CUC eNews: March 16, 2021 – Issue 129
In This Issue:
- Letter From Vyda
- CUC National Conference Coming to You
- Updated Info on CUC AGM Motions
- Sharing Our Faith Applications Deadline March 31
- Northern Lights is Retiring
- Minister Profile – Rev. Meghann Robern
- Update from the Lay Chaplaincy Committee
- News From the UU@UN Office
- Experifailurephenomenon: Online Innovation in Religious Education
- 2020 Tax Receipts
- What’s Making Us Smile
- Upcoming Events
Letter From Vyda
“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.”
The coming of spring has always been a cause for celebration, but it feels especially so this year. It has been a difficult winter, and while the pandemic is still with us, the onset of vaccinations offers some hope that better times are in sight. This comes, fittingly, at a time when the days are getting longer and warmer, the birds are singing, and blossoms are starting to bloom. If spring is traditionally a time for regeneration, perhaps never before have so many of us yearned for the fresh start that the turning of the seasons represents.
Let’s not lose sight, then, of the fact that while we cannot erase the past, we do have the chance right now to create a brighter future. As we look ahead to the summer and fall, it’s understandable to crave a return to the seemingly ‘normal’ days before the onset of the pandemic, but as the meme that has circulated on social media goes, “in the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”
It’s a sad reality that systemic racism is all too “normal” for the members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) communities who confront it on a daily basis. CUC staff are offering opportunities for us all to take action to dismantle racism, something the participants in Dr. David Wiley Campt’s recent workshops began to do by learning his transformative approach of Reflect, Ask, Connect, Expand (R.A.C.E.) This process isn’t easy, but as Sharon Jinkerson Brass, one of our Elders, observes, the work of reconciliation is also exciting. That’s why we’re continuing our Elder’s Circles and our Truth, Healing and Reconciliation film series, both opportunities to engage in this vital work that has had a great impact on all who’ve participated in them.
As we celebrate the return of spring, let us remember that the sense of energy and hope it provides need not be confined to this season alone. We can carry it with us all year long.
Be well friends,
2021 CUC National Conference Coming to You
Registration for Sustaining Our Light, the CUC’s 2021 National Conference, held virtually from May 14-16, is now live! Visit the conference website to register and explore all the information about the workshops, social opportunities, and other events that are planned.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Schedule-at-a-glance gives you a quick look at what’s happening over the weekend
- The Confluence Lecture by Rev. Anne Barker on Friday, May 14, entitled “A New Premise” is a new concept – this is not a 1-hour lecture. Instead, Rev. Barker has prepared “A New Premise” video for you to view ahead of May 14th. On the Friday evening of the conference, we will repeat the introduction, offer a short review to refresh your memory, and open the floor to questions and conversation.
Workshops and networking sessions will inform, connect, and stir your curiosity. Find out what whets your appetite.
- The Wellness Lounge is a space where you can take a break, recharge, and meet new friends. Activities are geared for all ages.
- Our Friends of CUC Reception is a special recognition event on Friday, May 14, for those who donate directly to support the work of the CUC. Friends will receive an invitation to the reception and a gift. There’s still time to become a Friend by donating, and receive an invitation!
- Worship opportunities over the weekend include the Opening Ceremony on Friday, morning reflection with lay chaplains, and the youth and Young Adult Bridging Ceremony. The National Sunday Service will be held on Sunday, May 16 at 1 pm ET via Zoom and on the CUC’s YouTube channel.
- Families & children: Fun online live and interactive sessions for children and youth under age 14 and their families to explore how they let their light shine. Register by April 1 to receive the participant package.
- Visit our virtual Memorial Wall any time before or during the Conference. This place is provided to commemorate and honour a loved one, mark a loss or hold a light to a concern that is in your heart. You can participate by leaving a comment on a Note or creating a new note. This Wall will be included as a part of the Saturday morning ritual led by the Lay Chaplains.
- Two ministers are on call and available during the conference to support conference participants who may find themselves distressed or struggling with conflict or personal spiritual/emotional issues. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.
- Registration – All you need to know: We offer a sliding scale for all registrations, and suggest you read through the program offerings and follow the “How To Register” information on the bottom of the Registration page before registering.
Online Conference for Youth and Young Adults:
Ensemble is the virtual counterpart to Chorus, the annual national conference for Unitarian Universalist young adults (ages 18-35). This year, Ensemble meets from May 13-16, and Ensemble registrants will have access to all offerings of the CUC National Conference, plus special activities just for the YA community. There will also be opportunities to welcome in older youth who are joining the YA community through bridging events.
CazUUm is the online counterpart to CanUUdle, the beloved annual national conference for Unitarian Universalist youth (ages 14-19) and their adult advisors. CazUUm meets from May 14-16, and this year’s theme is Finding TreasUUre! Inspired by pirates and others who find treasure in unlikely places, together we will uncover the precious gems that are hiding in these difficult times.CazUUm activities will include youth-led worship, connecting in small groups, imagining the future of Canadian UU youth organizing, and of course, plenty of fun and games!
