As a progressive religious congregation we have a history of reviewing and updating how we identify and represent ourselves. In 2004 a Communication Working Group, in consultation with our community, created the stylized hand logo to replace the stylized chalice as more representative of our membership. And a few years ago, the Vision Task Force engaged in crafting a new Vision And Living Our Vision statement for UCV.
Now, there is the question of our name. Rev. Steven Epperson acknowledged in his sermon Celebrating Our Story (September 15 2019), “A task force is deliberating on whether we change the name of our congregation from something less formally churchy to something perhaps more fit for use in 21st century Vancouver and beyond.” A query was sent to the CUC leaders’ google group asking whether this was a question that other Canadian congregations were also asking themselves. 25 leaders responded that indeed this was a topic of concern.
There will be a forum on October 20 describing in detail what would be involved in a formal name change. This is an information forum only and on January 19th there will be a Circle of Concerns which will be an opportunity for participants and congregants to express their opinion on whether to remain known as a church or not. A survey on-line and in the OOS will be used so that everyone has a say. From informal discussions with congregants we know that some of our members want to remain known as a ‘church’ and some favour a change to ‘congregation’ or even, ‘centre’ or ‘community.’ There will be disagreements and of course, as mature, evolved Unitarians we will be respectful with others’ differences!
After thorough consultations, a vote is planned to take place at the June EGM.
By Eva Allan