Category: UU Connections

Unitarian regional and national (CUC) news; news from metro Vancouver congregations; news from other UU organizations such as ICUU etc.

Prepare for Pride 2021

As Vancouver Pride approaches, you may be thinking of how to celebrate this year. 

The Vancouver Pride Parade is taking a decentralized approach this year, and we are going to be part of it! We’ll be gathering safely outdoors and doing our own mini Pride Parade around the UCV campus on Sunday, August 1, starting at 12:30 p.m. All members and friends are welcome to attend. Wear something colourful and/or creative – show your Pride however you feel like it!

We’d love to put rainbow colours all around our corner sign at 49th & Oak. We’d love to hear your ideas–and then get your help.  https://vancouverpride.ca/festival-parade/parade-entries/

Welcoming Congregation Recertification update

We’re almost there! 

To renew, a congregation has to already been certified (for us that was way back in 1995–one of the first) and do one worship service related to LGBTQ+ issues. Check!

A third requirement is to support an organization who works in this area. We’ve worked with Rainbow Refugee to support refugees, donated money from the Outreach Opportunities Fund and their founder Chris Morrissey will be speaking on Sunday, July 25. Check!

With a lot of support from Rev. Lara and the worship services committee, we’ve lifted up more than the required six “welcome days of observance.”  Check!

The next one is Non-Binary Day which is July 14th and that brings us to a request for assistance with our final requirement which is to offer an educational event that at least 10% of the members of the congregation attend.  So far 14 members (maybe more) have watched Mairy Beam’s play “What Difference Does It Make?” about coming out as non-binary and another 10 or so were at the panel discussion with cast and crew on June 12th. Could you please watch the play and the discussion and then complete a feedback form?  We need at least 30 members to watch and complete the form. 

Here are the links:

Play from Haven Theatre: YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQU6WT6Igs8 

Discussion: https://youtu.be/-t9IuuMu-mk

Then send an email to Debra at debrasutherland8@gmail.com and Debra will send you a link to the survey we need to ask for in order to complete the requirements. 

Forum: Sunday, July 11

What Does Non-Binary Mean? On July 11, Mairy Beam and other members of the GSA will host a forum after the worship service on what non-binary gender means. This is an “ask us anything” forum and we’ll share some anonymous polls to see what your questions are and respond to those. Sign in as soon as you have had your bio break after the service. This shortlink will take you there: ucv.im/gsa

 

Community Impact

Earlier this year, Vancouver Unitarians extended a grant to the Broadway Youth Services Centre (BYRC) through our stewardship with the Robert and Anna Koerner Community Fund. BYRC has been able to grow their food program and provide food security to participants and their families. Their program employs youth as peer navigators and has been a source of community support and pride during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are enriched by our capacity to reach out to the larger community in this way and have an impact beyond our walls. You can read the impactful thank you letter from the BYRC below.

June 18 Friday Film Night- Indigenous Peoples Day

In honour of National Indigenous History Month, the UCV BIPOC Caucus is proud to present:

 

Unceded Chiefs (2019) 1hr 3 min

 

 

 

The film is not released to the public yet and will only be available to us until June 18.

To view, contact us for the link and password ucvconnect@gmail.com

 

 

Friday Film Night Discussion on Zoom : June 18, 7-8pm

Special guest, producer, Doreen Manuel

Everyone from the congregation and the greater community welcome!

Click Here to Join Zoom Discussion

This new film covers the historic early activism of BC First Nations Leaders who in the late 1960’s unified to reject Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s proposed 1969 White Paper Policy. Director Doreen Manuel skillfully weaves a story of resilience and determination through interviews and archival audio with the people who lived the battle and the children of the Chiefs who had dedicated their lives to the survival of their Aboriginal title and rights.

Naomi Klein: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLafbWVDugU 

Lorne Cardinal:  https://vimeo.com/394718492 

Facebook: 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Women’s Meditative Poetry Circle

Do you need more poetry in your life?

