Category: Learning

Learning/educational workshops for adults or intergenerational. Adult Religious Education.

The Buddha on friendship and the spiritual life

Ananda [AH-nuhn-duh], a cousin of the Buddha and among the first of his followers, had a reputation for attending all his talks and accurately remembering all he said. Except once.

Ananda must have skipped the talk about friendship. One day, to clarify a point he was unsure about, he turned to the Buddha and asked if it was true that friendship is half of the spiritual life.

“Not so, Ananda,” said the Buddha, “friendship is the whole of the spiritual life.” (!?)

 


notes and links

photo by Briana Tozour on Unsplash

parenthetical DuckDuckGo bang commands (!?) link to search results for terms they follow

ananda (!di) / “perfect bliss”

A bang command for UCV on DuckDuckGo

There are some good reasons for using the DuckDuckGo search engine and even for making it the default search engine on your browser so you can just type search terms right into the location bar (address bar) at the top of your screen.

This post goes into just one reason: the bang command. If you click on that link and then scroll down, you can see why bang commands are useful.

The bang commands in this post link to their results so you don’t have to type them into your browser to try them out. Just click on them.

!ucv principles for kids / for grownups too (see link in item found)
!ucv small groups / where everyone has a voice and is heard
!ucv vision statement / !g “… exactly what it says on the tin”

Those examples used the new bang command !ucv
/ (given nothing to search for on a website, a bang command displays the home page)

Even if you don’t make DuckDuckGo the default search engine on your browser, you can maybe still use it in the browser search box. This is usually to the right of the location bar (address bar) at the top of your screen, as it is in Firefox.  Click on the dropdown symbol – if there is one in the search box – and select a miniature version of the featured image in this post after you have typed the search term.

Here are some other bang commands worth knowing:

!yt Vancouver Unitarians / YouTube

!gb “Singing the Living Tradition” / Google Books

!gr “Singing the Living Tradition” / Goodreads

!b becoming a Unitarian site:cuc.ca / Bing

!i Vancouver Unitarians  / images

!m Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 949 West 49th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2T1  / map

!ucv technology / drop-in sessions, first Sundays, for help with any or all of the above

Please spread the word. Send people this copy-paste of the title of the post with its embedded link:

A bang command for UCV on DuckDuckGo

Thank you.

Do you love books?  and lunch? 

by Karen Theroux

The new UCV Potluck Book and Lunch Club brings together good books, delicious food, and lively conversation.  Unlike most book clubs, the PLB&LC doesn’t choose one book for everyone to read. Instead, members bring one, or two, or more favorites to describe and recommend. We go around the table highlighting what’s special about our choices, sometimes reading passages aloud, and we talk about how the books—magical, tragic, uplifting, revealing, inspiring, or sad—have touched and changed us. All books and all readers are welcome. 

If you love books, why not join the club?  Meetings are the last Thursday of the month, 11 to 1 in the Fireside Room.  

Here are some of the titles from the club’s most recent meetings: 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

The Shoebox Bible by Alan Bradley

Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kampkwanda

The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King 

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Celia’s Song by Lee Maracle

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Sustenance by Rachel Rose

The Trans Generation by Ann Travers

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Annabel by Kathleen Winter 

Once Upon a Time by Jane Yolen 

This One Looks Like a Boy by Lorimer Shenher

Do you have an idea for a new group? Let’s make it happen!

We know it’s hard to get to know people on Sunday mornings. There are so many of us. And as is often said: There’s a lot that goes on around here.

UCV has lots of small groups where people get to know each other more easily. Some once formed are then closed. Others are drop-in. Several people are initiating new groups starting in September.

And perhaps YOU too have an idea of a group to get like-minded people together?

Sheila R. and Mary Bennett as the Connect and Engage team would like to support and encourage you if you do.

We can help you find the right committee to sponsor your group; learn how to book space and advertise.

We may do a forum in late August or early September if enough people want to learn all the how-to’s (and perhaps some what-not-to-dos) of running groups at UCV.

Interested? Please do say hello on Sunday morning or send us an email to ucvconnect@gmail.com

And of course, there may already be a small group that you’d be interested in – so check here.

Here are some good ideas for starting new groups:

https://www.uua.org/interconnections/192406.shtml

Labyrinth Rabbit Hole

Curious about labyrinths?

Here are some of the links that Mary Bennett referred to at the service on July 9th about labyrinths and related ideas like eco-philosophy (or ecosophy) and gardening to live to be 100. Come down the rabbit hole (Maze?) to learn more about labyrinths!

