CUC eNews: January 28, 2020 – Issue 106

In This Issue:

Come to ‘Making Waves’ for a Wonderful Weekend of Maritime Music!

From Molly Hurd and Glenda Butt, co-chairs of the UU Church of Halifax Host Committee

Nova Scotia’s distinctive music draws people from around the world to experience the lively Celtic tunes and expressive love songs, as well as plaintive songs of loss and sea shanties. Expect to hear lots of music at Making Waves, the CUC’s National Conference from May 15 – 17. 

The host team at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax (UUCH) will provide one of the highlights of the weekend by hosting a big musical party on Saturday night for conference attendees. Some call it a ceilidh (Celtic word, pronounced kay-lee, meaning a rollicking good time) and some call it a kitchen party. Whatever you call it, it will be a great time and will feature lots of stirring Maritime music. 

A well-known Halifax musical couple, John and Vanessa Lindsay-Botten will be leading the music for Making Waves. Vanessa is famous for producing beautiful music with her “open to all” choirs.  If you want a joyous music experience culminating in the beautiful and spiritual Sunday morning service, the choir is for you. John is a well-known and popular singer, musician, teacher, and minister of music and dramatic arts who is coordinating the Saturday night party and the music for Sunday morning. Making Waves will even have its own newly composed theme song, which John and UUCH members are currently working to create.  

Another highly-anticipated highlight is UU Ukuleles on Sunday afternoon. Did you know Halifax is a hotbed of ukulele music? The explosion of ukulele playing in Halifax dates back to the 1960’s and was led by Chalmers Doane who received the Order of Canada for his ground-breaking work teaching music and ukulele.  Rev. Norm Horofker has arranged for Doane to make a guest appearance during the workshop, which will be led by noted local teacher, Brian LaPlante.  This workshop is open to all –  for people who have never picked up a uke as well as experienced players looking to have some fun. Bring your own uke or use one provided – don’t miss this unique UU ukulele event!

Additional music during the weekend will be provided by UUCH’s very own Afterchoir, a group of talented musicians who have been performing together for years.    

If you have questions about the music for the conference or need information on Halifax, or want a copy of the vacation planning bulletin, please email the Host Team at

Registration for Making Waves opens on February 1, 2020. Questions about the conference in general?  Email

Read the Full Invitation from the Host Team

National Conference 2020

Save the date for the National Conference! Held in Halifax from May 15 – 17, the event includes pre-conference workshops and training, the Annual General Meeting, and a weekend of conference programming and activities. And Maritime music!

Registration for the conference goes live in early February.

More Information Coming Soon!

Annual General Meeting 2020

The CUC’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday, May 15, 2020, from 1:00 – 4:30 pm at the University of King’s College in Halifax, NS. Delegates will be able to participate online and onsite.

Information and motions for the AGM will be sent to congregations and delegates by email.

What You Need to Know: Delegate Selection, Preparing for the AGM and Credentialing Numbers

Register your delegates by April 1, 2020

Delegate orientation will be held online in April – dates will be announced in upcoming editions of the eNews.

Questions about the AGM? Email

More Information Coming Soon!

 Multilingual Golden Rule Poster Available Online

Scarboro Missions is a Society of Canadian Catholics, priests and laity who dedicate themselves to the person, teaching and mission of Jesus Christ. Their multifaith Golden Rule poster, which features texts expressing the Golden Rule as observed by 13 world religions, has achieved international renown as an interfaith and educational resource. The poster has been translated into multiple different languages, and is now available online, free of charge, to any religious educators wishing to make use of it. 

A Lay Chaplain’s Reflection on Memorial Services

By Laureen Stokes, Lay Chaplain at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver

When preparing for memorial services as a lay chaplain, part of my role is to be present to observe, to witness, and to listen carefully to what is not said but is felt.  I get to know people through the words and recollections of those closest to them – their reflection[s] in the eyes of children, spouses, siblings, close friends.  I never meet them in person, but the sense of who they are carries through their loved ones, through their homes, and through the remnants of their lives.

I sit with people who have lost loved ones, and listen to them without judgement.  I give them time to introduce this person to me and discover new ways of talking about them.  Loss isn’t easy and it is complicated and messy. It is a gift to have someone sit and listen, to have someone that receives memories and emotions without judgement.  To have gentle prompting that brings to mind the best of the person who just passed away.

On the day of the memorial, I seek to draw the mourners into a space and time where they are present with each other, building acceptance.  A space where they can remember in community, with each other. Where they can see how their life has been shaped by the person who has died, and find a way to move forward. 

