We are pleased to inform you that the repair work on the Fremlin Street entrance to our beautiful Sanctuary has been completed!
Many thanks to Heritage BC for their generous support of this project.
Buildings and Grounds Committee information; renting space at UCV.
We are pleased to inform you that the repair work on the Fremlin Street entrance to our beautiful Sanctuary has been completed!
Many thanks to Heritage BC for their generous support of this project.
What Do We Call Ourselves Task Force (WDWCO)
Forum – September 18, 2022
28 in attendance at start of meeting (including 4 Task Force members and 3 advisers)
Topic: WHAT NAME THAT WE CAN ALL LIVE WITH WOULD MOST LIKELY SUPPORT OUR FUTURE VIABILITY WHILE STILL HONOURING OUR JOURNEY TO THE PRESENT?
The question of what UCV will be called has been part of its evolving story since early days, and several changes have been made at different points of time for various reasons. For Unitarian Universalists, exploring and naming our identities, individually and communally, is an essential part of our living faith tradition, and also a perennial challenge. What this congregation chooses to call itself is emblematic not only of history and theology, but of who we aspire to be, who our vision and mission call us to become. A name reflects our identity as a spiritual, religious body, part of a larger religious community, and of our place and purpose in the world. Choosing a name is about more than words or acronyms, it is a complex and meaningful affirmation of being in covenantal community with common purpose and vision. – Rev. Lara
Circle of Names Flipchart Summary recorded by Advisor Rob Dainow
Also addressed briefly:
Issues that surfaced:
June 9, 2022 – Native plants in bloom on labyrinth:
Lupins are in full bloom and buzzing with bees. Blue camas is blooming. 3 tender dwarf native red columbines are near the Butterflyway sign in the labyrinth. Just planted two pearly everlasting plants (native plants).
Thank you, Patti, for weed-whacking and edging the labyrinth. Volunteers needed to pull up the grass that crept into the garden beds. Also, yes, there’s still buttercups.
I’d love to share with you what’s growing and have you help with taking out what’s not supposed to be growing!
We are starting on June 18, with taking out periwinkle. It’ll be a multi-year project. here’s information from the Invasive Species Council of BC. The good thing is that it’s all contained in areas that have borders, so we’re starting with the patch around the big arbutus tree.
May 25, 2022 – Shade Garden Native Plants
We have some shade garden native plants including bunchberry and kinnickanick needing a crew to help plant.
If you can help, please contact Mary – we can meet up or I can show you the project and you can do at your own time!
Saturday June 18 – 12 noon – Join youth from Invasive Species Council of BC to pull out periwinkle and plant native species
Needed: If you have property with native plants that spread, we’d greatly appreciate donations of any of the following: kinnickanick, bleeding heart, heart-leaved arnica, salal, pearly everlasting, trillium. Contact [email protected] to arrange.
PREVIOUS UPDATES AND EVENTS
Saturday, May 21 – Bee Day at Maplewood Flats/Wild Bird Trust Email if you’d like to meet up. You need to book a ticket
APRIL 22 – JUNE 6, 2022 Coast Salish Plant Exhibition: Celebrating Indigenous Ecosystems at Maplewood Flats
April 27, 2022 — Thank you to the Enviro team for allocating $100 for 20 native plants grown by Environmental Youth Alliance and to John Boyle and Ron Gibson for arranging reservation of the garden bundles.
May 7 from 10am-12noon, we hope to plant these native plants. All worker bees welcome. Karen Theroux will be coordinating use of tools etc. so just show up. If you like to wear gardening gloves, bring your own.
April 9, 2022 — Working with Patti of Buildings and Grounds, two areas (as well as the labyrinth) have been identified as #butterflyway pollinator pathways:
Want to contribute to this project? Fill out this form, and we’ll contact you. https://forms.gle/EdDehWweb1AUKgNa7
If you’re on facebook, follow this page for news. We want to connect with our neighbours to encourage more butterfly pollinator gardens nearby.
Just search for Butterflyway – South Vancouver or click here: https://www.facebook.com/ButterflywaySouthVancouver
April 16, a couple of us are meeting up at Maplewood Flats/Wild Bird Trust Coast Salish plant nursery in North Vancouver at noon. Bring your bagged lunch.
