Category: Welcoming Congregation

Remembering Stonewall

Today is the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall riots. In yesterday’s Sunday service, Elizabeth Dunn, as a representative of the Genders and Sexualities Alliance, recognized and commemorated this landmark date:

The Stonewall riots started on June 28, 1969. The riots erupted in response to police raids at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City, lasting about five days. At that time, the police commonly arrested LGBTQ+ people or those serving them. This time many of those being attacked by police resisted arrest, sparking several days of protests and riots and subsequently sparking the gay revolution demanding equal rights for LGBTQ+ people. While the gay rights movement didn’t begin at Stonewall, it was definitely a turning point. And on June 28, 1970, the first Gay Pride parade set off from the Stonewall Inn. 

  • Further reading: Check out this excellent article in YES! Magazine.

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

 

Pride Art Installation – Interfaith support letter from Rev. Lara

You may have heard or seen of the desecration of the art installation at our neighbour’s site, Shaughnessy United proclaiming the message “God’s doors are open to all.”

Rev. Lara has sent a message of support on behalf of our congregation.

In case you missed it, here are two links for you:

SHUC Blog

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/church-vandalized-pride-1.6066146

Photo from the CBC story

Dear Rev. Dave Moors, Shaughnessy United

Many of our members at Vancouver Unitarian heard with dismay and sadness (but lack of surprise, unfortunately) about the desecration of your Pride installation.
As a “welcoming congregation” (our denomination’s  equivalent of “affirming congregation”) I and our Genders and Sexualities Alliance wanted to send you and your congregation a message of support.
We are filled with admiration of the creativity, message and beauty of the installation and so glad to hear you remain undeterred and enthusiastic about restoring the doors to their original splendour.
Indeed, currently we have an installation related to residential schools on our corner of 49th & Oak, and you’ve inspired us to think about making a Pride installation for Vancouver pride weekend.
Always some good comes out of these incidents, but don’t we wish it was not necessary.
Please know also that we are practically neighbours and if there were any events or initiatives where you would feel it good to collaborate, we would welcome suggestions.
I look forward to meeting with you, as I will be serving the Vancouver Unitarians for another year or two during their transition to the next settled ministry, and hope we can work together on some of these critical social justice initiatives.
Blessings,

Rev. Lara Cowtan

Interim Minister
Vancouver Unitarians
https://vancouverunitarians.ca

Remembering Pulse Nightclub – 5 years later

UCV GSA (Genders and Sexualities Alliance) takes this opportunity to mark the 5th Anniversary of the murder of 49, and wounding of 53
attendees at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Florida on June 12, 2016. This was the most horrific loss of lives to a domestic terrorist prior to the Las Vegas massacre in 2017.

The Pulse Nightclub was a LGBT club hosting a weekly Latin Night. As a consequence, many of the dead and injured were Latino. In keeping with journalistic ethics, the name of the shooter will not be named here, that his deeds be remembered, but not to give his name a place in history. The shooter entered the nightclub wit a SIG Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a 9 mm Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol. He shot over 200 rounds in 5 minutes. The shooter was killed in a firefight with the SWAT team.

The shooter, an American whose family immigrated from Afghanistan, claimed to be taking revenge in retaliation to US bombing of Iraq and Syria. Other witnesses claimed that he was conflicted about his own sexuality. What is clear is that his victims were innocent, simply enjoying a night out in a what should have been a safe space.

The site of the Pulse Nightclub will be reopened as a memorial and museum sometime in 2022. At the time of the event, Federal and State buildings lowered their flags to half mast to honour the dead, and then-President Obama travelled to Orlando to pay tribute to bereaved family, friends, and citizens.

 

UUA Link: https://www.uua.org/lgbtq/blog/remember-pulse-nightclub-heroes-among-the-fallen (June, 2019)

Image from this link.

 

UCV is a Welcoming Congregation.