Category: Community

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

Ministerial Search Committee Update and Timeline

Dear UCVers,

On behalf of the Ministerial Search Committee (Diane Brown, Michael O” Neill, Carrie Mac and Esme, John Boyle, Jenny Malcolm, Nancy Woodham, Meena Wong) I would like to share with you all that we have met twice as a committee, and going forward from here we will be meeting every week. As I am the designated External Communications person, I will be updating you often and of course answering any questions you may have about this process.  Please feel free to contact me anytime at diane@rubyslippers.ca

Below is our timeline. Come fall, we will need congregational engagement in a number of exciting ways, including a survey and some cottage meetings. Meanwhile, enjoy the summer, and we look forward to this journey together.

In active faith, Diane Brown

 

Timeline for Congregations in Search

 

Phase One  – concluding a ministry

Departure of previous settled minister and selection of an Interim minister

Late Spring (done)

Phase Two – Education and Preparation for Search – First Interim Year

Review congregational by-laws related to ministry

Winter

Transitions Coach Visit (UUA appointed)

February – April

Annual Meeting votes

Approve Search committee budget

Appoint Search Committee

May

Phase Three – search structure – Summer and second interim year

Search Committee retreat with Transitions Coach

May – August

Conduct Congregational Survey

July – September

Conduct Cottage meeting / small group interviews (based on survey results)

September – November

Gather information and create search committee website and record sheet

September – December (absolute due date – December 7)

List of interested ministers received

January 2

Narrowing of interview list

January 2-15

Precandidating weekends

February – March

Final Decision for offers to candidate

April 1

A note on notes and links

​A DuckDuckGo bang command​​ (!?)* searches a website using the search feature provided by that website. In this post, these bang commands are links. That is, they have links embedded in them.

An asterisk may have a link embedded in it​ – as in the third example below.​ If there is no link embedded in an asterisk, the asterisk refers to a footnote.

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 (!?)

 

An asterisk with a prepended exclamation point looks like a bang command and links to results of a search on a site that has no custom bang command:

Starhawk (!*)

!* Hewett

 

Entries made in the sermons document before 2022 used this faux bang command to link to posts on this website. They now use an asterisk.*

When you see what looks like a bang command, move your pointer to it so your browser can display its destination before you click on it. Try that with each of these two examples:

Phillip Hewett (!a)

!gi chalice site:uuworld.org

To find out where a link is going to take you, move the pointer over it, pause to read the destination your browser displays – at the bottom left of the screen or wherever – and then click (or not).

 


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

The line above is a suggested footnote for any document that follows the conventions this post follows.

This post is a lit stall post previously published on January 3, 2022. The publication date now displayed is the date of the latest material update.

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.

What to Expect During CanUUdle at UCV (May 19 – 23, 2022)

Dear UCV community members, 

The weekend of May 19th-23rd 2022, a very special event will be taking place at UCV. It is the annual conference for Canadian Unitarian Universalist youth, known as CanUUdle. At CanUUdle, youth from across Canada come together en masse to build friendships, worship together, grow in their faith and build their capacity as spiritual and community leaders. The all-volunteer CanUUdle ‘staff’ team, primarily composed of youth, plan and lead the conference, with the support of dedicated adult advisors.  

If you are around UCV this weekend, here is a snapshot of what you might expect to find, and some requests about sharing space:  

Quick facts 

  • The conference runs from Friday, May 20th around 6pm to Monday, May 23rd around 1pm.  
  • There will be conference staff onsite to set up as of 5pm on Thursday, May 19th, and staying to clean up until around 3pm on Monday the 23rd. 
  • We are expecting around 45 participants, including youth ages 14-19 and adult advisors.  

Building use  

  • CanUUdle generally requires full use of the buildings of the host congregation for the duration of the conference. However, we have been provided with the booking schedule for the weekend and are prepared to work around regular long-term rentals and other events that have already booked space.  
  • Sunday morning, the youth will be off site while the regular Sunday morning service is happening. Their belongings will be moved to the balcony of the Sanctuary, and we ask that this area is off-limits for all except the tech people at that time. The youth will return to eat their lunch in the Hall at noon. The young adults of Chorus (the national young adult conference, happening at North Shore the same weekend), will also be onsite at UCV for a special picnic lunch also at noon that day.  

