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December 2016 - Issue 46
Chalice

In the days following the American Presidential Election, Unitarians and Universalists across Canada were reeling with the reality that had materialized to our South, where hateful, racist rhetoric seems to have resonated with a large segment of the population. Unitarians gathered, both at local congregations and online via Zoom to come together in community and to share the thoughts and emotions stirred up by this divisive event.

We offer some words, prayers, and ponderings below for your further reflection as the political realities of our world sink in, and we turn to our Unitarian vision for hope and inspiration.

Strategies for Responding to
Difficult Circumstances

From Rev. Steven Epperson, Vancouver Unitarian Church

After the election, I invited members of the congregation and friends to meet together Saturday night for a post-election potluck and conversation. Three times as many people as I had anticipated showed up that evening. It was obvious that we needed to gather. Here are some thoughts borrowed from Bruce Levine that my partner shared with our Stateside families:

Though dark thoughts, feelings and tears are reasonable responses to difficult circumstances and horrible news, there are other strategies we can bring forward:

• a thoughtful detachment in order to see, understand and to bear witness

• a dark sense of humor

• collective resistance & cooperation

• kindness to fellow sufferers

• and savor those moments of respite that come by focusing on the beauties of nature, and on our children and grandchildren.

Go well, all the best, Steven Epperson

After the US Election

By Rev. Diane Rollert, 
Unitarian Church of Montreal

A Bolder Love

By Rev. Shawn Newton, First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto

I find myself at a loss for words.
So much ink spilled,
so many characters typed on the screen,
each word feeling like an assault.

Where do I begin to express my pain,
my disappointment,
my shame?
All I can think to do
is pray.
Not a prayer that calls out
to a childish image of God,
but a prayer that wants to start a conversation
with the universe.

Forgive us, for we know not what we do.

I am an American
living on Canadian soil,
far away from my home.
But this is my country now,
a blessing,
a privilege,
a deep wound
that is open and bleeds
for the people I have left behind,
for the world,
for the children who fear
their parents will be taken away,
for the loss of religious freedom,
for the refugees who will find no harbour,
for the sick who will die for lack of care,
for the open season on women’s bodies,
for the racial divide that will only deepen,
for the rise in guns and gay bashing,
for the families who voted for relief
but will find no sustenance,
for this earth that will be forgotten
and left to overheat,
because science has lost out
to showmanship,
for all the things I haven’t included
that will hurt
because I failed to name them.

Oh my mother —
Surely you would be turning in your grave,
if your ashes had not been scattered.
You fought so long
for civil rights,
for workers’ rights,
for women’s rights.
If you could,
you would be crying out
for something better
than this…
…anything but this…

Continue Reading

Much has been made of the many Americans now seriously considering a move north in the wake of the U.S. election. For those who do seek a new life in Canada, they will soon realize we have many problems of our own. They will come to see we have much work to do in order to fulfill our promise as a country—work that is, I believe, all the more important in this changing world.

Commentators in the media have pointed out recently that Canada is moving in the opposite direction from the other major western democracies—on government investment in infrastructure, on immigration, on refugees, on celebrating diversity. A recent article in The Walrus even called Canada “the last country on earth to believe in multiculturalism.” Being singled out in this way presents a vital and powerful opportunity for Canada in this global moment. Now more than ever is an opportunity to lean in to the promise of this country, to make real our commitment to multiculturalism, to nurture the sacred human hope that we can learn to overcome our fears of difference, and, instead, celebrate the unique experience and gifts of every person. To stand on guard for Canada, to my mind, means doing what we can to protect this unprecedented experiment in building human community. It means doing the hard work of reconciliation with the Indigenous Peoples of this land. It means taking steps to ensure the wellbeing of all. It means recognizing we share a common destiny on this planet. It means, in this time of tumult, keeping alive for the rest of the world a compelling model of what a compassionate society can be.

