Category: Arts and Creativity

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

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
  • 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.

Kid Art Wanted

Hey there! Creative kids and families,

from Mary Bennett ucvconnect@gmail.com

by Maddie Lomas

This is the story for August 22, 2021 for the worship service which will reflect on our experience of the pandemic.

I got the book from the library and as usual, it has ONE illustrator only and I thought about some of you and the stories I know about what you did during the past 18 months (and what you didn’t do) and I thought: I’d like us to share this poem/story with YOUR artwork.

Please send me art (drawing, painting, photograph) in horizontal format in jpeg or png by August 15th and I’ll include it when Way Kent is reading the story on August 22nd.

Here’s a youtube video of the poem:

 

Here’s the text:

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

Here’s the sung version.

I hope you’ll sign your piece so we can credit you.

You could also drop off or mail to UCV marked with “Pandemic art for Mary Bennett.”

 

 

Poetry to reflect on resilience and resistance

The women’s meditative poetry group felt that the close of Indigenous People’s month and the start of a new month–with ongoing issues–would be a good time to select a woman poet who writes from an indigenous perspective.
At 9am Pacific on Saturday and Sunday, we’ll continue to meet over zoom at ucv.im/cuuwa
The featured poet is Rita Bouvier.  https://www.thistledownpress.com/html/search/Authors/Rita_Bouvier/index.cfm
Her poetry collections are at vpl.ca.  As well, several poems are available on line.
There are several places on youtube we can hear her read her own poems.

How do we hold silence

Deeper than bone

(audio only)

Here’s a short interview with video:

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

Women’s Meditative Poetry Circle

Do you need more poetry in your life?

UPDATE 

In June we’ll read local poet Natalie Lim on Saturdays and Nicole Brossard on Sundays.

Here’s what some of our regulars say about these short “poetry breaks”:

I’ve found our weekend meditative poetry readings a lovely way to start my day.  Hearing a poem read three times enriches my understanding of it more than I expected.  And, because we are generally finished in 15 minutes, it’s a commitment that is not at all burdensome.  I’ve rarely read poetry since I graduated from college and I’m grateful for the chance to get reacquainted with it.

  • Kathy Sayers
Our poetry group has introduced me to modern female Canadian poets most of whom, other than Margaret Atwood, I had no familiarity with.  It has been an enriching experience. 
I have expanded our weekly zoom visits with our son, two daughters and families to include poetry.   Our seven year old great granddaughter reads to us every week and so I decided it was my turn to read, yes a poem to her and her family.  So now each family hears the work of a Canadian poet each week.  I am just about to add Rupi Kaur for the four grand daughters in their mid twenties.
  • Barb Bowmar

I’ve tried various ways (often after making new year’s resolutions) to “get into” poetry – reading aloud; memorizing one a month, etc. This approach has turned me into a poetry-enthusiast. Some of what’s different is reading poems by contemporary women: accessible themes; and having a nice, small group of more contemporary women to share (not discuss or debate) with.

  • Mary Bennett

New Approach for May

We’d like to add a few more people. It’s OK to drop-in, but we also think more people might enjoy having this as a regular practice as some of us have had for about 6 months now..

For May we’ll focus on particular poets. If it turns out to be well received, the group may vote on the next month’s poet at the end of May.

Saturday group will be Margaret Atwood poems including from her recent collection Dearly.

Sunday group will be Naomi Shihab Nye, already a favorite of our group. If you haven’t already discovered her, we think you’ll enjoy. She also writes children’s books.

Background and Times

UCV women in collaboration with the Canadian U*U Women’s Association offer women’s meditative poetry gatherings on zoom.

  • Saturdays and Sundays at 9 am Pacific/12 noon Eastern
Click the following link to join the gathering:
https://ucv.im/cuuwa
Mary Bennett started this following Rev. Lara’s “Lectio Divina” series in October, 2020. Mary’s objective was to make her mornings go better and read more poetry. Both are almost lifelong goals worth revisiting regularly and it’s working.
You are invited if you identify as a woman or non-binary, gender queer or gender fluid. I/we invite suggestions how to ensure this is a welcoming space for you.
The facilitator will:
  • Read a poem written by a (usually) Canadian (almost always) woman three times with a one-minute pause and brief sharing between.
  • Participants listen during the first reading for words or phrases that strike them.
  • Second reading, listen for feelings or memories that are stirred.
  • Third reading, listen for a message or personal meaning.
  • We usually have about a minute’s of silence after each reading and then, as we’re usually a small group of 3 or 4, everyone shares briefly. We’re always finished within half an hour, usually 15 minutes.

We have an email group. If you want to e-meet the other group members and receive occasional reminders or links to poetry, please join by sending an email to womens-meditative-poetry+subscribe@googlegroups.com  If you need assistance joining contact Mary at ucvconnect@gmail.com

See the CUUWA page here: https://cuuwa.org/meditative-poetry-circle/

 

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.