Some references

UCV labyrinth web page vancouverunitarians.ca/labyrinth

Lauren Artress https://www.laurenartress.com/

St. Paul’s Labyrinth https://stpaulsanglican.bc.ca/site1/outreach-2/labyrinth/

Matthew Fox http://www.matthewfox.org/

Stephan Harding on Becoming Indigenous

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwG746L3dDg

Schumacher College https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/

James Lovelock http://www.jameslovelock.org/

350.org https://350.org/

Dan Buettner: TED talk on How to Live to be 100

https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_buettner_how_to_live_to_be_100?language=en

Small is Beautiful https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Is_Beautiful

World wide labyrinth locator https://labyrinthlocator.com/

World Labyrinth Day (First Saturday in May) https://labyrinthsociety.org/world-labyrinth-day

Veriditas https://www.veriditas.org/

How to draw a labyrinth youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyEwgGuWzCI

Here are some links to other Canadian Unitarian congregations with labyrinths.

Ottawa First also have a labyrinth but no web page as yet.

If you know of others, please send an email to unitarianlabyrinth@gmail.com and we’ll update this page.

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…)

Tracking down a past sermon

Are people talking about a great sermon you missed? Help is at hand. Read on.

The prepared texts of selected sermons are stored on the UCV website. Links to those before 2018 are here. Links to more recent ones are included in descriptions of past services.

If the website doesn’t have the one you want – or if it isn’t easy to find out if it does – speak to whoever is staffing the literature stall (the lit stall) in Hewett Centre after the service.

An archive of digital versions backs up all print copies of prepared texts of sermons the lit stall distributes. Lit stall staff can help you track down a back copy even if it’s out of print.

If you’d like to know more about any of this, please email me.


The above is a lit stall post. In the bulleted list below are the three latest posts with that tag.

If you haven’t read it already, please see the post about lit stall posts for more information.

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.

New UCV Compassionate Communication Circles start in June for 2019 – 2020

Do you want to deepen the practice of compassion in your life and in your world?

Consider the following upcoming opportunities: UCV’s Compassionate Communication CirclesDue to popular demand, there will be two UCV Compassionate Communication Circles in the Family Room starting in June.  Those who participated in the 2018 group found it to be very insightful. *See what some participants said about it (below).

The UCV Compassionate Communication Circle sessions will provide you with an opportunity to connect with each other and to support one another in practising compassionate communication.  We will follow the curriculum of the Compassion Course Online.

How do I join the UCV Compassionate Communication Circles?

First, you must register for the Compassion Course Online (which originates in New York).  It begins June 19th, 2019 and continues to June 2020.  Register here or get more information at  Compassion Course Online.  Note that registration closes June 2019. The cost is minimal.

The Compassion Course Online –  several UCVers have participated in the last few years, and many are signing up again. You will receive weekly emails covering concepts, anecdotes, and practices of compassionate communication. It is generously offered by New York City Nonviolent Communication’s Thom Bond and it has a huge international following. 

Second
, you then register for one of our two UCV Compassionate Communication Circles by contacting either Sheila Resels at sresels@gmail.com or Cindy Cashin at cindy_returns@yahoo.com by June 14th.  Please do so as soon as possible as space is limited.  Note that our first session is on Sunday, June 23rd, in the Fireside Room from 9:30-10:55 am (all future sessions will be held 9:30 – 11:55am and 12:30-2pm).
 
When/where do the two Circles meet?
There will be two groups who will meet monthly on the 4th Sunday of the month in the Family Room (in the Administration Building).
One group will meet from 9:30 – 10:55 am.  The other group will meet from 12:30-2:00 pm.  
Registration is required.  You must select only one group. 
Note: The first session ONLY (for both groups) will meet on June 23rd at 9:30-10:55 in the Fireside Room. There will be no 12:30-2pm group meeting for the first session.
 
What Participants In This Year’s UCV Compassion Circle Are Saying:
 
“UCV’s Compassion Circle was born in 2017 in response to enthusiasm of several UCVers taking the online course. Lynn Armstrong coordinated the Circle’s creation and came up with the name. The Compassion Circle is an intimate space for learning together, shifting how we listen and respond to others, and how we communicate with ourselves. It’s a special gathering! “
“The Compassion Course and Nonviolent Communication has had a profound impact on me. It is so subtle, yet such a powerful paradigm shift that it changes everything. It has taught me to look deeper in all those difficult communication situations to find the gold that transforms “us and them”  to “we”,  and in so doing it brings such powerful lessons of love and peace.”
“I could never have imagined this online course and the practice sessions provided at UCV could have had such a profound impact on my worldview.  It has brought me clarity and a greater understanding of my (and others’) needs.  I’m signing up again and look forward to another year of self-discovery.”
“This year has been my introduction to the concepts & practice of compassionate communication. Already I have seen a positive difference in the way I interpret & respond to events and people. I’m signing up again for next year, so that I can go deeper.”
If you have questions about the practice and applications of Compassionate Communication (Nonviolent Communication, or NVC), feel free to email Nancy Barker (CNVC-certified trainer in NVC) at nb1988@telus.net.  Nancy is happy to offer general NVC Intro workshops or workshops on particular aspects of NVC upon request.