Category: Arts and Creativity

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

UCV Small Groups: Fall Start-up and Refresh

Join, Create, or Register a Small Group

collection of books on a table, titles related to spirituality, justice, and Unitarian Universalism.

Do you want to connect with 6-12 people around a theme, interest, creative endeavor, or spiritual question?

Do you already organize, facilitate or participate in a Small Group, Book Discussion, Circle, or regular small gathering in-person at UCV or through UCV Zoom? Tell us about it! www.ucv.im/small-groups-form

Vancouver Unitarians vision is for a more compassionate world. At UCV we deepen our spiritual and religious lives, grow and enrich our congregation, and advocate for love and justice.

To connect folks, new and old members alike, to deep meaningful community, Kiersten and Derrick need to know what is already going on, what you are looking for, what possibilities you imagine, and what you want to create.

To re-vitalize our directory of small groups, join an existing group, or create a new one, please use this form: www.ucv.im/small-groups-form

Unitarian Plurals Book Study Group FULL

Mary and Sheila are hosting a once-a-month, one-hour zoom meeting to work through the book Don’t Label Me by Irshad Manji.

This group is now full.

Leadership will be shared, with all participants taking turns facilitating, zoom hosting and or notetaking/admin support.

As well as the one hour session, you will be asked to do some homework, including practice, and get together with one or more other people in between our sessions. Each week, the facilitators will come up with discussion questions and the assignment.  The group will also meet and share their reflections on a googlegroup.

Irshad Manji spoke at UCV in 2019. Her website is https://irshadmanji.com/

Date and time: 3rd Mondays 7-8pm on zoom https://tinyurl.com/unitarian-plurals 

Questions? sresels@gmail.com or Unitarianmary@gmail.com

The book is divided into 10 sections. Each month, September to June, we’ll focus on one of the sections.

Vancouver Public Library have seven copies plus an e-book and downloaded audiobook. I’ve ordered in some from Banyen. (It was listed on their website but was  out of stock.) If you want one, let me know. Approximately $30.

Why the name Unitarian Plurals?

Manji proposes that we all adopt the one label “Plural” to emphasize that we are each more complex than the list of our labels.

She’s an engaging, articulate, funny speaker. Search youtube.com if you want to see some interviews. There are lots.

Maximum group size: 10

Schedule:

Date 3rd Mon. 7-8 on zoom Focus
September 19 Can We Talk? Chapters 1-9
October “Straight White Male” 10-18
November “Muslim Refugee” 19-25
December What Change Means 26-31
January A New Identity 32-40
February Why (and How) to not be Offended 41-46
March Rethinking Power and Privilege 47-51
April Rethinking Multiculturalism 52-57
May Rethinking Courage 58-65
June The Lessons of Lily 66-72

 

For a detailed description, click here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1glGJ0TrZzkts30A8hFwocN5Bca7OlmBYsLnmbo0Whtk/edit?usp=sharing

For a list of UCV book groups, click here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qBPA6uC4VBRqtTDU4sL3lIdWyXtk5z7xHvVFns2DOUw/edit?usp=sharing

 

Spontaneous Book Group NEW!

Do you sometimes hear about a book and wish you could talk to a friend who’d already read it before you make the investment of time and possibly money?

Or you’re half way through a book and really want to talk with some like-minded person/s about the ideas before continuing.

To complement other book groups at UCV (2nd Sunday where they choose a book and Potluck Books where people show up and share what they’ve been reading–and sometimes the actual books too!) a new group is starting.

Along the lines of Christina’s Baldwin’s “Calling the Circle”, anyone in the group can “call the circle” – by putting out an email suggesting when and where you’re inviting people to get together and the intention. i.e. it might be to discuss a particular book, or it might be potluck-style: come and tell us what you’re reading.

Another approach would be to have one or two people who have read a particular book, present it and reading is optional for the others. (This format borrowed from Toronto First’s Issues and Ideas group.) We’ll use this approach for the Zero Waste Book Club.

Mary Bennett has set up an email group for any who want to participate. If you join, you’ll get some invitations and you’ll be expected to now and again “call the circle”.  #SharedLeadership


Interested in book clubs? Here are some of the other book groups going at UCV.

2nd Sunday Book Club. Contact Rob Dainow

Potluck Book and Lunch Club. Contact Nan Gregory

Zero Waste Book Group.  https://vancouverunitarians.ca/zero-waste-book-group/

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For contact information, schedules and other small group opportunities, contact Membership Outreach Coordinator, Derrick at moc@vancouverunitarians.ca

 

 

Zero Waste Book Group

The BC Zero Waste Team has started a monthly one-hour zoom book club focused on books that relate to sustainability, zero waste etc.

join: https://groups.google.com/g/uu-zero-waste-books

Or send an email to uu-zero-waste-books+subscribe@googlegroups.com.

