CUC eNews: April 21, 2020 – Issue 112

In This Issue:

Riding the Waves of Change Together

When we named our 2020 national conference Making Waves, we had no idea that we’d be navigating what has felt like a tsunami as we head into May. After making the difficult decision to cancel the in-person conference for this year, the Conference team in Halifax and the CUC staff team have been shifting gears in order to present a modified online experience. And we are taking Halifax up on their very generous offer to host the in-person conference in 2021. We will have more to share in the coming days. 

One of the things I love about the conference is the opportunity for intergenerational activities on a grander scale. Our CanUUdle and Chorus events are still running with online versions and we are inviting our Youth and Young Adults to join in on the virtual conference events as well. 

The conference also provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the successes of congregations across the country by honouring our Shining Lights nominees. This year the process is slightly different as we are inviting you to a Zoom event Saturday, May 9, 2 – 4 pm AT, to meet the nominees and hear about their initiatives. You don’t need to be a member of the participating congregation, or on the leadership team for your congregation. Our goal here is simply to share some inspiration and encouragement for all our congregations to make their own waves in their community. 

It turns out the theme of Making Waves might have been more appropriate than we could have known. As John Kabat-Zinn says “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf.” I am personally inviting all of you to join us at our upcoming online Coffeehouse, roundtables, at our Shining Lights events and at our conference so we can support and celebrate as we learn how to ride these waves together. 

Be well, friends
Vyda Ng

Dismantling Racism

The CUC’s Dismantling Racism Study Group is focusing on a future where Unitarian Universalist congregations are actively working on dismantling racism and they need your help. They’ve put together a short survey to assess where Canadian UU congregations are currently and where we could go. Some UUs have already filled in the survey (thank you!) – if you haven’t yet had a chance, please give the Study Group 15 minutes of your time today to tell them about what you’ve observed in your own congregation. The survey is anonymous and confidential.  


Fill Out the Survey Now!

Our Annual General Meeting and Delegate Orientation Sessions

CUC’s 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) is less than a month away. By now the delegates have been chosen, and registered as your congregation’s delegates. If delegates have not yet had the chance to participate, there are still three remaining delegate orientation sessions. These sessions will focus on the online voting system and demonstrate how to use Zoom as a participant, as we won’t have the opportunity to assist with any technical issues on the day of the meeting. Delegates will need: 

      • A level of comfort using online technology
      • A laptop or desktop with a web camera, microphone, and speakers
      • Reliable high-speed internet

Delegates will be sent information about the online orientation sessions and the AGM, after they have registered for both.

Dates for online orientation sessions (sign up here):

    • Mon, Apr 27th – 4 pm PT | 5 pm MT | 6 pm CT | 7 pm ET | 8 pm AT
    • Sun, May 3rd – 6 pm PT | 7 pm MT | 8 pm CT | 9 pm ET | 10 pm AT
    • Tue, May 5th – 4 pm PT | 5 pm MT | 6 pm CT | 7 pm ET | 8 pm AT

Further Information About the AGM

Update on CUC COVID-19 response

We continue to develop resources and programs to support and engage congregations during this challenging time. Please visit our Resources for Congregations During Covid-19 Google folder for Virtual Meeting Resources (including Zoom), and an online calendar for gatherings across the country.

And consider joining us for our ongoing roundtable discussions. Erin Horvath, Social Justice Lead will be hosting a discussion group focused on Activism and Social Justice in a time of Physical and Social Distancing. What does social justice work look like now? How can we be most effective during this time? Join Erin on Thursday, April 30 7:30-9:00 ET.

While congregations and organizations like the CUC have adapted very quickly to a new online reality, it’s important to remember that these changes in the way we connect can be both a welcomed tool but also overwhelming at times. This article Zoom Exhaustion is Real from offers six ways to stay connected and maintain balance while using Zoom. 


