Category: Arts and Creativity

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

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 *

 

Note from the Board Chair – Jan 1, 2021

Dear Unitarian friends,

I hope you had a rejuvenating winter break. It is a new year, a fresh start, and a lot of exciting work lies ahead. I have two invitations for you to consider in the coming weeks which both further the mission and the vision of our church.

Because we as Unitarians are committed to creating a more inclusive, compassionate and equitable world, I am organizing a Decolonizing Practices Workshop for staff, board, and members that will be run by professional Indigenous consultants.

I would like us all to have the opportunity to get better informed on decolonizing our practices and how to diversify our organization’s membership and board to include more Indigenous people and persons of colour. We need to identify the barriers to our organization and to develop the solutions. This one-day workshop will also include a half-day on the history and ongoing colonization in Canada.

The Decolonizing Practices Workshop will be in early spring and hopefully live and in person. If Covid prevails, we will pursue an online format. If you are interested in this, please let me know so I have an idea of interest and numbers. If the numbers are high, I may have to organize two workshops. president@vancouverunitarians.ca.

Secondly, I would like to invite you all to an Ideas Forum for the Upgraded Sanctuary to generate ideas together for how the new space could be used and be more productive.

This Ideas Forum will be on Sunday Jan. 17th at 12:30 on zoom. Galen Elfert and Dianne Crosbie will be on hand to answer any questions about the lighting/sound upgrades and the new chairs.

The seed behind the Sanctuary Upgrades was planted by Steven, and furthered by a generous donor. Then we asked ourselves, could our beautiful Sanctuary become a cultural and spiritual destination, a hub for various performance and spiritual groups to meet, worship, rehearse, perform, share ideas?  In this way, could we attract a younger and more diverse demographic to our Church, boosting accessibility by allowing for more varied and inclusive styles of music/art/worship?

We as a congregation are welcoming and wish to diversify our membership. So let us be pro-active and create a space that is inviting to various creative interests, ages and spiritual practices. Let us not only create that space, let us intentionally seek out and invite communities into our space. Our new Membership and Outreach staff person will definitely help with the marketing and outreach end of things, but what else can we envision for this space and how can we fill it?

Come with your ideas and let’s imagine together! I look forward to seeing many of you there and sharing our thoughts.

Best wishes for the New Year,

Diane Brown, UCV Board President.

Women’s Meditative Poetry Circle

Do you need more poetry in your life? UCV women in collaboration with the Canadian U*U Women’s Association offer a women’s meditative poetry gathering three times per week on zoom.

  • Mondays at 4 pm Pacific/ 7 pm Eastern
  • 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. Mary’s objective is 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 are non-binary, gender queer or gender fluid. I/we invite suggestions how to ensure this is a welcoming space for you.
The facilitator will:
  • Light a chalice and welcome people. Ask everyone to mute themselves.
  • Read a poem written by a (usually) Canadian (almost always) woman three times with a one-minute pause and brief sharing between.
  • Participants will 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.

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 

We also have a slack workspace where those choosing poetry often add poems and links.

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

Multigen Documentary History Club

  • Mary Bennett

Like many in the congregation I’ve been a big fan of the Encountering Our Ancestors worship services that Rev. Steven Epperson researched, wrote and directed over many years.

It was a very rich experience for me to research Dr. Sheilah Thompson’s “life and times” and share in the 2020 service.

Ever since Steven announced his retirement I’ve wanted to get a group together to continue learning together about our Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian-Universalist ancestors and to carry on this tradition. This offering was a unique one from Steven who was a historian, as well as a minister and was adept at writing scripts. If we happened to get a minister who wanted to be involved, well, that would be great, but imho unlikely.

There are many options for how the “performance” part would be presented in future–in collaboration with the minister and worship service.  The research, writing and learning would be put to good use whatever form is decided on for the sharing with the congregation.

Steven gifted us with his significant and substantial work and it may be that over time, we would find the resources to organize, copy-edit, publish his work, perhaps with additional materials by UCV members and youth. Perhaps even to video-record performances to share with other UUs and congregations.

I envision us meeting (whether in person, video conference or just an email exchange) monthly over the coming year. We would start out very organically by sharing our interests and being very flexible about participation and contributions. For instance, some people may be interested in the role of being cast as a performer to deliver a script written by someone else; others may be interested in doing research. Many possible roles are possible.

Even though other than the actors, Steven did all the rest himself, I think we need a team. As an educator and lifelong learner I also want to make it explicit that a key outcome is the learning along the way. While the focus of the Encountering our Ancestors service might provide a goal, I believe there will be many conversations along the way that will be rich within themselves.

Does this sound interesting to you or your family or Coming of Age pair?

For now I am “calling the circle” as a first step in creating a UU Multigen History Club.

Note the Coming of Age journal includes lists of Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist ancestors. We could start exploring that list and seeing how many of those people already have a script created by Steven.

We might as part of a video-conference do readings to share with each other. Costumes and wigs encouraged but not required.

I’m hoping we can continue the discussion on a SLACK workspace.