It is, I believe, a happy coincidence that these aspirations are rooted so firmly in the bedrock principles of Unitarianism. As liberal religious communities in Canada, we occupy a privileged place to help our country realize its promise. But we will only be effective in taking up this challenge if we are actively putting our own principles into action. If we are building bridges instead of walls. If we are bringing more love and justice into this world—the one right here, right now—by practising compassion, by working toward greater understanding, by moving hearts (including our own) toward acceptance and encouragement of one another. In short, by doing all we can— to borrow an image from our Universalist heritage—to love the hell out of this world. May we so boldly love.

 

 

 

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End of Year eNews Reader Survey

In 2016 this CUC eNewsletter switched from a bimonthly to a monthly schedule. As the year comes to an end, we would like to check in with readers to ask, "how are we doing?" Please take our eNews Reader Survey here. Thank you!

Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) Call for Nominations 2017

Board of Trustees & Nominating Committee

Would you like to make a difference to Unitarian Universalists in Canada? Do you have an enthusiasm for the Unitarian Universalist faith? Our Canadian Unitarian Council is an intentional community of Unitarian Universalist congregations which jointly work to create connections, to be inspired, and to have a national voice. One of the ways to make a difference to the Canadian Unitarian Council is by serving on the CUC Board of Trustees or the CUC Nominating Committee. Find more information here.

 

Got Youth?   

The YOB (Youth Observer to the Board) will be elected through an online voting process. Applications will go out in February with voting in late March,2017. The YOB brings a youth voice to the CUC Board table and fully participates in discussions that affect national decisions. Please ensure any youth connected to your congregation, (as well as your youth advisors and religious educators) receive this information so that they are able to vote--or perhaps even run – for this important position. A description of the position is here.

For more information contact Asha Philar, asha@cuc.ca or Neal Cameron, yob@cuc.ca or check out this link on the CUC website

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AGM Vote

Deadline for Resolutions: December 15

If you have a motion to bring to the 2017 CUC Annual General Meeting, please note the resolutions deadline is December 15th.

Canadian Unitarians have a long history of affirming social justice resolutions, and the CUC has passed many resolutions over the years on a variety of topics, which continue to inform our current policies and practices. Before you submit a resolution, please read the information on process and review our past resolutions to ensure that a new resolution is really necessary; if it’s on a topic relevant to our Principles, there is probably a previously existing resolution. All relevant information is on the CUC’s Resolutions page.

When are we meeting, again? The 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Unitarian Council is taking place on Saturday May 13, at the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. Online participation will be available as well; further details will be available in January 2017.

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Fundraising

Online Only Payments Beginning in 2017

In January of 2016, the CUC informed readers that by the following year we will be transitioning to online only payment for event registrations. This change will take effect in January 2017, when the pay-by-cheque option will no longer appear on registration forms. You do not need a PayPal account to use our online payment system, but can pay by credit or debit card. This change will improve efficiency for staff, and will help lessen confusion in tracking down event payments.

We acknowledge that online payments may be difficult for some, and anyone in need of support is encouraged to contact the CUC office. If you are uncomfortable using your credit card online, you can use it to make your payment over the phone.

"Congregations, Charities and Best Practices” is a series of articles aimed at sharing information about Canada Revenue Agency and Income Tax Act guidelines governing Canadian charities, with a particular focus on specifics for Canadian Unitarian Universalist congregations. Please note that these articles are for information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. For additional details or for information about seeking legal advice, please contact executivedirector@cuc.ca.

Myths and Facts: The Canadian Unitarian Council and Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice

Confusion and questions exist about the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) and the Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ), not just in public but among Canadian Unitarians. This article, written in consultation with CUSJ, aims to provide some answers and clarity about the relationship between CUC and CUSJ, and offers suggestions about how congregations and UUs can relate to CUSJ, and conform with the guidelines of the Income Tax Act and Canada Revenue Agency that govern all Canadian charities.

MYTH:  The CUC and CUSJ are the same organization / CUC runs CUSJ.

