The Canadian Unitarian, Fall 2011
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The Canadian Unitarian, Fall 2011

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National newsletter of the Canadian Unitarian Council, the association of Canada's Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist congregations.

National newsletter of the Canadian Unitarian Council, the association of Canada's Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist congregations.

Vol. 53, No. 3

Theme: Food Issues

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The Canadian Unitarian, Fall 2011 The Canadian Unitarian, Fall 2011 Document Transcript

  • on it i ed bwe the can adian unitarian Newsletter of the Canadian Unitarian Council Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011 Does Food Create Community? Yes indeed, it does. At the Unitarian Church of Montreal (ucmtl), we started out by worshipping at the altar of the coffee urn, which has recently progressed to worshipping at the groaning side-table. Although we used to fuel conversation with notoriously weak coffee, we’ve moved on to aromatic free-trade coffee and an array of tempting dishes. Why? Because so many church events are held after the Sunday service; people can’t go to meetings on an empty stomach. How can you speak up for social justice with ten tummies rumbling around you? All it took was a group of friendly foodies. Suddenly, we were hosting minor and major events. We are blessed with cooks who have a range of talents. Need bread? Ask Paco. Want soup? Talk to me. John’s the guy if you want to put on a potato bar. We have hosted many Loaf’n’Ladle lunches. And then there’s Maychai with her exquisite chocolate orange cheesecake. Some people use the term ‘to die for’ when speaking of an amazing dish or meal. We like ‘to live for’ better. Here’s how we do it: The ucmtl Hospitality Committee has no budget from the church. Money is raised through pay-as-you-can donations by congregants who stay for lunch. Regardless of the event, we only ask that people give if, or what, they can. Proceeds are then used to host future events. Recruiting is important. We started out with a core group of five people. We now have a total of 32 members because you can’t have a team of five serve 120 people every second Sunday. Does this sound like the voice of experience—or maybe just the voice of five tired people? The best recruit- ing line yet: “Do you have a springform pan?” “Yes,” comes the reply. “Excellent! Do you think you could fill one for me on January 10? We’re doing a fundraiser to replace our piano hammers.” “Yes,” is again the reply. “Oh, great! Look, while we’re at it, can I add you to the list of Hospitality Committee members?” Your volunteer is looking dazed and confused by now, in the din of Phoenix Hall, after the service in the sanctuary. Recruiting 101: Get’em while the going’s good! So where does the community part come in? Nobody wants to talk to a psychiatrist: it looks as if, horror of horrors, there might be something wrong with you. Even talking to the minister can be a bit daunting sometimes: “Um, if you have a moment I’d like to chat about my love-life/ dying parent/unsatisfying career...” But if you’re cutting carrots (julienned not coined, please!), assembling turkey wraps, or stirring a soup, you can engage in some comfortable chin-wagging with your fellows, while on the road to foodie heaven. In 2010–2011, the ucmtl Hospitality Committee hosted 41 events, serving between 90 and 220 people each time, with an average of 120 on Sundays. We help other committees, such as the Social and Environmental Concerns Committee (secc) to raise funds that pay for ucmtl’s mem- bership in Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice. We help out at memorial services, host major birthdays and other milestone events, and provide free lunch on New Member Sundays. We also provide the bread for Bread Communion Sundays and generally respond to any food requests, be they from the minister, the Caring Network or any other committee. Basically, the ucmtl Hospitality Committee works with other committees to promote outreach and foster a sense of community. Working in close cooperation with ucmtl vice-president Margo Ellis, we jointly hosted the Eastern Regional Gathering in November 2010 and the Ysaye Barnwell Workshop Weekend in April 2011. And we co-hosted the opening of the ucmtl Stairwell Art Gal-
  • lery with the Music Ministry Collective in May 2011. To the dulcet sounds of the ‘No More Blues’ band, we served wine and cheese for all! Food is love. Nancy Kleins,the c an ad ian Congregational Treasurer & Chair, Hospitality CommitteeUnitarianVol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011http://www.cuc.ca/canu Read more about Food (Glorious Food) forISSN 0527–9860 socially-and environmentally-aware eaters, from page 24 of this issue. Food-related reflections alsoThe Canadian Unitarian is the newsletter of the appear En français, in the minister’s column, andCanadian Unitarian Council. It is free to all mem- Religious Education.bers for whom the CUC has a current address.*The Canadian Unitarian reports on newsworthyevents in the denomination, including the annual ElizabEt Forbathconference each spring. It attempts to reflect all ucmtl truffle maven andsegments of Unitarianism and Universalism in hospitality Committee memberCanada. We welcome all submissions; however with her mother, Nancy Kleins.publication is based on the criteria of newsworthi-ness, relevance to readers, length, and balance.Signed letters to the editor will be included, afterbeing edited for length and content.* Non-members can subscribe to The Canadian Unitarian for $15 CDN or US. Send name, address, and cheque to CUC office.Canadian Unitarian CouncilConseil unitarien du Canada100–344 Dupont StreetToronto, ON M5R 1V9Toll-free 1.888.568.5723Phone 416.489.4121Email info@cuc.caOpinions expressed in The Canadian Unitarianare those of the contributors. Sources and num-erical values reported within articles have beenverified by the authors. loriaN K Printed on Canadian-made, acid-free, the Sunday worship service of the Western regional Gathering, Edmonton, ab. recycled paper (100% post-consumer fibre)
  • letters to the Editor C a n a d i a n U n i ta r i a n C o U n C i l B oa r d o F t r U S t E E S a n d S ta F F President Fritchman never did join the Communist Gary Groot Party according to his autobiography, but what Vice-President if he had? Who cares? Two leading church Ellen Campbell members I have worked with in Victoria were Treasurer card-carrying members in the early days, before John Michell the truths of Stalinism were public knowledge. SecretaryFritchman’s Canadian Sojourn Both are praise-worthy Canadian Unitarians. Glenda ButtSeveral of us here enjoyed the summer issue Many of us are proud to be called socialists. Social Responsibility Liaisonof The CanU, with its many in-depth articles. I Stephen Fritchman was an outstanding leslie Kempespecially appreciated the Rev. Phillip Hewett’s minister and fighter for human rights and Curtis Murphyerudite and philosophical review of Rev. Charles dignity for most of his long life. The UU Ser- rev. Jessica Purple rodelaEddis’ recently-released book, Stephen Fritch- vice Committee recognized his contributionsman: The American Unitarians and Commun- to social justice; UUA World magazine called Kristina Stevensism (Lulu.com, 2011). The question of whether him one the 20th century’s giants of liberal Minister Observerthe ends ever justify the means is still with us. religion; and in 1976 the uua awarded him rev. Kathy SageWhen we are all UUs we at least share the Prin- their most prestigious annual Award for Dis- Youth Observerciples, thus having common ideals on which to tinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Micaela Corcoranstart the dialogue. Universalism. Toronto First was lucky to have Executive Director Also, there is a Canadian aspect to this story him for five months. Jennifer dicksonworth mentioning: Rev. Dr. Stephen Fritchman Congregational Development,spent four or five months at the First Unitarian Christine Johnston, Central Region Helen armstrongCongregation of Toronto in 1970, when Rev. First Unitarian Church of Victoria,John Morgan was on sabbatical. I was the Direc- (1963–1997 at First Unitarian Office Administrator Karen Claneytor of Religious Education at that time and have Congregation of Toronto)kept photos, a few sermons, and even a personal National Youth and Young Adult Programming & Ministry Developmentletter from Steve, as well as a speech by his wife ariel Hunt-BrondwinFran on Woman’s Day. Many at Toronto First Re: “The Work of a Lay Chaplain” (spring 2011) Congregational Development,found his sermons and presence inspiring. I have just read your article in which you quote Eastern Region Fritchman’s autobiography Heretic (Beacon the poem by Max Coots, whom I once knew. Kelly McdowellPress, 1977) adorns my bookshelf, joined now He was occasionally our visiting minister in Director of Resource Developmentby Eddis’s latest research. Fritchman was on Kingston, on, when we were a struggling Uni- Kathleen Provostthe aua staff (hired 1938 for Youth activities) tarian Fellowship in the 1940s and 50s. I lived Director of Financeand in charge of their newsletter, The Christian there for forty years and have been a Unitarian Philip StrappRegistrar (1942–1947), which was an influential since 1939. Director of Congregational Developmentposition. Because he was sympathetic to social- I have always admired Rev. Coots and would linda thomsonist ideals, seemed to be a communist ‘fellow- love to know more about him. Communications Directortraveller’, and did not print opposing views, he I have cut out Max’s poem and shall keep Ben Wolfegot into hot water. Even the aua President, the it by me. Congregational Development,Rev. Frederick Eliot, was suspected of socialism the West and British Columbia rev. antonia Wonfor defending him for quite a few years. Margaret Shortliffe In 1951, when serving the Los AngelesChurch, Fritchman was brought before theUS House of Representatives’ Committee on Rev. Max Alden Coots (1927–2009), Minister t H E C a n a d i a n U n i ta r i a nUn-American Activities (of the McCarthy era Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church Editorwitch-hunt fame). This Committee also tried in Canton, New York, is the author of Seasons of raquel riverato persuade the congregation to fire him. But the Self, a collection of poems (Skinner House Graphic Designerhis church stood firm. In 1954 the L.A. Church Books, 1971). More on his life and work can be Kim Chuadeclined the questionable California ‘loyalty found at: Issue Proofreadersoath’ which at that time was connected to Mc- www.uuma.org/blogpost/569858/100058/In- david Hudson, Jean PfleidererCarthyism. Along with several other religious Memory-.-.-.-Max-Alden-Coots-1927–2009-.bodies, they lost their tax exemption, but after htmfour years, the Supreme Court finally restoredit and the lost taxes. What a great example! 3
