Category: Arts and Creativity

arts: music, visual art, artistic expression and creativity of all sorts.

Indoor Labyrinth Walking in Meditation Room

We now have custody of an indoor labyrinth that fits perfectly in our meditation room.

Seven women who were part of the Women’s Spirituality Celebration and, along with a dozen or more others, met and walked it together in January. A discussion ensued that people would like the chance to walk it more often and share it with others as well..

The 10′ x 12′ canvas labyrinth was created by Barbara Bickel while on an artist residency on Toronto Island.

Barbara was, with Mary Bennett, and others part of a planning team for an annual Women’s Spirituality Celebration held at UBC Vancouver School of Theology.While the group hasn’t hosted an event in recent years, there are “circles of circles” of women who continue to connect in various ways, often around a labyrinth walk, shared food and conversation.

Barbara created it for the WSC and has wanted it to be available for borrowing by women who wish to use it for an event.

If you have a connection to Women’s Spirituality Celebration or a Unitarian congregation, you can arrange to borrow it from Mary Bennett.

We plan to have an open labyrinth walk every 1st Tuesday from 6 to 7pm prior to circle dancing in the hall. Mary will book space and ensure the meditation room is open by ten to 6. Women involved with WSC will take turns laying out the labyrinth, welcoming new people and putting the labyrinth back after the walk.

We have a labyrinth facebook group. 

There are two outdoor labyrinths on the Unitarian Centre site.

Go to http://vancouverunitarians.ca/labyrinth to learn more.

Contact Mary through unitarianlabyrinth@gmail.com if you wish to arrange to borrow the indoor labyrinth.

 

Women’s Art and Collage groups

Come and get to know other Unitarian women through playing with art or cut and paste

This is an opportunity for women to gather for creative play and self-exploration using collage or bringing your own art or craft projects to work on. After brief introductions/check-in, we work quietly at our own pace and then before closing share a bit about what we were working on and what it means to us..

The evening group meets monthly (usually) on the 2nd Tuesday from 7 to 8:30 pm in Kitsilano. This group is closed at this point because the space is limited to 8 people.

The day time group meets monthly (usually) on the 1st Thursday at UCV from 12 to 2pm.

We start with a simple shared potluck lunch and then work on our own projects and then share a bit about what we’ve done around 1:30pm

This group has space for a couple of more people. Contact Mary if you’d like to join us.

For both groups, the expectation is that people will attend regularly and we will form and deepen our connections with each other as we get to know each other through our art projects.

Scissors, glue sticks, paper and images all available – but bring your own if you wish. Calendars are especially lovely. Any magazines you bring should be taken away or recycled, or have images and words clipped for others. (We have limited storage space).

Please RSVP to Mary maryinvancouver@gmail.com

Supported by UCV’s Arts Committee.

More about collage:

Definition: collage (n.)

form of abstract art in which photos, newspaper clippings, found objects, etc., are glued onto a surface, 1919 (Wyndham Lewis), from French collage “a pasting,” from Old French coller “to glue,” from Greek kolla “glue,” a word of uncertain origin, perhaps Pre-Greek.

Some formats and approaches

SoulCollage(R) is a method for creating images on a 5″ x 8″ surface.

Artist Trading Cards are traded among people and are 2.5 x 3.5

Art Journal Collages

(Just google any of these phrases or “collage fine art” to find interesting information. You’ll find myriad videos on youtube as well.)

If you’d like to be part of a women’s group that shares the coordination of these gatherings on a monthly basis contact Mary maryinvancouver@gmail.com.

Leadership rotates: When it’s your turn, you come early and stay late to set-up and cleanup; send out a reminder to the group. Optional: If you want to propose a theme or a special project you can, or just have a “do your own thing” session.

If you’d like to be on a wait list if the group opens, complete this form.

Here’s some info you may find interesting:

SoulCollage®

If you’re interested in SoulCollage®, you can find some videos on youtube to provide an introduction.

This is a nice four-minute introductory video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QygfSxYerwg

This one is a good how-to Step by Step video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PscsoVlOihA

This shows how to use the viewfinder, marking the points of the corners for cutting.

Among the final embellishments which are often not done, there’s a suggestion to outline the edges of the pasted on images with a metallic paint sharpie.

It’s only visual. There’s (imho) annoying loud music, so just turn off the audio.

