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.

Online Cultural Reources (UCV)

Send your contributions to


• Art & Architecture

• Crafts and Cooking

No Knead Bread | Bread Recipe | The New York Times

• Movies & Documentaries

• Music and Dance Performances

George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue – Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic

• Travel Adventures



Walk with me by Kathy Sayers

For all of us these are strange, strange times. All of us are trying to find ways to navigate them, to ease our anxiety and to stay connected. We are becoming familiar with technological means of connecting like Zoom calls and experimenting with ways to make them more personal and less business-like. I think many of us have rediscovered the pleasure of long phone conversations over texts (so convenient but a tad unsatisfying).

Our routines are changing too.  Daily walks or bike rides have become the highlight of our schedules. Who knew that there are such great free yoga videos online and that qigong is 10 times easier to learn than tai chi? Who knew you can download hundreds of books for free? Who knew how creative and funny folks could be during a crisis?

Early on in our new reality we began experimenting with ways to feel more in the presence of our friends. Weeks ago, Mary Lage and I mused that we missed the opportunity to walk together, made impossible now by distance. She is on the Sunshine Coast in isolation with her daughter’s family.  I am ensconced in a high rise in Kerrisdale. “What if we took a virtual walk,” I asked? After all when you go for a walk you are side by side, not actually looking at each other.

It works like this: each of us walks in our own neighbourhood and we chat by phone as we walk. We have wonderful ranging conversations like we used to have when we saw each other. She also describes the experience she’s seeing: “I’ve made it to the beach now and the water is utterly beautiful today, like glass.” I describe the cherry trees coming into bloom and two lone dandelions that I would never notice in summer but look beautiful when there are no other flowers on a lawn.

To our surprise it feels like we’ve had an actual outing together. I’ve virtual walked with a friend in Toronto, on Vancouver Island and even in Kerrisdale so we can maintain social distance. She walks on the Arbutus Corridor; I walk on the tree-lined back streets.

Unitarians Mary Bennett, Cathy Sevcik and John Smith and I each took a stroll together this week. Right now I have five virtual walking partners every week. One partner was pretty dubious until he tried it. Now he prompts me every week to take a stroll.

Virtual walking has made my life feel less cramped in these crazy times. And it’s deepened my relationships with friends I connect with less often than I’d like.

Slack Is Great! (Wait, What Is It?)

On Monday March 30th, I held a zoom meeting for anyone wanting to see why Slack is a great alternative to Google Groups and Microsoft Teams for our committee and small groups communications. I was joined by 13 attendees who were curious to find out the pros and cons to adopting a new communications method.

For those who don’t know, Slack is a communication tool that works like instant messaging, only instead of a single chat window between two people, the conversations (channels) are open to be followed, and added to, by anyone in the workspace. This allows people to have ongoing dialogue in an open and transparent way, according to pre-determined topic categories.

The biggest benefits to adopting slack (in my opinion) are as follows:

    1. Reduces The Volume of Emails Sent and Received – Emails serve a very important purposes but work best when there are a limited number of exchanges or recipients. Some examples of good email communication are letters between friends, requests for information or inquiries, newsletters and updates, and event reminders. Email is not so good for complex organizing or large numbers of recipients. We all know what it is like to get an email thread going, realize someone was left off, then realize another thread has sprung up on the same topic, with different recipients. Slack reduces the number of emails by providing a consolidated place for conversation, planning and organizing.

    2. Allows New People to Have a Look Around – Adding mew members is as simple as inviting them to the Slack work-space and letting them know to have a look through the channels and add themselves to the topics that sound most interesting. This way, a new person can explore the committee correspondence on their own terms, and won’t be automatically spammed with every email going out on the google group. This can encourage new people to get involved without getting overwhelmed.

    3. Tag Me If You Need Me! – In Slack, you can “tag” someone by putting an @ symbol before their name. Slack will notify them when they are mentioned. This feature comes in handy when you need to draw people’s attention to the most salient information that directly relates to them. There are a few other handy features in slack, like the ability to share a google documents or even attach useful email information directly into the chat channels.

    4. Slack has a Simple and Elegant Design – There is a little bit of a learning curve involved but no where near what you might expect. The hardest part is creating an account and knowing where to click, but I can get most people set up in just a couple of days and they’re off to the races. I credit this to Slack’s amazing simple design. Most people immediately see how this tool will provide some relief to a busy and chaotic email inbox.

