Author: Marie Witt

Pipelines, Brunette River and ME/WE by Catherine Hembling

Pipelines, Brunette River and ME/WE…
I think there’s a song that goes something like that!

These past months along the Brunette have brought great resolve and activity to the lives of many activists, many of them seniors. I feel invigorated by my involvement in something so much bigger than I am. As well, I walk in beauty, at least once a week, along the Brunette as part of my “work”.

I am a member the Prayer Circle, in turn part of PPSTMX (Protect the Planet Stop TransMountain Expansion). There are legal fees to pay, there is soup to be delivered, there are people to meet!

We are publicly and peacefully defending the Brunette’s Salmon runs, riparian zones, trees, water quality, environment. As well, we actively support the courageous tree sit which has been going on since Dec. 21/20 with little Press coverage. By doing so we hope to increase the public’s resolve to speak out against this urban pipeline construction. We hold PM Trudeau to his assertion that there has to be community support for TMX.

This salmon run is a particular treasure, one of very few urban salmon streams in the world. It has been restored from open dumping site by volunteers, starting in the late 1970’s. A public Greenway full of birds and wildlife now runs almost the full length of the river and its tributary creeks, under the administration of Metro Vancouver.

Long term could the Brunette be re-restored? Maybe, …..but not the Climate. Climate changes are happening already. More oil burned is more CO2 in the atmosphere. Climate changes can only get worse before they get better. We think to the future. Overall, time is on the side of protesters. Each delay to construction gives the market and economic facts of the project a better chance to be understood by the public. Green job creation brings prosperity to many more workers than pipeline construction. Politicians will always want to be elected and then re-elected. That is our lever.

Electorates are powerful if ME/WE choose to be involved!

Our Whole Team’s Strength: Note from UCV President Diane Brown

The UCV Board of Trustees just completed an all day workshop on Jan. 30. The focus of this fulsome workshop, led by CUC’s Joan Carolyn, was on leadership and change, working from our strengths, acting on our Transition Team Task Force’s excellent reports and recommendations, and developing our capacity and leaders for tomorrow.

 

“All our lives we need others and others need us. Multigenerational ministry is about creating and sustaining congregations through which we collectively embody wholeness. Wholeness is not a personal accomplishment because none of us is whole alone. Wholeness is something we accomplish together in creative interaction with one another, in communities where all our members are welcome, where all contribute, where all give and receive. All our lives we need others and others need us.”

– Rev. Rebecca Parker

 

There will be another Forum on the Sanctuary Upgrades Sunday Feb 14 at 12:30 via zoom. Please click ucv.im/forums 

We are also organizing a Decolonizing Practices Workshop:

Because we as Unitarians are committed to creating a more inclusive, compassionate and equitable world, we are organizing a Decolonizing Practices Workshop for staff, board, and interested members.

The Board would like all of us to have the opportunity to get better informed on decolonizing our practices and how to diversify our organization’s membership and board to include more people who identify as Black, Indigenous or person of colour. We need to identify the barriers to our organization and to develop the solutions. This one-day workshop will include a half-day on the history and ongoing colonization in Canada.

The Decolonizing Practices Workshop will be in the spring – either April or May – and hopefully live and in person. If Covid prevails, we will pursue an online format. If you are interested in this, please let me know so I have an idea of interest and numbers; president@vancouverunitarians.ca

Finally, the UCV Board of Trustees invites all members to please join us Sunday Feb. 28 at 12:30 PST by zoom for three inspiring reports and their resulting recommendations from three Ministerial Task Forces; Lynn Armstrong will present from the Organizational Design Task Force, Mairy Beam from the Long Term Staffing Task Force, and Olivia Hall from the Young Adults Task Force.
Each report will include succinct recommendations for UCV to consider implementing moving forward. Please go to ucv.im/forums.

We invite you to attend this Forum and, in the moderated Q and A components at the end of each report, to please offer your feedback and input. This conversation will inform the Board’s ultimate decisions. 

With thanks and gratitude,
Diane.

In the Interim, February 2021

In the Interim, February 2021

“The Beloved Community [is] not a goal or destination, and it was not any kind of idealistic, Christian utopian dream, but instead a way of being – spiritually, politically, economically, emotionally, intellectually. Beloved Community is an attitude, an orientation of the heart; it’s a disciplined understanding of your own relationship to other people, to everyone else on the planet, to every living thing.” Rev. Victoria Safford

Our ministry theme for February is “Building Beloved Community”, which will be explored in our worship, small groups and religious exploration, and even by individuals reflecting about what it means to be part of a Beloved Community.