I want desperately to be as present and focused as possible as I sit with family and friends.  There is that cliched expression “to hold space.” I know physically what that means – to stand up in front of a group and ask them to leave their life outside the doors of the sanctuary and be focused for one hour on this person.  To dig deeply and think of the lessons that they are taking forward. To frame their grief in a new way – to speak in the past tense – and to use the best of the person as a guide in the future. Grief is hard work. Loss is permanent, but there are so many rewards when we remember our loved one – the lessons, good and bad, that we have absorbed. 

For Laureen’s full reflection, please see the CUC’s Lay Chaplaincy page.

Using Online Meeting Technology

By Karen Baxter, Saskatoon Unitarians

Last fall, a friend and I started a book discussion group at the Saskatoon Unitarians. I was contacted by Janice, who was really interested in the book we would be discussing.  The problem was that Janice lived an hour and a half outside of town. She only got to Saskatoon occasionally and would come to the centre when she could.  She was sorry she wouldn’t be able to attend our group, but wanted us to know she thought it was great what we were doing. I told her that distance should not hold her back from being part of our book discussion group.  

I knew it was possible for people to attend anything long distance.  First I made sure that Janice had the necessary software on her computer, I did a test run with her computer and my iPad so that we would be all set when the time came. We set her up on a table facing everyone and made sure she could hear clearly.  I made sure to facilitate and included her during the first couple of times as this was new for everyone. Now everyone is used to Janice joining us this way!

Last year my husband attended the annual CUC Annual General Meeting long distance via the Zoom online web meeting platform.  Considering the time, the cost of an airplane ticket, and the environmental impact of fuel consumption involved in attending in-person, enabling delegates to attend remotely was very forward-thinking.

Given the state of technology today and the widespread availability of high-speed Internet, attending events remotely is easier than ever before. And not only is it readily accessible, in many cases it’s free!  Attending groups, meetings, or conferences long distance is the future. 

Note: The CUC’s Annual General Meetings have been made available online since 2017. The CUC has a Zoom account available for congregations to use for online meetings. If you wish to make a booking, please email (giving at least 3 business days’ notice) with your name, congregation, and the date, time, duration, and subject of your call.

Learn About the CUC’s Online Events

Congregations Welcome New Ministers

Two Canadian congregations have recently welcomed new ministers.  Reverend Patricia Trudeau is now serving halftime at the Unitarian Fellowship of Northwest Toronto (UFNWT), which for the past several years had been lay-led. Her association with UFNWT goes back several years  and has been maintained by visits and pulpit supply on Sundays.

Pat studied at the University of Toronto, Emmanuel College and Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, and completed a Master of Divinity degree this year. She was ordained on Sunday, October 27, 2019 in Toronto at Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation (NUUC).

In another recent hire, the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo (FUFON) welcomes Rev. Debra Thorne as its new minister. FUFON approaches its 60th year in service of the mid-Vancouver Island community. Rev. Thorne relocated to Nanaimo in August 2019 to share her passions and unique brand of Unitarianism after seven years’ experience as minister at Beacon Unitarian Church in New Westminster.

Read More About Unitarian Ministry in Canada

Mindful Journeys: Postponed to 2021

Please note that the Mindful Journeys trip to Peru originally scheduled for this year has been postponed to 2021.

Visit & like the Canadian Unitarian Council on Facebook!

Upcoming Events 2020

Share what’s going on in your congregation. Contact

Youth and Young Adults

Online – Gathered Here: Young Adult Check-In,  February 10, 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. Registration is now open until February 17.
Youth Registration:
Adult Advisor Registration:

Online Events

Connect and Deepen – Virtual Gathering, Monthly – February 9, 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.

What’s In a Name? – Online roundtable via Zoom,  February 22, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET
A recent discussion on the CUC Leaders list focused on the language we use to describe our Unitarian Universalist communities. This Roundtable is an opportunity for us to consider the summary, to review some additional materials and then to share our questions. Registration deadline: February 13.

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.


Annual UU Midwinter Retreat – 20/20 Visions,  February 7 – 9
Keynote Speaker: Rev. Peter Boullata, enjoy workshops and outdoor/indoor activities.  Registration is now closed.

Our Whole Lives Facilitator Training: Young Adult/Adult/ Older Adults, February 7 – 9, Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga
The goals of this workshop are to prepare the participants to implement the Our Whole Lives curriculum as well as the Sexuality and Our Faith component. Through a varied program including practice and participation activities, the trainers will cover implementation techniques, information about development for this age level, curricula details, and technical information. Trainers: Rev. Christopher Wulff and Monica Bennett. Registration is open until January 29 at midnight or until 20 participants have registered.

Youth Advisor Training, February 7 – 8, North Shore Unitarian Church, Vancouver
Youth advisory training focused on programming, the role of advisors, youth empowerment, healthy youth group characteristics, the importance of a youth group in a congregation and the challenges facing youth. Registration is now open.


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! More information coming soon.

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. More information coming soon.

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. More information coming soon.


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.