Category: Families

Articles of interest to current and prospective families e.g. Hogwarts summer camp, Mystery pal program, changes to Messy Church, First Sundays etc.

Annual Ancestor Shrine–Come and visit

Origins of Our Tradition

Mary, Catherine, Nancy, Terence, Morgan and Jen first created an Ancestor Shrine with the children’s program back in the fall of 2013. Transforming the meditation room into a place of remembrance at the end of October has become a firm tradition since then. It is something our children remember and connect with over the years.

Please come explore the Ancestor Shrine after Sunday service on October 27th.

You may bring a photo or remembrance to leave on the altar if you wish (to be returned the following Sunday), and there will be paper and twine with which to write your own remembrances and hang from the willow branches.

May we remember where we come from, and how the tree of life shows us that truly all that exists on Earth is related. Further back we find that we have evolved from the dust of exploded stars–what great mystery!

Welcome back to a new program year from Kiersten

As you prepare to return to school year routines and schedules I want to offer you a glimpse into the rich material we are planning to cover with families this year at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. Looking back through pictures reminds me of how much fun we have building community around here–and that certainly continues on!

What are we up to on Sundays?

We are continuing our structure around Soul Matters monthly themes and adding a focused exploration of World Religions—one of the six sources of wisdom, guidance, and spirituality that Unitarian Universalists draw upon. We are organizing into three groups this year:

  • Elementary Passport to Spirituality (ages 4-9)
  • Intermediate Crossing Paths (ages 10-12)
  • High School Youth Group (ages 13-19).

This is an OWL year for the youth

That’s shorthand for Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education and this year we are running workshops for grades 8, 9, and older youth who haven’t had an opportunity to take OWL before. Registration is open—you can read more on our website and contact Kiersten Moore, DRE for more information.

Worship Bingo Returns

Kids are given a bingo card on entering and when they’ve recorded hearing all of the words on the card, they yell out “Bingo”. Then get a reward at the end of the service.

Water Communion and In-gathering service

We start September 8th with our all-ages Water Communion and In-gathering service—Bring a bit of water from home or from travels to add to our communion bowl. If you haven’t collected water from your summer explorations, you may bring an item or memento for our altar—just be sure to pick it up again after the service.

“What does it mean to be a people of Expectation?”

September 15th we open our journey exploring the connection between expectation and the UU idea of Ongoing Revelation, the belief that we should expect our truths to change and grow. This expectation of growth leads us directly into our World Religions focus:

Passport to Spirituality (ages 4-9)

This class will imagine they are all travelling the world. At each country they visit, the children will receive a passport sticker, learn about a different religion, how it relates to the month’s theme, and engage in a spiritual practice utilized by that religion. The focus is to both learn a bit about religions around the world and see how they can be utilized to gain wisdom and develop our own spirituality.

Crossing Paths (ages 10-12)

This class follows a long tradition of Unitarian middle school field trips and explorations of neighbouring faiths. We will engage in a more in-depth exploration of five religions throughout the year, beginning with our own Unitarian faith. Crossing Paths is a direct Soul Matters curriculum that takes the approach of religious pluralism. Instead of claiming that one religion is best or that all religions are basically the same, pluralism understands religions as separate systems of belief dealing with distinct human challenges.

Parents of Tweens (ages 10-12) Please Note:

September 15th is our opening orientation for Crossing Paths and parents are included! Please plan for at least one parent to attend the Sunday RE session with your child beginning at 10:45 am. Crossing Paths group will not attend the beginning of service this week. This class offers parents an opportunity to learn alongside your child and to deepen your own spiritual understanding.

Youth Group (ages 13-19)

Our Youth plan to hit the ground running with the final zero waste results from last year’s action project and move forward on the youth group movie project. The youth choose their own curriculum or focus with their advisors in the fall and follow a small group ministry style of discussion with the aim to deepen connections to their selves, each other, and the wider community. Youth also hold social gatherings, attend conferences and regional events, participate in multi-age celebrations and pageants, and a lot more.

(Some) Apples are ready for picking – please help yourselves

Photo credit: Keith Wilkinson

We have 14 apple trees on the North West side of the property.