On April 24 after the Earth Day worship service, there will be an information display about butterflies and native plants outdoors and then a workshop in Lindsey-Priestley. Native Plant workshop
February 23, 2022 by Cathy Sevcik
UCV has been officially accepted into the David Suzuki Foundation’s program – “The Butterfly Way Project”. The goal of the program is to establish consistent habitat for our native bees and butterflies. This program has been active since 2017 and is part of a larger movement of “Rewilding Communities”
Pollinators are essential for keeping our ecosystem healthy. As part of this program, we are tasked with planting at least 12 pollinator patches. Some of these will be on the UCV campus and our small group of volunteers will be looking for ways to spread these pollinator patches to neighbouring growing spaces.
Some of our group have already met with the organizer of the Balaclava Pollinator Pathway. We look forward to collaborating with this group in a variety of ways: such as sharing seeds, attending events and learning from each other. This initiative has the potential to provide our members with means to making a difference in our ecosystem and making connections in our city. We are aware that some UCV members are already butterfly rangers in different areas of the city and look forward to collaborating with them also.
In addition to sponsoring planting events, we hope to provide educational and social opportunities surrounding this initiative to the wider UCV community and our neighbourhood. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, if you are interested in being involved in a hands-on manner, please complete a volunteer form on our website here: ucv.im/pollinatorpathway
from Cathy Sevcik and Mary Bennett, new Butterfly Rangers
UCV’s Enviro Team voted to support this project at the February 29, 2022, meeting.
Scroll down on that page to see posters of 8 native plants with the Musqueam names
There’s a garden near the parking lot that’s looked after by the Earth Spirit/Pagan group. You are welcome to snip some herbs for drying, decoration or tea! You’ll know it because it’s the one with stakes with labels of the various herbs: sage, lavender, mint, etc.
There are several different kinds of mint there. And they’re about to die down for the winter, so please harvest:
If you haven’t tried sage tea or adding rosemary or lavender, those are nice as well.
If you’re making something savoury for Thanksgiving, pick some sage, thyme, or rosemary to add. These plants like to be regularly clipped back.
There’s also some chives and arugula for clipping.
Please leave the echinacea to go to seed, but pick the rudbeckia (brown-eyed susans).Indeed these cheerful and hardy flowers spread and we’d like to remove most of them from the herb garden so if you have a place to plant something (or willing to help move some to our labyrinth), please contact Mary and make arrangements.
Many people like to use herbs for a seasonal wreath or swag. Or even a Hallowe’en broom!
Not exactly an herb, but there’s kale there for picking as we’re wanting to plant new things. Please take!
There’s lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage around the labyrinth. Feel free to pick. The garden path is adjacent to the Fremlin side – ie east side of the property. Take a walk around it and pick whatever you like. It’s a scent-sation.
Most people have tried mint tea, and we have a growing selection of mints – in pots! pineapple mint, chocolate mint and “ordinary” mint. Really you can just take some, crush it a bit to release the flavour and scent, and add to hot water. Or you can make a mix and try it out. To dry, just pick and hang upside down in a cool dark place.
¼ cup cane sugar
3 ¾ cups water
1/3 c. (approx.) thin sliced fresh ginger root, unpeeled
Put all ingredients into a pot and heat for 3-5 minutes or until it is steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat, stir and let cool. If possible leave overnight to cool and then remove ginger pieces.
Put one slice of lemon into the bottom of the jar or container for ginger syrup. *
Mint tea – for 6 litre / large container
Cut garden mint the day before. About 6 – 8 cups before washing, sorting and trimming. Choose stems with the largest leaves.
Cut stems to remove roots, discard any damaged or yellowed or too small leaves or stems. Cut stems short enough to fit into the salad spinner or the large glass container that will hold the tea.
Place bunches of stems into a salad spinner after all the stems have been soaked in a large container completely covered in water for 20 – 30 minutes.
When the bunches of mint have been processed lay them in the bottom of the large tea jar until the container is ¼ to 1/3 full. Boil water and pour over leaves until the container is more than half full or double the depth of the layers of mint. Can be up to 2/3 full of water. Leave overnight to cool with the mint in place.
Remove all the stems of mint once it has completely cooled in the morning. Add ice to the container before serving if you wish to have the tea chilled.
Black Tea – Just add other herbs if you wish.
Cut some lemon balm stems as well. Wash and place them in a jar. *
Place lemon balm leaf into bottom of the cup, pour in a tsp or so of the ginger syrup and then fill up with the mint tea.
