Author: Mary Bennett

First day of September and a lot of outdoor (and indoor) conversations and harvesting

Rev. Chris Wulff gave us a great sermon and a new twist on the Little Red Hen.

The Environment team met to plan the All Candidates’ Forum.

Circle dancing in later afternoon.

And we enjoyed another “back at it” Sunday while the sun is still shining.

Here’s Jodie and Kelly having a conversation under one of the trees.

And Sandy and Karen picking some King apples–they’re ripe and were enjoyed by many today!

 

Steven’s Welcome Message

Dear Vancouver Unitarians:

Welcome to our congregation’s 2019-20 program year of worship, learning, activism and fun!

More than ever, I am grateful to be a part of this congregation—one that first began 110 years ago and that has been at 49th and Oak Street for 55 years. We’ve been around for a long time and plan on being here for generations to come.

Here, we meet with people of all ages who share our deepest values, who seek to deepen soulful and ethical lives, and who are committed to intergenerational learning, connection and “generativity.” We honour our diverse stories and personalities. We welcome all who seek to be a part of our congregation and its commitment to “justice, equity and compassion in human relations,” as well as our promise to “respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”

Thank you to each and all and the roles we play: from serving coffee and tea to walking with our children and youth, from singing in the choir and lighting a candle for a loved one, to acting up on behalf of refugees, the environment and the cause for social justice, and much, much more.

I look forward to being with you as we walk our Unitarian Universalist path together.

Sincerely, Rev. Steven Epperson

We have several circle dance gatherings every month

If you’d like to get some gentle exercise, move to music from a wide selection of tunes from folk to contemporary and classical, we have several opportunities every month to try out sacred circle dance.

There has been a circle dance group at UCV for well over a decade and the opportunities keep increasing.

Usually it’s a small group of 5 to 15. We always teach the steps and welcome newcomers. You are encouraged to adjust the movements to your own needs. For instance, some people get dizzy when they spin, or find “cross-over” steps difficult on their body. Our mantra is: There are no wrong steps, only variations!

Evenings

On the 1st Tuesday and 2nd Monday we meet in the hall from 7 to 9pm. We usually dance about 12-15 different dances with a short refreshment break in the middle.

GLAD – Gathering for Labyrinth Art and Dance

GLAD is now in its third year. Mairy, Mary and Darlene coordinate a mid-day creative retreat on the 3rd Thursday 11-1pm. We create art for a centerpiece to dance around; circle dance and then walk the labyrinth (time and weather permitting.

Circle Dance with Ease

On the 1st Sunday of each month from 2-3:30pm, we offer a “gentle” approach to circle dance, great for beginners or those who want to just relax into dancing. We select 4 dances and dance each one three times, the third time, with all four in sequence.

Pagan Ritual through Circle Dance

On the last Tuesday, a new offering we started in July, coordinated by Mairy Beam and Mary Bennett We will combine some earth spirit components with about 8 or so circle dances.  We start out with casting a circle, calling in the four directions and honouring the divine masculine and feminine. We use a combination of readings, lighting candles and dances that correspond to this sequence. In the middle we will do more circle dancing related to the season and some earth-centred activity (planting, harvesting, making) and then end the evening with opening the circle with devocations and a closing dance/chant.
We dance to some or all of these pagan chants in each session.

Casting the circle

Calling the 4 directions/elements

Invoking Divine Masculine/Feminine

Opening/ending the circle

For more details contact Mary Bennett at earthspiritucv@gmail.com
Or check out all earth spirit listings at vancouverunitarians.ca/earth-spirit

RSVP appreciated but not required.

Our Unitarian sixth source that acknowledges earth-centered traditions means we often dance to songs related to the turning of the seasons, for instance:

Summer time Songs

Pedacitos del Sol (Little pieces of the sun)

Join Our Social Media and Communications Team

Our UCV Communications Team is looking for someone to post web links to our facebook page. We’d like to post, on average, 5 links per week, preferably spread out over the week including posting the link for the Sunday morning service on Friday. Each post would only take you a couple of minutes if you regularly sign into facebook anyways.

You would be made an admin for the page and post as UCV (not as yourself). You would be welcome to get more involved than that such as adding photos, updating the cover photo more often, but that’s not required for the basic role.

Thanks to a growing team of volunteers, we have been able to increase our social media and web outreach over the past months and years.

Our Communications Team meets two or three times a year. You would be encouraged to attend to find out what else is happening and contribute your ideas. A lot goes on between meetings with individuals and sub-groups taking on tasks. Our meetings are mainly a check-in for individuals and small groups to report on what they’re doing and get feedback from others on their projects.

