Author: Mary Bennett

Indoor Labyrinth Walking in Meditation Room

We now have custody of an indoor labyrinth that fits perfectly in our meditation room.

Seven women who were part of the Women’s Spirituality Celebration and, along with a dozen or more others, met and walked it together in January. A discussion ensued that people would like the chance to walk it more often and share it with others as well..

The 10′ x 12′ canvas labyrinth was created by Barbara Bickel while on an artist residency on Toronto Island.

Barbara was, with Mary Bennett, and others part of a planning team for an annual Women’s Spirituality Celebration held at UBC Vancouver School of Theology.While the group hasn’t hosted an event in recent years, there are “circles of circles” of women who continue to connect in various ways, often around a labyrinth walk, shared food and conversation.

Barbara created it for the WSC and has wanted it to be available for borrowing by women who wish to use it for an event.

If you have a connection to Women’s Spirituality Celebration or a Unitarian congregation, you can arrange to borrow it from Mary Bennett.

We plan to have an open labyrinth walk every 1st Tuesday from 6 to 7pm prior to circle dancing in the hall. Mary will book space and ensure the meditation room is open by ten to 6. Women involved with WSC will take turns laying out the labyrinth, welcoming new people and putting the labyrinth back after the walk.

We have a labyrinth facebook group. 

There are two outdoor labyrinths on the Unitarian Centre site.

Go to http://vancouverunitarians.ca/labyrinth to learn more.

Contact Mary through unitarianlabyrinth@gmail.com if you wish to arrange to borrow the indoor labyrinth.

 

Women’s “Shining Stars” Circle Dance Group

Our congregation has many women’s groups; some for a monthly discussion/sharing. Others may be a pagan circle, an art and collage or in this case a closed circle dance group.

While the Unitarians also host two regular evening circle dance gatherings open to all genders and on a drop-in basis, this Women’s circle dance group (We call it “Shining Stars”) is limited to a maximum of 12 women and is for a committed group who want to be part of an ongoing group where we get to know each other better over time.

The expectation is that people will attend regularly and we will deepen our connections with one another through dance as well as opportunities for sharing about our own lives.

We are currently a core group of 9 and have space for up to 3 additional women to join us.

You do not have to have experience with circle dance, but that is how we spend most of our time together. So if you’re not sure it’s for you, you might want to try out one of the open circle dance evenings before contacting us for the closed group.

The group usually meets at the Unitarian Centre on

  • 3rd Thursday 11 am to 1 pm
  • 1st Sunday 2 pm to 3:30 pm.

If you are interested in being a member of our group, please send a note to Mary Bennett.

Our religion around the world

On Sunday, January 19, Rev. Steven Epperson shared a great deal of information on Unitarian Universalism around the world. Even if you were there, you might want to listen a second time — a great deal of information there.

The Story/Our Story

The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists will meet in Montreal in the fall of 2020.

SAVE the DATE for the ICUU Council Meeting & Conference 2020 to be held in Montreal, Canada 26 October – 1 November 2020.

Canadians have been very involved with ICUU from the start.

Currently John (“Mich”) Michell is on the ICUU council

Executive Committee 2018 – 2020

 

For many years the ICUU shares a Global Chalice Lighting from around the world. You can find them here: https://icuu.net/category/chalice-lighting/

ICUU videos

You might also enjoy the videos at https://vimeo.com/user17508193/videos

It includes

MANY FLAMES, ONE FAITH: THE STORY OF ICUU

Directory of members

https://icuu.net/category/resources/directory/

You can read (and download a pdf version) of Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed’s information on the history of ICUU here:

https://icuu.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Menage_a_Trois_MMR_2017_0.pdf

 

Women’s Art and Collage groups

Come and get to know other Unitarian women through playing with art or cut and paste

This is an opportunity for women to gather for creative play and self-exploration using collage or bringing your own art or craft projects to work on. After brief introductions/check-in, we work quietly at our own pace and then before closing share a bit about what we were working on and what it means to us..

The evening group meets monthly (usually) on the 2nd Tuesday from 7 to 8:30 pm in Kitsilano. This group is closed at this point because the space is limited to 8 people.

The day time group meets monthly (usually) on the 1st Thursday at UCV from 12 to 2pm.

We start with a simple shared potluck lunch and then work on our own projects and then share a bit about what we’ve done around 1:30pm

This group has space for a couple of more people. Contact Mary if you’d like to join us.

For both groups, the expectation is that people will attend regularly and we will form and deepen our connections with each other as we get to know each other through our art projects.

Scissors, glue sticks, paper and images all available – but bring your own if you wish. Calendars are especially lovely. Any magazines you bring should be taken away or recycled, or have images and words clipped for others. (We have limited storage space).

Please RSVP to Mary maryinvancouver@gmail.com

Supported by UCV’s Arts Committee.

More about collage:

Definition: collage (n.)

form of abstract art in which photos, newspaper clippings, found objects, etc., are glued onto a surface, 1919 (Wyndham Lewis), from French collage “a pasting,” from Old French coller “to glue,” from Greek kolla “glue,” a word of uncertain origin, perhaps Pre-Greek.

