A Preview of Streams at the 2018 Annual Conference and Meeting

“As Canadian Unitarian Universalists, we envision a world in which our interdependence calls us to love and justice.” This vision of our national faith community asks us to live this out through actions of love and justice. We are called to work together from a place of love to bring justice to all beings.

The 2018 National Conference Theme is “An Invitation to Love and Justice and while planning is still underway, the Conference Program Planning Committee has chosen the following streams for the Saturday. Details on Sunday workshops will follow.

1. “From 110 Good Ideas to Three Action Projects”

Jennifer Kaye, Bill Johnston, and Gail Rappolt, from First Unitarian Church of Hamilton

Like most Unitarian Universalist congregations, the members of the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton have lots of ideas for great social justice projects. Turning ideas into focused action can be more difficult. In this workshop, facilitators from Hamilton will share the method they used to make decisions and give participants tools to develop or strengthen their own social justice work.

2. “1 + 7 = 8: Considering the Proposed 8th Principle in the Canadian Context”

Beverly Horton, First Unitarian Church of Hamilton, and Reverend Julie Stoneberg, Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough

This stream focuses on issues of racial justice by learning about the 8th principle that has been proposed to the Unitarian Universalist Association in the US and thinking about how the 8th principle’s call for racial justice translates to the Canadian context. How might the proposed 8th principle help “us” acknowledge and dismantle racism and other oppressions that have marked the historical experience and lived realities of Indigenous Peoples and People of Colour in Canada?

3. “Beyond Welcoming: Including and Valuing Trans and Queer People”

Cole Gately and Monica Bennett, First Unitarian Church of Hamilton, and Autumn Getty, Mennonite, Trans Peer Supporter, Hamilton, ON

This interactive, participatory workshop will provide information and outline of the processes for congregations to re-certify as Welcoming Congregations. It will equip learners with tools and resources to help trans and queer people feel included, valued and welcome in their communities and congregations.

4. “Communities of Belonging and Possibility: Dialogue Methods that Reawaken Congregational Life”

Ben Wolfe, Aukje Byker, and Todd Barr, Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough

This workshop stream aims to transform how congregations and committees gather to discuss and decide what matters, to begin with the premise of love and possibility, and to give everyone in the room a voice, leave meetings more connected, and to widen circles of leadership.

To this end, the facilitators will introduce and model next-generation participatory dialogue practices and principles that could help reinvigorate your congregation, make better use of your meeting time, energize your outreach and social justice efforts, and create an increased culture of collaboration and play.

5. “Love and Justice in Support of Our Mental and Emotional Wellbeing”

Reverend Steven Epperson, Unitarian Church of Vancouver, Reverend Carly Gaylor, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Durham,
and Laura Delano, Executive Director of the Inner Compass Initiative

An essential part of building love and justice is questioning the narratives which feed injustice. One of those narratives pertains to how we understand and respond to mental health challenges that so many of us experience in our lives and families. The dominant narrative funnels all experiences of persistent mental and emotional distress or unusual and inconvenient behaviour into a disease model. In this stream we’ll explore alternative experiences and narratives of mental health and wellbeing, including sharing personal stories, inviting participants to share their stories, and offering strongly supported, evidence based resources.

6. “’More than a Hymn Sandwich’: Creating Sunday Services Differently”

Reverend Wayne Walder, Susane Maziarz, and Margaret Evans, Neighbourhood UU Church

An interactive workshop on the style and substance of Sunday services. If UU congregations hope to bring a new generation of people to Sunday services and keep those who come, there may be a need to design Sunday services that look and feel different from those in our history. To address this, this stream will create interactive experiences that use music, ritual, interactive conversation and story that will invite people into our buildings, our programs, our inner life, and our social connectedness, thereby increasing our capacity for love and justice.

7. Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation, exact title TBD

THR Task Force
Facilitator tbd

Canadian Unitarians and Universalists are honoured to be walking with all who are on the journey towards truth, justice, healing and reconciliation between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples. This year’s THR Saturday Stream will offer participants an opportunity to deepen their understanding of Indigenous experiences and engage in a meaningful process that has the potential of transforming relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Questions about the CUC’s National Conference? Email conference@cuc.ca.