Category: Recent News

The monthly e-newsletter selects about 5 news posts with this category. Priorities are news relevant to a wide number of people and especially of interest to visitors or new folk.

Winter News from the Environment Team

The UCV Environment Team continues to be extremely active. Here’s what we have planned for the next few months..

December 1 Forum: Zero Waste Holidays! Forum; Zero Waste Team

One of the  Zero Waste ideas is to donate to a charity for someone. Here is a list of charities that the Environment Team came up with. It is far from complete, of course, but it will give you an idea of the range of international, national and local groups looking for your financial support.

charities list 

Save Our Salmon sub-committee

Last month we held a petition signing event to remind MPs of their election campaign promise to move open net fish farms out of the ocean and onto land.

The SOS group is now meeting with those MPs to discuss plans of action of how we can make their promise a reality .

If you would like to get involved, contact John Boyle


January Pull-Together Fundraiser 

Saturday January 18, 2020 @ 7pm

Tamiko Suzuki, our Environment Team Outreach Coordinator,  is turning 60 and she’s holding a fundraiser to celebrate!

UCV Friends and family are invited to enjoy some appies and cake, a bit of music, games and perhaps some folk dancing!

She requests no presents please but instead make a donation to RAVEN Trust’s Pull Together Campaign supporting Indigenous groups’ legal challenge against TMX.

More information to come later.

If you would like to help put on the event, please contact

Intergenerational Dinner: OK Boomer-OK Snowflake..

We need to Talk and Meet across the Divide

March 2020. Details tba.

This year we’re inviting youth from the community to come and share stories with older activists.

Preview: Art for Refugees on Twitter

Art for Refugees is a silent auction of artwork by Karen Brumelle with all proceeds to the refugee committee. The art is on display in the Fireside room from December 1 to 22.

Preview: Art for Refugees (@UnitarianUCV) – click on that link to see tweets with images of art for sale in the silent auction. (You do not need a Twitter account for this.) Twitter may crop images, so always click on an image displayed with a tweet to be sure you see all of it.

The image featured in this post is displayed with this tweet.

An image of another painting in the silent auction is displayed with this tweet.

And you can scroll through all such tweets to preview some of the art on sale in Fireside.

Come view the actual artwork and write your first bids when the exhibit opens on December 1.

You can review bids and bid or rebid on any day. Bidding closes at 12:15 pm on December 22.

Support the wonderful work of the refugee committee – get some art for yourself or as a gift.


notes and links

featured image from silent auction

artist’s website:

in these notes, DuckDuckGo bang commands (!?) link to search results for words they follow when the commands are in parentheses, for words they precede when they are not:

!ucv refugee committee / a search on the UCV website

!tw “Art for Refugees” (@UnitarianUCV) / a search on Twitter

the Merriam-Webster definition of a silent auction (!mw) notwithstanding, the written bids in Art for Refugees are not sealed but displayed with the art

Gift bags for Mothers Offering Mentorship and Support Program

MOMS (Mothers Offering Mentorship and Support) is supporting struggling young people in East Vancouver.

The programs run by MOMS, located at Grandview Church, make an incredible difference in the lives of those experiencing poverty, social isolation, familial instability, and health challenges. In past years, MOMS has organized the “Coldest Night Walk” to raise money, but this year MOMS will hand out Christmas bags.

UCV has been asked to help prepare  gift bags filled with daily necessities, like grooming and food items, or even with some toys. MOMS is hoping for about 20 bags, big or small.

Here is a list of items that may be placed in the bags:

  • toiletries,
  • candles,
  • scarves/gloves,
  • coffee gift cards,
  • small games,
  • stamps and greeting cards,
  • tea towels,
  • simple jewellery, or
  • chocolates.

The bags will be collected by Ursula on the Sundays Dec. 8 and Dec.15, before and after the service in Hewett Hall.

MOV Exhibit: There is Truth Here: Creativity and Resilience in Children’s Art from Indian Residential and Day Schools.

Check out the Museum of Vancouver exhibit: There is Truth Here: Creativity and Resilience in Children’s Art from Indian Residential and Day Schools. Four UCV’ers accepted an invitation from Canadian Memorial to join a dozen others at the exhibit Nov 26 for an explanatory talk by the curator, Dr Andrea Walsh. All found it a powerful, deeply moving experience.

