CUC eNews: March 19, 2019 – Issue 82

In This Issue:

Trans UU Leader Offers Advice in Response to UU World Article 

A recent article in UU World, “After the L, G, and B” published on March 1, 2019, harmed and further marginalized transgender and nonbinary UUs and leaders, their families and allies. Through one family’s experience, the article was meant to model ways for UU World readers to engage respectfully with transgender and nonbinary people. Instead, it caused pain, and for many, served to increase isolation. Alex Kapitan, trans-UU leader, activist, co-leader of the Transforming Hearts Collective, and steering committee member of TRUUsT (Transgender Religious professional Unitarian Universalists Together) was quoted in the UU World article, despite having urged against its publication, and has since spoken out on the harm it caused.

In the wake of the article, the Transforming Hearts Collective noted that “Many cisgender (non-trans) UUs are wondering how to best understand and support non-binary folks, trans women and men, intersex people, and others most affected by the article when they talk about it with other cis people”. Kapitan offered a series of tips for doing this, with key practices including:

    • Believe trans people
    • Listen more than you talk
    • Be willing to remain in discomfort
    • Have hard conversations, with love
    • Value relationships over perfectionism
    • Don’t expect every trans person to want to educate you, but honor those who do
    • Stay in your heart rather than your head
    • Don’t ask a trans person anything you wouldn’t ask a cis person
    • Comfort those who are hurting and build awareness with other cis people
    • Uplift trans voices

The Transforming Hearts Collective is a group that supports spaces for LGBTQ people to access resilience, healing, and spirituality, and resources faith communities and other groups for the work of radical inclusion and culture shift. Among its offerings is an online course for individuals and groups who want to take their knowledge and skills to the next level in terms of trans identity and “create congregations that are fully inclusive and affirming of the full breadth of gender diversity”.

Learn How Your Congregation Can Participate

CUC Month Reveals Many UUs Have Received Order of Canada 

As part of CUC Month in February, Canadian UUs were invited to share their knowledge by answering a variety of daily trivia questions on Facebook. One such question asked readers to name three UU recipients of the Order of Canada, the national order recognizing people who make extraordinary contributions to the nation.

Scott Keeler went above and beyond this challenge, readily supplying the names of over a dozen UU recipients. Keeler, who grew up in the Unitarian Church of Edmonton, traces his knowledge of the subject to his Unitarian ancestry. Both his grandparents and parents were Unitarians, and his late uncle, Bill White, was one of the Canadian UUs to receive the Order, earning it in 1970. Among his accomplishments, White helped found Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and was the first Black Canadian to run for Parliament.

Although Keeler doesn’t claim to have a definitive list of UU recipients, he can name several others besides White, including authors Robert Munsch and Margaret Laurence; poet Dorothy Livesay; and former Alberta Lieutenant Governor Lois Hole.

Learn Which Other Unitarians Have Received This Honour

Recipient Speaks to Value of Theological Education Funds

The CUC’s Theological Education Funds (TEF) bursaries are awarded annually to assist Canadian Unitarian Universalists with expenses incurred while studying for the ministry. Contributions to the Funds come from special collections taken at services of ordination and installation of ministers in CUC congregations, transfers of income from the Mackie-Jenkins Fund of the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, and transfers of income from the Percy Simpson Bailey Fund. Disbursements are made by the CUC Board on the recommendation of the Board’s Theological Education Committee.

The two recipients for 2018 were Ben Robins, currently an intern minister at the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton, and Christopher Wulff, an intern at the First Unitarian Church of Victoria. Robins, a three-time recipient of the bursary for his studies at Emmanuel College, said receiving it was critical to his success as a student. He will be completing his internship in June before appearing before the UUA’s Ministerial Fellowship Committee, the credentialing body for CUC ministers, in September.

“It made it possible to do my degree in four years when it would’ve taken a lot longer if I’d had to earn that money”, he says. “It sped up the process a lot and allowed me to focus on my schooling. The training we do for ministry is incredibly transformative, and to be able to focus fully on my training allowed me to go deeper into that process”.

The deadline to apply for the 2019 bursaries is March 31, with the recipients to be announced at the CUC’s AGM in May. The Theological Education Funds are just one of the many supports and subsidies the CUC provides.

Learn How the CUC Gives

CanUUdle XIX Is Coming Up

By Alex Trefzger, CanUUdle Co-Dean

Hey there all you UU buffs! Mark May 17-20 in your calendars because its CanUUdle time again!

