“Our Interdependence Calls Us to Love and Justice” – Canadian Unitarian Vision

ENTER THE VISION CONTESTS!

1. Sermon Contest

The Canadian Unitarian Council Interconnected Faith Sermon Contest is an opportunity to express your thoughts on any dimension of the CUC Vision and Aspirations Statement  affirmed by delegates at the 2016 Vancouver Annual General Meeting.

The selected winner will receive a cash award of $150.00, plus an invitation to present their sermon during the CUC 2018 National Conference held in Hamilton!

Topic: Write a unique (new) sermon/homily on any aspect of the CUC Vision Statement, including the 5 Aspirations:

(Abridged sampling) As Canadian Unitarian Universalists, we envision a world in which our interdependence calls us to love and justice… As Canadian Unitarian Universalists, we aspire to be:  Deeply Connected, Radically Inclusive, Actively Engaged, Theologically Alive and Spiritually Grounded.

Who Can Enter?

The contest is open to UU ministers, seminarians, and lay people, providing the sermon has been delivered to a Unitarian or Unitarian Universalist congregation within the past year, and before the deadline. The contestant must be connected to a Canadian UU congregation.

How To Enter?

Submit in MS Word or Plain Text. (PDF not acceptable) by email to vision@cuc.ca and put in the subject line: “Interconnected Faith Sermon Contest”.

Deadline: the CUC Sermon Contest Evaluation Committee must receive your sermon and cover page by email before 11:59 pm EST on February 1, 2018.

Include Two Items

  1. A cover page, which has your name, address, phone number, email address, sermon title, name of the congregation to whom the sermon was delivered, and date the sermon was delivered. Be sure to indicate this is for the CUC Interconnected Faith sermon contest.
  2. Your sermon with title, from which identifying information has been removed (your name, congregation). Length: minimum 1,800 words, maximum 2,500 words). Please do not include footnotes. Electronic submissions only, in MS Word or Plain Text file formats. No PDFs or hand-written text accepted.

Questions: Contact us at vision@cuc.ca


2. Art Contest

The Canadian Unitarian Art Contest is an opportunity for creative Canadian UUs to illustrate or interpret the CUC Vision Statement affirmed by delegates at the 2016 Vancouver ACM.  That Vision Statement is: As Canadian Unitarian Universalists, we envision a world in which our interdependence calls us to love and justice.

Assignment: Create a work of art – drawing, painting, song, video, or other form – that expresses the new vision statement.  Submissions should be created by people connected with a Canadian UU congregation.  Group submissions, such as from a Religious Education group, are acceptable. See the contest poster here.

Categories:

  • Age 12 and under;
  • Age 13-17
  • Age 18 and older

To Submit: If the work of art can be emailed, eg. a poem or story, email it to vision@cuc.ca.  If the work can be sent by mail, send it to the Canadian Unitarian Council, 215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 400, Toronto, ON, M5T 2C7. Add to the envelope the words: Art Contest.  If the work cannot be mailed, such as a sculpture, submit photographs/video of the work and a detailed description.

Children under 18 must submit a letter from their parents given permission for the entry.

Deadline: Submissions must be received by Oct. 1, 2017.

Include: A cover page, which has your name, address, phone number, email address, and the name of the congregation to whom the artist is connected. Be sure to indicate this is for the CUC Art contest and which age category you are entering.

Prize: The winner in each category will receive a $50 prize. The winning entries will be shared with UUs across the country.

Questions: Email vision@cuc.ca

Canadian UU Young Adult Survey

We welcome survey submissions from bridging youth, young adults and those who were recently young adults. All responses will be kept confidential, but quotes may be used anonymously in our work with congregations.

We Mourn, and We Join in Solidarity

As Canadian Unitarians, we are horrified and angered by the heartbreaking loss of life

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Banner design by Alison Hall

in Quebec City on January 29. In this distressing period of escalating intolerance, we join in solidarity with our Muslim neighbours to denounce this despicable act of violence and the disgraceful rhetoric fueling fear and division.

