Author: Mary Bennett

Kid Art Wanted

Hey there! Creative kids and families,

from Mary Bennett ucvconnect@gmail.com

by Maddie Lomas

This is the story for August 22, 2021 for the worship service which will reflect on our experience of the pandemic.

I got the book from the library and as usual, it has ONE illustrator only and I thought about some of you and the stories I know about what you did during the past 18 months (and what you didn’t do) and I thought: I’d like us to share this poem/story with YOUR artwork.

Please send me art (drawing, painting, photograph) in horizontal format in jpeg or png by August 15th and I’ll include it when Way Kent is reading the story on August 22nd.

Here’s a youtube video of the poem:

 

Here’s the text:

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

Here’s the sung version.

I hope you’ll sign your piece so we can credit you.

You could also drop off or mail to UCV marked with “Pandemic art for Mary Bennett.”

 

 

Mystery Pals 2021 Save the date: Saturday, September 18

These kids are moving away, but Paula is enthusiastic about keeping in contact with her pal.

Covid restrictions at UCV and elsewhere are lifting and more and more of us are fully vaccinated, so summertime is a great time to connect with your mystery pal (or coming of age partner). If you need help with contact information, let us know.

There’s a lot of enthusiasm for an early fall Pal meetup at UCV so SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, September 18 from 4 to 5:30 pm.  All pals are invited to an autumn “Pal Party”. We’ll harvest, munch, play and walk and run or even dance on the labyrinth. Possibly this will be the first annual fall Pal Party. Unitarian traditions come easily.

With the needed covid adaptations, we went ahead with our Mystery Pal program this year to connect up people from different generations. Indeed we had the largest group ever: Fourteen pairs participated. Most were kids matched with an adult, but we had a couple of younger adults matched with older and two kids under 14 matched together!

Most chose snail mail which came to UCV and then was forwarded. Hence, the usual four-week program became eight to allow for postal forwarding. Other pairs chose to send email through a volunteer.

To offer assistance, we included artist trading card (“ATC”) materials for those who wanted to create art to share–and many did!

If you were a pal or parent of a pal and haven’t yet completed our feedback form, we’d really appreciate it: https://forms.gle/pG2aJoJ4c3yZoaf57 You can RSVP for September 18th there as well.

As time went on, our hopes for a big spring reveal party were dashed by covid restrictions, so individual pairs and small groups have been meeting up in parks or at UCV. Here’s a poem and some photos.

This pair have started a vegetable garden and are meeting weekly to garden together. Cynthia applauded us for making a “perfect match” with her new pal. On July 25, they read the “story for all ages” together, adding in their own stories as well.

 

Mystery Pal Revealed so much

by Vivian Davidson

Being a mystery pal was as fun as it was exciting,

To exchange letters had me antsy to keep writing.

I loved learning more and more about my mystery friend

I could hardly wait for my fresh letter to send.

I am grateful to have had this opportunity

To engage so intimately with someone in my UCV community.

To feel the paper, read the words sent to me by my pal

Mairy Beam got to visit the Imagine: Van Gogh exhibit with her mystery pal, Maddie, and sister Emma and mom, Sheri.

Was something so wonderful forever treasure I shall.

I hope others in the future engage in this wonderful treat

For it’s rare to get the chance to learn about others at UCV you meet.

It was exciting to think about and plan what to say and write

Oh my watch my grammar, serendipitous did I spell it right?

I learned letter by letter about my special pal and their likes

That included leaves and stickers, dolphins and hikes.

I can now certainly attest to how great it is to have a mystery pal

It was my first time and certainly a boost to my morale.

I will be back and ready to write, draw, paint and send

What a great way for a lonely day or weary heart to mend.

For this mystery pal exchange is a real treat for the young and young at heart

And made me feel special and that to UCV’s community I really am a part.

Artist to Artist Mystery Pals

We try to match up pals with something in common: Paula is an artist and loved her exchanges with her artist pal.

Here’s what she says:

Who couldn’t use an emergency packet of confetti?

My last package included a great picture of a unicorn with very long legs and a long neck and a little horn, a thin long multi-coloured banner announcing I LOVE PURPLE,  a bracelet made of beads and pipe cleaners and (best of all) a custom packet of homemade confetti. On the outside it said  I LOVE MAKING THINGS.  IN FACT I AM AN ARTIST.
Who couldn’t use an emergency packet of confetti? They are little bundles of  joy coming coming through the post and  it just makes my day when I receive one  🙂
-Paula

Their pair had the codename “Wolfgang Gerson” and it accidentally led Paula to exploring the theme of home/buildings and a connection with a student and friend of Wolfgang Gerson’s, the architect of our buildings.