FACT: The CUC and CUSJ are completely separate organizations.

Each has its own governance process, board of directors, financial systems, activities and resources. The CUC is not responsible for CUSJ and vice versa. Membership in the CUC is made up of congregations - there are no individual members (it is an association of congregations), while CUSJ welcomes groups and individuals. What the two organizations have in common is a belief in Unitarian-Universalist (UU) principles, and a passion for social justice.

MYTH: The CUC can issue tax receipts for donations made to CUSJ.

FACT: The CUC is a registered Canadian charity, and as such is governed by the rules of the Income Tax Act and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for charities.

CUSJ is not a charity. No charity can issue tax receipts on behalf of, or to, any organization that is not a charity; CRA guidelines specify that tax receipts can only be issued by charities to other registered Canadian charities (qualified donees). Donations made to organizations that are not charities (non-qualified donees), but which might be non-profits, do not qualify for tax receipts. Congregations should re-examine their practices of issuing tax receipts, and ensure that their practices are in line with CRA guidelines.

Read more

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CUC Office Closed for the Holidays

Please note the CUC Office will be closed between December 22nd and January 4th.

unitarian-commons

"Unitarian Commons" and Universal Design in Housing

By Kate Chung

A small group of Unitarians, members of each of the 4 Toronto area congregations, have been envisioning a new model for housing for seniors and people of all ages.  “Unitarian Commons” universal design co-housing is aiming to tackle two socio-health problems: isolation and barriers to mobility. Not wanting to end up in a seniors’ ghetto, the Unitarian Commons team decided to build a non-profit affordable multi-generational co-housing condominium. Their first partner is Options for Homes, with whom they are seeking the first site and possibly others. Their goal is for the entire building to be accessible for people of any age, with or without any kind of disability, where nobody becomes homeless due to an accident or illness. If need arises for personal care, in-home services can be arranged. It is their hope that this pilot project will be replicated by others across Canada.

Over 4.4 million Canadians (one out of every seven) live with some form of disability. That’s a substantial group of possible buyers who are generally overlooked by builders.

There is increasing concern in Canada about health care costs, chronic disease and disabilities, and an aging population.  The pressure for suitable accessible housing for the growing numbers of seniors, along with the ongoing need for housing for people of all ages with disabilities, creates a corresponding demand for affordable accessible housing.

Read more

Reflections from Regional Fall Gatherings

Grand River Unitarian Youth (The UU Whatevers) reflected on their multigenerational conference experience through words and chalice art inspired by the Central Regional Fall Gathering.

Eastern Regional Fall Gathering: Bringing CUC from “Out There” into Our Communities

By Christopher Thomson

As Treasurer of the Lakeshore Unitarian Universalist Congregation, I was heavily involved in the local preparations for the Eastern Fall Regional Gathering, which was hosted, I believe, for the first time by our small church in Lachine, Québec. (Though I have heard that one of our former ministers, Charles Eddis, played a major rôle in setting up the CUC.) It was also my first experience attending any CUC event, despite having been a member of another UU church for ten years. The CUC always seemed to me to be something 'out there' that had little to do with our Congregational life.

In a sense, the task of hosting a CUC regional event was quite a gift for me and my community. We had a chance to discover the talented resources that CUC puts at our disposal and to appreciate the presence of other Unitarian Universalists from across our part of the world. So I believe the experience of participating in the Gathering has deepened and broadened our understanding of what we are about  ...  at least, for the quarter of the Lakeshore membership who did attend. My only regret about the weekend in October was that more of our members did not participate.

Read more

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Midwinter Retreat: Roots Hold Us Close

MidWinter Retreat is an annual event organized by Unitarians in Southern Ontario. The Retreat is open to all Unitarians, and is supported by the Canadian Unitarian Council.

