CUC Conference 2016: Bolder Ways of Being

What will be your peak moment of the CUC 2016 Conference in Vancouver? Will it be the inspiration of the Confluence Lecture? Will it be the joy of a mass choir raised in celebration at our Sunday worship? Will it be the provocative streams and workshops—from Cross-border Climate Change to an exploration of personal ministry? The smile on your face as you recognize scenes from your own church in the slideshow that will enhance the banner parade? Or maybe just the opportunity to network with Unitarian friends old and new?

Online registration is open now for the Conference “Bolder Ways of Being,” which will bring Unitarians from across the country to the UBC campus May 20-22. After April 30, registration in advance will be closed. Walk-in registration will be available on site once the conference begins. The special group rate for accommodations will end April 15th

Check out the Conference 2016 Website to find out about meal plan options and accommodation at the Gage Residence and make your reservations. Most program sessions and meals will be held in the award-winning new Student Union Building, The Nest. The conference website includes links to other Canadian Unitarian groups meeting on or near the weekend, as well as descriptions of the streams and workshops.

Sunday worship at the Chan Centre will feature the conference choir and special roles for young adults. The service will be followed by a multigenerational lunch and all-ages workshops in the afternoon. The awards banquet on Sunday night is included with full conference or Sunday-only registration.

Quick links: Adult Registration | CanUUdle | Workshops | Schedule | Accommodations | Annual General Meeting


10% Off All VIA Rail Train Travel to & from Vancouver Conference!

VIA Rail has given all CUC conference 2016 attendees 10% off on all train travel to and from the conference, between May 17 and 29. This discount applies to people attending pre- and post-conference events as well.  To get this discount, please book your train ticket using the following instructions:

How to Book:

• Go to www.viarail.ca

• Log into your profile, or create one before booking.

• On the passenger information screen, select "Convention fare" from the "Discount Type" drop-down menu.

• In the "Discount Code" field, enter the discount code for our conference: 13285

• The discounted fare (10% off) will show on the next page.

Read more.


Accessibility at Conference 2016

CUC will endeavor to make conference 2016 accessible to all, but in order to offer assistance, alternatives, and support where it is needed, we need to know what you need. Please include any accessibility requests or concerns you have in your registration so that we can work with you to get you what you need at the conference, or email conference@cuc.ca.


Send Us Your Pictures to Feature at the 2016 Conference!

All congregations are asked to send in a photo of your congregation’s banner and pictures from your community to be used in the Welcoming Ceremony of the conference, and at other points over the course of the weekend. Do you have a great picture from a congregational event? An awesome snapshot of your youth group? Send it in to conference@cuc.ca!

We want:

• A photo of your congregation’s banner for use in the Banner Parade

• Photos of highlights of your congregational life, including but not limited to events, children, youth and young adults, etc (max of 3)

• Photos of social justice work or activities (max of 3)

• Photos of refugee sponsorship work, if your congregation is engaged in this effort (max of 3)

Read more.


Online Voting for the 2016 AGM

With only one and a half months left before the big event, CUC staff have been working to live up to our commitment to provide this accessible option for democratic participation for our members. The online system has been tested several times, and we are ready to introduce it to our congregations.

Congregations wishing to participate in the online voting are required to take part in an orientation session before the AGM. Three sessions are planned, and you will need to sign up to participate.

• Thursday, April 21st at 4:30pm PDT | 5:30 pm MDT | 6:30 pm CDT | 7:30pm EDT | 8:30 pm ADT

• Tuesday, May 3rd at 5:30pm PDT | 6:30pm MDT | 7:30pm CDT | 8:30 EDT | 9:30pm ADT

• Saturday, May 7th at 9:00am PDT | 10:00am MDT | 12:00pm CDT | 1:00pm EDT | 2:00pm ADT

Click here to sign up.

Read more.

AGM Vote

Register Your Delegates for the AGM!

