Author: Mary Bennett

Crochet Club – Join Mary on Sundays for a crochet project

from Mary Bennett

On Remembrance Sunday I crocheted five poppies and enticed one other person to try her hand at a crocheted poppy.

Many of us find Sunday morning coffee hour a bit too hectic and this is my response. I’ll be putting a basket of yarn and crochet hooks on a table in the hall most Sundays. The crochet table is for crafts and pleasant conversation, like getting to know each other better. It’s not for UCV business, petitions or organizing of events.

Here are two ideas for easy projects for the next month or so.

Crochet Star Ornaments

https://persialou.com/crochet-star-ornaments-free-pattern/

Garland

https://persialou.com/crochet-retro-ornament-garland/

Do your own thing

You are very welcome to bring along your own craft projects and just sit and stitch, draw or knit at the table.

If you have supplies to share, bring them along.

Crocheted items

You can take your ornaments or garlands home or leave them. We’ll find a spot to display them as people contribute.

 

Come and meet Margot Adler while the veil is still thin

Every year, Rev. Steven Epperson writes scripts for our Unitarian and Universalist ancestors to address us from the other side. UCV members then enter to the opening bars of the Twilight Zone and address our congregation, someimes with a challenge. Among the four “guests from the past” this year will be Wiccan priestess and UU Margot Adler, author of Drawing Down the Moon.

Here’s information about the service.

Here’s a wikipedia entry about Margot Adler.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margot_Adler

It says:

Adler was a Wiccan priestess, an elder in the Covenant of the Goddess,[1] and she also participated in the Unitarian Universalist faith community.[1]

Here’s some background on her UU involvements

http://uudb.org/articles/margotadler.html

Some selected excerpts:

She was a member of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City, a member of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS), and a frequent speaker at national and regional Unitarian Universalist events.

Beacon Press published an expanded edition of Drawing Down the Moon in 1986. The next year Adler was a keynote speaker at the annual Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly (GA). A continental organization, the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) was formed and was granted affiliate status with the UUA in 1988. Adler was a member of CUUPS and served on the board. She joined the All Souls congregation in New York City in 1992 and participated in the activities of its Women’s Alliance. She would speak at numerous Unitarian Universalist affiliated events over the next twenty years.

Adler saw Paganism as the spiritual side of feminism which rejected the hierarchy of monotheism. She thought monotheism was “imperialism in religion.” In 2005 Adler spoke at the annual Southwest Unitarian Universalist Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas. There was still some resistance in Unitarian Universalist women’s circles toward the Pagan movement despite the fact that “Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions” had been named the sixth source of our Unitarian Universalist Living Tradition. In her talk, Adler explained how much pagan spirituality and ritual had contributed to Unitarian Universalist worship; from croning and water ceremonies, to walking the labyrinth, spiral dances, drumming, and—perhaps most importantly for Margot—chanting, a practice she often introduced at women’s gatherings.

Adler presented her theories about vampires to the Second International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women in October 2012 in Marosvásárhely, Romania. In her keynote speech, Adler compared America’s twenty-first century fascination with vampires to that experienced in Great Britain at the close of the nineteenth century when Dracula, written by Bram Stoker, had been published. She theorized that the two cultures were similar in experiencing the end of empire and perhaps also sharing a view of themselves as evil; the British sucking the blood from colonies while America was sucking oil through powerful multinational corporations. She published Out for Blood in 2013, and Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side the following year.

In 2013 Adler placed books from her parent’s collections into the “Margot Adler Collection” at the Adler Graduate School in Richfield, Minnesota. Alfred Adler’s papers were donated to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Transcripts and audio copies of some of Margot Adler radio broadcasts can be found at justicetalking.org, pacificaradioarchives.org, hourwolf.com, npr.org, and YouTube.

And here’s something I didn’t know:

Her father was a psychiatrist who helped continue the work of his father, the distinguished Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler, who was first an ally and later an ideological adversary of Freud.

