Author: Mary Bennett

ZW Blog 1 – Recycling Masks and Making Compost

A quick audit check confirmed that only masks were in the box and not other garbage

ZW at UCV Blog Post 1 –
Recycling Masks and Creating Good Compost

If you  haven’t yet noticed, it but thanks to Karen Bartlett and Yvonne Marcus, we have a box where you can deposit used face masks. And yes, you can bring ones from home and add them. We’ve already filled one box and with congregational administrator, Casey’s, support, Karen is prepared to continue donating the cost and organizing getting a new box when one is full. It’s just inside Hewett Hall.

Karen says, “Thank you to Casey for being the point person to pass along the information when the box was ¾ full, giving us time to organize the new box.

Also thanks to everyone who is using the box. A quick audit check confirmed that only masks were in the box and not other garbage.”

You Can Do It! We Can Help!

Karen (and the ZW team) want to share this as a good example that anyone at UCV can take on a small project and “make it so.”

Here are some quotes found by googling “zero waste quotations” that were read at the start of our meeting. The theme is “just do it”! Or as Home Hardware says: You can do it. We can help

The world is changed by your example not by your opinion.

To do good you actually have to do something.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

Waste is a design flaw.

If you have an idea related to zero waste and want to know how to go about it and who you might need to check in with, we’d be *very* happy to lend support!

It looks a little gross, but I guarantee that the red wriggler worms will appreciate this soup!

Compost bins. We’re about to enter “peak dry leaves” season when our stalwart gardeners rake up the barrels and barrels full of leaves.  As well as the bins for organic waste that go to the city, we have 6 round black bins with some hardy red wriggler worms in them that can, with a little help, create “black gold” compost for our gardens.  Mary Bennett has been chief compost enthusiast and worker, but got behind during the time we weren’t regularly meeting in person. We need your help to get the red wrigglers healthy and working again, and the key thing is they need some food (vegetable and fruit scraps especially, although they seem to love their coffee!) and, even more importantly, water.

Our team are all going to take turns taking out the green counter top bin in Hewett Centre on Sundays. A quick way to add moisture, is to fill it 2/3 or so full with water before taking out. (Full might make it difficult to walk easily without spilling). As well, we’re going to make a concerted effort over next month or two (before the damp weather returns) to regularly fill one of the tall white containers near Hitschmanova entrance with water and add to the bins.

Right now it’s very dry, so if you can help, you’ll find you’ll need to pour in slowly or add 1/4 of a bucketful to each of 4 bins.  You can do this any time you’re on site. Send a note to zerowasteucv@gmail.com and we’ll send you a virtual gratitude!

No meat or bones, but the red wrigglers are ok with napkins, coffee filters, (most) tea bags.

(Speaking of which, let’s not use the silky ones, ok?)

The black round bins are on the Fremlin (east) side adjacent to the lane. There’s one right near the city waste bins as well.

 

 

 

Cathy and Rosemary added some water to all the bins. (But they still need more. Please help. The worms, and the earth, will thank you.)
Mary ready to dump the bin from the office, having added water to help provide a drink to our thirsty red wriggler worms.
Step 2 – just dump in. If you had some fruit and vegetable waste and are able to add some of the dried leaves around the bins to cover that will help keep rodent-activity down.

More information about our Zero Waste (part of Enviro Team) Circle can be found here.

vancouverunitarians.ca/zero-waste

Zero Waste Team

 

Unitarian Plurals Book Study Group FULL

Mary and Sheila are hosting a once-a-month, one-hour zoom meeting to work through the book Don’t Label Me by Irshad Manji.

This group is now full.

Leadership will be shared, with all participants taking turns facilitating, zoom hosting and or notetaking/admin support.

As well as the one hour session, you will be asked to do some homework, including practice, and get together with one or more other people in between our sessions. Each week, the facilitators will come up with discussion questions and the assignment.  The group will also meet and share their reflections on a googlegroup.

Irshad Manji spoke at UCV in 2019. Her website is https://irshadmanji.com/

Date and time: 3rd Mondays 7-8pm on zoom https://tinyurl.com/unitarian-plurals 

Questions? sresels@gmail.com or Unitarianmary@gmail.com

The book is divided into 10 sections. Each month, September to June, we’ll focus on one of the sections.

Vancouver Public Library have seven copies plus an e-book and downloaded audiobook. I’ve ordered in some from Banyen. (It was listed on their website but was  out of stock.) If you want one, let me know. Approximately $30.

