Rev. Fulgence

Rev. Fulgence's Journey Towards Ministry in Canada

Interview by Sarah Baxter

In the next year, Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana, a recently arrived refugee from Burundi, will be working with the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon, as he as he fulfills the requirements of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (of the Unitarian Universalist Association) toward becoming a credentialed Unitarian minister in Canada. Rev. Fulgence says, “I really felt it was important to go work in a church to learn the culture and learn how church is done here in North America.” Having worked as a minister at the Unitarian Church in Bujumbura, Burundi for the past 12 years, the MFC has been supportive, taking into account Rev. Fulgence’s experience and training, as he prepares to appear before the MFC panel next year.

“I think since I’m here, the fates wanted me to be here, I want to use that as an opportunity to continue my calling serving as a Unitarian minister. That allows me, in different ways, to continue my work back home. I’m glad that it’s working out.” The fates, in this case, guided Rev. Fulgence into our Canadian Unitarian community, after he was forced to flee his home in Burundi where, through his Unitarian church, he had been fighting against the violence and injustice of war that threatened the safety of thousands of Burundians.

Rev. Fulgence goes on to explain more fully, “I feel that many people do not know the story and it is important that they know.” The history of violence in Burundi stretches back almost half a century, and this history informs the current crisis. “Because the situation is so complicated, I would like people in the West to have some understanding.”

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2017 CUC Annual General Meeting

The 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Unitarian Council will take place on Saturday, May 13, 2017 and will be hosted by the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto at their location on 275 St.Clair Avenue West in Toronto. Yes, you read that calendar right, the AGM will be taking place the week before Victoria Day in 2017, and Canadian Unitarians will finally have a national-event-free May long weekend!

Delegates unable to make it to the local meeting in Toronto will have the opportunity to participate remotely. This online participation was successfully piloted at the May 2016 AGM, reflecting the CUC’s commitment to accessible democratic participation for all members.


Share Your Wisdom and Get Answers Through CUC's New Roundtables!

This summer, CUC staff are launching a new platform for information sharing and discussion - CUC Roundtables! It's a pretty simple concept: we offer you a Zoom space (online video conference) to discuss or workshop a particular topic, we promote the Roundtable with you and offer facilitation support as needed. This is different from a webinar (which we also do), because it relies on the expertise of the participants, and is not a prepared workshop or presentation by a subject matter expert.

Here's an example: You're looking to overhaul your pledge campaign and would love to hear what people have found successful at other congregations. Organize an online Roundtable to gather together leaders from across Canada who can share their experiences with pledging and fundraising. Everyone leaves with more information and ideas!

Read more.

UFSPH Banner

Celebrating 60 Years of Unitarian Universalism in the Sarnia/Port Huron Area

By Ann Steadman, UFSPH President

On Saturday, June 18th, 2016 some 50 UU members and friends gathered at the Holiday Inn in Point Edward for a joyous celebration of 60 years of Unitarian Universalism in the Sarnia/Port Huron area.

Our proudly bi-national Fellowship began on October 19, 1956 when fifteen people, with the encouragement of Munroe Husbands, Fellowship Director of the American Unitarian Association, held an organizational meeting in Port Huron, Michigan. It is noted that during a period of enormous growth between 1948 and 1967, fully one third of people who came to Unitarianism did so through the Fellowship Movement.  According to the UUA website, “Husbands' work was not to bring these groups under any form of denominational control, but to facilitate their birth, (allow) them to find their own identity, develop their own style, and produce their own leadership." This, the Unitarian Fellowship of Sarnia and Port Huron has certainly done!

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UU Peterborough Pride Week

Canadian Unitarians Celebrating Pride

Summer often marks a time when Unitarian Universalist congregations in Canada take a bit of a break. Perhaps your Religious Exploration curricula wrap up in favour of more casual fun and games, perhaps your minister heads off on sabbatical, or perhaps you stop meeting on Sunday mornings all together.

Summer also marks the season that many Unitarian Universalist congregations across the country take part in Pride events. All across the country, UUs will be out at their various Pride Parades, marching with our banners and our rainbows, reminding our home communities that we are welcoming places of worship.

To help spread the word even further, Saskatoon’s Liz James put together a video featuring Unitarian groups across the country showing their support for trans kids and adults. This video, in which photos of UUs from across the country holding up welcoming signs are interspersed with fun facts about our history as a welcoming denomination, comes as a follow up to Liz and her son Anthony’s earlier video, Stand Up Stand Up People of Grace, from back in April.

