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AGM Vote

Online Participation In 2016 Annual General Meeting!

This year, for the first time, the Canadian Unitarian Council’s Annual General Meeting will be accessible to online participants across the country. CUC staff have developed an interactive online tool to allow member congregations and delegates to participate from home, for those who are unable to attend the meeting in person, in Vancouver, B.C. on May 20th, 2016.

This online participation will allow clusters of participants from each congregation to sign up to speak, and delegates will have the chance to vote at a distance on motions brought to the meeting. To help you plan ahead, we recommend:

• people meet in clusters, not individually

• ensuring that there is reliable high-speed internet

• having at least one person in each cluster who is tech-savvy

• having at least two computer or laptops with webcams, good speakers and microphones

Read more.

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Can-U-2016-spring

The Canadian Unitarian Spring 2016 Edition Is Out!

Hard copies will be mailed next week to congregations and to those who requested them. Click here to take you to the latest issue. - you can view it in Calameo form or download a PDF.

Some highlights:

• How Canadian UUs are boldly living out our faith

• “Bolder Ways of Being” – information on the national conference in Vancouver, May 20-22. Register by Mar 31 for a chance to win free registration!

• A proposed new vision for the Canadian UU faith community

• A look across the country at our vital congregations

• Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Reflection Guide

Enjoy!

CUC ACM 2015

What to Expect at the 2016 Annual General Meeting

For the first time in a long time (maybe for the first time ever), there are no proposed social responsibility motions for the 2016 AGM. This provides more opportunity for delegates, members, and CUC Board to discuss other matters. At the plenary on Thursday night and at the AGM, the CUC Board will lead conversations on the proposed vision for Canadian Unitarian Universalism, the alternative method for calculating Annual Program Contributions and updates on previously approved resolutions.

The relevant documents, including minutes of the 2015 AGM, financial statements, annual report and AGM agenda, will be sent out with the Official Call to Meeting in mid-April.

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Your Congregation’s Delegates

Your congregation’s delegates are important folks - they step up to go to the CUC’s Annual General Meeting, become familiar with the matters, and then share them with your congregation. They are the carriers of your congregation’s wishes when it comes to voting on resolutions. To support your congregation in selecting your delegates, CUC staff has put together some information about representation, delegate selection, preparation for the AGM, and roles of delegates prior to and in-between AGMs. Click here for the Delegate FAQs.

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UU Congregations, Rental Policies and Rites of Passage

Many of us have certain practices around our congregations’ rental policies and practices. If we own our building, it is likely that we rent space to other individuals, groups and organizations, as well as to our own members, for additional revenue. It is also likely that we provide discounted rental prices to our members and friends and see this as a benefit of being a congregational member.

However, Canada Revenue Agency has certain guidelines about how church space should be treated when it comes to renting to members and to the public, and frowns on charities showing preferential treatment to its own members, referred to as “Undue Benefits.”

What are Undue Benefits?

Read more.

UU Congregations, Charitable Purpose and Political Activity Webinar

As part of an on-going series of CUC webinars offered to UUs and leaders on a variety of topics, this webinar covers some topics that may continue to pose questions for congregations. Although Prime Minister Trudeau has issued a mandate for the Minister of Finance to “allow charities to do their work on behalf of Canadians free from political harassment, and modernize the rules governing the charitable and non-for-profit sectors,” the Canada Revenue Agency guidelines governing charities remain in place. The webinar will cover: Charitable Purpose, Charitable & Political Activities, Personal vs organizational political activity, Qualified & Non-qualified Donees, Charities Operating Outside Canada, and Refugee Sponsorship.

Who can join?: Open to all.

When: Thu, Mar 24th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm eastern

Where: On the world wide web, via Zoom (instructions will be sent after you register)

Cost: Free (compliments of your congregation’s annual program contributions to the CUC)

Registration: Click here to register.

Registration closes March 20th.

