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.

What do you want UCV to be in the future?

The Ministerial Transition Team is charting our course into the future and laying the groundwork for our upcoming search for a new settled minister. We’d love to have every members’ input. What is your vision for the future UCV?

In answering our thought-provoking questions and sharing your insights with other members, you have the opportunity to reflect on what you appreciate about this congregation and share stories with other members. Together we can imagine what the future UCV may be and what you want to see in this future.

Join us in one of our 2.5 hour Rethinking Our Identity (ROI) workshops – either in person at UCV or on Zoom. Consider organizing your own group (with our support) if you are on a committee or team or in a group at UCV.

 

Contact us if you have questions or to find out more and get involved:

identityproject@vancouverunitarians

Rob Dainow (rdainow@gmail.com; 604-523-0123)

Vivian Davidson (vdavidsonc@gmail.com; 778-318-3713)

Marg Fletcher (mfletcher508@gmail.com; 778-772-1120)

Leslie Hill (lesliehill49@gmail.com; 604-321-7175)

 

 

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.

President’s Statement on Kamloops Residential School

The UCV Board of Trustees would like to express our deep sorrow for the 215 children who died at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. We grieve for these children and their families. But we must not look away from this horror. Let us examine our troubled history, and ourselves, and bear witness to the history and lived experience of residential school survivors and their families. Let us look the facts in the face and transform through intentional action, on a personal and societal level, this white colonial empire that is still doing great harm. And let us Unitarians acknowledge that we have an opportunity within our midst to intentionally and accountably commit to dismantling racism within our congregations and within the UU movement by adopting the proposed 8th Principle.

These children were removed from their families by the federal government and forced to attend the Kamloops Indian Residential School. These children died while under the ‘care’ of the federal government and school staff. We know, as the Truth and Reconciliation Report released in 2015 has confirmed, that residential schools were “a systemic government-sponsored attempt to destroy Aboriginal cultures and languages and to assimilate Aboriginal peoples so that they no longer existed as distinct peoples.” We know that thousands of residential school survivors have confirmed experiencing emotional, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of school staff. We know the sad truth that these 215 children are just a small portion of the thousands who were murdered by the residential school system.

If you are looking for next steps in this moment, here are some of the resources that Indigenous groups and individuals have generously shared over the last few days. A vigil will be held, Remember the Children, Wednesday June 2 at 6 pm at Grandview Park (1657 Charles Street, Vancouver).

Resources and services for Indigenous folks:

If you’re a settler, here are some places where you can make a donation to support residential school survivors and their families:

If you’re a settler, here are some educational resources on residential schools:

Image by Mike Labrum via Unsplash.com

Introducing Derrick O’Keefe, Our New Membership Outreach Coordinator!

I am a writer, editor, organizer, and lifelong social justice advocate. I’m also Dad to two great kids, Gabriel and Camilo.

At age 20, head filled with impatience and indignation at our unequal world, I turned down an early admission to law school and set out on a working life that has included factory labour, union and community organizing, teaching, journalism, book writing, as well as communications and outreach work for a variety of advocacy organizations.

In the early 2000s, I threw myself into the peace and justice movement in Vancouver. For a number of years I served as the co-chair of the Vancouver StopWar coalition and the national Canadian Peace Alliance. Our efforts peaked in early 2003 with the largest demonstrations in a generation, which contributed to the federal government’s decision not to send troops to join the U.S.-led invasion.

In 2004, I was a founding publisher of an early online magazine named Seven Oaks, a nod to the rebellious history of the Métis Nation in the Red River territory. (My mother is descended from the original inhabitants of Seven Oaks House in Winnipeg, now a museum showcasing Métis history.) A decade later, in 2014, I was part of a team that founded Ricochet Media, a bilingual progressive publication that has grown into an award-winning outlet featuring investigative journalism and original reporting from across Canada. As well as editing and writing for a number of outlets, I’ve written two books: Michael Ignatieff: The Lesser Evil? and A Woman Among Warlords, co-written with the incredibly brave and inspiring Malalai Joya.

