Update on Canada Revenue Agency Audit & Motion to Amend Purposes

In January 2015, the Canadian Unitarian Council received notice of audit from Canada Revenue Agency for 2012 and 2013. The CUC Board formed an Audit Committee for advice, support and consultation, and CUC staff worked with Carter’s Professional Corporation, who are well-known for their expertise in charity law, to prepare for the audit. The audit was carried out on-site by two CRA auditors at the CUC office from May 25 – 27, 2015.

On April 15, 2016, the CUC was informed of the results of the audit. CRA has issued a Compliance Agreement to the CUC; currently, CUC staff and Board are working with Carter law firm on the terms of the agreement, and further information will be forthcoming as available

One of the areas for compliance identified by CRA is in regard to the CUC’s Charitable Purposes.  CRA has found that 2 out of 3 CUC’s charitable purposes are too ‘broad and vague’ to meet criteria for charitable purposes acceptable to CRA, and requires that the CUC submit draft amended purposes. The most immediate action facing member congregations now is the Motion to Amend the CUC’s Articles/Charitable Purposes.

Read more.

AGM Vote

Delegate Registration & Orientation

The deadline to register your congregations delegates has just passed, so if you haven’t yet sent in your delegate registration form, do so ASAP!

Delegates wishing to participate online at the Annual General Meeting are required to take part in an orientation session to familiarize themselves with the system, so as to avoid any technical delays during the meeting. If you have not already done so, the final two orientation sessions are taking place this Tuesday and Saturday: Click here to sign up.

Tuesday, May 3rd at 5:30pm PDT | 6:30pm MDT | 7:30pm CDT | 8:30 EDT | 9:30pm ADT
Saturday, May 7th at 10:00am PDT | 11:00am MDT | 12:00pm CDT | 1:00pm EDT | 2:00pm ADT.


Conference 2016: May 20-22

Online registration is open until May 5th - you still have time to register! The conference is fast approaching, and we would like to see you in Vancouver! Onsite registration will take place at the University of British Columbia, beginning Thursday, May 19th at 2pm. To read about all the streams and workshops on offer, associate events happening over the weekend, opportunities for worship, or any logistical needs you may have from accommodations to food, visit the  Conference 2016 website.


A New Way to Connect and a New Way to Learn

Following a successful 5-session Lay Chaplaincy Webinar in January and February, the CUC staff have begun planning for a series of webinars. A few of the coming sessions are already planned, and registration will be available at the CUC event page (http://cuc.ca/events/).

The next sessions will be:

Healthy Congregations – Tuesday June 14, 7:30 p.m.(Eastern)

UU Board Legal Training 101 – Saturday September 17, 12:30 p.m. (Eastern)

Canadian Theme-Based Ministry Showcase – November (Date & Time TBA)

Read more.

“I think the point of religion is to be safe for everyone”

An Interview with Anthony James

On April 12th, 2016 Liz James of the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon uploaded a video to YouTube of her eleven year old son, Anthony, responding to an anti-trans rap video made by an Alberta Mom. “When Anthony heard "stand up, stand up, people of grace" in an anti-trans rap, he was offended. This is not, in his opinion, what religion is for. He invited Unitarians from across Canada to join with him in sending messages to trans kids.”

I spoke to Anthony and Liz, to hear more about his motivation in putting together this video that has made the rounds on social media and features images of proud Canadian Unitarians sending messages of love and support to trans kids.

CUC: For those who haven’t watched it yet, how would you describe the video that you made?

Anthony: I think my video is educational and kind. It is to reach out to trans and gender creative kids and tell them that they have a place in this world, and that they should fight for their rights. And it’s also to educate people and tell them that gender creative and trans people do deserve rights, like everyone else.

Liz: Do you want to clarify, do you identify as a trans kid?

Anthony: I am not a trans kid.

Liz: How would you explain what you are?

Anthony: I am a boy who wears pink.

Read more.


Celebrating 10 Years of Mindful Journeys!

By Beverly Carr

From 2006 to 2015, once a year, Rev. Wayne Walder and I have been leading journeys for Unitarians and their friends to various places in the world. Wayne, his wife Joan, and I had a hard time choosing the many memorable stories and photos for this EBooklet, looking back on all the places we’ve been. Samantha at Worldwide Quest (the travel company in Toronto that facilitates our journeys) put it all together. Enjoy our EBooklet with stories and pictures, celebrating  past ten years, and find more information about plans for 2017 on the Neighbourhood UU Congregation Website.


Making the Bridge

It’s that bridging time of year again! As the school and church year winds down, many youth in the 18-20 age range are thinking about bridging out of youth group and the adventures that lie ahead.

“Bridging” is what we call the step from youth to young adulthood, when youth choose to transition out of the youth community and into the young adult one. This important transition is often marked with a bridging ceremony that youth can participate in at a youth group event, a conference, or during a Sunday service (or sometimes all of the above).

Youth can choose to bridge whenever it feels right to them (within that age range), and they can bridge as many times as they want. It can be an incredibly emotional transition, as youth leave the beloved community that has been their UU home throughout their high school years. Some may be starting new school programs, jobs, travel, or a move to a different city, so the separation from youth group may be physical as well as mental.