What’s in a Name? Next forum January 19

The What Do We Call Ourselves task force (WDWCO) was created by the Board in 2018 to examine whether we should change our name from the Unitarian Church of Vancouver to a name without “church.” To carry out its mission, WDWCO would like to provide ways for all members and friends (adherents) of UCV to hear, understand, and contribute to the discussions around what name best suits our congregation. Although as UCV members, we might differ on the name question, we believe we share similar values and goals for our beloved community. We are confident that we can come to shared understanding and a path forward.

We offer the following viewpoints (heard during informal discussions among some UCV members) as a starting point for discussion. If your viewpoint isn’t represented here, we’d like to know what it is. We want input and will be seeking it at the Forum on January 19th.

I want to retain our current name because:
Our name Unitarian Church of Vancouverhonours our 500-year history as a Church. For me, the UnitarianChurchof today has an expanded meaning that is inclusive of all ethical beliefs. It demonstrates how a Church can be a progressive religious community.

The name “Church” speaks to our spiritual roots and provides a sense of continuity and comfort. Some of us may have left the church of our upbringing, but we have not severed our connection with spirituality.

The name Unitarian Churchhas gravitas and promotes respect. Having originated as a branch of Christianity, we are identified as a religious community and we belong at the table of multi-faith gatherings. As well, our identity as a Church invites media inquiries seeking “religious perspectives” on pressing moral issues.

The Unitarian Church has led and continues to lead progressive religious change. Such progress can be inspiring to other religious communities.

I want to change our name because:
I am uncomfortable with the word Church, finding it restrictive as a name for our spiritual home and community. A church is by definition a Christianentity, which is not a spiritual fit with those members and friends who do not identify as Christian. “Church” discourages many potential attendees who have negative associations with Christian denominations, along with those whose heritage is in non-Christian cultures, those who identify as Pagans or secular Humanists, and those who resist any labelling of their views. And a more welcoming name could appeal to those who describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious” , individuals who may be seeking an inclusive spiritual community free of dogma.

I believe that with an alternative name we will remain an influential member of multifaith communities. For example, one of the largest Unitarian communities in Canada, The First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, (no “Church” in their name), is well-respected in the National Capital Region, and has good relations with near and far-flung Christian and non-Christian faith communities alike.

34 of the 47 Unitarian congregations in Canada call themselves something other than a Church.

I am undecided because:
I haven’t thought much about this and I don’t have enough information. I look forward to participating in our community’s thoughtful consideration and discussion of all the input. I want to understand the beliefs and opinions of others. I hope I’ll then be better able to make a decision.

I will support whatever decision is made:
I trust our community will thoughtfully consider all input and make the best decision for the greater good.

I am reluctant to get involved…
To the reluctant, we encourage you to consider that in our community, all views count. We invite your careful listening and input as the discussions proceed. We want an environment where you feel comfortable to contribute your voice.

We strive to make ourdecision process inclusive, caring, informed, and democratic. What we choose to call ourselves is our identity.It matters.

Please share your views, come to the Forum on January 19th. Questions in the meantime?
Email us at: sresels@gmail.com

 

Exploring Women’s Groups while Discussing Authenticity / Becoming Who You Truly Are

Exploring Women’s Groups while Discussing Authenticity / Becoming Who You Truly Are will be one of three afternoon workshops at the January 4th Women’s Gathering. Facilitator: Sheila Resels

We will meet other women who are part of Unitarian Women’s Groups while discussing what we look for in Women’s Groups?  What we hope to find, to discover in Women’s Groups?

We will also examine authenticity. “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day.  It’s about the choice to show up and be real.  The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” Brene Brown, research professor at the University of Houston.

We will respond to and share:

  • What does being authentic (“inner authenticity”) and living authentically (“outer authenticity”) mean to you?
  • What experiences, either intentional or unintentional, have developed your authenticity? Does authenticity come naturally with age, or does it have to be consciously achieved?
  • How do you nurture authentic experiences in your day to day life?
  • Much of modern North American life and of our personal experience of life is defined by mass culture and electronic media. In what ways do these outlets contribute to or take away from authentic experience?
Space is limited. You must pre-register.
By donation to the Refugee fund.