As renters with two young children, my partner Andrea and I have been part of many campaigns for housing for all in Vancouver. In 2017, we were among the first members and organizers of the Vancouver Tenants Union. The following year, I joined a slate of progressive candidates in running for city council on a platform focused on expanding non-market housing and strengthening the rights of tenants.

The common thread tying this somewhat quixotic journey together has been a desire to contribute to collective efforts to make a better world. The Unitarian campus has always felt a bit like a home away from home, a space free of dogma and full of spirit and solidarity. My partner Andrea and I held our wedding celebration at the Hewett Centre, and we’ve both been part of organizing many events and social justice forums in the Sanctuary. This is a special place for us. It’s an honour to have a chance to contribute.

Contact me at moc@vancouverunitarians.ca

Archive of Past COVID-19 Notices

 

COVID-19 Update – March 25, 2021

Please be advised that we have reviewed the latest provincial health orders, including the March 23 variance permitting outdoor worship services, and are currently exploring the various options available to us as we determine our best path forward. For the time being, indoor social gatherings are still prohibited on the UCV grounds and worship services will continue to be online (livestreamed) only.

UCV staff work and pre-determined business dealings may still go ahead as planned so long as our COVID protocols are diligently followed (all gatherings that qualify as UCV business must still be booked through the office).

We remain optimistic that we may meet again in person soon, in one form or another, (Once everyone can do so safely) and will update you on any further developments as they unfold. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the church office.


COVID-19 Update – November 19th, 2020

Following the Provincial Health Order of November 19th, 2020 we have made the following changes to our rental policy in effect until December 7, 2020:

  • Social gathering rentals for both Hewett Centre – Main Space and the Sanctuary must be cancelled or postponed until December 7th, 2020, unless updated by Provincial Health
  • Please do not come to the sanctuary on Sunday unless your participation is essential. Contact Marie if you need an easy way to record a reading, announcement or greeting.
  • The UCV grounds are still available for use with those in your immediate household or bubble
  • UCV staff work, and pre-determined business dealings may still go ahead as planned (all gatherings that qualify as UCV business must still be booked through the office)
  • Any questions or concerns about these changes should be directed to Marcus in the office

COVID-19 Update – November 9th, 2020

Following the Provincial Health Order of November 7th, 2020 we have made the following changes to our rental policy in effect for 2 weeks until November 23, 2020:

  • Social gathering rentals for both Hewett Centre – Main Space and the Sanctuary must be cancelled or postponed until after November 23rd
  • The UCV grounds are still available for use, however we ask that folx adhere to the Public Health Order and only gather with those in your immediate household
  • Worship services will continue to be held online and we ask that folks please do not come to the sanctuary unless you are part of the staff or volunteers needed to make the live stream possible.
  • UCV staff work, and pre-determined business dealings may still go ahead as planned (all gatherings that qualify as UCV business must still be booked through the office)
  • Any questions or concerns about these changes should be directed to Marcus in the office

COVID-19 Update – September 1st, 2020

We have released our UCV Fall 2020 Go-Slowly-Forward Plan. Notable changes include:

  • Worship services will continue to be online, live streaming only
  • We have increased rental capacity for Hewett Centre – Main Space from 10 to 15 guests
  • The Sanctuary is now available for rentals with a maximum of 25 guests and 5 staff – choir loft remains Staff Only
  • Masks are now mandatory for all indoor activities
  • All windows and doors MUST remain open during indoor activities

To read the full plan and policy, including booking procedures, please see the full Go-Slowly-Forward-Plan 

Please note: All gatherings must be booked ahead of time through Marcus Hynes by emailing info@vancouverunitarians.ca.


Parking Lot Driveway Closure – August 6, 2020

CLOSURE OF OAK STREET PARKING LOT ENTRANCE. For safety reasons, the Oak Street entrance to the UCV Parking lot will be closed indefinitely, starting August 15th. The Fremlin Street entrance will be the main access to the parking lot.


COVID-19 Update – July 1st, 2020

We have released our UCV Summer 2020 Go-Slowly-Forward Plan which includes partial, pre-scheduled opportunities for onsite meetings during the summer period. Please read the full policy and room booking procedures here.