Explore the CUC’s Resources for Congregations During COVID-19

Young Adults Are Invited to Ensemble: a Collection of Virtual Events May 15-17, 2020

By Carter Mahoney, Chorus Coordinator

Young adults, let’s join our hearts, minds, and voices together for Ensemble: a collection of young adult virtual gatherings taking place May 15-17, 2020. In the midst of a pandemic, we will find new ways to build intentional and beloved communities, strengthen our cross-country connections, and grow as spiritual beings. 

There will be three YA specific events happening over the weekend. On Friday afternoon you may join for an Opening Gathering that will include personal reflection, community building, and time for worship and meditation. On Saturday evening there is a combination of a “Goofball Games” session as well as the Youth and Young Adult Bridging Ceremony. Lastly, on Sunday afternoon you may join for our Closing Gathering which will include worship, further community conversation, and personal reflection. 

Register for Ensemble by filling out this simple form which will be open from April 15 – May 5th. A low sliding scale fee is offered. If you have any questions or are interested in helping make this experiment a success please contact

Together, we share love!

Ensemble, nous partageons l’amour! 

Register Now for Ensemble

CanUUdle Presents: CazUUm, the Time-Space ContinUUm

By Alex Okrainetz, CanUUdle Coordinator

The year is 2020, and CanUUdle is set to embark upon its 20th journey into community with you! We invite all youth (14-19) and their adult advisors (25+) to join us for an adventure through space. This year will be unlike any other as we’ll all be attending from home!

The CanUUdle planning team is thrilled to present to you… CazUUm: the Time-Space ContinUUm! This year’s conference is space themed so there will be plenty of exploration into new galaxies. And what is more futuristic than doing it virtually? You can expect to explore your world in worship, forge new bonds at multigen events, and help build bridges between youth from congregations across Canada.  

This is your chance to connect with other youth at a national scale! We welcome you to join us on Zoom and beyond from May 15th-18th, 2020. Follow us on Instagram @canuudle and email the CanUUdle Coordinator Alex Okrainetz at if you have any further questions.

Registration will be open from April 15 – May 5.

Register Now for CazUUm!

Meet the New Junior Youth Observer, Linnea Granberg

By Casey Stainsby, Youth and Young Adult Program and Events Coordinator

Linnea Granberg of Thunder Bay, Ontario, has been elected by acclamation as the new Junior Youth Observer to the CUC Board. The Youth Observers (YOBs) are tasked with bringing issues and perspectives from Canadian UU youth to the Board, and for communicating relevant Board news to the youth community. Linnea will join Senior YOB Fiona Butler (Saskatoon) in the role this year and then will become the Senior YOB herself in the second year of her term. 

Linnea brings a wealth of leadership experience both from the UU youth world as well as from school and her many hobbies. Here is what Linnea would like you to know about her, why she is excited about serving as YOB, and what she hopes to accomplish during her two years on the Board: 

“Hi! I’m Linnea, from Thunder Bay, ON. I’m in grade 12, in the IB program at my school. I don’t go to church here, but I’m involved in the youth community in Canada, serving as staff at multiple conventions. I love the accepting and loving atmospheres of cons, and they’re one of the events I look forward to most throughout the year. In my free time, I sail in the summer, and throughout the school year, I cheer, both competitively. I also play the flute and the Irish whistle. 

Due to these opportunities, I have become a considerably more effective leader and communicator. I have discovered a love for organization and leadership, especially in the context of youth. One of the things that keep me coming back to Cons, and particularly staff roles, are the amazing people that I get to meet and work with, both youth and adults. I believe I have a good grasp of the people I will be representing, and to represent my peers on a Canada wide scale is a super exciting opportunity to me. 

I would like to create online and in-person initiatives (especially leading up to CanUUdle) to build a stronger beloved community across Canada, and foster the kind of connections to keep the youth community of Unitarian Universalism thriving.” 

Welcome Linnea!

Explore the Role of the Youth Observer to the Board

CUC Coffeehouse Connections

Come and connect with UUs!