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88090897070

Open group. Registration appreciated.

It is open to any Unitarians in BC or even beyond.

A reminder and link details will be sent to members of the googlegroup.

Go to vancouverunitarians.ca/zero-waste for more posts and upcoming events
Posted by Mary Bennett zerowasteunitarian@gmail.com for the Zero Waste Team

Past books have included

Saving Us by Katherine Hayhoe

The Environmentalist’s Dilemma: Promise and Peril in an Age of Climate Crisis by Arno Kopecky

Introducing UCV Common Reads for Spring and Summer

Introducing Common Reads! 

We are launching a Common Reads initiative to engage new and existing small groups in a unifying exploration. Your current small group or book group may choose to read these titles, or you can sign-up to form a new group at ucv.im/reads. We will connect people to groups based on your time of day availability. 

To start we have picked two books to explore between April and September: 

  • Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It” by author and UCV Board Member Bruce McIvor
  • The Skin We’re In” by Desmond Cole.

The titles are timely, urgent, and compelling reads consistent with our congregation’s commitment to intellectual engagement and work to dismantle racism. 

Lifespan director Kiersten Moore has several copies of both books available to be checked out, and we also encourage members who grow their own library to purchase the books from local independent booksellers.

Fill out this form to be connected to a new Common Reads circle, or to receive Common Reads updates for your existing small group.

https://ucv.im/reads

 

About the Books 

 “Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It

Faced with a constant stream of news reports of standoffs and confrontations, Canada’s “reconciliation project” has obviously gone off the rails. In this series of concise and thoughtful essays, lawyer and historian Bruce McIvor explains why reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is failing and what needs to be done to fix it.

Widely known as a passionate advocate for Indigenous rights, McIvor reports from the front lines of legal and political disputes that have gripped the nation. From Wet’suwet’en opposition to a pipeline in northern British Columbia, to Mi’kmaw exercising their fishing rights in Nova Scotia, McIvor has been actively involved in advising First Nation clients, fielding industry and non-Indigenous opposition to true reconciliation, and explaining to government officials why their policies are failing.

The Skin We’re In

A bracing, provocative, and perspective-shifting book from one of Canada’s most celebrated and uncompromising writers, Desmond Cole. The Skin We’re In will spark a national conversation, influence policy, and inspire activists.

In his 2015 cover story for Toronto Life magazine, Desmond Cole exposed the racist actions of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times he had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding. The story quickly came to national prominence, shaking the country to its core and catapulting its author into the public sphere. Cole used his newfound profile to draw insistent, unyielding attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis.

 

About the Authors 

Dr. Bruce McIvor is recognized nationally and internationally as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in Aboriginal law. Bruce represents First Nations across Canada and teaches at the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law. His great-grandparents took Métis scrip at Red River in Manitoba. He is a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation.

Desmond Cole is an award-winning journalist, radio host, and activist in Toronto. His writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, The Walrus, NOW Magazine, Ethnic Aisle, Torontoist, BuzzFeed, and the Ottawa Citizen. His first book, The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power, was published in 2020. (from Penguin Random House publisher and Canadian Museum of History)

Women’s Memoir Writing Series

24 Women attended this series and several smaller groups have been formed as a result.

Our Lives as Stories

Maybe you would like to commit to paper (or your laptop) a few of the stories knocking around inside you. Maybe you’re seeking a new way to deepen your understanding of yourself and your connection with others. Or maybe you’ve been longing to write your memoir. Whichever is the case, this series of workshops could get you started.

Session 1: Finding Stories. (Gathering the Sensory and Emotive Details)

Session 2: The Craft and Building Blocks of Stories.  (Writing the Scene(s))

Session 3: From Draft to Polished. (Giving and Receiving Feedback)

⦁ The three two-hour workshops will be spaced a month apart providing lots of time in between for other activities.
⦁ For the first two sessions, the whole group (up to twenty participants) will meet for instruction and guided exercises. Sharing time will involve breakout rooms of five or six, and everyone will be invited to share a portion of their work with Maggie by email if they wish.
⦁ The third workshop will happen in 3 sessions, with up to six gathering each time, to share their work and give and receive guided feedback.

FREE to UCV members
$100 registration fee for non-members

Bio

Maggie de Vries is the author of eleven books including the Governor General Literary Award nominated Missing Sarah: A Memoir of Loss and teen novel, Rabbit Ears, winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize. Maggie’s TEDxSFU talk The Red Umbrella: Sex Work, Stigma and the Law has been viewed more than forty-thousand times. Hooker Monologues, a collaborative production Maggie co-produced, co-wrote and performed in, staged six sold-out shows at Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre in 2016.