UPDATE 

In June we’ll read local poet Natalie Lim on Saturdays and Nicole Brossard on Sundays.

Here’s what some of our regulars say about these short “poetry breaks”:

I’ve found our weekend meditative poetry readings a lovely way to start my day.  Hearing a poem read three times enriches my understanding of it more than I expected.  And, because we are generally finished in 15 minutes, it’s a commitment that is not at all burdensome.  I’ve rarely read poetry since I graduated from college and I’m grateful for the chance to get reacquainted with it.

  • Kathy Sayers
Our poetry group has introduced me to modern female Canadian poets most of whom, other than Margaret Atwood, I had no familiarity with.  It has been an enriching experience. 
I have expanded our weekly zoom visits with our son, two daughters and families to include poetry.   Our seven year old great granddaughter reads to us every week and so I decided it was my turn to read, yes a poem to her and her family.  So now each family hears the work of a Canadian poet each week.  I am just about to add Rupi Kaur for the four grand daughters in their mid twenties.
  • Barb Bowmar

I’ve tried various ways (often after making new year’s resolutions) to “get into” poetry – reading aloud; memorizing one a month, etc. This approach has turned me into a poetry-enthusiast. Some of what’s different is reading poems by contemporary women: accessible themes; and having a nice, small group of more contemporary women to share (not discuss or debate) with.

  • Mary Bennett

New Approach for May

We’d like to add a few more people. It’s OK to drop-in, but we also think more people might enjoy having this as a regular practice as some of us have had for about 6 months now..

For May we’ll focus on particular poets. If it turns out to be well received, the group may vote on the next month’s poet at the end of May.

Saturday group will be Margaret Atwood poems including from her recent collection Dearly.

Sunday group will be Naomi Shihab Nye, already a favorite of our group. If you haven’t already discovered her, we think you’ll enjoy. She also writes children’s books.

Background and Times

UCV women in collaboration with the Canadian U*U Women’s Association offer women’s meditative poetry gatherings on zoom.

  • Saturdays and Sundays at 9 am Pacific/12 noon Eastern
Click the following link to join the gathering:
https://ucv.im/cuuwa
Mary Bennett started this following Rev. Lara’s “Lectio Divina” series in October, 2020. Mary’s objective was to make her mornings go better and read more poetry. Both are almost lifelong goals worth revisiting regularly and it’s working.
You are invited if you identify as a woman or non-binary, gender queer or gender fluid. I/we invite suggestions how to ensure this is a welcoming space for you.
The facilitator will:
  • Read a poem written by a (usually) Canadian (almost always) woman three times with a one-minute pause and brief sharing between.
  • Participants listen during the first reading for words or phrases that strike them.
  • Second reading, listen for feelings or memories that are stirred.
  • Third reading, listen for a message or personal meaning.
  • We usually have about a minute’s of silence after each reading and then, as we’re usually a small group of 3 or 4, everyone shares briefly. We’re always finished within half an hour, usually 15 minutes.

We have an email group. If you want to e-meet the other group members and receive occasional reminders or links to poetry, please join by sending an email to womens-meditative-poetry+subscribe@googlegroups.com  If you need assistance joining contact Mary at ucvconnect@gmail.com

See the CUUWA page here: https://cuuwa.org/meditative-poetry-circle/

 

UCV’s Chinese Name 溫哥華 尋道會

 

Silent knowledge – the spirit is enlightened of itself
Contemplate the void: this world exceeds stillness.
 – Han Shan

At the end of Asian Heritage month this issue of the National News section of the UCV website takes a look at a 2014-2016 initiative to welcome members of the Chinese community to the Vancouver Unitarian community.

溫哥華 尋道會, Vancouver Xundaohui, Seekers of the Way, was formally adopted by Vancouver Unitarians as the Chinese name for the congregation in 2015. The work was initiated a year earlier by long-time UCV members Lily Ha and Kwan Lihuen and also included translations of UU principles, sources, and history into traditional and simplified Chinese scripts for pamphlets, creation of a Chinese language UCV webpage, and external signage in Chinese at most UCV site entrances at 49th and Oak. The initiative was intended to help welcome to UCV the 15% of the Metro Vancouver population who report speaking Chinese.

