CUC eNews: September 4, 2019 – Issue 98

In This Issue:

Who’s Who at the CUC

The staff of the CUC is always available to help you with various concerns and to answer questions within their particular focus area. Please contact them through their individual email listed below. The CUC staff includes:

Vyda Ng, Executive Director,
Policy, governance, national CUC and financial matters, international relations, Canada Revenue Agency and tax questions, national conference, and other matters not included in other staff team portfolio.

Ahna DiFelice, Organizational Administrator | and Caitlyn Seale, Administrative Assistant |
CUC administration, financial matters, event registrations, congregational and membership updates, lay chaplaincy management, general Q & A

Casey Stainsby, Youth & Young Adult Program and Events Coordinator,  
Youth and young adult programming and events

Joan Carolyn, Congregational Life Lead—BC & Western Region, and Rev. Linda Thomson, Congregational Life Lead—Central & Eastern Region,
All matters to do with congregations, including transitions, visioning, governance, financial stewardship, conflict management, resources and support, and lay chaplaincy.

Margo Ellis, Communications and Web Manager,
Communications, eNews, social media, website

Erin Horvath, Social Justice Lead,
Social justice issues, including THe Ripple Effect initiative, Love and Justice Groups, and reconciliation

Amber Dawn Bellmare, Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Coordinator, Truth, Healing and Reconciliation initiative.
Includes reflection guides, facilitator training, movie screenings, etc

Samia Tecle, Refugee Sponsorship Support,
Refugee sponsorship issues, support, applications, resources and training

Visit the CUC Website Staff Page 

Regional Gatherings Offer UUs of All Ages a Chance to Connect

Each year, UUs from across Canada come together at regional gatherings to connect with each other, discuss the CUC’s activities, deepen spiritually and grow as leaders.The aim is for participants to come away feeling more deeply connected and inspired, and both of this year’s regional gatherings offer an opportunity to do just that. 

The Western Region Fall Gathering(WRFG) in Edmonton invites participants to move Toward a Thriving Future! Participants will gather to explore new avenues to create welcoming spaces, be re-energized with great music and seek better environmental realities with new allies.

There will be opportunities for Youth to JUUst Keep Swimming at the WRFG Youth Con. Youth cons play an important role in connecting youth from different congregations and regions.. As Casey Stainsby, the CUC’s Youth and Young Adult Program and Events Coordinator says, “Youth cons at regional gatherings fill a special niche. Since they are smaller and usually more local than the national youth con, CanUUdle, and can incorporate junior youth, they are often the first youth con that many youth go to. It’s a wonderful place to explore what it means to be Unitarian Universalist beyond your own youth group, to deepen friendships and stretch leadership muscles.”

The Eastern Region Fall Gathering (ERFG) in Ottawa will explore Surviving and Thriving in Turbulent Times, and offers participants an opportunity to meet other UUs as they explore some of the ways that they can respond to the challenges that congregations and UUs face. Opportunities to consider personal practices, congregational responses and social justice efforts are part of the program. The program workshops have been designed with young adult and youth participants in mind.

Participant feedback from past gatherings has offered a strong affirmation of the importance of coming together at regional gatherings. Participants cited thought-provoking workshops, inspiring worship services, and an overall warm feeling of togetherness as highlights.

Register for the Eastern Region Fall Gathering, Ottawa, October 19, 2019

Register for the Western Region Fall Gathering, Edmonton, October 18-20, 2019

Register for the Western Region Youth Con, Edmonton, October 18-20, 2019

Gathered Here: Young Adults Meet Online for Rest and Connection
By Casey Stainsby, Youth and Young Adult Program and Events Coordinator

Gathered Here is the Canadian Unitarian Council’s monthly online check-in for Unitarian Universalist young adults (ages 18-35). Since November 2018, we have hosted a space via Zoom (an online video conferencing platform) on the second Monday evening of each month for young adults to connect with their spiritual community, no matter where they are or if they are connected to a physical congregation. Gathered Here is free and no registration is required. 

Thirty young adults have attended Gathered Here this past year, about a third of whom do not have an active connection to a local congregation. They come to feel connected to their community, for rest and reflection, and to share the joys and sorrows, questions and struggles of their lives in a loving, spiritually grounded place. This is a place for young adults to be nourished where they are not expected to organize anything in return, and doesn’t require an intense commitment of time or money. 

Gathered Here also provides a point of connection to the Young Adult Pastoral Care Team. One of the ministers on the team co-hosts each meeting along with CUC YaYA staff member,  Casey Stainsby. These ministers bring a pastoral presence and invitation to spiritual depth to the gatherings, and attending allows them to get a pulse on what young adults are going through. Participants get to know the minister who is on call for that month, and are reminded how they can reach out for one-on-one support. 

Gathered Here is taking a break for September, so we can collect feedback and ensure that these gatherings are serving young adults as best they can. Are you a young adult who has attended Gathered Here, or have you not been able to because of the timing? This is your chance to let us know what’s been working well, and what would fill you up even more.

Please take five minutes to fill out the feedback form by September 16.

Gathered Here will resume its monthly schedule in October, exact dates yet to be determined. 

Check Out the CUC Calendar for Upcoming Events for Young Adults

Unitarians in Canada: Yours for free (the book, that is)

Where did the Unitarian and Universalist movements get started in your province?
Who were the founders and leaders of these early churches?
What did early Canadian Unitarians and Universalists believe?

The answers to these and a thousand other questions about the first 150 years of our Canadian UU movement can be found in Unitarians in Canada (2nd edition, revised and enlarged), a hardcover book by the late Reverend Phillip Hewett. Reverend Hewett combed the archives of every church and many libraries across Canada, and talked with hundreds of our people, to produce this amazing volume. He paid for it to be published and then gifted all the books to the CUC, so that every UU would have access to their rich heritage. Note that most of this history is not available online.

Currently, forty boxes of Unitarians in Canada (32 books per box) are in temporary storage at the First UU Church of Winnipeg, and will need to be moved over the next year. For a limited time only, you can order as many books as you think you will require (minimum order is 8 books), and they will be shipped free to your congregation. (Please feel free to make a donation to the CUC.)   

These informative books can be given out to new and long-time members, to youth bridging into adulthood, and as rewards for excellence, etc. To order your copies, contact Steve Lennon

The CUC thanks Steve Lennon for organizing this effort and for shipping the books to congregations. 

Send Us Your News!

What’s going on in your congregation? What are your plans for the year? What exciting events are on the horizon? What would you like other Canadian UUs to know about what’s happening with your congregation?

Please write a brief article (~300 words) and send it to so we can get your news into an upcoming eNews. The deadline is the 14th of each prior month.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Visit & like the Canadian Unitarian Council on Facebook!

Upcoming Events 2019

Youth and Young Adult 

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

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 available soon!

Connecting and Deepening – Virtual Gathering, 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 available soon!

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 available soon!


2019 Unicamp Young Adult Retreat, September 13 – 16, Unicamp, Mulmur, ON
Join UU young adults (18 – 35) for a wonderful weekend of community, conversation and outdoor adventures  amidst the fall colours. Unicamp provides the perfect setting for a relaxing and rejuvenating retreat with new and old UU friends.
Registration deadline: September 9

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 – Oct 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 (12-12), 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


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

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