CUC eNews: February 5, 2019 – Issue 76
In This Issue:
- Celebrate CUC Month!
- CUC Board Approves Creation of a Second Youth Observer Position
- CUC Continues Advocacy for Medical Assistance in Dying
- Marking International Women’s Day March 8
- Reminder: February Congregational Meetings
- UU Buddhist Fellowship (UUBF) Convocation 2019
- Upcoming Events You Won’t Want to Miss
Celebrate CUC month!
February is CUC month! The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) operates year-round. Since a large part of its work happens behind the scenes, it’s important to take the time to reflect on the vital role the CUC plays within our national faith community. The CUC is a voice for this community, within the interfaith community in Canada, and within the international UU community. The CUC, through its small but dedicated staff, provides support for UUs and congregations across the country, fostering growth and outreach, particularly in the areas of lifespan religious education, spiritual growth, and social responsibility.
There are many ways to mark CUC month, including selecting delegates for the coming 2019 Annual General Meeting, holding a Sharing Our Faith service, and discussing proposed resolutions. We hope you’ll engage in all of these. And keep an eye on the CUC’s Facebook page for a month’s worth of fun facts about Unitarian Universalism!
CUC Board Approves Creation of a Second Youth Observer Position
By Casey Stainsby, CUC Youth and Young Adult Ministry staff
The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) Board recently reaffirmed its commitment to meaningful youth engagement in national denominational affairs. An outreach initiative to engage youth across the country in reimagining national youth connections and programs is in the works. While that process will take some time, a few immediate positive changes are being put in place to better support the Youth Observer to the Board (YOB) and to improve the YOB elections process.
A Youth Observer is elected each year to represent Canadian Unitarian Universalist youth voices on the CUC Board. Both the Youth and Minister Observers to the Board are able to participate in most Board discussions and in consensus processes, though they do not officially vote on motions. Though some YOBs have served two years, most fulfilled a one-year term. Many reported that by the end of the year, they feel as if they’ve finally learned all the ins and outs of how the Board works and would be able to be more effective given another year.
In light of this very real learning curve, the Board has approved the creation of a second Youth Observer position. Going forward, there will be two Youth Observers who will each commit to a two-year term. The terms will be staggered so that each newly elected Junior YOB will be able to work with a Senior YOB who has a full year’s experience under their belt. An adult mentor from the Board, known as the YOB Buddy, will also continue to support both Youth Observers. This will enable the youth who move up to participate in the adult-dominated world of policy governance to benefit from the support of an experienced peer for their first year and to have a chance to become more effective leaders by their second year.
In addition, the Board has committed to making sure that an adult Board member is able to visit CanUUdle each year, where they will have the chance to connect with youth and give a presentation with the YOBs on national issues that affect the youth community.
Online elections for a second Youth Observer will be happening this spring. Start talking to the youth you know who might be interested in applying, and make sure they get the Call for Applications – Youth Observer to the CUC Board when it comes out. We are fortunate that current YOB Liv Gardiner has accepted a second term, to become the CUC’s first Senior YOB! More information about the election process and timeline for applications and voting will be made available in the next month. In the meantime, feel free to contact Liv with any questions about the position and to find out what qualities would make a great YOB. Email: email@example.com, Facebook: Liv Gardiner, Snapchat: cucyob
CUC Continues Advocacy for Medical Assistance in Dying
The Canadian Unitarian Council has a long history of advocating for the right to determine the time and manner of one’s death and a deep belief that this is a human right. As a result of its prior work on the issue, the CUC was granted intervenor status in the Carter case, which ultimately reached the Supreme Court of Canada and led to the legalization of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) in 2015. Based in part on in its involvement in the Carter case, the CUC intervenor status again in the case of Lamb v. Canada.
The plaintiff in this case, Julia Lamb, is a 25-year-old BC woman with spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that has left her in constant pain, with limited mobility, and is likely to get progressively worse over time. While Lamb would like to have the freedom to access MAID should her suffering become intolerable, she fears she may not currently qualify for assistance under current legislation. Bill C-14, which enacted MAID in 2016, restricts such assistance to patients whose death has become “reasonably foreseeable”, a requirement which wouldn’t necessarily apply to Lamb or to those with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, spinal stenosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.
The BC Civil Liberties Association, which is challenging the legislation on Lamb’s behalf, argues that current legislation unlawfully restricts the ability of individuals whose deaths may not be reasonably foreseeable “to end their intolerable suffering and manage their deaths in a humane and dignified manner by determining, for themselves, the when and how of the experience of death”.