To me, Beloved Community is one of those ideas that is more about the journey than the destination. It is through our continued actions, reactions, adapting to changes, listening, making space to become more inclusive, learning, growing, becoming that we build the community of which we dream. And through all of this building, the community of which we dream is continually being reframed, always just out of reach as we strive to live into our changing vision of who we will become. A living, breathing, embodied, beautiful and perfectly imperfect human community, always aspiring to life more fully into its ideal. UCV is richly blessed with all of the building blocks needed for this work.

In community we are bound to encounter different opinions. It is said, where there are 2 UU’s there will be at least 5 different opinions! How we engage in conversation with one another to hear and find a way through our differences is what creates lasting community. The Ministerial Transition Team has begun a new task force at the request of the UCV Board to review the recent process of the Redevelopment Committee as well as looking at some conflicts that have happened or have been avoided in UCV history in order to create a new process, a pathway for facilitating inclusive, efficient, collaborative decisions.

The Transitions Team is also planning to report back to the congregation about it’s comprehensive and exciting review of UCV History during a worship service on Feb 28. To be clear, this work is not an official archival history, rather more anecdotal, teasing out of stories from the fabric woven by over a century of building community together. These are your stories, the good the bad and the ugly, the humorous and the hurtful, the celebrations, achievements and rhythms of life that have shaped UCV. “Telling our stories is not an end in itself, but an attempt to release ourselves from them, to evolve and grow beyond them.” (Huffington Post). This is the first major task of the Ministerial Transition, coming to terms with history. From there, UCV can really begin to embrace the next tasks, which have already begun.

The five goals of Transition are listed again below to remind you of the work you have already done and the pathway forward. The Board and the Transitions Team are engaging with these tasks as they prepare to make decisions about changes to staffing and governance structure that will make UCV systems more efficient and effective, allowing new leadership to emerge and welcoming newcomers to join in building this Beloved Community.

5 Focus Points of Transition
1. Heritage: reviewing how the congregation has been shaped and formed
2. Leadership: reviewing the membership needs and its ways of organizing and developing new and effective leadership
3. Mission: defining and redefining sense of purpose, identity and direction
4. Connections: Renewing and connecting with relationships and resources in the wider community
5. Future: Preparing to engage in a new future with renewed vision, stewardship and commitment.

 

Blessings,

Rev. Lara Cowtan

Congregational Administrator Job Posting

Our congregation is seeking a Congregational Administrator, an important leadership position that links the administrative staff of the congregation with the Board of Trustees as well as the volunteer committees and the members of the congregation. 

We are looking for someone who shares our values, who is very good with people, who is tech savvy, well- organized, and able to work well with minimal supervision.

This position reports to the UCV Leadership Team which includes of the President/Vice-President of the Board and the Minister.

Closing date – January 17, 2021

Hours of Work – 35 hours/week with flextime negotiable

Primary Responsibilities

  • Supervision of administrative and custodial staff
  • Overall administration including serving as the Privacy Officer and developing the administration budget (office expenses, administrative staff salaries), and establishing and updating policies and procedures as appropriate
  • Communications including our website and social media
  • Building Rentals including promoting use of our facilities, maintaining effective facility rental procedures, and establishing contracts for long term rentals.
  • Property Management including working with volunteer committees and staff to ensure that our extensive and beautiful campus is well maintained.

Qualifications

  • Ability to understand and support Unitarian Universalist Principles and the vision of our congregation.
  • Strong ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff and volunteers 
  • Strong and effective human resources management skills including hiring, supervising and evaluating staff as appropriate.  
  • 5-8 years of experience in office management  (preferably with non-profit organizations)
  • Competence with MS Office applications, especially Word, Excel and Outlook, and database software e.g. Breeze Church Management
  • Ability to identify opportunities for improvement in operational policies, procedures and systems and recommend changes.
  • Experience with website communications and social media
  • Experience in working with volunteer committees.
  • Experience with property management preferred.

Salary Range:  $60,000 – $65,000, depending on qualifications and experience

Benefits:

  • 3 weeks vacation to start, increasing to 4 weeks after 2 years.
  • Comprehensive medical benefits
  • Flexible work schedule

Please send your cover letter (required) and resume to hr@vancouverunitarians.ca

The Board has decided this position is not open to UCV members.

No phone calls please.  Only those chosen for the interview will be contacted.  Thank you for your interest in working with Vancouver Unitarians.

