Truth, Healing & Reconciliation Day – October 14, 2017

Welcome to a journey of learning and sharing towards reconciliation and healing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Jointly sponsored by the Unitarian Church of Calgary and the Canadian Unitarian Council, this one-day event welcomes all who are interested in addressing the damage of colonization and in particular, the ongoing societal effects of the residential school system. Anyone interested in being part of the journey towards reconciliation and justice, is welcome!

As part of this experience, a local Calgary Elder group will facilitate the Kairos Blanket Exercise to guide participants through 400 years of Indigenous history on the land we know as Canada.

WHEN: Saturday, October 14, 2017

WHERE: Wild Rose United Church (1317 1 St NW, Calgary) & Unitarian Church of Calgary (1703 1 St NW)

COST: Adult – $90 | Student & Self-defined low-income – $50. Includes lunch

REGISTER Scroll down to register by September 29, 2017


10:15 am – 3:30 pm: At Wild Rose United Church

3:30 – 4:00 pm: Walk to Unitarian Church of Calgary

4:00 – 6:00 pm: KAIROS Blanket Exercise

Schedule Details:

10:15- 10:30 am: Registration

10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Part I is the beginning of a shared journey towards truth, justice, healing and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. It explores reconciliation and decolonization, and the commitment to engage with Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission‘s 94 recommendations, using the lens of Unitarian Universalist principles of worth, respect, dignity, compassion and equity. Read the CUC’s Expression of Truth and Reconciliation from 2014.

12:00 – 1:00 pm:  Lunch

1:00 – 3:30 pm: Part I continued

3:30 – 4:00 pm: Walk to Unitarian Church of Calgary & Snacks

4:00 – 6:00 pm: KAIROS Blanket Exercise

The Blanket Exercise is an experiential learning exercise that takes participants through 400 years of Indigenous history in the space of a couple of hours. The blankets represent the land we know today as Canada. The participants represent the Indigenous peoples and are given quotations from Indigenous people to read at key points and cards which determine their outcome in the Exercise. Facilitators act as Narrators and an elder will open the Exercise and lead the talking/debriefing Circle after the Blanket Exercise is completed.

Facilitators for Part I

The Rev. Samaya Oakley currently serves as the Minister for the South Fraser Unitarian Congregation, and as the President of the Executive of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada. She is also a co-chair of a task force of the Canadian Unitarian Council’s Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Reflection Guide – a task force that is creating reflection guides for Canadian Unitarian congregations around issues of the Indian Residential School system and its impact. She has been involved in Unitarian Universalism regionally, nationally and continentally in Unitarian Universalism for over twenty years. She considers herself blessed to have served as the Youth Program Coordinator at the North Shore Unitarian Church for close to fifteen years. She also holds degrees in Business Administration and Life Skills Coaching.

Jeff Webber grew up Unitarian, and has been actively involved as long as he can remember. As a child in Ottawa, and a youth in Hamilton, Unitarian teachings and values were ever present. Later with the Regina Fellowship, and now with Calgary Unitarians, he has been an active participant in leadership and a “big picture” thinker. Jeff recently began his journey toward truth and reconciliation through personal discernment, and hopes to further his learning through the facilitation and education process.

Registration is now closed.

CUC Organizational Administrator

The position has been filled. Thank you to all who applied.

The CUC is hiring! We are looking for an Organizational Administrator. This position demands an individual who is energetic, flexible and highly organized, who has strong skills and experience in the areas of office administration, financial record-keeping, event coordination, and support to the Executive Director and Board of Trustees.

This position works out of the CUC office at 215 Spadina Ave, Toronto. The application was posted on June 30, 2017 and will remain open until the right candidate is found. Send application ASAP with salary expectations to See job details here.

The CUC’s 2017 Annual General Meeting & What Unfolded

Top row (left to right): Susan Ruttan (Western region), Rev. Rod Solano-Quesnel (Eastern), Danielle Webber (Central), Tanya Cothran (Central), Rev. Debra Faulk (Minister Observer). Bottom row (left to right): Jane Ebbern (Western), Carol Cumming Speirs (Eastern), Keith Wilkinson (BC), Milton Orris (BC).

The 2017 Annual General Meeting held on May 13 at the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto had a number of “firsts.” It was the first time an AGM was held on its own without a national conference. The CUC with its congregations decided to hold conferences every other year instead of annually, so the 2016 conference in Vancouver was the last annual conference; the next one is 2018 in Hamilton at McMaster University hosted by the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton.

It was the first time that full on-line voting and participation was available for congregations across the country. This is in fulfillment of an Active Democracy resolution approved in 2013 to allow for electronic participation and access to Annual Meetings. Using Zoom meeting

Maya James, Youth Observer

technology and Google forms, more than 50 delegates from 24 congregations signed in on-line to discuss, vote and participate. Another 30+ delegates from mostly Ontario congregations were on-site in Toronto.

