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