Statement on the 8th Principle by UCV Board President Diane Brown

Dear Unitarians,

Leadership does not mean “objectivity” or not taking a stance; leadership means defining yourself within the values of the organization and sharing that perspective and why you believe it. It also means listening. I am, as President, committed to doing both.

Full disclosure; I believe in the proposed 8th Principle and I am not going to pretend otherwise.

I know there is concern out there about recent events at the CUC. I would just like to add that my work on the UCV Board is to move us forward in a way that is truly inclusive and progressive, that furthers and deepens our stated collective vision.

That means we will be encouraging dialogue within our congregation, hosting an 8th Principle Forum, requesting everyone read the Dismantling Racism Study Group report and it’s recommendations which are attached below and on the website, and dedicating a service to the 8th Principle. In this way, more people can fully participate in discussion and understanding of the 8th Principle as a crucial next step.

The lack of inclusion of more voices, and the technicality that brought about the demise of this recent attempt to adopt the 8th Principle, will not exist, and we will all be able to walk forward together.

Moreover, we at UCV do not have to wait for the CUC to adopt the 8th Principle. After substantive discussion, we ourselves can put it to a vote, hopefully providing vision and leadership to our sister congregations.

Finally, Rev Lara shared some history with me that I would like to share with you all now.

There is some very interesting history around how the existing 7 principles were affirmed.  There were only going to be 6 of them, as people felt that interdependence was implicit in them, but others felt it necessary to explicitly name our responsibility and connection to the planet and its inhabitants. Now the 7th principle is a covenant to action for the environment and all non-humans on our Blue Boat Home.

The proposed 8th principle may seem to be implicit in the wording of the other 7, but recent studies https://cuc.ca/dismantling-racism-study-group/ and decades of experience have proven otherwise, so the people who are most impacted are asking to have it spelled out.

We Unitarians dream of a future where all of the principles we affirm to promote no longer need to be written, because they are simply lived. But we are not there yet.

In active faith and hope,

Diane Brown

UCV Board President

Statement on the 8th Principle from Rev. Lara Cowtan

While many of us were excited and celebratory after the vote last week at the CUC AGM to affirm an 8th principle declaring our commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression, some were also disappointed to have not been able to lend their voices to this momentous decision, and some were concerned about the process with which the vote was taken.

The motion came from delegates on the floor on the spur of the moment and those present appropriately used Robert’s Rules of Order to suspend the meeting rules and take a vote which passed with a majority, upholding both the democratic process and Robert’s Rules. However, upon review of the CUC Bylaws, the CUC Board of Trustees have determined that it isn’t within the guidelines to accept a substantive motion from the floor, so has withdrawn the motion and decision. It will  be put forward again to allow more time for congregations and delegates to be informed.

This will feel disappointing and frustrating to many, especially UU members of colour who have waited a long time to be recognized in our congregations.  We also recognize that the structures that dictate our decision-making processes, including Robert’s Rules and the Bylaws, are deeply imbeded in the system of white supremacy culture that we are committed to dismantling, and so this is a learning and growing opportunity.

It seems that, in a wave of enthusiasm and spiritual democracy, the gathered delegates put the cart before the horse. This doesn’t mean that we are not going to uphold the 8th principle, but that we will be able to do it hand in hand with one another.  There is nothing preventing UCV from holding its own conversations with the membership about what this 8th principle means to our community and whether we chose to affirm it as a congregation.

— Interim Minister Rev. Lara Cowtan

A Way Forward for the 8th Principle Process

Dear Canadian Unitarian Universalists,

This letter comes to you from Margaret Wanlin, President of the CUC Board of Trustees and Vyda Ng, Executive Director.

(Full document with FAQs and appendices available here.)

There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.  ~ Margaret J Wheatley

Introduction

At the CUC’s AGM on May 8th,  our delegates heard the report from the Dismantling Racism Study group.

After this report, there was a spontaneous motion from the floor to immediately adopt the 8th principle, which states: “We, the member congregations of the Canadian Unitarian Council, covenant to affirm and promote: “Individual and communal action that accountably dismantles racism and other oppressions in ourselves and in our institutions.”

