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.

Outreach Opportunities Fund – New Recipient

The new 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 https://solefoodfarms.com/

All Candidates Meeting – Oct 5, 2019 – UCV

 

Vancouver Unitarians hosted a successful and well-attended All Candidates Meeting on Sat Oct 5thin preparation for the 2019 Federal Election. Five of six candidates from the Vancouver-Granville riding (in which UCV is located) attended, representing the GPC, LPC, NDP and PPC as well as Independent JWR (current MP); the CPC candidate declined to attend.

The ACM was held in the Sanctuary from 7:00-9:00 pm, moderated with clear and articulate focus by Diane Brown. Cecilia Point provided a powerful Musqueam Welcome followed by a UCV Welcome from our Minister Reverend Stephen Epperson. Candidates and audience (approximately 250) respected the rules of procedure and decorum, including candidates speaking one at a time and within prescribed time frames – and no heckling from audience! There was very positive response to this format!

Candidates responded to prepared questions on the Climate Crisis, Indigenous Peoples, Refugees, and the Trans Mountain Expansion. This was followed by questions from the audience covering a variety of topics including: electoral reform; safe drugs and the overdose epidemic; fossil fuel subsidies; homelessness and the economy; the environment and the economy; Indigenous rights; taxing billionaires; and voting by conscience versus the party line.

Candidates met with the public in the Hewett Hall alcove for a half hour before and after the ACM. Candidates set up information tables, responded to questions and engaged in lively discussion! Candidate contact information was available to the public for any questions not answered during the evening.

Environment and Social Justice team members organized the ACM, with leadership and impeccable attention to detail provided by Karl Perrin. Thanks to the many who stepped forward with their particular expertise and timely dedication!

Here is a link to the Oct 5th All Candidates Meeting at UCV – with thanks to Marie Witt and videographer August.

https://youtu.be/IenG7r2Ou5s

 

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven – Feminist Theology curriculum

We hope to offer this program starting in January 2020.

https://www.cakesforthequeenofheaven.org/

If you’d like to be on a wait list to receive information once a date is set, please sign up here: https://vancouver.breezechms.com/form/cakesforthequeenofheaven

CUUWA (Canadian U*U Women’s Association) * may also offer this popular curriculum by Zoom. Stay tuned!

From the UUWF (Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation)

Cakes Resources Can Now Be Downloaded

The UU Women and Religion Store has had many requests to make the digital resources for the classic curriculum, Cakes for the Queen of Heaven, available as downloadable files instead of on a CD shipped with the books. We’re happy to announce they’ve made that happen! Now the spiral-bound curriculum books will be shipped with a link and password to access the files. If you have already purchased the curriculum and would like access, please email store@uuwr.org.

Cost of the curriculum is $75 US.

From their website:

IN ANCIENT TIMES: This five-session Volume I of the popular adult religious education curriculum includes an introductory section featuring author Shirley’s Ranck’s “Statement of Feminist Thealogy,” Elinor Artman’s “Brief Herstory of Cakes,” and Nancy Vedder-Shults, “Baking Cakes for the Queen of Heaven.”

The themes of the Session Plans are: The Sacred Female, In the Name of the Mother and the Daughter, Womanpower, The First Turning-From Goddess to God, and Reclaiming Women’s Heritage of Peace.” The resource section includes supplementary essays by a number of important authors, a listing of highly recommended materials, and the sheet music of songs by Carole Eagleheart and Ann Forfreedom for use with the curriculum. The curriculum also includes a CD-ROM with five Visual Programs to accompany the sessions, plus resource material for easy distribution to participants.

ON THE THRESHOLD: In the six-session continuation of the course, Volume II, we will continue our journey into the past to reclaim the stories of powerful women to be found in ancient Judaism and in early Christianity. We will also look at the global silencing and brutalization of women that accompanied the rise of patriarchal religion and society. Finally we will celebrate the exciting new world-view and thealogy that has emerged in our time, and explore the personal and social changes that may be suggested by that new world-view and thealogy. We will continue the complex process of telling a new story.
In addition, you may order Carole Etzler Eagleheart’s CD “She Calls to Us,” which contains many of the songs in the curriculum. Sound samples are available on her MUSIC page.

