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Reflections on General Assembly

“We Were Moved and Inspired”

By Bill Johnston and Monica Bennett

Why would a Canadian go to the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (GA)?

For many of us, our home congregation is the only place we see other UUs. We have few opportunities to be in community with other UUs, to learn of other ways of doing church, and to broaden and deepen our perspectives.

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“Our UU Faith Is Truly Alive and Well”

by Kristina Stevens

I have been a Unitarian for upwards of 20 years and had attended a number of CUC Annual Conference and Meetings, but had never gone to a UUA General Assembly before this past June. It was so close, in Portland, a day’s ferry + drive away, and I had a friend also going, to room with. But I was a bit intimidated by the idea of such a large gathering, around 5,000 people. What was it like?

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Canadians Do UU South

by Anna Issaacs

I laughed when I saw the glass moose head hanging on the log wall. This was the perfect place to gather with the other Canadians attending the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association (GA) on a late June night in quirky Portland, Oregon. GA is the American national meeting that is the counterpart to our CUC ACM (Canadian Unitarian Council Annual Conference and Meeting). It didn’t take long before the room was packed and animated Canadian conversations spilled out both doorways. Our excitement was palpable. Here are my reasons I cherish this experience and encourage you to consider attending a future UUA GA.

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Upcoming UUA GAs

June 22-26: 2016 Columbus, OH (google maps 7 hour drive from Toronto)
June 21-25: 2017 New Orleans, LA
June 20-24: 2018 Kansas City, MO

Congregations, Charities, and Best Practices

“Congregations, Charities and Best Practices” is a series of articles in the Canadian Unitarian Council’s eNews, published every even-numbered month. The articles are aimed at sharing information about Canada Revenue Agency and Income Tax Act guidelines governing Canadian charities, with a particular focus on specifics for Canadian Unitarian Universalist congregations. Please note that these articles are for information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. For additional details or for information about seeking legal advice, please contact executivedirector@cuc.ca.

Charities and Political Activity

There is confusion and some myths about whether charities can engage in political activity, and to what extent. There are those who think that charities either cannot carry on any political activity at all, or that they can do so without limitations. The reality lies in knowing the following:

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Welcome

Tips for Intentionally Inclusive Congregations

Each week the CUC Facebook page features a post under the heading, “Tips for Intentionally Inclusive Congregations”. Following these tips will help stimulate conversations about ways we can all be intentionally welcoming, helping those we’ve not yet met to find their way into our communities.

‘Like’ the CUC’s Facebook page to see the weekly tip in your feed, or catch up on previous weekly tips here:

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Email

Role-Specific Emails Help Smooth Transitions

One of the CUC’s top priorities in working with congregations and communities is to keep leaders and members informed and connected. Staff rely heavily on email and lists to share information, resources, and events. Every year, volunteer turnover in our congregations creates the potential for missed communications and messages gone unread. Updating the CUC’s directory is a difficult task that is never complete, due to on-going change. CUC staff rely on congregations to keep them up to date on congregational changeover and who best to keep in touch with, and in particular, where to send e-mail.

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Autumn Leaves

Connection and Networking at Regional Fall Gatherings

One of the ways that the Canadian Unitarian Council promotes and supports connections and networking between congregations is through the hosting of Regional Fall Gatherings. In each of the four geographic regions these events have taken on a regional flavour and staff has learned one-size doesn’t fit all. However we do work to partner with congregations to ensure there is an annual opportunity to come together to learn, play, network, and celebrate. Details about the 2015 events can be found at the CUC website on the calendar page http://cuc.ca/events.

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ACM

Be Bold! Share your talents at the 2016 CUC Conference & AGM!

Call for Proposals!

The CUC Conference Program Planning Committee invites proposals to facilitate workshop streams and multigenerational workshops on the theme of “Bolder Ways of Being.”

The CUC National Conference, to be held May 20–22, 2016, at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, B.C., will bring together Canadian Unitarians and Universalists to meet, to worship, to talk, to learn, and to grow. The Conference will include workshop streams, multigenerational workshops, spiritual practice and networking sessions, as well as worship services, social gatherings, and meetings of related groups.

Are you a dynamic facilitator? Do you have ideas for UUs to be bold and be known?

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Power of ComUUnity – Youth Weekend

This year Unicamp is offering a weekend retreat for youth to come together in community at the end of summer. The Power of CommUUnity is scheduled for August 21-23. Contact Unicamp’s administration, Katya Schmied at admin@unicampofontario.ca for registration.

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Unicamp Young Adult Weekend

Unicamp Young Adult Weekend

This year’s annual Unicamp Young Adult weekend retreat is scheduled for Sept 11 - 13. For the past eight years, UU young adults have gathered at the beginning of autumn for a low key camp weekend. For more information about this retreat contact Unicamp Co-Directors Adrian Iacovino and Jenny Thomas-Bojin at director@unicampofontario.ca

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Youth Advisor Training

Toronto First is hosting a Youth Advisor Retreat again this year Sept 25 - 27 for adults working with, or interested in working with youth in their congregation. For more information contact Melissa Marie Legge, UUYouthToronto@gmail.com.

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CUC-Classic-Logo-300px

Do You Have a Statement of National Importance To Make?

The CUC’s past resolutions and our current Statement of Charitable Purpose (below) provide us the opportunity to speak out on issues related to our charitable purpose and values.

