Category: Special Event

Mystery Pals Deluxe 2021

Tangible Connection and a Break from Monotony

I feel a great desire for spring, for unplugging, for tangible connections to people. Zoom and video calls help me connect with people far away, but boy am I missing people’s prescence! How about some old-fashioned letter writing? It’s the time of year when we roll out Mystery Pals letter exchange for children, youth, and adults of all ages.  Some wonderful friendships and connections across generations have been made through this annual event–and if you haven’t tried it out yet, I encourage you to sign up!

This year we are forming a small organizing team to spice up our exchanges. Each Pal mails their letters to UCV and we send it on with Artist Trading Cards, art or activity prompts, or poetry slipped in.

Who?

Anyone age 4-104 can participate if you have regularly attended the Unitarian Church of Vancouver for six months or more, are known by someone in our church leadership (RE Director, Minister, Board, or committee member, small group leader), and can commit to exchanging weekly letters throughout April by Canada post (envelopes and stamps supplied.) 

When?

April is the month of mail exchange and early May is our Reveal Party where you find out who exactly your Pal is. The reveal party will be facilitated in whatever way is deemed safe at the time–either a zoom party or outdoors if public health allows.

How?

Sign-up with our Breeze form at https://ucv.im/pals by March 15th.

Kiersten and our Pals team will match folks up and assign each Pal pair a famous Unitarian to identify with. You will receive a Letter Writing Kit with addressed envelopes, stamps, and paper at the end of March to get you started. Write an introductory letter to your Pal, mail it to the church and it will be sent on. Watch your mailbox for a response and keep exchanging letters throughout April.

Our UCV Congregational History Wall 

Overview of Our History Wall Project

Effective transition after a settled minister leaves starts with a collective review of how the congregation has been shaped and formed. It is a way to claim and honour our past, our major milestones and evolution and engage and honour our griefs and conflicts. It is done in a spirit of community and mutual respect.

If you are interested in particular about the online wall, information is at the bottom of this page.

Board Announcement about the Congregational History Wall
Presented by Leslie Hill on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020

As you’ve been hearing for a few weeks now, the Transition Team is working hard to establish a Congregational History Wall; a physical one in Hewett Hall and an online one on our website.

Loren Mead, writing about a change in ministers, says:
“Every congregation is strengthened immeasurably by its history, but every congregation has also been deeply wounded by its past. It is both the heir and the victim of its story.”

As I’ve been looking backward at the decades portrayed on our History Wall, I’ve found answers to questions I didn’t know I had. I’ve learned that Greenpeace wasn’t the only organization that had a founding meeting here. Vancouver’s Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE) found space here when it was denied by other institutions. Alice James booked the Fireside Room for the first meeting of the Vancouver Status of Women. She and Phillip Hewett became agents of change together; she fed him some ideas that he incorporated into sermons. Members of that group later reported to Phillip that a UCV Associate Minister was sexually abusing some of his clients in the Unitarian Family Life Centre. From the ashes of that debacle, Alice James chaired a committee to work out the restructuring of that organization and that lead to the founding of Oak Counselling, which still offers its services at UCV.

This congregation’s history is rich and detailed and this is our opportunity to add to it. You don’t have to have been here a long time to have favourite memories, poignant moments, troubling concerns, inspirational awakenings. Maybe it’s been a sermon, or social action, or a standout Forum, or the work of our young people.

Scroll down to learn more about the Online History Wall or contact Leslie Hill if you have contributions for the Physical History Wall in Hewett Hall.

Ministerial Transition Team

Learn More About the Ministerial Transition

Progress Photos of Our History Wall in Hewett Centre

Our Online History Wall – UCV Stories

For those among us who prefer to contribute from a distance, we have an Online History Wall – UCV Stories. You can contribute all kinds of digital documents – texts, documents, pictures, and audio and video files – all from the comfort of your own home! We are also creating a digital archive of what is on our History Wall in Hewett Hall so that everything will be in one place.

Go to padlet.com/vancouverunitarians/stories to add your stories and peruse the many posts. The user-friendly site includes a practice area. Remember, this is a work in progress!

Paul Prescod has taken the lead to set up this Online History Wall and he welcomes more volunteers, so please contact him if you are keen to get involved!

Women’s Groups Update

Hello, As we’ve had some inquiries from women interested in joining a women’s group, I thought I’d put out a summary of what’s available and invite those of you currently in a women’s group to let me/us know if you’re willing to have new members.