February 3-5, 2017, Cedar Glen YMCA near Schomberg
Keynote address by Rev. Lynn Harrison
Information & online registration (Paper registration also available)

Get away with fellow Unitarians for a weekend retreat this winter – a time of self-reflection, arts, music, renewal and fun.  This year it is also a chance to learn more about our UU history and faith.

• Keynote address “Love From the Ground Up” explores deep sources of spiritual growth

• Workshops include Origami, Improv Drama, UU History, Pagan Traditions, Adult OWL, Ukulele Singalong and more

• Nature Walks, Snowshoeing and Ropes Course led by Cedar Glen staff

• Lay Chaplains Training

• Cabaret on Saturday night followed by live music

We offer discounted prices for all who register prior to January 3 (paid online or postmark date).  There is also a special discount for everyone under 40, and day rates and bursaries are also available, and we encourage bursary applications.

For more information visit our website or contact Helen Iacovino, Registrar

at HelenIacovino@FirstUnitarianToronto.org or 416-499-7049

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eliot-at-seabeck-firelight

Camp Story: Thirty-Eight Years of Memories from Eliot at Seabeck

By John Lancaster, First Unitarian Church of Victoria

Unitarian Universalists and their friends have been running camps under several names and in different locations in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia since 1947, becoming the Eliot Institute in 1960. Since 1956, camps have been held at Seabeck, Washington, although for a few years in the 2000s there was also an Eliot summer camp at Naramata, British Columbia.

Although the UU churches of British Columbia are no longer officially part of the Pacific Northwest District of the UUA after the split of 2002, Eliot continues today to have a large contingent of British Columbia campers at its four camps at Seabeck -- two week-long summer camps, a 4-day winter camp over New Year’s, and a 4-day summer Creative Arts camp in August.

Although we Elioteers call ourselves “campers,” there is no pitching tents and cooking over outdoor fires, and no washing dishes -- the Seabeck Conference Centre has housing, a large meeting hall and various meeting rooms, a dining hall for 252 with prepared meals served family style, a craft centre, playgrounds, boating and swimming lagoon, tennis courts, and more.

Read more

wrfg-2016-03

Highlights from regional youth events - Fall 2016

By Asha Philar, Youth and Young Adult Ministry Development

Western Region: We had a great turnout of 40 youth and 8 advisors for "Drama Con" - the regional youth con happening in conjunction with the Western Regional Fall Gathering in Saskatoon. Con-goers came from 6 congregations in the Western region - from Edmonton to Thunder Bay!

Our talented planning team of youth and advisors put together a great weekend of workshops, worship, games and late night activities. There were lots of first time con-goers (or "nUUbies") that were welcomed into the youth community and left with new friends and beautiful memories.

Thanks to everyone that worked so hard to pull this off, and thank you Saskatoon for hosting - it was definitely a success!

Eastern Region: Lakeshore Unitarian Universalist Congregation welcomed 10 youth and 3 advisors for a regional sleepover at the church, followed by a multigen day of workshops and activities in nearby Beaconsfield. Saturday's Eastern Regional Fall Gathering was a truly multigenerational success - with workshops exploring who we are as UUs, what we believe, and a fishbowl discussion featuring voices of all ages talking about the promise and pitfalls of church as we know it. Thanks to Lakeshore for hosting and organizational support.

Central Region: Youth from Grand River participated in a multigenerational Fall Gathering day of workshops and worship - joining in Matt Meyer's drumming and song workshop. We enjoyed lunch together, and a rousing closing worship, and games in the youth room.

Thanks to Grand River and its volunteers for a wonderful day and for all your organizing work!

BC Region: North Shore Unitarian Congregation hosted a very successful regional youth con with 35 youth and adults coming from all over BC, Washington and Oregon. With a SoUUl Food theme, the con celebrated and explored the ways that food shapes and touches our lives through workshops and worship. The planning "staff" team of youth and advisors worked hard, and with amazing organizational skills, to plan this con and make sure it was a memorable and wonderful weekend for everyone who came. Thank you all for your incredible dedication, and thank you North Shore for hosting!

