Category: Governance and Organizational

News and reports from the Board of Trustees, Board Committees (Finance, HR, etc.), Program Coordinating Council, Fundraising and other groups concerned about the organizational running of UCV.

COVID-19 Updates from Our Minister, DRE, Board and Comms

Office and Staff Update – March 29, 2020

Due to the rapidly changing environment for everyone, The UCV Board of Trustees had approved at the March 17th Board meeting to pay staff “as per budgeted amounts” for the next month.

With this in mind,

  • Staff members are working regularly scheduled times with some redirection as per duties.
  • Records of Employment will be given if requested, due to self-isolation/ quarantine or sickness.
  • Plans are in place to have Administration staff work from home if warranted, computer stations, email, phones/voicemail etc. have all been set up, to enable minimal activity at the office.
  • UCV Campus will continue to be checked daily by staff.
UCV Office Contact Information

UCV COVID-19 *Possible Exposure* Update – March 23, 2020

Dearest congregants and renters, 
 
We have been notified of possible exposure to COVID-19 at our Unitarian Church Buildings on Friday, March 13, 2020, during a memorial service. The sanctuary and hall were used for this service.
 
At this point in time, 11 attendees of the service have developed symptoms and one has been advised by medical professionals that COVID-19 is likely. This has not been confirmed by official testing, but the province has shifted testing priorities so we may not have confirmation for some time. As such, we would like to treat this as if there has been exposure to the virus and act accordingly to keep everyone safe. 
 
We want to reassure the congregation of a few important facts about our preventative actions. By March 13th, the caretaking staff implemented a rigorous sanitization protocol and the members hosting the memorial service made sure to disinfect every surface in the church (pews, doorknobs etc.)
 
Although we hosted an on-site Sunday service on March 15th, there was no coffee hour and we believe given the distancing and sanitization protocols in effect, this poses a low risk to those in attendance. If you were at UCV in the days following March 13th, we ask that you please exercise additional measures to self-quarantine. If you are finding this challenging and need help getting groceries and supplies, please contact the Care and Concerns committee by emailing Connie Wigmore cwigmore1@shaw.ca
 
Thank You, 
UCV Emergency Response Team

Update From Our Minister, DRE, and Board – March 19, 2020

During this COVID-19 period, all face-to-face meetings on the UCV campus (and worship services in our church Sanctuary) are cancelled. The Sunday worship services will be live-streamed for the foreseeable future on the UCV YouTube channel which can be viewed HERE.

Rev. Steven Epperson, Elliott Dainow, and our Worship Committee will continue to provide quality worship services that you can view at home. The UCV Board and other committees and working groups will continue to do their good work via Zoom meetings, email, and phone. The office staff continues to do their work during regular business hours (Monday to Thursday, 9:30 am to 2 pm; Friday, 9 am – 1 pm).


Update from Communications Committee – March 16, 2020

Live Streaming of Services will be broadcast on YouTube. Please go to our home page, and click on the “Live Stream” (you can’t miss it) to be automatically connected to the live feed.


Update From Our Minister, DRE and Board – March 13, 2020

Hello All,

In consultation with Diane Brown, our UCV Board President (and many others), and in view of communiques from the Province, City of Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health, we have decided there will be a worship service this Sunday, March 15th.  Cole Harris’s remarks will be re-scheduled; I (Steven) will greet, speak and deliver the service with Elliott Dainow there to provide music and accompaniment.

However, please stay home this Sunday if you are concerned, sick, immune-compromised, or living in a care/seniors facility. For those attending, we urge an abundance of prudence—wash hands, no hand shaking, etc.

In consultation with our DRE Kiersten Moore, we’ve decided that our RE program will run this Sunday, March 15th  to support children, youth and families who are healthy and able to come.  We will plan prudently and accordingly: handwashing, reasonable distance, etc.