Huff Post article after her death.

Margot Adler Memorial Page on Facebook

New York Times article on her death:

 

CUUPS Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/CUUPS.org/

 

UU World Article

Why I am a UU Pagan

http://www.spelcastor.org/cuups/margot.htm

 

 

Women’s groups – November update

There are many groups and events that provide a chance for women to meet together and connect across ages and stages. The connect and engage team can help facilitate women connecting through monthly women’s groups, supper clubs, collage/art and writing gatherings, feminist thealogy course (“Cakes for the Queen of Heaven”) and even informal drop-in meetups over coffee.

Women’s groups

These groups of six to 12 women rotate leadership with the facilitator for that month selecting a topic after consultation with the group and preparing a starting point for a group discussion. Currently there are five groups; three started this year and others have been going for over a decade. On occasion a group is looking for new members or is willing to mentor a new group in forming. Once formed, the groups are closed for a period of time to deepen connections.

Check on the form linked below if you’d like to be notified when there’s an opportunity.

Annual Women’s Gathering

There are usually about 50 women who come in early January for the annual women’s gathering. Afternoon workshops; potluck dinner and evening activities including circle dance and a conversation circle for women already in women’s groups. Plus there are lots of ways to connect and meet each other. This year it will be a fundraiser for our Refugee Committee. Suggested donation $25. Our goal is to raise $1000.

Women’s Supper — or Brunch — Clubs

Here’s the idea: twelve women form a group and take turns arranging a restaurant meal out. With busy lives, we expect six to eight from the group might attend on any one night. One group has formed and we are taking a wait list for a second group, possibly focused around East Vancouver restaurants. The initial group is focused on Fairview/Kitsilano/West Point Grey areas. Click here for details on how the group is planning to operate and let us know if you’d like to be part of a similar group. This first group started with an inaugural meeting of four women who then invited others until there were 12 on the list.

Mend–Make–Do: Monthly Mending Meetup

Not just for women, but so far that’s who’s attending. Our monthly Mending Meetup is a drop-in on the 4th Saturday from 12 noon to 2 pm at the Vancouver Unitarian Centre. Marie Witt sets up sewing machines and provides assistance to anyone who wants help repairing clothes to reduce waste. On occasion we’ll have some special focus and there will always be the tools and supplies to do some mending.

Collage/Art

Several women meet on occasion in Kitsilano or at UCV to make “intuitive collages” on a weekday evening or Saturday afternoon. Mary Bennett coordinates and hosts in her co-op’s common room. These are closed groups at this point, but contact Mary if you’d like to know when we open the invitation list.

Women’s Writing Group

There have been women’s writing groups formed through UCV and we’re taking a wait list for any who would be interested. Like many of our groups this would be a self-led group with members sharing responsibility

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven – Feminist Thealogy Course

We hope to offer this 12-session curriculum in the new year.

Chat on a Sunday?

If you’d like to chat informally about ways to connect with other women, Sheila or Mary (or other women engaged in women’s groups) would be pleased to set up a time to meet up on a Sunday from 12 to 1 pm in Hewett Centre following the service. We would just put a sign up on one of the tables and have an informal gathering and share interests similar to the Sermon Discussion table. We may try to offer this once a month and ensure that at least one woman currently in a women’s group will be there to welcome you.

Get more details as opportunities arise

Sign up here to receive further information about any of these opportunities. 

You can also contact ucvconnect@gmail.com with any questions about getting involved through UCV.

 

Fall on the Labyrinth – Please help yourself to mint, chives etc.

Calendula in various stages: full bloom to full seed. Planted judiciously it will grow year round.
Apple mint in pot on west pathway near hedge. Cranesbill geranium (pale pink flowers) in ground in front.
Pineapple mint (left) and peppermint (right)
Golden Lemon thyme. Along with red creeping thyme, these were two of the plants we purchased that correspond to the west thanks to funding from Vancouver Foundation
Echinacea gone to seed. The birds are enjoying it! We may wait till spring to divide and spread seed around now. https://www.wikihow.com/Divide-Coneflowers

Some of our plants are dying down and going to seed.