Following the AGM, Vyda sent an announcement to the CUC email lists announcing that delegates at the AGM had approved an 8th principle on dismantling racism and other oppressions.

Since then, there has been a lot of conversation about the 8th principle, the process  and where we currently stand. It is our goal in this letter to provide more information and to outline a plan for the way forward.

What we know

The work of the Dismantling Racism Study Group (DRSG) is incredibly important work, and their excellent recommendations will provide us with guidance as we work together to build an inclusive and equitable community.

The 8th principle represents a formal commitment to the ideals we share and are already passionate about putting into action. The CUC’s Strategic Priorities for the past several years include a focus and dedication of resources to dismantling racism. Through dismantling racism workshops, surveys, roundtables, ‘Rising Together’ (group for youth and emerging young adults of colour), and Beloved Conversation groups, the CUC and congregations have been laying a foundation for the DRSG report and the commitment to the 8thprinciple.

We want to begin by honouring the work, commitment and leadership of the DRSG, and to affirm the contributions and lived experiences of UUs from racialized communities. We want to continue our work together to accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and in our institutions.” 

We know that this work will be challenging and uncomfortable at times, but following the AGM we have been heartened to see the passion and commitment for it.

What happened at our AGM and why it is important

We want to provide a brief summary for those who were not at the AGM:

The Dismantling Racism Study Group presented their final report, which was made available on the CUC website on Friday, May 7, the day before the AGM.

The DRSG report made several recommendations which included:

  • Listen to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour ) voices
  • Adopt an 8th principle as an explicit expression of our commitment to anti-racism. This can be done as a national council or as individual congregations
  • A willed commitment to racial justice work, demonstrated by an investment of resources at the national and congregational level
  • Assemble and disseminate anti-racism educational and worship materials
  • Create a best practices guide for Canadian UU congregations and develop a program

There was no motion regarding the Dismantling Racism Report on the agenda or to adopt any of the recommendations until all congregations had had an opportunity to read the report. It was the intention at the AGM to receive the report and thank the DRSG for their excellent work.

After the Dismantling Racism Report, a delegate spontaneously proposed a motion to adopt the 8th principle. As there had been no previous notice given on this motion as required by CUC bylaw,  this was ruled out of order by the Chair.

The delegate then proposed a motion to suspend the rules of procedure to allow the motion on the 8th principle. The Chair consulted with Dylan Fijal, CUC Parliamentarian, on the matter.

Delegates have the right to appeal the decision of the Chair, and a motion to suspend cannot be debated and requires a 2/3 majority to pass. This motion was voted on by a show of electronic hands, as no poll on this was previously prepared. The motion carried; however, there was no count taken for abstentions or those against the motion to suspend. [84 delegates were present and 61 voted in favour to suspend the rules of procedure.]

The Chair then moved on to the motion to adopt the 8th principle.

“We, the member congregations of the Canadian Unitarian Council, covenant to affirm and promote: “Individual and communal action that accountably dismantles racism and other oppressions in ourselves and in our institutions.” 

The motion to adopt the 8th principle was moved and seconded. The Chair alternated discussion between delegates who were in favour of the motion and those who were against the motion. The speakers who opposed were not against the 8th principle itself, but stressed the importance of following the process that is in place as stated in our bylaws, rules of order and resolutions process, and allowing time for all congregations to discuss the momentous act of adding an 8th principle.

After the time allocated for discussion, the Chair called for the vote. This was done by raising and counting of electronic hands, since there was no prepared poll for this motion.  The final tally was 61 for, 22 against.

The status of the motion:

Following the AGM, the Chair, Parliamentarian and Executive Director carefully reviewed the proceedings and AGM transcript. Unfortunately, in allowing the motion to proceed, we did not properly follow the requirement of prior notice for motions, and as a result we violated our own bylaws (refer to bylaw #3). The CUC bylaws supersede all other rules and procedures, thus making the motion invalid and, as such, it does not stand. 