 

Friday Film Nights in May Asian Heritage Month 2021


Friday Film Nights in May Asian Heritage Month 2021

Everyone Welcome from the Congregation and the Greater Community

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, you can watch the films below at your own convenience, just click on the video link. Then meet-up via Zoom on Fridays (7-8pm) for a lively discussion on:

May 7   — Chinese Cafe in Saskatchewan
May 14 — Chinese Musqueam Stories
May 21 — Ru-Tsu
May 28 — Asian Comedy Night


image of restaurant interior by Karen Tam

Above: Art Installation Gold Mountain Restaurant Montagne d’Or by Karen Tam

Chinese Restaurants: Episode 12

  New Outlook Cafe (26.47 MINS)

Jim Kook came to Canada as a “paper son” and ran a cafe in the Prairie town of Outlook Saskatchewan for 40 years

Q&A via Zoom on May 7th (7-8pm)

Producer and director Cheuk Kwan will join us from Toronto


Trilogy: Chinese Musqueam Stories

photo

Honouring Musqueam elder Larry Grant, his parents and the Grant family history. His mother Agnes Grant was the last fluent-speaker of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language in their community. In 1920, his father Hong Tim Hing emigrated as a young teen from a village in southern China to Vancouver, BC, on the unceded territory of the Musqueam hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking people, where he worked at a market garden on the Musqueam Reserve in Point Grey

  CBC Gem: All Our Father’s Relations (43:39 MINS)

We follow three generations of the Chinese-Indigenous Grant family on their first visit to their ancestral village in southern China

  Larry Grant: Intertwining Cultures (11:22 MINS)

Elder Larry Grant was born premature on a hop field in Agassiz. In this film he discusses his premature birth, the Chinese market gardeners on the Musqueam Reserve dating back to the early 20th century, and his memories of their farms


  Larry Grant: Not Belonging (11:03 MINS)

Elder Larry Grant shares the story of his family and his experiences being of mixed Chinese and Musqueam ancestry


map

Above: Hand drawn map of the historic Chinese market gardens on Musqueam Reserve #2. The Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club* is located on land immediately east of the former market gardens

*4300 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver BC


Q&A May 14th 7-8pm

Guest Panelists

Howard Grant, Wade Grant and Sarah Ling


(more…)

Women’s Memoir Writing Series

Note: This series is now at capacity.

If you registered by sending an email to Mary prior to Saturday, March 27, and haven’t received a confirmation email, please send another email to the address below.

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.

Registration required: contact Mary Bennett ucvconnect@gmail.com

Zoom link will be sent to registered participants before the first session.
Minimum: 10; Maximum: 20 participants

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

 

PDF Description

Women’s Memoir Writing Series – Google Docs

 

 

Live from many places…it’s the CUC!!

The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) is an organization of Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist member congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists acting to enhance, nurture and promote the Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist religion in Canada.

Learn more this way:

  • Subscribe to the CUC Monthly eNews.
  • Read the January 2021 CUC eNews
  • Read previous issues of the CUC Monthly eNews
  • Pad your resume! Join in local discussions with UCV’s Unitarian Universalist Connections Committee (UUCC) about CUC’s mission, vision, goals, and strategic priorities, and, if you’re a congregational member or an associate member, become eligible to be a voting delegate. Contact UUCC Chair Keith Wilkinson, or members Lynn Armstrong, Kiersten Moore, Olivia Hall, or Emilie Adin.

Mark your calendar
for the 2021 Canadian Unitarian Council Conference and take part from the comfort of your home!
CUC National Conference 2021: Sustaining Our Light – Online via Zoom

  • Saturday, 8 May 2021 – CUC AGM
  • Friday, May 14 – Sunday, 16, 2021
  • Details to follow at the CUC Conference website. (Registration opens 15 Mar 2021)

Participate in the AGM Motions Roundtable 2021
Saturday, 20 February 2021 at 9 am PT |10 am MT | 11 am CT |12  pm  ET |1 pm AT

Online via Zoom: http://bit.ly/CUCMotions   Join us for a discussion session on the motions…

(The big stone photos were taken at E’eyalmo in winter 2021 and spring 2020.)

And while you’re waitinghere are a few book and podcast suggestions from me (Keith Wilkinson) that I thought were consistent with Unitarian principles and sources. My 8 favourites are marked with asterisks*.

On democracy and autocracy

  • Sarah Kendzior, 2020. Hiding in plain sight *
  • Sarah Kendzior, 2018. The view from flyover country
  • Steven Livitsky & Daniel Ziblatt, 2018. How democracies die *
  • Kishore Mahbubani, 2018. Has the West lost it?
  • Timothy Snyder, 2017. On tyranny *
  • Hannah Arendt, 1973, The origins of totalitarianism
  • Left right and centre (a PRX podcast) *
    “PRX is a non-profit media company specializing in audio journalism and storytelling. We believe strong public media is anchored in journalism, strengthened with diverse voices, and amplified by innovative technology”)
  • IQ2US Debates – Intelligence Squared US Debates (a Panoply podcast) *

On equity and racial justice

  • Layla F. Saad, 2020. Me and white supremacy
  • Isabel Wilkerson, 2020. Caste: The origins of our discontents *
  • Isabel Wilkerson, 2010. The warmth of other suns

On persistence and gender equity

  • Victoria James, 2020. Wine girl
  • Sara Seager, 2020. The smallest lights in the universe *
  • Chris Hadfield, 2013. An astronaut’s guide to life

Poetry

  • Margaret Atwood, 2020. Dearly *