The CUC’s arguments, in previous cases, focused on the first UU principle of affirming the inherent worth and dignity of each person in its affidavit seeking intervenor status, arguing that “the inherent worth and dignity of each individual is best respected by allowing an individual to choose to prioritize the quality of his or her life over the preservation of his or her life at all costs”.
The CUC is represented pro bono by Tim Dickson principal lawyer at JFK Law in Vancouver. Dickson’s successful intervention in the Carter case at the Supreme Court of Canada contributed to the legalization of MAID, and the CUC is honoured to be partnering with him once again. Dickson specializes in acting for Indigenous peoples on matters of Aboriginal law.
BCCLA lawyers are working to bring the Lamb case to court as soon as possible. Watch the eNews for updates.
The United Nations has designated March 8 International Women’s Day. The International Women’s Convocation (IWC), a UU organization, has put together a packet for congregations to help them mark the occasion. The packet provides resources for Unitarian Universalist congregations to plan a worship service that honors International Women’s Day and supports IWC in its mission to empower women and girls worldwide. The packet includes sermon ideas and topics, prayers and meditations; adult and youth education discussion materials; testimonials of women who benefited from IWC’s programs; and testimonials of what IWC accomplishes worldwide.
IWC asks Unitarian Universalist congregations to consider dedicating a Sunday offering or collection to the important work of the International Women’s Convocation near March 8 or in May around Mother’s Day. This packet provides resources for Unitarian Universalist congregations to plan a worship service that honors International Women’s Day and support IWC in its mission to empower women and girls worldwide.
Celebrate International Women’s Day by committing to work together with the International Women’s Convocation to provide women with a brighter future — a future where women have a voice, are equal participants in power structures and decision-making and make a difference that benefits whole societies.
Reminder: February Congregational Meetings
Your congregation is strongly encouraged to hold a meeting in February to discuss the pending motions that will be presented at the 2019 Annual General Meeting. The AGM will be held on May 11, 2019, at the Atrium, Centre for Social Innovation, 192 Spadina Ave. Toronto, ON, M5T 2C2.
The first motions package was sent out in early January. A new motion pertaining to a recommendation from the Annual Program Contribution (APC) Task Force on an alternate method of calculation for the APC. Please read the motions and provide feedback through the feeback forms for the original motions and for the new APC motion. All feedback is due to the proposers by February 28 – after this date, no further substantive changes will be made.
UU Buddhist Fellowship (UUBF) Convocation 2019
“Making the Invisible, Visible: A Multi-media Exploration of Race and Racism in the U.S. through a Buddhist Lens,”led by Dr. Jan Willis is scheduled for Thursday – Sunday, April 25-28, 2019, Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY in the US.
Dr. Jan Willis (BA and MA in Philosophy, Cornell University; Ph.D. in Indic and Buddhist Studies, Columbia University) is Professor Emerita of Religion at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and now Visiting Professor of Religion at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA.
Share what’s going on in your congregation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: the 14th of each prior month.
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 (please note change of location).
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.
Registration will be available soon.
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. Registration will be available soon.
Equity in Action: Gender in an Intersecting World, April 11-13, 2019, New York City
The UU United Nations Office is excited to host this year’s Intergenerational Spring Seminar on gender equity in collaboration with the UU College of Social Justice. Programming will be interactive and intergenerational, encouraging participants to challenge their assumptions, connecting their activism with grounding in UU faith, and empowering them with the tools to bring back to their communities to make change locally and globally.
Youth and Young Adult
Gathered Here: Young Adult Check-In, 2-11, 3-11, 4-8, 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.
Worship as a Beacon for Congregational Growth, Saturday, March 30, 9:30 – 12:30 p.m. PT (12:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET)
Part one of two, we’ll explore ways to create meaningful worship that engages minds, hearts, and spirits. Our presenter is the Rev. Dr. Barbara Wells ten Hove.
Connecting Across the Generations, April 13, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m ET
Churches are one of the few places (outside of our own families) where we can make friends across the generations. How can we use that niche to build a sense of community, trust, connection, and care? Facilitated by Asha Philar, CUC’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry Specialist.
Roundtables and Virtual Gatherings
Practical Applications of Social Media, February 9, 12:30 p.m. ET
A followup to the December webinar on social media. Facilitated by Margo Ellis, this roundtable drills down to the practical aspects of how congregations use social media.
Virtual Gathering: Hope in Hard Times, Wednesday, March 6, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. ET OR
Saturday, March 9, 12:30-2:00 p.m. ET
Arising out of common concern, voiced by religious professionals, we invite people to join in this time of reflection and sharing – looking at the ways we find Hope in Hard Times.