And it was the first time that the Youth Observer to the Board (YOB) was elected before the CUC’s AGM – previously, the YOB was elected at CanUUdle, the youth con held concurrently with the national conference. This year, in an on-line process, youth elected Maya James from Winnipeg as the Youth Observer.

On the resolutions front, delegates approved updated goals and strategic priorities over the next two years:

The CUC ensures that it has resources to maintain its own sustainability in order to advance the cost-effective achievement of the following four primary goals:

  1. Enhance religious exploration and spiritual growth grounded in the vision, principles, sources, and aspirations of the Canadian Unitarian Universalist (UU) movement;
  2. Advance socially responsible actions to live out our vision of interdependence, love, and justice to bring benefit to Canadian and global communities;
  3. Build community resilience so our congregations and communities are connected to each other, and thrive organizationally, economically, and socially in a diverse, multi-generational context;
  4. Strengthen local, regional, national, and global networks of collaborative and interdependent UU congregations and communities.

Within these goals, the following four strategic priorities are identified:

  1. Ensure sustainable revenue generation to continue the work of building vital Unitarian communities;
  2. Optimize communications capabilities so that they are flexible, robust, and effective, with an early focus on the CUC website to make it a useful and appealing communications tool for both members and visitors;
  3. Advance social justice initiatives, including truth, healing, and reconciliation amongst Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians;
  4. Encourage innovation and sustainability in the growth and development of UU communities, with an emphasis on youth and young adults.

Also approved was a new level of Annual Program Contribution (APC) from congregations to the CUC. The APC funds supports, resources and staff engagement with congregations, and is currently calculated at a specific amount per congregational member. The APC had last been increased in 2013 from $91 to $93 per member, and no increase nor cost of living adjustment has since been applied. The delegates approved an increase to a $100 per member fee, which brings the amount current with cost of living levels.

There was discussion on an alternate method of calculating the APC. The CUC Board, led by outgoing Treasurer Kristina Stevens, has been exploring a method based on a percentage of congregational expenses. There was a variety of opinions expressed, with no clear consensus. The CUC Board will take the next year to continue conversations with congregations before bringing a recommendation to the 2018 AGM.

There was a report from the CUC Board’s task force on fair compensation for CUC staff. The task force had spent the last year examining the discrepancy between current staffing salary levels and fair compensation targets. The task force made a recommendation which would bring salary levels to within fair compensation range. Delegates spoke in favour of this, and in approving the preliminary 2018 budget, also paved the way for these fair compensation levels to be phased in over the next two and a half years.

To see resolutions approved at the AGM, check here.

Sharing Our Faith grants were announced, which will help congregations move further towards their outreach and growth goals:

  • First Unitarian Church of Victoria: to commission a setting to music of a Latin Vespers, Vesperae pro Serveto, with text based on Unitarian Universalist Principles. The intent is to create an evening prayer. Amount granted: $2,500
  • Unitarian Church of Calgary: for rebranding and promotion – for brand development, marketing templates, signs and banners and Facebook advertising. Amount granted: $3,500
  • Unitarian Fellowship of London: To provide a one week summer day camp as an adjunct to the RE program and as a benefit to the surrounding community in which the Fellowship resides. Amount granted: $1,000
  • Unitarian Congregation of Guelph: to assist in funding a Director of Congregational Life and Learning position as the Congregation explores options for professional ministry. Amount granted: $6,000
  • Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough: to support a gathering of local faith groups on an autumn weekend focused on the theme of gratitude, after which a video will be produced to promote the value of shared values of interfaith groups. Amount granted: $3,000.
  • UUEstrie (Unitarian Universalist Church of North Hatley): for outreach projects. One is for “Spirit Circles,” a small group ministry project furthering work that is already in progress, and the other to present non-violent communications workshop to the community of North Hatley. Amount granted: $2,300

Theological Education Funds, which help support ministerial students on their path to professional ministry, were awarded to Rosemary Morrison and Ben Robins.

The new CUC Board of Trustees was acclaimed. This group of dedicated volunteers works largely unseen to create long-terms goals and plans, sets monitoring standards to ensure that outcomes are met, and watch over fiduciary matters. The 2017-2018 Board is:

President: Keith Wilkinson (BC Region)

Vice-President: Jane Ebbern (Western Region)

Treasurer: Tanya Cohtran (Central Region)

Secretary: Carol Cumming-Speirs (Eastern Region)

Milton Orris (BC Region)

Susan Ruttan (Western Region)

Rev. Rod Solano-Quesnel (Eastern Region)

Danielle Webber (Central Region)

Rev. Debra Faulk (Minister Observer)

Maya James (Youth Observer)