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.

Protect Old Growth Forests – Letter Writing Materials

Mythical, awe-inspiring, ecologically rich, and endangered – old growth forests are unprotected by legislation! Andrea Inness, a forest campaigner with Ancient Forest Alliance, was the guest speaker for the Environment Team’s forum on May 5th.  The Environment Team urges you to write a letter to Minister Donaldson to support strong action to benefit BC’s forests and communities. Sample Letter to Minister Donaldson

Please keep reading to see how you can help protect Old Growth Forests in BC.

B.C.’s old-growth and communities are in crisis. Raw log exports are at a record high and mills are closing. Climate change and massive forest fires are here to stay. But we are still clearcutting our most resilient and carbon rich forests at an alarming rate.


WHAT WE’RE CALLING FOR

The science is clear: to sustainably manage coastal rainforests we must stop clearcutting endangered old-growth. B.C. needs a provincial Old-Growth Protection Act using elements of the celebrated Great Bear Rainforest Agreements combined with strong support for First Nations and good long term forestry jobs.

We also need an immediate halt to logging in critical intact old-growth hotspots. This will protect magnificent areas like the Central Walbran that are immediately threatened with destruction.

Taking these steps will help us to:
Protect globally rare ecosystems, wildlife, water and climate
Strengthen First Nations’ governance and community well-being
Transition from old-growth logging to sustainable second-growth forestry

BC’s coastal temperate rainforests are among the rarest ecosystems on the planet, but today only 10% of Vancouver Island’s biggest old-growth trees are left. Because of climate change, these forests will never grow back as we knew them—if we cut them, they’ll be gone forever.

Using logging data and age class information Sierra Club BC estimates the total number of hectares of old-growth logged on Vancouver Island at about 1,708,000 hectares (without including original forests lost to deforestation, e.g. urban areas). More than 10,000 hectares of old-growth got logged in the last 12 months alone, equivalent to more than 3 square meters per second. Today, the vast majority of the remaining old-growth on the Island belongs to ecosystems with smaller trees not targeted for logging (for example along the outer coast or in higher elevations). Only about 10 percent of the biggest trees remain standing. For more information, check out our backgrounder (https://sierraclub.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/South-Coast-Backgrounder_March-2016.pdf).

The NDP’s 2017 election platform included a commitment to act for old-growth, promising to take “an evidence-based scientific approach and use the ecosystem-based management of the Great Bear Rainforest as a model.” But so far the BC government has not yet taken any meaningful steps to protect endangered coastal and inland oldgrowth ecosystems outside the Great Bear Rainforest.

 

Please tell Forests Minister Doug Donaldson you support strong action to benefit BC’s forests and communities. Please refer to sample letter below for ideas.

Sample Letter to Minister Donaldson

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.

“Irreparable Harm?” Creation of a documentary theatre piece

Did the protesters at the Trans Mountain facilities in Burnaby cause irreparable harm to Kinder Morgan, one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America, by delaying a few trucks for a few minutes on a few days in 2018? That’s what the BC Supreme Court believes. That’s why there’s an injunction barring anyone from coming within five metres of any site owned by Trans Mountain Pipeline. The 230 people who were arrested in 2018 for breaking that injunction have a different opinion as to who is causing irreparable harm to whom.

Most of those who were arrested and charged with criminal contempt of court for breaking the injunction have either pled guilty, or been found guilty by Judge Affleck – the same judge who created the injunction. These land and water protectors have made many impassioned speeches in court, trying to alert the judge to the harm that this pipeline expansion, if it proceeds, will cause to First Nations, and to the land and water that we all depend on for life. For that we have been labelled ‘sinister’, and told that by showing defiance of the law, we are inviting chaos and threatening civilization.

Several of the land and water protectors have formed the Sinister Sisters Collective to develop a documentary theatre piece about our journey through the BC Supreme Court. We are calling it “Irreparable Harm?” Using video footage from the arrests, excerpts from the court documents, and re-enactments, we will shine a spotlight on how our justice system treats those who are in opposition to the interests of large corporations.

We will be working over the summer months to compile the most dramatic moments of our encounters with the justice system. Our goal is to present a workshop in October, and then a full production of our theatre piece in the spring of 2020.

Stay tuned.

By Mairy Beam, arrested at the Kinder Morgan Burnaby Tank Farm gates on August 24, 2018, found guilty by Judge Affleck on Dec 5, 2018 and sentenced to serve 28 days of house arrest and 125 hours of community service.

Trading stuff for community connections (plus stuff)

Do you want to declutter without contributing to the landfill?

Want to meet some nice people who also want to live a simpler lifestyle and care about the environment?

