National Annual General Meeting and Conference
The CUC’s National Conference in 2020 will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia from May 15 – 17, 2020. Hosted by the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax, the conference promises to have a unique Atlantic flavour. The Halifax folks wrote a little ditty to welcome Unitarian Universalists to their city in 2020; the second verse goes like this:
The rest of the slides are here:
2018 CUC National Conference: “Invitation to Love and Justice”
Hosted by the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton
“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.
2018 National Conference and Annual General Meeting Re-cap
Over the weekend of May 18, 2018, more than 280 Canadian Unitarian young adults and adults, and 75 youth and youth advisors gathered in Hamilton ON for the CUC’s National Conference. Together, they explored the conference theme of “Invitation to Love and Justice” through workshops, networking and worship. They also elected a new Board of Trustees, collected over $7,000 for three charities, presented grants and awards, and enjoyed a parody of TV talent shows which was presented by multi-talented members of the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton titled “UUs Got Talent.”
The Annual General Meeting, for the second year, had full online participation and voting capability. There were over 100 delegates, both onsite in Hamilton and online via Zoom web meeting platform. Twelve congregations participated online.
A new member congregation was welcomed into the Canadian Unitarian Universalist community. The Nelson Unitarian Spiritual Centre in British Columbia was affirmed as a full member congregation at the Annual General Meeting.
- President: Jane Ebbern (Calgary AB)
- Vice-President: Margaret Wanlin (Thunder Bay ON)
- Treasurer: Tanya Cothran (Toronto ON)
- Secretary: Kiersten Moore (Vancouver BC)
- Michael Riess (Victoria BC)
- Rodrigo Solano-Quesnel (Toronto ON)
- Carol Cumming Speirs (Montreal QC)
- Minister Observer: Rev. Debra Thorne (New Westminster BC)
At each National Conference, a collection is taken up at the Sunday morning service for charities that have practices in tune with Unitarian Universalist principles. The First Unitarian Church of Hamilton is involved in the work of the following charities, and chose them as recipients for the 2018 Sunday collection; each charity will receive a third of collection, which totaled more than $7,000:
- Eva Rothwell Centre: partnering with families living poverty, empowering them to become self-sufficient and fulfill their potential
- EGALE Canada: advancing equality for Canadian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families across Canada
- Stephen Lewis Foundation: providing care and support to women, orphaned children, grandmothers and people living with HIV&AIDS to turn the tide of HIV&AIDS
Unitarians also honoured other Unitarians with two awards:
The Knight Award recognizes a Unitarian who has made notable contributions to furthering liberal religious principles in Canada. In 2018, the Knight Award was presented to E. Lisbeth Donaldson for her pioneering work over many years in advancing women’s rights.
- The Social Justice Award pays tribute to a Unitarian who has made outstanding contributions to social justice work on local and national levels. In 2018, the SJ Award was presented to Philip Symon for his unflagging commitment to working through domestic and global issues, and for being the editor of JustNews, the newsletter of the Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice for twelve years.
Sharing Our Faith grants for growth and outreach initiatives are awarded annually to congregation which apply and meet the criteria. Funds are gathered by congregations holding Sharing Our Faith Sunday services, and from the Percy Simpson Bailey fund administered by the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. Four congregations received grants in 2018:
- Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Durham: $4,500 towards part-time consulting ministry, and to grow family interactions and attract new families through enhanced programming
- Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kamloops: $4,500 to rent a permanent space for more visibility and outreach
- Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship: $4,116 for support staff to increase the congregation’s capacity for outreach and communication through quality engagement with children, youth and their families
- Salt Spring Island Unitarian Fellowship: $4,580 towards developing a children’s religious exploration program; there are currently no other faith-based children’s programs on the island
Theological Education Funds assist students on their path towards professional ministry. The funds are collected from ministers’ ordinations and installations, and from the Rouff Mackie-Jenkins fund administered by the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. Two students received $10,000 each in 2018 – Christopher Wulff and Ben Robins.
Northern Lights is a unique fundraising program that enables Canadian UUs to directly support growth projects in UU congregations and communities across the country, by pledging to be “Chalice Lighters.” The funds support innovative projects over $10,000 in growth and outreach. In 2018, the recipient of Northern Lights is Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana to create an online Francophone ministry based in Saskatoon.
Shining Lights is a new award which celebrates the best of congregations’ initiatives, and was awarded for the first time in 2018 to the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton. The award recognized the congregation’s efforts in moving towards a more focused social justice effort with meaningful community impact in three areas: i) affordable housing; ii) sexual and gender justice; iii) empowering those living in poverty to fulfill their potential. These three areas were selected from more than one hundred suggestions through a selection process led by Rev. Carly Gaylor, previous Assistant Minister.
Ministerial Transitions – 2018
Professional ministers are those who have deepened their relationship with our faith tradition and who serve it, and all of us. Each year we mark transitions in ministry. Since May 2017, these are the transitions in ministry:
- Granted Preliminary Fellowship
- Christopher Wuff
- Rosemary Morrison
- John Adams
- Granted Final Fellowship
- Rev. Fiona Heath
- Leaving positions
- Rev. Fran Dearman from interim ministry in Olinda,
- Revs. Emily and Marcus Hartlief from ministry with the North Shore congregation,
- Rev. Rodrigo Emilio Solano-Quesnel, from his developmental ministry position with the Ottawa Fellowship,
- Rev. Len DeRoche, from interim ministry with Ottawa First,
- Rev. Stephen Atkinson has completed his Pastoral Care ministry at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton,
- Rev Carol Strecker completed interim ministry in Kingston,
- Pat Trudeau completes her internship in Hamilton.
- Beginning Ministries
- Rev. Barbara Wells Ten Hove, will begin a one-year interim ministry at Northshore,
- Rev. Nicoline Guerrier will begin ministry in Vermont,
- Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana is beginning an on-line Francophone ministry, based in Saskatoon,
- Rev. Meghan Robern has begun ministry in Winnipeg,
- Danielle Webber will begin ministry in Kelowna,
- Rev. Carly Gaylor has begun ministry with the UU Congregation of Durham,
- Rev. Rebecca ‘Beckett’ Coppola as been called and installed in Kingston,
- John Adams has begun Prison Chaplaincy in Penetanguishene, ON,
- Rev. Samaya Oakley has been called to ministry and installed in South Fraser.
We also remember, with gratitude, the life and the ministry of Rev. Phillip Hewett, who died on February 24, 2018 at the age of 93.