The Mystery Workshop

The Mystery Workshop facilitated by Laurie Anderson will be one of three afternoon workshops at the January 4th Women’s Gathering.
We’ll explore:
  • What does it mean to embrace mystery?
  • What do I do when I don’t know what to do?
  • How do I learn to go with the flow (when I’d much rather feel in control)?
  • Trust in organic unfoldings?  What?  How?  Huh?
Join with some curious women in conversation, creativity, and connection as we dive into exploring the Mystery…and maybe even hearing its voice.
Space is limited. You must pre-register.
By donation to the Refugee fund.

Preview: Art for Refugees on Twitter

Art for Refugees is a silent auction of artwork by Karen Brumelle with all proceeds to the refugee committee. The art is on display in the Fireside room from December 1 to 22.

Preview: Art for Refugees (@UnitarianUCV) – click on that link to see tweets with images of art for sale in the silent auction. (You do not need a Twitter account for this.) Twitter may crop images, so always click on an image displayed with a tweet to be sure you see all of it.

The image featured in this post is displayed with this tweet.

An image of another painting in the silent auction is displayed with this tweet.

And you can scroll through all such tweets to preview some of the art on sale in Fireside.

Come view the actual artwork and write your first bids when the exhibit opens on December 1.

You can review bids and bid or rebid on any day. Bidding closes at 12:15 pm on December 22.

Support the wonderful work of the refugee committee – get some art for yourself or as a gift.

 


notes and links

featured image from silent auction

artist’s website: brumelleart.com

in these notes, DuckDuckGo bang commands (!?) link to search results for words they follow when the commands are in parentheses, for words they precede when they are not:

!ucv refugee committee / a search on the UCV website

!tw “Art for Refugees” (@UnitarianUCV) / a search on Twitter

the Merriam-Webster definition of a silent auction (!mw) notwithstanding, the written bids in Art for Refugees are not sealed but displayed with the art

December Festivities – Atheists, Pagans, Christians — Everyone — Welcome!

Whatever your spiritual path(s) and tradition(s), you might well find a gathering (or two) that will suit your current approach to the winter holidays.

December 1st starts the season with our choir concert. They sing for us and then provide refreshments after wards as well.

You can be sure to find a mix of Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Pagans and, of course, Unitarians,  at most of the upcoming events. Indeed some people identify with two or more of those labels.

Our Christmas Eve service does take a look at the Christian story of Jesus’ birth but unlike most other churches, we also honour other mid-winter holy days such as Solstice and Hanukkah. A favorite of many is the section on  “Christmas with an attitude” which is always a humorous even ironic take on the whole season. Whatever your current beliefs, you can celebrate with us in a non-dogmatic ambiance.

The evening Candlelight Service on December 15th is one of music and poetry and one of the most beautiful services of our congregational year. We share a light potluck afterwards. This might be a time to connect with old friends or meet new ones. Many appreciate the fact that this date comes with  no expectations or obligations.

Our earth spirit group is planning a Winter Solstice/Yule event and we encourage families to come along. There will be dancing, and meditating, and lantern making, and labyrinth walking and, most important of all, feasting. This year a focus will be “feasting in all directions” – where four altars will be set up to include foods corresponding to the direction and element of that table.

Check out the events list and calendar for details on these and more events.

 

A silent auction: Art for Refugees

Art for Refugees is a silent auction of artwork by Karen Brumelle with all proceeds to the refugee committee. The art is on display in the Fireside room from December 1 to 22.

Come view the artwork and write your first bids when the exhibit opens on December 1.

You can review bids and bid or rebid on any day. Bidding closes at 12:15 pm on December 22.

Support the wonderful work of the refugee committee – get some art for yourself or as a gift.

Preview: Art for Refugees (@UnitarianUCV) – click on that link to see tweets with images of art for sale in the silent auction. (You do not need a Twitter account for this.)

 


notes and links

featured image from silent auction

artist’s website: brumelleart.com

in these notes, DuckDuckGo bang commands (!?) link to search results for words they follow when the commands are in parentheses, for words they precede when they are not:

!ucv refugee committee / a search on the UCV website

!tw “Art for Refugees” (@UnitarianUCV) / a search on Twitter

the Merriam-Webster definition of a silent auction (!mw) notwithstanding, the written bids in Art for Refugees are not sealed but displayed with the art

Crochet Club – Join Mary on Sundays for a crochet project

from Mary Bennett

On Remembrance Sunday I crocheted five poppies and enticed one other person to try her hand at a crocheted poppy.

