Join Unitarians from congregations near and far in a Zoom series of ten conversations. We’ll keep the group sizes small for optimum participation. For a sample of the thinking behind the program, watch this 2022 TED talk by co-author Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson:
Thank you to everyone who came on Nov 20th to attend our first forum on the topic of the Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius.
Members of the IPA, Environment, Social Justice and Truth and Reconciliation teams joined together to organize and facilitate this forum. They were inspired by Bruce McIvor’s talk, and his book, Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It, to educate themselves about The Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius.
They discovered that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called on all religious denominations and faith groups to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius, and that the UUA and many Canadian churches had repudiated this doctrine – including the Anglican Church of Canada and the Catholic Bishops. They planned this forum to start the the important conversation as to whether UCV might want to join in denouncing this doctrine.
Believing in the true spirit of Christmas, I commit myself to…
* Remember those people who truly need my gifts
* Express my love in more direct ways than gifts
* Examine my holiday activities in the light of my deepest values
* Be a peacemaker within my circle of family and friends
* Rededicate myself to my spiritual growth
Laura Trotta: “Every time we throw food in the bin we’re not just wasting our money. We’re discarding the vast amounts of resources, energy and water that it took to produce, process, store, refrigerate, transport and cook the food.
In the photos above, we find a group of friends engaging in an ancient (even timeless) human activity …foraging for wild mushrooms. They’re members of the Vancouver chapter of the Slow Food movement, and they’re foraging for mushrooms in a forest near Maple Ridge.
You might ask: What is Slow Food? And what does it have to do with climate action and reducing food waste?
At a personal level, this includes buying local and seasonal foods, throwing away less food, eating out less, eating less, purchasing food that’s been fairly and sustainably produced … and eating at least once a week with someone you love. … Commendable choices and more so during the Winter festive season.
Slow Food calls for tackling the climate crisis through the adoption of environmentally-friendly practices, at all stages along the food supply chain, following a seed-to-landfill trajectory.
Petrini a centre-left journalist and food critic who wrote for Communist daily newspapers came to prominence, in 1986, as the leader of a protest in Rome against the opening of the first McDonald’s in Italy.
The People’s Ecochallenge is a 21-day challenge to take action for a better shared future. From October 5 – October 26, you commit to trying and doing new things. Fun actions encourage new habits. Small steps lead to big change. Together, we build a sustainable world and a healthy planet.
The People’s Ecochallenge gamifies behaviour change and makes your impacts measurable! Think about and act on proven soutions through 100+ actions across nine categories.
Ecochallenge is free to join and everyone is welcome. Join our BC Unitarians team.
ZW at UCV Blog Post 1 –
Recycling Masks and Creating Good Compost
If you haven’t yet noticed, it but thanks to Karen Bartlett and Yvonne Marcus, we have a box where you can deposit used face masks. And yes, you can bring ones from home and add them. We’ve already filled one box and with congregational administrator, Casey’s, support, Karen is prepared to continue donating the cost and organizing getting a new box when one is full. It’s just inside Hewett Hall.
Karen says, “Thank you to Casey for being the point person to pass along the information when the box was ¾ full, giving us time to organize the new box.
Also thanks to everyone who is using the box. A quick audit check confirmed that only masks were in the box and not other garbage.”
You Can Do It! We Can Help!
Karen (and the ZW team) want to share this as a good example that anyone at UCV can take on a small project and “make it so.”
Here are some quotes found by googling “zero waste quotations” that were read at the start of our meeting. The theme is “just do it”! Or as Home Hardware says: You can do it. We can help
The world is changed by your example not by your opinion.
To do good you actually have to do something.
Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
Waste is a design flaw.
If you have an idea related to zero waste and want to know how to go about it and who you might need to check in with, we’d be *very* happy to lend support!
Compost bins. We’re about to enter “peak dry leaves” season when our stalwart gardeners rake up the barrels and barrels full of leaves. As well as the bins for organic waste that go to the city, we have 6 round black bins with some hardy red wriggler worms in them that can, with a little help, create “black gold” compost for our gardens. Mary Bennett has been chief compost enthusiast and worker, but got behind during the time we weren’t regularly meeting in person. We need your help to get the red wrigglers healthy and working again, and the key thing is they need some food (vegetable and fruit scraps especially, although they seem to love their coffee!) and, even more importantly, water.
Our team are all going to take turns taking out the green counter top bin in Hewett Centre on Sundays. A quick way to add moisture, is to fill it 2/3 or so full with water before taking out. (Full might make it difficult to walk easily without spilling). As well, we’re going to make a concerted effort over next month or two (before the damp weather returns) to regularly fill one of the tall white containers near Hitschmanova entrance with water and add to the bins.
Right now it’s very dry, so if you can help, you’ll find you’ll need to pour in slowly or add 1/4 of a bucketful to each of 4 bins. You can do this any time you’re on site.
No meat or bones, but the red wrigglers are ok with napkins, coffee filters, (most) tea bags.
(Speaking of which, let’s not use the silky ones, ok?)
The black round bins are on the Fremlin (east) side adjacent to the lane. There’s one right near the city waste bins as well.
More information about our Zero Waste (part of Enviro Team) Circle can be found here.