 

Charlotte and Eva and Mr. and Mrs. Chickadee’s Adventures

I really enjoyed reading the story complete with an illustration of two birds named: Mr. & Mrs. Chickadee who are discussing where to build their nest to start their family made by Eva who is trying to encourage Mr. & Mrs. Chickadee to not peck holes in the house wooden siding for their nest.
It was lots of fun receiving Eva’s letters AND meeting her in person!
Charlotte

Panda in the Sun by Charlotte

 

Are you interested in learning more about this program?

Contact Kiersten or ucvconnect@gmail.com

Kid Art Wanted

Hey there! Creative kids and families,

from Mary Bennett ucvconnect@gmail.com

This is the story for August 22, 2021 for the worship service which will reflect on our experience of the pandemic.

I got the book from the library and as usual, it has ONE illustrator only and I thought about some of you and the stories I know about what you did during the past 18 months (and what you didn’t do) and I thought: I’d like us to share this poem/story with YOUR artwork.

Please send me art (drawing, painting, photograph) in horizontal format in jpeg or png by August 15th and I’ll include it when Way Kent is reading the story on August 22nd.

Here’s a youtube video of the poem:

 

Here’s the text:

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

Here’s the sung version.

I hope you’ll sign your piece so we can credit you.

You could also drop off or mail to UCV marked with “Pandemic art for Mary Bennett.”

 

 

IBPOC Caucus: What’s in a Name?

The BIPOC Caucus is changing its name to IBPOC

What is the difference between BIPOC and IBPOC?

Nothing other than pronunciation and symbolism.

IBPOC pronounced “ib (rhymes with rib) pok” or “eye bee pok”;  stands for Indigenous (people), Black (people), and People of Colour.

BIPOC pronounced “bye pok” stands for Black (people), Indigenous (people), and People of Colour.

Why change the name now?

Until now our UCV group had not bothered to investigate alternative names to BIPOC (which some of our members disliked) simply because there were so many other projects and issues to address. Now that an Indigenous community leader, Doreen Manuel, has asked that we change our name to IBPOC, and seeing that many large organizations (UBC, CBC, BCTF, BCNDP, Knowledge Network, Brock University) have already started to use this Canadian version, we have decided to follow suit. 

Why change at all?

  • Even though we disagree with listing groups based on Who Has Experienced the Most Racism (“trauma Olympics”), in light of the 215 Indigenous children found in unmarked graves at the Kamloops Residential School site, the acts of genocide inflicted on Indigenous people by church and state needs to be be recognized.
  • In BC, Indigenous people have never ceded or treatied away their land; we are living on THEIR land. Just like a land acknowledgement, which is given before starting a meeting, putting Indigenous people first in the IBPOC name is a similar acknowledgement of their importance.
  • We acknowledge the generational trauma caused by residential schools, the sixties scoop, laws against leaving reserves or hiring lawyers to fight back, villages and lands destroyed, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, lack of drinking water, and poor treatment within the medical and criminal justice systems as the most glaring examples.
  • Changing our name is a small symbolic gesture but it is a start.
  • The BIPOC acronym was created in the US. While we understand there is racism that is and has been experienced by Black Canadians, especially those connected with chattel slavery that was an order of magnitude larger in the U.S. (due primarily to the economics of cotton), we feel that we need to acknowledge the enormous damage that has been inflicted on Indigenous people in Canada. 
  • Changing the name is an indication that we are thoughtfully adapting ideas from other countries and provinces to our local context. 
  • And finally, we had to go to the effort to teach people what BIPOC meant. We can now teach them what IBPOC means. Education is key.

 

by Tamiko Suzuki

Would you like to join a working group to support IBPOC events and initiatives? contact Mary at ucvconnect@gmail.com to find out what initiatives need some support and to join our email group to be alerted to needed help. The UCV IBPOC Caucus is a small group and welcomes white folx to join to support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepare for Pride 2021

As Vancouver Pride approaches, you may be thinking of how to celebrate this year. 

The Vancouver Pride Parade is taking a decentralized approach this year, and we are going to be part of it! We’ll be gathering safely outdoors and doing our own mini Pride Parade around the UCV campus on Sunday, August 1, starting at 12:30 p.m. All members and friends are welcome to attend. Wear something colourful and/or creative – show your Pride however you feel like it!

