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.

Please pick the flowers and herbs in the labyrinth

Yes, that’s an unusual invitation, I know, but… I’d love people to take a bit of UCV abundance home with them. The rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) makes a lovely bouquet to bring some sunshine indoors.

Here are some that I would really like to have picked. It saves me pruning and dead-heading:
Lavender (still quite nice but fading fast). It’s mainly on the outer ring on the east side.
Dandelions- of course – any time!
Mint – There are several kinds of mint – chocolate mint, pineapple mint, etc. Please do cut 6″ pieces or so to make tea or enjoy in salads etc.
Fennel – Nice for a bouquet and also nice with mint for tea, or infused water.
Any time —
Lambs ears – those lovely fuzzy leaves can be picked any time. Not edible (but not poisonous). Kids love to touch them.
Sage – on west side near a tree – pick a bit to take home – I love sage tea, or to flavour other foods.
Take up to 1/3 of…
The glorious rudbeckia/black-eyed Susan – Take the flowers that are in full bloom. I call this pre-emptive dead-heading. Cut the step right to the place where it connects with another stem, so it looks nice.
Please don’t pick without checking with me:
The echinacea was moved last year and just getting established, so I’d prefer it wasn’t picked yet. Leave it for the bees!!

 

Here are some excerpts and links about kids and flowers:

Some flowers, like the bright yellow dandelion, are very common and children should be encouraged to collect them by armfuls. Other flowers, like the yellow golden paintbrush, are endangered and should be left alone. Not all flowers are created equal but everyone (even kids!) can learn which flowers are good to pick, where to pick them and when to pick them. Learning about flowers and picking them is a wonderful opportunity for you and your child to connect with nature together.

Do you have an idea for a new group? Let’s make it happen!

We know it’s hard to get to know people on Sunday mornings. There are so many of us. And as is often said: There’s a lot that goes on around here.

UCV has lots of small groups where people get to know each other more easily. Some once formed are then closed. Others are drop-in. Several people are initiating new groups starting in September.

And perhaps YOU too have an idea of a group to get like-minded people together?

Sheila R. and Mary Bennett as the Connect and Engage team would like to support and encourage you if you do.

We can help you find the right committee to sponsor your group; learn how to book space and advertise.

We may do a forum in late August or early September if enough people want to learn all the how-to’s (and perhaps some what-not-to-dos) of running groups at UCV.

Interested? Please do say hello on Sunday morning or send us an email to ucvconnect@gmail.com

And of course, there may already be a small group that you’d be interested in – so check here.

Here are some good ideas for starting new groups:

https://www.uua.org/interconnections/192406.shtml

Can we penetrate the darkness?

The featured image for this posting is the detail of a drawing titled “Many suns cannot penetrate the darkness” created in 1989 by the late long time Vancouver Unitarian member Daphne Naegele. Now, 30 years after Daphne created this image and posed this question, we are still faced with it — can Unitarian Universalism help penetrate the darkness? Part of the answer to this question resides in our capacity to sustain ourselves financially. To examine our options, the UCV board has created a task force to examine the many facets of this question over the summer and fall. Get in touch with Sheila Resels or Keith WIlkinson if you’d like to be part of this discussion.

The UCV Board established a Financial Sustainability Task Force (FSTF) in July 2019. The purpose of the Task Force is to review and strengthen the financial sustainability of the Vancouver Unitarian congregation in the face of reduced levels of pledging, possibly static membership growth, and the general decline of religious community across North America over recent decades.

The Task Force includes the following working groups and teams:

  1. Membership Growth Team
  2. Member Generosity Team (which includes the Canvass Committee)
  3. Legacy Team
  4. Space Use Team
  5. Transition Team
  6. Site Development Team
  7. Investments Committee
  8. Fundraising Events Team
  9. Risk Review Team
  10. Marketing/Fundraiser Initiative Team
  11. UCV Internal Funds Review Initiative
  12. UCV (ad hoc) Budget Committee
  13. Other working groups/teams approved by the Board.

These groups and teams are relatively self-directed and are guided by the recent working document UCV Financial Sustainability Matrix. The working groups and teams are expected to prepare reports in time for the board and the congregation to discuss them well in advance of the 2019 AGM scheduled for late fall 2019 when a vote of the membership regarding possible site redevelopment is anticipated.

For further information, or to provide support to some of these working groups, please contact one of the co-chairs of the Financial Sustainability Task Force (FSTF):

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.

 

Text reminders

There’s a lot to keep track of, which is why we’re offering a new way to get the most important info about young adult events sent directly to your phone. We will use this service to send monthly reminders about Gathered Here, as well as other important event notices such as registration deadlines. Here are instructions for how to sign up for text reminders using a service called Remind.

1) By text:
Just text @cucya to (502) 694-1142 and you will be signed up for reminders. You should receive a confirmation from Remind right away.

2) Online:
Visit rmd.at/cucya to sign up for text, smartphone notifications and/or email reminders. By creating an account, you can change your settings or unsubscribe at any time.
* Remind was designed for classrooms, so you’ll get a prompt asking whether you’re a teacher, student, parent, etc. Just choose “student” to move to the next page.