Updated Info on CUC AGM Motions
The deadline for submitting feedback for the two motions to be presented at this year’s AGM on May 8 has now passed. The Goals and Strategic Priorities for 2021 – 2022 will be presented unchanged. The final motion on Changes for Calculations to the Annual Program Contribution is available on page 5 in the Information and Motions for 2021 AGM document. Please make sure your congregation’s delegates are aware of the updated motions.
Sharing Our Faith Applications Deadline Approaching
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. This year’s fund consists of monies collected during February’s national Sharing Our Faith service, supplemented by a Foundation Fund administered by the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. Grant applications are due March 31, 2021, with all required documents.
Completed applications can be e-mailed to email@example.com.
Northern Lights is Retiring
The Canadian Unitarian Council and the UU Ministers of Canada have jointly decided that the Northern Lights Chalice Lighters Fundraising Program is closing. Following thoughtful consideration, the time feels right to retire the program and to shift to other fundraising to grow UU initiatives. We are grateful to all the people who have worked on the program over the years, and are delighted for the eight projects Northern Lights has funded.
There is a final project underway for Unitarian Commons – and the recipients still welcome any contributions. A generous response would be a lovely way to end this project. Details about the project and how to donate can be found in this letter – please contribute by May 30, 2021, to help the Unitarian Commons project succeed. There are also other Options for Giving to grow vital Unitarian Universalist communities.
Northern Lights has been a proud effort, and intentional collaboration, between the UU Ministers of Canada and the Canadian Unitarian Council, with many wonderful benefits and outcomes. Excellent ideas and projects were brought to life, strengthened, reinvigorated and/or repaired. Religious leadership was expanded across the country and new organizations have come into existence. We are grateful for the experience, for the learning, and for the relationships built through this joint effort.
We wish to celebrate a generous effort. And, after many conversations within our respective organizations, we affirm the idea that it is time to gracefully close the Northern Lights Chalice Lighters program.
From the UU Ministers of Canada and the CUC Board of Trustees
Minister profiles: Rev. Meghann Robern
Rev. Meghann Robern has served the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg since 2017. Ministry had long appealed to her but didn’t seem like a viable option until she discovered Unitarian Universalism and the minister and staff of her congregation encouraged her to consider it. She ultimately decided to participate in a sermon-writing class and enrolled in seminary 18 months later.
Meghann hesitates to name any one aspect of ministry that she finds most rewarding, as there are many of them and it changes day to day.
“I like so many things about it. Otherwise, I would just still be a layleader volunteering for the things I really like.”
Although Meghann has found her inability to serve people in person during the pandemic hard at times for both her and the congregation, she also appreciates how people have used technology to stay connected and shown that the congregation is more than the building it meets in.
Meghann believes that the Universalist aspect of Unitarian Universalism will be core to its continued relevance going forward, particularly as the faith focuses on anti-racism and anti-oppression work.
“We cannot expect each other to be perfect and we have to learn to say ‘I was wrong, I’m sorry,’” she says. “What do actual apologies look and feel like, what does true change look and feel like and how can we build trust in each other to do this work, knowing that even if we mess up, that we’re in this together and we have to stick around if we’re going to do the work. And Universalism teaches us that nobody is too far gone, that everybody has the power to make a different choice in their lives.”
Update from the Lay Chaplaincy Committee
The CUC National Lay Chaplaincy Committee is hard at work developing training and enrichment modules for lay chaplains. The number of services that lay chaplains are officiating has been dropping over the last several years, and the Covid 19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on this as well. Plans for in person training have had to pivot, and the LC Committee recognizes that lay chaplains likely have needs that should be considered. To that end, the Committee invites continuing Lay Chaplains, lay chaplaincy candidates, congregational Lay Chaplaincy Committee members, and board members where applicable, to complete a survey by March 20, 2021. The data collected through this survey will help the CUC National Lay Chaplaincy Committee develop and offer training that is relevant and meets the needs of all involved in the program.
The basic lay chaplaincy training, Designing and Leading Rites of Passage, – is scheduled for April 9 – 11, 2021 online via Zoom. The basic training is mandatory for Lay Chaplains, as is completion of the Introduction to Lay Chaplaincy Self Study Guide and Quiz . Finally, the latest version (2020) of the Lay Chaplaincy Program Manual is available for congregations to download from the CUC’s website.
Questions regarding the survey or the Lay Chaplaincy program can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News from the UU@UN Office
Climate & Food Justice – get grounded, connected, & equipped for action!