Youth culture  

  • For many youth, Unitarian Universalist youth events are one of the few places in their lives where they feel they can share and celebrate aspects of themselves that they may keep private in other settings. Many develop deep friendships, and conferences such as CanUUdle are a place of exuberant connection. Please do not be alarmed if you witness more-raucous-than-usual playing, singing, or dancing, or open displays of trust and affection such as hand-holding, “cuddle puddles,” or emotional vulnerability.  
  • CanUUdle culture is based on principles of informed consent and respect for oneself, others, and our environment. We will strive to relate to our neighbours according to these principles, and hope that you will return the same. If any conflict arises, please contact the CanUUdle Coordinator (info below).  

For safety and insurance purposes, any adults who are interacting with youth at a CUC event must have completed a Criminal Record Check and have provided a signed Congregational Involvement form. This year, we are also requiring that everyone wears masks indoors and ‘signs in’ for the purpose of contact tracing in case of a Covid outbreak. We ask that other groups using the buildings do not interact with CanUUdle participants. If you need to speak with someone during the conference, ask for me (Carter, the CanUUdle Coordinator) or another adult advisor.  

We are very grateful to UCV for providing us with the space to host this important event, which in many ways is the mainstay of Canadian UU youth ministry. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to help out with this event in any way, please contact the CanUUdle Coordinator at canuudle@cuc.ca, or the CUC Youth and Young Adult Ministry Staff at youth@cuc.ca. 

In faith, 

Carter Mahoney  

CanUUdle Coordinator

Covenant of Healthy Relations 2021 … at ucv.im/cohr2021

The Covenant of Healthy Relations – along with related procedures – covers three pages of a report approved by the UCV board in 2021. Those three pages are in a PDF file at ucv.im/cohr2021. The text of the covenant is on the first page. You can also read it below.

Covenant of Healthy Relations

This is a covenant to guide how we behave towards each other and to groups and individuals
within the congregation. The objective is to enhance a safe climate that is courteous, friendly,
supportive, respectful of others, open and honest.

Because I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of each person, I will endeavour to:

1. Be compassionate and supportive in my relationships with others, assume their best
intentions and be curious rather than judgmental.
2. Communicate with active listening and consideration. Explain concerns to the person
directly and share differences respectfully. Focus on the current problem – not the person.
3. Balance being open to new ideas with respect for our traditions.
4. Be attentive to our community’s needs, generous with my talents and careful with the
church’s resources.
5. Keep the big picture in mind, be patient with myself and others and stay engaged in the
process of change; participate in the decision-making and respect the decisions that are
made.
6. Discuss conflicts in our church in a way that respects the privacy and dignity of those
involved.
7. Recognize and praise others and myself for the work we do in the church and be
forgiving when we make mistakes.
8. Support, in a constructive way, the work of the minister, staff and congregants.
9. Deepen our connections by getting to know and understand people of all ages and points
of view within the congregation.
10. Nurture my own spiritual needs in this community and support others in their search for
truth and meaning.

Approved on November 27, 2005 by the Annual General Meeting of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.

Note that you can go to the source of the above – a PDF file at ucv.im/cohr2021 – to check out the related procedures as well.

Covenant of Healthy Relations / site:vancouverunitarians.ca

Enter the title of this post as a search term in Google to get the results you can see here.

At or near the top is a PDF file you can print as a single page. It’s the covenant. And it’s here.

If you missed the service on Sunday, click on the date below:

2021-11-21 Paddling into the future (Rev. Samaya Oakley) / (!*) … see also: video (!*)

The above is a copy-paste from the list at ucv.im/sermons.

Anyhow, the sermon reminded us how important it is to have at hand a copy of the UCV Covenant of Healthy Relations and to look at it often. If you don’t have a copy of the covenant, you can print one now. Or just download the PDF. It’s here.

This UCV covenant is also at ucv.im/healthy.

Pair it with a copy of the recently introduced CUC Responsibility Covenant at ucv.im/responsibility.