  • President’s Message Where We Are—Where We Want to Go Board work is like a three legged stool, with each leg representing one of three jobs that the Board must do to be effective. The first leg is the development of good policies—sort of like developing a good operating system for a computer. Over the last several years the Board has dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy to that task. For those who are inclined to programming ( as opposed to using) computers, the current policy manual is available on the cuc website for your inspection. Much like the patches and updates we see now and again for the computer systems we use, there will be occasional changes art brEWEr to the policy manual. But for the most part the development work is complete! This is allowing your current Board the luxury of focusing on strengthening the other two legs of our stool—knowing where our member congregations want the organization to go, and monitoring to see if we are getting there. The monitoring schedule will soon be in place and available for all to view on the website as well. Today I would like to share with you the efforts the Board is making to connect with the membership, to understand the directions you want us to go in our ‘bigger boat,’ as described by Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela in her homily delivered at the acm 2011. The Board has traditionally connected with member congregations by contacting the presidents and ministers in advance of the face-to-face Board meetings held in September, February, and May. In addition we try to visit member congregations at least once in a three-year term, and we try to connect with people at the regional fall gatherings and the annual meeting. This year we are adding two new initiatives. The first annual Congregational Survey was sent out this spring. Although the survey needs to be more user-friendly, the in- formation gleaned from the results provided us with a richer understanding of where people wanted us to focus and where we currently are as an organization. The established information-gathering systems, combined with the results of the survey, allowed the Board to instruct the executive director to focus 80% of staff time and budget on four organizational goals: 1. Resources for religious exploration and spiritual growth 2. Resources to nurture leadership 3. Resources for social sustainability 4. Resources for multi-generational appeal and relevant life-stage ministries The executive director and staff are now working on a revised Work Plan to reflect these priorities, which should be available by the end of December for all to see. Finally, we anticipate that the Spiritual Leadership Symposium , which will be held in Ottawa next May, will not only be a time for individual deepening but also an opportunity for us to gain further insights into where member congregations want the cuc to go. I would like to encourage each congregation to begin considering which current and emer- ging leaders should attend, in order for all of us to get the most out of the Symposium. Stay tuned; there will be more information available in the very near future. The boat has left the dock. Come join in the voyage! Gary Groot, President, Canadian Unitarian Council4 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • Message from the Executive Director Survey, Symposium, and Freedom of SpeechFreedom of SpeechDuring 2005, William Whatcott distributed flyers door-to-doorin Saskatchewan expressing his concern regarding the spreadof tolerance towards gays and lesbians through the educationsystem. Mr. Whatcott suggested that laws should be enactedto prevent gays and lesbians from teaching in schools. And hedeclared that exposure to gays and lesbians would endanger raQUEl riVErachildren. This resulted in complaints to the SaskatchewanHuman Rights Commission, which referred the complaintfor determination by a human rights tribunal. The finding ofcontravention by the tribunal was upheld by the SaskatchewanCourt of Queen’s Bench, but was subsequently overturned bythe Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. The Saskatchewan HumanRights Commission, in turn, appealed this decision with theSupreme Court of Canada. Last week I attended the Supreme Court when it heard fromlawyers for the Commission, for Mr. Whatcott, and for severalintervenors. society for decades to come. It was an honour to represent the Mr. Whatcott took the position that the restriction infringed values and commitment of Canadian UUs at the proceeding.on both his freedom of speech and freedom of religion under In this issue of The Canadian Unitarian, ucs also reflects onthe Canadian Charter of Rights. Several argued that the restric- the experience.tion within the Human Rights Code should be struck down forvarious reasons. Congregational Survey In opposition, the Human Rights Commission argued the Thanks to the many who responded to the first annual Congrega-restriction is constitutionally valid, relying on a similar decision tional Survey, despite the difficult timing and technical glitches.of the Supreme Court from 1990. The Commission and several Future surveys will be sent earlier in the year, and questions willintervenors also argued that instances of hate crime had risen in be revised to make them more accessible.Canada since 1990, and that the protection of vulnerable minori- The Board and I are clear that this is a good investment ofties is as relevant today as in 1990—perhaps even more so. everyones time. Regular surveys give all members a real oppor- The Supreme Court accepted written intervenor submissions tunity to influence the future of cuc, and help in the assessmentjointly submitted by the Canadian Unitarian Council and the of performance and progress, year-by-year.Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon (ucs). We argued thatreligious freedom should not insulate messages of hate from Symposiumconsequences under the Human Rights Code, and that sexual Planning has been launched for the Spiritual Leadership Sym-minorities deserve the same level of protection as any other posium in May 2012, which will include themes of intergen-protected group.* erational shared ministry, social justice as spiritual practice, A panel of seven judges from the Supreme Court heard the and the culture of leadership—you’ll find more details in thematter and are expected to release a decision within about one following pages. Now is an excellent time to identify delegatesyear. It is clear that the result in this case will impact Canadian in your community, and to consider what spiritual leadership means to each of us. Finally, in honour of the harvest season, The Canadian Uni- tarian has gathered a number of articles on the theme of food, for socially- and environmentally-conscious eaters. May this spread inspire thought and action, and further our apprecia- tion of good food and the community it continued on page 6 5
  • What We Heard From You Results of the Congregational Survey 2011In June of this year there were 40 respondents to the Congre- In particular, we know that respondents want:gational Survey. From these, the Board has learned that our • Clear vision and missiondefined objectives are seen to address the critical issues. We’ve • Increased and effective communication among board, staffalso learned that the top three resources regarded as most im- and congregations, and between congregations, to shareportant for Canadian UU communities are: information and resources, and to ensure that leaders and1. Nurturing leadership within our communities . . . . (63.2%) congregations are kept informed about events and news2. Religious exploration and spiritual growth . . . . . . . (48.5%) • Recognition that members and congregations are yearning3. Benefitting the wider community for spiritual, theological, and intellectual deepening in which we operate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (34.4%) • Support and resources for smaller, lay-led congregations, and for distinct communities like religious educators,We learned that the cuc activities considered most crucial to its music directors and lay chaplainsfunction as the national voice for UU communities are: • Nationally-led action on social justice issues (although1. Professional and volunteer leadership development . .(70%) there is recognition that consensus on such issues is hard2. Spiritual and theological deepening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(65%) to achieve)3. Membership retention and growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(50%) • Leadership and volunteer development as a priority4. Strengthening congregational vitality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . (35%) • More of the timely and skilled services that are being5. Inter-congregation communication, provided by cuc staff cooperation and support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (25%) The first annual congregational survey has also helped to create some benchmarks that will help the Board track achievements.These results have been taken into account in the Board’s defin- As the survey is refined over the next few years, it will provideition of its priority outcomes, and will impact the direction and solid comparative data to guide us in building the best possibleallocation of resources within the cuc Work Plan for 2012. cuc for the benefit of all.Respondents also offered ideas and information that are help- Thank you to all respondents for your participation in the firsting the cuc focus on how best to fulfil the Board’s strategic annual Congregational Survey, and we look forward to hearingoutcomes. more from everyone in the future.continued from page 5creates. Also, please visit USC Canada (usc-canada.org) for newson October’s meeting of the UN Committee on World FoodSecurity in Rome. Canadian weather is changing, our spiritual leadership isgrowing and the laws of Canada are evolving—as are we all. Jennifer Dickson, Executive Director, Canadian Unitarian Council * Thanks to Arif Chowdhury of Fasken Martineau Du Moulin llp, who worked pro bono on the case.6 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • iNVErSEhyPErCUbE (CrEatiVE CoMMoNS) JUStiNForM (CrEatiVE CoMMoNS)KElly FiNNaMorE (CrEatiVE CoMMoNS) Images of the Occupy Movement What began in the Wall Street financial district of New York City this September sparked Occupy protests in Canada and around the world. Many found voice during a time when increasing numbers of Canadians are anxious about their future and areJUStiNForM (CrEatiVE CoMMoNS) questioning whether governments and corporations’ decisions are truly for the benefit of the majority. The Canadian Unitarian Council has resolutions that speak to many issues that are related to protesters’ concerns. Economic Today, along with those who occupy the public square, Justice, Environmental Integrity, Globalization, Peace, Democ- we call for a vision of a nation where all people can have racy, as well as Racial, First Nations, Religious, Metis and Inuit a roof over their heads, food on their tables, quality Justice and Equity are areas where we’ve spoken out, using our healthcare, and a living wage. We ask to live in a country collective voice to identify shortcomings in public policy. whose most important resource is its people, and where The protesters took to the streets to draw attention to the fact each person is treated with respect. that for too long, many of our systems have failed to protect the The Occupy protests are a wake-up call and we most vulnerable among us. According to a recent report from add our voices to the sound of that alarm, knowing the Conference Board of Canada, the gap between rich and poor that when we come together with others, our voice is growing much faster in Canada than it is in the United States is stronger. Together we believe that we can repair a (even though the US currently has a larger gap). broken system in Canada. May we, working together, Canadian Unitarians recognize that it is both a moral and change our country with our compassion, our good will, religious imperative to speak out when we see social, environ- and our willingness to make our voices heard. mental, or economic injustice —our principles demand we do this. A central requirement of effective democracy is an engaged Rev. Julie Stoneberg citizenry. We are seeing democracy in action! President, Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada (uumoc) Gary Groot, President, & Jennifer Dickson, Executive Director, (excerpted from the uumoc letter of October 21, in Canadian Unitarian Council support of the Occupy movement of protests begun this September) in Vancouver, toronto, and Montreal, the occupy Movement found receptive ears and willling voices. 7
