Category: Our Space

Buildings and Grounds Committee information; renting space at UCV.

Indoor Labyrinth Walking in Meditation Room

We now have custody of an indoor labyrinth that fits perfectly in our meditation room.

Seven women who were part of the Women’s Spirituality Celebration and, along with a dozen or more others, met and walked it together in January. A discussion ensued that people would like the chance to walk it more often and share it with others as well..

The 10′ x 12′ canvas labyrinth was created by Barbara Bickel while on an artist residency on Toronto Island.

Barbara was, with Mary Bennett, and others part of a planning team for an annual Women’s Spirituality Celebration held at UBC Vancouver School of Theology.While the group hasn’t hosted an event in recent years, there are “circles of circles” of women who continue to connect in various ways, often around a labyrinth walk, shared food and conversation.

Barbara created it for the WSC and has wanted it to be available for borrowing by women who wish to use it for an event.

If you have a connection to Women’s Spirituality Celebration or a Unitarian congregation, you can arrange to borrow it from Mary Bennett.

We plan to have an open labyrinth walk every 1st Tuesday from 6 to 7pm prior to circle dancing in the hall. Mary will book space and ensure the meditation room is open by ten to 6. Women involved with WSC will take turns laying out the labyrinth, welcoming new people and putting the labyrinth back after the walk.

We have a labyrinth facebook group. 

There are two outdoor labyrinths on the Unitarian Centre site.

Go to http://vancouverunitarians.ca/labyrinth to learn more.

Contact Mary through unitarianlabyrinth@gmail.com if you wish to arrange to borrow the indoor labyrinth.

 

Join some Unitarians walking the labyrinth at St. Paul’s Anglican

Several Unitarians traditionally go to St. Paul’s Anglican church on New Year’s Eve to walk the labyrinth with live music. They offer a very welcoming atmosphere including snacks around 10:30pm.

Here’s the information from their facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/855819938167446/

Come and walk the labyrinth in meditation on New Year’s Eve or Day with live music! There will also be food and a place to chat in the lower hall (we keep silence in the labyirnth walking spaces except for the music). Free or suggested donation $5-20 to help cover performer costs. See discussion for links to performer bios.

PERFORMERS FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE AND NEW YEAR’S DAY
NEW YEAR’S EVE:

Music Schedule
• 6-8 pm Harpist Rebecca Blair
• 8-10 pm Harpist Clarity
• 10:15-12:15 Quiet Hearts Ensemble – Peaceful Piano and other instruments

WHERE ARE WE?
In the large ‘hall’ building attached to St Paul’s Anglican Church on 1130 Jervis Street (parking is available on Davie).

More about the labyrinth and other times to walk it here:
https://www.stpaulsanglican.bc.ca/programs/labyrinth-at-st-pauls

What’s in a Name? Next forum January 19

The What Do We Call Ourselves task force (WDWCO) was created by the Board in 2018 to examine whether we should change our name from the Unitarian Church of Vancouver to a name without “church.” To carry out its mission, WDWCO would like to provide ways for all members and friends (adherents) of UCV to hear, understand, and contribute to the discussions around what name best suits our congregation. Although as UCV members, we might differ on the name question, we believe we share similar values and goals for our beloved community. We are confident that we can come to shared understanding and a path forward.

We offer the following viewpoints (heard during informal discussions among some UCV members) as a starting point for discussion. If your viewpoint isn’t represented here, we’d like to know what it is. We want input and will be seeking it at the Forum on January 19th.

I want to retain our current name because:
Our name Unitarian Church of Vancouverhonours our 500-year history as a Church. For me, the UnitarianChurchof today has an expanded meaning that is inclusive of all ethical beliefs. It demonstrates how a Church can be a progressive religious community.

The name “Church” speaks to our spiritual roots and provides a sense of continuity and comfort. Some of us may have left the church of our upbringing, but we have not severed our connection with spirituality.

The name Unitarian Churchhas gravitas and promotes respect. Having originated as a branch of Christianity, we are identified as a religious community and we belong at the table of multi-faith gatherings. As well, our identity as a Church invites media inquiries seeking “religious perspectives” on pressing moral issues.

The Unitarian Church has led and continues to lead progressive religious change. Such progress can be inspiring to other religious communities.

