Topic: Global Issues

Issues of globalization, refugees etc.

The Individual and the Community

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?

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Across millennia and cultures, many myths and stories share a common theme and structure: transformative journeys taken by unlikely heroes.  A feature in these stories is the crossing of a threshold from ordinary to extraordinary realms.  Are we living a hero’s journey right now during these strange and trying times?  Join Rev. Steven Epperson and our DRE, Kiersten Moore, for this all-congregation worship service.

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Special Worship Event: “Don’t Label Me: A Modest Proposal for How to Engage in a Time of Outrage” with Guest Speaker Irshad Manji

Join us when Ms. Irshad Manji will speak about how to reclaim our humanity in this time of trenchant tribalism.

Irshad is the author of Don’t Label Me, a gutsy guide to moving beyond the politics of Us-versus-Them. She is also founder of Moral Courage College, which equips people worldwide to do the right thing in the face of their fears. A lecturer with Oxford University’s Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights, Irshad previously taught leadership at New York University as well as the University of Southern California.

In between, she has written bestselling books about the need for reform in her faith of Islam, while producing the Emmy-nominated PBS film, Faith Without Fear. 

Oprah Winfrey has given Irshad Manji the first annual Chutzpah Award for “audacity, nerve, boldness, and conviction.” On November 24, we will see why. (A reception and book-signing will follow.)

You can sign up for her blog and newsletter here:


UN Sunday and Gibbard Award

Join us for a Celebration of UN Sunday and the opportunity to meet and hear from this year’s John Gibbard Award winner. “The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.” We still affirm this principle and extend our support for the vision and effective work of the UN.

Shawna Narayan is this year’s Gibbard Award winner and will speak this Sunday during the Sunday service. 

The John Gibbard Memorial Award is presented annually by the Vancouver Branch of the UN Association
in Canada in recognition and memory of John Gibbard, who was a supporter of the League of Nations from
its creation in 1919, in the wake of the First World War. When the League ceased to exist, John Gibbard
continued to support the ideals upon which the League had been founded. When the United Nations was
formed after the Second World War, he became an active member of the UN Association in Canada. He was
dedicated to involving youth in the creation of a better world for all.
2019 John Gibbard Award Winner Shawna Narayan is a 23-year-old Founder and Executive Director of
Empower The Future,” a non-profit that aims to support inner-city high school students with the transition
from high school to post-secondary life through mentorship. She also works to motivate more females to
enter in STEM fields via her “Women in STEM Project.” Due to her work in these and other projects, as
well as academic excellence, she is the youngest recipient of the Medal of Good Citizenship from the
Government of British Columbia.

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.

Speaker: Lorimer Shenher

Refugees and Distress Migration – Where are we in 2019?

This service 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?

We will examine religious attitudes and philosophical approaches to ethics of hospitality and explore how modern international mobility and immigration control adds to the problems to find workable and humane solutions.

Huguette has been involved with our refugee committee extensively for many years.

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Deep Green Change

The looming threats of climate change and biodiversity loss are caused by human behaviour. To modify behaviour, we can use incentives and discouragements. But they won’t stick without deeper change – a profound shift in our sense of ourselves and the world.
As Christ harrowed Hell to free lost souls, as Orpheus dove into Hades to save his Beloved, so we must visit the Underworld to find the Deep Green Change.

In this homily, Dr. George will give precise directions to the entrance to the Underworld. The rest will be up to you.

Music by Patrick Dubois

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No One is Illegal?

What did Egyptian border guards say to Mary, Joseph and their infant son when they fled a murderous tyrant and sought refuge in the land of Egypt?
In an age when millions are on the road and high seas in search for a better world, how do we respond?

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