 


A Few Notes on Proper Hand-Washing

  • Wash all surfaces of your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Many forget to wash the back of their hands.
  • Wash between your fingers and around your thumb to get the web space.
  • Clean your nails by making a scratching motion on the palm of your hand.
  • Wash your wrists.
  • Use soap. The temperature of the water is less important than the length of time, friction to all services and soap.
  • Don’t turn off the tap with your clean hands.
  • Dry your hands with a paper towel.
  • Use the towel to turn off the water and open the door.
  • Discard the towel in the bin close to the door

Technology-Based Resources for Illness Anxiety Reduction

It is a tense time for many around the world and right here in our community. As Unitarians, we tend to be critical thinkers who can remain calm under pressure, but we’re also a group with big, sensitive hearts. Make sure you take care of your heart at this time!

A great tool for calming the amygdala (the fear center of the brain), is meditation and mindfulness practice.

Staff Appreciation Dinner

 

This year’s Staff Appreciation Dinner hosted by UCV’s Board of Trustees was a lovely evening. The tables in the Fireside Room groaned with an impressive variety of good food, trustees and staff happily sought out at least two people they had never spoken to before, a few people managed to get a quiet bit of business done on the side, and the clean up team was both cheerful and efficient. Congratulations to Sheila Resels for her hard work on organizing the evening.

Delegates for the CUC National Conference in Halifax

UCV needs 8 delegates named by 31 Mar 2020 to represent us at the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday 16 May 2020 (from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm PT).  Delegates may attend in person in Halifax, NS, or from elsewhere via zoom teleconference. Room Lindsey Priestley has been booked at UCV so that delegates who choose to participate from Vancouver can meet as a group. Only official delegates are eligible to speak but all UCV members and friends are welcome to attend. Contact Keith Wilkinson, Lynn Armstrong, Kiersten Moore, or Emilie Adin if you are interested in representing us—otherwise, we’ll come looking for you!

CUC Conference details here.

The AGM will be preceded on Thursday, 14 May, (3:30 to 5:00 pm PT) by an informal Plenary session, a cross-Canada dialogue on issues of common interest to Canadian UU congregations. .

Delegates will need to be approved by the UCV Board and once chosen, will have an opportunity to become informed about proposed CUC strategic initiatives, the proposed budgets, and a proposed technical change in the bylaws to improve continuity in board work.  When voting, UCV delegates will be expected to use their own judgment about what is in the best interests of UCV and the national CUC movement and vote according to their conscience.f

Watch UCV Connections pages to see upcoming postings about UCV’s global connections.

The following pages are older posts related to National events.

What’s in a Name?

On January 19th the What Do We Call Ourselves? (WDWCO?) Task Force led a Discussion Circle Forum in the Fireside Room. 44 congregants attended.

They were invited to address the questions:  Do you want to change the name – The Unitarian Church of Vancouver? If yes, to what?  If no, reasons for not wanting to change the name.

Rev. Steven Epperson, who attended, later commented that participants were respectful and thoughtful.  Which is just the way we Unitarians are as we contemplate our past identity and consider our future one.

UCV Directory of Small Groups and Committees

UCV Directory of Small Groups and Committees

Wanting to get involved with a group but not sure what’s available?  Our newly updated Directory will help you navigate our complex Unitarian community. You can find hard copies on the Welcome Tables or in the office.

If you’d like an electronic version, please contact Sheila at sresels@gmail.com

Membership Development Workshop – Let’s get together

Coming up for all members of the Membership Development team at UCV

Saturday, March 28 – open to active membership committee teams including:

  • New to Vancouver Unitarians workshop coordinators
  • Greeters and Welcome Table volunteers
  • Connect and Engage team including Sermon Discussion table facilitators
  • Membership records, retention, renewal and recruitment team members
  • Membership committee chair and board liaison
  • Communications team liaison
  • Sunday Coffee servers

Agenda

1:30 – 2 pm

  • -set up – coffee/tea and snacks available

2 – 5 pm workshop:

Introductions

  • Was there a “turning point” when you decided to join UCV? How long was that from when you first started attending?

How do the teams all work together

  • What are your challenges and pleasures?
  • What staff/caretaker roles are helpful for your team?
  • Suggestions for making things easier for members and volunteers – what would you ask of others? what do you see that could be smoothed out?

Volunteer recruitment and support

  • How do you typically recruit more volunteers? Does your team need additional volunteers?
  • Some brainstorming around how to recruit
  • What works? what doesn’t?

