CUC eNews: October 1, 2019 – Issue 100

In This Issue:

Call for Proposals: CUC Conference 2020

The CUC’s National Conference 2020 will be held in Halifax, NS from May 15 – 17. Hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Halifax, the conference’s theme is “Making Waves.” 

This call for proposals invites you to submit your ideas for programming. Please read all the details carefully before clicking”submit” in the form. 

Theme description: Our interdependence calls us to love and justice, to be a more intentionally inclusive community of belonging with adaptive skills and responses to face the challenges of a changing world. The waves we make should be far-reaching, have impact beyond UU communities, and affect diverse areas of social justice and equity: racial justice; truth, healing and conciliation; refugee sponsorship and migrant justice; environmental concerns; assisted dying; radical inclusion of LGBTQ2+ people; disability justice; under-served communities; economic and social inequalities; multi-generational engagement, and more. How do we make waves that will  challenge the status quo, and have implications for our relevance into the future?  

All programming will focus on the “Making Waves” theme, including streams and workshops. Only those proposals that closely adhere to the theme will be considered. 

Submit your proposals by Oct 31. The Program Planning Committee will be in contact with proposers during November.

Email with any questions. Information and registration will be available at the end of January 2020.

See the Welcome From the Halifax Host Team

All You Need to Know about the Federal Elections

The CUC offers two handy resources in this election campaign period. The first is a guide to organizing an All-Candidates Meeting, compiled by Erin Horvath, CUC’s Social Justice Lead. The second resource, in collaboration with KAIROS,  is a one-page reference to all you need to know about the elections. This includes:

Honouring Promises to First Nations: Assembly of First Nations
What You need to Know to Vote: Elections Canada
Young Adult Voting – Future Majority
Election Platform Tracker: Where the Major Parties Stand So Far: Bloomberg
Everything Charities Need to Know About the Election: Imagine Canada
– And more!

Download the one-pager from the CUC website. Feel free to share widely!
Download Your Guide to Organizing an All-Candidates Meeting

Election Rules for Charities

The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) recently held a webinar on how charities can navigate the election campaign period. The presentation included information from Imagine Canada, Carter’s Charity Law and Fasken, and clearly lays out what charities can and cannot do. If your congregation and members are active in the election, we recommend that you read through these resources so that you are familiar with the rules.

Unitarians Will Have Opportunity to Gather Online With Connect and Deepen

Unitarians from across Canada will soon have another way of connecting with each other with the launch of Connect and Deepen, a new monthly online gathering that will resemble the congregational groups known as Chalice Circles, Covenant Groups or other names. The gatherings will take place from 4 – 5:30 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month beginning November 10 and running through March 8. Connect and Deepen is intended both for those unable to participate regularly in congregational life and for those seeking a supplement to it, including Unitarians who may already belong to the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Participants will have a chance to gather with kindred spirits in small groups of up to eight people to discuss matters of personal, spiritual, theological, and lifestyle significance.

Facilitated by the Canadian Unitarian Council’s Congregational Life Leads, Joan Carolyn and Rev. Linda Thomson, the conversations in Connect and Deepen will be somewhat structured, with prearranged themes and ideas to discuss, but the facilitators are also flexible about what shape the conversations will take. Drawing inspiration in part from the success of the earlier Hope in Hard Times roundtable, the gathering will discuss serious topics and give participants a chance to fully participate. 

Participants are encouraged to plan to attend most of the sessions so that group cohesion and trust can develop. While there is no cost to the program, participants are still asked to register so that the facilitators can monitor interest and plan the number of breakout groups or cancel accordingly.

Register for Connect and Deepen

Refugee Sponsorship: Support and Training for Sponsors

Saturday, October 26, 2019, 1 – 5 p.m. ET
Unitarian Church in Mississauga
84 S. Service Rd, Mississauga, ON L5G 2R9

In this pilot event, the Canadian Unitarian Council and the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) are jointly offering a half-day of networking, support and training for refugee sponsors and those who are interested in being sponsors. Open to all private sponsors, the event will bring sponsors together to connect, share stories, discuss, and learn some useful information about the details of applications, the resettlement process, and beyond. As well, RSTP will provide an update on the government’s processes and policies, and the current status of private sponsorship.

Of interest to those who have experience sponsoring (to share your experiences, to receive training from RSTP, and to find out about Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s current policies), as well as those who are considering sponsoring. UUs are invited to come earlier at 10 a.m. for mutual sharing and discussion of matters pertaining to sponsoring as a UU congregation. We will have a light lunch before the public event at 1:00 p.m

Cost – sliding scale: $20 – $25 – $30. 