We want to be clear that this does not invalidate the passion or commitment we have for this issue. We want to get this right. We want to ensure that there is never a question that Canadian Unitarian Universalists are deeply committed to upholding the principle of dismantling racism and other oppressions, and committed to the work it requires.

What we owe one another

First, we owe you our deepest apologies. There was some confusion about the motion from the floor, and the implications of the vote to suspend the rules of procedure; there were delegates at the AGM who raised this point. But we allowed the vote to proceed. That should not have happened, and we should have called for a recess to review the bylaws more carefully.

We are deeply sorry if this has called into question our collective commitment to anti-racism work, our commitment to the ideals held in the 8th principle, or the intentions of goodhearted and loving Unitarian Universalists who want to uphold our principles and respect our processes.  We issue these apologies both on behalf of the CUC, and also personally, and we commit to learning from these errors and doing better going forward. We hope that you will offer all involved the grace to move forward with our common goals in mind.

We also owe each other the time to get this right, and a pledge to make this work a top priority. We have heard from our delegates that there is a deep need and desire to move forward together to address racism in our community. We recognize that, for those who are passionate about this and for some BIPOC people, there is disappointment and hurt, and that this will feel like a step backwards by adhering to the rules instead of seizing the moment.

We know for others that the swift passage represented a lost opportunity to dig in deeply, have the important conversations and hear from those who must be heard. We also know that our youth and young adults in particular have been waiting for leadership and action on this issue.

We believe all of these things can be true at once, and it is our collective responsibility to create a space that honours them all, while not slowing the work towards our goals.

We owe each other gratitude. As a faith community, we owe a debt of gratitude to the DRSG for their diligent work, thoughtful recommendations and leadership. We owe gratitude to those who are deeply committed to dismantling racism. We must not let this error in parliamentary procedure diminish their work in any way.

We are also grateful for those who passionately advocated for the adoption of the 8th principle, and equally to those who reminded us of our commitments to process to ensure all who want to engage in this topic have the opportunity to do so.  And as an executive team, we are deeply grateful for the steady guidance and thoughtful input from the UU Ministers of Canada and the CUC Board and staff.  As with all work in community, we must commit to listening with an open heart. We are grateful for the opportunity to listen and to be heard.

Our commitment to the way forward

We propose a Special Meeting, to be held on Saturday, November 27, 2021. By holding it in late November, we aim to provide time for congregations to discuss the matter. This meeting will focus on the 8th principle and the process by which it was approved, discussion of the Dismantling Racism Study Group’s findings and recommendations, proposed motions arising from the recommendations, plans from CUC Board and staff on implementation, and an overview of the CUC’s bylaws, rules of order, and resolutions process.

Timeline

Congregations will receive a package by early June, which will contain the Dismantling Racism Study Group’s report and recommendations, proposed motions, CUC Bylaw and resolutions process, and mechanisms for feedback.

Feedback will be due in mid-October, with any amendments to be sent out with the official Notice of Meeting in early November. We know that conversations and work by many congregations have been in place for while. We hope that between the receipt of the information package in early June and the feedback deadline, there will be opportunity for congregations to hold discussions with their members.

The CUC will continue to prioritize anti-racism work, as has been set out in our Strategic Priorities for several years, and to begin exploring the recommendations in the DRSG report. We commit to engaging our members and elevating lived experiences as we do this work.

This process of engaging with the DRSG report, of considering the 8th principle and championing its ideals, and grappling with the process which allows us to fully commit our faith community to a new path has been challenging, enlightening and, at its core, an act of deep love for one another and our faith.  Together we will get this right.

 

Margaret Wanlin | President, Board of Trustees            Vyda Ng | Executive Director

May 2021 Message from Board President

Dear Unitarian Friends,

Happy Asian Heritage Month! I encourage you all to visit the Alliance For Arts and Culture website to find out about resources and upcoming events for those looking to learn about and celebrate the legacy of Asian Canadians both past and present.

Speaking of learning, our Decolonizing Practices Workshop for staff, board and membership was a ground breaking first step on a long, fulsome journey for this organization. In the months ahead and throughout next year, there will be more anti-racist and anti-oppression engagement so stay tuned!