Remember to register your delegates for the Annual Meeting. Once your delegates have been chosen they can join the Delegate Google Group to keep up to date and discuss questions with other delegates. The deadline to register your delegates is May 1st.

Delegates – What You Need to Know

• 2016 Credentialing Figures & Delegate Registration Form – numbers of delegates according to congregational size (register your delegates by May 1st)

• 2016 Delegate Certification Form for Official Delegates (bring signed form to the AGM to receive voting cards)

If your delegates are planning to participate online, let us know on the Delegate Registration Form.

Vision Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.

Vision Talk

Want to discuss the new Vision of Canadian Unitarian Universalism before the vote at the Annual General Meeting?  On Friday April 8th at 1:00 pm EDT, please join Rev. Fiona Heath, Chair of the Vision Task Force, for a Zoom web call on the new Vision:  As Canadian Unitarian Universalists, we envision a world in which our interdependence calls us to love and justice. Sign up for the conversation HERE, and call details will be sent to you.


CUC Congregations, the Canada Copyright Act & Broadcasting Sunday Services

Copyright law is complicated. With the wisdom of CUC Board member, Jaime Dunton (retired advocate) and research by staff, we have come up with some guidelines for how congregations can understand Canadian copyright questions. Please note that this is some information we’ve pulled together, and while Jaime has a legal background, this should not be taken as legal advice.

For religious communities, the process of dealing with copyright questions is made infinitely simpler by the religious exemption, which states in section 32.2(3) Miscellaneous of the Canada Copyright Act:

• (3) No religious organization or institution, educational institution and no charitable or fraternal organization shall be held liable to pay any compensation for doing any of the following acts in furtherance of a religious, educational or charitable object:

Read more.


Licensing Movie Nights

Does your congregation want to host movie nights, but worries about the copyright limitations of showing films in public? All presentations of commercially available movies in public organizations such as churches must be licensed with a rights representative. This applies in all cases, even if films are obtained from personal collections, obtained from commercial retail stores, shown freely or for non-profit reasons.

Attaining the licensing rights to show movies can be tricky, since it involves receiving permission (and paying a fee) to the license holder. And every film you may wish to show may have a different copyright holder! Licensing companies offer some simplicity to this barrier, selling licenses to all the films in their catalogue (those produced by the production companies they cover.)

Read more.


The Canadian Unitarian Newsletter - Going Completely Digital!

The Canadian Unitarian, affectionately known as the CanU, has been published in mostly digital form for a couple of years now. Limited hard copies are sent to congregations and to those members who have requested copies, and others access the CanU on-line.

Starting with the 2016 Fall issue, the Canadian Unitarian will only be available as a digital edition. This decision was made as a cost-cutting measure. Staff will be in touch with those who have requested hard copies of the CanU to make alternate arrangements.


Is It OK to Not Go to Church?

By Asha Philar, Youth & Young Adult Ministry Development

I grew up Unitarian and genuinely loved going to Sunday school. As a teenager, I loved youth group even more. Church was a BIG part of my life growing up, and I am so much the better for it.

So it came as a surprise to me and most other people that when I moved away for university, I only went to the local UU church twice in the 5 years I lived there.  Following graduation, I spent several more years moving often and, again, not attending church outside of visits home to Ottawa.

My experience is pretty typical of young adults (those in the 18-35 age range), so much so that we have a term for it - “The Gap” refers to that age between late teens and late twenties when young adults tend to be missing from our churches.

Read more.


CUC Office Closed on Friday, April 15th

The CUC office is switching email servers and will be closed on Friday, April 15th from noon to 5 pm eastern. Please note that we will not be able to receive emails during this period, and that any emails sent during this time will fall into a dark void where we will not be able to recover them. Regular email service will resume on Saturday, April 16th.

UU Fellowship of Ottawa Celebrates 20th Anniversary!

