CUC eNews: April 16, 2019 – Issue 86

In This Issue:

Minister Creates Resource to Share Unitarianism

Rev. Steven Epperson wanted an easier way to explain Unitarianism to others. He wanted to include the richness of UUism’s historical roots, the challenges of living the faith, and the benefits it offers to those who choose to do so, but in a way that is accessible to people. Epperson was inspired by a sermon he read and decided to ask his ministerial colleagues to help out. The result is “What We Wish People Knew About Unitarianism Universalism”.

Epperson organized the responses he got from Canadian ministers into five broad categories. He hopes the resource will make it easier for Unitarians to share their faith.

“We’re not always the most extroverted people about evangelizing”, he says.  “If someone really had a friend or a family member that they wish they could talk to about Unitarian Universalism, this might be a good way to begin the conversation, to hand them this booklet”.

Read “What We Wish People Knew About Unitarian Universalism

Huronia Fellowship Uses Zoom to Stream Service

Huronia Unitarian Fellowship (HUF) has been serving the Simcoe County and Muskoka areas in Ontario since 1995. Meetings have been held in Barrie or Orillia, a long drive for Unitarians who live in Muskoka, Collingwood, Huntsville or Wasaga Beach, even in fair weather.

The Fellowship held a board meeting by Zoom video conference in February. Then with a storm in the forecast,  members decided to try using Zoom for the Sunday service, rather than cancelling. The Order of Service was sent out by email along with the link for Zoom.

Ten members from the Huronia Unitarian Fellowship’s (HUF) gathered in person for their Sunday service in a renovated house at Grant’s Woods Conservation Centre near Orillia, ON. They were joined virtually by three others on Zoom, the CUC’s online communications platform. More interactive than HUF’s regular streaming service, video conferencing may be a solution to the challenges presented by HUF’s small fellowship and large catchment area.

Learn More About the Huronia Unitarian Fellowship

 Important Messages for BC Congregations

By Joan Carolyn, Congregational Life Lead – BC/WesternJoan Carolyn

BC Spring Gathering Cancelled

The BC Spring Gathering set for June 14-16 has been cancelled. The Planning Committee for the gathering team did great work and had pulled together a wonderful program with a drumming workshop, creative movement in worship, Indigenous Language and Culture full-day session, and Gathering In Strength – Small Congregations Connecting. There were also volunteers who stepped forward to provide worship, music, hosting, and other supports.

The 2019 BC Spring Gathering Team faced a number of personal emergencies which greatly reduced the team numbers, and unfortunately needed to disband.  However, the team is excited about what they created and are looking forward to 2020, and a similarly themed gathering for the BC Interior. Watch for the theme: “Revolutionary Love: Coming Together in Creativity, Solidarity, and Strength.”

 BC Spring Gatherings – The Background

Two years ago, the BC region decided to try a Spring Gathering Experiment. Part of that experiment was a decision to meet on odd years as a full gathering (when the CUC doesn’t hold the National Conference but just the Annual General Meeting) and on even years (when there is a National Conference) as three subgroup gatherings: The Islands, Metro Vancouver, and BC Interior.

2018 saw the first BC Spring Gathering. Metro Vancouver UUs planned a successful gathering focused on “Catalyst for Change: Gather, Connect, Inspire. Eighty-three participants were engaged in that first spring gathering.

The Spring Experiment

Arising out of consultation meetings, a decision was made to move away from the traditional Regional Fall Gatherings because of the tight time frame to complete the Fall Gathering organization after summer breaks. Thus, the first sub-region gathering was held in the spring of 2018.

However, another challenge has come to light. The national youth conference, CanUUdle, and national young adult conference, Chorus, continue to happen every year in May, whether the CUC has a National Conference or not. Holding the BC Gatherings in Spring has created a serious conflict with many youth and young adults who want to attend both national and BC regional events. The end of the school year for both high-schoolers and university students also creates a demand on their time within this spring time frame.

