Mobilizing Faith and Spirit for the Climate Crisis

Our next Climate Dialogue event will feature Dr. Fred Bass: “Some wisdom on the climate crisis: Jewish, Agnostic, Quaker, Buddhist”

Wed., May 11 at 7 p.m. 

Click here to load the stream in YouTube to join the chat.

Book your seat in the Sanctuary here:

All events will be available to join in person or online at

About the Speaker

About a century ago, Fred Bass’s Orthodox Jewish grandparents left Lithuania, Belarus, and Hungary for New York.  They spawned his parents who both were school teachers in New York City.  And they spawned Jon and Fred who headed for careers in chemistry.  Jon stayed on course and Fred strayed into medicine, enchanted with its statistical aspects.  Eventually, he focused on epidemiology and preventive medicine, as they applied to the pandemic of tobacco addiction.

In 1975, he recovered from addiction to academia (His name has 12 letters and his degrees have 11 letters). Then Fred migrated from the US with wife Judith and two kids Jenn and Ben to the Vancouver Health Department.  For 17 years, he worked with the BC Medical Association on tobacco addiction in BC and across Canada, promoting both clinical and policy interventions.

Concerns about global warming and social justice led Fred to serve two terms on Vancouver City Council.  Over decades, he joined many demonstrations – pipeline protests at Burnaby Mountain, arrested in 2014 and arrested for blocking a coal train in White Rock.  Fred now gives workshops to help people face ecological collapse.  He believes science requires spirituality and vice versa.

Fred, with his partner Roma, enjoys his semi-blended families of children and grandchildren, his political and non-political friends, the food of Vancouver, walking and bicycle-commuting, traversing BC’s beautiful terrain, Sunday spiritual ventures with Quakers and Wednesday spiritual ventures with the Soto Zen community of Mountain Rain Zen. He loves the music of Mozart, classical guitar, and Brazilian choro.


About the Series: Mobilizing Faith and Spirit for the Climate Crisis 

Every day we are reminded that we are in a climate emergency. Unprecedented heat waves, droughts, fires, extreme weather events, floods, refugees – the list goes on. Taken together with the current pandemic, it’s understandable that many of us feel frightened, overwhelmed, powerless.  Where can we find the individual and collective strength to clearly face the truth of the emergency, mourn the damage being done to our blue planet, and inspire ourselves and others to action?

The Vancouver Unitarians are hosting a series of talks by prominent Canadians from faith, spiritual and secular backgrounds to support us in answering that question.  They will educate, nourish, and inspire us, drawing on diverse faith and spiritual traditions including those of Indigenous peoples. They will delve into how these traditions and practices, and the values they represent, help them contend with the climate emergency and the actions they are taking.  And, in this way, they will help us engage more effectively with the crisis and create our way forward to a sustainable future – for ourselves and our families, our communities, our nation, and for the health of our loved ones and our planet.

Future events in the series

  • May 11: Dr. Fred Bass
  • June 8: Sameer Merchant


About the Format and Venue

The speaker series is being live-streamed from the campus of the Vancouver Unitarians to audiences online and in-person in the Sanctuary. Two Vancouver Unitarians are moderating the series – introducing the speakers, leading discussions after each talk, and providing continuity over the course of the full program.  The series will include occasional panel discussions of key themes and learnings from what we heard. 

All events in this series are being held in the Sanctuary at UCV. It is recognized as a remarkable mid-twentieth century architectural legacy – a well-received spiritual gathering place and a civic gathering place for events in the arts, public affairs, and discourse on the issues of the day.


Past Events in this Series 

Oct. 28, 2021: Seth Klein

Jan. 26, 2022: Dr. Carmen Lansdowne

Feb. 9, 2022: Rabbi Hannah Dresner

Mar. 9, 2022: Sukhvinder Kaur Vinning

April 13, 2002: Corina Bye, Catherine Hembling, Karl Perrin, and Tamiko Suzuki


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