A group of twelve Vancouver Unitarian members and friends, new and old, formed our first UU Wellspring small group last year. It was a deep, transforming experience for many of us. We are forming new cohorts this fall with the intent to spread the joy of deep personal connection, search for meaning, and spiritual practice development.
Participants in UU Wellspring find spiritual transformation as they explore the historical and theological roots of Unitarian Universalism, reflect on their own spiritual understandings, and engage in spiritual practice. Participants often form deep and lasting connections with one another.
We are including an eight-session, less homework intense, program for young adults and a six-session program to launch the UU Wellspring Reads: Sacred Earth program, a series of sessions designed around the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, combined with the book The Sustainable Soul by Rebecca James Hecking, and additional readings and videos.
The five spokes of UU Wellspring small groups
Deep listening in a small group
Daily spiritual practice
Deeper understanding of Unitarian and UU history and theology
Living your convictions
Sources: First Year UU Wellspring Program
UU Wellspring Sources is a unique 10-month small group program offered in a multi-platform setting. The twice a month, 2-hour sessions offer participants an opportunity for spiritual deepening that leads to more joyful living, increased confidence in Unitarian identity, and faithful justice making in their lives and in their communities.
Sources begins with a start-up retreat on October 5, 6-9 pm and meets 2 times a month October through the middle of June.
Sacred Earth is the first program in “UU Wellspring Reads,” six-session programs that provide foundational experience that are dear to Unitarian Universalists’ hearts. Sacred Earth combines the wisdom of Indigenous understandings of reciprocity with the sacred earth, and with spiritual practices that connect our spirit to nature. The experiences, reflections and discussions strive to engage participants deeply in the web of life and your Unitarian Universalist faith.
Our Sacred Earth offering is facilitated by UCV member Martha Saunders. Martha is a retired university lecturer in Religious Studies with a long-time interest in eco-spirituality.
UU Wellspring for Young Adults is designed for a cohort close in age, 18-29 or 25-35 for example. It is a chance to ask the big questions in life and reflect on what is deeply important to you. Each 60 to 90-minute session begins with a check in and sharing of spiritual practices. The session source is introduced and explored through videos, short readings and sharing.
Connecting to the Great Beyond
As Unitarians and UUs we don’t always talk about spirituality and UUW-YAH! Gives you a chance to wonder how our souls are connected to the great beyond as we explore our six Unitarian Universalist Sources.
Connecting to Peaceful Practices
You’ll have a chance to try out spiritual practices, which can simply be choosing an intention, such as gratitude, and thinking about it as you carry out an activity. For example, you might choose to attend a class, a daily task, or work with gratitude.
This 8-session series can be offered as either a fall or spring session meeting bi-weekly or October to May meeting monthly. Online or in-person.
On July 3, 2022, the UCV environment team (Zero Waste group) met at the Unitarian Centre of Vancouver where over 10 people met in person and took in a varied Zoom Eco mini-conference with the input of other Unitarian Congregations, Beacon, North Shore and South Fraser.
Vancouver Unitarian Mary Bennett was moderator and time-keeper and did a very eloquent Chalice lighting with reading from Joanna Macy’s book Active hope.
The theme was Plastic Free July – Ecochallenge.
From the South Fraser Unitarian Congregation Donelda Henderson spoke about vegetable gardening and community food sharing; Dianne Dilts discussed how she makes yogurt and avoids plastic yogurt containers by using her own glass containers.
From the North Shore Unitarians, Shelley Hrdlitschka discussed the use of laundry strips while Shelley discussed compostable containers used by farmers. Barbara Kroon gave a very informative chat about home cleaning products and information about cornstarch containers.
And of course, getting to the source of where we buy products, the grocery store is an area where a lot of lobbying has to take place. So, to lead that discussion Teresa Morton from Beacon Unitarian Church shared a success story about Canadian Plastics Pact and the UN Plastics Pollution Treaty.
Towards the end of the event Vivian entertained a few questions about Reusable, single-use containers and cups as her video (link) was shared to those who RSVP’d to the meeting so they could formulate ideas and any questions they had. Several people in person and on Zoom shared how they take actions every day to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic items like taking their reusable mugs to cafes and bags to the grocery store.
Mary Bennett rounded up the event by sharing her use of ‘pee wipes’ and how it is much easier and user-friendly once one gets over the ‘oddity’ of it. It was mentioned by an in-person attendee that toilet paper is used mostly in Western countries but Asia and other parts of the world do not rely on it.
Other issues were discussed in conversations including eating insects as a sustainable protein source; reducing one’s transporting foot print by commuting, biking and ride-sharing; being involved with community gardening and more ‘connected to nature’ and very importantly, making sure to encourage friends and family as much as possible by sharing tips, updates and one’s own habits to remind others that change is not hard and often simple solution go a long way to making our world more sustainable.
Our federal government has taken some actions to remove wild salmon-killing fish farms from the B.C. coast, but there is still no overall strategy for removing them all by 2025 as promised. The deadline of June 2022 for relicensing the farms, or not, offers a golden opportunity to announce that overall removal strategy.
Send a letter to Minister Joyce Murray demanding they announce a strategy for fulfilling the promise to remove all floating, open-net fish farms from the B.C. coast by 2025.