UCV borrowed the name 尋道會 from the Hong Kong Unitarian Universalist Community. We were told it had been suggested there by a Chinese Christian Minister who was also an advocate for gay rights. Currently Vancouver and Hong Kong appear to be the only UU congregations who have adopted this Chinese name. UCV suggested to the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) that the name 尋道會, Xundaohui, Seekers of the Way, be recommended as the official Chinese name for Unitarian Universalists but to date no action has been taken by the ICUU.

Read or download a pdf transcript of the worship service held in January 2016 from the UCV History Wall. The homily tells in more detail the story of why and how UCV chose its Chinese name. You can also listen to an audio of the homily by Lily Ha and Keith Wilkinson. If you have trouble accessing the printed homily from these links, email Keith for a copy.

Another neighbourhood remembrance for Asian Heritage Month – 

The Masumi Mitsui Greenway

The City of Vancouver is trying to establish greenways that are no more than a 25-minute walk or a 10-minute bike ride from every city residence. There are three Greenways quite close to the UCV site at 49th and Oak, and one of these is named after a Japanese Canadian WW1 veteran, Masumi Mitsui, who also became a fighter against the oppression of Japanese Canadians during WW2.

Masumi Mitsui Greenway – runs West to East along 59th Avenue from Angus Drive to Argyle Drive. East of Argyle Drive, the route follows a number of local streets as it works its way to Vivian Street and Burnaby’s Central Park.  At its West end it nearly connects with the Arbutus Greenway.

Arbutus Greenway – follow Arbutus Street and West Boulevard South from 5th Avenue and Fir St near Granville Island to SW Marine Drive near the Fraser River.

Ridgeway Greenway – runs West to East from 8th Ave and Alma St diagonally to 37th Ave, then East to Nanaimo St, South to 45 Ave, and East to Boundary Road and Central Park in Burnaby.

Ontario Greenway – runs North to South from False Creek to 59th Ave

 

BIPOC contributions to Vancouver’s Public Art – In 2014 as part of its annual Service Auction, UCV volunteers led several tours of Vancouver Public Art installations. The tours included BIPOC works by Kelly Cannell, Alan Hung Chung, Jim Hart, Susan Point, Bill Reid, Henry Tsang, Jun Ren, Jen Weih, and the Komagata Maru memorial in downtown Vancouver. Maybe we can resume these and similar explorations after COVID-19 is under control!

 

The National News section of the UCV website usually provides stories about what is happening in other Canadian Unitarian Universalist communities, at the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC), and in the global UU movement.  For more information about those see these websites:
CUC       British Unitarians            UUA

 

Gender and Theatre – Join an Interactive Panel Discussion

Watch Mairy Beam’s provocative and enlightening play What Difference Does it Make?  available now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQU6WT6Igs8  and join us for a Play Discussion moderated by our own Rev Lara Cowtan on Saturday June 12 at 7:00 pm. ucv.im/gsa

What Difference Does It Make?  Minutes before Carmelle’s best friend arrives for a visit from Toronto, Lucy comes out as non-binary. A day later they’re all trapped together isolating from Covid 19. In this hotbed of needs and limitations the characters play out their destinies against the backdrop of a city in virtual lockdown. A sensitive and illuminating portrayal of a person in transition, a partner struggling to adjust and a broken-hearted houseguest inadvertently making things worse.

From the audience: 

  • “Up until I saw this play I didn’t get how significant and important and fundamental the journey to non-binary is.”
  • “captivating, touching, challenging, humorous, sad and informative”
  • “this play is a gem”
  • “true and raw”
  • “I have some thinking to do  . . . “

What Difference Does It Make? was originally produced by Toronto’s Haven Theatre, in February 2021.

This event is coordinated by UCV’s Genders and Sexualities Alliance as part of UCV’s recertification as a Welcoming Congregation.