* Refrigerate these overnight
Pick some fresh herbs to make or add to tea as you walk. A pinch of this; a pinch of that.
The following are available.
To find suggestions and health benefits, just google “sage tea benefits” etc.
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! This year a group that started with a mystery pal connection have collaboratively planted, harvested and learned together.
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! There’s a role for you whatever your physical constraints or abilities and interests.
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. Mary’s also been planting drought-resistant plants around the concrete labyrinth to keep the weeds back. Fall is a good time to move a few things around and add some snowdrops and grape hyacinths for the spring.
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 farthest west gardens are for the Children’s program. Yvonne and Megumi tend to manage it, but welcome ideas and help from kids and youth.
The farthest east has two sections. The upper part was looked after by Mairy Beam and Mary Bennett and is now a Pagan group Free Herb Garden. We often pick and share the herbs with the earth spirit circle. We’ve been making stakes to label the herbs. You are welcome to pick any time.
More details here: https://vancouverunitarians.ca/herbs/
The lower part started as a Mystery Pal project with Cynthia and Gaon and now has a team of 8 involved.
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 include:
The southern three boxes are prioritized for our families or mystery pal pairs/groups. They’re about 3′ (one meter) square, so you could plant just a few items–low maintenance–and others would likely help you if you need it!
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 the 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.
Coming this fall: a rhubarb patch. In the spring we’ll harvest and share with a congregational group. Maybe Messy Church if it starts up again. Bakers will be needed to harvest rhubarb and put into something like muffins!
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 a very, very small area 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. She’d love to hear from you.
You may have heard or seen of the desecration of the art installation at our neighbour’s site, Shaughnessy United proclaiming the message “God’s doors are open to all.”
Rev. Lara has sent a message of support on behalf of our congregation.
In case you missed it, here are two links for you:
Photo from the CBC story
Dear Rev. Dave Moors, Shaughnessy United
Before we go off in all directions for the summer, let us recall the sequence of events that have transpired and brought us to this place, because when we return in the fall, ‘this place’ will not have pews, it will have beautiful new chairs. It will also have new lighting and sound systems.
Changing the pews to chairs was suggested by Steven Epperson a year ago and has been discussed casually for some years. Steven brought it up again right before he left, urging us to upgrade and share our Sanctuary with the wider community, thus attracting diverse younger people. He specifically said to the Board that he felt the pews should be replaced by chairs so that the space is more adaptable; this could greatly enhance our community outreach efforts and thus keep UCV relevant and sustainable.
Then, when UCV was offered an anonymous gift to upgrade the lights and sound of the Sanctuary shortly after Steven left, the Board did some research as to what an upgraded Sanctuary could give us, and the larger community. Moreover, a UCV Young Persons Task Force was formed and they submitted a fulsome report about what young Unitarians want from their spiritual home.
Our research and this report revealed that replacing the pews with chairs would give us a space that is much more flexible and could therefore accommodate various forms of worship, walking meditation, circle dance, Indigenous and other cultural forms of ceremony, Jazz Festival events, cabaret fundraisers, and Writers Festival events, to illustrate just a few. It would also allow folks with physical challenges, such as people in wheelchairs, to sit up front and not have to be relegated to the back of the room. The room could also be configured into a circle, the most democratic of configurations, allowing everyone equal status and accessibility.
So in short, it became evident that changing pews to chairs needed to be part of our Sanctuary upgrades because changing pews to chairs deepens our commitment to radical inclusivity. Moreover, the Sanctuary upgrades project furthers our community outreach and membership-building efforts. Having the Sanctuary empty during the pandemic seemed like an ideal time to make all the upgrades.
So the Board engaged the congregation in discussions around the possibility of Sanctuary upgrades (which included replacing pews with chairs) in fall of 2020, and the response we received at the forum we held at that time was enthusiastically in favour of the changes.
Following this engagement with the membership, we brought it to a discussion and a vote at the AGM in November 2020. At that vote during the AGM, the vast majority of UCV members voted in favour of the Sanctuary upgrades and changing the pews to chairs while keeping the balcony pews in tact and a few on the sides.
In this way, our beautiful Sanctuary will become a more welcoming space for various forms of worship, various physical abilities, become a cultural destination, and most importantly, attract a younger and more diverse demographic to our Church which will ensure that UCV will thrive into the future.