We applaud Prime Minister Trudeau for condemning the unacceptable violence, and his recent statement affirming Canada’s ongoing support of refugees. More specifically, we commend his assurance that those who have been detained in the U.S. by the recent immigration ban are welcome in Canada. To make this promise real, we encourage the Government of Canada to take action by making it possible for those banned by the U.S. to enter Canada as soon as possible.

In light of the terrible events in Quebec City, we must unite together as a nation of people who respond with love and hospitality to our neighbours. By courageously welcoming over 25,000 Syrian refugees in 2016, Canadians have shown the world what it means to live out our principles. We have faith our government can and will take swift and meaningful action to alleviate the great injustices arising from recent changes in U.S. policy. And we trust our leaders at all levels of government will join us in condemning—and working to alleviate—discrimination in all its odious forms. We believe this is what it means to “stand on guard” for Canada.

Sharing Our Faith

2017 Sharing Our Faith Packet Now Available!Shining lights

This year’s Sharing Our Faith Packet, created by Rev. Fiona Heath in collaboration with the UU Ministers of Canada, is inspired by CUC’s vision statement calling us to Love and Justice.

Sharing Our Faith is an annual tradition for congregations across the country to participate in a service crafted using these common resources on a common theme. It allows each individual congregation to reflect on our national connections as part of an interdependent movement in Canada, and by taking up a special Sharing Our Faith offering, supports projects across the country through the annual Sharing Our Faith grants.

Find this year’s Sharing Our Faith Packet here (pdf) | Word doc or read more about the program here.

Warmest Wishes for the Season

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I am a big fan of the winter holiday season. Of course, there are things I don’t like about it, the sometimes-overwhelming pressures and the endless barrage of advertisements. Yet, in spite of the flaws, the winter holidays are among my favourites.

I often find myself responding with tenderness and with joy when I see a small string of lights in front of a house, or a reedy child’s voice singing holiday songs. I’ve been known to cry when listening to a choir or when opening a card from an old, rarely seen friend. I’m not normally the sort of person that might be described as ‘soft’; so, this winter time tendency is out of character. Lately I’ve been wondering where my tender holiday-heart comes from and I’ve decided it is more than just the warm memories of holidays spent with my family that prompt my uncharacteristic response. December is, in almost any part of Canada, often a rather gloomy month. Days are short, afternoons are dark and rain or snow are common. Grey and brown are the dominant colours of our neighbourhoods. So, although we’d be forgiven for crawling into bed, pulling the covers over our heads and declaring our intent to hibernate until spring, we don’t. Instead we do the opposite. We set beautiful tables, prepare unusual meals, decorate our homes, gather friends and light candles.

I’m moved by the human tenacity that leads us to declare, in the face of darkness, ‘we dare to hope and dream’. There is a hymn, included in ‘Singing the Living Tradition’ hymnbook, that has as part of its chorus, “And I’ll give you hope, when hope is hard to find; and I’ll bring a song of love, and a rose in the winter time.” I suspect my tender and teary reaction to the winter holidays is a result of my profound wonder at the way we look for the promise of something as unlikely as a rose in the winter time.

These are dark times and the darkest day of the year is so near. The gardens are grey and the weather is dreary. Life can be very hard and sometimes the troubles that come our way seem to be too much. There are still injustices enough to break your heart. Our planet’s ability to sustain life, in the face of indignities we ask it to bear, is in jeopardy. There are good reasons to despair.

Yet, despite that, I invite you to join me this holiday season in looking for the unlikely promise of a rose in the winter, a lamp that burns for eight days, the promise of daylight returning or a baby in a manger. I hope you can join with those you love and to share beautiful meals together. I encourage you to open your heart and your throat and to sing beautiful music – wherever you may find yourself – in the car, while walking or with others during services in your congregation.

May your congregations and may you find a few moments during this winter season, to reflect on the messages of love and hope that are there for the looking. In 1849, Unitarian minister, Edmund Seale wrote of angel music that floated over the weary world. May we all have the ears to hear it.

Warmly,
Rev. Linda Thomson