Planning for BC Gatherings 2020

Joan Carolyn will be connecting with all three BC sub-groups for 2020. An important question for consideration is whether or not to continue with the Spring gatherings. The desire to connect remains a high priority; however, the manner of how and when that happens leaves room for creativity. Some have suggested moving back to a Fall Gathering, others have suggested a Winter Gathering.

Each of the three sub-regions in BC will be invited to planning conversations, and to consider hosting a local gathering. The BC Interior group has some ideas arising out of plans from 2019’s Planning Team.

CUC staff Joan Carolyn and Casey Stainsby look forward to working with BC Interior, UU Island Network (UUIN) and Metro Vancouver in the creation of BC gathering events for 2020.

Read More About CUC Regional Gatherings

Canadian UU Youth: Vote For the Next Youth Observer to the CUC Board!

Put your 5th principle into action, and make sure you vote in the YOB election. Youth ages 13-20 are invited to vote for the incoming Junior Youth Observer, who will join Liv Gardiner, current Youth Observer on the CUC Board. Voting continues until April 18th at midnight, Eastern time.

Meet the candidates, Linnea Granberg, and Fiona Butler.

Register to vote today – you’ll receive a unique voting link by email.

Questions or technical issues? Contact

Learn About the Role of the YOB

Join the Canadian Unitarian Council on Facebook!

Upcoming Events

Share what’s going on in your congregation. Contact
Deadline: 14th of each previous month.

National Events

CUC 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM), May 11 from 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. PT, The Atrium at Centre for Social Innovation, 192 Spadina Ave
Plenary discussion hosted by the CUC Board
Participants are welcome at 192 Spadina; online participants can join via Zoom link, or call toll-free 855 703 8985 Canada, Meeting ID: 222 224 722. No prior registration necessary.

CanUUdle XIX, May 17 – 20 – Hosted by the Unitarian Church of Calgary
CanUUdle is the annual national conference for Canadian UU youth and their adult advisors. It’s a beautiful weekend where youth and adults create an amazing community, worship together, grow as spiritual beings and join in multigen activities. The theme for CanUUdle XIX is Roots and Wings! We will be diving into our identities as Unitarian Universalists.

Chorus, May 17 – 20, Edge Camp Retreat Centre, AB
Each year, Canadian UU young adults (18-35) gather to build beloved community, deepen our cross-country connections, and grow as spiritual beings. Chorus will be held at River’s Edge Camp & Retreat Centre near Calgary. 

International Events

UUA General Assembly 2019: June 19-23, Spokane, WA
April 30 – deadline for early registration
General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process.

Youth and Young Adult 

Gathered Here: Young Adult Check-In, 5-6, 6-10, 7-8, 8-12, 8 p.m. ET
Gathered Here is a monthly online check-in and gathering for Canadian Unitarian Universalist young adults.


Photography and Video 101, April 20, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Amber Dawn Bellemare will be covering the basic of photography and video creation in this webinar. Among other topics, Amber will address what equipment and software you need, along with providing links to get you started in editing. General guidance and suggestions will be shared to get you up and running. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

Roundtables and Training

THR: Reconciliation Through Film
Film: The Road Forward – Registration: April 27 – May 22
Watch the film and read the materials: March 6 – March 20
Reflection Group: Wednesday, June 5, 7:00-8:30 p.m. ET and Saturday, June 8, 12:30-2:00 p.m. ET

Serving With Spirit: Leadership Development

Serving With Spirit Nurturing UU Leaders – EAST – 3-day retreat, Friday, July 26 – 28
Carleton University, ON, Registration deadline, June 24
We invite you to a weekend to explore where you find the “springs” which fill your life’s well of energy, and how you can live out of that rich resource.
Facilitators: Revs. Peter Boullata and Linda Thomson

Serving With Spirit Nurturing UU Leaders – WEST – 3-day retreat, August 9 – 11
Providence Retreat Centre, Edmonton, AB
Facilitators: Revs. Anne Barker and Chris Wulff
More information and registration coming soon!

Serving With Spirit: Stronger Together, Planning for Partnership, 1-day workshop, August 10
Providence Retreat Centre, Edmonton, AB
Facilitator: Rev. Joan Van Becelaer
Registration Available Soon!