We’d love to put rainbow colours all around our corner sign at 49th & Oak. We’d love to hear your ideas–and then get your help.  https://vancouverpride.ca/festival-parade/parade-entries/

Welcoming Congregation Recertification update

We’re almost there! 

To renew, a congregation has to already been certified (for us that was way back in 1995–one of the first) and do one worship service related to LGBTQ+ issues. Check!

A third requirement is to support an organization who works in this area. We’ve worked with Rainbow Refugee to support refugees, donated money from the Outreach Opportunities Fund and their founder Chris Morrissey will be speaking on Sunday, July 25. Check!

With a lot of support from Rev. Lara and the worship services committee, we’ve lifted up more than the required six “welcome days of observance.”  Check!

The next one is Non-Binary Day which is July 14th and that brings us to a request for assistance with our final requirement which is to offer an educational event that at least 10% of the members of the congregation attend.  So far 14 members (maybe more) have watched Mairy Beam’s play “What Difference Does It Make?” about coming out as non-binary and another 10 or so were at the panel discussion with cast and crew on June 12th. Could you please watch the play and the discussion and then complete a feedback form?  We need at least 30 members to watch and complete the form. 

Here are the links:

Play from Haven Theatre: YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQU6WT6Igs8 

Discussion: https://youtu.be/-t9IuuMu-mk

Then send an email to Debra at debrasutherland8@gmail.com and Debra will send you a link to the survey we need to ask for in order to complete the requirements. 

Forum: Sunday, July 11

What Does Non-Binary Mean? On July 11, Mairy Beam and other members of the GSA will host a forum after the worship service on what non-binary gender means. This is an “ask us anything” forum and we’ll share some anonymous polls to see what your questions are and respond to those. Sign in as soon as you have had your bio break after the service. This shortlink will take you there: ucv.im/gsa

 

Poetry to reflect on resilience and resistance

The women’s meditative poetry group felt that the close of Indigenous People’s month and the start of a new month–with ongoing issues–would be a good time to select a woman poet who writes from an indigenous perspective.
At 9am Pacific on Saturday and Sunday, we’ll continue to meet over zoom at ucv.im/cuuwa
The featured poet is Rita Bouvier.  https://www.thistledownpress.com/html/search/Authors/Rita_Bouvier/index.cfm
Her poetry collections are at vpl.ca.  As well, several poems are available on line.
There are several places on youtube we can hear her read her own poems.

How do we hold silence

Deeper than bone

(audio only)

Here’s a short interview with video:

Summer Newsletter from the Pagan Committee

Earth Spirituality Summer News

Did you know UCV has had a “Pagan Committee” for over 20 years?

When Louise Bunn, creator of the Unitarian curriculum Paganism 101, asked about how to form an ongoing group for pagan (aka earth spirituality) gatherings, she was told that the only organizational structure we had was committees. So a committee it was!  Since then there have been times when a pagan group was very active, sometimes organizing rituals for 40 or 50 people; and other times when interest waned and then… somehow like the rhythms of nature mentioned in the 6th Unitarian source, a new group would spring up. 

Over covid times, the most active part of what we’ve recently been calling the “earth spirit” group has been our 40-member email group where members sometimes post reminders about the seasons or the phases of the moon, informational links and an invitation to an occasional zoom event. We (mainly Mairy Beam!) coordinated several gatherings in the past year: two outdoors and five over zoom. 

Now, with restrictions lifting and the weather grand, we’re encouraging people to gather on the beautiful grounds of UCV: come on your own–or invite a few friends–and walk the labyrinth; pick some herbs, or even help tend the new earth spirit herb garden or participate in a circle dance or ritual.  Plans are still being considered, but we hope there will be a Lammas ritual in late July or early August.  I, for one, want to dance around that tree again for World Circle Dance on Sunday, July 11th. 

While summer is often a slow time for events, it’s also when a lot of planning happens for the fall start up. As we rest, travel, walk, read, ideas incubate – and so we’d like to invite you to fill out a survey if you’re interested in “earth spirit/pagan” activities at UCV.  https://forms.gle/1eLgGe2t9LPpFXEb8

It looks long, but as it’s multiple choice and you can skip any questions that aren’t relevant, it only takes a couple of minutes. And you get to see what others say. 

Would you like to learn more about pagan practices? Make your own wand or broom? Meet with others to socialize and ritualize? We might just be able to put you together with others who have the same interests!