By the numbers: Over 5 weeks, we held 2 youth cons and 2 multigen events involving youth in all 4 regions, with a total attendance of 104 people... And too many hugs to count!

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young-adults

Welcoming, Serving, and Engaging Young Adults

By Asha Philar, CUC Youth and Young Adult Ministry Development Staff

There is an exciting new development at the CUC: A year long project focusing on engaging young adults is being launched.

This initiative is inspired by Lindsay Hindle’s address during the Sunday morning service at the CUC’s National Conference in May 2016; Lindsay is a young adult from Vancouver who shared her views about what could be done to effectively engage young adults. Rev. Steven Epperson of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver took up the challenge and set the ball in motion. Led by Rev. Carly Gaylor and supported by the UU Ministers of Canada and the Canadian Unitarian Council, the project will work with congregations to improve the way they welcome, serve and engage young adults.

CUC staff have begun running a series of 3 webinars between November 2016 and June 2017 to help congregations navigate the work of welcoming young adults and improve their in-house practices. The webinars will include a congregational self-assessment, a discussion of generational differences and needs, concrete plans for improvement, and personalized help to carry out this work.

Read more

ancient-stories

Celebrating "Ancient Tales"

By Lee Porteous

Over 90 people, including some Victoria Storyteller's Guild members, were at the recent Victoria launch and celebration of Faye Mogensen’s book Ancient Stories for Modern Times: 50 Short Wisdom Tales for All Ages.  With humour and humility, Faye told us about her three year investment of time, determination, head and heart. She illustrated her challenges, frustrations and joys in writing the book with five of its stories, where the characters overcame similar dilemmas.

The folktales shared were from England, Finland, China, Russia and Sudan. Their themes ranged from developing confidence to rediscovering hope; from transforming perspectives to enjoying second chances; and from finding focus to savouring the power of generosity. Faye experienced real community in writing the book with her supportive colleagues, and kind family and friends. She feels very grateful for the good listening ears and feedback of her audiences, especially her husband Christian and her story buddies, Karen Gummo and Margo McLoughlin.

The scene for each story was set with music from its culture. Kristina Stevens and Michael Wood went to great trouble transcribing and learning the folk tunes; their mandolin, guitar and several flutes were a magical addition to the evening.

All of the books Faye had available were sold. She promises to continue to bring them into Victoria and has just learned that beginning in December they will be available through Amazon.ca.

Outreach for Lay Chaplains Webinar Series

Amanda Tarling offered this webinar series at the beginning of January 2016.  Following the end of the training she was invited to be a Lay Chaplain for her congregation for a second term (after a six year hiatus).  By the end of October she will have officiated at 30 weddings with 8 already booked for next summer simply by using the ideas she presented in this webinar.  If you would you like to officiate at more weddings, lead a plethora of baby naming or work with more families to plan and officiate at memorials – then this workshop is for you. Over five weeks this online webinar by Amanda Tarling will teach many different types of outreach strategies; from whom to reach out to in your community to your presence on social media and other platforms.  Each week we will look at a set of accessible and easy approaches for you to be able to officiate more often and connect with your community. Go from a couple of weddings a year, to leading celebrations as often as you wish, and learn it all from the comfort of your home.  There will be five, 75 minute sessions. We will cover websites, the best use of Facebook and other Social Media, qr codes, business cards, wedding fairs, where and how to advertise as well as your competition (and much more!), finally we will conclude with practical next steps. Join us for this engaging and proven successful webinar.

Register here. There is a $25 fee for this webinar series, taking place over 5 sessions in January and February 2017 at  

9-10:15 Pacific Time | 10-11:15 Mountain | 11-12:15 Central | 12-1:15 Eastern | 1-2:15 Atlantic

• Jan 14,

• Jan 28,

• Feb 4,

• Feb 11 and

• Feb 18th

Author Correction

Please note, in our November Issue, we incorrectly named Rev. Samaya Oakley as author of Supporting Ministerial Candidates. This article was actually written by Rev. Victoria Ingram, First Unitarian Church of Hamilton.