More information about the exhibit:

April 5, 2019 – January, 2020
There is Truth Here: Creativity and Resilience in Children’s Art from Indian Residential and Day Schools.
There is Truth Here focuses on rare surviving artworks created by children who attended the Inkameep Day School (Okanagan), St Michael’s Indian Residential School (Alert Bay); the Alberni Indian Residential School (Vancouver Island) and Mackay Indian Residential School (Manitoba). The focus of the exhibition is not on the schools themselves, but upon witnessing the experiences of the survivors as conveyed through their childhood artworks – for some the only surviving material from their childhoods.

The Social Justice annual report is now available

Working towards social justice is a core value of Unitarians so most of us are involved in some way with action to promote democracy, high quality public health services, affordable housing, peace, human rights, fair trade, ethical investing, elimination of poverty, solidarity with indigenous peoples or other significant issues of our times.

Please read the full annual report of the UCV Social Justice Committee here:
SJC Annual Report 2019

Are you worried about overdose deaths? Forum in January will address what more can be done about harm reduction.

According to the latest figures for 2019, there were 2.6 drug toxicity deaths every day in BC.

This horrifying number is despite there being Overdose Prevention Sites, mobile needle exchange programs, the Insite program for treatment of drug users, and other services. If you want to know more about what can be done, come to the Social Justice forum on January 12, to hear Micheal Vonn, CEO of Portland Housing Society (PHS)

She will be discussing the Society’s harm reduction programs and further actions she would like to be taken to reduce the number of deaths and provide treatment and other services to drug addicts. Micheal has recently been appointed CEO of PHS and was previously the Policy Director for BC Civil Liberties Society. Prior to that she worked on developing BC’s HIV/AIDS program.


CUC Dismantling Racism Study Group


Members of the Canadian Unitarian Council’s “dismantling racism” study group are preparing for their audit of anti-racism work in Canadian congregations. The group plans to distribute a survey on this topic to Canadian Unitarians, with its release tentatively set for January. Rev. Julie Stoneberg of the Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough, co-chair of the eight-person group, says they are hoping for the broadest possible participation by Canadian clergy and laypeople.

Doug Ennenberg and  Tamiko Suzuki from UCV, and Catherine Strickland from NSUC, are the western representatives in the group.

December Festivities – Atheists, Pagans, Christians — Everyone — Welcome!

Whatever your spiritual path(s) and tradition(s), you might well find a gathering (or two) that will suit your current approach to the winter holidays.

December 1st starts the season with our choir concert. They sing for us and then provide refreshments after wards as well.

You can be sure to find a mix of Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Pagans and, of course, Unitarians,  at most of the upcoming events. Indeed some people identify with two or more of those labels.

Our Christmas Eve service does take a look at the Christian story of Jesus’ birth but unlike most other churches, we also honour other mid-winter holy days such as Solstice and Hanukkah. A favorite of many is the section on  “Christmas with an attitude” which is always a humorous even ironic take on the whole season. Whatever your current beliefs, you can celebrate with us in a non-dogmatic ambiance.

The evening Candlelight Service on December 15th is one of music and poetry and one of the most beautiful services of our congregational year. We share a light potluck afterwards. This might be a time to connect with old friends or meet new ones. Many appreciate the fact that this date comes with  no expectations or obligations.

Our earth spirit group is planning a Winter Solstice/Yule event and we encourage families to come along. There will be dancing, and meditating, and lantern making, and labyrinth walking and, most important of all, feasting. This year a focus will be “feasting in all directions” – where four altars will be set up to include foods corresponding to the direction and element of that table.

Check out the events list and calendar for details on these and more events.


November Labyrinth

Thanks to D. Rainbow for these photos taken on the Garden Path labyrinth in mid-November. And thanks to John Voth for the new markers. Carex ice dance is a perennial grass which stays green all year and is very hardy.


Support Sole Food Street Farms

The Outreach Opportunities Fund recipient for October to January will be Sole Food. During the past seven years, Sole Food Street Farms―now North America’s largest urban farm project―has transformed acres of vacant and contaminated urban land in Vancouver into street farms that grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables.  It has empowered dozens of individuals with limited resources and addiction and chronic mental health problems by providing jobs, training, and community support.

Visit their website here