Here’s a link to a questionnaire on our Breeze database to gauge interest.

(coming)

Or just send me an email telling me more about your interest: why you’re interested and, if you know already, what aspects of creation are likely t be the focus of your contributions.

Here’s a link about documentary theatre, that you may find of interest.

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

Art: Wilderness in Pastel

Pastel art pieces by Teresa Morton are on the back wall of the sanctuary.
All three pieces are titled ‘wilderness’ since they were inspired by a 2019 trip to Wilderness, the Unitarian camp on Kootenay Lake.
The first picture celebrates Fry Creek as it tumbles and roars its way down from the peaks.
Wilderness 2 captures a quiet moment on the beach; all the canoes and boards are at rest.
The third piece salutes the daily march of summer clouds from the West to the mountains.
On a technical note, the series uses chalk pastel on sandpaper. I love the way the sandpaper allows me to blend softly or to leave crisp edges.
A member of UCV for several decades, I am now a member of Beacon Unitarian Church that – excepting COVID – meets near my New Westminster home.
Teresa Morton

Wendy Bryan

Mary Bennett, ever the careful listener, heard me say, more than once, how I love the Fire Communion. Of course, I was immediately recruited to help with the service. What fires me up ? no apologies for the pun. .  . this service gives us strength to honour and embrace letting go, putting aside, clearing out, saying goodbye with gratitude, no easy task. In community together, the power of shared ritual enhances and strengthens our intentions. It’s palpable. Together we are left with space we have created. And space invites joyous promises to take root, It  can be as pivotal in our personal lives, as it is intended to be. Self-care together. Works for me. I’m grateful.

Wendy will be coordinating the ritual around burning our symbolic sprig of rosemary to let the past year go.

As a “night school junkie”, this fall Wendy signed up for: Paganism 101 and Wicca 101 as well as a six-week astrology course. She says she’s not sure how much paganism will form part of her spiritual practice in the future, but she’s interested so (as usual) she’s diving in.

Wendy’s been attending UCV since 2002 when she took a course on “Building Your Own Theology” with Rev. Andy Backus. She is always a positive and enthusiastic presence. Currently she serves on the lay chaplaincy committee and welcoming table where she enjoys making visitors feel at home.

Wendy lives on a boat in False Creek. You might enjoy reading this article about her:

https://boatingvancouver.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/a-boat-with-a-roof-you-can-dance-on/

Here’s an excerpt:

“My visit to Inside Passage at Spruce Harbour Marina was sparked by meeting the current owner, Wendy Bryan, briefly at Granville Island. The vibrant owner epitomizes why people enjoy yachting; she is full of energy, enthusiasm, and adventure, three attributes the help one make the most of the boating lifestyle. When I heard that Inside Passage was the boat she had recently purchased, it came as no surprise. Both the boat and the new owner seem to defy age, showing that a history founded on classic taste and a future set toward adventure can make for a stunning combination.”

 

Vivian Davidson

Vivian Davidson: Producer; Katherine Alpen: Writer/producer; Kate Smith: Cinematographer: Dide Su: Director
Vivian Davidson is producer and one of the actors in Irreparable Harm? by Mairy Beam at the Fringe Festival.
Many of you may know that I am a Vancouver actress and producer. A fellow actress friend of mine and I are making a short film and we would appreciate your help. The gist of the film is that it is a beautiful ode to an often unrecognized family that shaped modern Vancouver.
We want it to serve as an educational benefit for generations to come. It’s based on a real life German family, the Roeddes, who immigrated to Vancouver in the 1890s and played a huge part in the establishment of the West End.
Some of you might know the Roedde House museum on Barclay St.  That’s the house they lived in and where we will be filming! Our female-led creative team and cast will bring this never-before dramatized cultural gem to the screen.

Short films are challenging to make and period films add an extra level of difficulty, but we’re up for the challenge! Any and all financial contributions would go towards paying cast and crew for their time and dedication, for essential gear, costumes and crafty.

Go Fund Me Campaign

If you know people who might be interested in (and maybe supporting) this project, please share this link with your friends and family!

We’re so excited to make this film the best it can be and do justice to the Roedde’s legacy.

How I came to be a Unitarian

I was first introduced to the UU church and faith by a dear World Federalist colleague and long-time Unitarian who thought, given my love for being curious, asking questions, meeting interesting people and being open to new ideas, that I would find a home here.

The first service by Rev. Epperson he talked about climate change and politics. Having been raised all over the world and having been exposed to many religions and faiths I had not found any of them to be nearly as insightful, compassionate, all-encompassing as the Unitarian one seemed to be.

Soon thereafter I became involved with the lunch service, gardening and Messy Church groups and loved every moment I spent with the friendly, warm and ever so embracing Unitarians I had the pleasure of meeting.