Some formats and approaches

SoulCollage(R) is a method for creating images on a 5″ x 8″ surface.

Artist Trading Cards are traded among people and are 2.5 x 3.5

Art Journal Collages

(Just google any of these phrases or “collage fine art” to find interesting information. You’ll find myriad videos on youtube as well.)

If you’d like to be part of a women’s group that shares the coordination of these gatherings on a monthly basis contact Mary maryinvancouver@gmail.com.

Leadership rotates: When it’s your turn, you come early and stay late to set-up and cleanup; send out a reminder to the group. Optional: If you want to propose a theme or a special project you can, or just have a “do your own thing” session.

If you’d like to be on a wait list if the group opens, complete this form.

Here’s some info you may find interesting:

SoulCollage®

If you’re interested in SoulCollage®, you can find some videos on youtube to provide an introduction.

This is a nice four-minute introductory video.

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

This one is a good how-to Step by Step video

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

This shows how to use the viewfinder, marking the points of the corners for cutting.

Among the final embellishments which are often not done, there’s a suggestion to outline the edges of the pasted on images with a metallic paint sharpie.

It’s only visual. There’s (imho) annoying loud music, so just turn off the audio.

Membership Development Workshop – Let’s get together

Coming up for all members of the Membership Development team at UCV

Saturday, March 28 – open to active membership committee teams including:

  • New to Vancouver Unitarians workshop coordinators
  • Greeters and Welcome Table volunteers
  • Connect and Engage team including Sermon Discussion table facilitators
  • Membership records, retention, renewal and recruitment team members
  • Membership committee chair and board liaison
  • Communications team liaison
  • Sunday Coffee servers

Agenda

1:30 – 2 pm

  • -set up – coffee/tea and snacks available

2 – 5 pm workshop:

Introductions

  • Was there a “turning point” when you decided to join UCV? How long was that from when you first started attending?

How do the teams all work together

  • What are your challenges and pleasures?
  • What staff/caretaker roles are helpful for your team?
  • Suggestions for making things easier for members and volunteers – what would you ask of others? what do you see that could be smoothed out?

Volunteer recruitment and support

  • How do you typically recruit more volunteers? Does your team need additional volunteers?
  • Some brainstorming around how to recruit
  • What works? what doesn’t?

Volunteer Status

There are approximately 20 on each of these three teams: New to VU/welcome table; greeters; coffee servers. There are about 6 on the relatively newer Connect & Engage team (who set up the sermon discussion table and support neighbourhood groups etc.) Some people do double duty. The “member retention” team has never been fully staffed nor the “member records” team. To some degree the role of “member recruitment” is handled by our communications systems.

The member experience

Mapping the visitor to member and beyond journey

– what was your journey from discovery to involvement?

What do you see with first timers?

  • What do they already know? What do they need? Do you notice clues that they might stick around?
  • Given how busy Sunday morning is, how can we best help people get connected?

5:30 – 6:30 pm – potluck dinner

  • kitchen and fireside room – You’re encouraged to sit with folks from a different team

7 – 8:30 pm

Membership Development

  • considering UUA/CUC ideas for membership growth.

Ministerial (and other) Transitions

Information about ministerial transition – what’s in our future for next 2 to 3 years?

  • what questions are you getting? on ministerial transition, possible redevelopment and name change?
  • What questions/concerns do you expect?
  • brainstorm responses

Registration form:

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

 

Resources you may find of interest

https://www.uua.org/growth

http://growinguu.blogs.uua.org/

https://www.uua.org/interconnections

https://www.uua.org/careers/ministers/transitions

 

Imbolc – How to Celebrate Early Spring

by Mary Bennett   Imbolc (usually pronounced with a silent “b”) is a good time, if you’re like me, to finally put all of the Christmas decorations away and finalize your New Year’s resolutions!

I’d like to propose an annual snowdrop count on the labyrinth for the first Sunday of February. There are lots, so perhaps rounded off to the nearest 100!

Traditionally, Imbolc, half-way between the winter solstice and spring equinox, was (and is) a good time to look spring in the eye and say: come on in!!

Speaking of “come on in”, many neo-pagan groups welcome Brigid, the Celtic fire goddess, into their midst and thank her for her presence.

CBC  was talking about how people who went dry for January, are celebrating Feb-BREW-uary. Saint Brigid approves. Learn about the connection between Brigid and Beer here: http://brewmuseum.com/st-brigid-patron-saint-beer/

I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
I would like to be watching Heaven’s family drinking it through all eternity.

(Me, last year I discovered making kombucha, so that will be my febrewary drink of choice. I’d be happy to share if you’re interested.) Saving the world one SCOBY at a time.

Some seeds can be planted now, but perhaps indoors is safest.

As February 2nd is also Groundhog Day, and in Vancouver what that means is Banyen Book’s annual 20% off everything sale–including a great collection of pagan/earth spirituality books.

And if you’re still wanting more ideas, in the Catholic tradition, it’s Candlemas; you could buy and bless new candles for the year, melt down candle stubs to make all new candles or just light a whole lot of candles.