Soon the mint, chives and various other herbs will die down to rest over the winter.

You are invited to pick as much as you can possibly take–there are several kinds of mint go dry for tea or enjoy fresh.

Some like the echinacea will be ready to divide and transplant. Lots of calendula seedlings and seeds still doing well.

We’d like to share our rudbeckia, strawberry plants, lambs’ ears and chives. Let us know if you’d like some so we can dig enough up for you.

We have for sharing (but not as desperate to give away!) garlic chives, grape hyacinth bulbs, sage cuttings and mint.

See more photos of the labyrinth through the seasons here. 

Be a Connector

Are you a friendly person who likes to introduce new people to our amazing (but somewhat complex) congregation?

The Connect & Engage team is inviting UCV members to help between two and five new folk get connected with the people, programs and information they may want in order to feel connected with the congregation. We’re anticipating that one or two contacts per month (e.g. saying “hello” on Sunday morning or an email mentioning an event you’re going to that you think they’d enjoy) is all that would be necessary for up to a year.

Some may move very quickly to “flying solo”; others may decide this isn’t for them.

If you’re up for trying it, what will happen is that people who fill out our survey online will be introduced to you by email and you’ll take it from there. We’ll try to match up your interests and theirs. For example if you’re in a men’s group, we’d forward people who have checked that, similarly for book groups, etc. Alternatively you may just wind up chatting with someone on a Sunday or at a meeting and will let us know that that’s someone you’re willing to continue to welcome and show around.

We anticipate occasional gatherings of the connectors to share feedback from what we hear from new people and see what we can do about it.

Here’s the “position description”. Contact Mary if you’d like to try it.

All of this is flexible–just some suggestions.

1. send a reply offering to meet them on a Sunday (or other time). Perhaps at the sermon discussion table.
2. when you meet try to introduce them to two or three other people who are involved in the things they checked interest in.
3. check in with them about twice a month for six months to a year. This might be as simple as looking for them on Sunday morning and saying “hello”. But if you haven’t seen them for a month, send an email, asking how they are and noting you haven’t seen them recently.
4. If you’re attending some open special event that you think they’d be interested in, forward the information with a “hope to see you there” message. For example, potluck dinners, choir concerts are good draws.
5. when the New to Vancouver Unitarians workshop and “Part II” are advertised, send email or (better) mention in person about how valuable it is (stressing no obligation to join if that seems appropriate).
6. help them sign up for the newsletters and follow our social media accounts if they’re interested.
You’re not expected to know everything about the congregation and Unitarianism, but are committing to finding out the answers to any questions or introducing them to someone who can answer.
It will likely be a learning experience for you as well as the folks you’re helping.
We will be gathering up the questions to create an “FAQ” on our website.
Reference:

 

How to form a Supper Club (or Brunch Club) — we can help

Your Connect & Engage team has a new approach for how to get to know people better in a friendly, social atmosphere.

One “supper club” has formed: 12 people who will each organize a restaurant meal out once a year.

They’ll choose a restaurant, send details along with the proposed date and time to the “club members”. Then they’ll take registrations, make a reservation and confirm with those who have RSVP’d. Probably they’ll arrive early to be there to welcome people.

At any one time two people will be thinking about the next gathering so if one gets swamped with life, the other can get onto it.

For the group that has formed, there is no regular date (e.g. 3rd Friday or such). They’re just letting the host choose. They have decided on a geographical area. In that case Fairview/Westside and that all selected restaurants will be on an easy transit line with parking nearby (e.g. 4th Avenue or Broadway in this case).

