Category: Books Theatre Writing

library and book club posts, writing workshops, theatre events and information

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 *

 

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

Feminist Book Club on Zoom

Meet with feminist Unitarians from across Canada to discuss books by feminists and/or about feminism.

The group is open although we expect a core group to emerge.

We meet on the 2nd Sunday of each month from 4-5 pm Pacific time. (but occasionally change!)

How to Join

To get updates on the books to be discussed and how to connect, send an email to unitarian-feminist-book-club+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Locally Mary Bennett is involved.

From CUUWA Chair Jo-Anne Elder-Gomes

Hello all,
The Canadian Unitarian*Universalist Women’s Association, an affiliate of the CUC (Canadian Unitarian Council), invites all to join the Canadian U*U Feminist Book Club. Mary Bennett initiated this group and Jo-Anne Elder-Gomes agreed that it should be added to CUUWA’s activities.
We will be meeting by month by Zoom. We’ll use the same link each time, and I’ll invite people who haven’t used Zoom before to join early. https://ucv.im/feministbookclub
This group will be open. You don’t have to worry about missing a call or not being able to read the book we’ve chosen to discuss.
We’ll meet once a month, for one hour. Meetings will be on the second Sunday afternoon/evening of each month: 4 pm Vancouver, 7 pm Eastern, 8 pm Atlantic)
We’ll start on March 10, 2019, as part of a full calendar of CUUWA activities for International Women’s Day / Month. Check out our package of activities at:https://cuuwa.org/2019/01/23/announcing-the-2019-international-womens-day-service-package/<
We will be reading books on feminist subject and/or by Canadian feminists. Feminist is to be understood in a broad and intersectional way, inclusive of the perspectives of trans/nonbinary folx and racialized / marginalized people. (Feel free to add your requirements/wishes for full and respectful participation)

Here’s a format I’m proposing.
We’ll go around the circle twice:
1. Intros: 2 min. each (or less, depending on number, for a maximum total 25 minutes): name, pronouns, location and either a brief or a deep check-in relating to the book / our lives
2. Impression or highlight: 2 min. each (or less, maximum total 20 minutes): comments on the book and how it contributes to your understanding of feminism
Then we will invite final comments; depending on time this may be either a sentence about what you liked best about the book or further discussion of how it inspires you or concerns it raises. After the online discussion, we will continue with comments posted here. Again, all are invited to participate by asking questions, making comments, raising issues.
At our first meeting, we will be discussing two books by Indigenous women of two different generations: read one of them or both, if you have time, or feel free to join and listen!

1. Lee Maracle, I Am Woman, Press Gang, 1988;
2. Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries: A Memoir, Counterpoint, 2018.
Links and more information is sent to the googlegroup.

At each discussion, we’ll pick a moderator and a book for the next month, and post it here for those not able to attend. We’ll compile a list of books to draw from; please add your suggestions.

 

Update: We now use breakout rooms to get to know and deeply listen to one or two other people rather than be in the whole group. You can join randomly and if you have zoom 5.3 installed, you’ll be able to choose your own group.

 

Poems by Canadian women – share a favorite and reflect on others

UPDATE: Would you like to be part of a women’s circle once a week to share and reflect on a poem and facilitate a short reflection? We would use the same format as Rev. Lara’s Lectio Divina Morning Meditations that she leads Tuesday through Friday every morning 9-9:15 am. (Someone reads a poem three times. We listen first for feelings; secondly for memories and third time for a message.) We would take turns leading.

Let Mary Bennett know if interested. Along the lines of this post, we’d choose poems written by Canadian women.

Open to all women in the broadest sense. UPDATE: Mondays at 4pm Pacific starting October 19th.

by Debra Sutherland

A warm and welcoming invitation to a reflective, restorative, poetry-focused Feminist Book Club Zoom meeting

The UU Feminist Book Club was launched in the spring of 2019 by Jo-Anne Elder, an accomplished writer, poet, editor, educator and translator, who makes her home in New Brunswick. This initiative unites book-loving feminist Unitarian members (and friends) across Canada, via Zoom and Google groups. The group membership though stretching from coast to coast is still small and personal. The Zoom meetings are scheduled for the second Sunday of every month, and you all are invited!

Jo-Anne has suggested we use the time to talk, read/listen to poetry and ask reflective questions, rather than discuss a book selection. She has invited us to bring our favourite poems by women (preferably Canadian women) about spring, hope, liberation or other themes that may hearten us as we go through this difficult time. Sounds very nurturing and sustaining to me! So I am all in, and it would be very nice to see a few more local faces as well!

I was first introduced to the feminist book club a year ago by Mary Bennett, and it was also my first introduction to Zoom. For those of you who may not yet have found your way onto Zoom, I want to say that I found the Zoom platform easy to access, even though and even at the best of times, I am technically challenged! So hopefully you will not let your lack of technical prowess keep you away. You only need to download the Zoom application to your computer or Ipad or Smartphone, and then simply click on the link and the group leader, Jo-Anne Elder, will do any of the harder stuff!

