Category: Volunteer Opportunities

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

 

 

Zoom Coffee Hour Hosts Needed

Ms. Brown and Mr. Smith (their real names) need your assistance.
When a few of us put “coffee hour” on zoom mid March 2020, we had no idea it would be for 14 months and counting.
Summer is coming and two of the 4-person team aren’t available.
In any event, Donna and John and Erin and Nan have done a year of hosting and it’s time to pass the flame. Can YOU carry this flame?
We’re looking for 4 volunteers, each person to take responsibility for one coffee hour per month. Coaching and training and support available. You need to have access to zoom through a computer so you can set up the breakout rooms and be willing to sign in about 10-15 minutes before the service ends to set up the breakout rooms and welcome people when they arrive.
You get to say “hello” to everyone as they arrive, so a good chance to meet people–a little like serving coffee in the before times. You’ll always have a co-host, and once everyone is sorted into their groups, you can either join a breakout room yourself or leave our virtual Hewett Hall.
Perks: If you’re using zoom for other reasons, you’ll learn a lot about how to use it more effectively and how to help less experienced people get where they want to go. You get to hang out with Mr. Smith and/or Ms. Brown–two of the nicest people in our entire congregation. (IMHO – Mary Bennett)
Please contact John Smith, Donna Brown or Mary Bennett if you’d like to know more.
One of us can set up an orientation or you can dive in and schedule a date to be a co-host and learn the ropes.