The Canada-wide (but still small and informal) Feminist Book Club sponsored by Canadian U*U Women’s Association continues on the 2nd Sunday usually – but for October it’s on the 3rd Sunday. Cathy Sevcik will be attending and is a regular participant and you can contact her if you want a chat by email beforehand.

Inspired by the Morning Meditations Rev. Lara has been offering on Tuesday through Friday, and in conjunction with CUUWA, Mary Bennett has initiated Women’s Meditative Poetry gatherings. These are 15-minute poetry readings/meditation on Sat. and Sun. at 9 am and on Mondays at 4pm (Pacific time) Open to women and non-binary persons. Check events for details or contact me, Mary. Leadership will rotate. Poems will be by Canadian women or non-binary poets. You can join an email group or slack workspace if you want to see a list of poems and add to our list.

Annual Women’s Gathering. For several years UCV has hosted a women’s gathering with 40-50 people attending. Right now the maximum # who can attend the Hall is 15 and the Sanctuary 25, but we might go ahead. If you’re willing to be on a planning team, contact Mary. Usually this is scheduled in January.

Soul Matters Neighbourhood Drop-in. Not only, but mostly, women, drop in monthly on the 1st Tuesday 7:30-8:30pm to discuss the theme of that month’s Soul Matters package.

The CUUWA will be offering a free online program of Cakes for the Queen of Heaven, starting on Saturday, November 7 at 12 pm Pacific, 3 pm Eastern time, and meeting every three to four weeks for eleven sessions.

We offered this program at UCV last year led by Laurie and Paula.

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven

Any of these events that have dates and times can be found in the Events List on this website.

Need contact info? Check with UCV office or if you’re a member or friend, use our directory.

Links:

CUUWA https://cuuwa.org/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CANUUWA

Poetry email group: send message to womens-meditative-poetry+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Slack workspace: meditativepoetry (Check Canadian Women poets channel)

 

 

 

 

CUC May 2020 National Conference & AGM Highlights

Featured image – Susanne Maziarz, Music Director at Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Toronto; co-leader with Rev Wayne Walder of a cross-Canada ceremony of remembrance, We are together, at the national gathering on 17 May 2020.

*12 more photos at the end of this post!

CUC eNews Coverage here.

CUC May 2020 National Conference Highlights

  • Video of the CUC Cross Canada Sunday Service One Storm, Many Ships
    (edited video, 90 minutes). The wonderful story for children of all ages read by Kiersten Moore has been deleted from the saved video pending copyright approvals from Disney.
  • CUC 2019 Annual Report (pdf document, 56 pages)
    The annual report is full of information about CUC’s work and how you might participate. It’s very worthwhile reading!
  • Attendance at 4 meetings via Zoom & YouTube: 150, 170, 200, 1,000
    (Numbers are approximate because more than one person may have been on one connection and some people had more than one connection!) Details of events follow.
  • If you’re interested in participating in these events in the future, contact the UCV UU Connections Committee – currently Keith Wilkinson, Lynn Armstrong, Kiersten Moore, & Emilie Adin. Text or phone Keith at 604-838-5643 or Lynn at 778-835-2546 or watch for a newly updated UCV Directory of Small Groups, Committees, and Teams, anticipated soon!

Plenary sessionThurs 14 May 2020, 150 participants; informal discussion of the resolutions being presented at the Sat AGM.

Gathering CeremonyFri, 15 May 2020, 170 participants, virtual banner parade with photos sent from many congregations across Canada, with music added, assembled by Amber Bellemare in Montreal.

Cross Canada Service – Sun, 17 May 2020, 1,000 participants, four ministers, many musicians and singers
Video available on CUC’s YouTube channel.

Annual General MeetingSat, 16 May 2020, 200 participants (97 delegates, 100 observers, 45 congregations)
See the CUC Annual Report for details.