I want to change our name because:
I am uncomfortable with the word Church, finding it restrictive as a name for our spiritual home and community. A church is by definition a Christianentity, which is not a spiritual fit with those members and friends who do not identify as Christian. “Church” discourages many potential attendees who have negative associations with Christian denominations, along with those whose heritage is in non-Christian cultures, those who identify as Pagans or secular Humanists, and those who resist any labelling of their views. And a more welcoming name could appeal to those who describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious” , individuals who may be seeking an inclusive spiritual community free of dogma.

I believe that with an alternative name we will remain an influential member of multifaith communities. For example, one of the largest Unitarian communities in Canada, The First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, (no “Church” in their name), is well-respected in the National Capital Region, and has good relations with near and far-flung Christian and non-Christian faith communities alike.

34 of the 47 Unitarian congregations in Canada call themselves something other than a Church.

I am undecided because:
I haven’t thought much about this and I don’t have enough information. I look forward to participating in our community’s thoughtful consideration and discussion of all the input. I want to understand the beliefs and opinions of others. I hope I’ll then be better able to make a decision.

I will support whatever decision is made:
I trust our community will thoughtfully consider all input and make the best decision for the greater good.

I am reluctant to get involved…
To the reluctant, we encourage you to consider that in our community, all views count. We invite your careful listening and input as the discussions proceed. We want an environment where you feel comfortable to contribute your voice.

We strive to make ourdecision process inclusive, caring, informed, and democratic. What we choose to call ourselves is our identity.It matters.

Please share your views, come to the Forum on January 19th. Questions in the meantime?
Email us at: sresels@gmail.com

 

Walk the labyrinth as the longest night approaches

During the Yule celebration, we’ll have lanterns for you to make (or simply hold) as you walk — possibly in the rain — our labyrinth. As you wend your way to the centre you might think about 2019 and all you are leaving behind. Then, after turning in the centre, consider the coming days with growing light and what they will bring to you.

The courtyard labyrinth is easily accessed directly from Hewett Hall.

Hardier labyrinth walkers might want to make their way over to our garden path labyrinth on the east side of the property.

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.

 

Gardening at UCV – if you like to dig, there are many opportunities

There are many opportunities to garden at UCV. Some of our members have home gardens and more than enough on their plate managing that, but others live in condos or apartments and enjoy the chance to beautify our grounds and enjoy the company of others who love dirt!

Work with a crew once a month

Once a month on the 3rd Saturday a crew arrives and Patti Turner helps them find things that work for them and help keep our extensive grounds and gardens looking good. Patti brings home-cooked snacks! And Steven usually thanks them the following day. As one of the people who spend a lot of time at UCV he notices the difference – big time!

Help Mary with the labyrinth

Bubbles on the Labyrinth October 15, 2018.

Our garden path labyrinth can always use work and a couple of us get together on a spontaneous schedule if it looks like a good day. If you’d like to join us, or know some regular tasks that need doing that you can do on your own time, just drop Mary Bennett a note.

Vegetable gardens on north side

You may have noticed the vegetable gardens on the north side of the property. These were first put in after digging up lawn (we have a lot of it, and are lessening it over time) in the mid-90s.  At the same time, we put heather on the SW corner and a herb garden on the south side.

The west gardens are for the Children’s program.

The farthest east is looked after by Mairy Beam and Mary Bennett.  We often pick and share the herbs with the earth spirit circle.

The largest area in the middle is divided into a number of smaller plots from 3′ square to about 4′ x 6′.

The gardeners there are:

  • Sandy Riecken
  • Megumi/Amy Anderson (Love Soup)
  • Marie Witt
  • Gerda Schulz
  • Patti Turner

The southern three boxes are for three of our families.

Karl Perrin digging in children’s garden. 2017

Would you like to have a vegetable garden area at UCV — or work with others on their plots?

Would you like to have a small plot of your own either for yourself or to support a program at UCV? You could do it as part of a pair or group or on your own.

Mary’s been working on helping new gardeners find a plot of a size that works for them and over time building up the very clay-y soil with compost and dried leaves.

There’s some space available for another plot or two, including a raised bed near he sidewalk that wouldn’t require much bending. It might work for someone in a wheel chair even. Contact Mary if you’d like to take on a plot.