This new format is being proposed as a possible replacement for two other approaches to setting up shared dinners are now longer operating. (Movable Feast and Hygge Potluck Dinners)

Over time each of these groups will make their own decisions about how many people to have in the group; where and when they’ll meet, and whether they’re limiting to a particular kind of restaurant or location.

If you want to be part of a group like this, let us know and we can help you advertise through the order of service and, if desired, set up a google group to make connections with your members easier.

The FUN (Fairview Unitarian Neighbourhood) Women’s Supper Club formed by an initial dinner with four women and they then each invited a few others until the maximum of 12 had confirmed.

Movable Feast was a once-a-month dinner out organized by Karen and Dianne for three years. The attendance varied between 8 and 24.

Hygge Potluck Dinners were monthly potluck dinners hosted in members’ homes organized by Patti and Mary.

In both of these cases, the volunteer organizers got involved in other UCV activities and no one stepped up to carry them on. When the time is right these two programs might be revived.

Signup here if interested.
Go to Shared Dinners – would you like to join a supper club?

Pitching in Volunteer Opportunities

The congregation runs on a lot of committed volunteer time and talent that complements our staff and minister’s roles.

We recognize that some people can’t easily commit to a regular schedule of volunteer contributions, so here are some opportunities where the organizer would be very happy to have you pitch in whenever you have the time and interest.

Children’s Program

– Sunday mornings

  • Attending to the Buddy Bags: Hang out in foyer of sanctuary and make sure each bag has an animal, colouring book, and five to seven crayons in a baggie.
  • Before or after service – check the pencils in the Buddy Bags and sharpen if necessary.

Children’s Program – Any time

  • Art Supply Management: Help Kiersten by keeping the kids program art supplies organized.
  • Paint a Shelf: This is a one time request. Contact Kiersten

Lots of other opportunities too

Gardening

Every 3rd Saturday a work crew gathers between 9 am to 12 noon. Patti brings home-cooked yummies to feed the gardeners. You can also do some gardening at your own time and speed. For an orientation click below and we’ll get back to you. Don’t worry about being late, even half an hour or so is helpful.

Mending meetup

A new group is meeting every 4th Saturday from 12 noon to 2 pm. If you can help others mend their clothes, please join Marie Witt and others. Darning, hand and machine-sewing, and any other talents are most welcome.

Sermon discussion table

This is an informal place to welcome people and introduce them to each other. Even if you’re new it’s helpful to have additional hosts who can help newcomers find their way.

Newsletter signup and online form support

If you can use our tablet or your own device (or theirs) to help people sign up for our e-newsletters or one of the online forms through Breeze database for registering for programs, connecting with folk at the Sermon discussion table would be very much appreciated.  Even if you can only stop by for five minutes, likely at least one person could use your help.

Labyrinth tending and gardening.

Mary often stops by a couple of times per month to tend the labyrinth on an ad hoc basis–and often after the service on Sunday (in sunny weather!)

How to volunteer

Contact ucvconnect@gmail.com if you’d like to connect with the person/s in charge of these events so you can learn more and decide if it’s a good fit. Then if it is, you can let them know you plan to attend.

Or complete this form to express interest in these and other volunteer opportunities.

https://vancouver.breezechms.com/form/volunteer

Candidates for the Board of Trustees

Candidates for the Board of Trustees to be elected: November 24th, 2019

from Marg Fletcher, Chair Nominating Committee

Thank you to all who participated in the process and particularly to those who agreed to stand for the new Board.

Nominating Committee Slate for UCV Board of Trustees 2019/20

President:  Diane Brown     

Diane is the artistic director of Ruby Slippers Theatre. She and her son Dylan are long-time members of UCV.  Diane is also a Past President of the church, an active member of the UCV Environment Committee and a fourth Sunday greeter. Her return to the board is rooted in the desire to help steer UCV through some transitional challenges ahead, assuring that the important work of the Church – environment, social justice, refugee, children and youth programs, to name only a few – are properly and promptly supported, and our sustainability as an organization secured.