Books that have been read and discussed in the Feminist Book club to date include a wide range of genres, including award winning fiction – The Red Word by Sarah Henstra, Women Talking by Miriam Toews, and That Time I Loved You by Carrianne Leung; poignant, powerful and poetic memoir – Heart Berries by Therese Mailhot; informative and interesting non-fiction – Ten Thousand Roses: The Making of a Feminist Revolution by Judy Rebick; academic – Women’s Ways of Knowing by Belenky et al; indigenous feminist philosophy – I am Woman by Lee Maracle; a feminist essay collection – Shrewed: A Wry and Closely Observed Look at the Lives of Women and Girls by Elizabeth Renzetti; and classics – The Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro and The Bell by Iris Murdoch; and to round all that out, the psychoanalytic and feminine psychology books of Marion Woodman. Something for everyone I would say!

So with all of this by way of introduction to the UU Feminist Book Club  And if you can’t fit it in this time then it would be equally lovely to see you on Zoom for another gathering.

Some links

http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/country/Canada/women/Canadian_poets.html

 

Theatre Friends – share your reviews and recommendations

Paula and Mary invite you to a weekly theatre discussion on zoom – Mondays @ 4pm.

Sign in at https://ucv.im/theatre  You’ll need the regular connect and engage password. Ask Mary for it if you don’t know it. ucvconnect@gmail.com

Mary also has set up a private facebook group called “Theatre Friends” – theatrefriendsmary If you have a connection with UCV and/or Mary, you’ll be approved for membership after you answer the member questions and agree to rules.

Hoping to help us all take advantage of the amazing theatre available online at this time, and post-pandemic share theatre reviews and information and perhaps even a theatre project together.

This weekly discussion grew out of a book and video discussion, so we may throw in a bit about what we’re reading and films we’re watching as well. Hope to see you there!

Sponsored by Connect & Engage team, Mary Bennett, chair.

All Ages Book and Video Sharing Online Group

by Paula Vander

Did your heart do a little gasp when you heard the libraries were closed? Did the locked door of your own library, with all those lonely books behind it, convince you that we were really and truly locked down?

If you are someone who loves to read, you will enjoy the book sharing zoom meetings. You will find your peeps.

Everyone shares a bit about the books they are reading and sometimes films they have seen on Netflix too. This way you can start to assemble a good dream list of books to take out when we finally, finally can get back into our libraries!


from Mary: Bruce and Phaedra are regulars, as are Paula and myself. We welcome others of all ages.

Bruce helped Phaedra put her book review on a video.

If you love kids and young adult books, please have one ready to share according to who’s on the call.

You can also ask some questions or for recommendations.

This past week I asked for some discussion related to Jane Eyre so I’m ready to watch the National Theatre broadcast. I got a great context-setting and additional reading (or re-reading) of various 19th century novels. I’ve now posted a request for Middlemarch on my Buy Nothing Group. Confession: Although I owned a copy and it was required reading, I no longer have it and (oops) never did finish reading it.

 

Do you love books?  and lunch? 

by Karen Theroux

The new UCV Potluck Book and Lunch Club brings together good books, delicious food, and lively conversation.  Unlike most book clubs, the PLB&LC doesn’t choose one book for everyone to read. Instead, members bring one, or two, or more favorites to describe and recommend. We go around the table highlighting what’s special about our choices, sometimes reading passages aloud, and we talk about how the books—magical, tragic, uplifting, revealing, inspiring, or sad—have touched and changed us. All books and all readers are welcome. 

If you love books, why not join the club?  Meetings are the last Thursday of the month, 11 to 1 in the Fireside Room.  

Here are some of the titles from the club’s most recent meetings: 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

The Shoebox Bible by Alan Bradley

Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kampkwanda

The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King 

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Celia’s Song by Lee Maracle

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Sustenance by Rachel Rose

The Trans Generation by Ann Travers

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Annabel by Kathleen Winter 

Once Upon a Time by Jane Yolen 

This One Looks Like a Boy by Lorimer Shenher

Our Library Has Pride

Our library has the following books touching on LGBTQ2S themes.

Photo shows Barb Taylor, Jean Stanton and Aphrodite Harris, some of our volunteer library committee members.

  • “Gay Men and Women Who Enriched the World” by Thomas Cowan
  • “There’s Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You” edited by Loralee MacPike
  • “A Parent’s Guide to Teenage Sexuality” by Jay Gayle

In fiction we have:

  • “Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World” by Janet Cameron
  • “Funny Boy” by Shyam Selvadurai
  • “Inside Passage” by Jane Rule

We have the children’s book:

  • “Daddy’s Roommate” by Michael Willhoite

We have placed the above books on display on the cart below the window in the library.

 

Also, two collections by Ivan Coyote

Barb Taylor for the Library Committee

 

Do you enjoy life writing? Register for the new group

UPDATE: The group is now full and Andrea is taking a wait list in case there are cancellations in future.

A writing group will start meeting every two weeks starting in September facilitated by Andrea Nicki, author of three prose poetry books, editor, and professor in ethical leadership at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In each meeting of 90 minutes the group will discuss short pieces of life writing or prose poetry on a topic, write individually about the topic, and then share writing with others (optional) in a spirit of mutual appreciation.

Topics will include self-love, relationships, family, genealogy, trauma, illness, loss, life transition, healing, fun and play, movement, dance, beauty, nature, pets and animals, social justice, spirituality and mystery. All genders and ages 19+ are welcome!

Registration is required: nicandr4@aol.com.
The meeting time of the group will be determined after taking a poll of registrants.
sponsored by Arts Committee.

Andrea Nicki

Andrea’s website: http://www.andreanicki.com/