Vision for the Future

Rev. Fiona Heath

Secretary, CUC Board

What are your hopes for Canadian Unitarian Universalism?

The CUC Board of Trustees want to hear your thoughts and dreams for the future of our national faith community. We want to lead with a vision of what could be, gathered through intentional conversation with congregations, communities and affiliates.

We invite all of our communities and affiliates to schedule a Vision for the Future workshop in January or February of 2015. The CUC will train the facilitators and provide PowerPoint slides, the workshop material and a timeline. Your feedback will help the CUC Board form a vision of a future made brighter and better by Canadian Unitarian Universalism.

After we hear back from the workshops from across the country, the Visioning task force will meet to consider what our vision might be. Are we aiming for a country shaped by love and justice?  Do we envision of planet of healthy interdependence? The proposed vision will be shared in April, with a request that UU communities take some time to consider the proposed vision together, before its presentation at the Annual General Meeting in Ottawa on May 15, 2015.

Why is the CUC Board working on a new vision?

Read more.

Delegates - Your Congregation’s Links to the CUC

Your congregation’s delegates are important folks - they step up to become familiar with the business going to the CUC’s Annual General Meeting, and then share this with your congregations. They are the carriers of your congregation’s wishes when it comes to voting on resolutions. We suggest that your delegates are selected early, and to support you in this process, 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..


Resolution Deadline

The deadline to submit resolutions to the 2015 Annual General Meeting is fast approaching! Resolutions are to be submitted by December 15th. Read up on the Resolutions Process for more information.


CUC Month

February is CUC Month! In 2012, we suggested that one month a year be designated as CUC month, so that congregations and communities can have one specific period of time to dedicate to CUC matters. February has become known as CUC Month, and congregations are strongly encouraged to dedicate some time to discussing all things CUC, like selection of delegates for the Annual General Meeting in May and upcoming resolutions. We also suggest holding a Sharing Our Faith Sunday. A Sunday service package will be available soon.

Keep your eyes and ears open in February for quizzes, draws and more!

CUC Staff Voices

Your CUC staff will be writing monthly blogs to share, to inform, to present provocative musings, and to increase connections. The topics for the blogs will be eclectic, and you can look for them around the first of each month on the CUC website here.

Ariel Hunt-Brondwin

The Sacred Oops and Ouch:

What UU Youth Have Taught Me About Covenant

by Ariel Hunt-Brondwin
Youth and Young Adult Ministry Development

Over the past 4 years, through my work with youth and young adults, I’ve been part of many a covenant making session and along the way I’ve learned some really useful, although perhaps unlikely, phrases: ‘Respect Umbrella,’ ‘the Vegas Rule,’ and ‘Oops/Ouch.’ Making covenants each time youth and young adults gather has become embedded in UU youth and young adult culture and some of our young people have gained a depth of experience with this practice that offers insights to all of us.

Through the past decade or so, the concept of covenant has come much more into the forefront of our UU consciousness. Making covenants has become pretty widespread in our UU communities as we have (re)turned to this practice of naming and committing to our best intentions for how we want to be in relationship with each other. Sounds a bit lofty and yet in my experience this is actually one of those places where our talk ‘hits our walk’ so to speak.

Read more.


A Journey to Jordan and Jerusalem - As Only UUs Can Do

By Rev. Wayne Walder and Beverly Carr, Neighbourhood UUC

Being open to all kinds of religions and points of view, UUs can travel and learn together in a way that adds new dimensions to a journey. Our Mindful Journey to Jordan and Jerusalem enabled us to have very unique experiences.

Taking a mindful journey is about being alive in the moment, being wide-awake, being present to what is on our path. When we become mindful travellers, we are always open to new opportunities. This is the essence of a mindful journey – observation and participation. Because the journey unfolds moment by moment and as it unfolds, we try to remain fully present. This can lead to acute observation of both ourselves and others. We see each experience in a new way. With luck, we better understand what we are seeing.

Read more.

Grant Thornton 2014 Year-end tax planning guide

Year-End Tax Planning Guide

The CUC’s Auditor, Grant Thornton, has released a tax-planning guide for individuals and organizations. They say, “Nobody likes to pay too much tax. Luckily, there are a number of tax-saving measures that can help with just that – both for you and for your business. But, in order to capitalize on these opportunities, now is the time to review your 2014 tax situation to see if any apply to you.

The Grant Thornton 2014 Year-end tax planning guide highlights tax-saving opportunities for businesses, investors and individuals that must be implemented before the end of the year or early in 2015.”

Shared with the permission of Grant Thornton, we hope that this tax-planning guide is chock-full of money-saving ideas and tips for Canadian UUs!


