Category: Learning

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

Sarah Kendall (Sunday, March 17, 2019)

Writer and poet Sarah Kendall spoke at the March 17 service on loving determination. After the service she kindly lent us her marked-up notes on the topic for distribution. Next Sunday, ask at the lit stall for your copy.

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.

Website Training: How Did It Go?

How did it go? Well. It went well. The class on February 23 was the first in the series described in Carolyn Grant’s Website Training post. And it went well.

Kudos to RevealMax instructor Luke Zukowski, pictured, ably assisted by UCV volunteers Galen Elfert and John Henderson. The class progressed in a single session to the point where we each can create a post like this one, a news post – to use the term Mary Bennett suggests in the UCV Website Usage Guide.

The next class in the series is on March 16. The subject is how to create a post that describes what has yet to take place and so is termed an event. The embedded links in the Events List are to events.

Here is Mary Bennett on these terms:

When people ask me the difference between news post and event, I say simply: If it has a date, time, and a place, it’s an event.

Again, the February 23 class was on how to create a news post. This news post you are reading may change over the next several days to include feedback on the class from others who attended.

The workshop was well organized and clearly presented. I learned what I needed to create and edit news posts. Great and prompt attention to each person’s questions/needs. Thank you! —Rob (February 24)

It is great to have a group of people knowledgeable in WordPress, etc. Good questions and comments. —Randall (February 24)

I thought the teaching and backup were excellent. Thanks, I learned a lot! —Melody (February 25)

I thought the workshop was excellent. It was short and to the point. It gave me the facts that I needed. —MichaelFebruary 25)

The training was excellent. —Sheila L (February 28)

Kiersten’s Blog: Smiles Build Community

How do we welcome children and youth?

by Kiersten Moore

We have vibrant children’s programs going on at that are engaging for families and should be continued in one form or another. Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation; Coming of Age; Our Whole Lives; Cosmology explorations; Spirit Play, garden time, etc., as well as peer community building among our children and youth. But what draws the most families in attendance are our special events: the ancestor shrine, pageants, wassail, everybody’s birthday, the services with children directly involved, and ritual celebrations.

The number of children who come to the children’s program on Sunday regularly has increased this year and involves 11 to 12 families, 21 children. However, we serve 50 to 60 children over the course of a year, including visitors; those who attend off and on; and members whose children do not connect with “Sunday School”. For every child who engages with our Sunday morning program, there are two for whom it doesn’t work either for them or their family as a whole. How do we serve these families?

It’s been hard to retain young people into the high school years and beyond in the absence of direct peer friendships. This is partly due to intense scheduling and many demands on teens and parents. I maintain that the absence of teens in our pews demonstrates youth do not feel connected to our services, that they haven’t found a place within adult worship or the larger congregation. Even when youth group is strong, few youths have come to worship at 11 am, even though that time was set specifically with teens in mind back in 2005, and youth group meets after lunch. How do we engage more fully with our youth and young adults?

We engage our young people best by establishing whole congregation worship from an early age. Connie Goodbread, congregational life staff of the Unitarian Universalist Association Southern Region, says, “Unitarian Universalism is all we teach. The congregation is the curriculum.”

Children learn by doing and by observing from a very young age.
If we do not include children fully within our worship services we implicitly teach them that worship in the sanctuary is not for them, at least not past the first 10 or 15 minutes. If their only place of belonging is the Religious Exploration gatherings, how can we expect them to come back after they graduate? What do they have to come back for?”

The biggest challenge to engaging children and adults in faith topics at the same time is the culture shift required to make it happen successfully. It takes work and commitment. There are many examples of UU congregations and other denominations worshipping all together that we can draw from.

Enjoying some aspects of worship more than others is tied to the person, not the age.
There are adults for whom the sermon topic makes their decision on which Sundays to attend, but it is important to acknowledge that we have adult members in our congregation who do not come for the sermon, but are fulfilled each Sunday by other aspects of worship. The sermon is not the be-all and end-all to worship.

Some children love music and singing; others the story or the chalice lighting.

Some children like silent meditation, others are bored by it—this is the same for adults. We teach how to be in the sanctuary together by modeling, by quietly answering children’s questions, and by quietly drawing their attention to the rituals and interpreting what people are saying. We teach them they are valued by accepting their child noises as they learn to be in community.

