CUC eNews: May 14, 2019 – Issue 90

In This Issue:

2019 Annual General Meeting Recap

Chair Jane Ebbern

The 58th Annual General Meeting has concluded! Delegates approved a Study Group on Dismantling Racism, annual consumer price index increases to the Annual Program Contribution (APC) and a new method for calculating the APC, changes in the makeup of the Board of Trustees and participation at AGMs, and strategic goals and priorities for 2019 – 2020.

Chair Jane Ebbern ran a tightly structured meeting, which ended ahead of schedule despite the complexity of several motions being presented. UUs participated onsite in Toronto, and from their congregations and homes across the country – there were about 50 people present locally, and about 70 online participants. The online participation was made possible with the Zoom web meeting platform and Google sheets, the third AGM where UUs from across the country are able to participate virtually.

The Approved Resolutions

    1. Board of Trustees – Change to Bylaw #5: The Board of Trustees is currently comprised of two representatives from each of the four CUC regions – British Columbia, Western, Central and Eastern. The Nominating Committee has sometimes had difficulty finding two representatives from each of the regions. The change in the bylaw will allow some flexibility in representation. Read the change in bylaw resolution: Board of Trustees – Change to Bylaw #5.
    2. Participation in Meetings: Change to Bylaw #3.9: The ability to address CUC AGMs is specified to: The voting delegates of member congregations, members of the Board, the Executive Director or designate, the official representatives of Affiliates, Ministers of member congregations, retired and community ministers, staff, public accountant. The change expands the category of ministers able to address the meeting, and now reads “…Ministers in good standing with the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada… Read Participation in Meetings: Change to Bylaw #3.9
    3. “Dismantling Racism” Study Group: This resolution directs the Study Group to assess efforts to dismantle racism, explore possible action plans, consider commitments to racial justice, and produce a report for the 2020 AGM. The constitution of the Study Group is also specified. Read the resolution: “Dismantling Racism” Study Group
    4. CUC Goals and Strategic Priorities: The 2019 – 2020 goals and strategic priorities stay the course that was set two years ago, with a shift to a continuing focus on the CUC website (instead of an early focus, as the new website was launched in May 2018). Read the resolution: CUC Goals and Strategic Priorities
    5. Consumer Price Index Increase to Annual Program Contribution: Beginning in 2020, the annual consumer price index (CPI) amount will be applied to the APC; the amount used will be the CPI in November of the previous calendar year. Read the CPI resolution: Consumer Price Index Increase to Annual Program Contribution
    6. New Method of Calculation for Annual Program Contribution: delegates approved a method of calculation that combines a per member amount and a revenue sharing amount. Information and training details will be announced in the fall of 2018 to help treasurers with the calculations. Read the APC motion: New Method of Calculation for Annual Program Contribution
      (The CUC thanks the APC Task Force comprising Tanya Cothran, Bob Willson and Joanne Green for successfully concluding this multi-year process. Special thanks go to Kristina Stevens, former CUC Board Treasurer, for initiating and leading the first phase of the conversation and process.)

Financial Updates:

The 2018 audited financial statements are not available, due to significant challenges with the CUC’s former bookkeeper. A new accounting firm is now working on this, and the statements will be sent out to congregations when they are completed.The adjusted 2019 budget and 2020 budget in principle were approved. Grant Thornton will continue as the CUC’s auditors.

Front from L to R: Liv Gardiner, Tanya Cothran, Joanne Green, Rev. Debra Thorne – Back from L to R: Margaret Wanlin, Michael Scales, Kiersten Moore, Vyda Ng, Glenna Hanley, Rev. Rodrigo Solano Quesnel, Chuck Shields, Fiona Butler (pictured in an article below)

CUC Board of Trustees 2019 – 2020

The CUC Board was acclaimed; your CUC Board for 2019 – 2020 is:

President: Margaret Wanlin | Western Region |
Vice-President: Chuck Shields | Eastern Region |
Treasurer: Joanne Green | Western Region |
Secretary: Kiersten Moore | British Columbia Region |
BC Region: Michael Scales |
Central Region: Tanya Cothran |
Rev. Rodrigo Solano Quesnel |
Eastern Region: Glenna Hanley |
Minister Observer: Rev. Debra Thorne |
Youth Observers: Liv Gardiner and Fiona Butler |

The CUC thanks the following retiring Board members:

    • Jane Ebbern, past President, for her tireless advocacy in driving for improvements and efficiency, her service and commitment to our national faith community, and for the passion she has for Canadian Unitarian Unitarianism
    • Carol Cumming Speirs for gently reminding the Board to honestly reflect on Board conduct, for being a strong advocate for the Eastern congregations, and for her commitment to growing our UU family
    • Michael Riess, who resigned during his term.

Nominating Committee:

The Nominating Committee was acclaimed, and are:

Chair, Central Region: Wendy Shusterman
British Columbia Region: Lynn Armstrong
BC / Western Regions: Rev. Helen McFadyen
Central / Eastern Region: Maury Prevost
Eastern Region: Molly Hurd
Western Region: John (Mich) Michell

Contact the committee at

UU Ministers of Canada

The ministers met for Ministry Days in April, in Calgary. The new UUMOC Executive is:

      • President – Rev. Steven Epperson
      • Vice-President – Rev. Fiona Heath
      • Treasurer – Rev. Nicoline Guerrier
      • Secretary – Rev. Meghann Robern
      • Minister Observer to the CUC Board – Rev. Debra Thorne

The UUMOC Exec can be contacted at

2020 National Annual General Meeting and Conference

The CUC’s National Conference in 2020 will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia from May 15 – 17, 2020 at the University of King’s College. Hosted by the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax, the conference promises to have a unique Atlantic flavour.

The theme for Conference 2020 is Making Waves! Building on the imagery of The Ripple Effect, the CUC’s campaign on water and its related environmental issues, this theme encourages and challenges UUs to make waves that practice radical inclusion, challenge the status quo, and push us to remain relevant into the future.

The call for streams and workshops will be issued in the late summer or early fall of 2019. In the meantime, consider volunteering for the conference (because it takes a team to make it happen) and fill in your information here. Questions about the conference? Email

The Conference Site

The University of King’s College‘s small campus is home to just over 1,000 students and its intimate atmosphere makes it easy to get around, with only a few minutes between buildings.

Other campus locations and hotels in Halifax were also considered, and after site visits and consultations with the Host Team co-chairs, the University of King’s College location was picked. One of the main reasons for this is cost. Meals and accommodations at hotels are priced at much higher levels, and the planning team felt that a hotel location would make it financially prohibitive for attendees. King’s small campus and competitive pricing make it a realistic choice, with the accommodations costing much less.

King’s campus is wheelchair-friendly, and accessible accommodations are located in Dalhousie University, just a few minutes from King’s. As with previous conferences, CUC will arrange for motorized scooters and wheelchairs to be available. The conference registration form will have a section on accessibility, and the Accessibility Team will be in touch with those who fill in this section.

We hope to see you in Halifax, and that you’ll extend your stay to enjoy all that the city has to offer. Registration will open in early 2020.

More Information Coming Soon

New CUC Board and Nominating Committee Members

Three new board members joined the CUC Board of Trustees at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Toronto on Saturday, May 11. Each new member was asked why they wanted to serve on the board and what strengths and interests they bring to the table. Here are their responses:

Joanne Green (Western Region) hopes to contribute to the well-being of the CUC and the board by bringing a view formed by her membership in a small congregation. She would like to help keep the CUC a viable institution by maintaining lines of communication between the Western region, where she has been very active, and the national organisation. Joanne is the new CUC Treasurer and wants to focus on financial sustainability. She would like to help promote the services of the CUC and connectivity through communications. Joanne shared, “all of us are part of the CUC!”  Active in her own community and region, she has also served 3 years on the CUC Nominating Committee and was a member of the Annual Program Contribution Task Force.

UU’ism is important to Michael Scales (BC Region). Having recently retired, he is focusing on establishing meaningful purpose in his life. His four grandchildren live outside of Canada and he is hoping that his contribution to Unitarianism through service to the CUC will fill that void in a productive way. He brings a background in special education and psychology, along with conflict resolution experience to the CUC Board.

Glenna Hanley (Eastern Region) wants to devote time to the CUC board and play a small part in seeing this unique movement grow throughout Canada. She observes a world with a lot of fear and discontent with a drift to the politically conservative right. Glenna believes that  “people need a place to go, to see that there is still hope. We can be one of those places”. She has served in many leadership roles in her congregation and has a background in communications.

Youth Observers to the Board (YOB)

LIv Gardiner will continue as the Senior Youth Observer (YOB) to the Board. Fiona Butler has been elected by Canadian youth through a national online election in April as the Junior YOB, Fiona will work with the Senior YOB, to represent Canadian Unitarian youth in national decision-making processes.

Fiona lives in Saskatoon, is an active youth leader and serves on the CanUUdle 2019 staff team as youth chaplain. She is in grade 11, has been in dance for 14 years, plays the tuba, is a hair braiding wiz and is super excited to take on the Jr YOB position.

Nominating Committee

Lynn Armstrong (BC Region) of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver has joined the Nominating Committee. Lynn offers to bring commitment and enthusiasm, together with a deep belief in the value of our Unitarian movement, to this role with the Nominating Committee. She was previously a member of the committee from 2000-2004.

Learn More About the CUC Board of Trustees

CUC Funding Recipients 2019

Sharing Our Faith

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 Sharing Our Faith recipients for 2019 were announced at the AGM, with five projects receiving grants. The recipients were:

    • Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship was awarded $2500 for the design, creation, and implementation of a new website.
    • Unitarian Church of Edmonton was awarded $5000 to launch a community and neighbourhood summer camp program.
    • Unitarian Church of Vancouver was awarded $3000 for a children’s one-week camp with theatre and social action focus and a Harry Potter theme, “Harry and UU”.  
    • Unicamp of Ontario was awarded $3000 towards making the camp more physically accessible.
    • Westwood Unitarian Congregation was awarded $1087 for hardware to increase social media and outreach capability, and to provide better equipment for visiting speakers, congregational meetings, and CUC Annual General Meetings.

Theological Education Funds

CUC Theological Education Funds (TEF) bursaries are intended to assist Canadian Unitarian Universalists with expenses incurred while studying for the ministry. Disbursements are made by the CUC Board on the recommendation of the Board’s Theological Education Committee. This year’s recipients are Pat Trudeau and Reilly Yeo, both from Toronto.

CUC Support and Subsidies

Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana Grateful for Northern Lights Funding

Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana, affiliated community minister with the Saskatoon Unitarians, is continuing his work on developing an online community that would offer the world’s 220 million Francophones an opportunity to explore Unitarian Universalism. Inspired in part by the long-running online UU community, the Church of the Larger Fellowship, Ndagijimana is seeking to create a similar service for Francophone Unitarians in Saskatoon, Canada, and around the world. He received the CUC’s Northern Lights award last year and says the funding has made a valuable contribution to his work.

“We know that we benefited from the Northern Lights grant”, he says, “and there has been a very good response from the Chalice Lighters. I think there is also some enthusiasm from other congregations across Canada and from other Unitarian Universalist individuals as well”.

One part of the project is a monthly online French-language worship service, which has drawn participants from Europe, Africa, and North America since it began in October of 2018, something Ndagijimana is pleased with. He is also working on developing a website which will offer French-language resources on Unitarianism, which he hopes to launch soon. Finally, he is available to chat with Francophones seeking pastoral care or who want to learn more about Unitarianism.

“Overall, I think the project is going well”, he says, “and my plan is that for the next year, everything will be in place and the second year will be the best year yet”.

Meet Rev. Fulgence

Annual Report on CUC’s Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Initiative 2018-2019

By: Rev Meg Roberts

truth healing and reconciliation logo

The CUC’s Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Initiative (THR Initiative) is now in its fifth year. We offer Canadian Unitarians and Universalists age-appropriate materials and means to learn the history and present realities of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada so that we may develop relationships based on dignity, respect and justice.

Arising from our commitment to reconciliation, our first major effort from 2014-2018 was developing the Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Reflection Guides (THRRG) for various age groups. Due to the UU grassroots support for this work, the decision was made to shift from being a temporary task force to becoming an ongoing THR Resource Team. We added three new members last fall: Rev. Helen McFadyen, Melissa Horvath-Lucid, and Forrest Smith. We benefit greatly from working with the new CUC Social Justice Lead, Erin Horvath (who brings a lot of personal and professional experience to the work we do). We are fortunate Leslie Kemp continues on the team as well as Amber Bellemare as our THR Administrator. I continued on as chair this program year (to provide continuity while the new THR Resource Team develops connections, vision and plans). We thank our colleague, Samaya Oakley, for her incredible dedication, leadership and vision as co-chair over the past four years – without these, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Samaya finished her time as co-chair end of last summer. We also owe our heartfelt gratitude to past task force members: Marlene Blake Seale, Casey Stainsby, and April Hope (who is presently on staff leave).

What Has Been Accomplished (2014-2019)

Last spring, we successfully received a grant from the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility of $20,000 US. Along with yearly CUC funding, the 2016 Northern Lights donations, and individual and congregational special donations, we have accomplished a lot in these five years:

    • The THRRG for Adults was offered in 16 congregations (14 using the multi-session guide and 2 using single session guides). At least two others plan to run the multi-session guide this coming congregational year.
    • The on-line 10 session THRRG for Young Adults was piloted, revised, and uploaded onto the Google platform.
    • Based on feedback by youth, the THRRG Guide for Youth will pilot in 2019 in a format suitable to be offered at youth conferences.
    • The THRRG for Upper Elementary was piloted in 3 congregations and offered in 1 other.
    • The THRRG for Lower Elementary version one was piloted by 3 congregations. After feedback, a second version was developed and is being piloted in 2 congregations this spring.  
    • THR workshops were offered at 3 CUC ACM (for adults), at 2 youth CanUUdles, 2 young adult gatherings, plus at 1 BC Regional Gathering, 3 Western Regional Gatherings, 1 Central Regional Gathering and 1 Eastern Regional Gathering. Also, a CUC THR workshop was offered at the World Parliament of Religions in October, 2018.
    • There were 12 congregational facilitator training webinars over the last 3 years, with over 125 participants from across the country.  The THRR Facilitator Orientation and Introduction to All Guides was created and uploaded onto its Google site. To make facilitator orientations available as the need arises, our new approach is to have an experienced THRRG facilitator act as a coach. The coach meets with each congregational facilitator team to practice adapting the THRRG to their context, troubleshooting challenges and sharing best practices.
    • We have created a shorter THRRG Introductory Booklet to give a brief description of our approach and goals.
    • CUC developed a partnership with the National Film Board of Canada. Two National Screenings of the film Reel Injun in 2017-2018 had a total of 55 participants. Three film screenings are taking place this spring: Trick or Treaty?, Angry Inuk, and The Road Forward. The CUC has also partnered with CBC’s to access online content for various THRRG sessions.
    • In response to some major national events touching on Indigenous issues, we worked with the CUC National Voice Team to develop statements, as well as collected resources to share with congregational leaders. We also recommend ways to integrate applicable Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action into our congregations and the CUC.
    • A blog-site is currently being developing for sharing recommended resources, as well as providing a place for dialogue so UUs can engage each other across the land, sharing ideas, resources and learning from each others’ experiences.
    • We are developing a congregational workshop to learn about worldview, bridges and barriers to learning other perspectives, as well as about building respectful relationships with local Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers, educators, and organizations.
    • We value the support of UU Ministers of Canada in all we have done. Colleagues share resources from their congregations, as well as engage in ongoing professional development. This includes a THR workshop at the UUMOC 2016 annual gathering, one on intercultural communication at their 2017 UUMOC West winter retreat, and their ongoing work on anti-racism, anti-oppression and multiculturalism.
    • We appreciate CUC Board and staff support for the work of reconciliation. They have also demonstrated this commitment by having a THR session at their in-person meetings in the fall of 2016 and 2018.

Where We Are Going (2020-2025)

With a significant change in personnel in our group, the THR Resource Team spent time this fall building connections, assessing present needs, and deciding on areas of focus. We invite you, as members of our Canadian UU movement, to join us in working towards a  THR Initiative Vision. Here is our present draft:

By 2025 we envision congregations, groups and members that:

    • Speak with compassion, empathy and insight about the impact that colonization has had and continues to have on Indigenous peoples in Canada.
    • Can locate themselves, their family history, and personal choices within the colonial experience.
    • Can identify the Treaty and/or whose traditional lands they live on.
    • Use coping skills to process the grief associated with colonization (both colonizers and colonized) and begin to explore the many ways trauma manifests.
    • Can identify the colonial worldviews, beliefs, policies, and systems that are enabling colonization to continue.
    • Are watchful for ways that colonial views and practices are expressed within the Unitarian Universalist tradition and are actively addressing these.
    • Can articulate how our diverse theologies and the seven UU principles ground their THR engagement.
    • Critically examine personal choices and beliefs as they relate to privilege, entitlement, learned helplessness, and the systemic nature of the colonial cycle.
    • Can speak in open-minded ways with people who have worldviews that differ from their own.
    • Are building respectful and reciprocal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and communities in ways that do not repeat paternalistic patterns such as rescuing, fixing, or advocating on someone else’s behalf.
    • Take action in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in their work for justice and equity in ways that are relational and relevant.

Financial Sustainability

For organizational and financial sustainability of the CUC’s reconciliation work, we are exploring other funding and income generating strategies. To cover costs and ensure the continuity of this initiative, this program year we are using a sliding scale donation model to make the THRRGs as financially accessible as possible. If your congregation is thinking of participating in the programme, depending on the size of your group or congregation, the number of participants you are facilitating, we suggest a donation amount between $300 – $500 for each age group. If your community cannot meet any of these requests, we welcome you to participate in the capacity you can. (We also plan to make the THRRGs available to groups and organizations outside the CUC, entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with them as to fees and access to the resources.)

I will finish my term as chair and team member at the end of June 2019. These past 5 years have been an incredible learning experience. It’s been my privilege to work with a number of Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers and educators. I’ve learned alongside those doing THR work in our UU communities. I’ve been inspired by the dedicated members of the THRRG Task Force and THR Resource Team. A call for applications for the team chair will be made this spring. Please consider applying if you have background knowledge and experience in THR work, and want to support our Canadian UU movement continuing to walk this journey of reconciliation.

If you are thinking of beginning the THRRG programme in the fall, we strongly encourage you to contact in May. Preparing for the guides can take up to 6 months. The most important thing to consider is your relationship with Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers, and educators; together you can discern how best to offer THR programming for your specific context. Please contact us with any concerns, questions, or ideas: Thank you for your ongoing support.

Learn More About Truth Healing and Reconciliation

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Upcoming Events 2019

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


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. 


Eastern Region Fall Gathering, October 19, Hosted by the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa
More information and registration coming soon.

Western Region Fall Gathering, October 19 – 21,  Unitarian Church of Edmonton
Hosted by the Unitarian Church of Edmonton and the Westwood Unitarian Congregation, Theme: Towards A Thriving Future.
More information and registration available by the end of June.


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.

International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) Meeting & Conference, October 26 – November 1, 2020, Montreal, Canada (more information coming soon)

Youth and Young Adult 

Gathered Here: Young Adult Check-In, May 6, June 10, July 8, August 12, 8 p.m. ET
Gathered Here is a monthly online check-in and gathering for Canadian Unitarian Universalist young adults.

Roundtables and Training

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

Serving With Spirit: Leadership Development

Serving With Spirit Nurturing UU Leaders – EAST, 3-day retreat, Friday, July 26 – 28
Carleton University, ON, Registration deadline: June 24

We invite you to a weekend to explore where you find the “springs” which fill your life’s well of energy, and how you can live out of that rich resource.
Facilitators: Revs. Peter Boullata and Linda Thomson

Serving With Spirit Nurturing UU Leaders – WEST, 3-day retreat, August 9 – 11
Providence Renewal Centre, Edmonton, AB, Registration deadline: July 10
Facilitators: Revs. Anne Barker and Chris Wulff

Serving With Spirit: Stronger Together, Planning for Partnership, 1-day workshop, August 10
Providence Renewal Centre, Edmonton, AB, Registration deadline: July 10

Facilitator: Rev. Joan Van Becelaer