For all upcoming earth spirituality events, go to vancouverunitarians.ca/earth-spirit

You can sign up for the monthly e-newsletter there as well.

Questions? contact earthspiritucv@gmail.com

 

 

 

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven – Feminist “Thealogy” curriculum starts Feb 6

Laurie Anderson and Paula Stromberg will co-facilitate In Ancient Times (Volume I of the Cakes for the Queen of Heaven program) starting on February 6, 2020, for five weeks on Thursday evenings 7 – 9 pm in the Fireside Room at the Vancouver Unitarian Centre

The course is limited to a maximum of 12 women. Pre-registration is required. http://tiny.cc/ucv-cakes

More information about the program can be found here:

https://www.cakesforthequeenofheaven.org/

If these dates don’t work for you, but you’d like to be on a wait list for any future offerings, please sign up here: https://vancouver.breezechms.com/form/cakesforthequeenofheaven

CUUWA (Canadian U*U Women’s Association) * may also offer this popular curriculum by Zoom. Stay tuned!

Here’s some information from the UUWF (Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation)

Cakes resources can now be downloaded

The UU Women and Religion Store has had many requests to make the digital resources for the classic curriculum, Cakes for the Queen of Heaven, available as downloadable files instead of on a CD shipped with the books. We’re happy to announce they’ve made that happen! Now the spiral-bound curriculum books will be shipped with a link and password to access the files. If you have already purchased the curriculum and would like access, please email store@uuwr.org.

Cost of the curriculum is $75 US. UCV has the curriculum for any member to borrow. Thank you to North Shore Unitarians for lending two copies to us as well

From the Cakes website:

IN ANCIENT TIMES

This five-session Volume I of the popular adult religious education curriculum includes an introductory section featuring author Shirley’s Ranck’s “Statement of Feminist Thealogy,” Elinor Artman’s “Brief Herstory of Cakes,” and Nancy Vedder-Shults, “Baking Cakes for the Queen of Heaven.”

The themes of the Session Plans are: The Sacred Female, In the Name of the Mother and the Daughter, Womanpower, The First Turning-From Goddess to God, and Reclaiming Women’s Heritage of Peace. The resource section includes supplementary essays by a number of important authors, a listing of highly recommended materials, and the sheet music of songs by Carole Eagleheart and Ann Forfreedom for use with the curriculum. The curriculum also includes a CD-ROM with five Visual Programs to accompany the sessions, plus resource material for easy distribution to participants.

ON THE THRESHOLD

In the six-session continuation of the course, Volume II, we will continue our journey into the past to reclaim the stories of powerful women to be found in ancient Judaism and in early Christianity. We will also look at the global silencing and brutalization of women that accompanied the rise of patriarchal religion and society. Finally we will celebrate the exciting new world-view and thealogy that has emerged in our time, and explore the personal and social changes that may be suggested by that new world-view and thealogy. We will continue the complex process of telling a new story.
In addition, you may order Carole Etzler Eagleheart’s CD “She Calls to Us,” which contains many of the songs in the curriculum. Sound samples are available on her MUSIC page.

* To join CUUWA email group, please contact: cuuwa.cuc@gmail.com

Visit the CUUWA Facebook page. It is public so there is no need to be a Facebook user. Feel free to post articles of interest to all.

Bring your candle stubs (and crayons?) to make new candles from old

In late January/early February there will be a couple of chances to make candles in jars using new wicks and beeswax and combine with your old candle stubs. So don’t throw those holiday candles away!  Even the bits that you may have carved off the edges of pillar candles are welcome.

We’ll heat up all the wax and pour some new candles for you and our own rituals. This idea of adding dried herbs appeals, so I’ll make sure we have some dried lavender and rosemary available.

Bring a mason jar if you can.

Scented Candle Herb Plants – Learn About Using Plants In Candles

 

Join some Unitarians walking the labyrinth at St. Paul’s Anglican

Several Unitarians traditionally go to St. Paul’s Anglican church on New Year’s Eve to walk the labyrinth with live music. They offer a very welcoming atmosphere including snacks around 10:30pm.

Here’s the information from their facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/855819938167446/

Come and walk the labyrinth in meditation on New Year’s Eve or Day with live music! There will also be food and a place to chat in the lower hall (we keep silence in the labyirnth walking spaces except for the music). Free or suggested donation $5-20 to help cover performer costs. See discussion for links to performer bios.

PERFORMERS FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE AND NEW YEAR’S DAY
NEW YEAR’S EVE:

Music Schedule
• 6-8 pm Harpist Rebecca Blair
• 8-10 pm Harpist Clarity
• 10:15-12:15 Quiet Hearts Ensemble – Peaceful Piano and other instruments

WHERE ARE WE?
In the large ‘hall’ building attached to St Paul’s Anglican Church on 1130 Jervis Street (parking is available on Davie).

More about the labyrinth and other times to walk it here:
https://www.stpaulsanglican.bc.ca/programs/labyrinth-at-st-pauls