Maggie was children’s book editor at Orca Book Publishers for seven years and a substitute teacher in Surrey for five. In 2005 and 2012, she was the inaugural writer in residence at VPL and UNBC respectively. For some years now, she has been a Lecturer in UBC’s Creative Writing Program, and a Martha-Beck-certified Life Coach who mentors writers, runs workshops, leads writing retreats and offers creative writing courses in her Ladysmith, Vancouver Island community and beyond.

She is in the process of reconnecting with UCV, where she was married in 1995 and attended more and more regularly from 1999 until she moved away from the city in 2017.

www.maggiedevries.com

Dates: May 8, May 29 (2 – 4 pm)
and

June 19/20 The last class is meant to be divided into three groups for workshopping, with Maggie present for each one. People will sign up for one of these slots: Saturday: 9:30 to 11:30, 12:30 to 2:30 or 3 to 5 or Sunday: 12:30 to 2:30 or 3 to 5.

Supported by the Vancouver Unitarian Women’s Retreat Fund.

Registration fees and donations will be used to replenish the fund for future events.

Testimonials

Insightful, hardworking, thoughtful and encouraging, Maggie provided the literary expertise to solve the structural and editorial issues that plagued early drafts of my memoir.  Coincidently, she identified areas where I struggled to probe and encouraged me to explore, improve and flourish.  She helped me to dig deeper and write better. Maggie is terrific!

Renée Hetherington, MBA, PhD
Writer, Scientist and Businesswoman
British Columbia, Canada
February, 2021

Maggie de Vries runs a humdinger of a writing retreat. In an island setting, I was so deeply comforted by the schedule she set for us—one I could decide not to partake of at any moment should the writing bug o’er take me or should I simply need a walk in the woods—that I was inspired to fully involve myself in the opportunities. I was encouraged to share my writing, something I’m truly not used to doing, and I found it thrilling; that shell remains open, well after the retreat, and I’m delighted to feel the change.
Maggie took care of each of us by combining inviting reflection and prompt-driven writing sessions, literary focus, and guided workshops with lots of individually spent time too: free writing in our separate (stunningly beautiful) spots and one-to-one sessions with Maggie.  These check-ins allowed us to look wide to see the larger project and then to perceive the minute detail of scene writing and character perspective.
All that Maggie engaged us in over the 3-day retreat stays with me, weeks later, because I heard myself articulate a deep desire to do this. I said it in a safe and supportive environment; that baby step feels giant to me now. And Maggie helped us envision each of our books in the mess of journals and papers, in the engagement and the intention of the writer. I see these things now. I am showing up for this part of myself.
Thanks, Maggie, for knowing the world of writing so thoroughly and letting us in on its mysteries and delights.

Jane Slemon
Retreat Participant
UCV Member
November, 2019

 

Maggie’s experience as an author and writing coach has given me the courage to finally write my memoir. Her guidance has helped me see more clearly how to structure my book, stay true to my purpose, and tell a story that will engage the reader.  I know I couldn’t do this without her expertise and dedicated commitment to my project. Thank you, Maggie

Jeri Ross, MPH
Licensed Health Educator & Entrepreneur
Author of See You in the Sky: A Memoir of Prison, Possibility and Peace
Santa Cruz, California
June, 2018

 

 

 

Gardening at UCV – if you like to dig, there are many opportunities

There are many opportunities to garden at UCV. Some of our members have home gardens and more than enough on their plate managing that, but others live in condos or apartments and enjoy the chance to beautify our grounds and enjoy the company of others who love dirt! This year a group that started with a mystery pal connection have collaboratively planted, harvested and learned together.

Work with a crew once a month

Once a month on the 3rd Saturday a crew arrives and Patti Turner helps them find things that work for them and help keep our extensive grounds and gardens looking good. Patti brings home-cooked snacks! There’s a role for you whatever your physical constraints or abilities and interests.

Help with the labyrinths

Bubbles on the Labyrinth October 15, 2018.

Our garden path labyrinth can always use work and a couple of us get together on a spontaneous schedule if it looks like a good day. If you’d like to join us, or know some regular tasks that need doing that you can do on your own time, just drop Mary Bennett a note. Mary’s also been planting drought-resistant plants around the concrete labyrinth to keep the weeds back. Fall is a good time to move a few things around and add some snowdrops and grape hyacinths for the spring.

Vegetable gardens on north side

You may have noticed the vegetable gardens on the north side of the property. These were first put in after digging up lawn (we have a lot of it, and are lessening it over time) in the mid-90s.  At the same time, we put heather on the SW corner and a herb garden on the south side.

Youth Garden

The farthest west gardens are for the Children’s program. Yvonne and Megumi tend to manage it, but welcome ideas and help from kids and youth.