Why the name Unitarian Plurals?

Manji proposes that we all adopt the one label “Plural” to emphasize that we are each more complex than the list of our labels.

She’s an engaging, articulate, funny speaker. Search youtube.com if you want to see some interviews. There are lots.

Maximum group size: 10

Schedule:

Date 3rd Mon. 7-8 on zoom Focus
September 19 Can We Talk? Chapters 1-9
October “Straight White Male” 10-18
November “Muslim Refugee” 19-25
December What Change Means 26-31
January A New Identity 32-40
February Why (and How) to not be Offended 41-46
March Rethinking Power and Privilege 47-51
April Rethinking Multiculturalism 52-57
May Rethinking Courage 58-65
June The Lessons of Lily 66-72

 

For a detailed description, click here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1glGJ0TrZzkts30A8hFwocN5Bca7OlmBYsLnmbo0Whtk/edit?usp=sharing

For a list of UCV book groups, click here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qBPA6uC4VBRqtTDU4sL3lIdWyXtk5z7xHvVFns2DOUw/edit?usp=sharing

 

Spontaneous Book Group NEW!

Do you sometimes hear about a book and wish you could talk to a friend who’d already read it before you make the investment of time and possibly money?

Or you’re half way through a book and really want to talk with some like-minded person/s about the ideas before continuing.

To complement other book groups at UCV (2nd Sunday where they choose a book and Potluck Books where people show up and share what they’ve been reading–and sometimes the actual books too!) a new group is starting.

Along the lines of Christina’s Baldwin’s “Calling the Circle”, anyone in the group can “call the circle” – by putting out an email suggesting when and where you’re inviting people to get together and the intention. i.e. it might be to discuss a particular book, or it might be potluck-style: come and tell us what you’re reading.

Another approach would be to have one or two people who have read a particular book, present it and reading is optional for the others. (This format borrowed from Toronto First’s Issues and Ideas group.) We’ll use this approach for the Zero Waste Book Club.

Mary Bennett has set up an email group for any who want to participate. If you join, you’ll get some invitations and you’ll be expected to now and again “call the circle”.  #SharedLeadership


Interested in book clubs? Here are some of the other book groups going at UCV.

2nd Sunday Book Club. Contact Rob Dainow

Potluck Book and Lunch Club. Contact Nan Gregory

Zero Waste Book Group.  https://vancouverunitarians.ca/zero-waste-book-group/

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For contact information, schedules and other small group opportunities, contact Membership Outreach Coordinator, Derrick at moc@vancouverunitarians.ca

 

 

Zero Waste Book Group

The Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Team is starting a monthly one-hour zoom book club focused on books that relate to sustainability, zero waste etc.

Register with zerowasteucv@gmail.com and you’ll be added to the google group. Or join yourself: https://groups.google.com/g/uu-zero-waste-books

Open group. Registration appreciated.

It is open to any Unitarians in Metro Vancouver or even beyond.

Zoom link is tinyurl.com/uu-zero-waste-books . A reminder and link details will be sent to members of the googlegroup.

Circle Dance

Before covid, UCV hosted 3 sometimes more circle dance gatherings every month.

Since then we’ve shared two or three at the start of Earth Spirit rituals and a couple of us have met informally and now we’d like to start offering at least one 2-hour circle dance session each month.

You may find Mary’s blog http://sacredcircledance.wordpress.com of value, especially if you’re new to circle dancing.

 

June is Pride Month

For June the UCV Genders and Sexualities Alliance will have an information table in the courtyard every Sunday after the service including information of the many Pride flags. We will also be recording videos for using in the services highlighting some of the flags.

Members of the Genders and Sexualities Alliance will be present to answer any questions you may have.

For more info, search the website for GSA or Welcoming congregation.

Curious? Read more here: https://queerintheworld.com/different-lgbtq-flags-and-meaning/

President’s Column: the Ministerial Search process

 “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose “ 

the more things change, the more they stay the same…

 Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr 

 

Oh, my! The memories. I’ve called  it my “initiation” into Unitarian organizational life. I’d only been a member for two years but had gotten what a friend called “aggressively involved” at UCV.  The announcement to invite nominations to the search for the next minister had been made and at coffee hour, one of our elders (Sheilah Thompson by name) approached me at coffee hour. 