Join us each Saturday for CUC Coffeehouse Connections. These online gatherings bring us together virtually to connect across the country. Each gathering will have a different theme, such as music, social get-together, multigen storytelling times, online activities, or high tea. We’ll gather for an hour and a half.

For Saturday, April 25’s Coffeehouse Connections, we welcome you all to join us for a storytelling event featuring UU storytellers from across the country.  

When: Saturday at 7 p.m.(AT)/ 6 p.m. (ET)/ 5 p.m. (CT)/ 4 p.m. (MT)/ 3 p.m. (PT)
We’ll gather for an hour and a half.

Where: Join the Zoom meeting by following this link:

Participants will be required to register for each meeting, due to the need for additional security. Please forward the Zoom link to anyone who you think might be interested

To contribute your musical or other talents for future events, please fill in this form. 

“All that we are is story. From the moment we are born to the time we continue on our spirit journey, we are involved in the creation of the story of our time here. It is what we arrive with. It is all we leave behind.” ~ Richard Wagamese

Want to participate? Fill in this form.

Truth, Healing and Recognition: Pipelines, Democracy & Aboriginal Title

Join us for a conversation with Dr. Niigan Sinclair on May 24. The session is intended for non-Indigenous people who want to learn how to be in solidarity with Indigenous Nations and will explore issues around Aboriginal land title, the differences between hereditary vs. colonial leadership, the role of consent and consultation, and the various layers of justice to be considered when addressing issues such as climate action. This session is intended for settlers who want to engage in relationship building and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities. Consider inviting a friend to attend and start a spin-off conversation in your community. More information and registration is available on our website or on the Eventbrite page

Purchase Tickets at Eventbrite

Celebrating our Shining Lightsshining light award

The Shining Lights Award recognizes innovation and sustainability in Unitarian Universalist initiatives. Typically awarded at the CUC National conference, one of the goals for the award is to encourage recipients to share their inspirational stories so that others may imagine how they might do similar work. In 2018, the inaugural Shining Lights award was presented to the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton for their project: Embedding Social Justice into the Fabric of Our Church Community, and we are looking forward to an update from their team when we present the 2020 award this May.

AN INVITATION: Please join a Shining Lights Award webinar, May 9, 2- 4 pm AT. Celebrate with us as we hear from five awe-inspiring nominations for the Shining Lights award. Learn about these congregational projects, how they were implemented and about the differences these projects made to their communities. Get inspired while you help us honour the work of these communities and of the 2020 Shining Lights Award recipient.

Introduction to Two Nominees: To whet your appetite for the upcoming webinar, we want to introduce you to the nominees. We are featuring two in this newsletter and our next eNews will feature the remaining three nominees. 

Introducing the Unitarian Congregation of Guelph’s noteworthy innovation: Cultivating Intergenerational relationship and community. There is a quote that says, “If you want to grow, step outside your comfort zone”, including an invitation for this congregation to step outside generation groupings in order to create welcome for all, regardless of background. Join this group as they share some of the innovation and opportunities created in the past year.

The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg (FUUCW) is excited to share developments within their Pastoral Care initiatives.  FUUCW seeks to be deeply connected and actively engaged in their ministry of caring for one another and encourages everyone to participate in pastoral care. They have identified Five Umbrellas covering various aspects of Pastoral Care which are well linked and developed. Join the webinar to explore the wisdom of their story as well as share ideas from your congregations!

Learn More About the CUC’s Awards

UUA’s General Assembly Fully Online

The Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly will be a completely virtual event this June. The Board of Trustees has just made the decision, and explains that it “alleviates the anxiety and concern shared by many about how GA might proceed given the impact of COVID-19.” Registration is $150 USD.

Find All the Details on the UUA site

What’s Making Us Smile

Eric and Anthony James, of the Saskatoon Unitarians, put out a call to UU Youth and Young Adults to share why they are staying home during the pandemic. The goal was to help communicate support, encourage youth to remember why they were choosing to self-isolate and to create something as a community. People shared photos of themselves holding up signs explaining who they were honouring with their choice to stay home and then Eric, Anthony, and their parents developed a video compilation of the messages

Their Video is Making us Smile

Visit & Like the Canadian Unitarian Council on Facebook!

