Halifax Awarded a Northern Lights Grant to Expand Religious Education

Northern Lights Chalice Lighters Grants ProgramTHE NORTHERN LIGHTS team has announced a second grant recipient under the new Northern Lights Chalice Lighter program.

The Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax has been selected. Through the generosity of individual Chalice Lighters across Canada, the congregation will be able to strengthen its religious education programming, better positioning it to respond to the need for vital liberal religion in the growing city of Halifax.

How to Become a Chalice Lighter

If you are not yet registered as a Chalice Lighter, this is your opportunity to join in. Please take a few moments to complete the signup form below, and return it to info@cuc.ca. If you are already registered, you will be receiving more information from the Halifax congregation by mail in mid-May.

(You should send the form if you think you are registered, but did not receive information about the first grant, to Saskatoon.)

Northern Lights is a major new fundraising program that lets Canadian Unitarian Universalists directly support growth projects in congregations across the country. This is done through a growing network of individual UUs who agree to become Chalice Lighters, and donate an amount they choose twice a year to selected projects.

Participation in this program, co-sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada (UUMoC) and the Canadian Unitarian Council, is one way we can reach across the distances between our congregations and claim our identity as members of the Canadian Unitarian Universalist community.

Thanks for your generosity!

— Rev. Frances Dearman, Rev. Debra Faulk and Linda Thomson

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Parenting Author Dale McGowan Headlines CUC Ottawa Fall Gathering

Parenting Beyond Belief, and Raising Freethinkers

DALE MCGOWAN, editor and co-author of Parenting Beyond Belief and Raising Freethinkers, two groundbreaking books for nonreligious parents, will be the keynote speaker at the CUC Eastern Regional Fall Gathering in Ottawa from October 12-14, 2012. He will also facilitate an afternoon session.

McGowan is executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief, a humanist charitable foundation based in Atlanta, Georgia, and teaches nonreligious parenting seminars across the United States. In September 2008 he was named Harvard Humanist of the Year by the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University. He writes a popular parenting blog, The Meming of Life.

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Guelph to Host OWL Facilitator Training, March 30-April 1

Grades 7-9 and 10-12 Our Whole Lives Facilitator Training:
Training educators to teach human sexuality
Hosted by the Unitarian Congregation of Guelph, 122 Harris St., Guelph, ON
March 30-April 1, 2012

OWL is a comprehensive, kindergarten through adult sexuality education curriculum series. It provides youth with accurate information on sexual health, human development, sexual behaviour, relationships, and personal skills in the supportive setting of their faith community. This workshop trains teachers in how to teach participants about sexuality in age-appropriate ways. The workshop will focus on the curricula for Grades 7-9 and 10-12.

Our Whole Lives teachers are expected to: demonstrate a commitment to a values-based, comprehensive sexuality education; have a willingness to affirm the Our Whole Lives program goals, values, and philosophy; have an ability to provide a safe, engaging learning environment; and have an appreciation for working with people of diverse races, cultures, ages, abilities, and sexual and gender orientations. Two adults are required to be present at all times whenever Our Whole Lives is taught. Therefore, if a church or organization wants to teach Our Whole Lives, two adults (preferably different genders) need to attend a training.

Training is limited to 20 people

Registration Deadline: March 20, 2012
Registration fee: $195.00/person

The registration fee covers the cost of the workshop including: trainers, meals, and supplies including the manual.  If you require a billet home for the weekend, please let us know ASAP and we will do our best to find you a place.

Questions? Contact: Melissa Horvath-Lucid
Email: coordinator@guelph-unitarians.com

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More OWL background:

The Our Whole Lives values are:

  • Self Worth
  • Sexual Health
  • Responsibility
  • Justice and Inclusivity

Each level of Our Whole Lives offers:

  • Up-to-date information and honest, age-appropriate answers to all participants’ questions
  • Activities to help participants clarify values and improve decision-making skills
  • Effective group-building to create a safe and supportive peer group
  • Education about sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment
  • Opportunities to critique media messages about gender and sexuality
  • Acceptance of diversity
  • Encouragement to act for justice
  • A well designed, teacher-friendly leaders’ guide
  • Parent orientation programs that affirm parents as the primary sexuality educators of their children
  • Sexuality and Our Faith, an optional religious component for Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ settings.

Our Whole Lives is appropriate for use in a variety of congregational, school, and community settings, including classrooms, after-school programs, and youth groups. Although developed by two religious organizations, Our Whole Lives contains no religious references or doctrine. Religious references are provided in a Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ companion publication, Sexuality and Our Faith.