Winnipeg 125 Cake

Winnipeg Celebrates 125: 1891 - 2016

What is the correct way to celebrate a congregation reaching 125 years of existence? ANSWER: However we want to! And here's how, Winnipeg style.

On February 1, 2016, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg officially celebrated this milestone. Our Team 125 - a 10 member volunteer working committee began to meet a year ago, to brainstorm and gather ideas on how to celebrate being a consistent congregation for all those 125 years.

As a group, we decided that this 125th anniversary is worthy of celebrating for the whole year. We chose a theme and a logo, and signage was erected in November 2015. With the official date being early in the 2016 calendar year, we took a leaf from our 100th anniversary, and created our kick-off weekend celebration. And so, with Linda Henderson as coordinator, Team 29 was struck for our beginning January 29th all ages Friday Night Celebration Cabaret & Party, which featured "A UU Talent Odyssey" 2 hour performance with 21 numbers, 28 stage artists and Youth & Adult co-MC's. The program included an 8 year old violinist, a 14 year old flautist, and a variety of musical, spoken word, magic, and adult performances. Along with a volunteer kitchen crew, Ella Clark and Allison Myers prepared a dozen different specialty hor d'oeuvres for the 6:30 cocktail hour before the 7:30 performance began. The final concert number before the intermission was an act by Joseph Kaufert, Magician, in which he magically baked an Anniversary Cake. And 150 cupcakes decorated with chalices were presented to the audience, supplied by Terry Willerton.

Read more.

Grand River Refugee Task Force

When We Say YES

by Rev. Jessica Rodela & Kristen Wilson, Grand River Unitarian Congregation

On a Saturday morning in January, April Hope, the CUC Social Responsibility Coordinator, called Rev. Jess with an urgent request asking if our Welcoming Congregation would be willing to step in to sponsor a Syrian refugee whose situation had become dire. Rev. Jess contacted Kristen Wilson, chair of Grand River Unitarian's existing Refugee Task Force, right away. Before she could finish explaining, Kristen agreed to help. Within a couple of hours, the congregation had a confidential support team and a room at the ready. Every person we asked for help responded with an immediate and unconditional "YES."

Read more.

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Looking for a New Knight

Every year, the Knight Award is presented to a living person who has, as a volunteer, contributed at the national level to furthering the principles of Unitarianism in Canada. The award honours the ideals exemplified by the lives and work of Victor and Nancy Knight.

Nominations may be submitted by any member or friend of a Canadian UU congregation, and must be accompanied by a citation describing what the nominee has done at the national level to promote liberal religious principles in Canada and why she or he should be considered for the award. The citation should be at least 200 words in length and may be submitted by e-mail to Mary Lu MacDonald at jbmlmac@ns.sympatico.ca. Submissions must be received by March 31st. Click here for more information 

Ariel Hunt-Brondwin

Youth and Young Adult Development Staff Announcement

So long for now...

It's a good thing I've spent the past almost six years working with youth and young adults. In serving this cohort of amazing young people I quickly had to learn a few things:

• to be adaptable and flexible while also learning where the meaningful limits are and not letting those be abandoned

• to not take things personally while staying personally invested in building positive relationships and outcomes

• to be compassionate and generous, and meet people where they are at

• no matter what else, remember to laugh and find the humour in the situation

In short – it has at times been a wild and woolly ride but it has also been a huge gift to mentor, walk alongside, and learn from the youth and young adults I’ve worked with. There were moments of frustration to be sure, but many moments of pure joy and gratitude – flash mobs at the CUC’s Annual Conference, stargazing at Opus, so many warm fuzzy ‘mailbag notes’ from countless Cons and trainings, and experiencing deep & moving worships at dusk are just a few of the memories that I am blessed to be left with on account of getting to do this work. So given all that, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could have asked for a better preparation for the next adventure I’m about to embark on – parenthood!

Read more.

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Asha Philar

Welcome, Asha Philar!

Asha is the acting Youth and Young Adult Ministry Development Staff, replacing Ariel Hunt-Brondwin until February 2017. She is very excited to be in this position, and have the opportunity to foster youth and young adult programs across the country.