Vice President:  Gordon Gram

Gordon found his “church home” at UCV when attending UBC in the 1960s, thanks to his wife Charlene and mother-in-law Marjorie Smith, who was a member for over 75 years. “A few years ago we actually had four generations of family attending church.”  Now retired, Gordon has had a career with lots of variety that includes overseas work in book publishing with Prentice Hall International, government experience with the BC Agricultural Land Commission, and a number of roles in commercial real estate and land and project development. Volunteer work has included serving on several boards: MSA Community Services Abbotsford, Seniors Housing Society New Westminster, Katherine Sanford Housing Society Vancouver and Douglas Park Community Association Vancouver.

“In the fall of 2001 we moved to within walking distance of the church, and it was perfect timing to hear Steven’s first sermon in the spring of 2001 and become a fan.”

Gordon has served on Buildings and Grounds and has been on the three committees that have examined the merits of redevelopment. In 2018 he led the Nominations Committee.  

“I see serving on the board as an opportunity to make a contribution, to engage in challenging work, and to have some fun.”      

Secretary:  Mairy Beam 

After one year of serving as secretary to the UCV board, Mairy is past the worst of the learning curve and eager to continue perfecting the role. Well, maybe not perfecting, but moving in that direction. Mairy is active in the RE program and the Earth Spirituality events. This will be a year where important decisions are made on redevelopment, an interim minister, etc.  It will be exciting to be in the midst of it all.

Treasurer: John Taylor

 

Members-at-large:

Jennifer Fell

Jennifer first came to UCV in 2008, along with her partner Lorimer and their three kids. At various times, all three kids attended the Religious Education program. Jennifer’s youngest daughter, Juliet, is now part of the youth group. Jennifer continues to find the UCV community to be an important part of her life.

Carolyn Grant

Carolyn has been a member of UCV since 2006.  She has served on a number of committees including the board for two years around 2010.  Mostly you can find her at the front door on the third Sunday handing out orders of service — something she had been asked to do as a “one-off” and 13 years later is still there. She brings to the board a keen desire to make sure the congregation remains financially sustainable and that our governing policies continue to evolve, so that we can thrive in the years to come.

Michael O’Neil

Michael O’Neil and his wife Catherine Stewart have been members of UCV for about 27 years. They joined when their two children were young and spent the early years teaching Sunday school and were involved in a number of committees and activities. Over the past 12-15 years Michael and Catherine have re-engaged in various aspects of UCV life on a regular basis. 

Michael considered being a member of the board for some time, but a busy hospital-based medical practice was a significant barrier. He has been involved over the past few years with the redevelopment committee and participated in various other events at UCV. Now working part-time affords an opportunity to be a more active member of the board and committees. 

Michael feels that this is a very important time in UCV’s history: there are a number of significant discussions and decisions that have to be made in the next few months and years. The transition to a new minister is always a critical time for a congregation and the question of re-development has many aspects to be considered. He wishes to be part of this dialogue and hopefully be able to give some thoughtful input and also some historical perspective. 

Michael feels that the long-term future and growth of the UCV community is of paramount importance for maintaining just and rational voices in our broader society. 

Past President: Leonie Armstrong

Members-at-large 

Continuing in their second year of a two-year term as members-at-large are

 

Letter from Nominating Committee Chair

Dear Members

Here is the Nominations Committee Slate to be voted on at the AGM on Sunday, November 24, 2019.

The process is explained here including how members can nominate other people to stand for any position on the board in case you wish to do so.

I am the chair of the current committee, Laureen Stokes is a member and we sought input from a large group of individuals representing many committees, ages and other constituents of our congregation who either volunteered to serve on the Board or provided names of members they thought would be good to contact.  We also were able to consult with three past presidents of the Board, Keith Wilkinson, Patti Turner and Diane Brown. Several requests for input were put in orders of service over the past month or two. Thank you to all who participated and particularly to those who agreed to stand for the new Board!