If you are interested in learning more about Slack, join me again on Monday April 6th, for another zoom show and tell of the Slack app. I will share my screen so you can see what Slack is and does before taking the leap of faith into yet another new application. Trust me! It’s worth taking a peak! Event page:


Marie Witt is Chair of Communications at UCV, and a lover of technology (when used appropriately!)

Safe Zooming: Zoom tips for secure meetings

Help the hosts of our zoom calls ensure security. Here are some things you can do.

On your zoom account, put your own picture and a name that we would recognize, e.g. Jane and John Doe is better than JJ ipad. Make note of the zoom links somewhere safe. We will be removing links from the website, so keep a cheat sheet or put the link into your calendar, whether paper based or computer-based. If you are left in the waiting room for long, it may be because we don’t recognize your name, so watch for a message from the host asking you to identify yourself. Don’t share the zoom links on a web page or facebook; emailing to a friend is fine, in fact, encouraged.

Some calls may start restricting to “authenticated users only”. This just means you have to be logged into zoom before joining (as zoom bombers are usually just trying to join “on the fly”).

If a participant tries to join the meeting or webinar and is not logged into Zoom, they will receive the following messages The host would likely tell you in advance if they are using this function.

New to zoom?

You may have discovered that depending on what device you’re using, the controls are in different places. Here’s a good getting started resource that includes links to the various devices to help you.

Want to test your video or microphone before joining a meeting?

Here’s how:

More about zoom bombers

Many of us are using zoom for UCV events and also the many community and activist communities we’re involved with. You may have heard of “zoom bombers” who scour websites for new zoom links to “bomb” your meetings with pornography or racism, creating havoc.

Peter Bowden is a UU congregational consultant who offers web training on communications and social media for UU congregations. Here’s his 15-minute video about security for zoom.

Prevent Zoom Bombing: 12 Ways to Practice Safer Zoom

What is Zoom doing about this?

Blog Post from CEO Eric Yuan

A Message to Our Users

To put this growth in context, as of the end of December last year, the maximum number of daily meeting participants, both free and paid, conducted on Zoom was approximately 10 million. In March this year, we reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants, both free and paid.

However, we did not design the product with the foresight that, in a matter of weeks, every person in the world would suddenly be working, studying, and socializing from home. We now have a much broader set of users who are utilizing our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges we did not anticipate when the platform was conceived.

These new, mostly consumer use cases have helped us uncover unforeseen issues with our platform. Dedicated journalists and security researchers have also helped to identify pre-existing ones.

More indepth article about the issues

Among the changes the company has made, he said, was publishing guidelines last month for users on how to avoid being “Zoombombed” — a phenomenon in which intruders crash into Zoom meetings and display pornography or other shocking content.

Zoom has also removed a link with Facebook in which the Zoom app was sending user data to Facebook, unbeknownst to the user, and has updated its privacy policy, Yuan said.

Online Kids, Youth and Families

Children, Youth, and Parents: FUUN!

We are putting in place some online connection times for children, tweens, youth, and parents. These times will stay consistent each week—drop-in any week to see familiar faces and new, connect and support each other in Unitarian fashion.

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, still I would plant my apple tree.

–Martin Luther

Virtual Post-it Doodle Gallery:

This is our art-board space where doodles, drawings, artwork of any kind can be shared and displayed. If you’ve made something you would like to see here, send it to Kiersten. []

Children’s RE drop-in: Sundays 10:20—10:50 am Join URL:

Mairy and Nan host children’s time before the Sunday service live-stream. See each other, share a story and a simple activity or craft that we can do together at home.

(Target age is 5-9)

Crossing Paths RE: Mondays 1:00—2:15 pm Join URL:

Crossing Paths Tweens (ages 10-12) this space and time is for you! Check-in with each other, try out the virtual whiteboard, continue our explorations of World Religions and wherever your questions and wonderings lead us. New? Away for awhile? You are welcome to drop-in any Monday!

Youth Group Online! Sundays 3:00—5:00 pm Join URL:

Youth in grades 8-12 meet to share, explore, come up with distant game time, and generally connect. Drop-in any Sunday—from near and far.

Kiersten’s Friday Zoom Coffee-Break 10:30—11:30 am Join URL:

Being home deserves a coffee break–and we all deserve to see each other! Family centered drop-in time for Parents. If kids can login on a separate device from parents, we can do break-out rooms!