3) By email:
Send an email to young-adults@cuc.ca and request to be added to the reminder group. Please include your cell phone number in the message.

[Thank you and credit to BLUU for the text notification idea and instructions! Visitblacklivesuu.com/ to learn more about their incredible work]

Additionally, you can always check in on what events are coming up for young adults atwww.cuc.ca/community/young-adults/young-adult-events/

 

Prepare for Pride – Info Table and Photo Booth

Prepare for Pride

Drop-in to the Genders and Sexualities Alliance table to prepare for Pride. In the courtyard before and after the service.

You can

  • paint a rainbow on a rock
  • take a selfie in front of our Welcoming congregation banner
  • pick up the GSA brochure and rainbow book mark
  • add your preferred pronouns to your name tag
  • get a rainbow or trans button or bracelet – by donation
  • check out new Welcoming Congregation mugs
  • ask anything at all

UCVs Genders and Sexualities Alliance was formed in the summer of 2018.

In the past year, we’ve

  • had two potlucks at UCV prior to attending the Out in Harmony choir concert (January and June)
  • hosted a forum with representatives from Qmunity
  • two other potluck/discussion/planning sessions
  • planned a worship service with Lorimer Shenher
  • created GSA brochure and worked with Communications team on principles bookmark
  • hosted a film screening of She’s a Boy I Knew
  • developed our group to include liaisons from other Metro Vancouver Unitarian congregations.

Redevelopment Mini-Messages – July 9th

Campus Redevelopment Update #1

How do I keep informed? Get Involved?

There are 5 work groups involved in specific topics. Starting September 15 the Planning Committee will host 5 special Sunday forums. For information and participation: Planning Committee: Gordon Gram (gordongram@me.com) Michael Clague (mclague@telus.net).

Campus Redevelopment Update #2

Why redevelop?

Concerned about long-term financial sustainability, the board in November 2016 established a planning committee to explore redeveloping part of the campus (while retaining ownership) with non-market rental housing to generate additional revenues. A business plan is underway to determine if these objectives can be met, for decision in November 2019.

For information and participation: Gordon Gram (gordongram@me.com) Michael Clague (mclague@telus.net).

Campus Redevelopment Update #3

To redevelop or not?

The business plan at the AGM November 17 will be deciding whether not to proceed. Two other groups are examining alternatives to redevelopment: retaining/improving Hewett Centre (Buildings and Grounds Committee); exploring expanded sources of revenue (Keith Wilkinson).

For information and participation: Gordon Gram (gordongram@me.com) Michael Clague (mclague@telus.net).

Campus Redevelopment Up-Date: #4

Why now?

55 years ago members of this church made the most important decision they could: to buy property at 49th and Oak. Now a similar decision is at hand with our AGM on November 17; whether or not to build non-market rental housing and a new Hewett Centre for the financial security of UCV for the next 50 years. 5 special forums planned starting September 15 sponsored by the Planning Committee and Circle of Concern.

For information and participation: Gordon Gram (gordongram@me.com) Michael Clague (mclague@telus.net).

Campus Redevelopment Up-Date #5

What is the redevelopment package?

A 95 unit, 6 story, non-market rental housing, 50% to accommodate families; a new Hewett Centre (financed out of the project). The package is to generate a growing revenue stream for the church into the future.

For information and participation: Gordon Gram (gordongram@me.com) Michael Clague (mclague@telus.net).

Campus Redevelopment Up-Date #6

What are the concerns?

Timing is bad: we will be recruiting a new minister; volunteer and staff resources will be over-stretched; carrying on during construction. What about just up-grading the Hewett Centre? Members can get involved in these and other issues with 5 member work groups and 5 special Sunday forums sponsored by the Planning Committee starting September 15th. For information and participation: Gordon Gram (gordongram@me.com) Michael Clague (mclague@telus.net).

Campus Redevelopment Up-Date #7

What stage is redevelopment at?

The City has given support in principle to apply for rezoning for non-market rental housing and a new Hewett Centre subject to discussions that include the Hornbeam Trees on 49th Avenue and potential up-grades for the heritage – designated Sanctuary. The board will bring a recommendation to the November 17th AGM.

For information and participation: Gordon Gram (gordongram@me.com) Michael Clague (mclague@telus.net).

Campus Redevelopment Up-Date #8

If we decide to redevelop, how do we maintain church programs during a 2.5 year construction period possibly starting Spring 2022?

A transition plan with costs is being developed by John Boyle, Elliott Dainow, and Connie Wigmore.

Campus Redevelopment Up-Date #9

What is the vision?

The following statement was approved in the proposal to prepare a business plan for redevelopment by 64% of members in attendance at the 2018 ExtraOrdinary General Meeting:

At this mid-century point of its life, our vision for the campus of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver for the next 50 years is that of a compelling, beautiful, intergenerational home for Unitarians to worship and to celebrate, one respectful of the original design, one that provides an affordable place to live for a cross-section of our community, and a place for all Vancouverites to gather for spiritual enquiry, to enjoy arts and culture, and to engage in dialogue and action on matters of social justice and the environment.