Register by October 19

Award Shines Light on UU Innovationsshining light award

Although Canada’s Unitarian congregations may be spread out geographically, many of them have faced the same challenges ⁠— and also have the same opportunities. But geographic divides sometimes limit the sharing of both these things. One way of addressing this is the Shining Lights award, presented annually to a congregation that has demonstrated  innovation and sustainability in congregational initiatives and programming. In addition to recognizing outstanding work, the award seeks to encourage organizers of the winning project to share the processes through which they implemented their ideas, so that other congregations might follow their example. 

The award grew out of the Canadian Unitarian Council staff team’s desire to recognize and showcase congregations’ good news stories and best work. It  was presented for the first time in 2018 to the  First Unitarian Church of Hamilton for its efforts to focus its social justice work. Although the Hamilton congregation’s project was quite extensive, involving widespread congregational consultation and the hiring of an assistant minister to lead the process, nominations for all projects are welcome, no matter how big or small they may be. The CUC’s BC/Western Congregational Life Lead, Joan Carolyn, stresses that projects of all kinds are encouraged, noting that many of the most inspirational stories she’s encountered are those of congregations that successfully resolved conflicts.

Lynn Sabourin, Director of Religious Education at the North Shore Unitarian Church, hopes that Shining Lights will become a pillar among the CUC’s various awards. In such a huge country, she notes, opportunities to share stories of success can be few and far between, but the benefits of doing so are clear. 

“Anything that can highlight our sharing of good ideas should be welcome,” she says.

Learn More About the Shining Lights Award

Unitarian Fellowship of London Garden Project

The Unitarian Fellowship of London (UFL) planted an 1,800 sq. ft. vegetable garden this year. Produce was offered for sale by donation to congregants each Sunday morning. They are well on their way to their goal of raising a minimum of $1,000 to donate to the London Food Bank. UFL has also donated hundreds of pounds of fresh produce to Anova, a nearby shelter for women and children in east London ON, as well as to the food bank.

Check Out the Unitarian Fellowship of London Website

CUC Parliamentarian Needed

The CUC is looking for its next Parliamentarian. Is this you or someone you know? This individual must have:

– A working knowledge of the current Roberts’ Rules of Order, and of the CUC General ByLaw;
– Experience in chairing formal meetings;

– Expertise in drafting formal parliamentary documents such as resolutions and bylaw amendments;
– Ability to remain impartial;
– Good oral and written communication skills.

Apply with a summary of qualifications and relevant experience by October 31, 2019 to the CUC Board President at

Download the Terms of Reference  for the CUC Parliamentarian (pdf)

Position Available: Part-Time Children’s Religious Educator

The First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo is seeking a Children’s Religious Educator to provide professional leadership for the children’s religious education program. This position is part-time – 35 hours a month – and runs from September through June.

Overall Responsibility:
This includes but is not limited to finding and choosing interactive curriculum in collaboration with the minister, preparing lessons for volunteers, finding and supporting volunteers, building relationships with the children and their parents, set-up and cleanup of the rooms, communicating with the Children’s Religious education committee and the Minister, and once a month attending the Children’s Religious Education committee meeting, and Messy UU Church (a family-focused dinner and social evening).

Read More On the CUC’s Jobs & Volunteering Website Page

Join Us at a Regional Gathering!

Have you registered for the Eastern Region Fall Gathering on October 19, or the Western Region Fall Gathering and the Western Region Youth Con, both scheduled for October 18 – 20?  The events are jam-packed with exciting programming!

Registration deadlines are coming up fast! Follow the links above to learn more about each event and to register.

Register Now!

In Memoriam

By Rev. Samaya Oakley

It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the death of Rev. Ann Buckmaster. While Ann had been battling multiple sclerosis (MS) since 2007, it is the impact of her brain cancer (diagnosed in 2011 after a biopsy) that was the biggest factor in her decision to end her life. Ann was surrounded by her family and close friends as she peacefully left this world on August 29, 2019.

Ann was very involved in children’s and youth ministry serving at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. She was also involved in Eliot Institute serving many times during the late 1980’s and the 90’s on the youth and children’s staff. Although her MS limited her mobility, Ann continued to be an important presence to all who knew her. There are many for whom Ann served as a mentor to them as they followed their paths in life. They, in turn, will share the wisdom she gave to them, and thus, her ministry will be felt by generations to come.

