Category: Community

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

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.

ROI Workshop – IN-PERSON, ON CAMPUS – ***!!! HURRAY !!!***

A first in the unwinding of Covid restrictions – eight Vancouver Unitarians gathered IN PERSON at UCV to participate in the Rethinking Our Identity (ROI) workshop. 

We worked together in pairs, sharing our best memories and hopes for this beloved community.

 

 

 

How did it go? 

Participants rated the workshop as VERY USEFUL – – more than 9 out of 10 on a scale from “not effective or useful” to “very effective and useful”

One participant noted that

The process itself was an example of meaningful connections when working in small groups at UCV.

 

Another noted that

Every member should take part in these workshops – interesting and very useful.

 

BEAT THE COVID BLUES — JOIN UCV FRIENDS ON CAMPUS FOR A WORKSHOP.

Contact identityproject@vancouverunitarians.ca to register for an upcoming workshop or to learn more.

Help your GSA show how Welcoming we can be

Link to Saturday June 12 interactive panel discussion details

Log in for the discussion here.

Our Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) is leading an effort to have UCV recertified as a Welcoming Congregation.

Since we first became a Welcoming Congregation in 1995 the world has changed.  For one thing, there was no mention back then of gender identity or trans issues.  To address this, the UUA decided to be bolder with our Welcome in 2018.

The Five Practices of Welcome Renewal are five benchmarks that every congregation will need to integrate into congregational life in order to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, two-spirit, genderqueer, non-binary, and the like feel fully welcomed, centered, and embraced in our congregation.

Welcoming Congregations are required to meet the benchmarks annually in order to remain “current” as a Welcoming Congregation. This year so far UCV has completed three of the Benchmarks, and a fourth has been planned.

The 5th benchmark is an educational event.  For this the GSA has organized the panel on June 12 to discuss Mairy Beam’s play, What Difference Does it Make, which deals with issues of gender identity.  We need 10% of the members to attend to show that we are, indeed, interested to be bolder and to renew our Welcoming congregation certification.

Can you help us show how welcoming we are by attending this educational event?

Details of event are here.

 

Esmé’s Credo Comic

Hi everyone!

As part of the Coming of Age program at UCV, our bridging youth have crafted credos to share with the congregation. Their credo is a statement about their beliefs about the world right now.

Esmé decided to share her credo in the form of a comic. She’ll talk about it in the service tomorrow, and we’re posting it here for you to peruse in full. There’s a link at the bottom of this post that will allow you to download the pdf if you wish.

This is my credo comic that I was talking about at Sunday’s service! I’m really, really excited for you to read it!

The 1st Principle inspired it, but now I see all of the principles all over it.
Enjoy! And hug a snail!

— Esmé

 

 

Esmé credo final

UCV’s Chinese Name 溫哥華 尋道會

 

Silent knowledge – the spirit is enlightened of itself
Contemplate the void: this world exceeds stillness.
 – Han Shan

At the end of Asian Heritage month this issue of the National News section of the UCV website takes a look at a 2014-2016 initiative to welcome members of the Chinese community to the Vancouver Unitarian community.

溫哥華 尋道會, Vancouver Xundaohui, Seekers of the Way, was formally adopted by Vancouver Unitarians as the Chinese name for the congregation in 2015. The work was initiated a year earlier by long-time UCV members Lily Ha and Kwan Lihuen and also included translations of UU principles, sources, and history into traditional and simplified Chinese scripts for pamphlets, creation of a Chinese language UCV webpage, and external signage in Chinese at most UCV site entrances at 49th and Oak. The initiative was intended to help welcome to UCV the 15% of the Metro Vancouver population who report speaking Chinese.

UCV borrowed the name 尋道會 from the Hong Kong Unitarian Universalist Community. We were told it had been suggested there by a Chinese Christian Minister who was also an advocate for gay rights. Currently Vancouver and Hong Kong appear to be the only UU congregations who have adopted this Chinese name. UCV suggested to the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) that the name 尋道會, Xundaohui, Seekers of the Way, be recommended as the official Chinese name for Unitarian Universalists but to date no action has been taken by the ICUU.

Read or download a pdf transcript of the worship service held in January 2016 from the UCV History Wall. The homily tells in more detail the story of why and how UCV chose its Chinese name. You can also listen to an audio of the homily by Lily Ha and Keith Wilkinson. If you have trouble accessing the printed homily from these links, email Keith for a copy.