  • Spiritual leadership Symposium 2012How Does Your CongregationFoster Leadership? The long weekend in May is traditionally the time for our national community to gather for a range of diverse presentations andLeading up to the Spiritual Leadership Symposium workshops, under the umbrella of the cuc Annual Conferencein May 2012, please help us all to begin reflecting on and Meeting. For the year 2012, this weekend will be dedicatedways and means for finding and fostering leaders in our instead to a Spiritual Leadership Symposium, a special collabora-communities. Here are some examples: tion between the cuc and UU Ministers of Canada (uumoc). What is Spiritual Leadership? During recent conversationsfirst unitarian church of hamilton held a full-day with UU leaders two themes have emerged: spiritual leadershipleadership development retreat that provided inspiration models how to live out our values in the world as distilled in ourand hands-on workshops for congregants. 80 people seven principles; and spiritual leadership helps us to discernattended. meaning in our lives. The Symposium will be an opportunity to explore more fullyfirst unitarian congregation of toronto holds what spiritual leadership is, and how it can be practiced withinworkshops for Committee Chairs on how to recruit our congregations and our movement.members. The goals of the Symposium are to: first unitarian congregation of waterloo uses 1. Share ideas and approaches related to spiritual leadership brainstorming sessions to plan events and programs. 2. Inspire transformation in our congregations and in our The sessions end with the question “what are you movement willing to do?” This helps to confirm commitment to action. At each meeting of the Council of Chairs, a new 3. Discern our future as a Canadian UU movement and the‘leadership tool’ is presented with a 20- to 30-minute role of the cuc in fostering this exercise, fostering a culture of learning. The Symposium has the potential to begin a process of reneweduniversalist unitarian church of halifax es- spirit and leadership in our movement. Let’s begin the dialoguetablished a Leadership Fund to assist congregants in about Spiritual Leadership ahead of time, through regionalattending various leadership programs and events gatherings, face-to-face conversations, on the internet, and heresuch as cuul School, the cuc acm, and other cuc in The Canadian Unitarian. Leading up to the Symposium, con-workshops. The church also set up a system that allows gregations are invited to organize opportunities for dialogue andcongregants to donate their Aeroplan points to finance conversations about what spiritual leadership means to you.youth travels to cuc events. We also invite you to identify existing, new, and emerging leaders of all ages within your congregations, and support themkingston unitarian fellowship ensures leadership in attending the Symposium. Who do you want to encourage tosuccession in their annual canvass by staggering the be delegates and Symposium participants?terms of two co-chairs: one providing guidance to theincoming co-chair. The following year, the second co-chair leads and mentors the new co-chair. Thus, no oneneed serve in the role of chair for more than 2 years, Planning Committee forwhile smooth transition and new leadership is fostered The Spiritual Leadership Symposiumin the congregation.Please share the events, systems, or strategies yourcongregation employs: contact Leslie Kemp, PlanningCommittee, at leslie@cuc.ca Leslie Kemp8 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • Our Spiritual Leadership Symposium So Farplanning: program:program deSign The Symposium will open the evening of Friday, May 18 follow-The content of the program will reflect the principles of spirit- ing the cuc Annual General Meeting on that day. It will closeual leadership. We will open on Friday evening with a keynote on Sunday, May 20.presentation. There will be many opportunities for structuredconversations. We anticipate using a range of participatory Friday, May 18 evening:methods such as open space, world café, art and music, and Symposium opening (keynote presentation)small group discussions. Saturday, May 19:PLANNING COMMITTEE large and small group sessionsCUC Board Curtis Murphy (Montreal) Sunday, May 20: Leslie Kemp (Vancouver) worship services, large and small group sessionsUUMOC Sunday, May 20 evening: Rev. Shawn Newton (Toronto) Symposium closing Rev. Shana Lynngood (Victoria) Rev. Diane Rollert (Montreal) SYMPOSIUM THEMESYouth Intergenerational Shared Ministry Kaleb McNeil (Saint John, nb) • Value and share leadership from across the age spectrum in the work of our religious communitiesYoung Adult • Understand the term ministry, not just as an operational Casey Stainsby (Montreal) task but as a religious expressionCUC Staff Social Justice as Spiritual Practice Jennifer Dickson Ariel Hunt-Brondwin • Social justice as a spiritual practice for individual UUs Linda Thomson Jorge Moreira • How congregations can have impact on their wider communitiesFacilitation Advisor Diana Smith (Victoria) • How the broader UU movement can have impact on the wider worldReligious Educator Lynn Sabourin (Vancouver) Culture of Leadership • Shifting the culture of leadership from the status quopractical information: towards a transformative approach that aligns needs of the congregations, communities, and the world, with the giftsVENUE of people in our congregations and movement.The Annual General Meeting of the cuc and the Symposium willtake place at The Westin Ottawa, from Friday, May 18, throughSunday, May 20, 2012. Congregational Participation This will be a multigenerational event:REGISTRATION-KEY DATES • Youth, young and older adultsMarch 31, 2012 Early registration deadline • Board and committee leadersApril 17, 2012 Deadline for hotel bookings • Parish MinistersACCOMMODATION • Religious EducatorsThe cuc has reserved rooms at The Westin Ottawa at specialconference rates. Rooms must be booked by April 17; to receivethe discounted room rate, be sure to mention that you are partof the cuc conference, when you book.RATESTraditional: $119 Deluxe: $169Premium: $139 Extra Person: $20 9
  • Spiritual leadership Symposium 2012 Ask a dozen Unitarian and Universal- ist leaders to define the term spiritual leadership, and you might expect to get a dozen (or more!) answers. But Take a Breath: Reflecting on Spirtual Leadership from informal check-ins conducted by cuc Board members to lay leaders “I’ve come to believe that ‘preaching to the choir’ is exactly the right thing to do. of congregations, we on the cuc Board have found a great deal of agreement If I can help those who already share certain beliefs and dreams sing their song a about the intention and potential of little clearer, a little more confidently, I know they will take that song back to their providing and promoting leadership that is spiritual—even if use of the networks…. We gain courage from learning we’re part of a choir. We sing better word ‘spiritual’ rankles for some. when we know we’re not alone.” Responses highlighted two cri- teria: that spiritual leadership models how to live out our values in the world, Margaret Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science as implied by our seven principles; and that it helps us discern meaning in our lives. Leadership that is spiritual, then, provides guidance in the context of Unitarian Universalism. For the individual, this offers help in prioritizing values in a society full of con- tradiction and compromise. For the congregation, this offers maturity and growth so that it can make an impact on its wider community. The Latin root of the word ‘spirit’ means ‘breath,’ which is firmly based in our lived human experience. As we breathe, we live. In our Sunday gatherings, we practice breathing together— when we read in unison, when we share a moment of silent meditation, when we raise our voices to sing a song. These practices embody spirituality. We each breathe separately, but of the same air; we are just one, but also part of a collective; we strive to balance our keen sense of individualism with the bigger purpose of participation in the voluntary association of a congregation. And our member congregations interact as part of the collective that is the Canadian Unitarian Council. Effective spiritual leadership can lead us, as individuals, to better understand our effectiveness when we work collaboratively with a common purpose. Our covenant of walking together in the work of the world is work that matters. How to be together, to breathe together, this is the heart of the discourse we hope to inspire at the Spiritual Leadership Symposium in May 2012. I hope representatives from all our member congregations will be part of this journey of dis- covery, joining Unitarian Universalist voices as we sing our song of hope and transformation in a world ready for change. Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela First Unitarian Congregation of Waterloo the results of the cuc first annual congregational survey are in. we are listening and are ready to make changes with you. the cuc needs your support to provide the services you are asking for— please become a friend today!10 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • Alimentation vivante : santé et spiritualitéLe crudivorisme consiste à n’absorber que des aliments chauffés ser les aliments par le feu : « Ne tuez ni hommes ni bêtes et neà moins de 50 °C (la température maximale afin de promouvoir détruisez pas les aliments que vous portez à votre bouche, carla vie). Ce mouvement se décline en plusieurs sous-groupes : si vous mangez des aliments vivants, ceux-là vous vivifieront ;instincto permettant de manger de tout pourvu que ce soit cru, mais si vous tuez pour obtenir votre nourriture la chair mortehygiénisme insistant sur les combinaisons alimentaires per- vous tuera à votre tour. Car la vie procède seulement de la vie,mettant une digestion optimale, frugivorisme principalement et de la mort ne sort toujours que la mort… »basé sur d’énormes quantités fruits, végétalisme bannissant tout Très souvent les tenants de l’alimentation vivante méditentproduit animal (lait, œufs, miel), etc. Son expression la plus à et sont socialement très conscientisés, se préoccupant non seu-la mode aux États-Unis est l’alimentation vivante végétalienne lement de commerce équitable ou de l’équilibre mondial desconsistant à ne manger que cru ou déshydraté : légumes, fruits, ressources alimentaires, mais surtout de leur empreinte écolo-noix, graines, algues, huiles et pousses de grains, de graines ou gique (d’où l’achat local, biologique, non-ogm, etc.), et certainsde légumineuses. Et, contrairement à ce qu’on pourrait croire, vont encore plus loin, mangeant très frugalement ou encoreil se trouve maintenant des milliers de recettes aussi variées refusant de consommer des aliments hybrides (voir Génèseque délicieuses. 