CUC eNews: October 18, 2022 – Issue 143
In This Issue:
- Words of Appreciation from the CUC Board of Trustees
- Meet a Minister: Arran Morton
- CUC Seeks Nominations for the 2023 Knight Award
- 2023 Shining Lights Program: Call for Nominations
- Shining Lights Profile: Unicamp of Ontario
- Your Congregation & the CUC: Information for UU Leaders
- Got A Motion?
- Uncolonizing Climate Justice: Resources & Opportunities
- Watch “Unsettled & Unafraid:” National Service Honouring Indigenous Peoples
- Watch “Welcoming People of all Gender Expressions & Identities”
- Support for Nada: Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough Launches Crowdfunding Campaign
- Upcoming Events:
- Mycellium Gathering: Games Games Games!
- Leaders’ Roundtable on Youth Ministry
- Inclusivity Forum 5: Welcoming People of All Ages
- Magic the GathUUring: A Youth Con
- CUC Young Adult Con
- Fall Gathering: Living into Covenant
- Call for Exhibitors at the National Symposium
- Volunteer Opportunities with the CUC
- Job Opportunities with UU Communities
- What’s Making Us Smile
- CUC Events From October to December 2022
Words of Appreciation from the CUC Board of Trustees
By Chuck Shields, President
Earlier this month, we celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada. As we passed the pumpkin pie around the table or gathered together in worship, we may have paused to express gratitude for the traditional unceded lands on which we live.
But there is more we can do to uncolonize Thanksgiving in Canada. We can acknowledge how we—as individuals and institutions—benefit from colonial systems and we can work to dismantle barriers.
We can also follow the lead of Indigenous people who are redefining the holiday. M. Karlos Baca (Tewa/Dinè/Nuuciu), an Indigenous Foods Activist, urges Indigenous people and allies to “acknowledge the songs, the kinship, the lineal seed keepers, and ceremonies that guided Indigenous cosmologies, landscapes and people.”
October is Clergy Appreciation Month (also known as Pastor Appreciation Month). On behalf of the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) Board of Trustees, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the talented, dedicated UU clergy who minister to us throughout the year. Who help us grow healthy and harmonious connections with our inner selves, with one another, in our communities, and with the planet. It is not easy work at the best of times–and it has been especially challenging over the past few years. Yet, UU ministers across Canada have risen to the occasion, meeting challenging demands with grace and ingenuity.
If you are a UU minister, thank you. We honour and appreciate the many gifts you bring to your ministry and to our communities.
Speaking of community: members of the CUC’s Board and staff are feeling invigorated after our recent retreat. There was a feeling of celebration when many of us met in Mississauga for the first in-person gathering in more than two years. (Sadly, Treasurer Joanne Green was not able to travel. She joined us via Zoom.) We’re bringing this spirit of joy into the new congregational year. We look forward to connecting with you directly as we reach out to member congregations. We also hope you will join us at upcoming events like the Fall Gathering (November 18 to 20, 2022), where we will explore what it means to “live into covenant.”
The CUC Board of Trustees governs the organization in the best interests of the ownership, the member congregations of the CUC. The Board has adopted the Carver model of policy governance. It governs through the setting and monitoring of appropriate Board policies.
Meet a Minister: Arran Morton
By Kenzie Love, Writer
Each edition of the eNews will introduce you to a Unitarian Universalist (UU), either a religious professional or lay leader, who serves our local or national faith communities.
Arran Morton recently began serving as the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship’s part-time minister. His introduction to Unitarian Universalism came when he began attending Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Toronto. He felt a calling to ministry, and enrolled in seminary in 2016. He has been attending part-time since then. Arran previously served as the Director of Religious Education at First Unitarian Church of Victoria.
Arran is excited by the opportunity serving Comox offers for shared ministry. It was one of the things that appealed to him about attending Neighborhood, and he believes this is an important feature of his new congregation as well.
“They’ve had no minister for the last year or so,” he says. “They’ve had to figure out for themselves what they want and what they need. And I really look forward to supporting them in that.”