A Monitoring Group, Congregational Group or Individual may request a letter from the CUC and/or the National Voice Group (which consists of the CUC Board President, a minister from the UU Ministers of Canada, and the CUC Executive Director) on a matter of  national significance.

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Physician Assisted Dying - What's Next?

On July 17, 2015, the federal government announced the composition of the expert panel on physician assisted dying. The panel consists of 3 members – Harvey Chochinov, Canada Research Chair in palliative care at the University of Manitoba; Catherine Frazee, former co-director of the Ryerson-RBC Institute for Disability Studies Research and Education; and Benoit Pelletier, University of Ottawa law professor and former Quebec Liberal Cabinet Minister.

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UU-UNO

Plan Your United Nations Sunday

Every year the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) puts together a resource packet to help congregations celebrate the work of the United Nations and the UU-UNO. The resource packet highlights this year’s theme through readings, a Religious Education curriculum, planning sessions, order of service (including suggested hymns) and more! The theme for 2015, following on this year’s UU-UNO Spring Seminar is International Criminal Justice: From Punitive to Restorative.

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Since 1997, the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto has worked in partnership with World Accord on development projects in Central America with the goal of building understanding between people and improving the social, economic, and living conditions in some of the poorest areas. Over 100 Unitarians from across the country have joined hundreds of non-Unitarians on building teams. These projects have not only helped support the people of Central America in achieving their dreams, but have helped build relationships between Unitarians and other Canadians who share similar goals.

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Vancouver Island Summer Camp

You’re invited to a weekend of summer programming for Unitarians of all ages: August 21 - 23, 2015 at Camp Shawnigan.

“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink in the wild air” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friends new and old are waiting to meet you at camp on the shores of beautiful Shawnigan Lake. Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan offers a lovely outdoor setting to have fun, relax, deepen friendships, explore spirituality and feel part of the larger Unitarian community. Take part in campfire, a Friday BBQ, the variety show and family dance with live music! As well, Saturday morning offers great programming for all ages, and the fabulous waterfront will be open in the afternoon. Hike up Mt. Baldy for a 360 degree view of Shawnigan Lake, explore the Kinsol Trestle, board games and crafts are other offerings for you to explore.

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Autumn Leaves

October Regional Fall Gatherings

Four gatherings are being planned across the country to offer UUs in each region the opportunity to join together in community for networking, worship, learning, and fun. This year’s Regional Fall Gatherings are all scheduled to take place in October:

• BC Region “Heart to Heart”, Oct. 2-4, Nanaimo

• Western Region “Harvest the Power: Discerning, Deepening and Engaging Leadership”, Oct. 16-18, Winnipeg

• Eastern Region, “Hearts and Hands”, Oct. 17, Fredericton (Atlantic Cluster event)

• Central Region Networking Event, Oct. 24, Hamilton

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Northern-Lights-Logo

Application Time for Northern Lights Grants

Do you have a project to support the growth of your UU community, but wish you had a little extra financial support to get it off the ground? Northern Lights is a unique fundraising program jointly sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada (UUMOC) and the Canadian Unitarian Council. It provides opportunities for Canadian Unitarian Universalists to directly support growth projects in UU congregations and communities across the country. When your project is approved for funding, you will be put in contact with a growing network of individual UUs (Chalice Lighters), who have agreed to donate an amount they choose twice a year to selected projects.

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¼ Time Ministry Opportunities in British Columbia

Two congregations in the B.C. region are currently searching for part time professional ministry to serve their members. At the UU Fellowship of Kamloops,

"We are seeking a developmental minister to journey with us on a quarter time contract to help us clarify our identity and purpose as a religious/spiritual community.  An individual with capacity to look forward into possibilities, to bring disparate viewpoints together respectfully, to mine broader community connections for new ideas."

Meanwhile the Unitarian Fellowship of Kelowna (UFK), situated in the heart of the beautiful Okanagan, traditional territory of the Okanagan (Sylix) people, is seeking a quarter time consulting minister.

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BC Regional Fall Gathering

BC Regional Fall Gathering

Oct 2 - 4, Namaimo

You’re invited to spend the weekend in Nanaimo, B.C. Save the date! Hosted by the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo and Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship.

Theme: Heart To Heart. Bringing Compassion, Discovery and Social Justice to Life

Venues:  
Main Program: Grand-NanaimoThe Grand Hotel Nanaimo

Youth Sessions: First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo (FUFON)

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Western Regional Fall Gathering

Oct 16 - 18, Winnipeg

Theme: Harvest the Power: Discerning, Deepening and Engaging Leadership

• Have you wondered about volunteering in your congregation, but aren’t sure where you should put your energy?

• Are you a Lay Leader ready to take the next step?

• Do you wonder how we all work together within covenantal communities and our organization’s structure?

• Would you like to view your service as spiritual practice?

• Perhaps you’re just looking for a great weekend surrounded by other UUs!

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Hearts and Hands

Hearts and Hands

Oct 17

Join with members of other congregations for a day or a weekend, as we spend time learning, playing, eating, sharing and worshipping together. Topics will include: Learning from the Truth and Reconciliation report, Training for Small Group Ministry facilitators, creating and living with Congregational Covenants. A mini-youth con will also be offered.

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