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Innovator Conversations

When the staff of the Canadian Unitarian Council gathered in June, for a rare in-person meeting, we asked ourselves how we could respond to the Board’s direction to support innovative approaches to fostering Unitarian Universalism in Canada. As we talked we realized that we had bits of the ‘outside the box’ story, but that there were likely ideas being developed that we didn’t know about. How could we support what we were unaware of?

So, an invitation was sent to some people who we knew of who were looking at alternative approaches, hoping we could begin a conversation about the dreams, schemes and plans they had. We also invited those people to put us in touch with other innovators. Using Zoom, our video-teleconference platform, we’ve had some initial conversations, and we’ve learned, and are continuing to learn about the variety of approaches and experiences. The conversations were rich, and are helping us to understand how we can most usefully support grass-roots efforts.

Read more.

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Looking back at our August issue

Many of us head away in the summer, taking a break from our work, our schools, our computers, even our churches. If you were off in the wilderness, or visiting relatives, or just not combing through your e-mails in August, you may have missed the Summer issue of the eNews. We encourage you to go back and take a look at some of the articles that were shared this summer: an in-depth look at charities and political activity from our on-going series, Congregations, Charities, Best Practices; an invitation to help build schools in Honduras; information about planning a United Nations Sunday; and some conference information for those of you who will shortly be coming together at Regional Fall Gatherings this month. Welcome back!

Vote

Commit to Vote

In light of the upcoming federal election, the articles on “Congregations, Charities and Best Practices” will continue in the December 2015 issue. Instead, Commit to Vote via our CUC form.

Every vote will count in this federal election. We, at the Canadian Unitarian Council, want you to commit to vote. And commit to convincing 5 others to vote, especially those in the 18-35 age range. Commit to vote here. With your permission, CUC will share your proud commitment to vote on FaceBook every Monday until Election Day.

Read more.

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Future-2

Journey to the Future – A Vision Task Force Update

The Vision Task Force of the CUC board, composed of ministers, lay leaders, and Executive Director Vyda Ng, has been carefully reflecting on possible visions for Canadian Unitarian Universalism, based on your feedback from last year’s visioning workshops. A short vision statement will be proposed for your consideration, intended as an overarching, aspirational vision, which will help guide us towards a better future for all. It’s exciting to consider all the possibilities, and tough to choose which one will best serve all of Canadian Unitarian Universalism in the years to come.

Read more.

help

Help Us Help You

CUC staff are constantly on the look-out for ways to get better at being in touch with you so that we can get interesting news, helpful resources and event dates to you in timely ways. We are also collecting and curating resources for different aspects of congregational life, to be ultimately located on the CUC website and shared with you. To these ends, we are looking for your help to:

• Keep information on congregational leadership roles current

• Share your congregation’s tech info with us

• Share your best policies and practices

Read more.

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Tips for Intentionally Inclusive Congregations

We all want to be inclusive, but sometimes we forget how our habits in our congregations might create a culture that does not intentionally create this inclusivity for everyone. For the past several months, CUC staff have been posting a new tip on intentional inclusivity, each Monday. These tips are posted to the CUC Facebook page, and the website, and are collected for easy reference under our Congregational Life section.

Here are a few of the tips that have been featured in the last 15 weeks:

1. Remember That Just Because You Don’t Know Someone – They Aren’t Necessarily New.

In all but the smallest congregations, it is possible for us to not know when someone is new and when they are not. Assuming someone you don’t know, but who may have been coming for a while, is new, can be interpreted as, “I don’t think you are important enough to notice”.

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Inspirational Voices

The Annual Ingathering & Water Communion Service at Grand River Unitarian Congregation is always a highlight of my year. I am heartened by the reminder of the potential impact of our collective efforts when we individual “drops” join together and form a mighty canyon-carving stream. I am inspired by my ministerial colleagues Samaya Oakley and Meg Roberts who continue to champion the Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation work among us. I am grateful to the many leaders in our movement who are working with CUC Social Responsibility Coordinator April Hope to position our congregations to sponsor refugees.

Read more.

THANK YOU, ERYL!