Adopt an area

Once people start gardening at UCV they quickly begin to notice the expanse of the property and the need for many hands to make light work. Some years ago, there was a suggestion that individuals might “adopt an area” – perhaps even very very small and take it on to weed, water and perhaps even plant.

Is there a spot you’ve noticed needs some pruning or weeding?

Talk to Patti if you are ready to adopt a section of the grounds.

Meditate with us

Vancouver Unitarians have a dedicated “Meditation Room” that has been in continuous use for over two decades. Each Sunday morning and Wednesday evening an eclectic group of both Unitarians and interested Vancouverites meet for a 45-minute meditation session. 

For the past five years the group has been led by Victoria Oginski who has been meditating herself for over 35 years. As an enthusiastic student of Buddhism, Victoria has gone on long meditation retreats in Burma, studied in Bodh Gaya in northern India where the Buddha attained enlightenment, and Dharamsala, the home of the Dalai Lama. 

While the group is loosely informed by the Vajrayana school of Tibetan Buddhism anyone interested in meditation is wholehearted welcome!

On Wednesdays, after the meditation from 6:30-7:15 we take a break and then at 7:30 begin our book study. Currently we are reading (out loud) The Mind Illuminated by Culadasa (John Yates, PhD).

 

submitted by Carolyn Grant

(Some) Apples are ready for picking – please help yourselves

Photo credit: Keith Wilkinson

We have 14 apple trees on the North West side of the property.

They were planted to celebrate our 100th anniversary.

UPDATE: Next up: The King apples are ripe mid-September to early October.

In the meantime, do pick up any fallen apples. 

 

Our apple tree varieties are (clockwise from North West)
Honey Crisp, Scarlet Sentinel, King, Florina, Yellow Transparent, Summerland Red Macintosh, Ambrosia, 
Gravenstein, Cox Orange Pippin, Liberty, Sunrise, Golden Sentinel, Shamrock and Jonafree.

In order of ripening:

Yellow Transparent  July 10–25

SUNRISE  mid-August

GRAVENSTEIN  

Cox’s Orange Pippin late picking straight from the tree recommended.

Scarlet Sentinel – mid to late September

King – September 15 – 25

Florina – late September https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florina_(apple)

McIntosh – not till September 20-30

Ambrosia – mid to late season – October

Liberty – late season

 

FROM https://www.bctfpg.ca/horticulture/varieties-and-pollination/apple-varieties/

I’m adding more details about the various trees and apples below. A work in progress.
Apples are ready between   August 15 – October 30
from: https://pickyourown.org/apples_howtotellwhenripe.php
Scarlet Sentinel

King

Sept. 15–25 Yellow with red blush

Red McIntosh

Sept. 20–30 Yellow with red blush
Popular in America since 1811

  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad, good as part of a blend for applesauce
  • Sweet, mild flavor

ambrosia apple

Ambrosia – mid to late season

  • Sweet, crisp, aromatic flavour reminiscent of pear and low acidity.
  • Mostly red colouration, with yellow patches.
  • Flesh is cream-coloured, firm meat
  • Medium to large in size
  • Developed in British Columbia in the early 1990s.
  • Believed to be a cross of a Jonagold and Golden Delicious.
  • Ripens mid to late season

Gravenstein apple

Gravenstein

  • Greenish-yellow with a lumpy appearance
  • A good, all-purpose apple,
  • Good for applesauce and pies.

Cox’s Orange Pippin – early

  • Popular in English markets.
  • Medium sized, golden yellow skin, with brownish orange
  • often russeted.
  • Flesh tender, crisp, semi-tart
  • early

Liberty apple

Liberty – late season

  • A highly disease-resistant introduction from Geneva New York.
  • Liberty has superior dessert quality, similar to one of its parents, Macoun
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad
  • flavor improves in storage
  • late season

Sunrise – mid August

Yellow Transparent July 10–25 Creamy yellow

Jonagold Sept. 15–Oct. 7 Yellow with red stripes

Jonathan Sept. 20–25 Yellow with red blush

Golden Delicious Oct. 1–15 Yellow

Delicious—red strains Oct. 1–15 Red

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.