As you know, the Board recently approved a new Organizational Design that will clarify lines of communication and accountability for everyone. It also frees up the Board to become a more Strategic Board as opposed to a Liason Board. The most significant difference is that the job of the Board – to further the mission and vision of the congregation – will now be their top priority. Management oversight of day to day operations will be the responsibility of a small body made up of Board and staff. Our fabulous new Congregational Administrator Casey Wallace along with HR is in the process of hiring our new Membership Outreach Coordinator. This role was created as part of our new org design as well.

Speaking of things a Strategic Board does, we created a UCV Task Force for Sanctuary Upgrades and hired two professionals in technical theatre to work with them who will ensure that this massive task is done well, on time, and within budget. The upgrades to our sound and lighting systems and chairs replacing pews will make our Sanctuary more flexible and thus inclusive to diverse spiritual practices (walking meditation, circle dance), artistic expression (jazz/choral groups, cabaret fundraisers, writers festival venue,) and wheelchair accessibility.

The Board recently refreshed and strengthened our commitment to our Covenant of Healthy Relations and adopted a new policy around disruptive behaviour. Please take a moment to read the Covenant below and remember to be kind. Covid has taken a toll on everyone, and we must remember to breathe and think before we act.

Finally, I would just like to reiterate how in awe I am of our membership and the energy and commitment we continue to exert toward furthering our values and principles. From lovingly tended gardens on our campus to refugees being sponsored to wild salmon being defended in partnership with First Nations, Vancouver Unitarians can and are changing the world, helping to transform it into a more compassionate and equitable one. Meaningful action creates hope. So stay actively engaged, fellow Unitarians, and take care. We will gather in person again soon.

In hope and faith,

Diane

Covenant of Healthy Relations
This is a covenant to guide how we behave towards each other and to groups and individuals within the congregation. The objective is to enhance a safe climate that is courteous, friendly, supportive, respectful of others, open and honest.
Because I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of each person, I will endeavour to:
1. Be compassionate and supportive in my relationships with others, assume their best intentions and be curious rather than judgmental.
2. Communicate with active listening and consideration. Explain concerns to the person directly and share differences respectfully. Focus on the current problem – not the person.
3. Balance being open to new ideas with respect for our traditions.
4. Be attentive to our community’s needs, generous with my talents and careful with the church’s resources.
5. Keep the big picture in mind, be patient with myself and others and stay engaged in the process of change; participate in the decision-making and respect the decisions that are made.
6. Discuss conflicts in our church in a way that respects the privacy and dignity of those involved.
7. Recognize and praise others and myself for the work we do in the church and be forgiving when we make mistakes.
8. Support, in a constructive way, the work of the minister, staff and congregants.
9. Deepen our connections by getting to know and understand people of all ages and points of view within the congregation.
10. Nurture my own spiritual needs in this community and support others in their search for truth and meaning.

 

April 2021 Update from the Board of Trustees

Dear Unitarian Friends,

With the blossoming of spring comes hope, light, and a sense of comfort born from Mother Natures faithfulness to us. To top off this seasonal levity, here is some good news from your diligent Board of Trustees.

The Buildings and Grounds Committee and members of the Executive Board continue to work hard on the Sanctuary Upgrades; a Forum will be scheduled soon so please stay tuned.

After soliciting input from the congregation via email, phone and forum, the Board approved the new Organizational Design that was recommended by one of the Ministerial Transition Team task forces, and it is being implemented with some tweaks and adjustments. This design streamlines and clarifies lines of accountability and underscores a collaborative, communicative working environment. It also means that we are going to hire a Membership/Outreach Coordinator to help build our membership and engage with the wider community.

The Board also engaged the congregation via email, phone and forum in a conversation about extending the Interim Ministerial time an extra year. After considering all of the feedback, the Board has decided to extend our Interim Ministerial time an extra year.

Finally, the Decolonizing Practices Workshop is full! Looking forward to seeing everyone who signed up for it on Saturday April 24 from 10 – 3; zoom link to come.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at president@vancouverunitarians.ca

Happy spring,
Diane.