Category: Community

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

Membership Development Workshop

Coming up for all members of the Membership Development team at UCV

March or April – date and final agenda will be sent to all members including:

  • New to Vancouver Unitarians workshop coordinators
  • Greeters and Welcome Table volunteers
  • Connect and Engage team including Sermon Discussion table facilitators
  • Membership records, retention, renewal and recruitment team members
  • Membership committee chair and board liaison

Agenda (to be confirmed)

2-5 pm workshop: how do the teams all work together – what are your challenges and pleasures?

suggestions for making things easier for members and volunteers

volunteer recruitment and support

mapping the visitor to member and beyond journey

5:30-6:30 pm – potluck dinner – kitchen and fireside room – we’ll encourage people to sit with folks from a different team

7-8:30 pm –

considering UUA/CUC ideas for membership growth.

 

sharing information about ministerial transition

what questions are you getting? do you expect? – brainstorm responses

Registration form:

https://vancouver.breezechms.com/form/membershipworkshop

 

Resources

https://www.uua.org/growth

http://growinguu.blogs.uua.org/

https://www.uua.org/interconnections

https://www.uua.org/careers/ministers/transitions

 

Women’s gatherings – spaces available in 3 women’s groups

There are many groups and events that provide a chance for women to meet together and connect across ages and stages. The connect and engage team can help facilitate women connecting through monthly women’s groups, supper clubs, collage/art and writing gatherings, feminist thealogy course (“Cakes for the Queen of Heaven”) and even informal drop-in meetups over coffee.

Women’s groups

Right now there are opportunities in all three of the women’s groups formed in 2019 for new members. Contact Sheila R if you are interested.

These groups of six to 12 women rotate leadership with the facilitator for that month selecting a topic after consultation with the group and preparing a starting point for a group discussion. Currently there are five groups; three started this year and others have been going for over a decade. On occasion a group is looking for new members or is willing to mentor a new group in forming. Once formed, the groups are closed for a period of time to deepen connections.

Check on the form linked here if you’d like to be notified when there’s an opportunity.

Annual Women’s Gathering

There are usually about 50 women who come in early January for the annual women’s gathering. Afternoon workshops; potluck dinner and evening activities including circle dance and a conversation circle for women already in women’s groups. Plus there are lots of ways to connect and meet each other. This year it will be a fundraiser for our Refugee Committee. Suggested donation $25. Our goal is to raise $1000.

Women’s Supper — or Brunch — Clubs

Here’s the idea: twelve women form a group and take turns arranging a restaurant meal out. With busy lives, we expect six to eight from the group might attend on any one night. One group has formed and we are taking a wait list for a second group, possibly focused around East Vancouver restaurants. The initial group is focused on Fairview/Kitsilano/West Point Grey areas. Click here for details on how the group is planning to operate and let us know if you’d like to be part of a similar group. This first group started with an inaugural meeting of four women who then invited others until there were 12 on the list.

Mend–Make–Do: Monthly Mending Meetup

Not just for women, but so far that’s who’s attending. Our monthly Mending Meetup is a drop-in on the 4th Saturday from 12 noon to 2 pm at the Vancouver Unitarian Centre. Marie Witt sets up sewing machines and provides assistance to anyone who wants help repairing clothes to reduce waste. On occasion we’ll have some special focus and there will always be the tools and supplies to do some mending.

Collage/Art

Several women meet on occasion in Kitsilano or at UCV to make “intuitive collages” on a weekday evening or Saturday afternoon. Mary Bennett coordinates and hosts in her co-op’s common room. These are closed groups at this point, but contact Mary if you’d like to know when we open the invitation list.

Women’s Writing Group

There have been women’s writing groups formed through UCV and we’re taking a wait list for any who would be interested. Like many of our groups this would be a self-led group with members sharing responsibility

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven – Feminist Thealogy Course

We hope to offer this 12-session curriculum in the new year.

Chat on a Sunday?

If you’d like to chat informally about ways to connect with other women, Sheila or Mary (or other women engaged in women’s groups) would be pleased to set up a time to meet up on a Sunday from 12 to 1 pm in Hewett Centre following the service. We would just put a sign up on one of the tables and have an informal gathering and share interests similar to the Sermon Discussion table. We may try to offer this once a month and ensure that at least one woman currently in a women’s group will be there to welcome you.