Video – We’d like to be able to do more

Our youtube channel has been mobilized. Here’s the link for Rev. Phillip Hewett’s Memorial Service and memories shared after the service.

 

People from across Canada and beyond have been so appreciative of being able to attend Phillip Hewett’s memorial service through youtube.

Among the notes I’ve received is one from Patricia Pavey (previously Yates) who attended UCV some time ago and is the composer of our “Carry the Flame” benediction. (And in case you’re wondering about the extra part that some congregations sing, that part was added by Louise Taylor who was music director at the Victoria congregation.)

We have podcasts of Sunday sermons

Click here to find the most recent three sermons–and check back regularly.

Our Closed Facebook Group

On advice from other congregations, we set up a Facebook Group (for community communications) that complements our Facebook page (for external/outreach communication). Our page has over 900 Likes (up from 800 in March, 2018).

You must have a facebook profile to join Members and Friends of Vancouver Unitarians. 

Note: you can see what’s on our Facebook page  even if you’re not on Facebook. If you are on Facebook – please go there regularly and like, comment and share. That’s how we increase our outreach.

Volunteers Needed

We need more help to continue to expand this work.

Some tasks, like posting links to our facebook page, take only a few minutes to do and don’t require much learning.

Most committees now have someone to post events and articles (“posts”) on the web but others need help getting their message out. Training is available and if you’ve used wordpress it will be easy to learn about our system.

We’d like more photos posted on instagram, facebook and the web, especially (with permission) of our many events and our beautiful campus (with people shown). If you like to take photos, we’d like to have you on board.

Other tasks such as editing videos (adding title pages, tweaking sound and light) take a lot of time. We need at least two more people if we’re to do video-recording, some of our events. Some ongoing tasks would only take about 15-30 minutes each week. Congregational consultant Peter Bowden says if he could suggest one thing it would be to do a very short video about the upcoming Sunday programs. Rev. Samaya Oakley of South Fraser Unitarians has been doing this.

How to attract and welcome visitors using social media

Are you interested in how Unitarian congregations can use social media well? I liked this article by Peter Bowden, emphasizing how much research visitors do before showing up in person and how important it is to respond very quickly to them.

Jason Shelton Singing Workshop Cancelled

I have just learned that Jason Shelton has had to cancel all of his fall obligations due to personal/family issues so the workshop planned for Sept. 27 – 29 has been cancelled.  I know that we are all disappointed and send our good wishes to Jason.  Thanks to everyone who registered – I am so pleased that so many of you wanted to come and sing with us!
Donna Brown, Director
Chalice Choir
Unitarian Church of Vancouver

(Some) Apples are ready for picking – please help yourselves

Photo credit: Keith Wilkinson

We have 14 apple trees on the North West side of the property.

They were planted to celebrate our 100th anniversary.

UPDATE: Next up: The King apples are ripe mid-September to early October.

In the meantime, do pick up any fallen apples. 

 

Our apple tree varieties are (clockwise from North West)
Honey Crisp, Scarlet Sentinel, King, Florina, Yellow Transparent, Summerland Red Macintosh, Ambrosia, 
Gravenstein, Cox Orange Pippin, Liberty, Sunrise, Golden Sentinel, Shamrock and Jonafree.

In order of ripening:

Yellow Transparent  July 10–25

SUNRISE  mid-August

GRAVENSTEIN  

Cox’s Orange Pippin late picking straight from the tree recommended.

Scarlet Sentinel – mid to late September

King – September 15 – 25

Florina – late September https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florina_(apple)

McIntosh – not till September 20-30

Ambrosia – mid to late season – October

Liberty – late season

 

FROM https://www.bctfpg.ca/horticulture/varieties-and-pollination/apple-varieties/

I’m adding more details about the various trees and apples below. A work in progress.
Apples are ready between   August 15 – October 30
from: https://pickyourown.org/apples_howtotellwhenripe.php
Scarlet Sentinel

King

Sept. 15–25 Yellow with red blush

Red McIntosh

Sept. 20–30 Yellow with red blush
Popular in America since 1811

  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad, good as part of a blend for applesauce
  • Sweet, mild flavor

ambrosia apple

Ambrosia – mid to late season

  • Sweet, crisp, aromatic flavour reminiscent of pear and low acidity.
  • Mostly red colouration, with yellow patches.
  • Flesh is cream-coloured, firm meat
  • Medium to large in size
  • Developed in British Columbia in the early 1990s.
  • Believed to be a cross of a Jonagold and Golden Delicious.
  • Ripens mid to late season

Gravenstein apple

Gravenstein

  • Greenish-yellow with a lumpy appearance
  • A good, all-purpose apple,
  • Good for applesauce and pies.

