Author: Marie Witt

UCV Mending Hour

Calling All Menders, Sewists, Knitters and Crafters!

The UCV Mending Hour is back on Zoom to help us get through the winter. This event is completely drop-in (no commitment necessary), and happens twice per month. Everyone and all skill levels are welcome! Sign-up below to get notified when we are meeting!

What will we be doing?

In person, we would set up sewing machines and share snacks and supplies and give tutorials… since we’re moving to zoom, we are encouraging hand-sewing, needle work (embroidery, darning) and knitting (but honestly, if you can set up your sewing machine on cam and mute yourself, go for it!). Bring the project you are working on! If you are totally new to sewing crafts, just come to see what others are doing and get ideas.

When will we meet?

We plan to have one afternoon and one evening drop in each month. We are currently deciding on the best dates/ times as a group so sign-up below to join in the conversation and offer your availability. We will post the December 2020 dates to this post soon!

Sign-Up for Emails About Dates, Zoom Link, Etc.

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

UCV Statement of Solidarity with the Mi’kmaq

In accordance with the commitment in our Territorial Acknowledgement to shifting the colonial default, the Board has ratified Tamiko Suzuki’s eloquent letter to the Prime Minister voicing UCV’s pledge of solidarity with the  Mi’kmaq fishers in Nova Scotia fighting for their treaty rights and urging the Federal government to actively support these rights. The letter also denounces both the racist violence by non-Indigenous rioters and the hands-off stance of the RCMP.

UCV Statement of Solidarity with the Mi’kmaq:

The Unitarian Church of Vancouver pledges solidarity with the  Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia, who are fighting for their treaty protected right to catch and sell fish for a moderate livelihood. This right was written in the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1760/61, and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada with the Marshall decision in 1999. We urge the Federal Government to actively support this treaty right.

We denounce both the racist violence  by non-Indigenous rioters and the hands-off stance of the RCMP. We strongly urge the RCMP to protect Mi’kmaq communities from any further mob violence or personal threats. 

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!

Reassessing Canadian Foreign Policy

Reassessing Canadian Foreign Policy

Our UCV Board approved a motion that Vancouver Unitarians become a signatory to a national campaign calling for a fundamental reassessment of Canadian foreign policy. Our federal government is widely criticized for it’s continuing support for controversial mining companies, indifference to International treaties, anti-Palestinian positions, climate policies and militarism. And, this may be why Canada lost two consecutive efforts to gain a seat on the UN Security Council. Big thanks to the Environment Team for bringing this motion to the Board.
 
Here is a link to the campaign where you may sign on as an individual. And here is more information about the campaign for endorsers.

Sign your name to support this campaign:

Endorser Guide: