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?
(Over the past few months, in response to the pandemic, our weekly worship services moved to online streaming. While we were figuring that out, the podcast fell by the wayside. We’ll be posting the missing sermons over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, you can view services from the last three months in full video on our YouTube channel)
We may be surprised to learn that the child’s right to play is asserted in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Do we underestimate the role that “play” has, not only for kids, but for adults as well? We’ll explore the power of play and its importance for healthy growing up, creativity, and satisfaction in the project of our lives.
The ages-long experience of the Great Mother is the foundation of cultures all over the world: she was nature, she was the earth and she was the unseen dimension of soul or spirit. In the Hebrew Scriptures, wisdom is portrayed as a woman and as the tree of life, representing all women—discerning what goes on in day to day life and as wisdom-carriers of all humanity. We celebrate International Women’s Day, and with wisdom.
Fearing “internal subversion” of the standing order in Great Britain, William Pitt’s government determined to crush domestic opponents by any means necessary; many victims of this campaign were Unitarians—women and men—members of a brilliant generation of imaginative writers and public intellectuals. We find out who these people were, the challenges they faced and what was lost when a government turned on its own citizens.
The type of music we call “the blues” arose from one of the most profound and neglected stories that occurred on this continent. We learn about that story and what makes “the blues” unique and unforgettable: music filled with melancholy, rage, longing, beauty and endurance. (One way to acknowledge Black History Month)
Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada means different things to different people. Is it demonstrating compassion and understanding about the impact of colonialism on Indigenous peoples? Or is it about working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples on issues of justice and equity and developing relationships of respect and trust? Is reconciliation truly possible? What will it take? And what can Unitarians do to work towards reconciliation?
Bruce McIvor and Aline LaFlamme