Asha grew up in Ottawa, attending the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa since the age of 5, and enjoying many Sunday school adventures along the way. During high school she was very active in her local youth group, and participated in regional, national, and continental governance as a youth leader.

Read more.

OWL

Have you ever thought about becoming an OWL Facilitator?

OWL is an acronym for Our Whole Lives – a program developed jointly by
the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the United Church of Christ (UCC) to provide accurate information about sexual health, human development, sexual behaviour, relationships, communication, and cultural influences on sexual identity and behaviour.

Read more.

Melora Lynngood

Confluence Lecture 2016: “And They’ll Know We are U*U by Our Love”

by Rev. Melora Lynngood, co-minister, First Unitarian Church of Victoria

I grew up Presbyterian. I disagreed with their theology, but I loved being a part of the warm loving intergenerational community that did good in the world. There is a song I still remember learning in our children’s choir, about working together toward the greater good with love; the chorus was “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

Read more.

UU Musicians Professional Development Day

UU Musicians Professional Development Day

The Canadian UU Musicians Collective will hold its second annual Professional Development day in Vancouver on Thursday, May 19. The CUUMC is open to all music-makers in Canadian UU congregations, including both paid church staff members and unpaid volunteers, in the roles of choir director, choir accompanist, pianist, organist, composer, arranger, singer-songwriter and music committee member.

We will meet at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver for discussions and sharing from 11 am to 3 pm, facilitated by Alison Nixon (North Shore Unitarian Church) and Donna Brown (Unitarian Church of Vancouver). There is no charge to attend this part of the day but there will be a collection for lunch. Please bring multiple copies (about 15) of your favourite tunes – congregational songs and choir repertoire – for the sharing portion of the day.

Read more.

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The Canadian UU Musicians Collective Website has a New Webmaster!

Donna Brown, Choir Director at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, has taken over the role of webmaster for the CUUMC website. This site was launched at the 2015 conference to connect UU musicians across the country. Donna will be updating the site weekly and would love to post information about music and musicians in your congregations and also about upcoming musical events. Check out the site often at www.cancolluum.com and contact Donna at cancoll.uum@gmail.com

Truth Healing and Reconciliation Reflection Guide Update

We are excited to announce that the Northern Lights Grants panel has selected the Truth, Healing, & Reconciliation Reflection Guide (THRRG) as this year's recipient project for the Northern Lights Program.

This Reflection Guide is one of our commitments in our “Expression of Truth and Reconciliation” to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Edmonton, in March, 2014. In response, we (Revs. Meg Roberts and Samaya Oakley) teamed up with the Diversity Monitoring Group of the CUC to plan educational materials for our congregations. We consulted with Indigenous elders and educators in these areas, and Unitarian Universalists from Canada and the US, with various ages and stages of experience to develop these Reflection Guides. There will be age‐appropriate Reflection Guides for each level: lower elementary, upper elementary, youth, young adult, and adults.

Read more.

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Climate

Climate Change Covenant Group

Beacon and Vancouver UU congregations are currently co-sponsoring a special covenant group that meets monthly (January through May) at a café in New Westminster to share thoughts and feelings about climate change.

The first session focused on listening, the second on Joanna Macy’s teachings about self-care in The work that reconnects, and the third on exploring members thoughts and feeling regarding the long view on climate change as expressed in work by The Long Now Foundation, non-fiction books such as Curt Stager’s (2011), Deep Future: The Next 100,000 years of Life on Earth, and fiction such as (BC author) Emily St John Mandel’s (2015), Station Eleven. In the tradition of UU covenant groups, this small group (there are 7 of us) is mostly about listening, and will include a project for the group to undertake after the last session. 

Read more.

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Unitarian Winter Weather Shelter

Nanaimo’s Winter Weather Shelter

We here at the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo are living our values in the world in the operation of our Winter Weather Shelter whose purpose is to provide:

• a low-barrier, harm-reduction shelter for at-risk, homeless individuals on the coldest nights of the year in Nanaimo; and

• supportive housing assistance for our guests, if needed and wanted. This assistance includes helping clients find and maintain their own housing.