Steven’s Virtual Tea-Time Drop-in Wednesdays 3:00—4:30 pm (beginning April 1st)

Join URL:

Drop-in each Wednesday between 3:00 and 4:30pm for a social gathering time hosted by Rev. Steven Epperson. It is a soul fulfilling thing to see each other’s faces in this time of physical distancing and isolation. Come check-in with each other, bring your joys, your challenges, your questions and insights, your whole selves.


Other online events and gatherings can be found here:

Cross-Canada Unitarian Online Services

Worship, Coffee Hours, Meditations, Multi-generational, Community Chats, Song…

Last updated by Keith Wilkinson, Vancouver Unitarians, 4 Apr 2020

Left Saskatoon;  Right First Toronto 

UU’s from across Canada may want to look in on what is happening at congregations in other communities. Following is a partial list of 18 Canadian UU congregations who are meeting electronically using zoom, YouTube, FaceBook and other online platforms (listed from East to West).  Website and email addresses are listed to help ensure access to the most current information. Times are for the sponsoring group!


Congregation Day, Local Time & Type of Meeting Website links
Halifax UUs, NS Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM AT, Service UUHalifax zoom
UU Estrie North Hatley, QC Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM ET, Service UUEstrie North Hatley


Kingston Unitarian Fellowship, ON Sun, 1000 – 1030 AM ET, RE

Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM ET, Service

Plus various weekly times

Email for online info

Via zoom

Peterborough Unitarian Fellowship, ON Sun, 1000 – 1100 AM ET, Service

Daily – Various other zoom events: Journeys, Music Circles, Sing Along…

PUF Online Event links


First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, ON Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM ET, Service

Sun, 700 – 900 PM ET, Youth Grp

Sun, 1130 – 1230 AM ET, Coffee Hr

Thurs, 700 – 830 PM ET, Song Circle

FUCO FaceBook

Coffee hour requests  

Youth grp requests:

First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, ON Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM ET, Service

Sun, 1130 AM – 1 PM ET, Coffee Hr

Chalice Gatherings:
Tues, 12 noon ET – Rev Shaun Newton

Thurs, 730 PM ET – Rev Lynn Harrison

First Toronto Unitarians

zoom & YouTube options

Unitarian Fellowship of NW Toronto, ON Sun, 1030 AM – 1200 noon ET, Service UFNWT zoom
Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga, ON Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM ET, Service

Plus various weekly times

UUCM Event Calendar

Via zoom

Winnipeg UUs, MB Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM CT, Service FUUCWinnpeg  zoom
Saskatoon Unitarians, SK Sun, 1030 -1130 AM CT, Service

Sun, 1130 AM – 1230 PM, CT, Coffee Hr

Saskatoon Unitarians

zoom & FaceBook options

Edmonton Unitarians, AB Sun, 1030 AM – 1130 AM MT, Service

Tues, 7 PM – 8 PM MT, Coffee Hr

Edmonton Unitarians

Zoom and podcasts

Westwood Unitarians,
Edmonton, AB
Sat 300 PM MT, Stories

Sun 1030 AM MT, Service

Wed 1000 AM MT, Chat

Westwood Unitarians

Westwood Online Calendar


Calgary Unitarians, AB Sun, 10 – 1030 AM MT, Pre-Coffee Hr

Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM MT, Service

Sun, 1130 AM – 1 PM MT, Post-Coffee Hr

Calgary Unitarians


Beacon Unitarian Congregation,
New Westminster, BC
Sun, 1030 AM – 1130 AM PT, Service Beacon Unitarians, zoom
Vancouver Unitarians, BC Sun, 1100 AM – 1200 PM PT, Service

Sun 1200 – 1 PM PT, Coffee Hr

Tues 700 – 900 PM PT, Neighbourhood Grps

Wed 1000 – 1130 AM PT, Books & poems

Wed 300 – 430 PM PT, Minister’s Tea

Thurs 200 – 300 PM PT, zoom practice

Vancouver Unitarians Service

Zoom , YouTube, and podcast options

Northshore UUs, West Van, BC Sun, 1030 – 1130 AM PT, Service North Shore Unitarians
YouTube & Slido
Nanaimo Unitarians, BC Sun, 1100 AM – 1200 PM PT, Service FUFON zoom
Comox Valley Unitarians, BC Sun, 4 PM – 5 PM PT, Gathering CVUF zoom
Canadian Unitarian Council

Staff are distributed across Canada and are online.