They were planted to celebrate our 100th anniversary.

UPDATE: Next up: The King apples are ripe mid-September to early October.

In the meantime, do pick up any fallen apples. 

 

Our apple tree varieties are (clockwise from North West)
Honey Crisp, Scarlet Sentinel, King, Florina, Yellow Transparent, Summerland Red Macintosh, Ambrosia, 
Gravenstein, Cox Orange Pippin, Liberty, Sunrise, Golden Sentinel, Shamrock and Jonafree.

In order of ripening:

Yellow Transparent  July 10–25

SUNRISE  mid-August

GRAVENSTEIN  

Cox’s Orange Pippin late picking straight from the tree recommended.

Scarlet Sentinel – mid to late September

King – September 15 – 25

Florina – late September https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florina_(apple)

McIntosh – not till September 20-30

Ambrosia – mid to late season – October

Liberty – late season

 

FROM https://www.bctfpg.ca/horticulture/varieties-and-pollination/apple-varieties/

I’m adding more details about the various trees and apples below. A work in progress.
Apples are ready between   August 15 – October 30
from: https://pickyourown.org/apples_howtotellwhenripe.php
Scarlet Sentinel

King

Sept. 15–25 Yellow with red blush

Red McIntosh

Sept. 20–30 Yellow with red blush
Popular in America since 1811

  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad, good as part of a blend for applesauce
  • Sweet, mild flavor

ambrosia apple

Ambrosia – mid to late season

  • Sweet, crisp, aromatic flavour reminiscent of pear and low acidity.
  • Mostly red colouration, with yellow patches.
  • Flesh is cream-coloured, firm meat
  • Medium to large in size
  • Developed in British Columbia in the early 1990s.
  • Believed to be a cross of a Jonagold and Golden Delicious.
  • Ripens mid to late season

Gravenstein apple

Gravenstein

  • Greenish-yellow with a lumpy appearance
  • A good, all-purpose apple,
  • Good for applesauce and pies.

Cox’s Orange Pippin – early

  • Popular in English markets.
  • Medium sized, golden yellow skin, with brownish orange
  • often russeted.
  • Flesh tender, crisp, semi-tart
  • early

Liberty apple

Liberty – late season

  • A highly disease-resistant introduction from Geneva New York.
  • Liberty has superior dessert quality, similar to one of its parents, Macoun
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad
  • flavor improves in storage
  • late season

Sunrise – mid August

Yellow Transparent July 10–25 Creamy yellow

Jonagold Sept. 15–Oct. 7 Yellow with red stripes

Jonathan Sept. 20–25 Yellow with red blush

Golden Delicious Oct. 1–15 Yellow

Delicious—red strains Oct. 1–15 Red

Please pick the flowers and herbs in the labyrinth

Yes, that’s an unusual invitation, I know, but… I’d love people to take a bit of UCV abundance home with them. The rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) makes a lovely bouquet to bring some sunshine indoors.

Here are some that I would really like to have picked. It saves me pruning and dead-heading:
Lavender (still quite nice but fading fast). It’s mainly on the outer ring on the east side.
Dandelions- of course – any time!
Mint – There are several kinds of mint – chocolate mint, pineapple mint, etc. Please do cut 6″ pieces or so to make tea or enjoy in salads etc.
Fennel – Nice for a bouquet and also nice with mint for tea, or infused water.
Any time —
Lambs ears – those lovely fuzzy leaves can be picked any time. Not edible (but not poisonous). Kids love to touch them.
Sage – on west side near a tree – pick a bit to take home – I love sage tea, or to flavour other foods.
Take up to 1/3 of…
The glorious rudbeckia/black-eyed Susan – Take the flowers that are in full bloom. I call this pre-emptive dead-heading. Cut the step right to the place where it connects with another stem, so it looks nice.
Please don’t pick without checking with me:
The echinacea was moved last year and just getting established, so I’d prefer it wasn’t picked yet. Leave it for the bees!!