Reflections on Regional Fall Gatherings

Regional Fall Gatherings give Canadian Unitarians and Universalists the opportunity to join together in community. Participants across the country laughed and wept, felt moved by music, compassion, and the spirit of our shared faith. Here are five reflections on this engaging experience:

Reflection on “Pathways to the Spirit” 
BC Regional Fall Gathering
Amanda Tarling, Capital Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Reflection on "The JoUUrney"
BC Regional Fall Gathering Youth Con
Danae McLean, Beacon Unitarian Church 

Reflection on "Rocky Horror Hallowe'en Youth Con" 
Western Regional Fall Gathering Youth Con 

Emma Crape, Unitarian Church of Calgary

Reflection on “Frightened of the Future?”
Eastern Regional Fall Gathering

Paulette Lachambre - Charlottetown, PEI

Reflection on “Engaged and Engaging”
Central Networking Day
Naomi Matsui, Guelph, ON


Pervasive Surveillance and Our Spirit

Jack Dodds, First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto

Come build a land where sisters and brothers,
 anointed by God, may then create peace:
 where justice shall roll down like waters,
 and peace like an ever flowing stream.
- Barbara Zanotti (adapted for UU hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, song #121)

Early this year, media reported that Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) engaged in mass surveillance of Canadian citizens by monitoring the communications of their wireless Internet devices. This followed the revelation that a similar agency in the U.S.A. was attempting to collect “metadata” about every telephone call made in that country. In response to this news, an Urgent Resolution was submitted and passed at the CUC 2014 Annual General Meeting in Montreal. (An Urgent Resolution represents only the views of the delegates present at the AGM, and not that of member congregations, as the motion was not presented in enough time for circulation among congregations.)

Read more.

AODA logo

Accessibility for All

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is nudging organizations and businesses towards complete compliance with its act by 2025. Will you be ready? Congregations in Ontario with staff should take note of the timelines and tools to help get you up to speed with full compliance; however, all congregations are encouraged to adopt the guidelines as best practice. Here are some tools to help you:

• Proposed Timelines for Compliance with AODA

• AODA Compliance Sample

• Accessible Customer Service Policy

• Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act website

• Canadian Association for Community Living

Read more.



Will you? Give? And dare someone else to give?

Canada’s Governor General David Johnston, is daring Canadians to give. He has launched the Dare2Give campaign. He says, “This year’s challenge is all about driving action and making a difference... We wanted to widen the circle on giving and provide a mechanism that Canadians and charities could use to dramatically increase giving. Dare2Give allows Canadians to dare their friends and families to give with them to not only amplify their efforts but also to create a better Canada.”

The Dare2Give website explains that this “is an opportunity for Canadians to dare their friends, family and colleagues to donate or volunteer with them. Each time someone gives their time, talent or money, they make Canada a more caring nation.

Read more.

Seeking Justice Together

The CUC’s 2015 Annual Conference and Meeting will be held from May 15 - 17th at Algonquin College in Ottawa. Hosted by the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, the theme is “Seeking Justice in a Changing Land”, and promises to bring together Unitarians and Universalists of all ages to explore how we live out our faith as engaged and compassionate global citizens.

Read more.

CUC Office Closed

Dec 20 - Jan 4

The CUC office will be closed from December 20th, 2014 and will reopen on January 5th, 2015. 


The Enneagram:
Its Contributions to Congregational and Compassionate Lives

Feb 7

Workshop Leader: Rev. Keith Kron, Director of Ministerial Transitions, Unitarian Universalist Association

Enneagram allows us to look at the patterns of our lives, our ruts & rituals. We can then see not only the lens from which we view the world, but also the lenses of others. We'll explore these lenses, focusing on self-awareness, authenticity & fun.

Participants will come away with understandings & confirmations of individual Enneagram styles, how those styles inform compassion in our lives & how the Enneagram can foster community & congregational well being.

Read more.


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

May 14 - May 15

The “Basics” 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.

This will be the only offering of “Designing and Leading Rites of Passage: Basic Training for Lay Chaplains” in the Central and Eastern Regions for 2015!

Facilitated by: Rev. Carole Martignacco

Cost: $95 (Includes: lunches for both days are included; accommodations are not – the Algonquin residence offers a 2-bedroom suite with kitchenette and bathroom for $89/night).

Registration: will open in January 2015


The Power of Ritual: Training for Lay Chaplains

May 15

Rituals play a significant role in our lives, whether we realize it or not – our daily lives are filled with rituals, from how we wake up in the morning to how we welcome new births. Lay chaplains engage with rituals to help others celebrate, mourn and mark important milestones. This workshop takes lay chaplains on an exploration of the power of rituals in our lives.

Facilitated by: Amanda Tarling and Peter Brydon

Cost: $65 (Includes: lunches for both days are included; accommodations are not – the Algonquin residence offers a 2-bedroom suite with kitchenette and bathroom for $89/night).

Registration: will open in January 2015


CUC ACM 2015

May 15 - May 17

The 2015 Annual Conference and Meeting will be held in the capital city of Ottawa.

Hosted by the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, the ACM theme is “Seeking Justice in a Changing Land À la recherche de la justice sur une terre changeante.” 

The ACM venue is Algonquin College, which has the beautiful new Commons Theatre. The Opening and Welcome Ceremony, the Sunday service, and other events throughout the weekend will be held at the Commons Theatre.


CanUUdle XV

May 15 - May 18

Save the Date!

CanUUdle is about fun, friendship, looking in, and reaching out -- sharing what nourishes our hearts, minds and souls. It is a great opportunity to meet and catch up with other youth from across Canada (and some international friends too!). This year, CanUUdle is being held at First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ontario.

Wishing You


during this season of light and dark, and in the New Year

With thanks and gratitude,
CUC Board and Staff