Get more details as opportunities arise

Sign up here to receive further information about any of these opportunities. 

You can also contact ucvconnect@gmail.com with any questions about getting involved through UCV.

 

What’s in a Name? Next forum January 19

The What Do We Call Ourselves task force (WDWCO) was created by the Board in 2018 to examine whether we should change our name from the Unitarian Church of Vancouver to a name without “church.” To carry out its mission, WDWCO would like to provide ways for all members and friends (adherents) of UCV to hear, understand, and contribute to the discussions around what name best suits our congregation. Although as UCV members, we might differ on the name question, we believe we share similar values and goals for our beloved community. We are confident that we can come to shared understanding and a path forward.

We offer the following viewpoints (heard during informal discussions among some UCV members) as a starting point for discussion. If your viewpoint isn’t represented here, we’d like to know what it is. We want input and will be seeking it at the Forum on January 19th.

I want to retain our current name because:
Our name Unitarian Church of Vancouverhonours our 500-year history as a Church. For me, the UnitarianChurchof today has an expanded meaning that is inclusive of all ethical beliefs. It demonstrates how a Church can be a progressive religious community.

The name “Church” speaks to our spiritual roots and provides a sense of continuity and comfort. Some of us may have left the church of our upbringing, but we have not severed our connection with spirituality.

The name Unitarian Churchhas gravitas and promotes respect. Having originated as a branch of Christianity, we are identified as a religious community and we belong at the table of multi-faith gatherings. As well, our identity as a Church invites media inquiries seeking “religious perspectives” on pressing moral issues.

The Unitarian Church has led and continues to lead progressive religious change. Such progress can be inspiring to other religious communities.

I want to change our name because:
I am uncomfortable with the word Church, finding it restrictive as a name for our spiritual home and community. A church is by definition a Christianentity, which is not a spiritual fit with those members and friends who do not identify as Christian. “Church” discourages many potential attendees who have negative associations with Christian denominations, along with those whose heritage is in non-Christian cultures, those who identify as Pagans or secular Humanists, and those who resist any labelling of their views. And a more welcoming name could appeal to those who describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious” , individuals who may be seeking an inclusive spiritual community free of dogma.

I believe that with an alternative name we will remain an influential member of multifaith communities. For example, one of the largest Unitarian communities in Canada, The First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, (no “Church” in their name), is well-respected in the National Capital Region, and has good relations with near and far-flung Christian and non-Christian faith communities alike.

34 of the 47 Unitarian congregations in Canada call themselves something other than a Church.

I am undecided because:
I haven’t thought much about this and I don’t have enough information. I look forward to participating in our community’s thoughtful consideration and discussion of all the input. I want to understand the beliefs and opinions of others. I hope I’ll then be better able to make a decision.

I will support whatever decision is made:
I trust our community will thoughtfully consider all input and make the best decision for the greater good.

I am reluctant to get involved…
To the reluctant, we encourage you to consider that in our community, all views count. We invite your careful listening and input as the discussions proceed. We want an environment where you feel comfortable to contribute your voice.

We strive to make ourdecision process inclusive, caring, informed, and democratic. What we choose to call ourselves is our identity.It matters.

Please share your views, come to the Forum on January 19th. Questions in the meantime?
Email us at: sresels@gmail.com

 

Gender and Culture Discussion Group

In this group, we talk about the influences that have shaped our gender identity and expression, especially role models like parents and cultural figures. We share stories about our gender journeys and discuss the role of gender in today’s world.

We meet on the second  Monday of each month in the Lindsey-Priestley Room from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Please email Glenn Deefholts (glenn.deefholts@gmail.com) if you are interested in joining us.

UCV has a Genders and Sexualities Alliance and is a certified Welcoming Congregation.

Support Sole Food Street Farms

The Outreach Opportunities Fund recipient for October to January will be Sole Food. During the past seven years, Sole Food Street Farms―now North America’s largest urban farm project―has transformed acres of vacant and contaminated urban land in Vancouver into street farms that grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables.  It has empowered dozens of individuals with limited resources and addiction and chronic mental health problems by providing jobs, training, and community support.