Vancouver Unitarians have been part of Vancouver’s religious and cultural life since 1909.  Our vision:

Because we envision a more compassionate world, we seek to deepen our spiritual and religious lives, grow and enrich our congregation, and advocate for love and justice.

Posted: December 26, 2020

Our UCV Congregational History Wall 

Overview of Our History Wall Project

Effective transition after a settled minister leaves starts with a collective review of how the congregation has been shaped and formed. It is a way to claim and honour our past, our major milestones and evolution and engage and honour our griefs and conflicts. It is done in a spirit of community and mutual respect.

If you are interested in particular about the online wall, information is at the bottom of this page.

Board Announcement about the Congregational History Wall
Presented by Leslie Hill on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020

As you’ve been hearing for a few weeks now, the Transition Team is working hard to establish a Congregational History Wall; a physical one in Hewett Hall and an online one on our website.

Loren Mead, writing about a change in ministers, says:
“Every congregation is strengthened immeasurably by its history, but every congregation has also been deeply wounded by its past. It is both the heir and the victim of its story.”

As I’ve been looking backward at the decades portrayed on our History Wall, I’ve found answers to questions I didn’t know I had. I’ve learned that Greenpeace wasn’t the only organization that had a founding meeting here. Vancouver’s Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE) found space here when it was denied by other institutions. Alice James booked the Fireside Room for the first meeting of the Vancouver Status of Women. She and Phillip Hewett became agents of change together; she fed him some ideas that he incorporated into sermons. Members of that group later reported to Phillip that a UCV Associate Minister was sexually abusing some of his clients in the Unitarian Family Life Centre. From the ashes of that debacle, Alice James chaired a committee to work out the restructuring of that organization and that lead to the founding of Oak Counselling, which still offers its services at UCV.

This congregation’s history is rich and detailed and this is our opportunity to add to it. You don’t have to have been here a long time to have favourite memories, poignant moments, troubling concerns, inspirational awakenings. Maybe it’s been a sermon, or social action, or a standout Forum, or the work of our young people.

Scroll down to learn more about the Online History Wall or contact Leslie Hill if you have contributions for the Physical History Wall in Hewett Hall.

Ministerial Transition Team

Learn More About the Ministerial Transition

Progress Photos of Our History Wall in Hewett Centre

Our Online History Wall – UCV Stories

For those among us who prefer to contribute from a distance, we have an Online History Wall – UCV Stories. You can contribute all kinds of digital documents – texts, documents, pictures, and audio and video files – all from the comfort of your own home! We are also creating a digital archive of what is on our History Wall in Hewett Hall so that everything will be in one place.

Go to padlet.com/vancouverunitarians/stories to add your stories and peruse the many posts. The user-friendly site includes a practice area. Remember, this is a work in progress!

Paul Prescod has taken the lead to set up this Online History Wall and he welcomes more volunteers, so please contact him if you are keen to get involved!

Action Evenings

Action Evenings on Break starting March 2021

September 2020 – February 2021 can be viewed on YouTube.

Click to see AE playlist
Click on YouTube to see Action Evening Recordings

 

Attendees of the most recent  Action Evening Who’s Afraid of Antiracism ..and Why? suggested these resources:

David Campt: the White ally toolkit Workshop details and registration

Canadian Unitarian Council sponsored Workshop – Online via Zoom
Saturday, March 6 and 13, 2021, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
 
 
Ishu Ishiyma: Active Witnessing

Authentic Dialogues Across Race / Ethnicity: by Roxanne Manning: http://www.roxannemanning.com/event/authentic-dialogues-across-race-ethnicity/

From Mary Bennett: https://pushfestival.ca/shows/festival-2019/race-cards/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selina_Thompson

 

Learn Together, Act Together! 

On Wednesday evenings 7 – 8 pm via Zoom, we reflect together on significant issues of our times. Topics are curated and prepared in advance with videos, speakers, slideshows, and discussion points. This meeting offers a chance for shared learning, thoughtful dialogue, and the potential for collaboration for taking action.

All members and friends of UCV are welcome!

How to Join and What to Expect

Log in to our Zoom room ucv.im/action early from 6:45pm on Wednesday evenings as we start right at 7. 

After 8, you are welcome to stay for a while to chat about the topic and exchange ideas for action.

You are not required to have any prior knowledge of the topic.