1 :29), car sans semence, point de reproduction. Vous croyez peut-être qu’il s’agit là d’une nouvelle mode Appréciez par ailleurs toute la spiritualité qui transpire depassagère, mais détrompez-vous : l’alimentation vivante tire en la recette du célèbre « pain essénien » selon les Évangiles deeffet ses lettres de noblesse de l’Évangile de la Paix des Esséniens, la Paix : « Humidifiez votre blé afin que l’ange de l’eau fassedémontrant qu’il s’agit là du mode de vie que pratiquait, voilà sortir le germe de vie puis écrasez votre grain et confectionnezplus de 2 000 ans, cette ancienne secte juive. Il semblerait que de fines galettes comme l’ont fait vos pères. Laissez-les ensuitede nombreux yogis vivant dans des lieux reculés se sustentent du matin jusqu’au soir exposées aux rayons du soleil afin queencore ainsi, suivant une tradition spirituelle immémoriale. Au l’ange du soleil puisse y descendre ».XIXe siècle, un médecin autrichien soignait ses patients atteints La place manque ici pour une dissertation sur les effets quede graves difficultés digestives par le cru, les sauvant ainsi d’une pourrait avoir sur la spiritualité un apport alimentaire ni carnémort certaine. Au XXe siècle, Ann Wigmore redécouvrit cet art et ni raffiné, mais vivant, pacifiant, débordant d’enzymes et de vita-fonda, s’étant ainsi guérie de plusieurs maladies, le très fameux mines, frugal et léger – donc facile à assimiler et permettant, deInstitut de santé Hippocrate. De nos jours, Gabriel Cousens, ce fait, une digestion et une santé optimales, la décontraction desmédecin, psychiatre, auteur de Nutrition Spirituelle, en est l’un tensions, un sommeil réparateur et une étonnante clarté d’esprit.des plus ardents et crédibles défenseurs. C’est pourquoi je vous encourage à vous renseigner. Après tout, Mais pourquoi manger vivant, vous demandez-vous sans manger 50 % vivant, c’est la moitié du repas en salade, crudités,doute. La perspective de résoudre certains ennuis de santé est pousses et fruits au naturel : ce n’est peut-être pas très éloignécertainement la raison qui attire le plus d’amateurs. Simplicité de ce que vous faites déjà. Par contre, c’est un sérieux coup deet facilité d’exécution en séduisent d’autres, principalement ceux, pouce pour le physique, le mental, l’émotionnel et le spirituel.toujours plus nombreux, affligés d’allergies ou intolérances À ruminer, si j’ose dire…au gluten ou aux produits laitiers. Il y a également toute unedimension spirituelle qui attend cet explorateur de l’extrême Noëlle Laissyqu’est l’adepte de l’alimentation vivante. En effet, les Évangiles Directrice du conseil d’administrationde La Paix nous exhortent non seulement à « manger à la table Congrégation du Bord du Lac, Lachine, Québecde Dieu », donc végétarien, mais également à éviter de dévitali- CUC friends are special supp ort the CuC , become a friend! people who help the organ- name address ization meet its annual goals city province postal code through direct financial gifts. i would like to donate $ Please send me more information Will you become a friend? thank yo u for yo ur supp or t www.cuc.ca/friends Clip and send with donation to: CUC, 100–344 Dupont Street, toronto, on, m5r 1v9 11
  • cebook? Why use FaFacebook—is it an exciting new way for your the Declaration’ banner train to Ottawa,congregation to connect, share information, for the UN Declaration on the Rights ofand build community? Indigenous Peoples. Or is it an ad-cluttered time-sink, that You’ll find occasional questions andmakes a poor substitute for genuine human quotations that provoke thought and dis-relationships? cussion, and easy links to the Facebook UUs tend to be people who see things from streams of congregations and related organizations:multiple points of view—and that’s helpful when talking about owl, USC Canada, UUWorld magazine, the UU United Na-Facebook, because it can be both of these things. tions Office, the Liberal Religious Educators Association, and Many congregations have asked lately whether they should the Unitarian Universalist Association in the USA.make use of social media. A year ago I hesitated, but not any What makes Facebook worth the effort? It’s fast. You canmore: the answer is yes, and Facebook is the place to start. The update your page—and the Facebook stream of everyone whocuc Facebook stream is now an important ongoing part of our ‘Likes’ your page—in an instant. Facebook messages have aown communications. Features introduced over the last few friendly feel, and they can lead people to your deeper and bettermonths make it more suitable for non-profit organizations. ways of communicating. There are drawbacks. (It’s still Facebook.) But with its vast At first, only a few people will follow your page. Don’t worry,reach, easy setup and zero cost, your congregation should plan spread the word, and carry on. Those first few people are likelyto be there too. to be what Malcolm Gladwell, in The Tipping Point, calls “con- So, how do you begin? And what will make Facebook valu- nectors.” Everything worthwhile that reaches them is reachingable to you? other people too. The cuc page will give you some ideas. Just type “Canadian Like most good web tools these days, Facebook makes it easyUnitarian Council” into Facebook’s search box (or visit www.face- to track results. For example, the “Page Insights” feature of thebook.com/pages/Canadian-Unitarian-Council/30503086075). cuc page tells me, as I work on this, that we had 9,405 post views Note that I said cuc’s “page.” In the past, there was a question in the last month, that we have 35% more active users than lastof whether to set up a ‘Page’ or a ‘Group’. In February, that ques- month, and that 240 people “Like” our page so far.tion was decisively answered. A page now lets you post as your (By the way, do ‘Like’ the cuc page. You’ll see our future postsorganization. You can let multiple people do this for you. There automatically in your Facebook stream.)are other new features too. You’ll find details and instructions at At least eight cuc member congregations are experimentingwww.facebook.com/pages/learn.php. (If your congregation has with Facebook: Winnipeg, Saskatoon, London, Nanaimo, Comox,a Facebook group, Facebook may have invited you to convert it Don Heights, Peterborough and First Unitarian Congregation ofto a page, and you should.) Toronto. (Did I miss you? Let me know.) A few others are online In cuc’s stream you’ll see links to news and articles of wide in the old ‘Group’ format.UU interest. One fresh example is nasa honouring a UU scien- If you want to pursue this more seriously, there’s an ongoingtist, the “mother of the Hubble telescope,” with an award previ- conversation in the UU Social Media Lab, at www.facebook.com/ously given only to Einstein, Hubble and Carl Sagan. groups/uusocialmedialab. But remember what wise Facebook You’ll find announcements of upcoming events and trainings, users say: “A single conversation across the table with a friendfor lay chaplains, owl leaders, Youth and others, with links to is worth a year’s worth of Facebook status updates.”details and online registration. You’ll find videos of talks, and live coverage of import- Ben Wolfeant events, such as our 50th Anniversary gathering in May, Communications Director,and our congregations’ involvement in Kairos’ ‘Roll With Canadian Unitarian Council12 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • the graduates and staff of Goldmine 2011: the intensive six-dayarDEN hoDy youth-leadership camp took place this summer in Mississauga, on. small groups to reflect on the credo questions they have been asked to ponder earlier in the day. At the yes camp—which is a secular program—campers gather every night for evening Reflections, a safe time for teens to share the hopes and fears they have with peers. For many, this is the first time they have ever had such an opportunity. Summer or Other—Nothing Beats Camp It has been my observation that when this kind of reflection is allowed to happen in a camp-like setting, this combination As a Unitarian I am not yet sure of all that I might believe in. The creates powerfully fertile ground for self growth. As individ- things in my life that are of most value to me are still growing uals begin to feel truly comfortable in their own skin they gain and changing. There is, however, something that I do believe self-confidence and self-esteem. When this valuable experi- in without equivocation—I believe in camp. ence is combined with learning about leadership, the results I hold a degree in Outdoor Education and worked for many are blossoming leaders—not authoritarians, but rather people years as a counselor and leader at a summer camp on Vancouver who’empower, having gained a new responsibility to share their Island. I have seen first hand that camp has the power to bring gifts with others in a visionary way. us together and create communities where there were only indi- I saw this growing and deepening happen to participants and viduals gathered a few days before; ultimately it is an experience staff at each of these three programs this summer. I know that that can leave us transformed. the changes cuul school and Goldmine grads feel, when they Whatever the location, size, program or theme, all camp go back to their youth groups, committees, and Boards, have a experiences have four important elements. tremendous ripple effect on our communities. In congregational 1. You must leave your home and stay overnight (and usually settings, their new self-awareness and self-confidence is infec- for longer than just a night or two) tious; because authenticity, leadership, and positive transforma- tion are things we all can believe in. 2. You are asked to share your living, working, and eating space with the group. 3. You are asked, at some level, to leave part of yourself Ariel Hunt-Brondwin behind; and to understand yourself as belonging to a new, National Youth and Young Adult Programming larger, whole. & Ministry Development 4. It has a defined beginning and end, and when it is over you have to go home. These essential and fundamental aspects of a camp experience provide a safe container for learning life skills: understanding canadian unitarian universalist leadership school how to work together respectfully, how to communicate honestly, (cuul school) is the cuc’s own residential, intensive four- and how to lead and empower one another. day leadership program for experienced and emerging Cuc’s cuul School Program, the Goldmine Youth Leadership congregational leaders. Program, and the bc Cooperative Association’s Youth Leadership Program (yes camp) are all camps of this nature. goldmine is a Youth Leadership Program developed in The curricula of these programs are different, but they all 1991 in the uua’s Pacific North West District. In 2009 the share the goal of nurturing and growing leaders through intro- cuc piloted this program at the Unitarian Congregation ducing concepts and activities that are, among other things, in Mississauga and, because it was such a success, we ran intended to increase self-awareness. In their different ways, each it again this summer. program seeks to encourage, and provide space for, participants to express themselves freely, to reflect on and share their current the yes camp is the youth leadership program of the bc beliefs and feelings. Cooperative Association and has been running for over 30 Cuul school has sessions called Covenant groups, or Chal- years. It offers week-long summer camps, where bc youth ice Circles, and these offer participants an exposure to the UU are sponsored by local credit unions and cooperatives. version of small group ministry. At Goldmine the participants have daily Credo Group meetings where they are given time in 13