Visit their website here https://solefoodfarms.com/

The Buddha on friendship and the spiritual life

Ananda [AH-nuhn-duh], a cousin of the Buddha and among the first of his followers, had a reputation for attending all his talks and accurately remembering all he said. Except once.

Ananda must have skipped the talk about friendship. One day, to clarify a point he was unsure about, he turned to the Buddha and asked if it was true that friendship is half of the spiritual life.

“Not so, Ananda,” said the Buddha, “friendship is the whole of the spiritual life.” (!?)

 


notes and links

photo by Briana Tozour on Unsplash

parenthetical DuckDuckGo bang commands (!?) link to search results for terms they follow

ananda (!di) / “perfect bliss”

A bang command for UCV on DuckDuckGo

There are some good reasons for using the DuckDuckGo search engine and even for making it the default search engine on your browser so you can just type search terms right into the location bar (address bar) at the top of your screen.

This post goes into just one reason: the bang command. If you click on that link and then scroll down, you can see why bang commands are useful.

The bang commands in this post link to their results so you don’t have to type them into your browser to try them out. Just click on them.

!ucv principles for kids / for grownups too (see link in item found)
!ucv small groups / where everyone has a voice and is heard
!ucv vision statement / !g “… exactly what it says on the tin”

Those examples used the new bang command !ucv
/ (given nothing to search for on a website, a bang command displays the home page)

Even if you don’t make DuckDuckGo the default search engine on your browser, you can maybe still use it in the browser search box. This is usually to the right of the location bar (address bar) at the top of your screen, as it is in Firefox.  Click on the dropdown symbol – if there is one in the search box – and select a miniature version of the featured image in this post after you have typed the search term.

Here are some other bang commands worth knowing:

!yt Vancouver Unitarians / YouTube

!gb “Singing the Living Tradition” / Google Books

!gr “Singing the Living Tradition” / Goodreads

!b becoming a Unitarian site:cuc.ca / Bing

!i Vancouver Unitarians  / images

!m Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 949 West 49th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2T1  / map

!ucv technology / drop-in sessions, first Sundays, for help with any or all of the above

Please spread the word. Send people this copy-paste of the title of the post with its embedded link:

A bang command for UCV on DuckDuckGo

Thank you.

Come and meet Margot Adler while the veil is still thin

Every year, Rev. Steven Epperson writes scripts for our Unitarian and Universalist ancestors to address us from the other side. UCV members then enter to the opening bars of the Twilight Zone and address our congregation, someimes with a challenge. Among the four “guests from the past” this year will be Wiccan priestess and UU Margot Adler, author of Drawing Down the Moon.

Here’s information about the service.

Here’s a wikipedia entry about Margot Adler.

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

It says:

Adler was a Wiccan priestess, an elder in the Covenant of the Goddess,[1] and she also participated in the Unitarian Universalist faith community.[1]

Here’s some background on her UU involvements

http://uudb.org/articles/margotadler.html

Some selected excerpts:

She was a member of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City, a member of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS), and a frequent speaker at national and regional Unitarian Universalist events.

Beacon Press published an expanded edition of Drawing Down the Moon in 1986. The next year Adler was a keynote speaker at the annual Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly (GA). A continental organization, the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) was formed and was granted affiliate status with the UUA in 1988. Adler was a member of CUUPS and served on the board. She joined the All Souls congregation in New York City in 1992 and participated in the activities of its Women’s Alliance. She would speak at numerous Unitarian Universalist affiliated events over the next twenty years.

Adler saw Paganism as the spiritual side of feminism which rejected the hierarchy of monotheism. She thought monotheism was “imperialism in religion.” In 2005 Adler spoke at the annual Southwest Unitarian Universalist Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas. There was still some resistance in Unitarian Universalist women’s circles toward the Pagan movement despite the fact that “Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions” had been named the sixth source of our Unitarian Universalist Living Tradition. In her talk, Adler explained how much pagan spirituality and ritual had contributed to Unitarian Universalist worship; from croning and water ceremonies, to walking the labyrinth, spiral dances, drumming, and—perhaps most importantly for Margot—chanting, a practice she often introduced at women’s gatherings.

