Category: Community

Community social gatherirngs; mens and womens groups; covenant groups, neighbourhood groups and news from the communications, membership and care and concern committees.

Mystery Pals Deluxe 2021

Tangible Connection and a Break from Monotony

I feel a great desire for spring, for unplugging, for tangible connections to people. Zoom and video calls help me connect with people far away, but boy am I missing people’s prescence! How about some old-fashioned letter writing? It’s the time of year when we roll out Mystery Pals letter exchange for children, youth, and adults of all ages.  Some wonderful friendships and connections across generations have been made through this annual event–and if you haven’t tried it out yet, I encourage you to sign up!

This year we are forming a small organizing team to spice up our exchanges. Each Pal mails their letters to UCV and we send it on with Artist Trading Cards, art or activity prompts, or poetry slipped in.


Anyone age 4-104 can participate if you have regularly attended the Unitarian Church of Vancouver for six months or more, are known by someone in our church leadership (RE Director, Minister, Board, or committee member, small group leader), and can commit to exchanging weekly letters throughout April by Canada post (envelopes and stamps supplied.) 


April is the month of mail exchange and early May is our Reveal Party where you find out who exactly your Pal is. The reveal party will be facilitated in whatever way is deemed safe at the time–either a zoom party or outdoors if public health allows.


Sign-up with our Breeze form at by March 15th.

Kiersten and our Pals team will match folks up and assign each Pal pair a famous Unitarian to identify with. You will receive a Letter Writing Kit with addressed envelopes, stamps, and paper at the end of March to get you started. Write an introductory letter to your Pal, mail it to the church and it will be sent on. Watch your mailbox for a response and keep exchanging letters throughout April.

UCV community links and a virtual literature stall

UCV community links keep us connected in these otherwise isolating times. Here is a short list of these links: … Livestream link for Sunday church services (active at 10:55am every Sunday). … An online version of the current Order of Service … Virtual coffee hour – every Sunday immediately following the service … How to donate from anywhere … The most frequently updated list of UCV events … A text-based archive of sermons – a virtual literature stall … An archive of core documents: board minutes, annual reports, …

For these UCV links and more, click here to go to the list at


Please note a particular item in the list: a link to a list of sermons – a virtual literature stall (lit stall).

After the livestreamed service at you can go to the list of sermons at to view or download a copy of the prepared text for the sermon if the speaker already provided one.


The above is a lit stall post first published on June 9, 2020. The featured image shows the cover of the Order of Service for the preceding Sunday, when a short list of UCV community links like the one above was included. The date now displayed with this post is the date of its latest material update.

The post at is this post. You also can find this post at

Or search this website for “links” – with or without quotes – and see this post as the top result.

In the bulleted list below are the three latest posts tagged as lit stall posts.

If you haven’t read it already, please see the post about lit stall posts for more information.

A note on notes and links


>>> what follows is for you if you came here from a footnote to a post or document* <<<


​DuckDuckGo bang command​s​ (!?)* ​in this post​ are links. That is, they have links embedded in them. There also may be a link embedded in an asterisk​ – as with the highlighted alert above and the third example below.​

When in parentheses, bang commands link to results of a search for what they follow. When not, they link to results of a search for what they precede:

!yt Unitarian Church of Vancouver / YouTube

!ucv principles for kids / for grownups: UU principles (!g)

Unitarians care less about belief, more about how to live.*

“he taught a way of life” / Salzberg on Goenka on Buddha (!?)


So … a bang command here always links to results of a search. An asterisk​ may ​link to ​anything or nothing. If it links to nothing, it refers to a footnote.

An asterisk with a prepended exclamation point looks much like a bang command, but usually links to something other than the results of a search.

The sermons document that lists items in the literature stall (lit stall)* digital archive uses this faux bang command: (!*). Click it and see for yourself.

A link to this post in a footnote to text that ​adopts these conventions ​lets the reader know where to go for this explainer.


*a link​ –​ see a note on notes and links

Virtual Coffee Hour: What would you like to talk about and with whom?

Coffee hour starts at 12 noon. Join at

Breakout rooms are set up with a variety of options including some of these:

  • sermon discussion – share comments about today’s service hosted by a member of the Connect and Engage team
  • open discussion – you just want to connect with some other Unitarians – talk amongst yourselves and perhaps meet some new people!
  • (Please let us know, preferably in advance, if there’s a topic you’d like to discuss so it can be added.)

Please make sure your name and any additional information (pronouns, location) are in your name rather than your phone # or name of your device (ipad)  From:

You can now choose your own breakout room and go back to main session to choose a different one. You need to have updated your zoom client within past two months.

When others leave your breakout room, you can return to the main session to be placed in a different room.

Co-hosts: There will be several co-hosts on to make sure we’re only letting in identifiable UCV folk.

It helps us to know it’s you if you have updated your zoom profile with a name we’d recognize and also your picture. Click here to see how to do that

We like to continue to keep the main session as a “welcome table” – Just like the entrance to Hewett Hall there’s not space for people to congregate there so I hope you’ll move along and find your group.

If you’re not familiar with zoom, please join the monthly zoom practice session if you can.

On Sunday, just click here to join us:

All members and friends are welcome to join. Watch our Sunday service on youtube and then join us for coffee. Visitors welcome. You can come directly after the service, or drop-in at any point.


Zoom Update

Virtual coffee hour hosts

  • John Smith – 1st Sunday
  • Donna – 2nd Sunday:  includes Book group at 12:30 pm
  • Erin – 3rd Sunday
  • Nan – 4th Sunday – includes Refugee committee at 12:30 pm

Usual breakout rooms include: Sermon discussion, open discussion and whatever you suggest.