Registration appreciated but not required:

https://ucv-gender-theatre.eventbrite.ca

Search the website for “gsa” for other information and events.

Our GSA meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm.

All genders and sexualities welcome, even cis-straight.  Email gsa@vancouverunitarians.ca for the zoom link and agenda.

 

Statement on the 8th Principle by UCV Board President Diane Brown

Dear Unitarians,

Leadership does not mean “objectivity” or not taking a stance; leadership means defining yourself within the values of the organization and sharing that perspective and why you believe it. It also means listening. I am, as President, committed to doing both.

Full disclosure; I believe in the proposed 8th Principle and I am not going to pretend otherwise.

I know there is concern out there about recent events at the CUC. I would just like to add that my work on the UCV Board is to move us forward in a way that is truly inclusive and progressive, that furthers and deepens our stated collective vision.

That means we will be encouraging dialogue within our congregation, hosting an 8th Principle Forum, requesting everyone read the Dismantling Racism Study Group report and it’s recommendations which are attached below and on the website, and dedicating a service to the 8th Principle. In this way, more people can fully participate in discussion and understanding of the 8th Principle as a crucial next step.

The lack of inclusion of more voices, and the technicality that brought about the demise of this recent attempt to adopt the 8th Principle, will not exist, and we will all be able to walk forward together.

Moreover, we at UCV do not have to wait for the CUC to adopt the 8th Principle. After substantive discussion, we ourselves can put it to a vote, hopefully providing vision and leadership to our sister congregations.

Finally, Rev Lara shared some history with me that I would like to share with you all now.

There is some very interesting history around how the existing 7 principles were affirmed.  There were only going to be 6 of them, as people felt that interdependence was implicit in them, but others felt it necessary to explicitly name our responsibility and connection to the planet and its inhabitants. Now the 7th principle is a covenant to action for the environment and all non-humans on our Blue Boat Home.

The proposed 8th principle may seem to be implicit in the wording of the other 7, but recent studies https://cuc.ca/dismantling-racism-study-group/ and decades of experience have proven otherwise, so the people who are most impacted are asking to have it spelled out.

We Unitarians dream of a future where all of the principles we affirm to promote no longer need to be written, because they are simply lived. But we are not there yet.

In active faith and hope,

Diane Brown

UCV Board President

Statement on the 8th Principle from Rev. Lara Cowtan

While many of us were excited and celebratory after the vote last week at the CUC AGM to affirm an 8th principle declaring our commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression, some were also disappointed to have not been able to lend their voices to this momentous decision, and some were concerned about the process with which the vote was taken.

The motion came from delegates on the floor on the spur of the moment and those present appropriately used Robert’s Rules of Order to suspend the meeting rules and take a vote which passed with a majority, upholding both the democratic process and Robert’s Rules. However, upon review of the CUC Bylaws, the CUC Board of Trustees have determined that it isn’t within the guidelines to accept a substantive motion from the floor, so has withdrawn the motion and decision. It will  be put forward again to allow more time for congregations and delegates to be informed.

This will feel disappointing and frustrating to many, especially UU members of colour who have waited a long time to be recognized in our congregations.  We also recognize that the structures that dictate our decision-making processes, including Robert’s Rules and the Bylaws, are deeply imbeded in the system of white supremacy culture that we are committed to dismantling, and so this is a learning and growing opportunity.

It seems that, in a wave of enthusiasm and spiritual democracy, the gathered delegates put the cart before the horse. This doesn’t mean that we are not going to uphold the 8th principle, but that we will be able to do it hand in hand with one another.  There is nothing preventing UCV from holding its own conversations with the membership about what this 8th principle means to our community and whether we chose to affirm it as a congregation.

— Interim Minister Rev. Lara Cowtan

A Way Forward for the 8th Principle Process

Dear Canadian Unitarian Universalists,

This letter comes to you from Margaret Wanlin, President of the CUC Board of Trustees and Vyda Ng, Executive Director.

(Full document with FAQs and appendices available here.)