Another neighbourhood remembrance for Asian Heritage Month – 

The Masumi Mitsui Greenway

The City of Vancouver is trying to establish greenways that are no more than a 25-minute walk or a 10-minute bike ride from every city residence. There are three Greenways quite close to the UCV site at 49th and Oak, and one of these is named after a Japanese Canadian WW1 veteran, Masumi Mitsui, who also became a fighter against the oppression of Japanese Canadians during WW2.

Masumi Mitsui Greenway – runs West to East along 59th Avenue from Angus Drive to Argyle Drive. East of Argyle Drive, the route follows a number of local streets as it works its way to Vivian Street and Burnaby’s Central Park.  At its West end it nearly connects with the Arbutus Greenway.

Arbutus Greenway – follow Arbutus Street and West Boulevard South from 5th Avenue and Fir St near Granville Island to SW Marine Drive near the Fraser River.

Ridgeway Greenway – runs West to East from 8th Ave and Alma St diagonally to 37th Ave, then East to Nanaimo St, South to 45 Ave, and East to Boundary Road and Central Park in Burnaby.

Ontario Greenway – runs North to South from False Creek to 59th Ave

 

BIPOC contributions to Vancouver’s Public Art – In 2014 as part of its annual Service Auction, UCV volunteers led several tours of Vancouver Public Art installations. The tours included BIPOC works by Kelly Cannell, Alan Hung Chung, Jim Hart, Susan Point, Bill Reid, Henry Tsang, Jun Ren, Jen Weih, and the Komagata Maru memorial in downtown Vancouver. Maybe we can resume these and similar explorations after COVID-19 is under control!

 

The National News section of the UCV website usually provides stories about what is happening in other Canadian Unitarian Universalist communities, at the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC), and in the global UU movement.  For more information about those see these websites:
CUC       British Unitarians            UUA

 

Gender and Theatre – Join an Interactive Panel Discussion

Watch Mairy Beam’s provocative and enlightening play What Difference Does it Make?  available now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQU6WT6Igs8  and join us for a Play Discussion moderated by our own Rev Lara Cowtan on Saturday June 12 at 7:00 pm. ucv.im/gsa

What Difference Does It Make?  Minutes before Carmelle’s best friend arrives for a visit from Toronto, Lucy comes out as non-binary. A day later they’re all trapped together isolating from Covid 19. In this hotbed of needs and limitations the characters play out their destinies against the backdrop of a city in virtual lockdown. A sensitive and illuminating portrayal of a person in transition, a partner struggling to adjust and a broken-hearted houseguest inadvertently making things worse.

From the audience: 

  • “Up until I saw this play I didn’t get how significant and important and fundamental the journey to non-binary is.”
  • “captivating, touching, challenging, humorous, sad and informative”
  • “this play is a gem”
  • “true and raw”
  • “I have some thinking to do  . . . “

What Difference Does It Make? was originally produced by Toronto’s Haven Theatre, in February 2021.

This event is coordinated by UCV’s Genders and Sexualities Alliance as part of UCV’s recertification as a Welcoming Congregation.

Registration appreciated but not required:

https://ucv-gender-theatre.eventbrite.ca

Search the website for “gsa” for other information and events.

Our GSA meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm.

All genders and sexualities welcome, even cis-straight.  Email gsa@vancouverunitarians.ca for the zoom link and agenda.

 

Time to Spill the Beans

It’s time for the Mystery Pals to reveal their true identity.

We had hoped to be able to have an event at UCV and considered zoom, but…  have decided to just invite you all to do one last letter or email “spilling the beans” – sharing your true identity and expressing (we hope) an intention to meet on zoom or in person at some point in future.

Indeed some congregations consider the mystery pal program a year-long event. We know that some of you have found some things in common and we’d love to think it’s just the start of something rather than the end.

We’d like to share some of the stories. From “eavesdropping” on emails or hearing things, we know there’s some fun connections that have been made. Could you send us 150-200 words – or pictures even better – about how the program went for you?

ucvconnect@gmail.com

Zoom Coffee Hour Hosts Needed

Ms. Brown and Mr. Smith (their real names) need your assistance.
When a few of us put “coffee hour” on zoom mid March 2020, we had no idea it would be for 14 months and counting.
Summer is coming and two of the 4-person team aren’t available.
In any event, Donna and John and Erin and Nan have done a year of hosting and it’s time to pass the flame. Can YOU carry this flame?
We’re looking for 4 volunteers, each person to take responsibility for one coffee hour per month. Coaching and training and support available. You need to have access to zoom through a computer so you can set up the breakout rooms and be willing to sign in about 10-15 minutes before the service ends to set up the breakout rooms and welcome people when they arrive.
You get to say “hello” to everyone as they arrive, so a good chance to meet people–a little like serving coffee in the before times. You’ll always have a co-host, and once everyone is sorted into their groups, you can either join a breakout room yourself or leave our virtual Hewett Hall.
Perks: If you’re using zoom for other reasons, you’ll learn a lot about how to use it more effectively and how to help less experienced people get where they want to go. You get to hang out with Mr. Smith and/or Ms. Brown–two of the nicest people in our entire congregation. (IMHO – Mary Bennett)
Please contact John Smith, Donna Brown or Mary Bennett if you’d like to know more.
One of us can set up an orientation or you can dive in and schedule a date to be a co-host and learn the ropes.