Volunteer Status

There are approximately 20 on each of these three teams: New to VU/welcome table; greeters; coffee servers. There are about 6 on the relatively newer Connect & Engage team (who set up the sermon discussion table and support neighbourhood groups etc.) Some people do double duty. The “member retention” team has never been fully staffed nor the “member records” team. To some degree the role of “member recruitment” is handled by our communications systems.

The member experience

Mapping the visitor to member and beyond journey

– what was your journey from discovery to involvement?

What do you see with first timers?

  • What do they already know? What do they need? Do you notice clues that they might stick around?
  • Given how busy Sunday morning is, how can we best help people get connected?

5:30 – 6:30 pm – potluck dinner

  • kitchen and fireside room – You’re encouraged to sit with folks from a different team

7 – 8:30 pm

Membership Development

  • considering UUA/CUC ideas for membership growth.

Ministerial (and other) Transitions

Information about ministerial transition – what’s in our future for next 2 to 3 years?

  • what questions are you getting? on ministerial transition, possible redevelopment and name change?
  • What questions/concerns do you expect?
  • brainstorm responses

Registration form:

https://vancouver.breezechms.com/form/membershipworkshop

 

Resources you may find of interest

https://www.uua.org/growth

http://growinguu.blogs.uua.org/

https://www.uua.org/interconnections

https://www.uua.org/careers/ministers/transitions

 

What’s in a Name? Next forum January 19

The What Do We Call Ourselves task force (WDWCO) was created by the Board in 2018 to examine whether we should change our name from the Unitarian Church of Vancouver to a name without “church.” To carry out its mission, WDWCO would like to provide ways for all members and friends (adherents) of UCV to hear, understand, and contribute to the discussions around what name best suits our congregation. Although as UCV members, we might differ on the name question, we believe we share similar values and goals for our beloved community. We are confident that we can come to shared understanding and a path forward.

We offer the following viewpoints (heard during informal discussions among some UCV members) as a starting point for discussion. If your viewpoint isn’t represented here, we’d like to know what it is. We want input and will be seeking it at the Forum on January 19th.

I want to retain our current name because:
Our name Unitarian Church of Vancouverhonours our 500-year history as a Church. For me, the UnitarianChurchof today has an expanded meaning that is inclusive of all ethical beliefs. It demonstrates how a Church can be a progressive religious community.

The name “Church” speaks to our spiritual roots and provides a sense of continuity and comfort. Some of us may have left the church of our upbringing, but we have not severed our connection with spirituality.

The name Unitarian Churchhas gravitas and promotes respect. Having originated as a branch of Christianity, we are identified as a religious community and we belong at the table of multi-faith gatherings. As well, our identity as a Church invites media inquiries seeking “religious perspectives” on pressing moral issues.

The Unitarian Church has led and continues to lead progressive religious change. Such progress can be inspiring to other religious communities.

I want to change our name because:
I am uncomfortable with the word Church, finding it restrictive as a name for our spiritual home and community. A church is by definition a Christianentity, which is not a spiritual fit with those members and friends who do not identify as Christian. “Church” discourages many potential attendees who have negative associations with Christian denominations, along with those whose heritage is in non-Christian cultures, those who identify as Pagans or secular Humanists, and those who resist any labelling of their views. And a more welcoming name could appeal to those who describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious” , individuals who may be seeking an inclusive spiritual community free of dogma.

I believe that with an alternative name we will remain an influential member of multifaith communities. For example, one of the largest Unitarian communities in Canada, The First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, (no “Church” in their name), is well-respected in the National Capital Region, and has good relations with near and far-flung Christian and non-Christian faith communities alike.

34 of the 47 Unitarian congregations in Canada call themselves something other than a Church.

I am undecided because:
I haven’t thought much about this and I don’t have enough information. I look forward to participating in our community’s thoughtful consideration and discussion of all the input. I want to understand the beliefs and opinions of others. I hope I’ll then be better able to make a decision.

I will support whatever decision is made:
I trust our community will thoughtfully consider all input and make the best decision for the greater good.