I see three areas to concentrate on improving:

There are worship design considerations.

Designing worship for multiple intelligences (language, aesthetic, interpersonal, kinesthetic, etc.) helps many people of all ages connect with the aspects of worship that speak to them the most.
We should always strive to make our sermons and whole worship accessible. When we design good worship aimed at engaging a diversity of people—even if they aren’t currently in our pews—we end up with worship for a diversity of ages, abilities, backgrounds, and personalities. We move closer to the beloved community we want to be.

There are physical space issues to address when welcoming whole families to be together in worship.

We want to make it easy and welcoming for both parents and children. This means addressing seating, pews, floor seating, and safe, inviting space for young children to wiggle.
Children will be most engaged when at the front of the sanctuary, right in with the action, where they can see more than the back of our pews and heads; where their need for some movement is accommodated.

There are expectation issues.

Many of us have a personal expectation of comfort free from distraction. This expectation comes from a place of privilege. Why is a child talking more disturbing than an adult’s cough or sneeze? They’re close to the same volume.We must develop an expectation to welcome and support children and parents.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor stated to his synagogue when concerns about child noise were raised: “A sanctuary is not a sanctuary from children. It is a sanctuary we’ve built for our children, and their children after them.” As a parent I personally find managing my toddler’s behavior in worship involves distinct levels of stress depending on whether people around us are frowning or smiling. Imagine which facial expressions put a parent at ease and which encourage them to leave. Smiles build community.

I encourage you to read more on this subject from Kim Sweeney, the author of The Death of Sunday School and the Future of Faith Formation, who has a very thorough list of resources on Whole Congregation Worship at her website:

Worshipping together does take work and intention, I hope we are up for the challenge!

If Sunday School isn’t for everyone … What is?

Success! 16 newly trained Our Whole Lives Facilitators!

January 11th, eleven Unitarians from Vancouver Island, Washington, Alberta, and Saskatchewan joined four members from Vancouver Unitarians and a member of the Surrey Sikh community to learn the ins and outs of teaching sexuality education to teenage youth. Led by Reverends Samaya Oakley and Christopher Wulff it was an engaging weekend full of insights, questions, challenges, curiosity, laughter, and inspiration.

Nine out-of-town participants were hosted by Vancouver Unitarian members; dinners were provided, potluck style, by members along with the Saturday Messy Church multigen-family event.  The Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.) trainees remarked that they were so well taken care of, the weekend felt like a vacation—which means a lot when you are spending 20 hours in class!

Our Whole Lives?

Our Whole Lives sexuality education was written in the late 1990’s jointly between the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. It is considered by some to be one of the best things we offer as a faith; an invaluable opportunity across the lifespan to reclaim what is sometimes cheapened, diminished, or abused as an integral and life-giving facet of our whole self. Workshop series have been written for children beginning at age 5, tweens, teens, young adults, adults, and older adults.

Oprah had this to say about the Adult workshop offerings back in 2009:

“With memories of mortifying class discussions led by the gym teacher, what grown-up
in her right mind would sign on for another round of sex ed? Turns out, lots of them!
Only this time, the lessons are intimate, the questions are provocative, and the
homework is electrifying.” Oprah about OWL program, July 2009.

I am so pleased that we were able to offer this training opportunity to continue the good work of complete and comprehensive sexuality education across Canada. The success of this event is a testimony to the warmth and hospitality of our members—thank you to everyone who contributed, large and small!

Current OWL Offerings

We are wrapping up registration this week for this Spring’s offering of the junior high O.W.L. workshop series, check out the details here on our website.

South Fraser Unitarians are offering the Adult O.W.L. aimed at ages 30-55 as a 3-workshop series one Saturday a month, beginning February 9thcheck out their registration details here.


Website Training

Free Computer Training 

Learn how to use our wordpress website

All sessions held in Hewett Centre, UCV Saturdays from 1 – 4 pm.
February 23, 2019 – Topic: How to access our website and post news items.
March 16, 2019 – Topic: How to create events on the website.
June 1, 2019 – Topic: respond to needs expressed from those attending the first two sessions.
(Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find links to the events on the web.)
Learn the Basics: 1-3 pm with instructor and 3- 4 pm Practice with volunteer coaches.
For Intermediate Level: 3-4 pm in Biddle for experienced web users to ask questions and work on a project with instructor and volunteer support. Instruction with Luke 3-3:30 pm and practice with volunteer coach 3:30 .- 4 pm

Who is this aimed at? How many people from each group can attend?