This has been a very challenging time for all of us, and as a congregation we continue to rise and meet those challenges as best we can. Although change is always difficult, we know from experience that from every ending comes a new beginning. I hope you will embrace our new Sanctuary this fall, and all the possibilities it affords.
With that thought and on behalf of the UCV Board of Trustees, I wish you a safe and peaceful summer.
Best wishes, Diane Brown, UCV Board Chair.
Thirty people helped to create an orange installation on our corner and magically (with hard work) transform a labyrinth full of buttercup weeds into a bright orange spectacle.
Throughout June, Indigenous Peoples Month, we expect to host more gatherings to make sure both sites remain beautiful and invite our neighbours and our own community to come and participate.
With the terrible news about the abused and murdered children buried in a mass grave at the Kamloops residential school, I wanted to do something at UCV to acknowledge the pain and reflect our growing awareness and demands for change. The UCV community had already agreed to donate money to the IRSSS (Indigenous Residential School Survivors Society), but I wanted to also put on a public face to remind others not in our community that we ALL need to care and remember.
A $3000 donation from the balance of the OOF account has been made by UCV, effective immediately, to support the work of the Indigenous Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS).
Dear Unitarian Friends,
With the blossoming of spring comes hope, light, and a sense of comfort born from Mother Natures faithfulness to us. To top off this seasonal levity, here is some good news from your diligent Board of Trustees.
The Buildings and Grounds Committee and members of the Executive Board continue to work hard on the Sanctuary Upgrades; a Forum will be scheduled soon so please stay tuned.
After soliciting input from the congregation via email, phone and forum, the Board approved the new Organizational Design that was recommended by one of the Ministerial Transition Team task forces, and it is being implemented with some tweaks and adjustments. This design streamlines and clarifies lines of accountability and underscores a collaborative, communicative working environment. It also means that we are going to hire a Membership/Outreach Coordinator to help build our membership and engage with the wider community.
The Board also engaged the congregation via email, phone and forum in a conversation about extending the Interim Ministerial time an extra year. After considering all of the feedback, the Board has decided to extend our Interim Ministerial time an extra year.
Finally, the Decolonizing Practices Workshop is full! Looking forward to seeing everyone who signed up for it on Saturday April 24 from 10 – 3; zoom link to come.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at [email protected]
Dear Unitarian friends,
I hope you had a rejuvenating winter break. It is a new year, a fresh start, and a lot of exciting work lies ahead. I have two invitations for you to consider in the coming weeks which both further the mission and the vision of our church.
Because we as Unitarians are committed to creating a more inclusive, compassionate and equitable world, I am organizing a Decolonizing Practices Workshop for staff, board, and members that will be run by professional Indigenous consultants.
I would like us all to have the opportunity to get better informed on decolonizing our practices and how to diversify our organization’s membership and board to include more Indigenous people and persons of colour. We need to identify the barriers to our organization and to develop the solutions. This one-day workshop will also include a half-day on the history and ongoing colonization in Canada.
The Decolonizing Practices Workshop will be in early spring and hopefully live and in person. If Covid prevails, we will pursue an online format. If you are interested in this, please let me know so I have an idea of interest and numbers. If the numbers are high, I may have to organize two workshops. [email protected].
Secondly, I would like to invite you all to an Ideas Forum for the Upgraded Sanctuary to generate ideas together for how the new space could be used and be more productive.
This Ideas Forum will be on Sunday Jan. 17th at 12:30 on zoom. Galen Elfert and Dianne Crosbie will be on hand to answer any questions about the lighting/sound upgrades and the new chairs.
The seed behind the Sanctuary Upgrades was planted by Steven, and furthered by a generous donor. Then we asked ourselves, could our beautiful Sanctuary become a cultural and spiritual destination, a hub for various performance and spiritual groups to meet, worship, rehearse, perform, share ideas? In this way, could we attract a younger and more diverse demographic to our Church, boosting accessibility by allowing for more varied and inclusive styles of music/art/worship?
We as a congregation are welcoming and wish to diversify our membership. So let us be pro-active and create a space that is inviting to various creative interests, ages and spiritual practices. Let us not only create that space, let us intentionally seek out and invite communities into our space. Our new Membership and Outreach staff person will definitely help with the marketing and outreach end of things, but what else can we envision for this space and how can we fill it?
Come with your ideas and let’s imagine together! I look forward to seeing many of you there and sharing our thoughts.
Best wishes for the New Year,
Diane Brown, UCV Board President.