Category: Our Space

Buildings and Grounds Committee information; renting space at UCV.

(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.

Walk a sand labyrinth at Spanish Banks East and a picnic

If you’ve never walked a labyrinth in the sand, here’s your chance.

Weather permitting, I will be drawing a labyrinth August 31, 2019 and hosting a ‘walk’ from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at Spanish Banks in Vancouver, British Columbia. from Les.
Please come if you can:
Cost: donation
For directions to the labyrinth, cut and paste the following link into your browser:
In the spirit of reciprocity and gratitude, please bring a gift to offer to the Sacred in Nature such as flowers, coffee beans, etc. These will be used to create a mandala in the centre of the labyrinth.

 

If you have any questions, please email Les at:  walkingalabyrinth@gmail.com

Check his website any time for updates: http://walkingalabyrinth.blogspot.com/

I plan to be there and several of us are planning a picnic

Send me a note if you’re interested: earthspiritucv@gmail.com

Laurie, Mary are confirmed. We expect about 6-8 or so.(Best guess!)

 

 

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):

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.

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.

Highlights of the Extraordinary General Meeting (aka budget meeting) June 23, 2019

We had a great turn out for the June 23rd budget meeting – 88 members held voting cards, and interested UCV friends filled Hewett Centre Hall.

Business items

Lay Chaplains

Our three lay chaplains were renewed. Laureen Stokes, Cheryl Amundsen and Louise Bunn are trained to conduct weddings, celebrations of life, and other rituals of life transitions on behalf of UCV.

Love Soup

Our dedicated team of volunteers who warm our hearts and stomachs with monthly “Love Soup” offerings from September – June were acknowledged for their combined contribution of $3,756. Of course, a special thanks to Amy Megumi Anderson, the bundle of energy that keeps Love Soup organized.

Budget

The budget of $607,436 was approved (with one abstention). At present, we have identified $537,390 in revenue, so additional fund raising will be required to meet the expenses to run all of the wonderful programs at UCV.

Possible Site Development

Michael Clague, Gordon Gram, and Marg Fletcher reported on the progress of Phase 2 of the redevelopment plans. The full report is expected in time for the AGM which will be held in November 2019, at which time members will vote whether or not to proceed to a Phase 3 business plan. Phase 2 is to provide more accurate financial forecasts and to assess zoning requirements, and explore possibilities of grants which might be available Federally, Provincially, or through the City. In order to forecast costs and feasibility, more detailed plans were required and were on view for the meeting.

Related documents:

Circle of Concern

Rob Dainow reported on conversations held at meetings that have come to be called the Circle of Concern. The top identified concerns were around issues such as timing (during ministerial transition), existential threats (includes keeping the community together during construction) and vision. Click here for details.

A series of congregational meetings are planned starting in September that will alternate between progress reports on Phase 2 and the Circle of Concern group, so UCV members and friends will have ample opportunity to receive information and have their voices heard leading up to the November AGM.

Refugee Sponsorship

Huguette Sansonnet Hayden reported on our plans for sponsoring new refugee families, and shared some success stories of our settled sponsored families.

Ministerial Transition

Léonie Armstrong reported on updates to the plans for the period of ministerial transition. The Board will apply for a two-year interim minister, and during that time, a search committee will be formed to find our next settled minister.

Redevelopment? Circle of Concerns Workshop

About 40-45 people attended the Circle of Concerns Workshop after the service on May 2, 2019 to share and explore their questions and concerns about the current UCV site redevelopment project.

This workshop was a followup event to the March 31 Listening Circle forum where at least 35 congregants gathered to share their questions and concerns. Issues raised at this fell into eight categories. There was considerable support at the forum for a followup workshop to extend this conversation to include more congregants and to explore the concerns and issues in more depth. (See http://tinyurl.com/y65th8hn for more information about the Listening Circle event; you can find the 3-page report from that meeting here: Mar31 Sharing Circle report.

The May 2 Circle of Concerns Workshop is the followup to the March 31 Listening Circle forum.
The intent of all these activities is bring new voices to the redevelopment conversation. There is no intent or desire to create divisions or dissensions; on the contrary, we believe that we will make better decisions when we include all voices.

Here is a summary of the notes from the Circle of Concerns Workshop. (You can get an electronic copy of the full notes here: May 26 Circle of Concern minutes.)

Top 3 concerns

Participants at the Circle of Concerns Workshop identified their top 3 areas of concern from the 8 categories identified in the March 31 Listening Circle forum, with these results:

Concern

Weighted votes

Timing

59

Existential Threats

53

Vision

41

Ability to Complete

15

Site redevelopment

14

Affordable housing

13

During construction

9

Design elements

2

No concerns

0

 

Groups were formed to discuss the top 3 concerns.
Here are some selected comments from these discussions:

Timing

  • The combination of an interim minister and temporary meeting places in trailers will lead to losing congregants and it will harder to attract new people. It will be very hard to maintain our regular activities and social events. The timing sucks!
  • Everyone in this group felt very strongly that it is essential to have the new settled minister in place before undertaking redevelopment. It will be a recipe for disaster if we do not have strong leadership.
  • We will limit the number and perhaps quality of ministerial candidates if a redevelopment project is a front issue for the new minister. It will be a threat to the very existence of the church if we cannot get a satisfactory new minister.
  • Proceeding with redevelopment under these circumstances can create a lot of stress and can lead to an antagonistic, divisive, destructive atmosphere.
  • We should not see our current exploration of redevelopment as a failure if we do not proceed with it.

Vision

  • The vision is the base – we should start with a vision.
  • We need a formal statement of how this project will exemplify our UU values.
  • A compelling vision would have housing affordability and environmental concerns built in; the current design doesn’t reflect our ideals because the social and environmental benefits are modest.
  • We have a chance to make an architectural statement; need more imagination – invite artists and architects to come talk to us.
  • Landlording is a nightmare – and UCV would be at least indirectly in that role. Would we trust a management company to go by our values? Where do we stand in a tenant-landlord issue? How much would we intervene? How much Board involvement would there be?

Existential Threats

  • Do we have the volunteer capacity to carry out this project?
  • How will we get new members during the construction period (2-3 years)?
  • Will our younger congregants be able to sustain this project financially?
  • How do we continue ‘doing church’ during construction (2-3 years)?
  • We are muddling through financially and are kind of sustainable now, so may be wiser to not launch a redevelopment project now, but to instead focus on growing our membership.

How would you vote today?

Workshop participants were asked during the last part of the workshop to indicate on a spectrum of choices what their position is today with regard to the redevelopment project. The following table summarizes their responses.

No.

%

1*

1%

Will likely approve redevelopment project as is or with minor changes.
Will approve only if (check any and all that apply)

13

18%

It is clear that the project fits our values and vision.

13

18%

The project is delayed until we have a new settled minister.

9

13%

Environmental considerations are given higher priority.

8

11%

The design of the building is significantly changed.

8

11%

Can stay on campus and use sanctuary during construction (acceptable washrooms).

4

6%

Possible to create truly affordable housing and still have significant return to UCV.

4

6%

Members step u to volunteer to liaise with developers.

4

6%

Other methods to improve finances are unsuccessful.

2

3%

Hewett Hall is not destroyed. The new building is built elsewhere on campus.

6

8%

Will almost certainly not approve.

72

101%

* maybe

Next steps

  • Hold an open meeting monthly, with chairs in a circle to encourage equal participation.
  • Get input from others who have done similar projects.
  • Who would live here? Survey Vancouver Unitarians to see how many would rent or buy (co-housing)?

Walking a sand labyrinth at Spanish Banks East

If you’ve never walked a labyrinth in the sand, here’s your chance. For summer solstice, Les will draw a Chartres-style labyrinth in the sand at Spanish Banks East on June 22. Come and walk any time between 3:30-5:30 pm.

Click here for the meetup event.

If you have any questions, please email Les at:  walkingalabyrinth@gmail.com

Check his website any time for updates: http://walkingalabyrinth.blogspot.com/

I plan to be there and several of us are planning a picnic dinner at 5:30pm.

Send me a note if you’re interested: earthspiritucv@gmail.com

Come and enjoy a picnic with some of us who are going to walk the solstice labyrinth at Spanish Banks.

Eva, Mary and Angela are confirmed. We expect about a dozen or so.(Best guess!)

RSVP here very helpful:

https://spanish-banks-picnic.eventbrite.ca