According to our bylaws:

The Nominations Committee (NC) shall prepare a report nominating candidates for the roles of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and for member-at-large positions that are vacant or becoming vacant (in bylaw 48).
The NC shall deliver the slate of recommended nominations (the “Nominating Committee Slate”) at least 35 days prior to the Annual General Meeting. (in bylaw 50)
Members may make additional nominations for officers or members-at-large by preparing a petition for each nomination (a “Nomination Petition”) which shall:
a) be signed by not fewer than 10 voting members in good standing
b) include the written consent of the nominee
c) be filed with the chair of the NC at least 7 days prior to the AGM (bylaws 51 and 52)

With respect and appreciation,
Margaret Fletcher, Nominations Committee Chair
778-772-1120
mfletcher508@gmail.com

New Gender Discussion Group

In this group, we’ll talk about the influences that have shaped our gender identity and expression, especially role models like parents and cultural figures. We’ll share stories about our gender journeys and discuss the role of gender in today’s world.

Starting November 11th, we’ll meet on the second and fourth Monday of each month in the Lindsey-Priestley Room from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Please email Glenn Deefholts (glenn.deefholts@gmail.com) if you are interested in joining us.

UCV has a Genders and Sexualities Alliance and is a certified Welcoming Congregation.

Gardening at UCV – if you like to dig, there are many opportunities

There are many opportunities to garden at UCV. Some of our members have home gardens and more than enough on their plate managing that, but others live in condos or apartments and enjoy the chance to beautify our grounds and enjoy the company of others who love dirt!

Work with a crew once a month

Once a month on the 3rd Saturday a crew arrives and Patti Turner helps them find things that work for them and help keep our extensive grounds and gardens looking good. Patti brings home-cooked snacks! And Steven usually thanks them the following day. As one of the people who spend a lot of time at UCV he notices the difference – big time!

Help Mary with the labyrinth

Bubbles on the Labyrinth October 15, 2018.

Our garden path labyrinth can always use work and a couple of us get together on a spontaneous schedule if it looks like a good day. If you’d like to join us, or know some regular tasks that need doing that you can do on your own time, just drop Mary Bennett a note.

Vegetable gardens on north side

You may have noticed the vegetable gardens on the north side of the property. These were first put in after digging up lawn (we have a lot of it, and are lessening it over time) in the mid-90s.  At the same time, we put heather on the SW corner and a herb garden on the south side.

The west gardens are for the Children’s program.

The farthest east is looked after by Mairy Beam and Mary Bennett.  We often pick and share the herbs with the earth spirit circle.

The largest area in the middle is divided into a number of smaller plots from 3′ square to about 4′ x 6′.

The gardeners there are:

  • Sandy Riecken
  • Megumi/Amy Anderson (Love Soup)
  • Marie Witt
  • Gerda Schulz
  • Patti Turner

The southern three boxes are for three of our families.

Karl Perrin digging in children’s garden. 2017

Would you like to have a vegetable garden area at UCV — or work with others on their plots?

Would you like to have a small plot of your own either for yourself or to support a program at UCV? You could do it as part of a pair or group or on your own.

Mary’s been working on helping new gardeners find a plot of a size that works for them and over time building up the very clay-y soil with compost and dried leaves.

There’s some space available for another plot or two, including a raised bed near he sidewalk that wouldn’t require much bending. It might work for someone in a wheel chair even. Contact Mary if you’d like to take on a plot.

Adopt an area

Once people start gardening at UCV they quickly begin to notice the expanse of the property and the need for many hands to make light work. Some years ago, there was a suggestion that individuals might “adopt an area” – perhaps even very very small and take it on to weed, water and perhaps even plant.

Is there a spot you’ve noticed needs some pruning or weeding?

Talk to Patti if you are ready to adopt a section of the grounds.