When the Ottawa Unitarian Congregation moved away from the centre of town into its new building in the West end of the city, the promise was made that members would support the establishing of a second UU community to serve the East side of town. In March of 1996, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa (UUFO) was born, headed by Rev. Fred Cappuccino, now Minister Emeritus to the “small East-end Fellowship.”

At 20, UUFO is now seeking a half-time developmental minister to guide the next phase of the congregation’s development, after several years as a lay-led congregation. The Fellowship has now moved into “A Home of Our Own” in that famous old Giant Tiger building purchased and renovated in partnership with Heartwood House, a local charity dedicated to supporting small charities and non-profits, by bringing them together under one roof to share resources and build community.

At UUFO we like to say there are three things we as a Fellowship do well: eat, sing, and have great conversations! With that in mind, on Saturday, March 19th, UUFO hosted its 20th Anniversary Gala, extending special invitations to those supporters from First Unitarian who contributed to the “Home of Our Own” campaign. With potluck tables groaning under the mountains of delicious, homemade food, a magic show provided by Freckles the Magician, some music, some laughter, and “20 years in 20 minutes”, a look back at the time we have spent together, and the people we have known along the way, it was a night to bring everyone together, finally, in our own UU home.


Congregations That Say YES...To One Another!

Last month we shared the inspiring story of Grand River Unitarian Congregation's (GRU) response to step up as emergency sponsors for a Syrian refugee in dire straits. The refugee's situation was delicate enough to require a great deal of confidentiality, so there was very little information allowed to be shared. Still, with few details available, overextended by another sponsorship commitment to a family of 7, and no guarantee of financing for the emergency endeavour, GRU's task force took a leap of faith and said YES.

As our Syrian guest settled into Canadian life, we asked other congregations for help. Vyda Ng and April Hope connected GRU's Rev. Jess with Patricia Paul-Carson, chair of the Syrian Refugee Sub Group of First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa (FUCO). FUCO had collected more than enough money to sponsor three refugee families, and were delighted to offer help to GRU's effort. The decision by FUCO’s Refugee Sub Group, composed of congregants and non-congregants alike, was unanimous and immediate -- within 24 hours, GRU received a YES for a donation of over $10,000.

Read more.

U do U logo

Hey Canadian Youth!

This is a message from your CanUUdle Co-Dean Queens, Karoline and Meghan! CanUUdle planning is coming along great, and we’re really excited to share it with you in May! The theme this year is U do U — an introspective look at how we can share our bright lights with the world. If you’d like more information, feel free to check out our Facebook event page, 'CanUUdle XVI', as well as the Instagram page, @canuudle. The staff are working tirelessly on their workshops, worships, energy games, and much more. With only two months left, we are all are buzzing with excitement.

Don't delay in registering - the regular registration ($125) deadline is April 30th (no registrations after this date!). To register, go to http://cuc.ca/conference-2016/youth-canuudle-xv/

Hope to see you there!

CUC Youth

Upcoming Youth & Young Adult Events

There is so much going on in the next few months for youth, young adults and youth ministry professionals! Please see the sections below for events and opportunities, and please pass this information along to those in your congregations that may be interested!

Any questions? Contact Asha Philar, Youth and Young Adult Ministry Development at asha@cuc.ca or 519-900-2995.

In this notice:
1. Events and opportunities for youth
2. Events and opportunities for young adults
3. For youth advisors and youth ministry professionals
4. Upcoming OWL weekends and trainings

Read more.


For three days following the CUC National Conference in Vancouver, Canadian UU Religious Educators will meet for professional development, support, and community. Programming will run from 10am on Monday, May 23rd to 1pm on Wednesday May 25th in “the Nest” student building at UBC. Organizers are still working out the details of how this time together will be spent, but are excited to be offering the following workshop, led by Dr. Schonert-Reichl, a renowned expert in the area of social and emotional learning (SEL) research with children and adolescents, particularly in relation to the identification of the processes and mechanisms that foster positive human qualities such as empathy, compassion, altruism, and resiliency, on Wednesday morning:

"We don't talk much about behaviour and classroom management in religious education. But effectively facilitating children's and youth participation in our religious education and family ministry programs requires an understanding of children's development and their interactions with their world outside of the church. Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl is an established researcher in the field of child development and the modern technological environment. This workshop highlights understanding the effect of the digital world on children’s developing brains and the correlation to their behaviours. It is intended to support religious educators' work in providing a positive environment for all participants in religious education programs."