Free Herb Garden

The farthest east has two sections. The upper part was looked after by Mairy Beam and Mary Bennett and is now a Pagan group Free Herb Garden.  We often pick and share the herbs with the earth spirit circle. We’ve been making stakes to label the herbs. You are welcome to pick any time.

More details here: https://vancouverunitarians.ca/herbs/

Mystery Pal (Plus) Garden)

The lower part started as a Mystery Pal project with Cynthia and Gaon and now has a team of 8 involved.

Veggie Plots in the Middle Area

The largest area in the middle is divided into a number of smaller plots from 3′ square to about 4′ x 6′.

The gardeners there include:

  • Megumi/Amy Anderson (Love Soup)
  • Mary Bennett
  • Sandy Riecken
  • Gerda Schulz
  • Patti Turner
  • Cayla, Jill and Sebastian (garlic collective)
  • UCV Staff

Southern 3 boxes

The southern three boxes are prioritized for our families or mystery pal pairs/groups. They’re about 3′ (one meter) square, so you could plant just a few items–low maintenance–and others would likely help you if you need it!

Karl Perrin digging in children’s garden. 2017

Would you like to have a vegetable garden area at UCV — or work with others on their plots?

Would you like to have a small plot of your own either for yourself or to support a program at UCV? You could do it as part of a pair or group or on your own.

Mary’s been working on helping new gardeners find a plot of a size that works for them and over time building up the very clay-y soil with compost and dried leaves.

There’s some space available for another plot or two, including a raised bed near the sidewalk that wouldn’t require much bending. It might work for someone in a wheel chair even. Contact Mary if you’d like to take on a plot.

Rhubarb

Coming this fall: a rhubarb patch. In the spring we’ll harvest and share with a congregational group. Maybe Messy Church if it starts up again.  Bakers will be needed to harvest rhubarb and put into something like muffins!

Adopt a little area

Once people start gardening at UCV they quickly begin to notice the expanse of the property and the need for many hands to make light work. Some years ago, there was a suggestion that individuals might “adopt an area” – perhaps even a very, very small area and take it on to weed, water and perhaps even plant.

Is there a spot you’ve noticed needs some pruning or weeding?

Talk to Patti if you are ready to adopt a section of the grounds. She’d love to hear from you.

Summer Solstice at UCV

Next earth spirit celebration is Lammas/Lughnasahd August 1st. We’ll post some suggestions for how to celebrate. Bread is a good start! It’s the grain harvest

We’ll walk the labyrinth; share our abundance and enjoy the UCV grounds. Lammas time and other details here.

We’ll collect herbs for a pouch and maybe tie some wishes onto the trees.

 

For more information and to help plan contact Mairy Beam or  Mary Bennett

Esmé’s Credo Comic

Hi everyone!

As part of the Coming of Age program at UCV, our bridging youth have crafted credos to share with the congregation. Their credo is a statement about their beliefs about the world right now.

Esmé decided to share her credo in the form of a comic. She’ll talk about it in the service tomorrow, and we’re posting it here for you to peruse in full. There’s a link at the bottom of this post that will allow you to download the pdf if you wish.

This is my credo comic that I was talking about at Sunday’s service! I’m really, really excited for you to read it!

The 1st Principle inspired it, but now I see all of the principles all over it.
Enjoy! And hug a snail!

— Esmé

 

 

Esmé credo final

Gender and Theatre – Join an Interactive Panel Discussion

Watch Mairy Beam’s provocative and enlightening play What Difference Does it Make?  available now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQU6WT6Igs8  and join us for a Play Discussion moderated by our own Rev Lara Cowtan on Saturday June 12 at 7:00 pm. ucv.im/gsa

What Difference Does It Make?  Minutes before Carmelle’s best friend arrives for a visit from Toronto, Lucy comes out as non-binary. A day later they’re all trapped together isolating from Covid 19. In this hotbed of needs and limitations the characters play out their destinies against the backdrop of a city in virtual lockdown. A sensitive and illuminating portrayal of a person in transition, a partner struggling to adjust and a broken-hearted houseguest inadvertently making things worse.

From the audience: 

  • “Up until I saw this play I didn’t get how significant and important and fundamental the journey to non-binary is.”
  • “captivating, touching, challenging, humorous, sad and informative”
  • “this play is a gem”
  • “true and raw”
  • “I have some thinking to do  . . . “

What Difference Does It Make? was originally produced by Toronto’s Haven Theatre, in February 2021.

This event is coordinated by UCV’s Genders and Sexualities Alliance as part of UCV’s recertification as a Welcoming Congregation.

Registration appreciated but not required:

https://ucv-gender-theatre.eventbrite.ca

Search the website for “gsa” for other information and events.

Our GSA meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm.

All genders and sexualities welcome, even cis-straight.  Email gsa@vancouverunitarians.ca for the zoom link and agenda.