CUC eNews: February 25, 2020 – Issue 108

In This Issue:

National Conference Website Live!

ICYMI, registration for the National Conference in May is open. Check out the February 14th eNews for all the info. Please read through the information on the Conference website before registering.

Registration for the Conference:

Visit the National Conference Website

CUC Fund Deadlines Approaching

The application deadline is approaching for many of the Canadian Unitarian Council’s grant programs. Applications are due March 31 for the Sharing Our Faith fund, Theological Education Funds, and Northern Lights fundraising program.

The Sharing Our Faith program provides funds for congregational initiatives which enhance ministry, aid congregational projects and outreach, and enhance the Unitarian Universalist movement in Canada. Once a year, congregations are encouraged to hold a “Sharing Our Faith” worship service focused on the UU faith in Canada, with a special collection for the Sharing Our Faith fund. The fund consists of these monies, supplemented by a Foundation Fund administered by the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. The funds are allocated in the form of grants to congregations for growth projects and initiatives.

The CUC Theological Education Funds (TEF) bursaries are intended to assist Canadian Unitarian Universalists with expenses incurred while studying for the ministry. Applicants must have candidate status with the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Ministerial Credentialing Office (except under special circumstances); and have completed the first year of ministerial study or internship. No one may receive more than three.

Northern Lights is a unique fundraising program jointly sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada (UUMOC) and the Canadian Unitarian Council. It provides opportunities for Canadian Unitarian Universalists to directly support growth projects in UU congregations and communities across the country. These projects should have a value of more than $5000. Congregations or communities planning projects under $5,000 should apply for a Sharing Our Faith grant.

To contribute directly to the above funds, or to apply, check out the Options for Giving page.

Learn More About How the CUC Gives

Opportunity to Donate to Dawning Future Subsidy

The Dawning Future Subsidy provides financial assistance to Unitarian Universalist youth (14-20), young adults (18-35) and youth advisors to help them attend regional, national and continental conferences and faith development events. Attending these events is an important way for youth and young adults to build connections and to find space for spiritual enrichment and growth. 

One of the most significant young adult events is Chorus, the annual young adult gathering which this year is taking place alongside the National Conference. Participants in Chorus gather to build beloved community, deepen their cross-country connections, and grow as spiritual beings. One young adult who participated in Chorus last year offered this testimonial:

“There are several important things about getting together in person. I’ll start with the really obvious ones: the ability to hug each other, and to sing and play music together without a lag in the connection. More intangibly, there’s a sense of community that develops in person that takes a lot more time to develop remotely, if it happens at all.”

The Dawning Future Subsidy accepts donations all year long, but donating now will directly benefit youth and young adults who want to attend the National Conference in Halifax.

Contribute to the Dawning Future Subsidy

Ministerial Profile: Rev. Brian Kiely

Rev. Brian Kiely served the Unitarian Church of Edmonton from September of 1997 until his retirement in January of this year. As a member of the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto in the 1980s, he lived with the late Rev. Mark DeWolfe during the latter’s summer ministry at that congregation and became inspired to pursue ministry himself. The most rewarding aspect of ministry for Brian was being able to build community.

“The thing that drew me to ministry was the sense of ‘this is a place where people could find a sense of belonging,’” he says, “a sense of safety, and a free expression of their own values and views and work on their own beliefs.”

Asked how Unitarian Universalism can remain relevant into the future, Brian believes that UUs are splitting many social issues too finely and need to work to find a common voice on them instead. He also believes UU congregations need to continue building strong communities where people feel welcome and can explore their faith.

In his spare time, Brian likes to cycle long distances to raise money for charities. He is also an avid cook and a “rabid” Edmonton Eskimos fan.

Learn More About Brian

And Now There is One: The National CUC Lay Chaplaincy Committee

By Ellen Newman

Evolution has happened and is happening in a positive way with your Canadian Unitarian Council’s National Lay Chaplaincy Committee! There is now a single committee, replacing the two regional ones which existed prior to 2017, and things are going very well.The committee‘s updated responsibilities include:

    •   ensuring the timely processing of applications
    •   approving or declining applications for new lay chaplains and requests for term extensions
    •   planning and administering lay chaplaincy training
    •   providing support to Congregational LC Committees by answering questions and pro-actively making contact with congregations
    •   monitoring the collection of CUC ‘Training Fund’ fees from congregations
    •   participating in strategic planning for the program
    •   participating in the resolution of identified concerns or complaints
    •   ensuring that there is an identified liaison for each congregation.

The committee has made considerable progress in the past few years, improving the application process for new lay chaplains, offering training sessions, and updating a manual that will be available soon. Moving forward, we plan to develop more web-based training options using the ZOOM platform.  One of our greatest challenges is keeping our databases current with new and retired. Please let us know when a lay chaplain is retiring or when there is a new Congregational Lay Chaplaincy Committee Chair. The Lay Chaplaincy Committee can be contacted at

All the above changes and progress have been expertly stewarded by Ann Steadman (Sarnia-Port Huron), who as of September 1, 2019, stepped down from her role as Chair.  Her hard work, attention to detail, superb organizational skills, expertly run meetings and friendly, open manner have left some very large shoes to fill. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce the new Chair – me!  I served as a Lay Chaplain at the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga from 2005 to 2012.  Since then I have been a member of Mississauga’s congregational lay chaplaincy committee, becoming Chair in 2015.  I attended the Lay Chaplaincy “Train the Trainer” program in 2017 and now serve as a facilitator for the Basic training.  