We take time particularly to remember her husband, Andrew Tovey, and their daughters, April and Amy Tovey. Condolences may be sent to them at their home address, 5574 44th Avenue, Delta, BC V4K 1E1.

A service in celebration of Ann’s life is scheduled to be held on Sunday, September 29 at 4 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 949 49 Avenue West, Vancouver BC. If you are a religious professional, you are invited to robe and stole at 2:00 pm. Please let me know if you are planning to attend.

In lieu of flowers, Ann requests that you consider donating to either the: BC Cancer Foundation, 150 – 686 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1G1, or  the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Metro Tower II, 4720 Kingsway #1103, Burnaby, BC V5H 4N2. If you are considering a donation in another country, please give in her memory to an equivalent organization. 

Visit & like the Canadian Unitarian Council on Facebook!

Upcoming Events 2019 – 2020

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

Youth and Young Adult 

Online – Gathered Here: Young Adult Check-In, dates and time to be announced
Gathered Here is a monthly online check-in and gathering for Canadian Unitarian Universalist young adults.

In-person Training

Refugee Sponsorship: Support and Training for Sponsors, Saturday, October 26, 1 – 5 p.m. ET, Unitarian Church in Mississauga
In this pilot event, the Canadian Unitarian Council and the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) are jointly offering a half-day of networking, support and training for refugee sponsors and those who are interested in being sponsors. Registration deadline: October 19.

Online Events

Worship as a Beacon for Congregational Growth – Part 2,  November 9, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET
Learn how to create and sustain a strong worship program for both clergy and lay led congregations in this online event. Our presenter is the Rev. Dr. Barbara Wells ten Hove. Registration deadline: October 31.

Connect and Deep – Virtual Gathering, Monthly – November 10, December 8, January 12, 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 and connect with people across the country.

Serving With Spirit: Stronger Together, Planning for Partnership, November 23, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. MT
Explore our potential for meaningful, creative congregational networking and partnerships. Together, develop strategies to support and sustain the growing number of small congregations. Rev. Joan Becelaere is the presenter for this event. Registration deadline: November 12.

Rethinking UU Governance, Saturday, December 7, 2019, 12:30 –  2:00 p.m. ET
Many Canadian UU congregations struggle to find ways in which our very governance, style of organization, will reflect our values and resonate with the lives of those who engage within our communities. Join us for a conversation, beginning with two powerful stories and opening for all participants to share their ideas, experiments and questions. Our two presenters will be Mr. Sanford Osler, North Shore Unitarian Church and Rev. Jessica Rodela, Grand River Unitarian. Registration deadline: November 28.


Western Region Fall Gathering, October 18 – 20,  Unitarian Church of Edmonton
The Unitarian Church of Edmonton, the Westwood Unitarian Congregation and the CUC welcome you to imagine our Thriving Future! Gather together to explore new avenues to create welcoming spaces, be re-energized with great music and seek better environmental realities with new allies. Registration deadline: October 7

Western Region Youth Con, October 18 – 20, Unitarian Church of Edmonton
Swim on over to the Western Region Youth Con 2019 in Edmonton, Alberta! It will be an amazing weekend filled with fun activities, worship, games, and multigenerational workshops and meals. Join junior youth (12-13), youth (14-20) and advisors (25+) from across the Western Region for this annual youth con, which is part of the larger multigenerational Western Regional Fall Gathering. Registration deadline: October 7

Eastern Region Fall Gathering, October 19, First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa
The Eastern Region Fall Gathering offers participants an opportunity to meet other UUs as we explore some of the ways that we can respond to the challenges we face. Theme: Surviving and Thriving in Turbulent Times
Registration deadline: October 8


2020 National Annual General Meeting and Conference, May 15 – 17, 2010, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Hosted by the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax
The theme for Conference 2020 is Making Waves! The call for streams and workshops has been issued. More information coming soon.

CanUUdle XX: Celebrate 20 years of CanUUdle!, May 15 – 17, 2020,  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.


2019 Continental Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) Fall Conference, November 8 – 10, Baltimore, Maryland
The conference will explore a Unitarian Universalist Theology of Suffering and learn to better understand and embrace our Universalist Theology of Wholeness and will balance going deep into these theologies while also providing concrete tools and skills for religious professionals to use when we encounter suffering and work for collective liberation.

UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar On Climate Justice, April 15 – 18, 2020, New York, NY

Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly, June 24 – 28 in Providence, RI

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.