Friday Film Nights in May Asian Heritage Month 2021


Friday Film Nights in May Asian Heritage Month 2021

Everyone Welcome from the Congregation and the Greater Community

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, you can watch the films below at your own convenience, just click on the video link. Then meet-up via Zoom on Fridays (7-8pm) for a lively discussion on:

May 7   — Chinese Cafe in Saskatchewan
May 14 — Chinese Musqueam Stories
May 21 — Ru-Tsu
May 28 — Asian Comedy Night


image of restaurant interior by Karen Tam

Above: Art Installation Gold Mountain Restaurant Montagne d’Or by Karen Tam

Chinese Restaurants: Episode 12

  New Outlook Cafe (26.47 MINS)

Jim Kook came to Canada as a “paper son” and ran a cafe in the Prairie town of Outlook Saskatchewan for 40 years

Q&A via Zoom on May 7th (7-8pm)

Producer and director Cheuk Kwan will join us from Toronto


Trilogy: Chinese Musqueam Stories

photo

Honouring Musqueam elder Larry Grant, his parents and the Grant family history. His mother Agnes Grant was the last fluent-speaker of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language in their community. In 1920, his father Hong Tim Hing emigrated as a young teen from a village in southern China to Vancouver, BC, on the unceded territory of the Musqueam hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking people, where he worked at a market garden on the Musqueam Reserve in Point Grey

  CBC Gem: All Our Father’s Relations (43:39 MINS)

We follow three generations of the Chinese-Indigenous Grant family on their first visit to their ancestral village in southern China

  Larry Grant: Intertwining Cultures (11:22 MINS)

Elder Larry Grant was born premature on a hop field in Agassiz. In this film he discusses his premature birth, the Chinese market gardeners on the Musqueam Reserve dating back to the early 20th century, and his memories of their farms


  Larry Grant: Not Belonging (11:03 MINS)

Elder Larry Grant shares the story of his family and his experiences being of mixed Chinese and Musqueam ancestry


map

Above: Hand drawn map of the historic Chinese market gardens on Musqueam Reserve #2. The Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club* is located on land immediately east of the former market gardens

*4300 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver BC


Q&A May 14th 7-8pm

Guest Panelists

Howard Grant, Wade Grant and Sarah Ling


(more…)

Asian Heritage Month Resource List

A list of resources for Asian Heritage Month suggested by the UCV BIPOC Caucus


UCV Friday Night Films during Asian Heritage Month

Friday Night Films 7-8pm, May 2021

Training workshop

hollaback! Bystander Intervention (free, one hour)

Books and Writers

Recommended by Meena:

Recommended by Cynthia:

  • The Diary of Dukesang Wong: A voice from Gold Mountain, the only known first person account by a Chinese worker on the construction of the CPR. Edited by David McIlwraith, diary translated by granddaughter Wanda Joy Hoe. 2020
  • Bird Tracks in the Air, 2021.By Profs Jan Walls and Yvonne Walls, renowned scholars of Chinese language and literature. The book is composed of the translated poems of revered poet and political reformer Wang Anshi, whose was committed to compassion and social justice ( a comparative study with Unitarian 7 principles). Virtual book launch with both authors

Recommended by Megumi:

Recommended by Glenn:

  • A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry. This is my favourite novel about India and one of my favourite novels by living writers
  • The God of Small Things and My Seditious Heart, Arundhati Roy. The second book is Roy’s recently published collection of nonfiction
  • Imaginary Homelands, Salman Rushdie. Though it is not exclusively about South Asia, I really enjoyed this collection of essays and journals
  • Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje. This is a memoir about O’s family’s life in Sri Lanka. I found it to contain his most charming writing

Articles

  • Keeping Love Close, The New York Times — Beautiful article and photographs of Asian love in a time of hate. Asian and Asian-American photographers show what love looks like

Video suggestions

Music

Asian Canadian community organizations fighting for social justice and equality

Cultural and Historical societies

Arts and Culture resources

Asian Heritage Month: image of Vietnamese blue dragon

Vietnamese Blue Dragon by Goran tek-en
CC By SA 4.0