There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.  ~ Margaret J Wheatley

Introduction

At the CUC’s AGM on May 8th,  our delegates heard the report from the Dismantling Racism Study group.

After this report, there was a spontaneous motion from the floor to immediately adopt the 8th principle, which states: “We, the member congregations of the Canadian Unitarian Council, covenant to affirm and promote: “Individual and communal action that accountably dismantles racism and other oppressions in ourselves and in our institutions.”

Following the AGM, Vyda sent an announcement to the CUC email lists announcing that delegates at the AGM had approved an 8th principle on dismantling racism and other oppressions.

Since then, there has been a lot of conversation about the 8th principle, the process  and where we currently stand. It is our goal in this letter to provide more information and to outline a plan for the way forward.

What we know

The work of the Dismantling Racism Study Group (DRSG) is incredibly important work, and their excellent recommendations will provide us with guidance as we work together to build an inclusive and equitable community.

The 8th principle represents a formal commitment to the ideals we share and are already passionate about putting into action. The CUC’s Strategic Priorities for the past several years include a focus and dedication of resources to dismantling racism. Through dismantling racism workshops, surveys, roundtables, ‘Rising Together’ (group for youth and emerging young adults of colour), and Beloved Conversation groups, the CUC and congregations have been laying a foundation for the DRSG report and the commitment to the 8thprinciple.

We want to begin by honouring the work, commitment and leadership of the DRSG, and to affirm the contributions and lived experiences of UUs from racialized communities. We want to continue our work together to accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and in our institutions.” 

We know that this work will be challenging and uncomfortable at times, but following the AGM we have been heartened to see the passion and commitment for it.

What happened at our AGM and why it is important

We want to provide a brief summary for those who were not at the AGM:

The Dismantling Racism Study Group presented their final report, which was made available on the CUC website on Friday, May 7, the day before the AGM.

The DRSG report made several recommendations which included:

  • Listen to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour ) voices
  • Adopt an 8th principle as an explicit expression of our commitment to anti-racism. This can be done as a national council or as individual congregations
  • A willed commitment to racial justice work, demonstrated by an investment of resources at the national and congregational level
  • Assemble and disseminate anti-racism educational and worship materials
  • Create a best practices guide for Canadian UU congregations and develop a program

There was no motion regarding the Dismantling Racism Report on the agenda or to adopt any of the recommendations until all congregations had had an opportunity to read the report. It was the intention at the AGM to receive the report and thank the DRSG for their excellent work.

After the Dismantling Racism Report, a delegate spontaneously proposed a motion to adopt the 8th principle. As there had been no previous notice given on this motion as required by CUC bylaw,  this was ruled out of order by the Chair.

The delegate then proposed a motion to suspend the rules of procedure to allow the motion on the 8th principle. The Chair consulted with Dylan Fijal, CUC Parliamentarian, on the matter.

Delegates have the right to appeal the decision of the Chair, and a motion to suspend cannot be debated and requires a 2/3 majority to pass. This motion was voted on by a show of electronic hands, as no poll on this was previously prepared. The motion carried; however, there was no count taken for abstentions or those against the motion to suspend. [84 delegates were present and 61 voted in favour to suspend the rules of procedure.]

The Chair then moved on to the motion to adopt the 8th principle.

“We, the member congregations of the Canadian Unitarian Council, covenant to affirm and promote: “Individual and communal action that accountably dismantles racism and other oppressions in ourselves and in our institutions.” 

The motion to adopt the 8th principle was moved and seconded. The Chair alternated discussion between delegates who were in favour of the motion and those who were against the motion. The speakers who opposed were not against the 8th principle itself, but stressed the importance of following the process that is in place as stated in our bylaws, rules of order and resolutions process, and allowing time for all congregations to discuss the momentous act of adding an 8th principle.

After the time allocated for discussion, the Chair called for the vote. This was done by raising and counting of electronic hands, since there was no prepared poll for this motion.  The final tally was 61 for, 22 against.