Many zoom webinars and round tables. Various days, topics, and styles.
CUC led in introducing zoom to Canadian congregations.
CUC zoom Calendar…AND

Resources for congregations with sub-folders on:

Virtual meeting resources.

Interactive spreadsheet

*Note: Times posted are those for the host congregation, so you may have to do some math or geography to get the times right for you! 

AT=Atlantic Time; ET=Eastern Time; CT=Central Time; MT=Mountain Time; PT=Pacific Time.

Vibrant UU global communities during a time of pandemic

Unitarian centres around the globe are switching to online services to continue worship and community engagement during the current coronavirus pandemic. In most cases, we’re interested in maintaining strong connection and support for people in our immediate geographic community, but we are also part of a global community. Outlined below are some of the many online services  currently available. In most cases you can just drop in, but in some instances, you may need to be invited. For a taste of the richness of the UU community world-wide, check some of these out!

International UU Online Services – Spring 2020

Worship, Chat, Meditation, Multigenerational…

Last updated by Keith Wilkinson, Vancouver Unitarians, Canada, 2 Apr 2020

Here is a partial and constantly changing list of international UU congregations that are meeting online using zoom, YouTube, FaceBook and other live-streaming services. Website and email addresses are listed to help ensure access to the most current information. Times are for the sponsoring group!

Australia, New Zealand & CLF Day, Local Time & Type of Meeting Website links
Norwood, Southern Australia Sun, 1030 AM, ACST SAUC Webpage, Facebook
Auckland, New Zealand Daily, 1100 AM, Virtual Morning Tea AucklandUC  zoom
Church of the larger fellowship Long-standing online programs for UUs. CLFUU Webpage
European Congregations Day, Local Time & Type of Meeting Website links
St Mark’s Unitarian Church

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Sun, 11 AM, GMT, Service SMUCE


Roslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, UK Sun, 11 AM, GMT, Service RHUC, YouTube
Other UK Congregations – Various online services, live and pre-recorded, are offered by different UK congregations. Visit individual websites for best information.

You can also try the UK Unitarian Online Services   which leads most often to FaceBook accounts for the named congregations.

Further queries or updates by Email to UK Unitarian Information Officer

Search here for information on specific UK congregations:   UK Unitarians Find a Congregation



International Unitarian Church of Prague, Czech Republic Wed, 7-8 PM, Czech time, Discussion  IUCP zoom or Email

USA Congregations Day, Local Time & Type of Meeting Website links
UUA The UUA offers many resources related to online worship, but doesn’t currently have a page listing all congregations with online services. If you’re thinking about dropping in on an online service/discussion in a community of interest to you, just find the website for that community and look directly there for what they have to offer. Below are examples of active congregations in Western, Central, and Eastern USA. UUA Resources


Live streaming technical tips

WESTERN – First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR Sun, 1005 AM, PT FUCP web or Live via BoxCast, YouTube, Facebook
CENTRAL – Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church,
Kansas City, KS
Daily online Evening Fellowships 5:30 PM

Daily Children’s Online Programming


Online schedule

EASTERN – All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation,
New York City, NY, USA
Daily remote programming. Sign up to receive emails from All Souls, including instructions for remote programming. Sign up
  • GMT = Greenwich Mean Time. Posted times are those of the sponsoring congregation.


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.

(Not while the coronavirus is a thing, obviously, so please email me instead.) note added 2020-04-02

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.

Music Circle with Tony Turner

Join Tony Turner for a UU Music Circle: a way to connect and spend some time together on Sunday, Mar 29 at 3 p.m. (Pacific); we’ll gather for about an hour to an hour and a half via Zoom.

Listeners and musicians are welcome. To contribute your musical skills, please fill in this short survey so that the co-hosts (CUC staff and Tony Turner) have an idea of who’s appearing. There will be about 8-10 performances/songs/numbers. Those who don’t get a slot this time to appear for the next Music Circle.
If you can’t be part of our circle, but know someone else who’d like to contribute please forward this link,, so they can sign up. 
Spread the word, and we’ll see you on Sunday with your instrument, or favourite beverage and snack!
Facilitated by CUC Staff.
View other CUC events here:

Order Of Service