Congregational life amidst the uncertainty arising from the pandemic strikes Arran as both a challenge and an opportunity. In-person services have resumed, something he hopes will continue.
“They’re starting to come back in person and there is some energy in that. There’s also a lot of exhaustion and burnout in that,” he says. “But I think it gives this opportunity to really figure out what the congregation needs to be for them to be sustaining to support them in their lives.”
Arran believes that like other religions, Unitarian Universalism faces the challenge of remaining relevant in a rapidly changing world. He thinks that the faith must look beyond Sunday services to reach people.
In his spare time, Arran enjoys exploring beaches and forests with his 10-year-old daughter.
CUC Seeks Nominations for the 2023 Knight Award
By Kenzie Love, Writer
Since 1995, the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) has presented the Knight Award at its conferences. The award recognizes a living person’s contributions at the national level to Unitarian Universalism in Canada. The award honours the ideals exemplified by the lives of Victor and Nancy Knight. They provided the funds to create the award. It has gone to many notable Unitarian Universalists from all over Canada since its creation. Past recipients include the late Stan Calder, the CUC’s first openly gay President, and the late Phillip Hewett, author of Unitarians in Canada. In 2020, Kim Turner presented the award to Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed (pictured). A complete list of winners is available here.
The 2023 award will be presented at the National Symposium in Ottawa, Ontario in May 2023. Any member or friend of a Canadian Unitarian Universalist congregation may submit a nomination, accompanied by a citation of at least 200 words describing what the nominee has done at the national level to promote liberal religious principles in Canada and why they should be considered for the award.
The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2023. Submissions may be emailed to John Hopewell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about the Knight Award.
2023 Shining Lights Program: Call for Nominations
By Kenzie Love, Writer
The Canadian Unitarian Council’s (CUC’s) Shining Lights team wants to celebrate how you are changing your communities and congregations by living out your Unitarian Universalist (UU) values in creative and innovative ways. Are you working on a project that engages your community or developing strategies to make Unitarian Universalism more relevant in Canada and beyond? We want to know.
By sharing your projects and what you have learned you can inform and inspire others–and help us establish best practices for future projects. Sharing allows everyone to celebrate together and develop a lasting network of creative thinkers and program experts.
Do you have a story to share? We invite you to submit a nomination to the 2023 Shining Lights Program. You may submit a nomination for a project that you or your organization led. You also may submit a nomination on behalf of another group if you have their permission to do so.
There are two steps to the nomination process.
Submit your story to the Shining Lights Team by January 31, 2023. Please include:
- Name of your group, its members and your contact information
- The story of your group’s innovation including:
- Early beginnings: Please share what led you to develop this idea and what needs it addressed.
- Development: Explain how you implemented your program and who was involved.
- Impact: Tell us about the success of your project. What are some of the impacts of your program for participants, organizers and your community?
In the second step of the process, a member of the Shining Lights team will contact you to gather more information for our selection process. Or, you can complete this phase independently and submit it directly to email@example.com by February 28, 2023.
Shining Lights Profile: Unicamp of Ontario
By Kenzie Love, Writer
The Canadian Unitarian Council’s Shining Lights Program celebrates innovative projects developed by Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations and groups. In 2022, four outstanding projects were nominated for the program. This month, we are featuring Unicamp of Ontario’s programming for children and youth in the summer of 2021.
Unicamp was established in 1969 as a children’s camp based on the goals of cooperation, self-determination, and responsibility. It believes that its children’s programming builds lifelong Unitarian Universalists (UUs). Campers have the chance to connect with the natural world, learn new skills, immerse themselves in imaginative exploration, and build lifelong friendships. The camp strives to build safe and inclusive spaces for campers to explore, play, challenge themselves, and succeed at camp.