 

PSA: check the list at ucv.im/sermons right after any service to see if the prepared text is already in the literature stall digital archive

 


The above is a lit stall post first published on November 24, 2021. The date now displayed with this post is the date of its latest material update.

The post shows up in the results of an internal search of this website for “Covenant of Healthy Relations” – as you can see here.

The featured image is a cropped screenshot of a Google search on November 24, 2021.

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.

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. We 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 two 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.

Annual Women’s Gathering

There are usually about 30 to 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. In 2019 it was a fundraiser for our Refugee Committee. Suggested donation $25. Our goal is to raise $1000.

Women’s Supper Club

Here’s the idea: 6 to 10 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. 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

This has been on hiatus for a while, but there was interest, if someone would like to restart it. 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. 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 on zoom, or in Kitsilano or at UCV to make “intuitive collages”. Mary Bennett coordinates. 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 are several women’s writing groups formed through UCV and another one starting soon. 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

This was offered recently and we own the curriculum if leaders wanted to offer again.

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

Women’s Groups

 

Hola y Bienvenido – Latin American Heritage Month

Hola y Bienvenido
In Canada, October is Latin American Heritage month and UCV’s IBPOC (Indigenous, Black and People of Colour) caucus (plus Allies) are arranging for each Sunday to include something to celebrate this.
Local events from Latincouver: https://www.latincouver.ca/lahm/
If you self identify as IBPOC including Latin American, we invite you to join our IBPOC caucus bimonthly gatherings. Contact Tamiko Suzuki bipoc@vancouverunitarians.ca to find out more and get on the email list.
If you’d prefer, we can add you to the ucv-ibpoc-plus email group (open to the whole congregation), if you’re interested in being part of future brainstorming, actions and education related to anti-racism.
Nos encantaria eschucharlo.

Some resources

Children’s books – many of these are available from vpl.ca

15 Picture Books That Celebrate Hispanic & Latinx Heritage

Latin American poets – The Women’s Meditative Poetry group who meet Saturdays and Sundays at 9 am Pacific will be reading poems by female poets of Latin American heritage.

10 Classic Latina Poets to Discover and Read

Global Chalice Lighting from International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (see November 2018)
Documentary film: “Latinos Beyond Reel: Challenging a Media Stereotype”
Latin American composers/musicians
Mexican Day of the Dead
How many Latin Americans are there in Canada?
This article from Wikipedia gives the 2016 census figure as 447,325.  This article from the Canadian Hispanic Association suggests the number is between 611,000 and one million.

Women’s Memoir Writing Series

24 Women attended this series and several smaller groups have been formed as a result.

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.

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

 

 

 

A Proud History: Reflecting on Decades of Same-Sex Ceremonies at The Sanctuary

The first same-sex ceremony of union at UCV was conducted nearly half a century ago in 1972 by Reverend Dr. Phillip Hewett, who served for over three decades as minister of the Vancouver Unitarians. In this Q&A, former lay chaplain Katherine Roback explains more of this important history. 

The Sanctuary is aptly named because for many years our heritage building here at Oak and 49th was one of the few places in Vancouver that would officiate marriage and other ceremonies for same-sex couples. What was the earliest ceremony that you can remember? 

Katherine Roback: The earliest same-sex wedding I officiated was in 2003, the minute weddings honouring 2SLGBTQ+ couples became legal in B.C. Those were busy years, as many couples came here from the United States and other countries where their love could not yet be legally recognized. Prior to that, I was officiating commitment ceremonies for couples who wished for a beautiful ceremony honouring their love. 

How did the Vancouver Unitarians deal with push back or opposition to 2SLGBTQ+ equality both in general and within the multi-faith community? 

I don’t believe there was any resistance within the congregation. In fact, we had an LGBTQ+ program called “Unison” and opened it up, with strong requests, to the whole congregation. As far as opposition in the multi-faith community, couples from many denominations (or none at all) came to Vancouver Unitarian Church to have their love respected and legalized.

Minister Hewett was decades ahead of many others in performing same-sex ceremonies. Could you talk a bit more about his role? 

