Meet Our Members
Meet some of our active members here. To see all of the posted testimonials, click here.
Catherine Stewart, also a member of the Buildings and Grounds Committee and Coffee Service team, is currently having a show of her work at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC. 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.
Latest project: a film about the Roedde family filmed at Roedde House Museum
Many of you may know that I am a Vancouver actress and producer. A fellow actress friend of mine and I are making a short film and we would appreciate your help. The gist of the film is that it is a beautiful ode to an often unrecognized family that shaped modern Vancouver.We want it to serve as an educational benefit for generations to come. It's based on a real life German family, the Roeddes, who immigrated to Vancouver in the 1890s and played a huge part in the establishment of the West End.Some of you might know the Roedde House museum on Barclay St. That's the house they lived in and where we will be filming! Our female-led creative team and cast will bring this never-before dramatized cultural gem to the screen.
Short films are challenging to make and period films add an extra level of difficulty, but we’re up for the challenge! Any and all financial contributions would go towards paying cast and crew for their time and dedication, for essential gear, costumes and crafty.
If you know people who might be interested in (and maybe supporting) this project, please share this link with your friends and family!
We’re so excited to make this film the best it can be and do justice to the Roedde’s legacy.
How I came to be a Unitarian
I was first introduced to the UU church and faith by a dear World Federalist colleague and long-time Unitarian who thought, given my love for being curious, asking questions, meeting interesting people and being open to new ideas, that I would find a home here.
The first service by Rev. Epperson he talked about climate change and politics. Having been raised all over the world and having been exposed to many religions and faiths I had not found any of them to be nearly as insightful, compassionate, all-encompassing as the Unitarian one seemed to be.
Soon thereafter I became involved with the lunch service, gardening and Messy Church groups and loved every moment I spent with the friendly, warm and ever so embracing Unitarians I had the pleasure of meeting.
Two years after I had been formally involved with the UU Church I was asked what it felt like to be a formal UU member to which I asked, “There is a formal membership?” I thought I was already a member given how fondly and fully I had been welcomed. I then realized I had not ‘signed the book’ to become a member. Luckily the very next week there was a member welcoming ceremony. I reached out to Rev. Epperson and joined him at his office to have the most wonderful 2+hour chat with him about what UU is, how it got started and what it means. I was even more hooked and sold on the UU message and vision! I then signed ‘the book’ and of course took a selfie doing so as it was a momentous occasion that I was very proud of: I was officially a UU member.
Since then I have kept helping out in the kitchen with Love Soup and Refugee Committee Lunch services, in the garden when needed and with Messy Church. I have also had the pleasure of becoming a youth mentor and part of the religious education Sunday workshop facilitating committee. So, that is my UU background.
In terms of my personal background that is a story in and of itself. I’ll keep it brief and if you ever want me to elaborate I will do so gladly so come find me and we can chat! But for now, here goes: I am a graduate of Political Science and International Relations from the University of British Columbia, focusing on international sustainability and development. My eclectic background is echoed in my love of cultures and languages. I speak English, Japanese, Spanish and moderate French. I’m an avid volunteer since young and am currently involved with six organizations other than the UU church including as a volunteer coast guard, wildlife rehabilitator for the Wildlife Rescue Association, volunteer and event organizer for Leadnow, a docent at Roedde House Museum and the Vancouver branch President of the World Federalist Movement Canada, among others.
In addition to my activism I am a working actress and a triathlete and lover of all thing outdoors and can often be found hiking, trail running, doing yoga or running along the seawalls of beautiful Vancouver which I have proudly called my home for over 15 years. In whatever spare time I can muster I love practicing guitar, sketching and tap dancing, singing and meditating. That’s all for now folks. Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing and/or meeting you at our UU home.
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.
As a group we can accomplish much more than I could do alone
I became a Unitarian in 1962 in Sarnia, Ontario, then, upon arriving in Vancouver, joined UCV before the move to our present location.UCV is my spiritual home; our principles and sources seem to fit with the conclusions I have drawn from living a long life. Especially UCVers share my concerns and fears about the present climate catastrophe.I like to think that we as a group can accomplish much more than I could do alone.
Biologist and Feminist
Cayla grew up in San Jose and attended the UU congregation there with her family. For most of the past 15 years she's lived in Victoria and moved to Vancouver in May. Read the full testimonial.
Louise has a particular interest in nature religions, wrote the Unitarian Universalist adult religious education curriculum “Paganism 101”, which is used across the denomination, and recently completed her master’s degree in “Myth, Cosmology, and the Sacred” at the University of Canterbury in the UK.
Read the full testimonial.
proud of the book sales and the funds raised
Our library committee, chaired by David Buchanan, is an active and committed group. They'd love for more people to come in and borrow books.
Read the full testimonial.
proud UCV members since 2008
Lorimer Shenher is a Canadian writer living and working in Greater Vancouver, BC. Lorimer will be giving the Sunday service on Sunday, June 9th, supported by the Unitarian Genders & Sexualities Alliance.
This One Looks Like a Boy is Lorimer’s second book, published in 2019 by Greystone Books. It tells the story of his life as a transgender man coming to terms with his fear of transitioning to male.
Read the full testimonial.
a world view
I’ve been told that people join the Unitarian Universalist movement for one reason and stay for other reasons. That’s partly true for me, but the main reason I stay is the same reason I joined 20 years ago 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.