Due to the pandemic, Unicamp had cancelled most of its programming for the summer of 2020. It approached the summer of 2021 knowing that cancelling again would disappoint many. Unicamp took advice about how to offer programming from the Ontario Camping Association and various health organizations. It then drew up a plan to ensure campers could attend safely. Unicamp Executive Director Yvette Salinas says this was a challenge as the camp brings together campers from all over Ontario.
“In the midst of the pandemic that means they could be bringing germs from home,” she says. “And to this group. And then sending germs out again at the end of the week. We really had to be conscious of limiting any germs from coming in. And even if anything came in, limiting the contact between all of our campers, so that it didn’t spread. So there were just a lot of medical protocols in place: social distancing, masking, everything that we know from the pandemic. But it felt like another level.”
Having to create “bubbles” within the camp, an additional precaution, added to the challenge. But the precautions, which also included regular on-site testing, paid off. The camps finished with no positive Covid cases. While things operated differently than in years past, a Unicamp counsellor says it was still a great experience for all.
“Everyone did their best and made the best of a less-than-ideal situation. It truly is amazing that the whole thing got pulled off. The kids had fun. And not a single person got Covid.”
Unicamp offered lessons in how to keep everyone safe during a pandemic. But Salinas believes Unicamp’s children and youth programming in the summer of 2021 was also a testament to the value of the special opportunities for connection it provides.
“Kids are tired,” she says. “Asking them to be a part of weekly Sunday services and religious education programs seems to be a lot. But getting them into a space and treating that space [like it is] very special and very immersive, allows them that room to grow.
Your Congregation & the CUC: Information for UU Leaders
By Shelley Motz, Communications Manager
In September, the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) invited Board presidents, treasurers, and other leaders from Unitarian Universalist (UU) communities to a Leaders’ Roundtable on “Your Congregation and the CUC.”
Executive Director Vyda Ng opened by reminding participants that the CUC is a national association of Canadian UU congregations. “There would be no CUC without member congregations,” she emphasized. “We are the CUC; it is all of us.”
She then facilitated a conversation on how the CUC and congregations can support and learn from one another, collaborate, and stay connected. Topics included:
- Structure of the CUC
- Goals & Strategic Priorities
- How the CUC is funded
- Roles and tasks
You can download a copy of “Your Congregation & the CUC” (PDF). Please share it with leaders in your UU community.
Got A Motion?
By Vyda Ng, Executive Director
Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on May 19, 2023 as part of our National Symposium in Ottawa, with in-person and virtual participation. At the AGM, delegates will consider motions on a variety of topics. These motions must be submitted using our stated process and be received by December 15. Once these are received they will be distributed to congregations by January 15 to allow for discussion and feedback by February 28, and a final distribution of updated motions by March 15.
Find out who can submit motions and how to do this in our resolutions process outlined on our website.
Consider submitting a motion only if:
- there is no previous resolution on the topic AND it addresses a completely new issue;
- it is of national importance;
- it is timely.
All the information you need is outlined in the resolutions process information.
If your proposed motion has potential, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the next steps. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this process with you and to answer your questions.
And it’s not too early to start thinking about your congregation’s delegates. The information you need is here. Since this is a multi-platform AGM, your congregation may select both virtual and in-person delegates. All delegates must be registered by May 1 in order to vote at the AGM – the delegate registration form will be available in January 2023.
Uncolonizing Climate Justice: Resources & Opportunities
By Shelley Motz, Communications Manager
At the forum on Uncolonizing Climate Justice (September 7, 2022), we learned the difference between uncolonizing and decolonizing. We explored how a western worldview shows up in climate activism. We also gained insight into the Land Back movement from special guests Arthur Hill and Dave Skene. They shared the challenges and rewards of a Land Back exchange between Emmanuel United Church and White Owl Native Ancestry Organization in Ontario.
If you missed the forum, you can now watch Uncolonizing Climate Justice on the Canadian Unitarian Council’s YouTube channel. (The video is also available on our dedicated Uncolonizing Climate Justice Curriculum website.)
