Archives: Podcast

Stories From the Front Lines of Ceremony: The Work of Lay Chaplains

The Lay Chaplains share stories and lessons working with couples, families and friends at times of transition, creating rites of passage.

Cheryl Amundsen has been a member of UCV since 1998 and has just finished her first year as a lay chaplain. She is a recently retired Professor Emerita at Simon Fraser University.

Laureen joined UCV in 2017 and became a lay Chaplain in 2018.  She is an engineering technologist by day, an instructor at BCIT by night and an occasional photographer, walker, and knitter in her free time.

Louise Bunn is a long-time member of UCV and is beginning her 3rd year as a lay chaplain.  She is also involved with the Youth Group and the Earth Spirit Council.

Nature’s Greatest Architects?

We celebrate BC/World River’s Day by paying our respects to Canada’s official emblem and symbol of our nation’s sovereignty—Castor canadensis: the beaver.  We may think they’re just cute (or a nuisance), but the fact is beavers sculpted our landscapes and provided flourishing habitat to myriad life forms; they are one of Nature’s keystone species.  Hounded to near extinction at the end of the 19th century, they’re making a significant comeback and we’ll explore just why that’s so important.

Celebrating Our Story

This month marks our congregation’s 110th anniversary, and 55 years of our presence at 49th & Oak. We’ll honour the vision and colourful character of our Vancouver Unitarian ancestors – those who created, sustained, and breathed life into our congregation; and those who continue to do so (yes, I’m talking about you—us!).  In a “digital world,” there’s an essential role and place for a multi-generational, “analog” faith community like ours, don’t you think?

Greater Than the Sum

So much of the varying value that society ascribes to people is dependent on the nature and compensation of their labour. For many of us, our work has been one of the things that has given our lives meaning and purpose. As the world of work changes and automation proceeds at an unprecedented pace, what new stories do we have to write and learn and tell about what gives life meaning?

Rev. Christopher Wulff was ordained in the fall of 2018 and was recently called to serve as the Senior Minister at Westside UU Congregation in West Seattle. An OWL trainer, a former lay chaplain, and previously the intern minister at the First Unitarian Church of Victoria, Rev. Wulff has been working with the UUA in supporting congregations throughout the Pacific Western Region for the last three years. His wife Ariel has recently completed her service at the North Shore Unitarian Church where she worked on membership and youth programming, and his three-year old son, Rowan, has been known to wander about the chancel during storytime at UCV.

Home: The Power of Connection in a Disjointed World

(Note: This recording is missing the first minute of the sermon. The complete text can be found at https://vancouverunitarians.ca/services/creating-home/)

We crave connection and the comfort of a place to call home. A place where we feel held, secure, welcomed, and loved. Where we are free to relax into our selves, while our best selves are encouraged and our short-comings held with grace. How do we take a microcosm of families and individuals across the metro area and make of this place a home? How do we create connection spaces where a sense of belonging is cultivated?

Kiersten E. Moore is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist who has lived in many places across North America. Though she has continuously uprooted herself from places and differing career paths, she has always sought out UU churches and fellowships in the places she has lived which has ultimately led to her role as Director of Religious Education here at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.

A Green New Deal for Canada

The Pact for a Green New Deal for Canada was launched in May 6th of this year by a large, non-partisan coalition of more than 60 organizations, unions, associations, faith leaders and the Canadian Unitarian Council along with 50 prominent Canadians. The vision is of rapid, inclusive and far-reaching transition, to slash fossil fuel emissions in half by 2030, protect critical cultural and biological diversity, create millions of new jobs and address the multiple crises we face while respecting the constitutionally enshrined and internationally recognized rights of Indigenous peoples. In less than a month, more than 150 town halls across the country were organized to hear from as many Canadians as possible about what they’d like to see in a Green New Deal for Canada.
Our UCV Enviro team was inspired to host one of the Town Halls in May – join us for an overview of what this Green New Deal is trying to accomplish for Canada and what was heard across the country.

This service is being led by Tara Bonham, Tamiko Suzuki and Elizabeth Dunn. All three are active members of the Environment Team here at UCV. The Environment Team proudly promotes our 7th Unitarian principle: “Respect for the Interdependent Web of all existence of which we are a part.” through education ( forums, public events, Intergenerational Activist Dinners), and  participating in environmental actions throughout the region.

Living Within the Interdependent Web

The 7th Unitarian principle underlies the other six, but the interdependent web also includes all the other-than-human species and beings with whom we share the Earth. How conscious are we, in our daily lives, of our place within the web, of our interdependence with all the beings in existence? Is it just an abstract principle to which we give intellectual assent, or does the awareness of our interdependence permeate our lives so that it governs all our actions? How do we cultivate and enhance this awareness so that we are always conscious of our place within the web?

Labyrinth or maze? Reflections 20 years later

Karen Bartlett and Mary Bennett created a temporary labyrinth and led a worship service 20 years ago. Here, they reflect on their continuing interest, share the history of the two labyrinths on our site, and invite you to use labyrinths as meditation and as metaphor.

Click here for the order of service and text of their talks.

Building a Failure Muscle

In the immediate aftermath of failure, be it personal or professional, we languish in a gully of desperation and hopelessness, convinced that we will never taste competence, let alone success, again.
Bouncing back from failure is a practice. Author and UCV member Lorimer Shenher explains how his life’s personal and professional challenges led him to believe in a failure muscle. He explores ways to strengthen ours, not only building our individual resilience, but enabling us to embolden our global quest for justice and peace.

Refugees and Distress Migration – Where are we in 2019?

Hugette Sansonnet Hayden explores the historical background and the current issues of conflict, climate change and poverty that are fueling the migration crisis we are witnessing. Do we have a duty of care, and to whom?

She examines religious attitudes and philosophical approaches to the ethics of hospitality and explore how modern international mobility and immigration control adds to the problems of finding workable and humane solutions.

Huguette has been extensively involved with the Vancouver Unitarians refugee committee for many years.