  • n… katoo n Sas oU ma ri Cl r s sC ay Yea Ca ot e th e ye he tastebUds d p ork s Coffee at fU On ry rl t fo nd Ca len r C ra si an isin ally UU g rCh g dl nipe e a re help ChU Cho o W noW deat Win t has niCe ing r Cola haCky Wt yk h by Ch la at ho bod al oi te l m Ce no sa a s: s dv m ke We Ce Cid e saCk eo t (haiti) Coin san en ne he da best garliC toast ever en in s gl les baking marathon gho pla n the d rU for fonkaze in t st i yin adrian oUr sUperhero he C g gr ark rs op p W sh ee gUrU h s oUn d rk asl een ip W ng try at lli an o o fa g h Co-Co-dean-dean-dylan in Ug at doCon sUpe qUi nn app les se ad g e e rh iC lt to in f s ki lad eren ero milk d ays gabe’s app rv U th oin o Ce: Uds les e o tig is C are ribs C le sore bry hippi ar j er a fUn e Co ptUr mon ky fr eal nf e & oot an liC d by / t do iCal pl th d o tt Ci plan ige Wha /eth yday toa nn lo Wa on a oUs ay e p nin st am op g fo r ligi ever in ia er ever l/re halloWeen oUr o s s r Cr yth itUa an in y g re igi r rl ing spir Un n e re e danCe on o o U me life? so n y fo n t n Ck r oU U C l fo o Ch eing e s ve lv is od rC he ro rro rs hr n t b i ed a an Uffe is o go d on r v ho sW Cr hit toph : oC im d op g imm od als po Chen er W &d in bla sin s rU ing yla oga n ir s g & t ps a th hr nin e to ste r ns Ca g Up to Ul r de e We nne e kin UC ny e m oU g ok the po mU pme rn ks rti at ash Us gh tin r seU nt ti ma ng ti ov do na of ota oU ligh fo ta di g al s bo om m eU m id ie dj Ck d p m e t ies m m o at vass Up m r st mov a he oe ra & ot g f vo ti & lo a e a or riss e- ve th Col th t n qU din rr dy ve a h he l Ca ho at m WatC e e iCe e dt p- a o th e Us ea t re t k r sq ee sp ne g d d Ch s - ma ad pUppie in fin izza ds piz oUp-s da Uar ais s h de h an UrC dr e m y in nC e mUC y d e h n le ’t all in hi he Cno -p g aren fU idd -s za th nke fUn t tW in Up st nt t e pr at sor om Chi advi mo ep so We min nig ng go oUr ld ha o n is o ht ld rya toronto ni b moniCa’s e moniCal Greetings from the UCS Youth The Canadian Unitarian asked for impressions from the Youth of the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon, and impressions is what they gave! Using a big, green bristol board and covering it with writing in all sizes, shapes, and directions, a collage repre- senting one year for Youth in Saskatoon was created. Reproduced here, also in collage form, are their reflections and memories— of taste, sound, events, and accomplishments. Thanks to Bryan ar Carroll, ucs Youth group advisor, for encouraging this expression, t ye and for passing it on to the rest of us. nex ou e ey …s14 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • “Our Healthcare system merits preserving, protecting and expanding.”So begins the statement by the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Notice of this video and its contents have been sent to theof Canada (uumoc), at their Toronto meeting on May 27, 2011, Minister of Health and the official opposition health critic. Thein anticipation of the 2014 expiration of the current federal- statement also contains a call for expanding our healthcareprovincial healthcare accord. Discussions are already taking system to include “dental care, vision care, a pharmaceuticalplace about what will be included in the next accord. Now is a program, and a full range of mental health services.”critical time for voices to be heard on this subject. Discover all ten reasons why the Canadian healthcare system is In support of the unanimous uumoc statement, and to bring so esteemed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j22UbkuRePs,attention to this key moment, Unitarian Universalist ministers or visit YouTube and put “Canadian Unitarian Healthcare” inshared their experiences of the Canadian healthcare system their search engine. And please let your Member of Parliamentin a YouTube video called, “Ten Reasons Why We Love Our and provincial representative know your thoughts.Healthcare System”. Brian Kiely of Edmonton speaks as a parent of young chil-dren, while Phillip Hewett of Vancouver gives testimony to the Rev. John Marshcare provided to his wife during her final stages of life. The First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawafive-minute video concludes with the complete statement bythe uumoc. The bottle said hints of raspberry Out of the Bottle and orange, I didn’t taste anything by Rosemary Kinley but disappointment. We had drifted apart, you with your lack of contrition and smattering of kindness and me with myRaised in the United Church, RosemaryKinley learned about Unitarian Univer- reluctance to spit out the wordssalism in 1998, and became a memberof the Kamloops Unitarian Universalist that needed to be said.Fellowship, serving as their music direc-tor for 10 years. Our lives red with sorrow, She moved to Victoria to be closer toher daughter and joined the lay-led Cap- white knuckled and pained.ital Unitarian Universalist Congregation.Rosemary serves on the board, as a mem- Now out of the bottle, I taste theber of the Sunday Service Committee, andis still involved in the music. In addition fullness of fruit, hints of joy andto writing poetry, she has written a chil-dren’s story about backyard chickens. discovery Please send your submissions of short poems to Janet Vickers, poetry editor (poetry@cuc.ca). 15
  • The Congregational Connection When a congregation decides to create a mission statement, its members often find themselves plunged into unexpected territory, exploring the meaning of words like community, compassion, diversity, and spirituality. We generally think everyone understands these words in common ways, and yet when we examine them together, we often discover they have more meaning and dimensions than we imagined. Congregations themselves are like this too—they have more meaning and dimen- sions for people than we might imagine. In one of my sermons, I ask people to put their hands up if they have had a child or grandchild dedicated in the church, gotten married, or paid homage to a friend’s life there, or if they have found comfort in simply being with others as part of the Sunday congregation. Invariably the last question has the most hands in the air. It is a striking reminder that gathering on Sunday is important. Any Sunday can be a pleasant morning to one person, a call to arms to another, and a life-raft to yet another. To pre-suppose the meaning of church in anyone’s life is a risky thing to do! The many roles a congregation potentially plays in a person’s life are fascinating, awe-inspiring. Parallels are often drawn between secular non-profits and our Board- governed fellowships and churches as our congregational leaders look to secular wisdom to model decision-making processes for congregations. This is reasonable and wise when the parallel is treated like a metaphor rather than a simile: that there are resemblances, but not direct comparisons, between congregations and secular non-profits. Leadership is an area where this difference can be seen. In traditional non-profits, Board members are often invited from the larger community for their professional experience and social connections, and rarely from the pool of people served by the thaNKS to aNtoNia organization. The relationships between the roles of Board, staff, and clients are clearly marked and socially separate. Movement between roles within the organiza- tion is limited. In Unitarian congregations, people commonly move from one role to another or have several roles at once. The person greeting at the door one year may become president the next year, sit on a ministerial search committee another year, and help with the building committee another year. Ideally, as leadership moves from person to person through a congregation, responsibility is modeled as communal, new leaders are encouraged and supported, and the risk of burning out volunteers is eased. Even in small degrees, this fluid nature in our communities helps us to know one another in many different ways, ranging from the intimate moments of small group ministry sessions, to the public forum of our congregational meetings, to sharing the embrace of Sunday worship. Our various relationships with one another can remind us that we are part of some- thing larger and deeper than our individual existences, particularly important when we must sort out conflicting ideas, attitudes, or beliefs within our own walls. It is a miracle that congregations exist at all, and yet they exist because of the many ways that we are connected, and the many contributions we make to keep our spiritual communities alive and enlivening. My colleagues and I on the cuc Congregational Development staff believe in the power of our Unitarian communities as places of meaning, hope, and possibility, and are deeply committed to helping make it so. Rev. Antonia Won, CUC Congregational Development, bc and Western Regions16 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • CU&UWA: Herstory—then, now, and into the future Herstory was made for Canadian UU women when the Canadian Unitarian and Universalist Women’s Association (CU&UWA) was inaugurated May 21, at the acm 2011 in Toronto. On September 21, 2011, the organization was granted Associate Partner status by the cuc. The vision of the CU&UWA is to have a national and international profile with respect to the personal, public, professional, and political aspects of women’s lives, and will reflect our core denominational principles. Our mission is in supporting projects that raise awareness about women’s history, rituals, and perspec- tives; developing educational materials that highlight a women-centred lifespan curriculum; granting awards to women, acknowledging the merit of their creative work; and maintaining a monitoring group that functions internally within our denomination, and with an eye to society at large. Our aim is to be active in influencing and informing policy on issues relevant to women at all levels: local, national and international. From coast to coast, many grassroots events have built momentum. Concise Portraits of Canadian Unitarian and Universalist Women (2006) has been a denominational best-seller. Invisible Influence: Claiming Canadian Unitarian and Universalist Women’s History was a conference theme at acm 2008 in Ottawa. The subsequent book of the same title was launched at the acm 2011, and provides a founda- tion for learning about our roots, as well as a Religious Exploration curriculum. The annual Vancouver Island Women’s Retreat and the Prairie Women’s Gathering are important weekends that renew and refresh women’s spirituality and connections. The CU&UWA National Council hopes to have 100 Founding members by the end of the first year. An early project is the development of a woman-centred service. Your ideas for more projects are wel- comed.JESSiCa MothErWEll Ebullient participants in the 2011 Vancouver island Women’s retreat. Please contact us: Betty Donaldson, chair (edonalds@ucalgary.ca) Ruth Patrick, membership contact and treasurer (mruth.patrick@shaw.ca) Margaret Linton, communications (mlinton@trytel.com) Gillian Burton, Mary Lu MacDonald, Janice Tait, members. Margaret Linton, Communications, Canadian Unitarian and Universalist Women’s Association 17