 

Here are some excerpts and links about kids and flowers:

Some flowers, like the bright yellow dandelion, are very common and children should be encouraged to collect them by armfuls. Other flowers, like the yellow golden paintbrush, are endangered and should be left alone. Not all flowers are created equal but everyone (even kids!) can learn which flowers are good to pick, where to pick them and when to pick them. Learning about flowers and picking them is a wonderful opportunity for you and your child to connect with nature together.

Registration open for Harry and UU Summer Camp!

Another year at Hogwarts

Plans are rolling for a second year at Hogwarts. August 12-16 will see Hewett Centre once again transformed into the Great Hall and Hogwarts classrooms.

Harry and UU summer camp is theatre in action for kids ages 7-12. There are volunteer leadership opportunities for youth ages 13+ with a Red Cross first aid certificate. Visit our Summer Camp page to register now to hold your spot in the 2019 Hogwarts West experience.

This year our social justice focus will centre around water inspired by the national Canadian Unitarian Ripple Effect project. We will identify two local water issues to explore and learn about Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. The DA Creators will create a theatre as social action piece to fight our Horcrux. It becomes a week of living theatre, social justice, and a unique summer camp experience for Vancouver children and youth. (more…)

Welcome to Wilderness

<< Northwest Wilderness Brochure >>

“Leave it wild” was the motto in 1966 when Unitarians purchased land on a river delta on the eastern shores of Kootenay Lake, BC, for family camping.

click here for the July 2019 newsletter

click here for the March 2019 Newsletter

Wilderness is open from July 1st to August 31st. There are no permanent structures, but lots of driftwood for creating temporary shelters for your campsite. There are both pit and composting toilets (built by volunteers!). There are communication devices for emergency.

The Northwest Wilderness Society is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the property as wilderness, and a retreat for its members. We welcome Unitarians and others who seek a wilderness camp, embrace diversity and hold the earth in high regard.

Phone: (604) 612-2643 or (604) 873-0770 (Canada) 425-867-1781 (USA)

Email: info@kootenaywildernesscamping.org

Web: kootenaywildernesscamping.org

 

 

For other Unitarian Camps

A new women’s group

It all started at a discussion group while at the 4th Annual Women’s Gathering (http://vancouverunitarians.ca/events/annual-womens- gathering/). Two groups have since been created.  Because we want to enrich and empower the lives of women, we are forming a third one.

What will be discussed?  Topics will be selected and facilitated on a rotating basis by participants.

Those participating in the current Women’s Groups have said:

“I am delighted that we are a diverse group in terms of age and experiences. Should broaden my horizons.” – Bev

“I’m somewhat new to Vancouver and want to join a Women’s Group to get support from women. I think it’s important to foster that for myself and for other women.”  – Cayla

“I thought forming a women’s group would present me with an opportunity to meet with others to construct a safe space to address concerns, challenges and tools for empowerment.

Truly, it is through shared experiences and stories that we grow, reflect and expand who we are. In life and in the context of this group we all shift through life through our interactions with others and thus we assume many roles that include: teachers, mentors, students and leaders.” – Naomi

The new group will meet the third Tuesday of the month from 7:00-9:00 pm in the Fireside Room. First session is September 17th.  Spaces are limited to 12 participants so REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.  Contact Sheila Resels at sresels@gmail.com if you are interested in participating.

 

 

 

 

Join Climate Action Day at U-Hill Elementary School – May 24th, 2019

From Hanno Pinder, Unitarian Church of Vancouver member

Dear friends,

As you know, I live fairly close to U-Hill Elementary School (located on Chancellor Boulevard), and was invited a couple of weeks ago to walk with the Children of their Nature Club in Pacific Spirit Park.

The club was very well organized, the children were very knowledgeable (ranging from grade 1 to grade 5), and the leader Jen Capell McCutcheon was delightful. I am invited to attend all their future Nature walks, which I will do whenever possible.

Now Jen, who is the president of the parent association of the school, has asked me for support with their plans for May 24th which is Climate Action Day world wide, inspired by Greta Thunberg. All the children from U-Hill Elementary School will walk with posters, noisemakers or instruments in a protest demonstration. They will walk from the school up to the Village on University Boulevard then on past the Book Store to Main Mall and walk down Main Mall. Jen has asked me to help her find as many adults as possible to join and walk with the children to show their support. 