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wrfg-2016-32-rev-karen-installation

Installing Rev. Karen Fraser Gitlitz

By Erica Bird

At this year’s Western Regional Fall Gathering in Saskatoon, we were honoured and thrilled to host the installation of Rev Karen Fraser Gitlitz, with guests from Ontario to BC. Karen was instrumental in creating a unique, moving, and memorable Truth & Reconciliation themed weekend, and celebrating her becoming our settled minister was the perfect conclusion to a wonderful Gathering.

Long time Saskatoon Unitarians member Nazeem Muhajarine spoke about our relationship with Rev Karen: “Throughout the past five years we have learned much about each other. We have worshipped together, celebrated and mourned, attended meetings and workshops, and worked hard to make our church the exciting, creative and compassionate place that it is. Given the long lead-up to today, this installation of Rev Karen has special meaning to us. As the ceremony to formally recognize that our congregation is entering into a covenantal relationship with our minister, it signifies Karen and us committing to a longer term relationship, with eyes wide open, feet firmly planted on the ground, and with high aspirations.”

Read more

Theme-Based Ministry Webinar Postponed!

The Theme Based Ministry webinar originally slated for Dec 3 has been re-scheduled to Jan 14, 2017. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope that you can join facilitators Rev. Shawn Newton and Rev. Linda Thomson then.

Have you heard about Theme-Based ministry and are wondering how it might be applied in your congregation? Quite a few of our congregations  are exploring Theme-Based Ministry and are excited at the ways it helps deepen the conversations in their community.  This webinar will provide participants with an introduction to Theme- Based Ministry; the challenges, the benefits and some available resources.

Saturday, January 14th: 1:00pm ADT | 12:00pm EDT | 11:00am CDT | 10:00am MDT | 9:00am PDT

Read more

THR Facilitator Training

Saturday, December 10th, 2016. 9:00 am-12:00 pm PST/12:00 pm-3:00 pm EST

Truth Healing and Reconciliation Facilitator Training, via Zoom so you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home! We will be offering another facilitator training January 21, 2017.

Registration closed for this training on Saturday, November 26th. 

Read more

UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar 2017

Registration opens on December 1st for the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office’s 2017 Intergenerational Spring Seminar, Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet. This annual 3-day educational conference will equip and empower UU activists age 14+ to join together, along with people of other faiths, to take action in their own communities to end armed violence worldwide. The Spring Seminar will take place April 5-8, 2017 in New York City. All youth participants must be accompanied by an adult sponsor. Learn more and register here.

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UU-UNO Logo

The CUC UU-UNO Advisory Council: Extending our active support, expanding our impact

By Tui Torrie

The Advisory Council works on behalf of the CUC, through the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) to support the UU-United Nations Office in its humanitarian work.  Now that the Partnership Agreement between Canadian and American UU s is established, the Advisory Council is inviting new membership to the Council, so that it may continue with five members, one from each region of Canada. The AC is currently seeking new members from Eastern Canada, from the Prairie region, and from Western Canada.

The responsibilities of the CUC-UNO AC include establishing an Envoy network throughout Canada, which would take leadership in initiatives and in co-ordinating with UUA initiatives, while applying UU and United Nations’ values.

In 2011, one such initiative by the UU-UN Office was the development of “Climate Action Teams” (CATs) which raise awareness about climate change, and advocate for appropriate congregational and community responses.  The UU-UNO also organizes annual Intergenerational Spring Seminars, which bring together UUs from across the continent and the world - youth (who have their own quarters and presentations) and UU adults - to probe issues with global impact.  These Spring Seminars take place in New York City, offering three days of events, and presentations by renowned international speakers.  Topics include “The Colors of Inequality: Costs and Consequences,” in 2016, and “Interfaith Action to End Armed Violence,” being organized for 2017.  In 2015, Gabi Rockenfield and Russell Booth, two youth from my home congregation at  Grand River Unitarian Congregation, attended the Spring Seminar in NYC, returning with energy and inspiration from the experience.