  • ThaNks To TUUla heliN JohN VaN abbema JohN VaN abbema maRioN sollazzo over the past seven years, our church contributions health activist and therapist Will hall, and bc journal- involving groups from across the city with activities have paid for more than 400 backpacks. ist Robert Wipond, who specializes in mental-health to encourage all aspects of a green society. We con- Glimpses of 50 years at Comox Valley We are trying something new in our services auc- reporting. The program continues this fall with a C.g. verted our grounds to a xeriscape, which requires no glimpses of our beginnings as a spiritual commun- tion this spring. The Quimper UU Fellowship in Port Jung seminar; a listening and discussion group, mad- watering, to accommodate our dry climate, and have ity, photos of founding members, and photos of the Townsend, wa, will offer a weekend in Victoria in their ness Radio; and weekly restorative yoga and tai chi been hosting monthly movie nights on various aspects different places used for services were the basis of a auction this fall and we will offer a weekend in Port classes. of stewardship of the land, as well as encouraging the 50th birthday party held in october by Comox Valley Townsend in our auction in the spring. The proceeds Ucv’s Future site Development Committee has rec- use of locally-grown food. Unitarian Fellowship. Poster boards illustrated the from these two offerings will be divided equally be- ommended that one key way to promote ucv as a vital Meredith Simon growth and varied activities of the Fellowship, which tween our congregations. place to explore religion and spirituality is to become now shares space with Comox United Church. a large Suellen Guenther a centre for it. To that end, we’re pleased to announce Fall Festival and a Plentiful Pantry in Niagara birthday cake and many memories were enjoyed before that the Pacific inter-Christian Community, the Jew- The Unitarian Congregation of Niagara (ucn) is located the regular four o’clock service. Vancouver: Paths to Well-Being and a Centre of ish seniors alliance, and the inter-spiritual Centre of close to downtown st. Catharines. We partnered again organized by the Worship Committee, the service Inter-Faith Vancouver society have entered into extended rental this year with other downtown churches and groups included discussion of the past (Who We Were), the This year, the adult Religious education program at agreements with ucv and have opened up offices on for the second Fall Festival in october. This event isc a n a d a a c r o s s c a n a d a a c r o s s c a n a d a a c r o s s c a n a d a a c r o s s c a n a d a a c r o s s c a present (Who We are Now) and the future (Who We To support this focus, the theme for our annual the Unitarian Church of Vancouver (ucv) is offering our campus. ucv members welcome these new addi- an opportunity for the local community to showcase might become). Results of a recent survey also tallied canvass was mission Possible, and the brochure for Paths to Well-being: a program of classes, workshops, tions to our site at 49th avenue West and oak, and we their skills, sell crafts, and sell produce from their the answers to questions, “What brought you to our the generosity Campaign began, “This is your mission and sessions that promote mental, emotional, and look forward to some creative, shared programming. gardens. The festival gives people an opportunity to Fellowship?” and “What will keep you with us”? The should you choose to accept it.” The campaign kicked physical well-being. feel welcomed to the area, while promoting the com- day ended with an anniversary Dinner. off with an intergenerational dance, in recognition in the past thirty years, psychiatry has shifted to Rev. Steven Epperson munity’s gardens and programs. The ucn took part in of our church’s 50th anniversary this year, Dancing a highly medicalized paradigm of care. mental and this valuable community service and at the same time Kate Fairley Through the Decades, which featured decorations emotional distress has been pathologized—defined as Calgary: More Programs, More Green increased the ucn profile. and music from each decade, beginning in the 1920s chronic disease, or illness— with treatment reduced The Unitarian Church of Calgary is starting into an excit- our social action Committee has joined with nearby Victoria First: Mission Possible, Backpacks, and a Swap through to the present. almost exclusively to a broad array of medications. Re- ing time of transition to becoming a Program church; Westview Christian Fellowship to assist in a new project. This fall the First Unitarian Church of Victoria is con- in august, our church sponsored the backpack cent long-term studies are beginning to demonstrate one that has more members, more activities, and at the Women4Women is a group discussion and activity sidering the question: “What difference is our church Project, where our members contributed money to that outcomes for these treatments are questionable, same time maintaining a nurturing and caring spiritual project for area women who are experiencing serious here to make, and for whom?” Through sermons, provide local aboriginal children and youth living off- and that long-term use of these powerful drugs can atmosphere. We held an all-church workshop at the difficulties. one of the economic problems for these workshops, and activities in the children’s program, we reserve with a new backpack full of school supplies in cause a host of alarming side effects. end of october, facilitated by Rev. Robert latham, the women is the lack of accessible grocery stores, which hope to determine our desired purpose at this point in time for the start of school. The backpack Project is led our program started in may and June, when ucv minister who presented the in-depth workshop series result in the women buying corner-store food at high our history, and to articulate that purpose in a concise by surrounded by Cedar Child and Family services, a hosted well-attended public events with the award- on transition at the cuc acm in Toronto in the spring. prices. The solution was opening the Plentiful Pantry, mission statement. local native-staffed agency for urban aboriginal people. winning medical journalist Robert Whitaker, mental Calgary has a very active green sanctuary program, where groceries are sold in continued on page 20 kaThy sage aVaRD WoolaVeR aVaRD WoolaVeR Clockwise from top left: • Clean transport, old-style: this Penny-Farthiing bicycle was one of the many vehicles on exhibit in kamloops, bc. • Universalist Unitarian Church of halifax enjoys success • sharing the spirit at the eastern Regional gathering, with their first season in the churchyard vegetable hosted by the Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericton. garden. • The Choir sings at the eastern Regional gathering. • harvesting the crop in the uuch vegetable garden. • Unitarian Church of Victoria’s Dance of the Decades, • kingston Unitarian Fellowship prepares the sanctuary featuring music from every decade of its 50-years. space of their soon-to-be new home. 18 The Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011 19
  • continued from page 19 small portions for a very low this fall, music director Susanne Maziarz began price. ucn assists in this project financially, and with a public women’s choir that will visit the sick and volunteers. hospitalized. also begun is a Native american flute Merelie Scott-Armstrong circle—Grammy nominee and flutist Jonny lipford encouraged us during his visit in august. We’ve also Cornucopia of Activity at Neighbourhood started experimenting with the offering of Spiritual Much has been happening at the Neighbourhood Director roles within the congregation. Congregation of toronto. We have produced more than 25 mega-watts of electricity in our first year as a Rev Wayne Walder electrical generating station. other green initiatives— in our community and beyond—have been inspired Hard Work and Creative Dreaming in Kingston by the success of our solar panels. in November rev. Winter is the time for finding comfort in our surround- robert latham visited to help us clarify and develop ings and spending time with family and friends. the our identity, and in January we hope to implement a Kingston Unitarian Fellowship is spending time with new advertising strategy we have been working on with family and friends, but we are finding our surround- our partner congregation, Don heights. ings require some creative dreaming. the move to our Five small groups were filled this fall: a hidden new building was delayed due to renovation require- Wholeness, Spiritual Songwriting, Simply Pray, Seven ments. Principles in Seven Months, and Soul Painting. and the committees centered around our regular ser- we are delighted to welcome a new administrator, vices, including the service weavers and our new Soul hala riad, and a new director of religious Education, Matters groups, are finding amazing ways to include amanda henderson. all in our services and guide us to our new home. thea n a d a a C r o s s C a n a d a a C r o s s C a n a d a a C thaNKS to tUUla hEliN Travel Smarter, Live Better became eligible for prizes as they traveled the Social and Environmental action the City by bus all week, picking up clues Committee members of the Unitarian as they went. Universalist Fellowship of Kamloops part- there was also the Green your trans- nered with the City of Kamloops and the portation Pledge: by reducing vehicle use bc Sustainable Energy association (bcsea) through car-pooling, biking, walking, or to present the Great Green transportation taking transit for one week, participants tune-up at the end of September. became eligible for prizes. Cool Wheels the Great Green transportation tune- was an exhibition of vehicles that featured Up was a week of events showcasing many hybrid and electric cars, and one solar car, fun ways to reduce greenhouse gas emis- as well as scooters and bikes. the bike , thaNKS to tUUla hEliN sions from transportation. the tune-Up bus or boogie was a