CanUUdle is a 4-day long conference of youth ages 13-19 and their advisors full of laughter, late-night epiphanies, and life bonds. Touch groups to promote small-group bonding, worships for spiritual connections, workshops for fun and lightheartedness, amazing chaplains to talk through anything and everything, and new people from across the country, what more could you really ask for?

CanUUdle XIX will be held in Calgary, Alberta and is the second ever CanUUdle without an attached National Conference. This means that instead of shared service and workshops with the Annual General Meeting for adults, we will have a joint service with our host congregation and special workshops with our Young Adults of the Chorus conference next door. The theme is Roots & Wings with an emphasis on what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist. The Roots and Wings theme will ground us while we explore modern UUism, with the possibility of having an 8th principle, and what it means to identify as a UU. We will examine this in depth, with other similar topics with like-minded people, and learn how to apply what we learn outside of our congregations and communities.

This is a tremendous introduction into UU spirituality fueled by staff who are dedicated to making sure you have a great time, so don’t miss out! Registration is open on the CUC website from February 15th to April 30th and will use sliding scale pricing with a subsidy form built into the registration. Find more information about subsidies and youth group fundraising.

For more information, go to or the event Facebook page (CanUUdle XIX – Calgary 2019). Contact Heather ( our CanUUdle Co-ordinator or either of the Co-Deans Alex Trefzger and Robin Scott (, or with any questions you may have.

Register for CanUUdle

Reminder: April 1 Deadline to Register AGM 2019 Delegates

Please register your Annual General Meeting (AGM) delegates and online voting manager by Monday, April 1.

If you have new delegates, presidents or folks in your congregations who would like to participate online, please have them:

– Sign up and attend an online voting orientation session
– Sign up for the delegates email group, if they are not already a member, by emailing with a request to join the group. 

Learn More about the AGM

In Memoriam: Larry Wulff

We remember with gratitude Larry Wulff, a long-time pillar of the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, who died on Wednesday afternoon, at the age of 97. During this time of loss, we hold the Wulff family in our thoughts and prayers, especially Gwen, Larry’s wife, Ken, his son, and Christopher, his grandson, all of whom are involved in the life of First Unitarian.

Larry was kind enough to be a proofreader for the Canadian Unitarian Council, first for the Canadian Unitarian newsletter and then the eNews. Larry had an eagle eye and a strict adherence to proper grammatical structure. His sense of humour and preciseness for the written word will be missed.

Arrangements for the memorial service will be announced in the coming weeks.

Join the Canadian Unitarian Council on Facebook!

Upcoming Events

Share what’s going on in your congregation. Contact
Deadline: 14th of each previous month.

National Events

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. It’s a beautiful weekend where youth and adults create an amazing community, worship together, grow as spiritual beings and join in multigen activities. The theme for CanUUdle XIX is Roots and Wings! We will be diving into our identities as Unitarian Universalists.

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. 

International Events

UUA General Assembly 2019: June 19-23, Spokane, WA
General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process.

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. 

Regional Events

Workshop: Reconciliation in Our Watershed, Friday, April 26 – Saturday, April 27
Unitarian Church of Mississauga
A one and a half day workshop to renew our relationships with Indigenous Peoples and our local watersheds.
Registration: Eventbrite, call 905-278-5622 or email

Youth and Young Adult 

Gathered Here: Young Adult Check-In, 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.

Photography and Video 101, April 20, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Amber Dawn Bellemare will be covering the basic of photography and video creation in this webinar. Among other topics, Amber will address what equipment and software you need, along with providing links to get you started in editing. General guidance and suggestions will be shared to get you up and running. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

Roundtables and Training

THR: Reconciliation Through Film
Film: Angry Inuk – Registration: March 23 – April 10
Watch the film and read the materials: April 10 – April 24
Reflection Group: Wednesday, April 24, 7:00-8:30 p.m. ET and Saturday, April 27, 12:30-2:00 p.m. ET

Lay Chaplain Basics Training: Designing and Leading Rites of Passage, April 12- 14
Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Toronto, ON
This workshop provides basic guidelines on the management of a congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy program and the training new Lay Chaplains need to begin their work.

THR: Reconciliation Through Film
Film: The Road Forward- Registration: April 27 – May 22
Watch the film and read the materials: March 6 – March 20
Reflection Group: Wednesday, June 5, 7:00-8:30 p.m. ET and Saturday, June 8, 12:30-2:00 p.m. ET