Volunteer opportunity: We’re looking for someone to host 5th Sundays and be a backup if one of the regulars isn’t available. Training and a nice team available to help.

Facilitators for break out rooms always welcome. There have been rooms for discussion of indigenous studies, anti-racism and could be on the monthly soul matters theme.

If you’re not sure how to contact the hosts, the office staff can help you access an online directory (“Breeze”) or look up contact info for you.

Zoom Practice: We are now meeting once a month on the first Tuesday at 4 pm. Mary, Donna and John facilitate and we usually have Unitarians from across Canada join us.

The series of tech workshops is now complete for now. Contact John Henderson or office staff if you want links to handouts and videos on slack, breeze and what’s app.

Here are some links that might help you make your zoom meetings more interactive:

Zoom Icebreakers: 10 Activities to Energize Your Zoom Meetings


Zoom Youth Group Games


View at

If you use some of these, I’d love to have you post on our googlegroup or members facebook group which ones worked for you.

And here’s an article on limiting zoom fatigue.


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.

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.

Action Evenings

Learn Together, Act Together! 

On Wednesday evenings 7 – 8 pm via Zoom, we reflect together on significant issues of our times. Topics are curated and prepared in advance with videos, speakers, slideshows, and discussion points. This meeting offers a chance for shared learning, thoughtful dialogue, and the potential for collaboration for taking action.

All members and friends of UCV are welcome!

How to Join and What to Expect

Log in to our Zoom room early from 6:45pm on Wednesday evenings as we start right at 7. 

After 8, you are welcome to stay for a while to chat about the topic and exchange ideas for action.

You are not required to have any prior knowledge of the topic.

Upcoming Events

No Events

Past Event Recordings on YouTube

Click to see AE playlist
Click on YouTube to see Action Evening Recordings


Past Events

Wed, Feb 24, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Who’s Afraid of Antiracism ..and Why? Who’s Afraid of Antiracism ..and Why?
Wed, Feb 17, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening R&R- Music as Restoration! Action Evening R&R- Music as Restoration!
Wed, Feb 10, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Are Refugees Good for Canada? Are Refugees Good for Canada?
Wed, Feb 3, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Whales, and the Revolution They Inspired to Protect Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Action Evening - Whales, and the Revolution They Inspired to Protect Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound
Wed, Jan 27, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Migrant Workers' Rights Migrant Workers' Rights
Wed, Jan 20, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Moving to Deeper Honesty in Housing and Homelessness Moving to Deeper Honesty in Housing and Homelessness
Wed, Jan 13, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Irreparable Harm? Irreparable Harm?
Wed, Jan 6, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action "R&R" Evening Action "R&R" Evening
Wed, Dec 16, 2020
7:00 pm
Action Evenings - Activist R&R - Adapting to a Covid Christmas Action Evenings - Activist R&R - Adapting to a Covid Christmas
Wed, Dec 9, 2020
7:00 pm
Action Evenings - Amnesty International's "Write for Rights" Campaign Action Evenings - Amnesty International's "Write for Rights" Campaign
Wed, Dec 2, 2020
7:00 pm
Action Evenings - “Eco Friendly Endings: The Green New Deal of Deathcare” Action Evenings - “Eco Friendly Endings: The Green New Deal of Deathcare”
Wed, Nov 25, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Genderfluid Book Reading Action Evening - Genderfluid Book Reading
Wed, Nov 18, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings - All Genders Welcome with Morgane Oger Action Evenings - All Genders Welcome with Morgane Oger
Wed, Nov 11, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Let Peace Be Their Memorial
Wed, Nov 4, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings - Permaculture and Compost Action Evenings - Permaculture and Compost
Wed, Oct 28, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings - Is Canada on the Verge of Developing the Political Will to End Homelessness? Action Evenings - Is Canada on the Verge of Developing the Political Will to End Homelessness?
Wed, Oct 14, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - What Can We Do About Robert's Bank Terminal 2? Action Evening - What Can We Do About Robert's Bank Terminal 2?
Wed, Oct 7, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Saving the Salmon-Nourished Ecosystem of Our Coast
Wed, Sep 30, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Reconciliation is a Massive Failure
Wed, Sep 23, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Evolving Pathways of Nonviolence Action Evening - Evolving Pathways of Nonviolence
Wed, Sep 16, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Changing From Food Charity to Food Dignity Action Evening - Changing From Food Charity to Food Dignity
Wed, Sep 9, 2020
6:45 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings: What’s This About Tree Sitters?


Sign-Up for Updates and Reminders!

If you would like to sign-up to receive email reminders, meeting links, and updates about this recurring event, please sign up for the Action Evenings Updates below:

Trans Day of Remembrance – Nov 20

We will be acknowledging Trans Day of Remembrance on November 20th.

There are two events to mark in your calendars:

We are very happy to have Morgane Oger present on trans rights in the workplace for our November 18th Action Evening: All Genders Welcome

In addition, for our November 25th Action Evening, Glenn Deefholts will read from his recently published book Genderfluid: A Way of Being

Please click the links above for the action evenings Zoom link and additional information about our speakers. See you there!

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.


Children and Youth RE Fall Update

Our Youth are very busy this year, many of you will have heard directly from them this past Sunday. This amazing, resilient, group of young people continue to meet for two hours each Sunday and run a Dungeons and Dragons campaign on Wednesday nights.

Children and Youth RE Fall Update

by Kiersten E. Moore