multi-modal challenge, increased awareness, and facilitated a where each participant used a different step towards sustainable transportation means of transportation to complete a in the future. set of errands. residents were encouraged to increase our events were an enormous success. the efficiency of their vehicles through We raised over $12,000 in cash and in kind, maintenance, trip reduction strategies, and and welcomed over 500 participants on carpooling. Kamloop’s transit options were the final Saturday alone. Most importantly, highlighted, with user-incentives and free folks said they had fun taking transit and access. the tune-Up promoted alternative carpooling! modes of travel: walking, cycling, and other For more information on the Great thaNKS to tUUla hEliN clean ways of getting around. and it gave Green transportation tune-Up, please con- residents a chance to dream about what tact Jim Gordon at jim-joangordon@shaw. an ideal future Kamloops transportation ca, or tuula helin at the-cap@shaw.ca. system might look like. activities included: the two-day mara- Tuula Helin thon of cinema, the reel Sustainability Film Fest at thompson rivers University; riding the Great Green transportation tune- the bcsea-presented panel discussion, Up: protective headgear, a solar car from the University of british Columbia, and a winning the Future of transportation; and the poster. transit treasure hunt , where participants 20 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • hElMUt KUhN Mary CraMEr Student intern minister Jennifer Channin is working with Gathering for a Mission Workshop at the First Unitarian the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of ottawa. Church of Victoria; one of a series of eleven. committees involved in renovation, leasing the new office space, and selling of our old building are working Cindy Harvey tirelessly to position us in a positive manner for the new year. We have discovered that dreams can come true Ottawa Fellowship Links with Ottawa First with hard work, time, money, and passion. the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of ottawa (uufo) to all who desire a place to feel accepted and wel- has welcomed Jennifer Channin, a student intern comed in the Kingston area, please come visit us and minister who is dividing her time between the First share in our dreams. Unitarian Congregation of ot- continued on page 22r o s s C a n a d a a C r o s s C a n a d a a C r o s s C a n In Memory of Jack Knight, 1929–2011 ing and the workshops, but best of all were roSS DaViDSoN-PiloN Jack Knight died peacefully on May 24th, the worship services and discussions. he 2011 in Guelph, on, following a cardiac would argue his points vociferously, wheth- arrest at home. er in truth or as the devil’s advocate. For over 20 years Jack was a member the Sunday before his death i returned of the First Unitarian Congregation of ot- from the cuc 50th anniversary acm in to- tawa. Jack and audrey and their children, ronto and we talked about who was there, David and lianne, were part of the wave and who said what, and how so-and-so of young families who found Unitarianism was faring. People countrywide were part in the 1950s. Jack was involved in church of his circle of caring. social events, spinning records for dances When Jack moved to Guelph in 1979, he Jack’s favourite UU principle was “the or cooking for church socials. had difficulty finding the location of the inherent worth and dignity of every per- he chauffeured liberal religious youth Guelph Unitarian Fellowship. he would son”. he strongly supported Unicamp groups (forerunner to the current youth grumble, “Why hide our faith away in a when a gay/lesbian week was programmed program) to innumerable conferences all school?” When time came for change, Jack in 1976 (the first UU camp to do so). Dur- over southern ontario and western New and two others secured the bridge finan- ing a 2007 trip to the high Eastern arctic york. in those days before seat belts, there cing to buy a century-old bungalow. he he actually reprimanded fellow passengers would often be seven young people with spent many evenings there as part of the who trespassed around inuit homes tak- their sleeping bags and gear squeezed renovation team. When the congregation ing photographs. that brought a stunned into the Dodge station wagon. one of outgrew that first home, he was delighted silence, and then applause. his proudest moments was when his son that the new building was within walking his second-favourite principle was “the David was chosen for a one-year youth distance of our home. free and responsible search for truth and residency at the uua in boston. over the years he taught religious meaning”, and he rejoiced when a Sunday Jack was active at Unicamp in honey- Education classes, served on various com- service made him think all week. he be- wood, on, during work weekends, at mittees, chaired finance drives, and served lieved that Unitarianism will grow when Saturday night dances as official square as president. he was able to attend and we live by our principles. dance caller, and as a board member. More be honoured at the Fellowship’s 50th an- When The CanU emailed asking for a recently, Jack had been the parliamentarian niversary celebrations this april. short article, i could hear him chortling at the annual meetings. it was his wish that Jack thoroughly enjoyed annual gather- “My, they must be hard up for news.” and some of his ashes would be scattered at ings of UUs held regionally, nationally, and he laughed uproariously! camp as well as the pioneer Knight Cem- internationally, and worked on two uua etery in Kent County, on. presidential campaigns. he loved the sing- Elinor Reed Knight 21
  • ment, all critical components necessary for end to the whole day. a full appreciation of the concept of peace. the Symposium was skillfully emceed by the theme for this first event, Peace and cbc radio personality, olga Milosevich. the Food Security, was chosen because of the keynote speakers were bruce Knotts, executive growing threat to global peace resulting director of the uu-uno, and Mark austin, board from food insecurity in many parts of the chair of usc Canada. the panel discussion, world. moderated by Mark austin, featured Joan bax- First PEACE Symposium in undertaking this project, the Universal- ter, Canadian journalist and author who worked the Universalist Unitarian Church of hali- ist Unitarian Church of halifax has joined with in africa for several decades; Marla Macleod, fax (uuch) inaugurated an annual peace two partners: the Unitarian Universalist United Food Connections Coordinator at the Ecology Symposium on october 30, 2011, to explore Nations office (uu-uno) in New york City action Centre in halifax; and Susan Stephen, themes that will broaden our understand- and usc Canada in ottawa. it is our intention owner of red road Farm in Scotsburn. ing of the meaning of peace and guide us to provide financial support for our partner the evening chorale event played under the towards its realization. our motivation organizations as well as the uuch. this also direction of Vanessa lindsay-botten, and fea- in establishing the peace Symposium is represents an effort to project our congregation tured soloists Catherine Kinsman, John lind- the belief that peacemaking is the most into a wider public arena in Nova Scotia. say-botten, Vanessa lindsay-botten and several urgent task facing humanity. Moreover, there were four components to the pro- choirs, including you Gotta Sing! Chorus, the it is a quest that involves grappling with gram: Symposium speeches and a panel discus- Chalice Singers, and the Gaia Singers. the fundamental social, political, develop- sion; a poster session by high school students all the details about the peace Symposium mental, and environmental issues of our featuring portraits of world peace activists; a can be found on our uuch website (www.uuch. time, since these are often obstacles on dinner with a menu that reflected the kinds of ca/first-annual-peace-symposium). the path to peace. in fact the peace in the foods that were needed to feed the world; and name is an acronym, standing for Peace, a musical evening showcasing local musicians K. Scott Wood Equality, action, Community and Environ- and choirs that provided a joyful and peacefula n a d a a C r o s s C a n a d a a C r o s s C a n a d a a C continued from page 21 tawa and uufo. We have very Montreal: Travelling and Making Connections much enjoyed her professional support so far, and look rev. Diane rollert will be supported by our community forward to contributing to her learning experience as at the Unitarian Church of Montreal (ucmtl) as she a UU minister. joins many UU’s in the Philippines, and we welcome inspired by our own discussions over the past year, rev. Carole Martignacco from North hatley, who will and moved by the leadership sessions with rev. robert be our minister during Diane’s absence. latham at the cuc acm, we’ve begun a dialogue on the men of ucmtl have recently started a pilot our mission. cuc Congregational Development Pro- circle, and the Groupe Francophone is considering new grammer Kelly McDowell, assisted by Valerie Cousins and exciting ways to reach out to the greater French- from ottawa First, helped 30 of us to begin exploring speaking public. more deeply why we come together as a (religious?) in october, the Canadian Unitarians for Social Jus- community. tice (cusj) participated in the conference Indignez-Vous! We are also actively pursuing our search for a here in Montreal, with discussions focusing on joining ‘home of our own’. our 2010 capital campaign among forces between groups from Canada, Quebec, and First Fellowship members and friends resulted in close to Nations. our home-grown representatives will defend $600,000 in donations and pledges to our building democratic and environmental rights in the face of the fund. We know that a building in ottawa East will complicity of politicians and the economic elite. likely cost over $1,000,000. the board of ottawa First Amber Dawn Bellemare generously agreed that we could extend our campaign to their members this fall. three amazing members LeaderFULL Fall at Frederiction of ottawa First volunteered to work with the uufo Where is the hidden leadership talent in our congre- capital campaign team. We trust that the opportunity gations and how do we develop it? the highlight of to work with ottawa First on these two projects will activities for the Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericton lead to further activities that will ultimately strengthen thus far has been planning for the Eastern regional our Unitarian voice in ottawa. Fall Gathering in Fredericton the weekend of oct 14–16, on the theme, leaderFUll Congregations. Marilynn Kuhn When the committee put the program together, it was on the basis of the conviction that hidden leader- ship ability is all around us in our congregations. Ways 22 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • years ago when a few members started an X and alcoholics anonymous”. it became agnostic aa meeting to work with alcohol- the basis for the first pamphlet used by ics who were struggling with the concept aa. the following year aa grew from 100 of a ‘higher power’. last year we