Category: Labyrinth

News about the two labyrinths on the church grounds. We do a 3x/year e-newsletter to labyrinth enthusiasts beyond UCV which draws on these articles. (subset of Earth Spirit)

Please pick the herbs – we like to share them!

Free Herb Garden

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.

Herbal teas

There are several different kinds of mint there. And they’re about to die down for the winter, so please harvest:

  • pineapple mint
  • chocolate mint
  • spearmint

If you haven’t tried sage tea or adding rosemary or lavender, those are nice as well.

Culinary herbs

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.

Flowers

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.

Seasonal decor

Many people like to use herbs for a seasonal wreath or swag. Or even a Hallowe’en broom!

Kale

Not exactly an herb, but there’s kale there for picking as we’re wanting to plant new things. Please take!

Labyrinth picking

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.

Mint Tea

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.

Here are some recipes.

Recipes for teas

Ginger syrup recipe – makes 1 litre/ quart

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.

Other teas and herbs:

Black Tea – Just add other herbs if you wish.

Cut some lemon balm stems as well. Wash and place them in a jar. *

To serve tea:

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

What’s in the garden labyrinth?

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.

  • sage
  • lavender
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • calendula
  • mints and lemon balm (in pots on west side of labyrinth)

To find suggestions and health benefits, just google “sage tea benefits” etc.

 

Remember the Children – June 5 Event

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.

49th and Oak Corner

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.

What started  out as an idea to put a few children’s toys by the trees, grew into an act of community solidarity and art.
On Saturday June 5, while volunteers planted 215 marigolds into the labyrinth, about a dozen adults and children braved the traffic noise at the corner of Oak and 49th to cover the UCV sign and nearby trees with  orange ribbons, flowers, tshirt cutouts and signs. A project to attach 215 strands of wool to a clothes line was started as a visceral example of how large a number 215 is!
The rains came at night and the ribbons and signs are soggy.  We will need to refresh the signs, add more wool strands (because 215 is only the start) and straighten the ribbons next week.
Perhaps this is the first time we’ve decorated our corner?! Let it not be the last.
-Tamiko Suzuki

Labyrinth

215 orange flowers on the labyrinth

This vision just popped into my head as I, like many, started thinking: but what can *I* do? There’s so much that can be done and I’m very proud to be part of UCV as we’ve made a statement and donated money.
I so appreciate the number of people who brought flowers, worked long and hard to prep the labyrinth (it was badly in need of weeding) and then planted the orange blooms. Plus there are 48 nasturtiums not yet in bloom. It will “orange-up” over the next while.
What moved me most was the number of side conversations I witnessed as we worked – and connected with each other over the time.
Thank you to our minister, Rev. Lara Cowtan, for beautiful and moving words and an ongoing pastoral presence.
(There are still a few buttercups and lots of grass where it shouldn’t be, so if you’re ever inclined to spend a couple of hours there, do please contact me and we can set something up.)
– Mary Bennett

Want to be involved?

If you want to receive information on how to help with these two projects, contact Mary through ucvconnect@gmail.com

UCV Actions

UCV President has made a statement and our Outreach Opportunities Fund have donated $3000 with more to come to Indigenous Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS).

Message from the Outreach Opportunities Fund Committee.

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).

In order to support the increased demand for their services, the IRSSS will also be the recipient of the OOF effective July 1.
As we all know, the impact of residential schools on the Indigenous population has been profound. The IRSSS was established with the mission to provide physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual growth, development, and healing through culturally-based values and guiding principles to residential school survivors, their families, and those dealing with Intergenerational traumas.
– OOF Committee, June 2021

 

 

Picnic, Chat and Labyrinth Walk

We sat outside, ate the lunches we’d brought (or purchased from across the street) and walked one or more labyrinths.

Mary brought her plarn (yarn made from plastic bag strips) and a spiral was laid out under the tree nearby. (See photo for how plarn is made with strips of plastic bags. Yes, more bags are appreciated, especially purple, blue, orange, red in that order.)
Several of us enjoyed being on UCV grounds on Sunday afternoon.

Earlier Donna brought Mary and 50 or so bricks for enhancing the labyrinth pathways and we’ll do more of that. (Help for unloading, transporting, placing bricks very welcome). Thanks Way and Vivian for your help.

Catherine played her concertina for us. It was a lovely sunny afternoon with old friends and new.

Discovered “free dirt” near compost bins and moved some to cover dried leaves. Help with more of that would be appreciated as well. And of course weeding. If you’re there and you see grass amongst the plants, please pull it out!

 

Red Tulips in full bloom on the labyrinth

On January 8th, Patti planted the bulbs given to Mary Bennett as a Green Streets gardener that celebrate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands at the end of WWII.

These are Liberation 75’ (website Liberation75.ca.)  As intended they were in bloom for May 5th.

Ours are some of 110,000 tulips planted around Vancouver including at Mountainview Cemetery.

Here’s an article about the project:

https://vancouversun.com/homes/gardening/brian-minter-commemorative-tulips

And another one: https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/more-than-110000-tulip-bulbs-commemorate-1945-canadian-liberation-of-the-netherlands/

And from the City’s Green Streets coordinator: Enjoy a virtual tour or go check out some of the gardens for yourself! 
 

 

 

Victory Garden opportunities and labyrinth help needed

Victory Gardens at UCV?

Some of us who have gardened at UCV in the past are taking a year off. If you live close to UCV or drive and would like to have regular visits to our beautiful grounds, here are some opportunities:
Mairy Beam & Mary Bennett hope to get back to gardening next year, but if you’d like to plant and harvest this year, we’d love you to take advantage of the veggie and herb garden we’ve been building up. It’s a bit shady but great for greens. There are some herbs (sage, lavender, thyme) and lots of kale and garlic and undoubtedly a few other things there too. Contact Mary to discuss.

Labyrinth – oh my!

From spring to summer, Mary has often spent 2 or more visits or an hour or more joyfully weeding and planting and tending the garden path labyrinth. We have a soaker hose once it’s needed and many plants are established, but it needs regular trimming and weeding. I’ve wished for some time that we had a labyrinth team–so now it’s really needed.

Family veggie plots

There are three 38″ square plots that have been used by families. If you are able to plant and harvest one or more of these, contact Mary Bennett at ucvconnect@gmail.com (or any other way of contact you happen to have).

Health and Safety measures:

If you are using UCV tools (including the combination lock) please disinfect before and after use. Patti is putting disinfectant into the shed for you.
If you’re there during the day, office staff and caretakers know the combination or ask Mary or Patti in advance.
Use gloves. Keep at least 6′ away from others.

Patti says: garden but stay safe.

Hope someone volunteers to care for the labyrinth. Outdoors is a safe place to be if you need to get out of the house especially that big empty space at the church. Perhaps there are those that will welcome this opportunity.
Warmest and bestest from Patti

Indoor Labyrinth Walking in Meditation Room

We now have custody of an indoor labyrinth that fits perfectly in our meditation room. The plan is to have it out in the meditation room every 1st Tuesday for walking before circle dance and at the break.

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 7 pm 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 also 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.

 

Courtyard Labyrinth – Come walk in rain with us

As part of the Ostara celebration, we plan to walk the courtyard labyrinth – weather permitting – or wear your rain gear

Photo: Keith Wilkinson

 

The Courtyard Labyrinth is made in this pattern. A 3-circuit Cretan square style. The entrance is by the central doors in Hewett Centre.

 

We plan to put clues (possibly runes or oracle cards) along the pathway. At some point one might attract your attention and you’ll see if the message is one that has meaning for you.

If it’s absolutely pelting down rain, we’ll find a way to put out our new indoor labyrinth and do a similar process in the meditation room.

When the courtyard paving needed replacing a team designed a labyrinth pattern. Walk on the grey pavers.

Eventually we hope to have a bench in the centre and an inviting planted area.

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

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.