“A few years ago, I discovered that environmental activism can be taxing, but practicing gratitude keeps my spirits up. When I began to study gratitude I found that solid research supported a daily practice of gratitude for health and happiness. So I wanted to understand it better, for myself, and for you. In our pursuit of living better with less stuff, we can find many ways to intentionally feel well. Voluntary simplicity, generosity, community can all result from gratitude practice, which takes very little time and effort. What’s not to like?” – Karl Perrin
The late eco-feminist theologian, Sally McFague, often told her students to be careful how you see the world, for it is that way. Rev. Samaya Oakley explores how our perspective informs and shapes our worldview, and why it’s important to be aware of how it does that. Rev. Oakley currently serves as the Minister for the South Fraser Unitarian Congregation.
In this topsy turvy time, we may be experiencing stress which can strain our relationships. What do we expect of ourselves and each other? How can we embrace being perfectly imperfect and accept that in others? The ancient Greeks developed the concept of perfection, but it is often misunderstood. In this episode Rev. Meg Roberts shows us some techniques that engage our senses of humour and humility.
Reverend Meg Roberts is the minister half-time with the Beacon Unitarian Church, plus consulting minister part-time with the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship. She also does a community ministry using interactive theatre with groups to explore underlying causes of challenging issues. She has served Unitarian congregations in Edmonton, Montreal, West Vancouver, and Nanaimo, as well as a 6-year settled ministry in Calgary.
Humanity is hurtling toward a multifaceted apocalypse, which we as individuals may feel powerless to stop. If ever there was a time to pray, it is now. Yes, even atheists.
Ryan Guenther started attending the First Unitarian Church of Victoria at age 10, and he’s sung in the choir, edited the newsletter, managed the website, and is currently serving as a Sunday Service Associate and on the Board at North Shore Unitarian Church in Vancouver. He is an award-winning comedian and has appeared in the Just For Laughs Northwest Comedy Festival and Comedy Waste Festival. He has toured a five-star show to fringe festivals across North America and was runner-up for Best Comedy at the Victoria Fringe.
Library catalogues. Museum and gallery indexes. Search engines. Any song, story, or research we could want is out there! But without indexing, it is lost in the flood.
Who decides how we describe them, though? What are the questions we ask and answer, anticipating a future audience?
Lifelong Unitarian (and recent Library and Information Technology student) Juliet Andrien goes on a semi-whimsical ramble about the slipperiness of language, the durability of storytelling, and the process of describing our cultural artifacts to machines so they can help us find them again later.
Settlers colonized a tiny fraction Canadian space. Elsewhere the thin population in a vast land remained largely Indigenous, though subject to outside pressures and greatly changed. Now these Indigenous people are speaking back to settler Canada as never before. Basically, they speak of a relationship with the land — with nature – and their speaking and contemporary Unitarianism have much to say to each other.
Our church is full of refugees from other faiths, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Agnostic, Buddhist, Pagan. Steven Epperson is a former Mormon. What draws people to Unitarianism? Leslie Hill describes her lifelong journey from two Protestant religions through New Age Spirituality to the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.
Leslie Hill taught high school in Toronto for twenty-five years before moving to Scotland. When she returned after a stay of nearly six years, she landed in Vancouver. Her memoir, Dressed for Dancing: My Sojourn in the Findhorn Foundation is in our library. Currently she’s a first term member of the Board of Trustees and she recently chaired the Interim Ministry Committee.
Kiersten Moore, Director of Children’s and Youth Religious Exploration speaks on the grace of imperfection.
Perfectionism and the fear of making mistakes is pervasive. What happens when we give ourselves and others the grace to be imperfect? To act for what you believe is right, without knowing exactly how it is going to turn out. To speak against injustice when maybe you don’t have the perfect words. To try something new or something you’ve dreamed of, when you might fail, and fail again, before you get where you want to be. To move forward into the unknown…
As Steven Epperson’s time with the Unitarian Church of Vancouver comes to an end, he reflects on shared ministry, service, fatherhood, and the future.
These past three months, as perhaps never in our lifetime, have revealed the problem of “individualism” and the necessity of community and regard for the “other.” It’s been an ongoing tension within our religion as well as our society. Have we, will we be transformed by this shared experience?