Meanwhile, Louise has led or co-led the Paganism 101 program about 8 times since the first one in 1999 and would love to see it offered again, with a team that she could support, but not lead herself. If you’d like to be part of a team like that, please contact Louise at louisebunn@uniserve.com

 

Bright blessings,

Mary Bennett for the UCV Earth Spirit group

 

Pride Art Installation – Interfaith support letter from Rev. Lara

You may have heard or seen of the desecration of the art installation at our neighbour’s site, Shaughnessy United proclaiming the message “God’s doors are open to all.”

Rev. Lara has sent a message of support on behalf of our congregation.

In case you missed it, here are two links for you:

SHUC Blog

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/church-vandalized-pride-1.6066146

Photo from the CBC story

Dear Rev. Dave Moors, Shaughnessy United

Many of our members at Vancouver Unitarian heard with dismay and sadness (but lack of surprise, unfortunately) about the desecration of your Pride installation.
As a “welcoming congregation” (our denomination’s  equivalent of “affirming congregation”) I and our Genders and Sexualities Alliance wanted to send you and your congregation a message of support.
We are filled with admiration of the creativity, message and beauty of the installation and so glad to hear you remain undeterred and enthusiastic about restoring the doors to their original splendour.
Indeed, currently we have an installation related to residential schools on our corner of 49th & Oak, and you’ve inspired us to think about making a Pride installation for Vancouver pride weekend.
Always some good comes out of these incidents, but don’t we wish it was not necessary.
Please know also that we are practically neighbours and if there were any events or initiatives where you would feel it good to collaborate, we would welcome suggestions.
I look forward to meeting with you, as I will be serving the Vancouver Unitarians for another year or two during their transition to the next settled ministry, and hope we can work together on some of these critical social justice initiatives.
Blessings,

Rev. Lara Cowtan

Interim Minister
Vancouver Unitarians
https://vancouverunitarians.ca

Help your GSA show how Welcoming we can be

Link to Saturday June 12 interactive panel discussion details

Log in for the discussion here.

Our Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) is leading an effort to have UCV recertified as a Welcoming Congregation.

Since we first became a Welcoming Congregation in 1995 the world has changed.  For one thing, there was no mention back then of gender identity or trans issues.  To address this, the UUA decided to be bolder with our Welcome in 2018.

The Five Practices of Welcome Renewal are five benchmarks that every congregation will need to integrate into congregational life in order to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, two-spirit, genderqueer, non-binary, and the like feel fully welcomed, centered, and embraced in our congregation.

Welcoming Congregations are required to meet the benchmarks annually in order to remain “current” as a Welcoming Congregation. This year so far UCV has completed three of the Benchmarks, and a fourth has been planned.

The 5th benchmark is an educational event.  For this the GSA has organized the panel on June 12 to discuss Mairy Beam’s play, What Difference Does it Make, which deals with issues of gender identity.  We need 10% of the members to attend to show that we are, indeed, interested to be bolder and to renew our Welcoming congregation certification.

Can you help us show how welcoming we are by attending this educational event?

Details of event are here.

 

Remembering Pulse Nightclub – 5 years later

UCV GSA (Genders and Sexualities Alliance) takes this opportunity to mark the 5th Anniversary of the murder of 49, and wounding of 53
attendees at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Florida on June 12, 2016. This was the most horrific loss of lives to a domestic terrorist prior to the Las Vegas massacre in 2017.

The Pulse Nightclub was a LGBT club hosting a weekly Latin Night. As a consequence, many of the dead and injured were Latino. In keeping with journalistic ethics, the name of the shooter will not be named here, that his deeds be remembered, but not to give his name a place in history. The shooter entered the nightclub wit a SIG Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a 9 mm Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol. He shot over 200 rounds in 5 minutes. The shooter was killed in a firefight with the SWAT team.

The shooter, an American whose family immigrated from Afghanistan, claimed to be taking revenge in retaliation to US bombing of Iraq and Syria. Other witnesses claimed that he was conflicted about his own sexuality. What is clear is that his victims were innocent, simply enjoying a night out in a what should have been a safe space.

The site of the Pulse Nightclub will be reopened as a memorial and museum sometime in 2022. At the time of the event, Federal and State buildings lowered their flags to half mast to honour the dead, and then-President Obama travelled to Orlando to pay tribute to bereaved family, friends, and citizens.

 

UUA Link: https://www.uua.org/lgbtq/blog/remember-pulse-nightclub-heroes-among-the-fallen (June, 2019)

Image from this link.

 

UCV is a Welcoming Congregation.