The sessions are aimed at volunteers of UCV Committees/Teams/Groups who would like to be able to post their committee information and events to the website. Each group can designate a maximum of two persons from within their group to attend the workshops.  Computer knowledge level is basic but you must know how to log in to the UCV website. Before attending you will be given sign in access.

What must I bring?

Your own electronic device (laptop, tablet or smart phone). 
The text for something you’d like to post to the website. (You’ll likely post as a draft and can add to it later)
Your sign-in user name and password (This will be sent to you prior to the class).

What can I do to prepare?

Try signing in at home to make sure you have access. (Login button is at the very bottom on the right)
There are videos and instruction sheets on posting to the website.
If you have ever posted to wordpress before, these would be helpful to look at for a review.
If you are absolutely brand new, look over these materials and decide whether it’s worth your time or you’d rather wait for the in-person training.

Must I attend all three workshops in this series or can I sign up for workshops separately?

Preferable to sign up for all three sessions.

How and when can I register?  

Contact Aurora Eyolfson, Congregation Administrator, at 604-261-7204 or .
Registration is open now.
Priority for intermediate level will be given to those who are currently posting to the web and want additional training and practice.   
There is a maximum of 12 attendees per workshop.
Luke Zukowski, Computers Made Easy

Who will provide the instruction?

Instruction provided by Luke Zukowski of RevealMax.
John Henderson and Galen Elfert are volunteer assistants

Future sessions will include

  • Social Media Basics & Intermediate – dates tba
  • Web Posting Advanced (for those who have completed the basic sessions) – dates tba – likely late spring
  • Posters and Brochures – Basic and Intermediate – Marcus Hynes – dates tba. Likely basics in May and Intermediate in early fall. 
These workshops are funded by the Robert Koerner Fund.  

Links to upcoming computer skills events

Sat, Nov 30, 2019
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Working effectively as a team with the help of Google Apps
Large Meeting Room (Lindsey-Priestley), Vancouver BC
Sun, Dec 1, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
CompuTutor - Drop in and get your technology issues solved
Lindsey Room, Vancouver BC
Sun, Jan 5, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
CompuTutor - Drop in and get your technology issues solved
Lindsey Room, Vancouver BC
Sun, Feb 2, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
CompuTutor - Drop in and get your technology issues solved
Lindsey Room, Vancouver BC
Sun, Mar 1, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
CompuTutor - Drop in and get your technology issues solved
Lindsey Room, Vancouver BC
Sun, Apr 5, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
CompuTutor - Drop in and get your technology issues solved
Lindsey Room, Vancouver BC
Sun, May 3, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
CompuTutor - Drop in and get your technology issues solved
Lindsey Room, Vancouver BC
Sun, Jun 7, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
CompuTutor - Drop in and get your technology issues solved
Lindsey Room, Vancouver BC
Sun, Jul 5, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
CompuTutor - Drop in and get your technology issues solved
Lindsey Room, Vancouver BC

Three Environmental Events Coming to UCV!

Whether you are a longtime environmentalist concerned about oil tankers and other issues, a social justice activist supporting First Nations concerns–or if you know nothing about these topics and feel now is a good time to start learning–the Environment Team is hosting three upcoming events for you!



Sat, Jan 19, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location Sanctuary

This is a film screening, a fundraiser and a discussion with Heiltsuk Nation members about their court challenge. They are aiming to enshrine governance of their homelands and waters into law.

With the Unist’ot’en conflict in the news every day, hearing about the Heiltsuk case is relevant and important for us to gain an understanding of Indigenous issues in BC and Canada.
Click here for more information.


The RADICALS by Beyond Boarding

Fri, Feb 15, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location Sanctuary

With breathtaking cinematography, The RADICALS is a documentary film that follows four snowboarders and surfers driven to become social and environmental stewards through their connection with the environments in which they play.

Follow them as they show the Tahltan fight for the Sacred Headwaters, BC Hydro’s destruction of salmon waters in Xwísten territory, art as resilience on Haida Gwaii, and a coastal uprising against fish farms off the coast of Vancouver Island. Each Indigenous community teaches the athletes to understand what it means to be  truly Radical.