We had our first Bunz mini-meetup on Saturday May 4 from 3 -4 pm, Cayla Naumann brought some of her items and Mary had plants to share. Both shared their perspectives on the Bunz app and how it contributes to waste reduction. Cayla went home with some herbs; Mary got a mini tarot deck and book, Coral got a tiara. We all had fun! Reusable name tags donated for UCV events.

We’re thinking about Bunz Mini-Meetup #2 – possibly 2pm on Sunday, May 26. Send a note if you’re interested.

Here’s what Cayla posted on our zero waste email group:

  • Another Unitarian shared this with me and I’ve recently been using the Bunz app (and there’s a Facebook group too) and really enjoying it. The whole idea is to ‘trade’, no cash exchanges. You can also offer services or less conventional trades. Pretty cool idea and way to reduce waste, consumerism and build community. They do have a BTZ currency as another option.Have you tried Bunz? Sign up using my link and get an extra 100 BTZ when you activate your wallet. My username is @catatonic489  https://bunzshare.page.link/tTqz2ejBmxBhdWQR8

If you’ve every frequented (or have ever fantasized about) a “free store” – here’s a way to try it out.

We plan to set up some other meeting times to make pre-arranged trades and possibly bring extra stuff to browse at. Let earthspiritucv@gmail.com know if you’d like to participate.

Mary will be potting up some mint for bunz trades. Surprisingly mint plants got a lot of likes on bunz!

Any leftovers will be passed along to our Refugee Committee’s table for sale by donation.

Here are some videos if you’d like to learn more:

BUNZ Intro – meet the people who use bunz and why…

BITZ – How the “rewards program” works

How to activate your wallet

 

BITZ

May Days – Take a staycation this weekend at UCV

Celebrate May Days – Keep this list!

UCV has many celebrations lined up to celebrate the coming of the May! You can plan a staycation and hang out at our campus for most of the weekend! And the weather report has changed from 60% chance of rain to “sunny”. (May the 4th be with us indeed!)

  • Fri. May 3 – 6:30 pm – Potluck and Film Screening “She’s a Boy I Knew” – all welcome. (sponsor: UCV Genders & Sexualities Alliance)
  • Sat. May 4 – 1-5 pm World Labyrinth Day & Jane’s Walk VancouverWalk as One at One – painting/colouring the plants on the labyrinth (pastels, crayons and paper provided).
    • Tara Bonham plays her harp on the labyrinth at 2:30 pm
    • Wish Tree and Flower Crowns 4 – 5:30 pm
  • Sat. May 4 – 5 – 8 pm Messy Church potluck dinner
  • Sun. May 5 – 10:30-11 and 12-12:30 pm Maypole dancing before and after the service in the courtyard
  • Sun. May 5 – 12 – 1:30 pm Mexican Taco lunch by Environment and Refugee committees
  • Sun. May 5 – 2 – 3:30 pm Maypole dancing with instruction
  • Sun. May 5 7:30 pm – Donna’s Favorites Choir Concert $20 or pwyc
  • Tues. May 7 – 6 pm Beltane/May Day Earth Spirit Circle – Make flower garlands with Mairy Beam
  • Tues. May 7 – 7-9 pm Maypole Dancing with the Circle Dance group, coordinated by Mary Bennett

All events are on the web with additional details. http://vancouverunitarians.ca/eventlist

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.

Einstein quote cited in April 14 service (Religious Naturalism, Take Two)

The quote – on the illusion of feeling separate from the whole – is reproduced in the prepared text (PDF) for Religious Naturalism, Take Two. This document is still available at the literature stall after Sunday service. When it no longer is, remember that a lit stall volunteer can always help you with tracking down a past sermon.

More than a year ago, UU Mystics board member Bryce Haymond expressed doubt on the authenticity of the quote in a March 2018 post on his blog. See that post for the quote in full and then scroll down for an update – with sources – that verifies it after all.


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, see the post about lit stall posts for more.
Questions or comments? Please email them. Thank you.

A Mass for Peace – Join North Shore Unitarians on May 11th

The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace was commissioned for the millennium by the U.K. Royal Armouries and had its premiere in London. The CD was released on September 10, 2001.

On May 11th, our church community will join many other singers from the wider community to make a strong, collective statement as to the folly of war. A choir of over 100 singers will perform this powerful and intensely moving work as a concert at Highlands United Church.

The human longing for peace is a visceral presence in this mass, as each movement adds to the larger story of war’s devastating impact. The various texts, as well as the music itself, embrace time periods from the first millennium B.C. to modern times, incorporating the poetic beauty of Islamic, Hindu, and Christian cultures.