Explore the CUC’s Lay Chaplaincy Program

Marking CUC Month

February was CUC month, and thanks to all who participated. It was a month to remember. Whether it was holding a Sharing Our Faith service, selecting delegates for the coming Annual General Meeting, or discussing motions to be voted on at the meeting, Unitarians across Canada were active and engaged. Thanks also to all those who participated in the fun on Facebook (with a special thanks to John K. Sproule of Don Heights Unitarian Congregation for his research and compilation “An A to Z of Unitarians”).

It’s the hope that everyone who participated in any of these activities came away feeling more connected to the Canadian UU community and with a better understanding of what the CUC does and why it’s important. The CUC is a beacon for Unitarian Universalist communities across Canada, providing them with leadership, support, and connection as they strive to foster a just and sustainable world and to enrich the spiritual lives of their members. It is the glue that holds these often small, geographically disparate congregations together. This year’s conference in Halifax will offer a much-anticipated opportunity to connect with fellow UUs in person.

Five Practices Program Allows Congregations to Renew Their Welcome

99 percent of Canadian Unitarian congregations are Welcoming Congregations, participants in a program for Unitarian Universalist congregations that want to take active steps to become more welcoming and inclusive of individuals with marginalized sexual orientation and gender identities. However, many Welcoming Congregations confess to not having updated or reviewed their LGBTQ+ programs and outreach since the 1990s. As such, the Unitarian Universalist Association unveiled the Welcoming Congregations renewal program in 2015. 

The Five Practices of Welcome Renewal are five benchmarks that every congregation will need to integrate into congregational life in order to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, two-spirit, genderqueer, non-binary, and the like feel fully welcomed, centered, and embraced in their Unitarian Universalist congregation. The goal of the program is to encourage congregations to practice Welcome every year, year-round.

As such, the Unitarian Universalist Association is inviting religious leaders and congregants to join one (or more) of its Five Practices of Welcome Renewal – Monthly Orientation sessions. Participants are asked to complete this form to indicate when they wish to attend.

Learn More About Welcoming Congregations

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, March 9, April 13, 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. Zoom (

Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Youth Con Pilot, February 28 – March 1, 2020 – Hosted by the Unitarian Church of Vancouver and North Shore Unitarian Church, Vancouver, BC. Registration is now open until February 17.
Youth Registration:
Adult Advisor Registration:

Regional and Online Events

Online: Connect and Deepen – Virtual Gathering, Monthly – March 8 (2nd Sunday of the month), 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: Mission Statement: Who Are We? What Do We Do?, March 21, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET
This webinar will provide some background on mission statements and will also give us an opportunity to practice using one as a decision-making tool. Registration deadline: March 12.

Designing and Leading Rites of Passage, April 3 – April 5, Westwood Unitarian Congregation, Edmonton, AB
This workshop is for those considering Lay Chaplaincy, recently appointed Lay Chaplains and members of a congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy committee. It provides basic guidelines on the management of a congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy program and the training new Lay Chaplains need to begin their work. Registration deadline: March 7

Conflict and Congregational Vitality, July 18, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p,m. ET, First Unitarian Church of Hamilton, Hamilton, ON  Congregations, in an attempt to foster unity and shared identity, sometimes foster a culture of conflict avoidance. Yet, without conflict we get stuck doing things ‘the way we always have’ and resist change and possibilities. In this workshop leaders and emerging leaders will learn how to manage themselves when conflict arises and will also learn how to ensure congregational priorities take precedence over personal preferences. Registration deadline: July 8

Serving with Spirit: Nurturing UU Leaders, August 21 – August 23, Queen’s Hour of Retreats, Saskatoon, SK
Explore where you find the “springs” which fill your life’s well of energy, and how you can live out of that rich resource. There will be opportunities to connect with and be informed by other UUs,  times to engage with others as we learn new and hone familiar strategies, and space to do deep reflection, identifying and strengthening the rich practice potential in your own life. Registration deadline: July 30


AGM Online Voting Orientation, April 7, April 8, April 16 or April 27 at various times
The 2020 AGM will include on-line participation and voting, with the same system that was used in 2019. We strongly recommend attending an online voting orientation session in April if you are a new delegate and for the online voting managers. Please sign up here.

2020 CUC National Annual General Meeting and Conference, May 15 – 17, 2020, Halifax, Nova Scotia  Hosted by the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax
The theme for Conference 2020 is Making Waves! Register now, deadline April 30!

CanUUdle XX: Celebrate 20 years of CanUUdle!, May 15 – 18, 2020,  Halifax, Nova Scotia 
Hosted by the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax
CanUUdle is the beloved annual youth conference where youth and adult allies from across Canada (and sometimes from the States!) gather to worship, build community, and grow in their Unitarian Universalist identities alongside the multigenerational National Conference. In 2020 CanUUdle will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. Registration will open in winter 2020. Register now, deadline April 30!

Chorus 2020: National Young Adult Conference, May 15 – 17, 2020, Halifax, NS
Join UUs from across Canada at the National Conference, where the theme for 2020 is Making Waves. There will be specific programming, worship, and socializing opportunities just for young adults within the multigenerational Conference, as well as the beloved Bridging Ceremony and dinner with the youth of CanUUdle. Registration will open in winter 2020. Register now, deadline April 30!


UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar On Climate Justice, April 15 – 18, 2020, New York, NY

Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly, June 24 – 28, 2020, Providence, RI
Early registration available through March 15.

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.