Meet Our Members
Meet some of our active members here.
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.
Is on the CUC Racism Survey team and a lead teacher for religious exploration.
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.
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.
I found a spiritual place where values lived at the center
As well as being a casual caretaker and zero waste enthusiast (founder and coordinator of the 4th Saturday Mending Meetup), Marie has now been voted in by the Communications Committee as their new chair.
Here’s what Marie says about her journey at UCV.
I am a UBC Student studying cognitive psychology and moral philosophy. Very soon, I will be doing a combined Masters/PhD in social attention and ethical decision-making using virtual reality technology.
I stumbled on UCV a couple of years ago when I went searching for a farm market near my home on Oak. At the time, UCV had a little farm market and advertised on the website.
I had never heard the word “Unitarian” and had no idea what the church stood for but I was intrigued by messages of inclusivity: from the rainbow scarf worn by the minister to the Unitarian principles about the inherent worth and dignity of all people, democratic respect for our community and protection of the planet.
I was feeling very isolated at the time, and struggling to make social media (the church of my generation) create the type of community and social sharing I needed it to be. I had a hunch that what was missing from my online social world was a feeling of responsibility and service. Facebook wasn’t asking me to do hard work. The hard conversations I was having were with those who looked and sounded like me. And most importantly, there was no showing up in real life. I wasn’t getting any feedback that I was valuable to my community. The “likes” to my perfect politically correct take-downs of injustice felt so hollow and ineffective. Most of my social interactions were missing this crucial component of “living in community” which is a messy, uncomfortable, diverse, collaborative, real process.
I have always been a deeply curious person, and also extremely distrustful of doctrine or claims of ontological certainty. I walked into Sunday service extremely “on guard” for anything remotely prescriptive-religious.
The first sermon I attended was about Helen Keller riding a bicycle. Rev. Steven Epperson incorporated some feminist history of bicycle riding and a general, hopeful message about knowing courage. I walked away feeling spiritually nourished. My academic brain was buzzing. I wanted to tell all my friends that I had found a spiritual place where values lived at the center and everything else – specific beliefs were adjacent within the value of free and open exploration – an invitation to be spiritually curious on your own terms.
It took me a while to join the church officially but I finally reached out to the environment team. I am now a member of the caretaking staff and I am a newly active member of the Zero Waste team!
I am organizing monthly Stitch n’ Bitch gatherings (think: unapologetically drinking, talking and knitting in public) and monthly slow fashion mending workshops where anyone can come to repair or alter their thrifted or worn clothing using hobby machines and sergers, etc.
I am feeling around for my activism through our church but I have boundless gratitude to the people gathered here, who accept me in this space and offer me guidance and belonging. I am here to reciprocate.
Contact Marie email
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.
John Voth’s latest project is creating garden markers for the labyrinth. Mary Bennett had found a photo of something like this and John envisioned something bigger and better! He is using cedar from his Kitsilano trees and burning the letters with a burning tool.
In succeeding years in the fall he will dry them out again sand the face and refresh the letters! At 92 and going strong we expect he’ll be doing that yearly for a long time.
John first joined UCV on November 18, 1962, 57 years ago.
John Voth’s art has had numerous exhibitions at UCV. He invites members to come by his private loft gallery by appointment only. Phone: 604-738-8983
spiritual freedom to seek and explore
-discovering new books
-camaraderie of team
I have found people who ‘speak my language’
“What are you curious about?” my coach asked at the beginning of 2019 and then suggested I follow that query to see where it would lead. And so, I began noticing what sparked my curiosity.
Growing up on a farm, I felt an early, deep sense of connection with the natural world and her cycles and rhythyms. Living non-urbanly for most of my life kept my connection to nature strong and vibrant but living in the city had dulled this awareness.
So, getting curious again, I searched the web for nature-based spirituality in Vancouver and was delighted to find the monthly Earth Spirit Circle gatherings and Paganism 101 course at UCV.
Within these groups, I discovered people who use earth based and pagan practices in their lives to explore the magic and mystery of the cosmos as well as use ritual to tap into unseen realities and contribute to positive personal and societal change. It is comforting to feel that I have found people who ‘speak my language’ even if our dialects and idioms may vary.
I invite you to come to an Earth Spirit Circle gathering. We’re a welcoming, fun bunch and you might just find yourself curious about new ways to honour the divine in yourself, in nature, and throughout the cosmos.
Blessings to you and yours,
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.
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 have been one of many at the forefront of this movement of diversity and inclusivity in the arts.
Diane is a multi award-winning director and actor, and is the long-time Artistic Director of one of Canada’s most resilient and successful independent theatre company’s, Ruby Slippers Theatre. She is the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Bra D’Or Award, a national award annually presented by the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and a 2018 nominee for the Women of Distinction Award, both in recognition of her years of championing works by diverse women. The principles that guide her work have earned Ruby Slippers Theatre a reputation for radical inclusivity and socially relevant work that illuminates humanity. These Unitarian principles- inclusivity, social responsibility, and a respect for the inter-connectedness of all living things- also guide her personal life, making her an active member of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, particularly its Environment Committee.