This year’s Spring Seminar hosted by the UUA Office at the United Nations is open to all ages (14+) and will take place all virtually April 9-11, 2021. The UU@UN has an incredible lineup of presenters and activities to connect participants to one another and to the issues at stake in the joint struggles to heal people and planet. This Seminar, on the theme “All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability” is part of the UU Ministry for Earth’s Spring for Change – A Season of Sacred Activism – focused on pathways to healing and regeneration. Come learn alongside change-makers across the generations about how to take spiritually-grounded action to advance climate justice through equitable and sustainable food systems. (and have fun as well!) The special keynote presentation, “Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty,” comes from Soul Fire Farm! Registration is open through March 18 and offers a flexible fee scale for equity and accessibility. Learn more and register at www.uua.org/unspringseminar
Will you achieve the Sixth Principle Congregation Award? Qualify by March 31
The UUA Office at the United Nations announces a new annual award to recognize congregations that show their support of the UU@UN and their commitment to our Sixth Principle’s “goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all” through their actions and financial giving. These “Sixth Principle Congregations” must have completed at least three of the following activities between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 and submitted a brief report. At least one of the three activities must be from the Donation category; any number may be from the Action Category.
Congregational Gift: Minimum donation of $100 or $2/member to the UU@UN
Supporters: At least 5% of members or 15 individuals become UU@UN Supporters
UN Sunday: Host a United Nations Sunday service
Intergenerational Spring Seminar: Send congregants to attend the Intergenerational Spring Seminar
Discussion Group: Host a UU@UN-related film screening and/or discussion group
Action Event: Organize and lead a global justice action event in your congregation
Through this award, the UU@UN hopes to form closer ties with congregations throughout the U.S. and Canada who value international engagement and local action on global issues relating to human rights, peace, and climate justice. Detailed information about the Sixth Principle Award and how to qualify is at bit.ly/UN6thPrincipleAward; contact email@example.com with any questions about how your congregation can get more deeply involved.
Experifailurephenomenon*: Online Innovation in Religious Education
Wednesday, March 24, 12:30 pm PT|1:30 pm MT|2:30 pm CT|3:30 pm ET|4:30 pm AT (90 mins) Registration deadline: March 23 at midnight ET
We welcome you to a panel conversation with four exceptional religious educators sharing their experiments during Covid. Come prepared to not only hear this group’s inspiring stories ranging from failure to phenomenal success but also to share your own.
Our four panelists include Arran Liddell, First Unitarian Church of Victoria; Andrea James, First UU Church of Winnipeg; Tim Versteeg, First Unitarian Church of Hamilton and Lori Turner, Unitarian Fellowship of London.
*Note-This title is based on a term arising from a recent LREDA (Liberal Religious Education Directors Association) conference.
2020 Tax Receipts Have Been Sent
A huge thank you to all who donated to the work of the CUC in 2020, whether it’s as a Friend of the CUC, to support youth and young adult leadership development, or to a national service collection.
Tax receipts have been sent by email, and if you haven’t received yours, please check your spam or junk folder. Please also check to make sure all your donations are listed – we used a new system that had some glitches. Going forward, receipts will be issued at the time of each donation; monthly pledged donations will continue to be consolidated unless otherwise requested.
For questions or to have a corrected tax receipt reissued, please email the Office Administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s Making Us Smile
Gayle McGlauflin, who’s working toward her Masters of Divinity at Eden Theological Seminary, decided to create a curriculum vitae for Mary as a class project. When we contacted her for permission to share her innovative idea, Gayle submitted this cover letter and resume to the CUC. The opening line of the cover letter reads: “For thousands of years, I have held the title of ‘virgin.’ I am much more than my sexuality and no longer wish to be defined by this role.”
Upcoming Events (online via Zoom)
Share what’s going on in your congregation. Contact email@example.com
Register at the links below:
CUC Annual General Meeting, May 8, 1 pm
CUC National Conference: Sustaining Our Light, Friday, May 14 – 16
Ensemble – Young Adults at the National Conference, May 13 – 16
CazUUm – National Youth Conference, May 14 – 16
Experifailurephenomenon*: Online Innovation in Religious Education
Wednesday, March 24, 12:30 pm PT|1:30 pm MT|2:30 pm CT|3:30 pm ET|4:30 pm AT (90 mins), Free!
Designing and Leading Rites of Passage: Basic Training for Lay Chaplains
Friday, April 9 – Sunday, April 11
Rising Together: UU youth and Emerging Adults of ColourSaturday, April 10, 2021, 1:30 pm PT |2:30 pm MT |3:30 pm CT |4:30 pm ET |5:30 pm AT (90 minutes)
THR – Reconciliation Through Film- Jordan River Anderson: The Messenger
Registration ends Friday, April 2
Elder’s Circle with Sharon Jinkerson-Brass
Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 4 pm PT |5 pm MT |6 pm CT |7 pm ET |8 pm AT (90 minutes)
Regular Online Events
Gathered Here: Young Adult Check-In
April 8 – 2 pm ET
Connect and Deepen – Virtual Gathering
Sunday, March 28 & April 11 & 25, 1 pm PT |2 pm MT| 3 pm CT| 4 pm ET| 5 pm AT
Leaders Roundtable, Saturday, March 27 and April 24, 12 pm PT |1 pm MT |2 pm CT | 3 pm ET | 4 pm AT