In recognition of Eryl Court's long-standing commitment to the UU-United Nations Office and the goal of peace, the CUC's UN Advisory Council thank Eryl for her unflagging energy and passion to the cause of peace and justice. Eryl resigned from the Advisory Council in August, and her presence will be missed. Over many years, as the Canadian Envoy leader, Eryl was a strong presence at Annual Conferences, ensuring the United Nations Office receptions were organized, supporting envoys, encouraging actions and commitments, and sowing the seed for a clear Unitarian and Canadian voice at the UU-United Nations Office. As an organizational and founding member of the CUC UN Advisory Council, Eryl spoke tirelessly for these principles and goals. Eryl is wished continued health and energy as she celebrates her 91st birthday; her commitment and passion for the UN continue to be honoured.

Christine-Hillman

Remembering Rev. Christine Hillman (1949-2015)

Vancouver, 2007 ACM

Christine first heard about Unitarian Universalism from her college roommate, and attended a service five years later, with her husband, Arthur. At the time the closest Unitarian Universalist congregation was located fifty miles from their home, so they decided to take matters into their own hands. In 1975, along with ten other people, Christine and Arthur helped to organize and establish the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kokomo, IN.

Prior to entering the ministry, Christine worked as a religious education professional, and in the years following, Rev. Hillman participated in many denominational activities. From leading UUA Renaissance Modules, to sitting on the CUC’s Board of Trustees, and serving as chair of the CUC’s Theological Education Funds Committee, a position she was honoured to hold.

Read more.

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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?

Read more.

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Welcome to New Religious Professionals!

This fall, as we return to another new church year, several congregations and fellowships across the country are welcoming new religious professionals into their communities. From directors of religious exploration, to music directors, to interim, developmental, or intern ministers, many Canadian UU communities are introducing new blood and fresh ideas into their church homes. We offer a warm welcome to all of you taking up new positions this year, from Ottawa to Winnipeg, Montreal to Regina, Kingston to Vancouver, your work helps our movement to grow and glow with the fire of commitment.

Central and Eastern Region "RainboUU Con"

Central and Eastern Region "RainboUU Con"

We welcome you to Kingston, Ontario in an exciting weekend of spiritual growth, meeting awesome youth and exploring what we all believe. We will connect over awesome sports, solitude, arts and exploration workshops and build new friendships and communities.

Once again we'll be having an optional trip to Fort Fright, a haunted house that everyone who went had a lot of fun at last year.

Register by October 16th. For more information contact - Co-Deans Neal Cameron or Sage Drake at: rainbouucon@gmail.com if you have any questions.

We hope to see all of you on October 23rd!

Affordable-Housing

We Need a National Affordable Housing Strategy

Safe, affordable housing is a human right. In Canada, the state of housing and homelessness is in crisis. Hundreds of thousands of individuals across the country experience homelessness each year, while one in five households struggle to afford necessities such as groceries, medication, and transportation while keeping a roof over their heads.

The healthcare professionals behind the campaign Call for Housing, a non-partisan petition calling on Canadian governments to create a National Affordable Housing Strategy, have seen poor housing and homelessness cause stress, malnourishment, impaired early childhood development, chronic illness, and premature death.

Read more.

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Three Things You Can Do to Help Syrian Refugees

In the face of the devastating and inhumane conditions in Syria, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. What can one person or a group of people do to help Syrians? The Canadian Unitarian Council has ways for you to get involved:

• Give. It costs approximately $12,000 to bring an individual to Canada, and every dollar helps. Whether online or by cheque or phone, donations to the CUC's Refugee Fund will receive tax receipts.

• Join an active Sponsoring Group in your community who is already working on helping refugees. Check with your local refugee or immigration organization.

• Sponsor a refugee or family with your congregation or a group you form – we can help with information and training.

Read more.

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THR-Walk-Crowd

Truth and Reconciliation Anniversary

In March 2014, the Canadian Unitarian Council and the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada, offered an Expression of Reconciliation to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, committing to the journey of healing and reconciliation between Canadian Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal peoples.

Through it, we acknowledged and accepted our responsibility for truth-telling, healing, and reconciliation. This past May at the CUC Annual General Meeting, congregational delegates from across Canada voted unanimously to affirm these commitments, inviting all the CUC congregations to join in this good work.

Read more.

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Protecting Canadian Charities

“Protecting Canadian Charities” is a joint initiative of Canadian organizations working together to preserve and enhance the role of Canadian charities in public policy discussions. They state that “the ability of Canadians to engage in important debates about social justice, liberty, poverty, and the environment depends on charities providing an avenue for their ideas and magnifying their voice.” See the petition here.