Many of us find Sunday morning coffee hour a bit too hectic and this is my response. I’ll be putting a basket of yarn and crochet hooks on a table in the hall most Sundays. The crochet table is for crafts and pleasant conversation, like getting to know each other better. It’s not for UCV business, petitions or organizing of events.

Here are two ideas for easy projects for the next month or so.

Crochet Star Ornaments

Crochet Stars – Free Ornament Pattern

Garland

Crochet Retro Ornament Garland

And if you liked the poppy idea, here’s a pointsettia!

https://www.allfreecrochet.com/Crochet-Flower-Patterns/How-to-Crochet-a-Poinsettia

Do your own thing

You are very welcome to bring along your own craft projects and just sit and stitch, draw or knit at the table.

If you have supplies to share, bring them along.

Crocheted items

You can take your ornaments or garlands home or leave them. We’ll find a spot to display them as people contribute.

 

Come and meet Margot Adler while the veil is still thin

Every year, Rev. Steven Epperson writes scripts for our Unitarian and Universalist ancestors to address us from the other side. UCV members then enter to the opening bars of the Twilight Zone and address our congregation, someimes with a challenge. Among the four “guests from the past” this year will be Wiccan priestess and UU Margot Adler, author of Drawing Down the Moon.

Here’s information about the service.

Here’s a wikipedia entry about Margot Adler.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margot_Adler

It says:

Adler was a Wiccan priestess, an elder in the Covenant of the Goddess,[1] and she also participated in the Unitarian Universalist faith community.[1]

Here’s some background on her UU involvements

http://uudb.org/articles/margotadler.html

Some selected excerpts:

She was a member of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City, a member of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS), and a frequent speaker at national and regional Unitarian Universalist events.

Beacon Press published an expanded edition of Drawing Down the Moon in 1986. The next year Adler was a keynote speaker at the annual Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly (GA). A continental organization, the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) was formed and was granted affiliate status with the UUA in 1988. Adler was a member of CUUPS and served on the board. She joined the All Souls congregation in New York City in 1992 and participated in the activities of its Women’s Alliance. She would speak at numerous Unitarian Universalist affiliated events over the next twenty years.

Adler saw Paganism as the spiritual side of feminism which rejected the hierarchy of monotheism. She thought monotheism was “imperialism in religion.” In 2005 Adler spoke at the annual Southwest Unitarian Universalist Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas. There was still some resistance in Unitarian Universalist women’s circles toward the Pagan movement despite the fact that “Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions” had been named the sixth source of our Unitarian Universalist Living Tradition. In her talk, Adler explained how much pagan spirituality and ritual had contributed to Unitarian Universalist worship; from croning and water ceremonies, to walking the labyrinth, spiral dances, drumming, and—perhaps most importantly for Margot—chanting, a practice she often introduced at women’s gatherings.

Adler presented her theories about vampires to the Second International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women in October 2012 in Marosvásárhely, Romania. In her keynote speech, Adler compared America’s twenty-first century fascination with vampires to that experienced in Great Britain at the close of the nineteenth century when Dracula, written by Bram Stoker, had been published. She theorized that the two cultures were similar in experiencing the end of empire and perhaps also sharing a view of themselves as evil; the British sucking the blood from colonies while America was sucking oil through powerful multinational corporations. She published Out for Blood in 2013, and Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side the following year.

In 2013 Adler placed books from her parent’s collections into the “Margot Adler Collection” at the Adler Graduate School in Richfield, Minnesota. Alfred Adler’s papers were donated to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Transcripts and audio copies of some of Margot Adler radio broadcasts can be found at justicetalking.org, pacificaradioarchives.org, hourwolf.com, npr.org, and YouTube.

And here’s something I didn’t know:

Her father was a psychiatrist who helped continue the work of his father, the distinguished Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler, who was first an ally and later an ideological adversary of Freud.

Huff Post article after her death.

Margot Adler Memorial Page on Facebook

New York Times article on her death:

 

CUUPS Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/CUUPS.org/

 

UU World Article

Why I am a UU Pagan

http://www.spelcastor.org/cuups/margot.htm