Read more.

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Change of Leadership for Dying with Dignity

After five years as head of the advocacy organization, fighting for the right to end of life choice for all Canadians, Wanda Morris has passed the title of CEO of Dying with Dignity on to Shanaaz Gokool. The two will continue to work closely together through the end of March to ease this transition period. Wanda’s time as head of Dying With Dignity Canada saw the organization grow and enter the national conversation, culminating in the Supreme Court’s decision that end of life choice is indeed a right for all Canadians.

Read more.

UU-UNO

Need a Bed During the UU-UNO Spring Seminar?

Registration is under way for the 2016 United Nations Office Spring Seminar, in New York City, April 7-9. Unitarians and Universalists from across the United States and Canada will be gathering at the United Nations Office for The Colors of Inequality: Costs and Consequences.

http://cuc.ca/registration-for-uu-uno-spring-seminar-open

Read more.

Conference-2016-Website-Banner

Early-bird Registration for Conference 2016

Early-bird registration is now open for CUC Conference 2016, which will see hundreds of Unitarians from across the country gather on the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver May 20-22. Come explore “Bolder Ways of Being” and deepen connections with others from congregations far and wide.

Registration is available at lowest rates until March 31 at cuc.ca/conference-2016/.

Click to find further details of meal plan options and accommodation at the Gage Residence. Many sessions will be held in the award-winning new Student Union Building, a gathering place with commanding views of the mountains across the water below the Point Grey campus.

Read more.

Leadership

Leadership Subsidy Needs Your Help

Since 2011, CUC subsidies have helped 121 youth, young adults and adults learn and improve leadership skills. They would not have had these opportunities without the original $32,000, generously donated by the Ratcliff Foundation, that helped them get to trainings, conferences and gatherings.

Ariel Hunt-Brondwin, CUC staff, says, “The number one reason I didn't make it to any regional, national or continental events when I was 18 - 24 was because of finances. Period.” Many Canadian UUs find themselves in the same position. One young adult says, “For myself and many other UU Young Adults, subsidies like this one, and creative pay-what-you-can models are what makes it possible for us to gather together and reaffirm our identity as members of a community. I urge anyone who is able and moved to do so to donate to this evolving, growing edge of UUism in Canada, and I thank you deeply for your support and your faith.

Read more.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa Seeks Half-Time Developmental Minister

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa (UUFO) is actively seeking to fill the position of a half-time Developmental Minister beginning August, 2016. We are a small but dynamic congregation with our own building in partnership with a community agency. We have worked with 4 UU Ministerial Interns over the past 5 years and are eager to work with a Developmental Minister to achieve mutually defined goals.

Detailed information about the position and the Congregation can be accessed by entering the UUA Settlement System (https://www2.uua.org/Default.asp). You can also access it by sending an email requesting the information to Enrique Soto at sotodanseco@rogers.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Unitarian Fellowship of London Seeks Quarter-Time Minister

The Unitarian Fellowship of London, Ontario will be hiring a quarter-time minister to start in August, 2016. Click here for full details and job description. We are looking forward to talking to interested candidates. Please contact Karen Kidd at kidd.pacific.kj@gmail.com

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First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo Seeks Half-Time Consulting Minister

Position: 1/2 time Consulting Minister
Start Date: August 15, 2016
Possible additional employment opportunity: 1/4 time position as Executive Director of the Fellowship’s Winter Weather Shelter

FUFON is a vibrant congregation of 67 members on the central coast of Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. We own our own building, and operate Nanaimo’s only low-barrier winter weather shelter for people who are homeless. We like to think of ourselves as ‘the little congregation that could.’

Read more.

UU Congregations, Charitable Purpose and Political Activity Webinar

Mar 24 @ 7pm est

Description: The webinar will cover: Charitable Purpose, Charitable & Political Activities, Personal vs organizational political activity, Qualified & Non-qualified Donees, Charities Operating Outside Canada, and Refugee Sponsorship.

