Meet Our Members
Meet some of our active members here.
I sat up and knew right then that I had found my church!
Tamiko is Outreach Coordinator for our very active Environment team. Recently her laneway home was featured on the show Living Big in a Tiny Home with the title “Wabi-Sabi Modern Japanese Inspired Small Home.”
Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdEsVoqbD5s
Read more about Tamiko and her involvement with the Unitarians below.
As the daughter of two non-religious scientists, I was never interested in church. As a university student in Montreal I checked out the Unitarians but decided the Sunday services got in the way of skiing, hiking or just sleeping in. Similarly, once I had a family, Sundays were for the kids’ hockey and soccer games.It wasn’t until five years ago, my kids grown up and gone, when my husband passed away suddenly, that I found a need to find a spiritual community.
I showed up at the North Shore Unitarian church and would sit in the back then slink home after the sermon. I felt I had nothing in common with all those white-haired West Van congregants until one day I joined some church elders at lunch after the service. We were sitting quietly enjoying the soup, when one grey haired lady suddenly slammed her fist on the table and said, “Can you believe what Stephen Harper just did?” That started a rousing discussion about what was wrong with the latest bill in Ottawa. I sat up and knew right then that I had found my church!
A year later, I moved from North Van to Vancouver and purely because I didn’t want to spend time commuting, joined UCV. I enjoyed the sermons and the music and this time I was more proactive. I started looking for a group to meet people and be able to help out. I found the Environment Team!
Martha will be leading the worship service on Sunday, August 4th.
Martha joined UCV in the fall of 2018.
Martha Saunders Ph.D., taught religious studies and women’s studies for many years at Concordia University, Montreal, and at the University of Toronto, specializing in religious and environmental ethics.
Since 1995 she has been one of the long-time leaders of an independent eco-spiritual community in Toronto, called Ruah. This community lives and celebrates a spirituality inspired by the works of Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, and others, based in love of the earth and exploring what it means to “reinvent the human” (Thomas Berry) in the evolving cosmos. We believe that an Earth-based spirituality must include a spirituality of liberation that challenges us into right relationship with all other creatures.
it is the only faith group my husband and I can affiliate with
I very much enjoy much working with members of the Library team. Everyone is pleasant to work with and David Buchanan provides good leadership
Read the full testimonial.
Pat’s first memory of making art is of her sitting on the back steps of their family house, drawing at age ten.
Read the full testimonial.
Eat Like You Give a Damn!
Kiersten is our Director of Children’s and Youth Religious Exploration. At the 2018) Hogwarts Summer Camp, Kiersten taught the herbology classes. The kids made echinacea tincture as well as exploring the various herbs and “weeds” around the congregation’s grounds that can be used for salves and “potions”.This year’s Herbology adventures will be mainly on the garden path labyrinth where a variety of herbs are there for anyone to pick: lavender, sage, echinacea, various mints, rosemary, yarrow.
Kiersten was Professor of Herbology and head of Hufflepuff House. The picture of Kiersten in the hat and square glasses was when she played the part of Professor McGonagall.
This will be Kiersten’s fourth year as director of the children’s and youth program. She strives to find the Fun with Meaning and directs our children, youth, and family programs with a focus on building community, exploring what it means to be Unitarian, questioning, and developing personal relationships with stillness and wonder.
We felt we needed to grow spiritually together
Luke and Coraline have been attending UCV since Fall 2016. In 2017, they became members, welcomed their son Gabriel into the world, and were married by Steven Epperson. Luke currently sits on UCV’s Committee on Ministry.
Whenever I go to a Unitarian church or event, I feel “at home”. Unitarian Universalists are diverse, and congregations are diverse, but I find some things are common in most of them. Read the full testimonial.
I’m with kindred spirits with Unitarians
As a teenager in Vancouver in the 60’s, I babysat for a Unitarian family across the street so learned a bit about UCV and thought it would probably suit me better than the United Church my family was involved with. Read the full testimonial.
Following our children led us to the Unitarians
In February 2016, my husband Ralph and I retired and moved from New York to Vancouver. We left our friends, family, church, and colleagues and sold the house we had lived in for 40 years to follow our children (and first grandchild) west. Our daughter and daughter-in-law had attended UCV, and Kathryn Roback performed their wedding ceremony at the Radha yoga centre and vegan restaurant in 2009. As newcomers, we needed a community and UCV seemed like a good place to start.
Following where our children lead has always been a good policy, and joining this church is no exception. We love attending Sunday morning services, where we invariably learn something new about the natural world, history, social issues, famous Unitarians, and much more. And there’s always beautiful music – especially when the choir is singing.
As a member of the Worship Services Committee, I’ve discovered how much thought and planning goes into every service. Ralph signed up for the Welcome Committee and will be greeting folks and handing out bulletins on Sundays. If you don’t see us in our usual pew, it’s probably because we’ve gone to Southern California to visit our younger daughter’s family. (They attend a small UU church in Aliso Viejo.)
As the announcements promise, a lot goes on at UCV – and not only on Sunday mornings. I’ve missed my garden since trading our suburban house for an East Van condo; working on the grounds committee and labyrinth has let me keep on digging, planting, and weeding. I also attend the monthly potluck book and lunch where we discuss and swap books old and new.
Ralph and I enjoy getting to know other members while attending dinners, concerts, forums, and other special programs, as well as participating in civic events as church members. We recently joined the climate action march where we met up with several UCVers, although, thanks to the enormous crowd, we never did find the Environment Committee folks with the church banner.
Since moving here we’ve been blessed with two more grandchildren, one here and one in California–where another is on the way in January. We became permanent residents of Canada this March, and we’re determined to explore as much of this beautiful province as our grandparenting schedule allows. Coming to Vancouver has changed our lives in ways we never could have foreseen—all good—and this church, and the friendly people who are part of it, have helped make us feel this is where we belong.
Indigenous peoples are sources of inspiration and learning for me
On Jan 19, I attended ‘Raven People Rising’ at UCV. I feel honoured and truly fortunate to be able to learn more about the Heiltsuk Nation’s powerful journey to protect their territory and surrounding ocean waters. Read the full testimonial.
Melody Mason is an economist and consultant who worked for many years with the World Bank. She has an MBA, an M.Sc in Development Economics, and a BSc in Sociology.
Read the full testimonial.