Read more

Opportunity for Compensation Consultants

Compensation Consultants are volunteers, trained and supported by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Office of Church Staff Finances, who help congregational leaders navigate the complexity of ministerial and staff compensation, benefits, and employment agreements. Currently, we have only one Compensation Consultant serving congregations in Canada. Many thanks to Barry Coburn for his ongoing service, and to the late Bob Dobbs, who passed away earlier this year.

We are eager to recruit and train one or two more Compensation Consultants to assist Canadian congregations. Prior human resources or similar experience is helpful but not necessary. Compensation Consultants engage with congregational leaders through informal phone and email exchanges, and also provide formal consultations for which  they receive an honorarium. We expect our Compensation Consultants to be comfortable with teleconferencing options such as Zoom, since most of our consultations and trainings are held virtually.

If this volunteer opportunity intrigues you, or if you want to recommend someone, please contact Jan Gartner, UUA Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager: jgartner@uua.org.

THR Facilitator Training

Saturday, December 10th, 2016. 9:00 am-12:00 pm PST/12:00 pm-3:00 pm EST

Truth Healing and Reconciliation Facilitator Training, via Zoom so you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home! We will be offering another facilitator training January 21, 2017.

Registration closed for this training on Saturday, November 26th. 

Read more

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Fir in winter landscape

CUC Office Closed

Please note the CUC Office will be closed for the holidays from December 22nd, to January 4th.

 “My ‪theology guides me to be a light in dark and trouble times. My theology is simple: Love. No exceptions. Salvation. No conditions.”

– Starr Austin, Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington, NY

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Theme-Based Ministry Webinar

Saturday, January 14th: 1:00pm AST | 12:00pm EST | 11:00am CST | 10:00am MST | 9:00am PST

Have you heard about Theme-Based ministry and are wondering how it might be applied in your congregation? Quite a few of our congregations  are exploring Theme-Based Ministry and are excited at the ways it helps deepen the conversations in their community.  This webinar will provide participants with an introduction to Theme- Based Ministry; the challenges, the benefits and some available resources.

Facilitators: Rev. Shawn Newton and Rev. Linda Thomson, CUC

Read more

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Outreach for Lay Chaplains Webinar Series

This webinar series takes place over five 75 minute sessions on Saturdays: 

Jan 14, · Jan 28, · Feb 4, · Feb 11 and · Feb 18th. at 9am PST | 10am MST | 11am CST | 12pm EST | 1pm AST

The New and Improved Outreach for Lay Chaplains Webinar with Amanda Tarling. There will be five, 75 minute sessions. We will cover websites, the best use of Facebook and other Social Media, QR codes, business cards, wedding fairs, where and how to advertise as well as your competition (and much more!), finally we will conclude with practical next steps. Join us for this engaging and proven successful webinar.

Click Here to Register

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Midwinter Retreat: Roots Hold Us Close

MidWinter Retreat is an annual event organized by Unitarians in Southern Ontario. The Retreat is open to all Unitarians, and is supported by the Canadian Unitarian Council.

February 3-5, 2017, Cedar Glen YMCA near Schomberg
Keynote address by Rev. Lynn Harrison
Information & online registration:  (Paper registration also available)

Get away with fellow Unitarians for a weekend retreat this winter – a time of self-reflection, arts, music, renewal and fun.  This year it is also a chance to learn more about our UU history and faith.

We offer discounted prices for all who register prior to January 3 (paid online or postmark date).  There is also a special discount for everyone under 40, and day rates and bursaries are also available, and we encourage bursary applications.

For more information visit our website or contact Helen Iacovino, Registrar

at HelenIacovino@FirstUnitarianToronto.org or 416-499-7049