Check out the video on YouTube!


Save the Date: Western Regional Fall Gathering

Learning Together

October 14-16, 2016 in Saskatoon

Save the date for a very special fall gathering focused on reconciliation. This fall we are coming together as indigenous and non-indigenous people to build community and move our work forward. New this year, people of all faith traditions are welcome, not just Unitarians, so bring your local allies with you, indigenous and non-indigenous.

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UUMOC 2016

A Gathering of Clergy

By Rev. Samaya Oakley, UUMOC President

As many people were packing up and heading home after a successful National Conference and Meeting, close to thirty-five ministers began to settle into a further five days in community with each other. These five days provide us with opportunities for connection, support, and reflection – not to mention a whole lot of laughter, joy, and tears when we get to share our journeys on this path called ministry.

Some might wonder who or what the UU Ministers of Canada (UUMOC) is. We are a chapter of the UU Ministers Association (UUMA) that works to promote excellence in ministry. The UUMA is the minister’s professional organization. Through personal learning and growth and mutual support, we equip ourselves to be visionary leaders within the UU movement in Canada and internationally. When we gather we intentionally take time together to reflect on and uphold the profession of our liberal ministry within the guidelines of the UUMA code of professional practice.

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Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation Reflection Guide Update

The Building Bridges Through Understanding the Village workshop at the CUC National Conference in Vancouver was a great success. We were very happy to see how many people were excited by the workshop. It has been exciting to see how committed Canadian Unitarians have stepped forward in so many different ways.

If you would like a basic understanding of the Reflection Guide process, we invite you to read all about it here.

Below is a snapshot of the status of each of the Reflection Guides.

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Refugee Sponsorship Daily Show

Refugee Sponsorship

The CUC received 15 uncapped spaces and 28 capped spaces for 2016. We hope to receive many more uncapped spaces in 2017 based on our sponsorship performance this year.

This year's capped missions are as follows: Nairobi, Cairo, Pretoria, Islamabad, Tel Aviv, Rome and Dar es Salaam. The CUC is able to request a maximum of 6 spaces in each of these areas. If you are considering sponsoring someone from any of these regions, please let April Hope know as soon as possible (april@cuc.ca) as sponsoring from these areas can take a very long time.

*Important information for those looking to sponsor in 2017 or 2018. April will be submitting requests for allocations in the Fall of 2016, if you are interested in sponsoring in the coming years, please let her know how many people you wish to sponsor, their country of origin and their country of refuge. 


The CUC has been doing so much work in support of refugees this year, that our own Refugee Sponsorship superstar, April Hope, made it onto The Daily Show: Watch the video here!

Robert Dobbs

(November 09, 1935 - May 23, 2016)

Last month, as many of us departed from the Canadian Unitarian Council national conference on May 23rd, Bob Dobbs, active member of First Unitarian Church of Victoria passed away, following a sudden stroke. Bob served Canadian Unitarian congregations in the BC and Western regions as one of two Unitarian Universalist Association Compensation Consultants in Canada. A memorial service was held for this well-loved, active member of the Victoria Unitarian community, at First Unitarian Church of Victoria on June 29th. In true Unitarian fashion, in lieu of flowers, all were invited to offer a gift to the humanitarian charity of your choice.

Bob is remembered by his numerous loved ones, his wife Nancy; his children Kevin, Becky (partner Marc), Ananda Umar (spouse Bobby), and Curran; his step-children Heather, Stephen, and Glenn Mackay; his grandchildren Josephine & Graysen Dobbswall, Nyal & Ryah Umar, Kayla Mackay & Conner Pearce, and Logan & Jordann Mackay; his brothers Dennis and Rick (spouse Pam); his first wife Eileen (spouse Neill); and numerous other family members and friends, including the community of the First Unitarian Church of Victoria.

Job Opportunities

• Tech Support (part-time). Send applications to jobs@cuc.ca by July 20th, 2016

• Web Designer for website redesign – Request for Proposal. Please contact executivedirector@cuc.ca for more information

• Bookkeeper (part-time). Send applications to jobs@cuc.ca by July 20th, 2016

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.

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Western Regional Fall Gathering 2016

Learning Together Save the date for a very special fall gathering focused on reconciliation. This fall we are coming together as indigenous and non-indigenous people to build community and move our work forward. New this year, people of all faith traditions are welcome, not just Unitarians, so bring your local allies with you, indigenous and non-indigenous. 

Read more.