Rev. Phillip Hewett actually founded the Lay Chaplaincy Program in Canada in 1972, as he was overwhelmed performing up to eight weddings in a day. This program trained and licensed lay people to officiate ceremonies. He began officiating gay and lesbian ceremonies of union and entered their ceremonies in the official record of Provincial weddings, to legitimize them. He signed certificates of marriage for each couple. 

In our tradition, what’s the distinction between ministers and lay chaplains?  

A minister is ordained by their congregation after completing their theology degree and being called to serve the congregation. A minister marries members of the congregation. 

A lay chaplain is a Unitarian who shows special qualities that can serve anyone wishing a beautiful wedding — non-members of the church.

Could you explain the difference between a marriage ceremony and some of the other ceremonies for couples offered by Unitarian chaplains? 

What makes a marriage ceremony legal are four components that include the couple’s vows, the signing of the marriage license, and the pronouncement by the officiant — and enthusiastic cheers! 

We also perform Ceremonies of Union — just like a legal wedding, but without the signing of the license. Our lay chaplains are also honoured to create, together with couples, ceremonies of all kinds for all occasions, such as a ceremony where couples renew their vows of love and commitment.

Why do you think Unitarian Universalists in Canada, the U.S., and elsewhere, have often played a leading role in movements for 2SLGBTQ+ equality? 

Rather than dogma and creed, Unitarian Faith is founded on a set of principles to live by. The UU First Principle affirms and promotes “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” That says it all. 

 

Let’s Remember How We Got Here

Before we go off in all directions for the summer, let us recall the sequence of events that have transpired and brought us to this place, because when we return in the fall, ‘this place’ will not have pews, it will have beautiful new chairs. It will also have new lighting and sound systems.

Changing the pews to chairs was suggested by Steven Epperson a year ago and has been discussed casually for some years. Steven brought it up again right before he left, urging us to upgrade and share our Sanctuary with the wider community, thus attracting diverse younger people. He specifically said to the Board that he felt the pews should be replaced by chairs so that the space is more adaptable; this could greatly enhance our community outreach efforts and thus keep UCV relevant and sustainable.

Then, when UCV was offered an anonymous gift to upgrade the lights and sound of the Sanctuary shortly after Steven left, the Board did some research as to what an upgraded Sanctuary could give us, and the larger community. Moreover, a UCV Young Persons Task Force was formed and they submitted a fulsome report about what young Unitarians want from their spiritual home.

Our research and this report revealed that replacing the pews with chairs would give us a space that is much more flexible and could therefore accommodate various forms of worship, walking meditation, circle dance, Indigenous and other cultural forms of ceremony, Jazz Festival events, cabaret fundraisers, and Writers Festival events, to illustrate just a few. It would also allow folks with physical challenges, such as people in wheelchairs, to sit up front and not have to be relegated to the back of the room. The room could also be configured into a circle, the most democratic of configurations, allowing everyone equal status and accessibility.

So in short, it became evident that changing pews to chairs needed to be part of our Sanctuary upgrades because changing pews to chairs deepens our commitment to radical inclusivity. Moreover, the Sanctuary upgrades project furthers our community outreach and membership-building efforts. Having the Sanctuary empty during the pandemic seemed like an ideal time to make all the upgrades.

So the Board engaged the congregation in discussions around the possibility of Sanctuary upgrades (which included replacing pews with chairs) in fall of 2020, and the response we received at the forum we held at that time was enthusiastically in favour of the changes.

Following this engagement with the membership, we brought it to a discussion and a vote at the AGM in November 2020. At that vote during the AGM, the vast majority of UCV members voted in favour of the Sanctuary upgrades and changing the pews to chairs while keeping the balcony pews in tact and a few on the sides.

In this way, our beautiful Sanctuary will become a more welcoming space for various forms of worship, various physical abilities, become a cultural destination, and most importantly, attract a younger and more diverse demographic to our Church which will ensure that UCV will thrive into the future.

This has been a very challenging time for all of us, and as a congregation we continue to rise and meet those challenges as best we can. Although change is always difficult, we know from experience that from every ending comes a new beginning. I hope you will embrace our new Sanctuary this fall, and all the possibilities it affords.

With that thought and on behalf of the UCV Board of Trustees, I wish you a safe and peaceful summer.

Best wishes, Diane Brown, UCV Board Chair.