 

* To join CUUWA email listserve, please contact: cuuwa.cuc@gmail.com

Visit the CUUWA Facebook page – it is public so there is no need to be a Facebook User. Feel free to post articles of interest to all.

 

Vancouver Unitarians Join Sept 27 Global Climate Strike

Unitarians from all four Greater Vancouver congregations – including three Unitarian ministers – gathered under the Vancouver Unitarians banner at the start of the Global Climate Strike in Vancouver on Sept. 27, 2019. The event was organized by students and we proudly joined with 10s of thousands of them to fill the length of Cambie Street on our way through downtown Vancouver to the CBC building at West Georgia and Hamilton streets.

It was exhilarating – and reassuring – to be a part of this massive mobilization of Canadians.

Police estimated that 100,000 people participated – perhaps the largest march ever in Vancouver.

10s of thousands at City Hall for Sept 27 Climate Strike

 

Would you like to join us for future rallies, marches and activities? Learn more about our team here or contact environment@vancouverunitarians.ca

Annual Ancestor Shrine–Come and visit

Origins of Our Tradition

Mary, Catherine, Nancy, Terence, Morgan and Jen first created an Ancestor Shrine with the children’s program back in the fall of 2013. Transforming the meditation room into a place of remembrance at the end of October has become a firm tradition since then. It is something our children remember and connect with over the years.

Please come explore the Ancestor Shrine after Sunday service on October 27th.

You may bring a photo or remembrance to leave on the altar if you wish (to be returned the following Sunday), and there will be paper and twine with which to write your own remembrances and hang from the willow branches.

May we remember where we come from, and how the tree of life shows us that truly all that exists on Earth is related. Further back we find that we have evolved from the dust of exploded stars–what great mystery!

“What Do We Call Ourselves?” Task Force

As a progressive religious congregation we have a history of reviewing and updating how we  identify and represent ourselves.  In 2004 a Communication Working Group, in consultation with our community, created the stylized hand logo to replace the stylized chalice as more representative of our membership.  And a few years ago, the Vision Task Force engaged in crafting a new Vision And Living Our Vision statement for UCV.

Now, there is the question of our name.  Rev. Steven Epperson acknowledged in his sermon Celebrating Our Story (September 15 2019), “A task force is deliberating on whether we change the name of our congregation from something less formally churchy to something perhaps more fit for use in 21st century Vancouver and beyond.” A query was sent to the CUC leaders’ google group asking whether this was a question that other Canadian congregations were also asking themselves.  25 leaders responded that indeed this was a topic of concern.

There will be a forum on October 20 describing in detail what would be involved in a formal name change.  This is an information forum only and on January 19th there will be a Circle of Concerns which will be an opportunity for participants and congregants to express their opinion on whether to remain known as a church or not.  A survey on-line and in the OOS will be used so that everyone has a say. From informal discussions with congregants we know that some of our members want to remain known as a ‘church’ and some favour a change to ‘congregation’ or even, ‘centre’ or ‘community.’  There will be disagreements and of course, as mature, evolved Unitarians we will be respectful with others’ differences!

After thorough consultations, a vote is planned to take place at the June EGM.

By Eva Allan

 

Genders – a new discussion group

Our Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) is pleased to announce a new group forming.

Gender is an important aspect of our lives, whether we know it or not.  We often live in some relationship to gender roles that are expected of men or women; sometimes we spend our lives breaking free of the conditioning that supports these roles and expectations.

Our sense of what it means to be a man, woman or other gender is usually shaped by key people in our lives as we grow up: parents, siblings, relatives, friends, teachers, and role models in popular culture.

The gender discussion group will give each of us a place to share the influences on our gender identity and expression. We will explore whether our models were sufficient for us: both how they were and how they were not.

Participants will be invited to tell stories about their journeys involving gender identity and expression – how these were shaped and how they are continuing to evolve. What have been some of the challenges and some of the victories?

The facilitator is Glenn Deefholts, an English instructor at Langara College, who has been teaching for twenty-five years. Glenn also leads the monthly singing group. 

The GSA is also looking at possible VIFF films to attend and a play Trans Scripts at the Firehall Arts Centre in the new year.

As we have for the past year, we’ll also host a potluck dinner before the January and June Out in Harmony Concerts.

Contact gsaucv@gmail.com if you’d like to know more about our group and our gatherings.