Adler presented her theories about vampires to the Second International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women in October 2012 in Marosvásárhely, Romania. In her keynote speech, Adler compared America’s twenty-first century fascination with vampires to that experienced in Great Britain at the close of the nineteenth century when Dracula, written by Bram Stoker, had been published. She theorized that the two cultures were similar in experiencing the end of empire and perhaps also sharing a view of themselves as evil; the British sucking the blood from colonies while America was sucking oil through powerful multinational corporations. She published Out for Blood in 2013, and Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side the following year.

In 2013 Adler placed books from her parent’s collections into the “Margot Adler Collection” at the Adler Graduate School in Richfield, Minnesota. Alfred Adler’s papers were donated to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Transcripts and audio copies of some of Margot Adler radio broadcasts can be found at justicetalking.org, pacificaradioarchives.org, hourwolf.com, npr.org, and YouTube.

And here’s something I didn’t know:

Her father was a psychiatrist who helped continue the work of his father, the distinguished Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler, who was first an ally and later an ideological adversary of Freud.

Huff Post article after her death.

Margot Adler Memorial Page on Facebook

New York Times article on her death:

 

CUUPS Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/CUUPS.org/

 

UU World Article

Why I am a UU Pagan

http://www.spelcastor.org/cuups/margot.htm

 

 

What Do We Call Ourselves? Forum

Missed the “What Do We Call Ourselves?” Oct. 20th Forum?

Read All About it.

If you missed the October 20th Forum on “What Do We Call Ourselves?” (WDWCO?) you can find the agenda and presentations below. Twenty-three people attended. Pasted below are the WDWCO? (draft) Terms of Reference.

1.WELCOME (Sheila Resels)

“Welcome to the “What do we call ourselves?” Task Force Forum.

So who are we?  My name is Sheila Resels.  I am one of co-chairs of the Task Force, along with my co-chair Eva Allan.  Members include Leonie Armstrong, (past chairperson), Jeannie Corsi, John Smith, Fouad Hafiz and advisors Mary Bennett, Steven Epperson, Keith Wilkinson and Tamiko Suzuki.

What is this Task Force?

The Task Force was approved by the Board 2 years. ago.  It was originally called the “Name Change Task Force”.  (more…)

Be a Connector

Are you a friendly person who likes to introduce new people to our amazing (but somewhat complex) congregation?

The Connect & Engage team is inviting UCV members to help between two and five new folk get connected with the people, programs and information they may want in order to feel connected with the congregation. We’re anticipating that one or two contacts per month (e.g. saying “hello” on Sunday morning or an email mentioning an event you’re going to that you think they’d enjoy) is all that would be necessary for up to a year.

Some may move very quickly to “flying solo”; others may decide this isn’t for them.

If you’re up for trying it, what will happen is that people who fill out our survey online will be introduced to you by email and you’ll take it from there. We’ll try to match up your interests and theirs. For example if you’re in a men’s group, we’d forward people who have checked that, similarly for book groups, etc. Alternatively you may just wind up chatting with someone on a Sunday or at a meeting and will let us know that that’s someone you’re willing to continue to welcome and show around.

We anticipate occasional gatherings of the connectors to share feedback from what we hear from new people and see what we can do about it.

Here’s the “position description”. Contact Mary if you’d like to try it.

All of this is flexible–just some suggestions.

1. send a reply offering to meet them on a Sunday (or other time). Perhaps at the sermon discussion table.
2. when you meet try to introduce them to two or three other people who are involved in the things they checked interest in.
3. check in with them about twice a month for six months to a year. This might be as simple as looking for them on Sunday morning and saying “hello”. But if you haven’t seen them for a month, send an email, asking how they are and noting you haven’t seen them recently.
4. If you’re attending some open special event that you think they’d be interested in, forward the information with a “hope to see you there” message. For example, potluck dinners, choir concerts are good draws.
5. when the New to Vancouver Unitarians workshop and “Part II” are advertised, send email or (better) mention in person about how valuable it is (stressing no obligation to join if that seems appropriate).
6. help them sign up for the newsletters and follow our social media accounts if they’re interested.
You’re not expected to know everything about the congregation and Unitarianism, but are committing to finding out the answers to any questions or introducing them to someone who can answer.
It will likely be a learning experience for you as well as the folks you’re helping.
We will be gathering up the questions to create an “FAQ” on our website.
Reference: