Category: Youth and Young Adults

Articles about the youth group, youth fundraising, young adult news and invitations. Use only if a major focus or restriction is youth (13-20) or young adults (18-35) not just because they’d be welcome. Ask yourself: If an 18 year old walked in, would they be likely to see a significant number of people of a similar age?

If you’re 18-35 and want to meet other Unitarians your age…

A special invitation from the Canadian Unitarian Council to new-to-UU young adults

Are you interested in connecting with other young adult (18-35 year old) Unitarian Universalists? Gathered Here is a monthly 75-minute online check-in and gathering that will give you a chance to meet other UU young adults and experience the warmth of our national community.

2nd Monday @ 5pm on Zoom

Join other UU 18-35 year olds on Zoom (a video-conferencing platform) for the sharing of joys and concerns, deeper check-ins, prayerful reflections, and an opportunity to process current events with a spiritually grounded community. Gathered Here generally takes place on the second Monday evening of each month at 5pm Pacific/ 6pm Mountain/ 7pm Central/ 8pm Eastern/ 9pm Atlantic. It’s a free drop-in gathering, so no advance registration is necessary. Search “Gathered Here” on the CUC website or on Facebook to find upcoming dates and login instructions.

Here are some more ways for UU young adults to connect online.

CUC Website

Our congregation supported this year-long project

Facebook Links

Canadian Unitarian Council Youth and Young Adult Ministry page

UU Young Adults in Vancouver

Closed Group (You can ask to join)

90 members

UU Young Adult Connections

Closed Group (You can ask to join)

A continental group only for those between 18 and 35



There are a lot of UU young adults* wandering the continent but it’s easy for us to feel isolated. This group is here to combat that feeling and connect us to each other. Feel free to share events and information, ask questions, and invite other young adults you know. THIS GROUP IS INDEPENDENT OF THE UUA. *The UUA defines young adults as people between the ages of 18-35. If you are younger than 18 or older than 35, this is not the group for you. Note: We also welcome anyone who identifies as a U/U (Unitarian or Universalist) rather than as a UU.


Text reminders

There’s a lot to keep track of, which is why we’re offering a new way to get the most important info about young adult events sent directly to your phone. We will use this service to send monthly reminders about Gathered Here, as well as other important event notices such as registration deadlines. Here are instructions for how to sign up for text reminders using a service called Remind.

1) By text:
Just text @cucya to (502) 694-1142 and you will be signed up for reminders. You should receive a confirmation from Remind right away.

2) Online:
Visit to sign up for text, smartphone notifications and/or email reminders. By creating an account, you can change your settings or unsubscribe at any time.
* Remind was designed for classrooms, so you’ll get a prompt asking whether you’re a teacher, student, parent, etc. Just choose “student” to move to the next page.

3) By email:
Send an email to and request to be added to the reminder group. Please include your cell phone number in the message.

[Thank you and credit to BLUU for the text notification idea and instructions! to learn more about their incredible work]

Additionally, you can always check in on what events are coming up for young adults


Intergenerational Dinner a Success!

Prepping for soups and salads

Over 70 participants and volunteers had a great time at last Friday’s  March 15 Intergen gathering.

The evening started with a delicious dinner of appetizers, vegan curry, minestrone soup, spinach salad, organic bread, and  a table’s worth of desserts.

Thanks UBC Sprouts-Community Eats for your donation of produce! A big thanks to the volunteers from the Environment Team and Love Soup who planned and cooked the dinner, and cleaned up.

Dinner over, our stomachs full, we were eager to hear what the evening’s program would bring and we weren’t disappointed. Vivian Davidson emceed the evening  and Tamiko Suzuki explained to the non-Unitarians in the audience about Unitarians having a long history of being loving  **** -disturbers.

Quoc Nguyen from Leadnow, spoke of the mental health benefits of volunteering in these uncertain times. Dr Dave Steele of EarthSave spoke with passion and emotion about animal cruelty in industrial farming.

..and then there was the dessert table…

Dr Tara Cullis, president of the David Suzuki Foundation, spoke of the campaigns with First Nations in the Amazon and up the coast of BC fighting to save their lands from dams, and logging. Lorimer Shenher, writer and ex-member of the Vancouver Police Department, touched on racism, sexism, and mental health in his time working on the Missing Women portfolio in the DTES.

Discussion circle with Lorimer Shenher

After they gave their 15 minute ‘elevator speeches’, the guest speakers spread out in Hewett Hall and the audience was invited to go sit at one of their circles to listen, ask questions or share stories. They could get up and check out another circle whenever they want which kept the energy level high.

(the photos taken of these circles all show people deep in thought or listening intently but there really was movement between the circles).

Discussion circle with Tara. The speakers said they wished they too could have been able to sit in on the other discussion circles as the topics were so varied and fascinating!

The event wrapped up with a group of  Sto’lo and Haida guests who sang a few songs to close out the evening.
Guests were urged to take home some of the produce that hadn’t been used for the dinner; a head of broccoli, a bunch of bananas, or whatever was left in the boxes as a parting gift!

Get RADICAL! With The Environment Team

At least 80 people braved our snowy Vancouver weather on Friday, Feb. 15 to come watch the incredible movie “The Radicals” – where environmentalism meets action sports. The filmmaker and some of those involved in the film provided commentary and answered questions. Over $1200 was contributed to the three Indigenous groups featured in the film. Another successful event from the Environment Team!

Women’s March – Discussion and Poster-making

Sunday January 13 7:30-8:30 pm Fireside Room, Vancouver Unitarian Centre, 949 West 49th at Oak

Women’s March – Discussion and Poster-making

Cayla Naumann  just moved to Vancouver in May of last year after having lived 15 years in Victoria. She grew up in the Unitarian Church San Jose, California.

She will share her knowledge of Women’s March Canada, the H.E.R.S. principles and participation in the March On event on January 19th, and other events year round. She’ll share her experience of what WMC – Victoria has done, ideas for what she thinks WMC – Vancouver could do, but mostly she wants to try and build a network of women supporting women.

Here’s what she says about herself by way of introduction:

I’m a biologist, very passionate about social justice and environmentalism. I’m involved with Women’s March Canada, I organized the Victoria March last year and am trying to get the Vancouver chapter up and running. I’m also interested in gardening and reading/bookclub (some friends and I started a badass ladies bookclub in Victoria and I haven’t found a similar group in Vancouver yet). I’ll be 30 years old in April and live in Marpole (South Vancouver) and I’m the admin for the Buy Nothing Marpole FB group part of the Buy Nothing Project.

Optional: Make a poster to take on the march.

If you can bring felt pens, poster board, cardboard sheets, glue guns, wooden dowels or sticks, etc. please let Cayla know at or just bring with you.

This is part of the Annual Women’s Gathering which starts at 5:30 pm with a potluck dinner.

More information here:
If you’d like to come to a poster-making session at a different time, contact Cayla and we’ll try to set something up.



March On Vancouver (organizers of Vancouver’s March)
Women’s March Canada
Women’s March Global

Three Environmental Events Coming to UCV!

Whether you are a longtime environmentalist concerned about oil tankers and other issues, a social justice activist supporting First Nations concerns–or if you know nothing about these topics and feel now is a good time to start learning–the Environment Team is hosting three upcoming events for you!



Sat, Jan 19, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location Sanctuary

This is a film screening, a fundraiser and a discussion with Heiltsuk Nation members about their court challenge. They are aiming to enshrine governance of their homelands and waters into law.

With the Unist’ot’en conflict in the news every day, hearing about the Heiltsuk case is relevant and important for us to gain an understanding of Indigenous issues in BC and Canada.
Click here for more information.


The RADICALS by Beyond Boarding

Fri, Feb 15, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location Sanctuary

With breathtaking cinematography, The RADICALS is a documentary film that follows four snowboarders and surfers driven to become social and environmental stewards through their connection with the environments in which they play.

Follow them as they show the Tahltan fight for the Sacred Headwaters, BC Hydro’s destruction of salmon waters in Xwísten territory, art as resilience on Haida Gwaii, and a coastal uprising against fish farms off the coast of Vancouver Island. Each Indigenous community teaches the athletes to understand what it means to be  truly Radical.


Intergenerational Activist Dinner

Fri, Mar 15, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location Hewett Hall

Following the success of the fall 2018 Inter-generational Dinner, we are holding another gathering and this time the topic is:  Lessons Learned When Things Went Wrong.

Come join us in Hewett Hall for dinner (courtesy once again of UBC Community Eats). We will follow dinner with stories from some seasoned environmental and social justice activists as they talk of lessons learned from past campaigns. This is a great chance to make new connections, share stories, and learn from their experiences.



The Art of Instagram

Vancouver Unitarians are now active on instagram. Tanya approached our minister about getting instagram going and within a week we had an “Instagram” meeting. Tanya has offered to be the lead person/coordinator for up to six months during which time she’d mentor our youth to take it over


Some Insta-Information by Tanya Sullivan, our instagram poster and coordinator

If you’re on Instagram, follow us by searching for “vancouverunitarian”. Hope to see you online. When you post something of interest to Unitarians, add the hashtag #vancouverunitarian and #ucv

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a free, online photo-sharing application and social network platform that was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Instagram allows users to edit and upload photos and short videos through a mobile app.

Suggestions in graphic above and in text below.

Instagram is Centred on Storytelling

  • Everyone loves stories.
  • Instagram gives us a platform to tell our story.
  • It’s personal, easily accessible and visual format makes UVC’s stories more accessible.

Tip: In addition to posting photos of what’s going on, use “real time Insta-stories” to share UCV’s personality and wide range of happenings!

The Reach of Instagram is Large

  • Instagram offers a huge potential audience to UCV.
  • Vancouver is home to approx 630, 000 residents.
  • The Greater Vancouver Population is approx 2,400,000.
  • Instagram engages with 700 million monthly users!

Tip: Use #hashtags to increase engagement, attract other like minded individuals to our congregation and to let the world know what we’re up to!

Visual Content is Super Engaging

  • Photos are one of the most-engaging content on the Web.
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  • Our brain processes visuals 60,000X faster than text.
  • What is posted on Instagram keeps people coming back to see what we’re up to!

Tip: Keep the photos bright, consistent and clear.

The follower should be able to devise their own story just from the photo!

It’s a Goldmine of Insights, Ideas, Opportunity and Feedback

  • Instagram allows UCV to reach out to other congregations, organizations, businesses, charities, influential people, groups, philanthropic agencies, activists and curious youth!
  • The more engagement we receive – the more ideas we’ll gather to create an accessible offerings to all UCV guests and existing members.

Tip: Follow other UU congregations, Inspiring members of our community and Organizations that you believe would take an intents in what we do. When you share the @vancouverunitarian posts – they’ll notice!

It’s Fun & Vibrant (Like Us!) 

  • Help us build our community by following @vancouverunitarian
  • There’s a lot going on around here – let’s share it!
  • Tag @vancouverunitarian in your posts, Insta-stories for us to create more easily accessible content.
  • Include #vancouverunitarians #ucv in your posts about the church and happenings when you post to Instagram.

Tip: Have fun! Post often! Comment and like @vancouverunitarian posts and share our content!

Earth Day Service a success

The 2018 Earth Day Service was put on by the Environment Committee today. Guest speaker Aline Laflamme gave a moving, insightful sermon titled “All My Relations”. She spoke of the Indigenous view of what “relations” means as well as the responsibility that comes along with being part of a family that consists of all that is living and non-living in the world. The Daughters of the Drum performed Indigenous songs of thanks and prayer and, just to change things up a bit, rather than being read to, the Coming of Age kids read the Story for All Ages to the congregation!

Aline LaFlamme explaining how the drum is a circle that represents the interconnection of all Our Relations, all that is living and non-living in our world.
Daughters of the Drum
The Coming of Age kids reading the All Ages Story to the younger kids and the congregation!


Receive Our Chalice Basket and Contribute to Our Congregational Journal

An Invitation to Light the Chalice and …

from Kiersten Moore, Director of Children and Youth Programs

Every Sunday we close our worship with a benediction to Carry the Flame of Peace and Love until we meet again. You are invited to sign-up to light our Chalice one Sunday and receive the Chalice Basket in return. It contains a chalice, a journal, and books with meditations, readings, and Unitarian celebration ideas to carry the spirit of our church and principles through the week. All we ask is that you return the basket to church the following Sunday for the next person or family to receive! Every family and individual member is encouraged to receive the basket at least one Sunday during the year. The journal is meant to be a congregational conversation on each of our experiences or thoughts on being Unitarian through the week.

Why receive the basket?

  • Taking time to reflect, read, and write, or even simply to light the Chalice once a day, helps to connect us more fully as a Unitarians.
  • You may already have spiritual practices that give you a moment of calm or encourage you to reflect in the moment. Receiving the Chalice Basket can bring a sense of community or connection to your practice for the week.
  • You may be wondering how to share Unitarian practice with family at home, or how to create ritual or a moment of mindfulness, or what a Unitarian practice through the week might look like. There are books in the basket chosen to give you some ideas.

Please sign-up on the website volunteer page to light our Chalice and receive the Chalice Basket, and remember to return it to service the following Sunday.