Upcoming Events

No Events

 

Past Events

Wed, Feb 24, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Who’s Afraid of Antiracism ..and Why? Who’s Afraid of Antiracism ..and Why?
Wed, Feb 17, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening R&R- Music as Restoration! Action Evening R&R- Music as Restoration!
Wed, Feb 10, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Are Refugees Good for Canada? Are Refugees Good for Canada?
Wed, Feb 3, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Whales, and the Revolution They Inspired to Protect Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Action Evening - Whales, and the Revolution They Inspired to Protect Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound
Wed, Jan 27, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Migrant Workers' Rights Migrant Workers' Rights
Wed, Jan 20, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Moving to Deeper Honesty in Housing and Homelessness Moving to Deeper Honesty in Housing and Homelessness
Wed, Jan 13, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Irreparable Harm? Irreparable Harm?
Wed, Jan 6, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action "R&R" Evening Action "R&R" Evening
Wed, Dec 16, 2020
7:00 pm
Action Evenings - Activist R&R - Adapting to a Covid Christmas Action Evenings - Activist R&R - Adapting to a Covid Christmas
Wed, Dec 9, 2020
7:00 pm
Action Evenings - Amnesty International's "Write for Rights" Campaign Action Evenings - Amnesty International's "Write for Rights" Campaign
Wed, Dec 2, 2020
7:00 pm
Action Evenings - “Eco Friendly Endings: The Green New Deal of Deathcare” Action Evenings - “Eco Friendly Endings: The Green New Deal of Deathcare”
Wed, Nov 25, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Genderfluid Book Reading Action Evening - Genderfluid Book Reading
Wed, Nov 18, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings - All Genders Welcome with Morgane Oger Action Evenings - All Genders Welcome with Morgane Oger
Wed, Nov 11, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Let Peace Be Their Memorial
Wed, Nov 4, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings - Permaculture and Compost Action Evenings - Permaculture and Compost
Wed, Oct 28, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings - Is Canada on the Verge of Developing the Political Will to End Homelessness? Action Evenings - Is Canada on the Verge of Developing the Political Will to End Homelessness?
Wed, Oct 14, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - What Can We Do About Robert's Bank Terminal 2? Action Evening - What Can We Do About Robert's Bank Terminal 2?
Wed, Oct 7, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Saving the Salmon-Nourished Ecosystem of Our Coast
Wed, Sep 30, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Reconciliation is a Massive Failure
Wed, Sep 23, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Evolving Pathways of Nonviolence Action Evening - Evolving Pathways of Nonviolence
Wed, Sep 16, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Changing From Food Charity to Food Dignity Action Evening - Changing From Food Charity to Food Dignity
Wed, Sep 9, 2020
6:45 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings: What’s This About Tree Sitters?

 

Sign-Up for Updates and Reminders!

If you would like to sign-up to receive email reminders, meeting links, and updates about this recurring event, please sign up for the Action Evenings Updates below:

COVID-19 Notices from Our Minister and Board

COIVD-19 Update – November 19th, 2020

Following the Provincial Health Order of November 19th, 2020 we have made the following changes to our rental policy in effect until December 7, 2020:

  • Social gathering rentals for both Hewett Centre – Main Space and the Sanctuary must be cancelled or postponed until December 7th, 2020, unless updated by Provincial Health
  • Please do not come to the sanctuary on Sunday unless your participation is essential. Contact Marie if you need an easy way to record a reading, announcement or greeting.
  • The UCV grounds are still available for use with those in your immediate household or bubble
  • UCV staff work, and pre-determined business dealings may still go ahead as planned (all gatherings that qualify as UCV business must still be booked through the office)
  • Any questions or concerns about these changes should be directed to Marcus in the office

COIVD-19 Update – November 9th, 2020

Following the Provincial Health Order of November 7th, 2020 we have made the following changes to our rental policy in effect for 2 weeks until November 23, 2020:

  • Social gathering rentals for both Hewett Centre – Main Space and the Sanctuary must be cancelled or postponed until after November 23rd
  • The UCV grounds are still available for use, however we ask that folx adhere to the Public Health Order and only gather with those in your immediate household
  • Worship services will continue to be held online and we ask that folks please do not come to the sanctuary unless you are part of the staff or volunteers needed to make the live stream possible.
  • UCV staff work, and pre-determined business dealings may still go ahead as planned (all gatherings that qualify as UCV business must still be booked through the office)
  • Any questions or concerns about these changes should be directed to Marcus in the office

COIVD-19 Update – September 1st, 2020

We have released our UCV Fall 2020 Go-Slowly-Forward Plan. Notable changes include:

  • Worship services will continue to be online, live streaming only
  • We have increased rental capacity for Hewett Centre – Main Space from 10 to 15 guests
  • The Sanctuary is now available for rentals with a maximum of 25 guests and 5 staff – choir loft remains Staff Only
  • Masks are now mandatory for all indoor activities
  • All windows and doors MUST remain open during indoor activities

To read the full plan and policy, including booking procedures, please see the full Go-Slowly-Forward-Plan 

Please note: All gatherings must be booked ahead of time through Marcus Hynes by emailing info@vancouverunitarians.ca.