Cox’s Orange Pippin – early

  • Popular in English markets.
  • Medium sized, golden yellow skin, with brownish orange
  • often russeted.
  • Flesh tender, crisp, semi-tart
  • early

Liberty apple

Liberty – late season

  • A highly disease-resistant introduction from Geneva New York.
  • Liberty has superior dessert quality, similar to one of its parents, Macoun
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad
  • flavor improves in storage
  • late season

Sunrise – mid August

Yellow Transparent July 10–25 Creamy yellow

Jonagold Sept. 15–Oct. 7 Yellow with red stripes

Jonathan Sept. 20–25 Yellow with red blush

Golden Delicious Oct. 1–15 Yellow

Delicious—red strains Oct. 1–15 Red

Please pick the flowers and herbs in the labyrinth

Yes, that’s an unusual invitation, I know, but… I’d love people to take a bit of UCV abundance home with them. The rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) makes a lovely bouquet to bring some sunshine indoors.

Here are some that I would really like to have picked. It saves me pruning and dead-heading:
Lavender (still quite nice but fading fast). It’s mainly on the outer ring on the east side.
Dandelions- of course – any time!
Mint – There are several kinds of mint – chocolate mint, pineapple mint, etc. Please do cut 6″ pieces or so to make tea or enjoy in salads etc.
Fennel – Nice for a bouquet and also nice with mint for tea, or infused water.
Any time —
Lambs ears – those lovely fuzzy leaves can be picked any time. Not edible (but not poisonous). Kids love to touch them.
Sage – on west side near a tree – pick a bit to take home – I love sage tea, or to flavour other foods.
Take up to 1/3 of…
The glorious rudbeckia/black-eyed Susan – Take the flowers that are in full bloom. I call this pre-emptive dead-heading. Cut the step right to the place where it connects with another stem, so it looks nice.
Please don’t pick without checking with me:
The echinacea was moved last year and just getting established, so I’d prefer it wasn’t picked yet. Leave it for the bees!!

 

Here are some excerpts and links about kids and flowers:

Some flowers, like the bright yellow dandelion, are very common and children should be encouraged to collect them by armfuls. Other flowers, like the yellow golden paintbrush, are endangered and should be left alone. Not all flowers are created equal but everyone (even kids!) can learn which flowers are good to pick, where to pick them and when to pick them. Learning about flowers and picking them is a wonderful opportunity for you and your child to connect with nature together.

Do you have an idea for a new group? Let’s make it happen!

We know it’s hard to get to know people on Sunday mornings. There are so many of us. And as is often said: There’s a lot that goes on around here.

UCV has lots of small groups where people get to know each other more easily. Some once formed are then closed. Others are drop-in. Several people are initiating new groups starting in September.

And perhaps YOU too have an idea of a group to get like-minded people together?

Sheila R. and Mary Bennett as the Connect and Engage team would like to support and encourage you if you do.

We can help you find the right committee to sponsor your group; learn how to book space and advertise.

We may do a forum in late August or early September if enough people want to learn all the how-to’s (and perhaps some what-not-to-dos) of running groups at UCV.

Interested? Please do say hello on Sunday morning or send us an email to ucvconnect@gmail.com

And of course, there may already be a small group that you’d be interested in – so check here.

Here are some good ideas for starting new groups:

https://www.uua.org/interconnections/192406.shtml

Art Exhibition This Month

Mixed media works by artists from the Developmental Disabilities Association will be on display in both the Sanctuary and Fireside Room until October 1.

Opening reception on Thursday, August 8, 5:30 – 8:00 PM.

To view artwork at times other than during the opening reception or before/after Sunday service, please contact the office at 604-261-7204.

For art purchases please contact Hailey Arthur, manager of the Main Street DDA drop-in, at 604-322-0052.

 

Walk a sand labyrinth at Spanish Banks East and a picnic

If you’ve never walked a labyrinth in the sand, here’s your chance.

Weather permitting, I will be drawing a labyrinth August 31, 2019 and hosting a ‘walk’ from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at Spanish Banks in Vancouver, British Columbia. from Les.
Please come if you can:
Cost: donation
For directions to the labyrinth, cut and paste the following link into your browser:
In the spirit of reciprocity and gratitude, please bring a gift to offer to the Sacred in Nature such as flowers, coffee beans, etc. These will be used to create a mandala in the centre of the labyrinth.

 

If you have any questions, please email Les at:  walkingalabyrinth@gmail.com

Check his website any time for updates: http://walkingalabyrinth.blogspot.com/

I plan to be there and several of us are planning a picnic

Send me a note if you’re interested: earthspiritucv@gmail.com

Laurie, Mary are confirmed. We expect about 6-8 or so.(Best guess!)