Upcoming Webinars and Roundtables

The CUC offers and coordinates Webinars and Roundtables as part of our commitment to share knowledge that helps our congregations become more Deeply Connected, Radically Inclusive, Actively Engaged, Theologically Alive, and Spiritually Grounded (that’s a reference to the 5 aspirations of our amazing new vision, adopted in May 2016).

We’ll be posting upcoming Webinars on the Calendar as they are scheduled —please check back regularly for information on how to register. CUC staff have several webinars planned for the 2017-18 church year – please note some times are to be confirmed.

  • Future of Faith Formation: October 24, 8 p.m. Eastern.
  • Congregational Data Management: November date tbd
  • UU Leadership Series – Basics of government reporting & congregational relationship with the CUC (repeat of Oct 5 webinar): December 2, 12:30 p.m. Eastern.
  • Religious Language: December 9, 12:30 p.m. Eastern.
  • Membership Best Practices: January 20, 2018, time to be announced.
  • Alternative Worship: February 24, time to be announced.
  • Developing & Using a Congregational Covenant: March 10, 12:30 pm Eastern
  • CUC Annual General Meeting (AGM) orientation: March 24,12:30 p.m. Eastern.
  • Planned Giving: April tbd
  • AGM orientation: April 10, 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
  • AGM orientation: April 18, 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
  • Website Re-creation: May 5, 12:30 pm Eastern
  • Meaning, Mission & Money: June 2, 12:30 pm Eastern

Northern Lights Program Changes 2017

Northern Lights newSome changes are coming to the Northern Lights Chalice Lighter Program, an important fundraising program supporting Canadian UU congregations. A special CUC committee has been looking at Northern Lights and the Sharing Our Faith fundraising program and has made the following changes:

  1. The deadline for applications for a Northern Lights project will now be once a year, on March 31. In the past, there were two deadlines, Jan. 15 and Sept. 15.
  2. Although there is only one deadline a year, up to two projects may be selected from applications received by March 31.
  3. Northern Lights project sizes will be over $5,000. Sharing Our Faith grants will be $5,000 or less.

The committee was tasked with streamlining the processes used for major funding programs, to make sure they fit together and don’t require major administrative time from our limited CUC staff or our busy UU ministers. One such streamlining move is to give Sharing Our Faith and Northern Lights the same March 31 deadline for applications, and to distinguish the two programs by the amount of grants possible.

While the committee admired the crowd-funding approach used by Northern Lights last year, it concluded crowd-funding is not possible given our limited CUC staff. The committee rejected the idea of merging Northern Lights and Sharing Our Faith into one fundraising effort.

Northern Lights projects are supposed to be grassroots and transformative. Congregations whose project is selected will contact UUs who are on a national list of donors called Chalice Lighters. The congregations then provide tax receipts directly to the individual donors.  Sharing Our Faith raises money from an annual Sunday morning collection by congregations within the CUC.

In 2015/2016, Northern Lights piloted a crowdfunding platform which resulted in support for 4 different projects: creation of a Truth and Reconciliation curriculum; a community choir run by Lakeshore UUs; a music ministry in Toronto; and an online resource for creation of rituals.

The Northern Lights-Sharing Our Faith review committee is CUC board vice-president Jane Ebbern (team leader), UUMOC president Samaya Oakley, and CUC board member Susan Ruttan, with huge help from CUC president Keith Wilkinson.

More information on Northern Lights is at www.cuc.ca/northern-lights. Please consider going to this page and signing up to be a Chalice Lighter donor.

Sharing Our Faith information can be found here.

Support Our National Faith Community

FundraisingHave you had opportunity to use resources from the CUC in the past year? Had your questions or concerns addressed by CUC staff? Or maybe you’ve attended a CUC conference, regional gathering, webinar or roundtable and strengthened connections with other UUs. Perhaps your congregation has found value when a CUC staff member has walked with you through transitions, conflict, or governance matters.

The work of CUC staff in service to our UU congregations and communities is made possible largely through the financial commitment of your congregation to the CUC, the Annual Program Contribution, and through direct contributions from Friends of the CUC. Sadly, over 2015 and 2016, a significant portion of these funds have been diverted to legal costs.

When Canada Revenue Agency supplied notice that the CUC would be audited for 2012 and 2013, the decision was made to seek top legal advice. This decision has helped the CUC navigate the uncertain waters of an audit, and to reach a reasonable compliance agreement. However, the cost has reached tens of thousands of dollars, and last year, the budget was stretched to cover the 2015 legal bill. This year, extra help is needed, and we are turning to you – Canadian UUs and congregations – for this help. Continue reading

Board Legal Training Video

In this video, Serving on a UU Board inuu-board-legal-video Canada, Geoff Gomery, 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. The video, now posted on the CUC website, was created by Jen Rashleigh and Geoff Gomery, to explore the legalities and practicalities of serving on a congregational board, but also offers personal advice on how to be a good and constructive board member at a UU congregation.

Sharing Our Faith 2017

CUC-Classic-Logo-300pxEvery year the Canadian Unitarian Council encourages UU congregations across the country to hold a Sharing Our Faith service, celebrating our interconnectedness. Sharing Our Faith is an opportunity to share a common worship service with Canadian congregations, engage deeply with a shared theme, and support one another. At Sharing Our Faith services, congregations are requested to take up a special collection for the SOF Fund, which provides grants to congregations and communities working to enhance ministry, outreach, and our UU impact in the world.

We invite worship teams to create a service using the 2017 Sharing Our Faith packet, created this year by Rev. Fiona Heath, with the support of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada. The packet offers options for readings, hymns, and homilies on this year’s theme of Love and Justice. The Sharing Our Faith packet will be available in January 2017, and we encourage congregations to plan a Sharing Our Faith service for February, during CUC month, when we look outward to all the interconnected communities with whom we collectively create our Canadian UU Movement.