64 Red Dresses – Thank You!

Thank you to all who contributed red dresses and cash! A total of 64 red dresses were collected from UCV members or purchased from thrift stores using donations by UCV members.

These dresses were delivered to the BC Union of Indian Chiefs and will be hung along the Trans Mountain pipeline route in Sepwecemc territory.

This red dress collection drive at UCV  was sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and supported by the Environment Team and other individuals.

Background on Honour the Women Project:

The recently released report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls states that there is a correlation between resource extraction and violence against Indigenous women and girls. Work camps/man camps built for resource extraction projects are implicated in higher rates of violence against Indigenous women at the camps and neighbouring communities.

At the Stop Trans Mountain Pipeline rally at Creekside Park on June 9, 2019, Doreen Manuel, Secwepemc Nation film maker, and sister of the late Chief Arthur Manuel, announced that she is collecting red dresses (the symbol of missing and murdered Indigenous women) for her “Honour the Women project”. She will hang red dresses along the route of the pipeline in Secwepemc Territory both as an art installation and as a reminder to all who the victims are.

For more information about this project, please contact Doreen Manual at: honourthewomen@gmail.com

Youth Taking Action with Rallies for CBC Leaders’ Debate on Climate

Vancouver Unitarians rallied once again in support of climate justice. This time it was on July 17 at CBC Vancouver. The rally was organized by Our Time, a national campaign of young people, in order to push the CBC to broadcast a federal leaders’ debate focused on climate change and a Green New Deal for Canada (see The Pact for a Green New Deal

What would a Green New Deal for Canada look like?
A cohort of over 30 young persons led the rally with speeches, songs, and cheers.
We were several hundred in Vancouver and we were joined by many hundreds more in over 20 cities across Canada.
We were proud to stand with these committed and inspiring young people.

Vancouver Unitarians standing with the youth leading the July 17 rally to get a CBC federal leaders’ debate on climate and the Green New Deal

https://our-time.ca/gnd/

A wish list for our labyrinths for 2039 or earlier

Here is Mary’s wish list for our labyrinths for 2039 (or sooner) from her homily presented July 7th.

I have a wish list for the future of our labyrinths.

I wish there was a big welcoming sign giving the basics of how and why to walk a labyrinth.
I wish more neighbours would regularly stop by to walk the labyrinth and that some of them would decide to check out what else happens here.

Bench with labyrinth at Xenia Retreat centre on Bowen Island

I wish there were benches for resting. And maybe a yellow Friendship bench indicating that someone sitting there would appreciate a conversation.
I wish that when you reach the centre of the courtyard labyrinth, you could actually able to walk into the centre area, not have your way blocked by a big tree root.

Some other wishes (there wasn’t time to list them all!) are

  • a late-night lantern walk on the labyrinth–perhaps for Hallowe’en/Samhain
  • until or unless we can move the shrubs around, a bird bath at the end of the courtyard labyrinth walk would be lovely
  • a labyrinth group who meet regularly for labyrinth walks, planning labyrinth walks ad tending the labyrinth.
  • more music on the labyrinth. Thank you to Tara for playing her harp on the labyrinth on May 4th – could we have more music? and poetry readings? or?
  • picnics on the labyrinth
  • a little free library – that includes books or handouts about the labyrinth. Little Free Labyrinth Library
  • wooden markers for the plants

Maybe you have wishes? Let us know your ideas!

Labyrinth Rabbit Hole

Curious about labyrinths?

Here are some of the links that Mary Bennett referred to at the service on July 9th about labyrinths and related ideas like eco-philosophy (or ecosophy) and gardening to live to be 100. Come down the rabbit hole (Maze?) to learn more about labyrinths!

Some references

UCV labyrinth web page vancouverunitarians.ca/labyrinth

Lauren Artress https://www.laurenartress.com/

St. Paul’s Labyrinth https://stpaulsanglican.bc.ca/site1/outreach-2/labyrinth/

Matthew Fox http://www.matthewfox.org/

Stephan Harding on Becoming Indigenous

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwG746L3dDg

Schumacher College https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/

James Lovelock http://www.jameslovelock.org/

350.org https://350.org/

Dan Buettner: TED talk on How to Live to be 100

https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_buettner_how_to_live_to_be_100?language=en

Small is Beautiful https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Is_Beautiful

World wide labyrinth locator https://labyrinthlocator.com/

World Labyrinth Day (First Saturday in May) https://labyrinthsociety.org/world-labyrinth-day

Veriditas https://www.veriditas.org/

How to draw a labyrinth youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyEwgGuWzCI

Here are some links to other Canadian Unitarian congregations with labyrinths.

Ottawa First also have a labyrinth but no web page as yet.

If you know of others, please send an email to unitarianlabyrinth@gmail.com and we’ll update this page.