Two years after I had been formally involved with the UU Church I was asked what it felt like to be a formal UU member to which I asked, “There is a formal membership?” I thought I was already a member given how fondly and fully I had been welcomed. I then realized I had not ‘signed the book’ to become a member. Luckily the very next week there was a member welcoming ceremony. I reached out to Rev. Epperson and joined him at his office to have the most wonderful 2+hour chat with him about what UU is, how it got started and what it means. I was even more hooked and sold on the UU message and vision! I then signed ‘the book’ and of course took a selfie doing so as it was a momentous occasion that I was very proud of: I was officially a UU member.

Since then I have kept helping out in the kitchen with Love Soup and Refugee Committee Lunch services, in the garden when needed and with Messy Church. I have also had the pleasure of becoming a youth mentor and part of the religious education Sunday workshop facilitating committee. So, that is my UU background.

In terms of my personal background that is a story in and of itself. I’ll keep it brief and if you ever want me to elaborate I will do so gladly so come find me and we can chat! But for now, here goes: I am a graduate of Political Science and International Relations from the University of British Columbia, focusing on international sustainability and development. My eclectic background is echoed in my love of cultures and languages. I speak English, Japanese, Spanish and moderate French. I’m an avid volunteer since young and am currently involved with six organizations other than the UU church including as a volunteer coast guard, wildlife rehabilitator for the Wildlife Rescue Association, volunteer and event organizer for Leadnow, a docent at Roedde House Museum and the Vancouver branch President of the World Federalist Movement Canada, among others.

In addition to my activism I am a working actress and a triathlete and lover of all thing outdoors and can often be found hiking, trail running, doing yoga or running along the seawalls of beautiful Vancouver which I have proudly called my home for over 15 years. In whatever spare time I can muster I love practicing guitar, sketching and tap dancing, singing and meditating. That’s all for now folks. Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing and/or meeting you at our UU home.

Mairy Beam

Mairy invites you to come to Irreparable Harm? A tale of the Trans Mountain Pipelines Arrests at the Fringe Fest. Please mark your calendars and spread the word!
Here’s more information about Mairy from the enewsletter from Playwrights Theatre Centre.

Mairy Beam headshotMairy Beam is a non-binary playwright and director who recently moved to Vancouver, giving her the opportunity to join the land and water protectors who are fighting the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Inspired by the drama in the BC Supreme Court, she has written a documentary theatre piece, Irreparable Harm? A tale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Arrests. After attending PTC’s Block P workshop, she is producing Irreparable Harm? along with the Sinister Sisters Ensemble. Her recent plays include Body Parts, produced in the New Ideas Festival in Toronto in March 2019; Out and About, produced in 2017 in Vancouver at the 4 x 3 Fest and in Toronto at Gelato Fest; The Next Marywhich was included in PinkFest 2018 in Toronto; and Let Me In, which was read as part of the 2018 Bodacious Series in North Vancouver. She has also directed several plays for Theatre Out of the Box in Toronto.

UCV Connections

At UCV, Mairy is the board secretary, chair of the Earth Spirit Council, very involved in RE, GSA and circle dance.

(more…)

Women’s Groups Update

Hello, As we’ve had some inquiries from women interested in joining a women’s group, I thought I’d put out a summary of what’s available and invite those of you currently in a women’s group to let me/us know if you’re willing to have new members.

The Canada-wide (but still small and informal) Feminist Book Club sponsored by Canadian U*U Women’s Association continues on the 2nd Sunday usually – but for October it’s on the 3rd Sunday. Cathy Sevcik will be attending and is a regular participant and you can contact her if you want a chat by email beforehand.

Inspired by the Morning Meditations Rev. Lara has been offering on Tuesday through Friday, and in conjunction with CUUWA, Mary Bennett has initiated Women’s Meditative Poetry gatherings. These are 15-minute poetry readings/meditation on Sat. and Sun. at 9 am and on Mondays at 4pm (Pacific time) Open to women and non-binary persons. Check events for details or contact me, Mary. Leadership will rotate. Poems will be by Canadian women or non-binary poets. You can join an email group or slack workspace if you want to see a list of poems and add to our list.

Annual Women’s Gathering. For several years UCV has hosted a women’s gathering with 40-50 people attending. Right now the maximum # who can attend the Hall is 15 and the Sanctuary 25, but we might go ahead. If you’re willing to be on a planning team, contact Mary. Usually this is scheduled in January.

Soul Matters Neighbourhood Drop-in. Not only, but mostly, women, drop in monthly on the 1st Tuesday 7:30-8:30pm to discuss the theme of that month’s Soul Matters package.

The CUUWA will be offering a free online program of Cakes for the Queen of Heaven, starting on Saturday, November 7 at 12 pm Pacific, 3 pm Eastern time, and meeting every three to four weeks for eleven sessions.

We offered this program at UCV last year led by Laurie and Paula.

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven

Any of these events that have dates and times can be found in the Events List on this website.

Need contact info? Check with UCV office or if you’re a member or friend, use our directory.

Links:

CUUWA https://cuuwa.org/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CANUUWA

Poetry email group: send message to womens-meditative-poetry+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Slack workspace: meditativepoetry (Check Canadian Women poets channel)