with our platform. Dedicated journalists and security researchers have also helped to identify pre-existing ones.

More in-depth article about the issues

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2020/04/03/zoom-ceo-outlines-changes-as-platforms-security.html

Among the changes the company has made, he said, was publishing guidelines last month for users on how to avoid being “Zoombombed” — a phenomenon in which intruders crash into Zoom meetings and display pornography or other shocking content.

Zoom has also removed a link with Facebook in which the Zoom app was sending user data to Facebook, unbeknownst to the user, and has updated its privacy policy, Yuan said.

WhatsApp workshop video available for UCV members

The Connect and Engage team sponsored another tech workshop with Luke Zukowski on Zoom,. Contact Mary at ucvconnect@gmail.com if you’d like to get the link to the recorded video. (Until we have the volunteer to edit it, we’re not sharing publicly)

Your small groups (men’s and women’s groups, covenant groups, or just affinity/friendship groups) at UCV might find it a handy way for communicating.

Here’s the description:

WhatsApp is the most popular way for people to communicate because 2 billion WhatsApp users prefer the convenience of online instant messaging over e-mails or phone calls, especially if it’s just to say a few words.
WhatsApp is a multi-functional communication platform that You can use it to exchange text messages, pictures, videos, audio messages, phone calls, and have group video chats.
During our May 23rd Zoom session at 3pm you will learn about WhatApp mobile app that you can use on your smartphone AND also on your desktop computer.
Understanding WhatsApp: 
1. What is WhatsApp?
2. How does WhatsApp work?
3. Is WhatsApp safe?
4. Pros and Cons of WhatsApp
Using WhatsApp:
 1. How to Download and Install WhatsApp
2. How to Create a WhatsApp Account
3. How to Use WhatsApp
4. How to Delete WhatsApp Messages
5. How to Search WhatsApp
6. WhatsApp Groups
7. How to Back Up Your WhatsApp Messages

Theatre Friends – share your reviews and recommendations

Paula and Mary invite you to a weekly theatre discussion on zoom – Mondays @ 4pm.

Sign in at https://ucv.im/theatre  You’ll need the regular connect and engage password. Ask Mary for it if you don’t know it. ucvconnect@gmail.com

Mary also has set up a private facebook group called “Theatre Friends” – theatrefriendsmary If you have a connection with UCV and/or Mary, you’ll be approved for membership after you answer the member questions and agree to rules.

Hoping to help us all take advantage of the amazing theatre available online at this time, and post-pandemic share theatre reviews and information and perhaps even a theatre project together.

This weekly discussion grew out of a book and video discussion, so we may throw in a bit about what we’re reading and films we’re watching as well. Hope to see you there!

Sponsored by Connect & Engage team, Mary Bennett, chair.