What a week it has been! I left for Ottawa last Wednesday to attend the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) gathering, AGM, and Symposium on Living into the 8th Principle. It was an uplifting, challenging, inspiring, and generative weekend. I was pleased to see a few other Vancouver Unitarians in-person and online for the first national multi-platform conference made possible by multiple owl conference cameras (including ours–thank you!)
I have been the CUC Board Secretary for the past five years, and I agreed this year to stand as President. It is with humbleness mixed with excitement and trepidation that I step into this role for my last year on the Board. The people working at the national staff and Board level are kind, courageous, thoughtful, compassionate and dedicated to the thriving growth of our denomination. And we cannot do this work without you.
To thrive as Unitarian-Universalists in Canada we must reach out beyond the boundaries of our individual congregations and see each other as part of something bigger. As one of the largest congregations in Canada we are positioned to be a pillar of leadership, a mother tree in a forest ecosystem. In my role as President I hope to bring the humanity of the CUC and the reality that we are a community of communities home.
I understand that there was a deeply meaningful listening circle held here this past weekend focused on hearing and understanding each other in relation to the 8th Principle adoption. Out of that circle came a desire for UCV to create its own statement of purpose around antiracism and anti-oppression work. Our youth see the 8th Principle as the action principle–the doing, building, and getting down to work Principle. And it will be healing to work in circles of consensus to define how we, as a congregation, will manifest our work and dedication to a more just and peaceful world. It has been 7 years since we undertook a visioning process and now is an auspicious time to take up this work; re-forming ourselves in a post-lockdown time and preparing to welcome a new settled minister. I hope many of you will take the opportunity to participate.
There have also been many conversations around how we govern ourselves, how we make decisions, and how to do so in a way that lives into our values and includes voices that are often left out. The CUC Decision Making Exploration Team is holding a series of workshops between now and January for people to practice different forms of decision making such as consensus building and sociocracy. I hope our Board and anyone else interested in new ways to generate participatory democracy will attend and help shape the CUC and Vancouver Unitarians into the future. People are asked to participate in at least three of the year’s events in order to join the January workshop on drafting a preliminary proposal for the CUC’s annual general meeting.
Mark your calendars for June 10th, 10 am Pacific for practicing Sociocracy together: https://cuc.ca/events/practicing-together/
I look forward to seeing you in National U*U spaces!
CUC President and BC Region representative