“Mary, you’ve got to put your name forward. The only people who have volunteered so far are all my age!”  Ahem. Yes, that was 30 years ago, so I am now that age! 

Then, as now, a majority of search committee members are elected by the congregation and then the board looks at “who’s missing”.  So although I was not one of those “first past the post” I was appointed, because I was new. (Just as an aside now it’s recommended that the board simply announce the full slate and not identify who was voted in and who appointed.)

Much has changed since Rev. Phillip Hewett retired! Technology has made some of the tasks much easier, such as creating a survey, sending “packets” and receiving information. A lot of that is now done through a website or pdf documents in a dropbox folder. 

So I share this to say, even if you’re pretty new (or if you’ve been around for a very long time), consider putting your hat in the ring.  From (likely) a group of 7, there’s a need for many perspectives and experience.  

During the time I was serving on the committee, a friend remarked, “That’s a committee designed for conflict.” Don’t get scared! All that means is when you intentionally bring seven people together for a very important task with a high degree of diversity, there will be, by design, a need to have excellent communication and teamwork skills.  

So here am I, with a nod to Sheilah, saying: Please consider this opportunity to serve our congregation by offering to take on the admittedly heavy responsibility to serve on a ministerial search committee.  

Some of the things that have not changed are:

  • You’d be expected to give up any other organizational “jobs” – sing in the choir, garden, attend Sunday services, but no committee or team work
  • You will be under a very high bar for confidentiality. Only one candidate will ultimately be presented to the congregation and you will go to your grave mum about the names of any other ministers who expressed interest
  • You will get to know your fellow committee members deeply (I’m crying as I write this) and it could be your initiation rite to lifelong commitment to our religion.

Fondly,

Mary

PS – There will be many opportunities over the next while to learn more and to nominate people, including yourself. Stay tuned!

Click here for information about the upcoming Board Forum on Sunday, March 13.

To see who’s on the board and a list of recent posts, go to ucv.im/board

 

The Butterflyway Project

June 9, 2022 – Native plants in bloom on labyrinth:

Lupins are in full bloom and buzzing with bees. Blue camas is blooming. 3 tender dwarf native red columbines are near the Butterflyway sign in the labyrinth. Just planted two pearly everlasting plants (native plants).

Thank you, Patti, for weed-whacking and edging the labyrinth. Volunteers needed to pull up the grass that crept into the garden beds. Also, yes, there’s still buttercups.

I’d love to share with you what’s growing and have you help with taking out what’s not supposed to be growing!

We are starting on June 18, with taking out periwinkle. It’ll be a multi-year project. here’s information from the Invasive Species Council of BC. The good thing is that it’s all contained in areas that have borders, so we’re starting with the patch around the big arbutus tree.

Common periwinkle

May 25, 2022 – Shade Garden Native Plants

We have some shade garden native plants including bunchberry and kinnickanick needing a crew to help plant.

Bunchberry

https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARUV

If you can help, please contact Mary – we can meet up or I can show you the project and you can do at your own time!

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES

Wednesday June 1 – Pollinator Workshop plus optional potluck/foraging/socializing 5:30pm on

Pollinator Workshop

Saturday June 18 – 12 noon – Join youth from Invasive Species Council of BC to pull out periwinkle and plant native species

Pollinator Pathway and Workshop

Needed: If you have property with native plants that spread, we’d greatly appreciate donations of any of the following: kinnickanick, bleeding heart, heart-leaved arnica, salal, pearly everlasting, trillium. Contact UnitarianMary@gmail.com to arrange.

 

PREVIOUS UPDATES AND EVENTS

Saturday, May 21 – Bee Day at Maplewood Flats/Wild Bird Trust Email if you’d like to meet up. You need to book a ticket

https://www.eventbrite.ca/o/wild-bird-trust-of-british-columbia-15382019658

APRIL 22 – JUNE 6, 2022  Coast Salish Plant Exhibition: Celebrating Indigenous Ecosystems at Maplewood Flats

April 27, 2022 — Thank you to the Enviro team for allocating $100 for 20 native plants grown by Environmental Youth Alliance and to John Boyle and Ron Gibson for arranging reservation of the garden bundles.

May 7 from 10am-12noon, we hope to plant these native plants. All worker bees welcome. Karen Theroux will be coordinating use of tools etc. so just show up. If you like to wear gardening gloves, bring your own.