Upcoming Events 

Share what’s going on in your congregation. Contact

Youth and Young Adults

ONLINE: Gathered Here: Young Adult Check-In, April 30 – 9 p.m., May 4 – 8 p.m., May 25 – 2 p.m., June 8, July 13, August 10 – 8 p.m. ET Gathered Here is a monthly online check-in and gathering for Canadian Unitarian Universalist young adults.


ONLINE: CUC COVID-19 Leaders’ Update Sessions
Each Saturday, join the CUC’s weekly roundtable conversation. Congregational leaders are invited to share resources and information about planning for and coping with the impacts of COVID-19 on their congregations, and staff will share resources and updates.
CUC Update Sessions – More sessions coming in May!

ONLINE: CUC Coffeehouse Connections, Saturdays, April 25 – Storytelling,  7 p.m. AT, 6 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. CT, 4 p.m. MT, 3 p.m. PT
Join us each Saturday for the CUC Coffeehouse Connections. These online gatherings bring us together virtually to connect across the country. Join the event:

ONLINE: Connect and Deepen – Virtual Gathering,  April 26, May 10 & 24, June 14, July 12, August 9, September 13, October 11, November 8, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. ET Join us for the opportunity to discuss matters of spiritual and theological significance in small groups and connect with people across the country.

ONLINE: AGM Voting Orientation, April 27, May 3, May 5 at various times
CUC’s 2020 Annual General Meeting on Saturday, May 16 will be fully online. To protect the health of everyone, we recommend that delegates NOT gather together, as with previous AGMs and instead meet individually using ZOOM. Delegates need to sign up for one of six orientation sessions to be held in April and May.

ONLINE: AGM Plenary Discussion, May 14, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. AT
Prior to the AGM on May 15, the CUC Board invites you to an informal dialogue amongst congregational delegates, leaders, board members, and CUC staff to discuss issues of importance to congregations, in support of the CUC’s vision, goals, and strategic priorities.

ONLINE: Ensemble: A Collection of  Young Adult Gatherings, May 15-17, 2020
Through the magic of Zoom, UU young adults (18-35) will come together to celebrate our cross-country community, mark transitions in our lives, play games and grow as spiritual beings.

ONLINE: CanUUdle presents: CazUUm!, May 15-18, 2020
UU youth (14-19) and their adult advisors (25+) from across Canada will connect with each other in new and creative ways via Zoom.

ONLINE: 2020 CUC National Annual General Meeting, Saturday, May 16 from 1:00p.m. – 4:30 p.m. A.T. | 12:00p.m. – 3:30p.m. ET |  11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. CT | 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. MT | 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT

ONLINE: Serving with Spirit: Stronger Together, Planning for Partnership, Saturday, May 23, 10 a.m PT/ 11 a.m. MT/ Noon CT/ 1:00 p.m. ET/ 2 p.m. AT
Explore our potential for meaningful, creative congregational networking and partnerships.
Registration (individuals or groups of 3 or more): deadline: May 15

ONLINE: Pipelines, Democracy and Aboriginal Title: A Conversation with Dr. Niigann Sinclair,
Sunday, May 24, 2020, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. ET –  Registration 

ONLINE: THR: Reconciliation Through Film, Saturday, Saturday, June 6, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Film: Freedom Road,
registration on the THR film page – deadline May 22


ONLINE: Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly, June 24 – 28, 2020,
The UUA General Assembly will be a virtual event this year. The CUC will be presenting an online workshop on Truth, Healing and Reconciliation on Thursday, June 25.

International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) Meeting & Conference, October 26 – November 1, 2020, Montreal, Canada
Supported by the CUC, this ICUU Conference is an excellent opportunity to meet and get to know UUs from all over the world. Donations from Canadians go to support leadership development for participants from emerging members groups. More information coming soon.