Blog: Donna Brown, Choir Director

Why I Do What I Do (or Musings of a Mu-U)

I think most members of the congregation would be surprised to find out how much time the choir spends learning and perfecting our music.  In fact, it is a little scary to do the math.

(from 2018) as an example.. On Thursday, Jan. 10, we started practising the Faure Requiem, which is the main piece for our April concert.  The Requiem is about 35 minutes long and we spent about 45 minutes working on the first of the seven movements. Between that rehearsal and our concert, we have approximately 18 rehearsals and we will spend between 30 and 60 minutes of each rehearsal working on the Faure. That’s a total of about 15 hours. If you count person-hours you will have to multiply by the 45 members of the choir. And that doesn’t count all of the time that each of us will spend working on the music independently!  

What takes so long? 

Well, first of all we have to learn the notes. In some places, the choir sings in unison (everyone on the same note, an octave apart for the men and women), but in many places there are at least four different notes and sometimes each part splits and there can be as many as eight notes. Then there is the rhythm and the language. The Requiem is in Latin, which is not a first language for anyone any more. Add to that the articulation (starting and ending together, or at least in the right place), the phrasing (musical sentences) and the dynamics (volume). There is lots to learn. And all of those things must be in place for us to make music – to express the emotion that is inherent in the music, to move beyond the technical.

But the big question is why?

Why do we put so much time and effort into something so ephemeral, so fleeting as a musical performance?  I have pondered that question often and there are many possible answers. First of all, it feels good when we get it right. The music is incredibly beautiful. It is also fun to do. The choir members enjoy each other’s company. And of course, we enjoy sharing our music with the congregation. But it is more than that. I believe that making music together is a spiritual experience. For me, it is one version of prayer or meditation and helps me to be a better person.  

I met an American minister during the UUMN conference that was held at UCV in 2002.  She explained to me that she and many others call themselves Bu-U’s because they are Unitarian Universalists whose primary spiritual path is Buddhism. Well, I guess I’m a Mu-U, a Unitarian whose primary spiritual path is music. And I would guess that many in the choir would feel the same way.

When I first started conducting the Chalice Choir in 1999, I struggled a bit in justifying how much time and energy I was spending on my work with the choir. I have organizational ability and I worried that I should be spending my time doing something more directly beneficial to others, like volunteering in the DTES. 

A very wise man – Rev. Phillip Hewett – helped me to find peace with my calling. He shared a quote with me, and although I’ve lost the exact words, the gist has stayed with me. Art and music exist to show the beauty that is possible in the world. And I would take it one step further – a choir helps us to experience the beauty that can be created by a group of people working together. That is why I do what I do.

I hope that you enjoy sharing that beauty with us on Sunday mornings and I invite you to join us in experiencing our upcoming concerts.

Donna Brown

Director, Chalice Choir

Unitarian Church of Vancouver

February 2014

 

First day of September and a lot of outdoor (and indoor) conversations and harvesting

Rev. Chris Wulff gave us a great sermon and a new twist on the Little Red Hen.

The Environment team met to plan the All Candidates’ Forum.

Circle dancing in later afternoon.

And we enjoyed another “back at it” Sunday while the sun is still shining.

Here’s Jodie and Kelly having a conversation under one of the trees.

And Sandy and Karen picking some King apples–they’re ripe and were enjoyed by many today!

 

Steven’s Welcome Message

Dear Vancouver Unitarians:

Welcome to our congregation’s 2019-20 program year of worship, learning, activism and fun!

More than ever, I am grateful to be a part of this congregation—one that first began 110 years ago and that has been at 49th and Oak Street for 55 years. We’ve been around for a long time and plan on being here for generations to come.

Here, we meet with people of all ages who share our deepest values, who seek to deepen soulful and ethical lives, and who are committed to intergenerational learning, connection and “generativity.” We honour our diverse stories and personalities. We welcome all who seek to be a part of our congregation and its commitment to “justice, equity and compassion in human relations,” as well as our promise to “respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”

Thank you to each and all and the roles we play: from serving coffee and tea to walking with our children and youth, from singing in the choir and lighting a candle for a loved one, to acting up on behalf of refugees, the environment and the cause for social justice, and much, much more.

I look forward to being with you as we walk our Unitarian Universalist path together.

Sincerely, Rev. Steven Epperson