Read more.

Designing and Leading Rites of Passage

This workshop is open to those who are 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.  This spring there are two opportunities to participate in this training.  Even if your congregation is not currently needing a Lay Chaplain, you might encourage interested parties to attend as many people said participation was an important part of their decision to continue with the appointment process.

• April 29 – May 1,   Hamilton, ON

• May 19 – 20, Vancouver, BC

Click here for more information and registration.

Connections for Lay Leaders

There is a new Google Group, ‘cuc-lay-led-worship that is designed to provide lay leaders with resources and connections for planning worship.  The group is where you can bring your ideas and questions about Lay Led worship.  The goal of quality worship, providing people with an opportunity to reflect and connect with meaning in a variety of ways is fundamental to the group's purpose.

Members are encouraged to bring  a spirit of curiosity and openness to the discussion!

If you are interested in joining this new group, you can visit this link: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/cuc-lay-led-worship/join


Calling all Musicians!

Last year, a new email group was initiated to replace the previous cuc-music list, which has not had a lot of use in recent years. This new list – cancoll_uum@googlegroups.com - is intended to connect UU musicians from across Canada. It’s a place to share great ideas, upcoming special events and to ask for advice and share collective wisdom. Please contact Donna Brown (Choir Director, Unitarian Church of Vancouver) at cancoll.uum@google.com to join the list. Please also check out the Canadian Collective of UU Musicians website:  www.cancolluum.com, another great place to share your musical news.


The Paris Pledge for Action

The Canadian Unitarian Council and the CUC Environment Monitoring Group signed the Paris Pledge for Action!

The pledge demonstrates that non-Party stakeholders are ready to play their part to support the objectives of the Paris Agreement. By joining the pledge, businesses, cities, civil society groups, investors, regions, trade unions and other signatories promise to ensure that the ambition set out by the Paris Agreement is met or exceeded to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

Non-Party stakeholders leadership on climate change issues is a clear indication of the commitment to ensuring the world stays on the 2 degree trajectory.  Securing a global agreement in Paris will mark a significant milestone towards achieving this. However, it is only with non-Party stakeholders involvement that we can send a credible, coherent and unmistakable signal that the agreement will be implemented and commitments met, or even better, exceeded.

Read more.


Let’s Put a Refugee to Canada on One of Our Banknotes

 by David Rain

“Please give generously to the Unitarian Service Committee, 56 Sparks Street, Ottawa 4.”

Can you perhaps recall hearing those words (spoken with a trace of an accent) somewhere way back in the mists of time? If so, then like me, I suspect you may have an ingrained awareness, deep in your grey cells, of why putting a refugee to Canada on one of our banknotes might be an idea worth considering.

As is well known, the Bank of Canada is committed to putting a woman’s image on one of our banknotes. It is my belief that, come 2018, humanitarian pioneer Lotta Hitschmanova, CC (1909-1990) would be an ideal person to appear on one of these banknotes.

Not because she was a woman, but because of her national and international impact and legacy, on its own terms. And because her image was, and is iconic, instantly recognizable, a valuable characteristic for a banknote image – and a symbol for all that is good about Canada and Canadian society.

Read more.

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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Personality Dimensions Workshop

Personality Dimensions Workshop

Jun 4, Toronto

Learning about Personality Dimensions and your type can help you; (and your congregation)

Express yourself appropriately, Appreciate yourself & others, Narrow gaps and differences, Identify potential problems early, Elevate morale and enthusiasm, Optimize team performance, Support and encourage others.

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