  • Reviewed CUC’s expected investment performance with the investments manager;
    (investments at the end of Dec 2019 were valued at $6.1 million);
  • Approved an operating budget of $812,000 (compare this to UCV at $600,000);
  • Approved changes in procedures for electing board members;
  • Elected new board members;
  • Approved 2020-21 goals and strategic priorities;
  • Responded to questions about the International Council of Unitarians and Univeralists (ICUU) conference still scheduled for Montreal in October 2020;
  • Received reports regarding a few of the many initiatives outlined in the Annual Report:
    • Youth and Young Adults (Annual Report, pp 23-26)
      plus CazUUm – CUC youth zoom conference (34 participants)
    • Truth Healing and Reconciliation Initiative (Annual Report, pp 29-31)
    • Social Justice Action (Annual Report, pp 26-28)
    • Dismantling Racism (Annual Report, p 35)
    • Polyamory Task Force (Annual Report, pp 36-55 – the full 19-page report from the task force on this complex subject, including recommendations for the CUC.)
  • Celebration of special awards:
    • Sharing our Faith Awards – Awards to support emerging programs in several congregations (Durham, Mississauga, Edmonton)
    • Northern Lights Award – support for a major initiative, this year for Northwest Toronto Co-housing Project (involving Unitarian fellowship of Northwest Toronto)
    • Shining Lights Award – for new innovative programs (see CUC website for details)
    • Theological Education Fund Award – Co-sponsored by CUC and UUMOC (UU Ministers of Canada) for support of ministerial students (grants made to two ministerial students ths year)
    • Knight Award – Awarded to Rev Frances Deverell for dedicated service on social justice issues including work with the Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice CUSJ
    • See the above links or email the CUC office for more details about any of the CUC award programs.

 

Some screen shots from the CUC Canada-wide Virtual Service, Sun 17 May 2020  

(Google the congregational web sites for more images and information!)

Sunday Service Leaders:

Rev Norm Horofker, Halifax Universalist Unitarians

Rev Karen Fraser Gitlitz, Saskatoon Unitarians

Rev Meghann Robern, Winnipeg Unitarian Universalists

Rev Wayne Walder, Neighbourhood Unitarian Fellowship, Toronto

Rev Samaya Oakley, South Fraser Unitarians, Surrey BC

Spoken Word

Taz Trefzger, Hamilton Unitarians & 2020 CazUUm Co-Dean

Carter Mahoney, Peterborough Unitarians, Young Adults Ensemble

Wonderful singers and musicians from across the country

Halifax, Peterborough, Toronto, Vancouver…

James Morris (guitar), Halifax, playing Making Waves, composed for the occasion.

Peterborough Unitarians – Spirit of Life (Mark, Julie, Katherine, Stephira, Ben, Linda)

Vancouver Unitarians Elliott and Edgar playing work by Cape Breton’s Allistair MacGillivray

James Hill teaching us the ukulele “peace chord”.

Vancouver Unitarians Choir Leads: Beth, Erin, Bryan, Gavin
leading Canadian Unitarians in Blue Boat Home.

 

Four National CUC Online Gatherings – Victoria Day Weekend

Thursday, May 14: Informal Plenary

3:30 pm PDT | 4:30 pm MDT | 5:30 pm CDT | 6:30 pm EDT | 7:30 pm ADT  – 1.5 hours
Prior to the AGM on May 16, the CUC Board invites you to an informal dialogue amongst congregational delegates, leaders, board members, and CUC staff to discuss issues of importance to congregations, in support of the CUC’s vision, goals, and strategic priorities.
Register in advance at  https://bit.ly/CUCPlenary to join the plenary.

 

Friday, May 15: National Gathering
3:30 pm PDT | 4:30 pm MDT | 5:30 pm CDT | 6:30 pm EDT | 7:30 pm ADT  – 1.5 hours
We will gather across the country, virtually, on the Friday of what was to have been the start of the National Conference. Come, we will join together to celebrate our connections and our faith. All welcome!

Register in advance at https://bit.ly/CUCGathering to join the gathering.

All are welcome.

Saturday, May 16: 2020 Annual General Meeting

9:00am – 12:30pm PDT | 10:00am – 1:30 pm MDT |  11:00am – 2:30pm CDT | 12:00pm – 3:30pm EDT |1:00p.m. – 4:30 pm ADT

WHERE: Online via Zoom. All members of CUC member congregations and fellowships can participate but only registered delegates can vote.

Register in advance at https://bit.ly/CUCAGM to attend the meeting.

 

Sunday, May 17: Cross-Canada Sunday Service – Live Online
9:30 am PDT | 10:30 am MDT | 11:30 am CDT | 12:30 pm EDT | 1:30 pm ADT | 2:00 pm NL
Join UUs from across Canada for a unique opportunity to celebrate in a national Sunday Service together. Rev. Norm Horofker from the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax, with his ministerial colleagues, will lead a worship service for Canadians across the country and worldwide. Let’s come together virtually to celebrate our national connection and our national conference. Join us on Zoom or watch on the CUC’s YouTube channel. We welcome you, wherever you are. Register in advance at https://bit.ly/UUSundayService to join the service.