 

April 9, 2022 — Working with Patti of Buildings and Grounds, two areas (as well as the labyrinth) have been identified as #butterflyway pollinator pathways:

  1. Under the apple trees on northwest side of property. This is fairly sunny and has a watering system for summer. We plan to plant at least 50% native plants that need some sun, as well as some spring bulbs. Cathy will be at the 3rd Saturday grounds crew work party – Come along and lend a hand!
  2. The area between the parking lot and sanctuary where the daffodils are blooming right now has a lot of periwinkle (an invasive species). We’ll be removing the periwinkle and planting native plants that like a shaded or semi-shaded spot.
  3. Some plants will be added to the labyrinth – It’s already pollinator-friendly with lupin, yarrow and many other plants

Want to contribute to this project? Fill out this form, and we’ll contact you. https://forms.gle/EdDehWweb1AUKgNa7

If you’re on facebook, follow this page for news. We want to connect with our neighbours to encourage more butterfly pollinator gardens nearby.

Just search for Butterflyway – South Vancouver or click here: https://www.facebook.com/ButterflywaySouthVancouver

Save the dates

April 16, a couple of us are meeting up at Maplewood Flats/Wild Bird Trust Coast Salish plant nursery in North Vancouver at noon. Bring your bagged lunch.

On April 24 after the Earth Day worship service, there will be an information display about butterflies and native plants outdoors and then a workshop in Lindsey-Priestley. Native Plant workshop

February 23, 2022 by Cathy Sevcik

UCV has been officially accepted into the David Suzuki Foundation’s program – “The Butterfly Way Project”.  The goal of the program is to establish consistent habitat for our native bees and butterflies.  This program has been active since 2017 and is part of a larger movement of “Rewilding Communities”

Pollinators are essential for keeping our ecosystem healthy.  As part of this program, we are tasked with planting at least 12 pollinator patches.  Some of these will be on the UCV campus and our small group of volunteers will be looking for ways to spread these pollinator patches to neighbouring growing spaces.

Some of our group have already met with the organizer of the Balaclava Pollinator Pathway. We look forward to collaborating with this group in a variety of ways: such as sharing seeds, attending events and learning from each other.  This initiative has the potential to provide our members with means to making a difference in our ecosystem and making connections in our city.  We are aware that some UCV members are already butterfly rangers in different areas of the city and look forward to collaborating with them also.

In addition to sponsoring planting events, we hope to provide educational and social opportunities surrounding this initiative to the wider UCV community and our neighbourhood.  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you are interested in being involved in a hands-on manner, please complete a volunteer form on our website here: ucv.im/pollinatorpathway

from Cathy Sevcik and Mary Bennett, new Butterfly Rangers

 

UCV’s Enviro Team voted to support this project at the February 29, 2022, meeting.

Links:

Musqueam Artist Pollinator Plant Map

https://davidsuzuki.org/story/musqueam-artist-helped-create-the-first-indigenous-pollinator-plant-map/

Scroll down on that page to see posters of 8 native plants with the Musqueam names

Attract butterflies with native plants – Western Canada

https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/attract-butterflies-with-native-plants-western-canada/

8 popular butterfly species in Metro Vancouver (from David Suzuki Foundation 2019 Butterfly Ranger tool kit).

Click to access DSF-8-Butterfly-illustrations-Lower-Mainland.pdf

Board Covenant

Here is the interim board covenant (to be improved over time).

We have started pasting it at the bottom of every agenda and allocating time at the end of our board meetings to look at how we used it during our meeting.

All groups are encouraged to develop their own covenant taking into consideration specifics that relate to our congregational Covenant of Healthy Relations.

 

Vancouver Unitarians Board Covenant

Summary

A. Be considerate toward one another.
B. Be open, honest and respectful.
C. Serve our role to the best of our ability.
D. Foster a spirit of patience and courage.
E. Speak with one voice.
F. Develop and promote genuine relationships.
G. Honour our Faith

We promise to each other that we will:

Covenant

A. Be considerate toward one another

We agree to:

  1. Follow through on our individual tasks,
  2. Ask for help when we need it,
  3. Be on time for meetings,
  4. Arrive prepared for meetings by having thoughtfully read materials in advance
  5. Be fully present for each meeting,
  6. Stay on schedule during the meetings so that they end on time.