If you’d like to deepen your understanding of this topic, we encourage you to join the Uncolonizing Climate Action group, which will meet three times between January and May. (You must register for the series and commit to attending each of the networking events.)
Watch “Unsettled & Unafraid:” National Service Honouring Indigenous Peoples
By Shelley Motz, Communications Manager
On Sunday, September 25, the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) hosted “Unsettled and Unafraid,” a national service to honour Indigenous Peoples and ways of being.
Elder-in-Residence Sharon Jinkerson Brass, Rev. Danielle Webber and Unitarian Universalists from across the country explored what it means to uncolonize ourselves and our spirituality. Throughout the service, we featured the poetic, musical, and artistic expressions of several contemporary Indigenous artists, including poet Michelle Poirier Brown and musician Tanya Tagaq.
A recording of the service is now available on the CUC’s YouTube channel. Watch Unsettled & Unafraid today.
Watch “Welcoming People of All Gender Expressions and Identities”
By Shelley Motz, Communications Manager
On October 5, 2022, the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) hosted an inclusivity forum on gender expressions, identities, and biases. The forum was co-facilitated by two special guests: Alex Kapitan and Teo Drake of Transforming Hearts Collective.
The Transforming Hearts Collective fosters resilience, healing, and long-term resources for the work of social change among queer and trans people, and helps faith communities practice radical inclusion and dismantle oppression in all of its forms.
You can now watch “Welcoming People of All Gender Expressions and Identities” on the CUC’s YouTube channel. Please share it with anyone who is interested in learning more about this topic.
The next inclusivity forum (November 2, 2022) will be on Welcoming People of All Ages.
Support for Nada: Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough Launches Crowdfunding Campaign
By Halcyon Westall, Faithify Program Manager
The Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough, Ontario has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Faithify, a platform that funds Unitarian Universalist ministries and projects.
The Refugee Sponsorship Committee is trying to raise $4,000 to support a Syrian woman the congregation is sponsoring. Visit the campaign profile on Faithify to learn more or to make a donation.
The campaign manager, Arthur Herold, can be reached at email@example.com if you have questions.
MyceliUUm Gathering: Games Games Games!
Saturday, October 22 – 11:00 am PT | 12:00 pm MT | 1:00 pm CT| 2:00 pm ET | 3:00 pm AT | 3:30 pm NT (2 hours)
All Unitarian Universalist (UU) youth (14-19), junior youth (12-13) and their adult supporters (youth advisors, religious educators) are invited to the kick-off event for the MyceliUUm Youth Network on October 22nd.
This is like a giant online youth group, to keep us connected in between in-person cons and events. Don’t worry, it won’t all be on Zoom! After this first gathering, we’ll likely be focussing mostly on Discord and other platforms. The MyceliUUm Network, including the Gatherings, is run by youth, for youth!
The theme for this Gathering is reconnection and play! Come reconnect with old friends and new, play some fun games, enjoy a mini worship, and hear about what may be in store for the yoUUth community this year.
We will finally be launching the Discord server at this gathering. There will be a Discord orientation near the end of the event for anyone who would like to be shown how it works.
Watch the invitation on Instagram
Leaders’ Roundtable on Youth Ministry
Saturday, October 29 – 9:00 am PT| 10:00 am MT | 11 :00 am CT | 12:00 pm ET | 1:00 pm AT | 1:30 pm NT (1.5 hours)
Join CUC Youth and Young Adult Staff Rev. Danielle Webber and Casey Stainsby to share the state of your congregation’s youth ministry, and discuss with other groups their strengths and challenges. Let us lean into the interdependence of our national community and share our wisdom.
Inclusivity Forum 5: Welcoming People of All Ages
Wednesday, November 2 – 4:00 pm PT | 5:00 pm MT | 6:00 pm CT | 7:00 pm ET | 8:00 pm AT | 8:30 pm NT (2 hours)
Join us for the final Inclusivity Forum of 2022. We will consider what it means to welcome people of all ages into our Unitarian Universalist (UU) communities. This includes, but is not limited to, folks who: