CUC eNews: May 7, 2019 – Issue 89

In This Issue:

The CUC Supports the Pact for a Green New Deal

The Council of Canadians is calling upon all sectors of society to launch the Year of the Green New Deal. Climate crisis is a reality with Canada warming at twice the global rate. Survival is on the line.

The Green New Deal is “a vision of rapid, inclusive and far-reaching transition, led by the federal government, to slash emissions, meet the demands of the multiple crises we face and create over a million jobs in the process. It would involve dozens of pieces of legislation, new programs and institutions, and a huge mobilization calling on the creativity and participation of all of us.” This movement must be led from the ground up.

The Council of Canadians asks all politicians and political parties to respond to the demands of the people with a Green New Deal that rests on two fundamental principles:

  1. It must meet the demands of Indigenous knowledge and science and cut Canada’s emissions in half in 11 years.
  2. It must leave no one behind and build a better present and future for all of us. That means beginning with the foundational rights and sovereignty of Indigenous communities, including full implementation of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People and the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, as well as full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation 94 Calls to Action. It means ensuring that solutions are universal and far-reaching. It means, as we transform our systems of transit, energy, housing, food and agriculture, and public services, that we’re creating dignified work that can support families. It means no migrants are exploited because their status is precarious, and no resource workers are asked to sacrifice hard-won wages and benefits as they work in new industries. It means making all our communities healthier. It means reconnecting and feeling safe again. It means all of society heeding the call from young people, and coming together with a plan to sustain this generation and the seven that come after it. A Green New Deal must lift us all, together.

Three things congregations can do:

  1. Sign the pact for a Green New Deal
  2. Spread the word with this graphic
  3. Send a message to your members (draft messages)

Check Out the Pact For a New Green Deal Amplification Package

Meet Fiona Butler, the New Junior Youth Observer to the CUC Board!

After a national online election, the CUC is happy to announce Fiona Butler as the incoming Junior Youth Observer (YOB) to the CUC Board. As Junior YOB, Fiona will work with current YOB Liv Gardiner, 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. 

Fiona 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! She also loves hanging out and chatting with people so feel free to give her a shout any time. Fiona is stepping into the role of Jr YOB because she’s a big fan of governance and wants to better understand how the CUC functions as well as all that goes into keeping it running smoothly.

She hopes to help other Canadian UU youth learn about the CUC and improve communication between the CUC and youth. Fiona is aiming to encourage UU youth to see they can too take on leadership positions. Lastly, she is very enthusiastic about working in a team to bring the youth voice to the CUC and working to improve the connection between youth and the board. Fiona can’t wait for everything the Jr. YOB role has in store.

Prior to this year, there was one YOB position. The CUC Board, in consultation with the current YOB, CUC Youth and Young Adult staff, and a Youth Engagement Task Force, created a second YOB position in 2019. This provides room for more than one youth voice on the Board, and puts in place a succession plan for exiting YOBs. The junior YOB will shadow and learn from the senior YOB, and will step into the senior YOB role in their second year. They, in turn, will mentor the incoming junior YOB.

Learn More About the YOBS

Spring Flooding and The Ripple Effect

In Canada, flooding in communities in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec has forced the evacuation of thousands as water levels have risen during the latter part of this spring. States of emergency have been declared as hundreds of homes are being destroyed The federal government has deployed soldiers from across the country to help with sandbagging and relief operations.

“I live in Parry Sound-Muskoka in Ontario”, commented Erin Horvath, Social Justice Lead for the CUC. “Several towns have declared states of emergency. The cost of this flood has already been tremendous. We’ve lost roads, bridges, farms, houses, automobiles, water treatment facilities, dams, businesses, and much more. One community has lost its power, telephone, internet and can’t drink the water due to sewage and waste contamination. People have been evacuated and are living in temporary emergency shelters. Emergency services are working overtime, which is necessary but costly. This isn’t just happening in a couple of places, it’s happening across the country. While some spring flooding is expected, many feel it is becoming more frequent and severe. It is devastating.”

Flooding is generally caused by naturally occurring changes in the water levels of rivers, lakes, and oceans. The excessive flooding this year has been attributed to ice jams, colder temperatures resulting in slower melting of the above-normal snowpack, decreased ground absorption of water, and intense periods of rain.

“Over the next decades, rising temperature due to climate change will cause a decrease in the snowpack and earlier melting, with the result that spring flooding should decrease,” says Louise Bussières from Environment and Climate Change Canada. “This will be dependent on the high variability of annual meteorological conditions.”