B. Be open, honest and respectful

We agree to:

  1. Truly listen to one another,
  2. Consider ideas not our own,
  3. Be tolerant of other ideas so we all feel free to contribute,
  4. Admit our own mistakes,
  5. Bring disagreements or concerns directly to the people involved so that we can maintain a healthy working environment.

C. Serve our role to the best of our ability

We agree to:

  1.  Remember that we are working to fulfill the mission, not our personal desires,
  2.  Maintain focus on the priorities and goals of the Board,
  3.  Work only on issues that belong to the Board,
  4.  Push the bounds of creativity,
  5.  Be familiar with the Congregation’s bylaws, policies, tradition and finances.

D. Foster a spirit of patience and courage

We agree to:

  1. Acknowledge that we each bring unique skills and styles to the work of the Board,
  2. Be willing to disagree with respect.

E. Speak with one voice

We agree to:

  1. Remember that only the Board, as a whole, and not its individual members as such, has any power or authority except as explicitly delegated by policy.

F. Develop and promote genuine relationships

We agree to:

  1. Get to know each other well enough to build trust,
  2. Take time to have fun, relax and laugh with one another.

G. Honour our Faith 

We agree to:

  1. Always remember that as leaders we hold a special commission to live out our Unitarian Universalist principles and bring them to bear on our work and decisions.

New Approach for CUC Delegates

At our January board meeting, our UCV board endorsed the approach that the Canadian Unitarian Council has recommended for many years. Starting this year in 2022, instead of appointing delegates to attend one specific CUC meeting, we are looking for people willing to serve a one or two-year term. Over time, all delegates will be appointed for a two-year term, so they’d attend two CUC Annual General Meetings and be involved with sharing information from CUC to UCV in between meetings.

Although this is a new approach to us, we understand that many congregations find this a very successful model and allows for both continuity and for new people to get involved. Here’s the handout that will be available for inperson participants: cucdelegateshandout

Call for CUC Delegates

The Canadian Unitarian Council Annual General Meeting will be held electronically Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 10:00 am – 1:30pm Pacific. UCV will submit names of our 6 delegates by April 1, 2022.

The UCV board will appoint six delegates to participate and vote on CUC’s strategic priorities, financial reports and any other matters which may be proposed. 

At the January board meeting, the UCV board adopted the CUC-recommended process of appointing delegates to serve a two-year term, during which they would represent us at two consecutive AGMs and between meetings will keep informed about CUC matters and communicate with the congregation by written posts and discussion forums. 

The board will host a Board Forum on Sunday, February 27 at 12:30 pm to share the background on this decision and respond to questions.  Those interested in being delegates are asked to attend this session if possible. All are welcome. Several members who have served as delegates at CUC AGMs in the past will be present to share their experience.

Criteria for Individual Delegates

  1. Member for a minimum of six months (same as serving on board from bylaws)
  2. Recent active involvement in at least one team, committee or task force, preferably in a leadership role
  3. Demonstrated interest and knowledge of CUC through attending gatherings, workshops or roundtables/webinars
  4. Good written and verbal communication skills, preferably comfort with public speaking/facilitation
  5. Comfort and access to computer, webcam, online communication programs (zoom, email, etc.)

Criteria for the team of delegates

  1. A range of newer members with more experienced members
  2. Provide opportunities for first-time delegates with support from each other and previous delegates
  3. Diversity of age, gender, heritage, length of time as UCV member and areas of involvement at UCV 
  4. At least two who are experienced at setting up online or in-person forums to discuss issues with the congregation
  5. At least two who are willing to write web and e-news articles about CUC issues at least three times per year.

Note: depending on the issues coming to a particular AGM, the board may adjust this in any one year

Please submit your expression of interest by Friday, March 11, 2022 so selection can be made at our March 15 board meeting. The board plans to appoint three delegates for a one-year term and three for a two year term. If sufficient interest, the board will also appoint two alternates in case a delegate withdraws for whatever reason.

Interested? Here is a link to a form to express interest in representing UCV at the upcoming May meeting. You can choose a one or two-year term or offer to be a back-up in case needed.

https://ucv.im/cucapplication or https://forms.gle/akpB18z5pocy2CeU9 

Selected delegates will be asked to submit a short bio (200-250 words) and a photo to share with the congregation. 

Here is a link to the CUC recommendations which UCV board endorsed at our January meeting: https://cuc.ca/about-cuc/annual-general-meeting/delegate-information/