Read more.

Fulfill Your OWL Teaching Dreams in Vancouver in May!

May 18-20 at North Shore Unitarian Church in Vancouver

Have you always wondered how to answer the most off-the-wall sex questions that a group of 13 year olds could throw at you?
Do you want to help your UU youth develop a healthy and positive understanding and appreciation for their bodies and relationships?
Would you love to be able to teach teens about sexual consent and pleasure without blushing?

Well, here’s your chance!*

Read more.


Calling all Musicians - Address Correction!

Please note the corrected gmail address below.  To join the list, contact Donna Brown at cancoll.uum@gmail.com.

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@gmail.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.

Eryl Court: A Lifelong Love Affair With Peace

At the Canadian Unitarian Council National Conference this May, Eryl Court will be recognized as the 2016 winner of the Elaine Harvey International Justice Award. Having participated in the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) Envoy program for over 30 years, Eryl was presented with the award at the UU-UNO Spring Seminar in New York City, in April 2016.

“It was quite a surprise! I was rather overwhelmed,” says Eryl. As she explains, participating in this work for peace and world community, is a natural extension of her passions and beliefs.

“This whole question of a World in One Piece/Peace has always been at the centre of my agenda. So working as a UU-UNO envoy came to me absolutely naturally. You might say it’s almost a lifelong love affair.

Read more.


Rev. Sara Ascher Appointed as Interim Executive Director of the ICUU

by Gyerő Dávid, ICUU President

On April 19, 2016 the Executive Committee of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) has confirmed the appointment of the Rev. Sara Ascher as the new Interim Executive Director of the organization. She will start her new service in August, taking over the position from current Executive Director, Rev. Steve Dick, retiring at the end of the year.

Sara has been a Unitarian Universalist her entire life. After graduating from Andover Newton Theological School in 2000 with her Masters of Divinity she spent the next 16 years serving Unitarian Universalist congregations in the United States. She has been an active volunteer for the ICUU for the past five years. During that time, she has come to understand that Unitarian Universalism doesn’t look the same around the world and that diversity only makes our varied, multifaceted faith richer, more powerful and more exciting.

Read more.


Arthur Robert Palmer

Arthur Robert Palmer was a member of the First Unitarian Church of Ottawa. He passed away on November 22, 2015 peacefully at home.

Born and raised in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, Arthur emigrated to Canada in 1957 and moved to Ottawa in 1983. He completed his PhD in Metallurgy in 1971 and was an life member of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. In his retirement, he was a very supportive member of the Unitarian Church and contributed to numerous organizations and causes. Arthur was a consistent presence at the Canadian Unitarian Council's national and regional events, and his commitment to the Unitarian faith community came through very clearly. His quiet humour will be missed.

Arthur remembered the CUC in his will by leaving a $20,000 bequest. The Canadian Unitarian Council wishes to express deep regret and sympathies to Arthur’s family at his passing. We are grateful that he has remembered us in his dispositions and humbled by his generosity and his belief in the work we do.

Two Minister Positions Available in BC


Quarter-Time Developmental Minister

Kelowna Unitarians (KU), situated in the heart of the beautiful Okanagan, traditional territory of the Okanagan (Sylix) people, is seeking a quarter-time consulting minister.  For further information, please read the full attachment.


Half-Time Consulting Minister

At First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo, we create spiritual connection and bring compassion, discovery, and social justice to life. 

Start Date: August 15, 2016

Possible additional employment opportunity: 1/4 time position as Executive Director of the Fellowship’s Winter Weather Shelter

We are issuing this preliminary notice to make potential candidates aware of the upcoming position. Further details will be posted in May by the Search Committee.

Inquiries may be directed to the Ministerial Search Team via Bob Goodman at goodmanvi@gmail.com

Additional information about our congregation is available at  www.ufon.ca

Click here for a full list of available opportunities.

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.


Business Plenary

May 19, Vancouver

There are no social responsibility resolutions forthcoming to the 2016 AGM, but there is one urgent matter requiring approval. The CUC needs to amend its Statement of Purpose to be in compliant with Canada Revenue Agency requirements. PlasThe 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.

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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.


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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Healthy Congregations - Webinar

Jun 14, Online

In this workshop, facilitated by Rev. Linda Thomson, participants will learn about the role of the leader in supporting healthy congregational dynamics. Information about the ways in which Family Systems Theory applies to community life will also be featured.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgdcljNV-Ew).

Read more.


UU Board Legal Training 101 - Webinar

Sep 17, Online

Have you just joined a CUC congregation board and are wondering about the legal and practical perspectives of becoming part of that team? Are you a long timer and wish you had a shared understanding of how boards function?

We welcome you to a webinar based on a new video "Serving on a UU Board in Canada", produced by Jen Rashleigh. Geoff Gomery Q.C., a lawyer and former board member at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, offers legal context and practical advice on serving on Unitarian Universalist boards in Canada.

Read more.