Contact Kiersten

Seeking Innovative SpiritJam Teachers

UCV Job Opportunity

SpiritJam Lead Teacher

Part-time Teacher (4 hours per week); $17.00/hr. plus 20 additional paid flex hours; 10 mos./year; Reports to the Director of Religious Exploration; Start date:September 1, 2017 or as soon after as possible. (more…)

CUC National & International News

Feedback to CUC requested from member congregations

The CUC Board is seeking thoughts from members across the country on three main subjects for further discussion this fall. The three subjects are as follows:
a) CUC vision implementation suggestions
Vision – “Our interdependence calls us to love and justice.”
Suggestions: Can we do better at fostering interdependence amongst non-Unitarian organizations or other faith communities that share some of our values (e.g. groups focussing on climate action, environmental protection, civil liberties, affordable housing, global peace, animal rights, democratic practices…)
b) consideration of revising the CUC Sources statement similar to what UUA did and perhaps changing the Principles statements as well.

  • Sources – In Source #2, should we replace “women and men” with “people”?
  • Principles – In Principle #1 should we replace “person” with “being”?
  • What do we think of the proposal to add an eighth principle opposing white supremacy?

c) identification of social justice issues that are inspiring the attention of our congregations.
Does our congregation have a common social justice focus? Do we wish to have one? Do we have the structure, skills, resources, and time to develop a consensus about a common focus, or should we not try to prioritize social justice issues?

Send your thoughts to

Four strategic priorities

In addition to exploring member answers the above questions, the CUC Board is encouraging congregations to work on improving performance in support of the four strategic priorities approved at the 2017 AGM:

1. Financial Sustainability – 

The  CUC raised its annual program contribution (APC) from $93 to $100 per congregant for 2018. This is the first increase in quite a few years and brings us up to the inflation rate for this period. The increase will enable CUC to pay all of its staff at an appropriate level. Investment income, donations to Friends of the CUC, and event fees are the other primary sources of funds for conducting national UU work.

2. Improved Communication Capacity –

A lot of value has arisen in the past two years from video-conferencing using the zoom platform. With zoom we can see and hear each other across the country, talk to each other in a group context, and let others see our documents by sharing our computer or tablet screens. Some special interest groups and individual congregations are using zoom to reduce travel time for meetings.

CUC staff have used zoom for formal webinars and informal roundtable discussions on special topics. The CUC board meets 8 times a year via zoom and some ministers use zoom for their meetings. Individuals can set up their own zoom conversations with local or regional teams, committees, or groups of friends to discuss anything at all. The chief limitation to using zoom seems to be lack of experience in setting up a call. Here are some options about how to set up a zoom meeting.

Create your own zoom account Use one of CUC’s 3 zoom accounts
1.       Google zoom or click here and create your own account. It’s free, but your meeting times are limited to <1 hour. You can upgrade to a more robust service for a fee.

2.       Follow the tutorials on how to use your microphone, speakers, camera, and chat features.

3.       Determine a date and time for your call.

4.       Create a meeting and send the meeting ID number to a friend to chat.

5.       Invite other people using the same process.

6.       Yakety-yak yakety-yak!

1.       Determine a date, time, and duration for your call.

2.       Ask the CUC office to set up a zoom conference for you at that date and time. The office will do that and send you a meeting ID number. Email the CUC office:  or phone Ahna DeFelice, the new CUC Organizational Administrator toll free at
(Learn more about Ahna here)

3.       By email invite those you want to participate in your discussion and send them the meeting ID number. All they have to do is click on the ID number and follow the prompts. If they don’t have zoom on their laptop they’ll be prompted to download it. They should do that. They can also join by phone without video, but it’s nice to see friendly faces.

4.       Sign in to your meeting early and study how to use your microphone, speakers, camera, and chat features.

5.       Manage your meeting.

Advantages of your own account:
Set up meetings any time at your convenience – just like using a telephone.The zoom and CUC tutorials are pretty good so if you start small, you may find it isn’t too hard.Disadvantages of this option:
You’re on your own!
You may run out of time in a meeting unless you purchase the upgraded service.
Advantages of using the CUC account:
CUC sets up the meeting link for you.
No fees involved for you.
More time available.
Sessions can be recorded for later access offline.Disadvantages of this option:
There may be a time lag between your request and the meeting set-up.
Note that the CUC office is only open from      6:00 am – 1:30 pm Pacific time, Mon-Thu.


3. CUC support for truth and reconciliation between indigenous peoples and other Canadians –

One of 18 granite sidewalk medallions by Susan Point on West Broadway. There are another 18 medallions by local Greek artists.

This third priority is likely to be one for a long time. What are the issues and what can we do about them?