Canada is facing devastating levels of flooding this spring, which is becoming more frequent and severe. The CUC identified flooding and drought as one of the water-related focus issues in The Ripple Effect, the CUCs call to action for 2019 -2020. On the website, there is information about hosting a kick-off event in your area and resources related to various issues, including flooding. You are invited and encouraged to add to these growing lists of resources.

Visit The Ripple Effect

Staff Profile: Casey Stainsby

This is Casey at the Western Regional Fall Gathering in Winnipeg last October, feeling really lucky to have the job she does! Next up: CanUUdle and Chorus in Calgary, May 17-20

Casey is the CUC’s Youth and Young Adult (YaYA) Programs and Events Coordinator, a part-time role that she’s had since August 2018. She shares the YaYA portfolio with Asha Philar. Prior to taking on this role, Casey coordinated CanUUdle, the national annual youth conference, for most of the past three years (sharing the role in 2018 with Kaleb McNeil). She’s thrilled to have the opportunity through this work to nurture strong, spiritual, caring communities of young people and allies of all ages.

Casey grew up at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, and has been active in multigenerational UU communities her whole life. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Development (with a minor in Sexuality Studies, and the experience of the 2012 Quebec student movement and strikes) at Concordia University in Montreal, Casey moved back to the West Coast to be closer to family and the ocean. She now lives and works on the traditional homelands of the Lkwungen-speaking peoples, also known as Victoria, BC, and attends the First Unitarian Church of Victoria (FUCV). Casey is also a part-time full-spectrum doula, and is passionate about making holistic reproductive and sexual health information accessible to all. Having the chance to facilitate a high school Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education program at FUCV this past year has been a dream come true!

Besides church, a big part of Casey’s spiritual education has been through reading fantasy/sci-fi novels, and her favourite authors are Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, and Guy Gavriel Kay. She spends a lot of time knitting and is determined to learn to use the loom she recently inherited. Talking to trees, learning to grow food, and staying connected to friends and family are also significant parts of her everyday spiritual practices.

She sees her work of building and being in community with youth, young adults and people of all ages as sacred work, and this quote from Victoria Stafford’s sermon “Remind Us Again, Brave Friends,” at the 2008 General Assembly Service of the Living Tradition sums up why:

Douglas Steere, a Quaker teacher, says that the ancient question, “Who am I?” inevitably leads to a deeper one, “Whose am I?”—because there is no identity outside of relationship. You can’t be a person by yourself. To ask “Whose am I?” is to extend the question far beyond the little self-absorbed self, and wonder: Who needs you? Who loves you? To whom are you accountable? To whom do you answer? Whose life is altered by your choices? With whose life, whose lives, is your own all bound up, inextricably, in obvious or invisible ways?

Learn More About Casey

Final Reminder: Join Us for the Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The CUC Board and staff are looking forward to seeing you all at the AGM!

On Friday evening, May 10 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET, the CUC Board will host an informal plenary to discuss the motions for the AGM and other matters of national impact. Participants are welcome at 192 Spadina, Toronto, ON; online participants can join via Zoom link, or call toll-free 1-855-703-8985 Canada, Meeting ID: 222 224 722.

The CUC’s Annual General Meeting is taking place on Friday, May 11th. The AGM will run from 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET.

Online: Online delegates will sign in on Zoom web meeting platform at Online participants and observers are also welcome to join on the Zoom link or call toll-free 1-855-703-8985, meeting ID 902 732 895; please note that delegates have priority to speak. Please sign on 30 minutes ahead of time to check your audio and video systems.

On-site: The AGM is held at The Atrium, Centre for Social Innovation, 192 Spadina Ave. Delegates are requested to arrive a few minutes early to check in and receive your voting cards.

After the AGM, please stay to indulge in tasty middle eastern snacks and to mingle with the CUC board, fellow delegates, and CUC staff.

If you have ever considered becoming a delegate or serving on the CUC board, join us and see what the AGM is all about.  

See You at the AGM!

Like the Canadian Unitarian Council on Facebook!

Upcoming Events

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


Plenary Discussion Hosted by the CUC Board, May 10, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET
Participants are welcome at 192 Spadina; online participants can join via Zoom link, or call toll-free 855 703 8985 Canada, Meeting ID: 222 224 722. No prior registration necessary.

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

CUSJ Annual Meeting: Calling Out the Commodification of Water, May 12, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET, First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto
The keynote speaker Joyce Nelson, award-winning investigative journalist, artist, and poet, will present Damming the Future? SNC-Lavalin & Water Export.

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. Rates increase May 1!

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, 5-6, 6-10, 7-8, 8-12, 8:00 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