ALISON NIXON, MUSIC DIRECTOR

Alison was appointed Music Director in September 2003. She conducts several other choral groups in the area including the Douglas College Choral Society, Note Bene Women’s Choir and SummerChor.

Alison is an accomplished violinist and has performed with orchestras in Britain, Switzerland and Vancouver. She is responsible for the church’s music program, which includes a 40-member adult choir, classical ensemble, folk choir and children’s choir. Alison also coordinates the musical component of the weekly Sunday services.

 

If you’re 18-35 and want to meet other Unitarians your age…

A special invitation from the Canadian Unitarian Council to new-to-UU young adults

Are you interested in connecting with other young adult (18-35 year old) Unitarian Universalists? Gathered Here is a monthly 75-minute online check-in and gathering that will give you a chance to meet other UU young adults and experience the warmth of our national community.

2nd Monday @ 5pm on Zoom

Join other UU 18-35 year olds on Zoom (a video-conferencing platform) for the sharing of joys and concerns, deeper check-ins, prayerful reflections, and an opportunity to process current events with a spiritually grounded community. Gathered Here generally takes place on the second Monday evening of each month at 5pm Pacific/ 6pm Mountain/ 7pm Central/ 8pm Eastern/ 9pm Atlantic. It’s a free drop-in gathering, so no advance registration is necessary. Search “Gathered Here” on the CUC website or on Facebook to find upcoming dates and login instructions.

Here are some more ways for UU young adults to connect online.

CUC Website

http://cuc.ca/young-adults/

Our congregation supported this year-long project

http://cuc.ca/young-adults/young-adult-project/

Facebook Links

Canadian Unitarian Council Youth and Young Adult Ministry page

https://www.facebook.com/CUCyayaministry/

UU Young Adults in Vancouver

Closed Group (You can ask to join)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/122226307860396/

90 members

UU Young Adult Connections

Closed Group (You can ask to join)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/698574876830392/

A continental group only for those between 18 and 35

1300+members

Description

There are a lot of UU young adults* wandering the continent but it’s easy for us to feel isolated. This group is here to combat that feeling and connect us to each other. Feel free to share events and information, ask questions, and invite other young adults you know. THIS GROUP IS INDEPENDENT OF THE UUA. *The UUA defines young adults as people between the ages of 18-35. If you are younger than 18 or older than 35, this is not the group for you. Note: We also welcome anyone who identifies as a U/U (Unitarian or Universalist) rather than as a UU.

 

Why I Love Transit

Why do I love transit?

It all goes back to my little red wagon and the joy of my body being powered by a force other than my own. With the wind in my hair I watched the world go by with a singular focus as my father pulled my weight with ease. When I board a bus or the skytrain I feel that wonder; the power of the wheel, the forward momentum, the ease of movement. I am a spectator of the world.

Sometimes I read or listen to music while riding. I have even been known to wear a headlamp for long rides at night in order to read in the dim light of the bus. If I am with someone we have the freedom to talk without interruptions. Often the conversation turns to long-term plans and ideas, the discussion of the journey of our lives paralleling the journey of the bus.

Sometimes I meditate or stare out the window catching a glimpse of Hollyburn Peaks, a bank of blooming cherry trees or a red-tailed hawk on a telephone pole. Sometimes I watch and listen to fellow passengers as I relish the diversity of cultures represented or the amazing ease of entry for wheelchairs and strollers on our kneeling bus.
Little kids love transit. When my own kids were small it was a time for asking questions, playing games and singing songs. Talking with other passengers seems natural with small children.

I have witnessed many small acts of kindness on transit like the Chinese grandma offering a banana to a hijab-clad mom to quiet her crying son, or an Asian man offering me his seat: “Not because you are old but because you are hot!” he joked. A friend tells me that once a bus driver got all the riders to sing happy birthday when he found out it was her birthday.

Some of the interactions are disturbing, of course, but I have a special transit radar that alerts me when things are brewing. I move to another section of the bus or another car on the skytrain when I sense something amiss. Or I sit and bear witness to a slice of life I would never encounter in a car.
What I am not doing on transit is:

  • Burning as many fossil fuels
  • Negotiating traffic jams
  • Enduring the persistent semi-conscious knowledge that at any moment I could kill someone or be killed by a hurling hunk of metal of which I am in control

I prefer the ease and sleek beauty of transit as I relinquish control and enjoy the ride in my enlarged red wagon which I share with a diverse community of people.

So if I say I am taking transit, please don’t offer me a ride. I have a car and could use it if needs be as I do when lack of time and energy dictate. Allow me my first choice: Transit.

By Mary Lage