When Europeans first came to this continent they did not uniformly treat indigenous peoples with respect. There were many failings — there was blatant racism, indigenous peoples were treated as less than human, and treaties negotiated in good faith between First Nations and European powers were disregarded by successive Canadian (American, British, French, Spanish, and Mexican) governments. In too many situations European actions were directly and intentionally harmful to indigenous people. Indigenous peoples were killed, their land taken, indigenous languages, and cultural and spiritual practices banned, exclusionary racist policies enacted, and children taken from families and put in residential schools where many were abused and neglected. Many Canadians, and the Canadian government, now recognize that these actions were wrong, and that contemporary Canadians have an ethical obligation to do their best to correct these wrongs. This is going to take a lot of effort, by many people, over a long time, so where can we start? Following are some ideas.



Suggestions for truth and reconciliation work:

  1. Read and discuss with friends the Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the 94 calls to action (notably #60 regarding the role of churches.)
  2. Listen to what indigenous peoples are saying about land claims, environmental protection, and the impact of residential schools, and respect their views. If you can, follow their lead.
  3. Consider what we may need to do as individuals to give land back to indigenous people.
  4. Study aboriginal spiritual teachings. Talk with aboriginal leaders to learn if any of these can be incorporated into UU services without being considered to be cultural appropriation.
  5. Acknowledge the gifts of knowledge, skill, patience, and sharing of resources that indigenous peoples offered to European settlers and continue to offer in our current multicultural context.
  6. Take part in one of the age-appropriate study sessions about colonialism and residential schools developed by a CUC task force as Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Reflection Guides. The adult course based on these guides is a series of eight, 2.5 hour sessions (20 hours). Sessions for other age groups are under development.  See details of the adult THR program here: Overview of the eight 2.5-hour study sessions for adults
  7. Learn more about other aspects of the CUC’s truth and reconciliation program and fall and winter 2017 training programs here.

Following are a few more resources related to reconciliation:

Horses in the Stein River Valley. Picture from a UCV history field trip by members in 2015. (The trip was arranged as a service auction item.)

The Kairos Blanket Exercise is an experiential learning process developed by Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives to help non-indigenous people understand the impact of colonization. It is offered independently by a range of sponsors, and as part of CUC’s truth and reconciliation program. Visit the Kairos Blanket Exericise Resource Centre site for information about additional resources.

Land rights – Here are links to an interesting website and related podcast from BBC World Service “South Africa and the Land Question”, released Jun 30, 2017. Audrey Brown’s documentary Give Back the Land tells the story of a white Western Cape vineyard owner attempting to make reparations for the land his family “stole” 6 generations ago. Land rights and reparations remain contentious in South Africa 23 years after the end of apartheid, and are close to the heart of Audrey, whose family come from this area. (Image: Solms winery in South Africa Credit: Solms Delta Estate.)  A similar act of reconciliation in Canada related to The Esk’etemc First Nation (Alkali Lake B.C.) is described here. (Credit: CBC Radio, As it happens, Friday May 12, 2017. ‘Reconciliation in its best form’: B.C. rancher gives land back to his First Nation neighbours.)



Photo of a community church in Penticton, BC. UCV is also a community church!

4. Encouraging young adult membership in our congregations –

What is UCV doing in this area? Attention to this demographic group isn’t new to the UU movement, but it seems like a realm of chronic uncertainty. In 2016, UCV and CUC both provided special funding to stimulate work for young adult ministry nationally and locally, but proponents have provided limited communication back to the congregation about that work. Can anyone out there bring us up to speed?

Asha Philar is the CUC staff member devoted to youth and young adult programming and is available and eager to talk with congregational leaders and young adults about this area of work in Canada. Contact Asha at 519-900-2995 or .

The CUC website also lists links to some supports for young adult ministry, though many of the links appear to be dated. (The same is the case for web pages at other congregations across Canada.) There is a UU Young Adult Facebook group that appears to be active, but it’s a closed group, so you’ll have to ask to join. Inter-generational work doesn’t appear to be a current focus.

CUC’s international initiatives

Heavy luggage at YVR

Next report I’ll aim to provide some information about CUC’s international initiatives, notably information about work with the UUA’s UU-United Nations Office (UU-UNO) and the International Council of Unitarian Universalists (ICUU).  ICUU is scheduled to meet in northern India 11-15 Feb 2018. If you’d like to go to India or sponsor someone from an emerging UU group in another country to attend, please get in touch with me!

Keith Wilkinson

2017-18 BC Rep to the CUC Board