Who can join?: Open to all.

Cost: Free (compliments of your congregation’s annual program contributions to the CUC)

Registration: Click here to register.

Registration closes March 20th.

 Read more.

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Designing and Leading Rites of Passage: Basic Training for Lay Chaplains

Apr 29 - May 1, Hamilton, ON

This training is for those considering Lay Chaplaincy, recently appointed Lay Chaplains, and members of a congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy committee. This is the only "Basics" training to be held in the Central and Eastern regions in 2016, so planning ahead will help make sure your congregation is prepared - any Lay Chaplains installed by your congregations in 2010 or earlier will be retiring soon and you’ll be looking to recruit new ones. Questions? Email lcc@cuc.ca

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OWL Facilitator Training – High School

OWL Facilitator Training – High School

May 18 - 20, Vancouver

The CUC is pleased to offer a the High School OWL Facilitator Training. OWL stands for Our Whole Lives and is a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education curriculum that was developed jointly by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. This intensive training will allow individuals to become trained to lead both of the High School programs: the gr. 7 – 9 steam (sometimes called Jr. High OWL) and the the gr. 10 – 12 steam (sometimes called Sr. High OWL). Training includes familiarizing participants with the curriculum as well as focusing on the values of OWL and on the program’s interactive, workshop based teaching style.

Read more.

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Resolutions Plenary

May 19, Vancouver

There are no social responsibility resolutions forthcoming to the 2016 AGM. The CUC Board is planning a discussion on the status of previously approved resolutions, the Vision Task Force recommendations, and the alternative method of calculating the Annual Program Contribution.

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Challenging Weddings - Training for Lay Chaplains

May 19, Vancouver

This program will help Lay Chaplains consider how they can create and maintain sacred space, while dealing with a variety of situations. The program will include topics such as: safety issues, respect, appropriate use of humor, handling mishaps with grace and dignity, claiming your authority and self-care. Registration now open.

Read more.

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Designing and Leading Rites of Passage: Basic Training for Lay Chaplains

May 19 - 20, Vancouver

This workshop is for those considering Lay Chaplaincy, recently appointed Lay Chaplains and members of a congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy committee. It provides basic guidelines on the management of a congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy program and the training new Lay Chaplains need to begin their work.

Lay Chaplain terms are for six years, so training for new Lay Chaplains is required regularly. This “Basics” course is the keystone piece to that training, and incoming lay chaplains should participate in this training close to the time of their appointment by the congregation. Please note that the Basics training is only held about once a year in each region, so planning ahead will help make sure your congregation is prepared.

Read more.

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Deepening, Maturing and Growing: for Experienced Lay Chaplains

May 20, Vancouver

This retreat is designed to assist our lay chaplains, in deepening their self-awareness, and to assist them in maturing in their role and identity and to grow spiritually on the job. Facilitator: Rev. Nicoline Guerrier. Registration Cost: $65 (includes lunch) *Cost does not include accommodation 

Read more.

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Annual General Meeting

May 20, Vancouver

Each year, the Canadian Unitarian Council holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) to elect members for the CUC’s Board of Trustees, vote on resolutions, and to attend to the business of the Council. Learn more about Annual General Meetings and what Delegates need to know.

Read more.

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Vancouver

Conference 2016 in Vancouver

May 20 - 22, Vancouver

The Canadian Unitarian Council’s 2016 national conference will take place in beautiful British Columbia. The conference will be hosted by the four Lower Mainland BC congregations: Beacon Unitarian Church, North Shore Unitarian Church, South Fraser Unitarian Congregation, and the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.

Read more.

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CanUUdle XVI

May 20 - 23, Vancouver

CanUUdle is the annual Unitarian Universalist youth conference of the Canadian Unitarian Council. It is a three-day-long social and business conference that runs in parallel with the CUC’s National Conference in May.

Read more.