Meet Our Members
Meet some of our active members here. To see all of the posted testimonials, click here.
spiritual freedom to seek and explore
-discovering new books
-camaraderie of team
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.
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.
Dine and dance with Mary!
When I jokingly made a new year’s resolution to become spiritually developed and have matching towels, I had no idea where that would lead. Read the full testimonial.
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.
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
Several of my interests: herbs, labyrinths, gardening have come together
My introduction to the Labyrinth was when I attended a Vancouver Island Unitarian Women’s weekend gathering at the Bethlehem Retreat Centre near Nanaimo. 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.
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.
Grateful for the warm welcome from Vancouver Unitarians
Mairy invites you to come to the reading of Irreparable Harm? A tale of the Trans Mountain Pipelines Arrests. It will be at the Carnegie Centre on November 8 (1 month away!) at 3 pm as part of the Heart of the City Festival. It’s # 12 on the top picks: http://www.
heartofthecityfestival.com/# top-picksPlease mark your calendars and spread the word!There will be a full production next spring, so if you can’t make it on Nov 8, don’t despair!Here’s more information about Mairy from the latest enewsletter from Playwrights Theatre Centre.
Mairy Beam is a non-binary playwright and director who recently moved to Vancouver, giving her the opportunity to join the land and water protectors who are fighting the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Inspired by the drama in the BC Supreme Court, she has written a documentary theatre piece, Irreparable Harm? A tale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Arrests. After attending PTC’s Block P workshop, she is producing Irreparable Harm? along with the Sinister Sisters Ensemble. Her recent plays include Body Parts, produced in the New Ideas Festival in Toronto in March 2019; Out and About, produced in 2017 in Vancouver at the 4 x 3 Fest and in Toronto at Gelato Fest; The Next Mary, which was included in PinkFest 2018 in Toronto; and Let Me In, which was read as part of the 2018 Bodacious Series in North Vancouver. She has also directed several plays for Theatre Out of the Box in Toronto.
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
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.