UU-UNO

Invitation to Join the CUC’s UN Advisory Council

The CUC’s United Nations Advisory Council to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s UU-United Nations Office Advisory Board (whew, what a mouthful) is looking for UU’s who are passionate about the work of the United Nations and about justice. The CUC’s UN Advisory Council needs 3 members; the group provides support and coordination of UU-UNO activities of interest to Canadians, provides policy and operational advice to the UU-UNO, and works to strengthen CUC – UU-UNO relations. Contact cuc-uno@cuc.ca to express interest or for more information.

UU-UNO

UU-UNO Spring Seminar - 2016

Each year youth and adults from all over North America gather in New York city for a three day seminar where issues of global significance are the subject of workshops and discussions. Participants learn, reflect, and grow in the context of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office work addressing some of the most challenging issues facing humanity.

Read more.

Seeking Religious Education Teachers and Youth Coordinator

The Unitarian Church of Vancouver is seeking three paid part time Religious Education Teachers as well as a Youth Coordinator to work with children, youth, parents, and members of the church community. RE Teachers deliver curriculum supplied by the Director of Religious Education to children participating in classes, and support children’s participation in dramatic performances, pageants, seasonal observances, and other activities associated with the Unitarian Church of Vancouver’s (UCV’s) Children and Youth Programs.

Read more.

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CUC Administrative Coordinator - full-time position

The CUC is looking for an energetic, flexible and highly organized individual who has strong skills and experience in the areas of office administration, financial record-keeping, and event coordination. If you think you’re a good candidate, or know someone who is, send the resume post-haste to executivedirector@cuc.ca; this job posting will remain active until the right applicant is found. For full job description, click here..

BC Regional Fall Gathering

BC Regional Fall Gathering

Oct 2 - 4, Namaimo, BC

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)

Read more.

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BC Region Youth Con - 2015

Oct 2 - 4, Namaimo, BC

Courageous love transforms the world. When the question of justice arises, we will stand on the side of love. This weekend, we will be exploring issues of injustice, solidarity, and standing up for what you believe in. What are your CONvictions?

In addition to exploring this theme, Con favorites such as touch groups, worship, mail bags, yummy inclusive food, late night chats and lots other fun crafts and activities will all be there too (including a chance to participate in a multigenerational Public Action to encourage voting and voter turn-out)

Read more.

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Western Regional Fall Gathering

Western Regional Fall Gathering

Oct 16 - 18, Winnipeg, MB

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!

Read more.

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Western Region Youth Con - 2015

Western Region 

"Winnie the Puuh Con"

Oct 16 - 18, Winnipeg, MB

We would like to welcome any UU youth from age 12-20 to come spend the weekend in the 100 acer wood with Pooh and his friends. We will be talking about how Pooh and his friends all have such diverse personalities and characteristics yet they all support and accept each other, which is what inspired us to spend some of this weekend exploring the different aspect of mental health and wellness as well as the theme of friendship and camaraderie.

In addition to exploring these themes, Con favorites such as silly games, touch groups, worship and workshops, mail bags, yummy inclusive food, late night chats and lots of getting to know each other will be included too.

Read more.

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Atlantic Cluster "Mini-Con"

Oct 16 - 18, Fredericton, NB

Youth from UFF are excited about meeting other youth! On Saturday, you have the choice of attending one of the Hearts and Hands workshop streams or taking part in relaxed creative activities. There will be evening activities and space to sleep overnight or talk on both Friday and Saturday.

For more information, contact Jo-Anne Elder-Gomes (eldergomes@yahoo.com)

Read more.

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Hearts and Hands

Hearts and Hands

Oct 17, Fredericton, NB

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.

Read more.

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Central and Eastern Region "RainboUU Con"

Central and Eastern Region "RainboUU Con"

Oct 23 - 25, Kingston, ON

We welcome you to an exciting weekend of spiritual growth, meeting awesome youth and exploring what we all believe. We will connect over awesome sports, solitude, arts and exploration workshops and build new friendships and communities.

Once again we'll be having an optional trip to Fort Fright, a haunted house that everyone who went had a lot of fun at last year.

Read more.

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Central Regional Fall Gathering

Central Regional Fall Gathering

Oct 24, Hamilton, ON

Theme: Discernment and Decisions

Congregations are faced with many opportunities to decide their future. Doing something new is a decision. Doing the same thing you’ve done before is a decision. This day long program is designed to help leaders consider their choices and to make decisions that will help them align their actions and aspirations.

Read more.