Intergenerational Activist Dinner

Fri, Mar 15, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location Hewett Hall

Following the success of the fall 2018 Inter-generational Dinner, we are holding another gathering and this time the topic is:  Lessons Learned When Things Went Wrong.

Come join us in Hewett Hall for dinner (courtesy once again of UBC Community Eats). We will follow dinner with stories from some seasoned environmental and social justice activists as they talk of lessons learned from past campaigns. This is a great chance to make new connections, share stories, and learn from their experiences.



Multifaith Calendars are Here

Multifaith Calendars are a great gift!

Multifaith Calendars for 2019 are available in the Library

The calendar is an inclusive and comprehensive source of information for those who want to learn more about world religions. The Multifaith calendar facilitates understanding of these religious occasions and festivals important to our diverse cultural society, providing a basis for discussion and involvement. Buying a Multifaith Calendar also supports the religious education program.

Calendars are only $15 and 2 for $25. They make a great gift!

From Colonization to Reconciliation (?) A Reading and Discussion Group

February 20 to April 3 2019, Wednesdays 7-9 pm in the Fireside Room

To begin to effect truth and reconciliation between settler Canada and First Nations peoples, Ryan McMahon, the Anishinaabe activist, challenged us to read and engage with our foundational laws, treaties, Acts, and  official Commission reports and recommendations.  “Let’s use pre-existing documents, studies, inquests, etc. that have done ALL the heavy lifting for us,” he said.  “It’s not too late to look back at where we’ve been, determine what went and is wrong, and fix things on a go forward basis.”

At the Unitarian Church of Vancouver (UCV), we’re going to try and take up Mr. McMahon’s invitation.

Together, we will read the The Indian Act, The White Paper, relevant portions of the  Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Kelowna Accord,  the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Summary Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Click on links in previous paragraph to see full text of most of these documents. Click here for an overview of Indian Act and other documents

No prior knowledge or expertise is expected (it’s a journey we’re taking together).  Just a willingness to read, discuss, listen, learn and be changed.

Reading materials to be provided, with help to cover copying costs appreciated.

Whitelisting UCV Email Addresses

Whitelisting UCV Email Addresses

A guide from your UCV Communications team

In order to better receive emails relating to UCV, it can be helpful to tell your email program that you trust and value UCV emails. Precise steps to do this differ based on the email program that you use.

for Gmail

  1. Navigate to your Gmail account
  2. Click on the ‘gear’ icon in the upper-right screen, and select “settings” from the dropdown menu
    Selecting settings in Gmail
  3. From the settings menu, select the “Filters and Blocked Addresses” tab, then click on the “Create a New Filter” link
    Whitelisting UCV Emails Gmail 2
  4. In the pop-up which open, enter “” in the ‘From’ field and then select the “Create filter with this search” link in the lower right of the window
    Whitelisting UCV Emails Gmail 3
  5. Check the “Never send to Spam” box (and any other options you would like) and then click “Create Filter” Whitelisting UCV Emails Gmail 4

The above steps are intended to be an elaboration of the official steps described by Google to add a filter to Gmail:

If you have any other concerns about our social media, e-newsletters and website, send to Communications Committee Co-chairs.

Save the Wild Salmon – What Can We Do to Help?

farmed atlantic salmon

by Tamiko Suzuki

The Environment Team is proud to sponsor an evening of education and fundraising  where we will hear from Indigenous leaders working to remove open-net fish farms from their waters. Julia McIntyre-Smith and Chiefs Ernest Alfred and Willie Moon will speak of the relationship between the wild salmon, the environment and their Indigenous communities. Dr. David Suzuki will talk of the science linking fish farms to the decrease in wild stocks.

Spawning wild salmon

This will be a powerful, moving evening and you will come away with new appreciation for the imperiled wild salmon and the Peoples whose cultures they are so entwined with.

The talk will be held in the Sanctuary, followed by refreshments and a silent auction in Hewett Hall.

There you  will also find tables set aside to brain

storm ways to further help the wild salmon defenders.

We will post here decisions made to carry on this initiative.


Julia McIntyre-Smith’s Youtube Channel



Entry by donation (suggested $20)

Doors open to the Sanctuary at 6:30pm. Feb. 16, 2018

Event Details