I am reluctant to get involved…
To the reluctant, we encourage you to consider that in our community, all views count. We invite your careful listening and input as the discussions proceed. We want an environment where you feel comfortable to contribute your voice.

We strive to make ourdecision process inclusive, caring, informed, and democratic. What we choose to call ourselves is our identity.It matters.

Please share your views, come to the Forum on January 19th. Questions in the meantime?
Email us at: sresels@gmail.com

 

Voting by Proxy

We usually hold two general meetings each year.

Here’s how to vote if you can’t attend for whatever reason.

Those who have been members for over 90 days are entitled to vote.  To vote a proxy, the person must also have been a member for more than 90 days.

Not sure what a proxy vote is? Read this wikipedia article.

What if I can’t be at a meeting?

You can submit a proxy form by email or sign and send with the member who will vote on your behalf. You can put two names on the form. Each member can only hold one proxy vote. So in the event the first person on your list already is voting on behalf of someone else or is not able to attend, you will still be represented.

Just cut and paste this into an email addressed to ca@vancouverunitarians.ca with copy to Mairy Beam, mairyelesabea@gmail.com, board secretary. Please send from the email address that we have on file for you.

Unitarian Church of Vancouver – Proxy

The undersigned hereby appoints
[Name] ___________of  [City] _________

or failing them

[Name] __________________of  [City] ___________

as proxyholder for the undersigned to attend and vote for and on behalf of the undersigned at the Annual General Meeting of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver to be held on the 24th day of November, 2019, and at any adjournment of that meeting.

Signed/submitted by email this ____ day of ___________, 2019.

Member’s Full name:

UCV Bylaw 36:

Each member shall have one vote and votes shall be cast either in person or by written proxy. No person present may cast more than one proxy vote and no person shall be entitled to vote as a proxy unless such person is qualified by membership to vote in his or her own right at the meeting at which he or she acts as proxy.

What Do We Call Ourselves? Forum

Missed the “What Do We Call Ourselves?” Oct. 20th Forum?

Read All About it.

If you missed the October 20th Forum on “What Do We Call Ourselves?” (WDWCO?) you can find the agenda and presentations below. Twenty-three people attended. Pasted below are the WDWCO? (draft) Terms of Reference.

1.WELCOME (Sheila Resels)

“Welcome to the “What do we call ourselves?” Task Force Forum.

So who are we?  My name is Sheila Resels.  I am one of co-chairs of the Task Force, along with my co-chair Eva Allan.  Members include Leonie Armstrong, (past chairperson), Jeannie Corsi, John Smith, Fouad Hafiz and advisors Mary Bennett, Steven Epperson, Keith Wilkinson and Tamiko Suzuki.

What is this Task Force?

The Task Force was approved by the Board 2 years. ago.  It was originally called the “Name Change Task Force”.  (more…)

Candidates for the Board of Trustees

Candidates for the Board of Trustees to be elected: November 24th, 2019

from Marg Fletcher, Chair Nominating Committee

Thank you to all who participated in the process and particularly to those who agreed to stand for the new Board.

Nominating Committee Slate for UCV Board of Trustees 2019/20

President:  Diane Brown     

Diane is the artistic director of Ruby Slippers Theatre. She and her son Dylan are long-time members of UCV.  Diane is also a Past President of the church, an active member of the UCV Environment Committee and a fourth Sunday greeter. Her return to the board is rooted in the desire to help steer UCV through some transitional challenges ahead, assuring that the important work of the Church – environment, social justice, refugee, children and youth programs, to name only a few – are properly and promptly supported, and our sustainability as an organization secured.

Vice President:  Gordon Gram

Gordon found his “church home” at UCV when attending UBC in the 1960s, thanks to his wife Charlene and mother-in-law Marjorie Smith, who was a member for over 75 years. “A few years ago we actually had four generations of family attending church.”  Now retired, Gordon has had a career with lots of variety that includes overseas work in book publishing with Prentice Hall International, government experience with the BC Agricultural Land Commission, and a number of roles in commercial real estate and land and project development. Volunteer work has included serving on several boards: MSA Community Services Abbotsford, Seniors Housing Society New Westminster, Katherine Sanford Housing Society Vancouver and Douglas Park Community Association Vancouver.