The children will stop their classes at noon and are expected to start marching at 12.15.

I am now asking you to come and support U-Hill Elementary School and their children.

We all know the catastrophic situation we are in by now, and I personally am happy that with this event I can demonstrate my willingness to accept the drastic changes that are required if we want to prevent the worst. As always: The people have to convince their governments, so they will finally do the right thing.

I hope to see many of you on the 24th at noon at the School on Chancellor Boulevard.

Also, if you can, spread the word and bring more friends or neighbours, and let me know that you are coming (hannopinder@gmail.com).

Jen is suggesting that if possible we should wear black, to symbolize the pollution which is ubiquitous.

Until then, Hanno (UCV member)

P.S. Jen is working to involve Norma Rose Point School and U-HillSecondary School as well.

 

Sharing Our Faith grant received for our Hogwarts Summer Camp

Thank you to the Canadian Unitarian Council

I am pleased to announce that our Harry and UU Summer Theatre Camp has received a generous grant in the amount of $3,000 from the Canadian Unitarian Council’s Sharing Our Faith Fund. This grant will help us hire camp staff at a fair compensation rate, provide an excellent student-counsellor ratio, and insure affordability for Vancouver families. Check out our summer camp web page for more details.

Sharing Our Faith

The Sharing Our Faith program provides funds for congregational initiatives which enhance ministry, aid congregational projects and outreach, and enhance the Unitarian Universalist movement in Canada. Once a year, congregations are encouraged to hold a “Sharing Our Faith” worship service focused on the UU faith in Canada, with a special collection for the Sharing Our Faith fund. The fund consists of these monies, often supplemented by a Foundation Fund administered by the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. The funds are allocated in the form of grants to congregations for growth projects and initiatives.

Your Support

Part of the grant asks for a show of faith from us in supporting our own initiative. You can help families with limited financial resources attend our engaging and unique program by donating to our Campership Fund.

A campership may include before and after care, public transportation, and lunch if requested. Applications will be processed on an ongoing, first-come, first-served basis as long as funds are available. A deposit in good faith of an affordable amount is requested to hold a spot.

Donate to Campership Fund

Donations to our Campership Fund are tax deductible and ensure that all children are able to attend camp with us, regardless of their family’s financial situation. Click the link above to send a secure donation by credit or debit card. Cheque donations to the Unitarian Church of Vancouver with “HP Summer Camp Donation” in the memo can be submitted using the Sunday morning donation envelopes or mailed to:

Unitarian Church of Vancouver
Attn: HP Summer Camp
949 West 49th Ave
Vancouver, BC V5Z 2T1

 

What are My Values Anyways?

A group of 14 women, who are members of *UCV’s Women’s Groups, met on Saturday, April 13th, at Hewett Centre to participate in a “Life Values” Workshop. **Sandi Goldie led us through a 3 hour session which defined what values are; how to find our own; what to do with our values; and how to make choices that honour them?

We worked in dyads and looked inward. Discovering one’s values can be somewhat illusive. What do our peak experiences really reveal? What do they tell us about what’s important to us? It was hard work but it paid off.

At the end of the three hours, Ingrid Luters, felt she had discovered “a tool or process to continuously examine, articulate and prioritize [her] value set.”
Jodie Miller, was left with “an opportunity to reflect on what is important to me and others.”
And, Cathy Sevcik, felt the session had helped her “clarify what is important” in her life. This insight allowed her to see that she “needs to focus on those things.”*

It was an inspiring, enlightening session. One which brought us each a step or two closer to making choices that honour our values. A path forward.

Written by Sheila Resels – Contact Person for UCV Women’s Groups.

*A (new) Third Women’s Group will be starting in September, meeting the 3rd Tues of the month, 7:00-9:00 pm. Please contact Sheila Resels at sresels@gmail.com for further information. Registration is required.

**Sandi Goldie, has a Master’s in Education, and a 40 year career as an elementary teacher.  She is certified with the Coach Training Institute and is a certified facilitator of Brené Brown. She is writing a book on women and men’s groups.