The status of the motion:

Following the AGM, the Chair, Parliamentarian and Executive Director carefully reviewed the proceedings and AGM transcript. Unfortunately, in allowing the motion to proceed, we did not properly follow the requirement of prior notice for motions, and as a result we violated our own bylaws (refer to bylaw #3). The CUC bylaws supersede all other rules and procedures, thus making the motion invalid and, as such, it does not stand. 

We want to be clear that this does not invalidate the passion or commitment we have for this issue. We want to get this right. We want to ensure that there is never a question that Canadian Unitarian Universalists are deeply committed to upholding the principle of dismantling racism and other oppressions, and committed to the work it requires.

What we owe one another

First, we owe you our deepest apologies. There was some confusion about the motion from the floor, and the implications of the vote to suspend the rules of procedure; there were delegates at the AGM who raised this point. But we allowed the vote to proceed. That should not have happened, and we should have called for a recess to review the bylaws more carefully.

We are deeply sorry if this has called into question our collective commitment to anti-racism work, our commitment to the ideals held in the 8th principle, or the intentions of goodhearted and loving Unitarian Universalists who want to uphold our principles and respect our processes.  We issue these apologies both on behalf of the CUC, and also personally, and we commit to learning from these errors and doing better going forward. We hope that you will offer all involved the grace to move forward with our common goals in mind.

We also owe each other the time to get this right, and a pledge to make this work a top priority. We have heard from our delegates that there is a deep need and desire to move forward together to address racism in our community. We recognize that, for those who are passionate about this and for some BIPOC people, there is disappointment and hurt, and that this will feel like a step backwards by adhering to the rules instead of seizing the moment.

We know for others that the swift passage represented a lost opportunity to dig in deeply, have the important conversations and hear from those who must be heard. We also know that our youth and young adults in particular have been waiting for leadership and action on this issue.

We believe all of these things can be true at once, and it is our collective responsibility to create a space that honours them all, while not slowing the work towards our goals.

We owe each other gratitude. As a faith community, we owe a debt of gratitude to the DRSG for their diligent work, thoughtful recommendations and leadership. We owe gratitude to those who are deeply committed to dismantling racism. We must not let this error in parliamentary procedure diminish their work in any way.

We are also grateful for those who passionately advocated for the adoption of the 8th principle, and equally to those who reminded us of our commitments to process to ensure all who want to engage in this topic have the opportunity to do so.  And as an executive team, we are deeply grateful for the steady guidance and thoughtful input from the UU Ministers of Canada and the CUC Board and staff.  As with all work in community, we must commit to listening with an open heart. We are grateful for the opportunity to listen and to be heard.

Our commitment to the way forward

We propose a Special Meeting, to be held on Saturday, November 27, 2021. By holding it in late November, we aim to provide time for congregations to discuss the matter. This meeting will focus on the 8th principle and the process by which it was approved, discussion of the Dismantling Racism Study Group’s findings and recommendations, proposed motions arising from the recommendations, plans from CUC Board and staff on implementation, and an overview of the CUC’s bylaws, rules of order, and resolutions process.

Timeline

Congregations will receive a package by early June, which will contain the Dismantling Racism Study Group’s report and recommendations, proposed motions, CUC Bylaw and resolutions process, and mechanisms for feedback.

Feedback will be due in mid-October, with any amendments to be sent out with the official Notice of Meeting in early November. We know that conversations and work by many congregations have been in place for while. We hope that between the receipt of the information package in early June and the feedback deadline, there will be opportunity for congregations to hold discussions with their members.

The CUC will continue to prioritize anti-racism work, as has been set out in our Strategic Priorities for several years, and to begin exploring the recommendations in the DRSG report. We commit to engaging our members and elevating lived experiences as we do this work.

This process of engaging with the DRSG report, of considering the 8th principle and championing its ideals, and grappling with the process which allows us to fully commit our faith community to a new path has been challenging, enlightening and, at its core, an act of deep love for one another and our faith.  Together we will get this right.

 

Margaret Wanlin | President, Board of Trustees            Vyda Ng | Executive Director