“In the fall of 2001 we moved to within walking distance of the church, and it was perfect timing to hear Steven’s first sermon in the spring of 2001 and become a fan.”

Gordon has served on Buildings and Grounds and has been on the three committees that have examined the merits of redevelopment. In 2018 he led the Nominations Committee.  

“I see serving on the board as an opportunity to make a contribution, to engage in challenging work, and to have some fun.”      

Secretary:  Mairy Beam 

After one year of serving as secretary to the UCV board, Mairy is past the worst of the learning curve and eager to continue perfecting the role. Well, maybe not perfecting, but moving in that direction. Mairy is active in the RE program and the Earth Spirituality events. This will be a year where important decisions are made on redevelopment, an interim minister, etc.  It will be exciting to be in the midst of it all.

Treasurer: John Taylor

 

Members-at-large:

Jennifer Fell

Jennifer first came to UCV in 2008, along with her partner Lorimer and their three kids. At various times, all three kids attended the Religious Education program. Jennifer’s youngest daughter, Juliet, is now part of the youth group. Jennifer continues to find the UCV community to be an important part of her life.

Carolyn Grant

Carolyn has been a member of UCV since 2006.  She has served on a number of committees including the board for two years around 2010.  Mostly you can find her at the front door on the third Sunday handing out orders of service — something she had been asked to do as a “one-off” and 13 years later is still there. She brings to the board a keen desire to make sure the congregation remains financially sustainable and that our governing policies continue to evolve, so that we can thrive in the years to come.

Michael O’Neil

Michael O’Neil and his wife Catherine Stewart have been members of UCV for about 27 years. They joined when their two children were young and spent the early years teaching Sunday school and were involved in a number of committees and activities. Over the past 12-15 years Michael and Catherine have re-engaged in various aspects of UCV life on a regular basis. 

Michael considered being a member of the board for some time, but a busy hospital-based medical practice was a significant barrier. He has been involved over the past few years with the redevelopment committee and participated in various other events at UCV. Now working part-time affords an opportunity to be a more active member of the board and committees. 

Michael feels that this is a very important time in UCV’s history: there are a number of significant discussions and decisions that have to be made in the next few months and years. The transition to a new minister is always a critical time for a congregation and the question of re-development has many aspects to be considered. He wishes to be part of this dialogue and hopefully be able to give some thoughtful input and also some historical perspective. 

Michael feels that the long-term future and growth of the UCV community is of paramount importance for maintaining just and rational voices in our broader society. 

Past President: Leonie Armstrong

Members-at-large 

Continuing in their second year of a two-year term as members-at-large are

 

Letter from Nominating Committee Chair

Dear Members

Here is the Nominations Committee Slate to be voted on at the AGM on Sunday, November 24, 2019.

The process is explained here including how members can nominate other people to stand for any position on the board in case you wish to do so.

I am the chair of the current committee, Laureen Stokes is a member and we sought input from a large group of individuals representing many committees, ages and other constituents of our congregation who either volunteered to serve on the Board or provided names of members they thought would be good to contact.  We also were able to consult with three past presidents of the Board, Keith Wilkinson, Patti Turner and Diane Brown. Several requests for input were put in orders of service over the past month or two. Thank you to all who participated and particularly to those who agreed to stand for the new Board!

According to our bylaws:

The Nominations Committee (NC) shall prepare a report nominating candidates for the roles of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and for member-at-large positions that are vacant or becoming vacant (in bylaw 48).
The NC shall deliver the slate of recommended nominations (the “Nominating Committee Slate”) at least 35 days prior to the Annual General Meeting. (in bylaw 50)
Members may make additional nominations for officers or members-at-large by preparing a petition for each nomination (a “Nomination Petition”) which shall:
a) be signed by not fewer than 10 voting members in good standing
b) include the written consent of the nominee
c) be filed with the chair of the NC at least 7 days prior to the AGM (bylaws 51 and 52)

With respect and appreciation,
Margaret Fletcher, Nominations Committee Chair
778-772-1120
mfletcher508@gmail.com