Parking Lot Driveway Closure – August 6, 2020

CLOSURE OF OAK STREET PARKING LOT ENTRANCE. For safety reasons, the Oak Street entrance to the UCV Parking lot will be closed indefinitely, starting August 15th. The Fremlin Street entrance will be the main access to the parking lot.


COIVD-19 Update – July 1st, 2020

We have released our UCV Summer 2020 Go-Slowly-Forward Plan which includes partial, pre-scheduled opportunities for onsite meetings during the summer period. Please read the full policy and room booking procedures here.


UCV Opposes the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project

The Board has passed a motion to send the following letter, penned by John Boyle, to members of government in opposition of the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project.

Letter to Members of Government (see members listed below)

Re: Refuse permission for Roberts Bank Terminal 2

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Wilkinson and Minister Garneau,

The Board of Trustees of the Vancouver Unitarians, a congregation with some 350 members, has unanimously approved a motion to oppose the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project and ask that you deny permission for it to proceed.

We are particularly alarmed that the Project would devastate the biological productivity of Roberts Bank. As a critical waypoint on the Pacific Flyway, millions of western sandpipers rely on its biofilm to fuel the next stage of their northward journey. The loss of this resource may well lead to their extinction. The Bank also hosts huge numbers of snow geese, shore birds and dabbling ducks, and its eel grass beds are vital rearing habitat for juvenile chinook salmon. As you know, chinook salmon are a vital food source for the endangered orcas (southern resident killer whales or SRKW). Project risks to these marvellous aspects of our coastal ecosystem must be avoided.

We were shocked to learn that the Review Panel was prevented from seeing the report by Environment and Climate Change Canada which emphasized the dire environmental risks posed by the Project. Indeed, ECCC’s finding was that the Project constitutes an unmitigable species-level risk to western sandpipers and shorebirds more generally. But even in the absence of this expert government advice, the Panel concluded that the Project would result in significant
adverse residual and cumulative effects on:

  • wetlands and wetland functions;
  • barn owls, listed as threatened under the Species at Risk Act;
  • dungeness crab and the local crab fishery;
  • juvenile chinook salmon originating from the Lower Fraser and South Thompson Rivers;
  • southern resident killer whales, an endangered population of orcas;
  • the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes, and cultural heritage, for
    First Nations of the area; and
  • human health due to exposures to NO2, other respiratory irritants, and noise.

And all the above, of course, in the absence of a major oil spill which the Panel concluded could result in potentially significant adverse residual effects for vulnerable species such as SRKW and marine birds; marine commercial and recreational activities; and current use, cultural heritage and health of Indigenous groups.

In our view, these environmental risks are more than enough to deny Project permission. We also understand that the business case for the Project is weak to non-existent. Independent analysis indicates that the Port of Vancouver has consistently understated actual port capacities for containers while at the same time over-estimating forecast growth. And there is sufficient operational or planned capacity on the BC west coast to meet Canada’s trading needs for many
years to come. Indeed, the private sector stands willing to expand the existing container ports at both Roberts Bank and Prince Rupert as demand increases – if it ever does as supply chains adapt to the covid-19 disruption. The need for a massive, environmentally disruptive, publicly-financed expansion of container handling facilities at Roberts Bank thus seems to be a mirage.

Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Wilkinson and Minister Garneau, it is hard to imagine what public interest might conceivably over-ride the significant adverse residual and cumulative effects the Project would cause. Especially as the business case for the Project is weak to non-existent. We urge you to deny federal government permission for this Project.

Respectfully,

Diane Brown
President, Vancouver Unitarians
Cc: Hon. Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government
Hon. Bernadette Jordan, Minister for Fisheries and Oceans
Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability
Inclusion
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defense
Terry Beech, MP
Don Davies, MP
Sukh Dhaliwal, MP
Hedy Fry, MP
Gord Johns, MP
Peter Julian, MP
Jenny Kwan, MP
Elizabeth May, MP
Ron McKinnon, MP
Randeep Saral, MP
Jagmeet Singh, MP, NDP Leader
Patrick Weiler, MP
Jody Wilson-Raybould, MP