hosted a to 500 members. weekly aa meeting at toronto First, which UUs have been a major force of encour- was consistently attended 52 weeks of the agement since the earliest days of the re- year, including Christmas Day. this year covery movement through the principles of we are building a first-response team, as spiritual dependence, universality, mutual a resource for people in crisis. We are also aid, and transformation. Addictions Ministry in Toronto working to develop a regular group meet- We can do more. Not because there any addiction is an incapacitating burden ing to provide follow-on support. aren’t other solutions available in our for someone to carry, whether it is alcohol in a quick question to the congregation, communities, but because in the middle or drugs, gambling or eating, sex or love. posed by rev. Shawn Newton at our re- of a crisis and indeed, following an addic- regardless of the addiction, there are no covery service, we learned that about 70% tion crisis, Unitarian Universalists are the easy solutions, but there is hope. of those present felt themselves to be first best place for us to get spiritual assist- this fall, the First Unitarian Congrega- significantly affected by their own or other ance. addictions feed on our emptiness; as tion of toronto launched an addictions people’s addictions. let’s do something a community of Unitarian Universalists we Ministry, with the idea of building a com- about this problem. if not for those that know how to help someone fill their void. munity of recovery and discovery. in addi- we love and care about, and if not for our if you are interested in starting a group, tion, members of the addictions Ministry friends and neighbors, then let’s do this or would like to receive a list of resources, are reaching out across Canada to offer for ourselves. please e-mail larry.knight@gmail.com. support and information for others who’d on November 26, 1939, rev. Dilworth like to do the same. lupton preached a sermon at the first Uni- Larry Knight our movement started a couple of tarian Church in Cleveland, oh, titled, “Mr. First Unitarian Congregation of Torontor o s s C a n a d a a C r o s s C a n a d a a C r o s s C a n loriaN K the Sunday worship service of the Western regional Gathering in Edmonton, ab. and means need to be found to bring it out in the open Halifax’s Garden: How Green! and to encourage it. how Green is our Garden is the name of the 2010 a two-stream educational format facilitated this: project planned by the Universalist Unitarian Church one dealing with administrative leadership (the tree of halifax, as part of efforts toward becoming a Green and roots of our congregations); and one on worship Sanctuary congregation. in May of this year, raised leadership (the flame of spiritual growth). We were beds were built; soil, peat moss, and manure hauled fortunate in the calibre of presenters that were at- in; and seed finally planted by the greener enthusiasts tracted to our theme, from ottawa, Kingston, halifax, of the congregation. the two south-facing raised beds and Fredericton. Moreover, provisions were also made located in the church backyard produced an astound- for a youth leadership program and a lay Chaplaincy ing amount of produce with very little coaxing, and training program. even less expertise. over the summer, members We believe that the weekend’s program helped were regularly invited to share the bounty of carrots, strengthen our ability to keep our Unitarian commun- cucumbers, snap peas, lettuce, tomatoes, and other ities active and meaningful. garden delights. Helen McFayden John van Abbema & Sheila Thompson 23
  • food (glorious food) There is a saying: “the revolu- tion will not be funded.” Well, the food ty ands Dir revolution will not be funded either. It will not beGe t Your H sponsored by Monsanto. It will not be high-tech. It will probably not involve skyscraper farms or remote-controlled greenhouses. It will not be developed in a lab, or a boardroom, or in parliament. It will not be on sale at your grocery store. It will not be fast and easy. But it will be fun, and it will be dirty. A wise friend once told me that the only way to fix our food system is for all of us to become more involved in growing, preserving, and cooking our own food from scratch, using local ingredients. Participating in growing and preserving our own food takes time, and it takes knowledge. If you know a farmer—or a grandmother—you know how much wisdom and skill is accumulated over a lifetime of working with food. Most of us have lost the skills to grow, preserve, and cook all of our own food. That’s where the next part comes in. We can’t do this alone. Tasks like canning, drying, and freezing food are meant to be done together. These elements of food production were always done with family or neighbours. And today, many people are doing it too. Students, people with low incomes, people who work full-time, and people with kids are getting together to grow and preserve their own food. This work isn’t glamorous, but it’s important and it makes a difference. Here are a few ideas that can help you start changing your food system this winter: In November: In January: Start canning late-season preserves with local produce that keeps Get a food-preserving group together. Find friends, neighbours, well. Learn how to make some easy preserves like applesauce, family members, and people in your congregation who want to beet pickles, and carrot pickles. This is a good time to look for preserve more of their own food next year. Start talking about a few canning supplies and get a book of canning recipes that what kinds of foods you want to preserve. Find out what expertise will inspire you for next summer! you already have in the group, and what skills you will need to preserve the harvest. In December: Keep a food diary during the winter and spring. If you know what In February: kind of foods—and how much—you eat, you can better prepare Organize a seed swap at your church. Many people save seeds or for next winter. Try keeping track of canned tomatoes, salsa, have seeds leftover from last year that they want to trade or give. canned fruit, frozen fruit and vegetables, and dried herbs. This is a good opportunity to learn about growing vegetables Don’t have your own gardening space? Start looking for a from other gardeners. You will probably find that there is a lot backyard or community garden nearby so you can grow your of food wisdom already in your congregation. own veggies next season. Some local food organizations have In late February, plant a few small pots of leaf lettuce and put listings of landowners who lend out garden space. them in a sunny window sill. Once the leaves are mature, you can cut them regularly and they will keep producing for months. This will also get you in the mood to plant, garden, and harvest in the months ahead! The food revolution is happening right now, and it needs all of us. Asha Philar, First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa 24 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • Eat Fish! Don’t Eat Fish!It all seems so complicated these days. On the one hand, fishand seafood are healthy, tasty and versatile. On the other hand,overfishing is depleting our oceans and fish farming is dam-aging our ecosystems. Furthermore, some fish contain highlevels of toxic methyl mercury, so maybe it is not such a healthychoice after all. Seafood lovers, don’t despair. You can save your fish and eat aquaculture eco-labels. The most common is the Best Aquacul-it too. Here are a few simple suggestions that can help reduce ture Practices (bap) certification run by the Global Aquacultureyour marine footprint without giving up fish and seafood alto- Alliance. They certify to industry best practices, which may notgether. reflect recommendations by scientists and environmental groups. Avoid red-listed fish. Several organizations have colour-coded As well, the eco-label sometimes only applies to the processing orsystems to help you make informed choices around fish and packing plant, and not to the actual fish farms or hatcheries.seafood (Sea Choice, Seafood Watch, Greenpeace). Some also Avoid canned tuna. Unless the tin has a reputable eco-label onhave wallet cards that they will mail you, and smart phone appli- it, you can be pretty sure that the canned tuna you are buying iscations. Each organization’s list is slightly different, so you may fraught with problems. Some species are overfished and manywant to stick to one preferred guide. As well, several Canadian of the fishing methods result in massive amounts of bycatch,supermarkets no longer sell many red-listed species in their including endangered species. As well, a global survey found thatfresh fish sections, with plans to phase them out entirely in the a lot of tuna is mislabeled and may not reflect the variety insidenext two years. These include Loblaw, Metro, and Overwaitea the tin. If you want to keep tuna in your diet, look for RaincoastGroup stores. Trading, Wild Planet Foods, Estevan, and 7 Seas brands. Caution: Look for reputable, sustainable seafood eco-labels. While far white (albacore) tuna is often high in mercury.from perfect, eco-labels can help us quickly identify seafood that Avoid Atlantic salmon. Almost all commercially availableis probably more sustainable than their unlabeled counterparts. Atlantic salmon is farmed and there are huge environmental Beware though: Not all eco-label programs concerns over the open-net aquaculture methods used for large- are created equal. The Marine Steward- scale salmon farming. Consequently, farmed Atlantic salmon is ship Council (msc) program is the oldest red listed just about everywhere. Unfortunately, organic farmed and best-known. msc-certified frozen and Atlantic salmon may only be moderately better since organic canned products are increasingly available labeling in aquaculture is not well-defined. If you want to buy in Canada. Also, the Ocean Wise logo is salmon, choose wild Alaskan salmon or wild Pacific salmon starting to appear on products that the with a sustainability label. msc-certified salmon is also increas- program recommends. I consider both gen- ingly available. As well, SweetSpring brand salmon, available in erally trustworthy. I’m less confident about Overwaitea stores, is sustainably farmed in land-based, closed- containment systems. Pick a top three or fave five. Identify a few green-listed fish and seafood species from the sustainable seafood guides. Buy them resources: preferentially over other species when dining out or shopping. sea choice: a sustainable seafood program founded to My own list includes farmed mussels, Canadian Atlantic lobster, provide information to Canadian consumers and businesses Arctic char, mackerel, pollock, wild Alaska salmon, US-farmed (www.seachoice.org). catfish and US-farmed tilapia. Find a sympathetic local fishmonger or restaurant. Some Greenpeace: currently runs a Canadian campaign to stop shops and restaurants are knowledgeable about sustainable fish supermarkets selling fish on their red list. (www.greenpeace. and seafood. Talk to shops and restaurants in your area. Also, the org/canada/en/campaigns/Seafood). Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise program has a list of partner restaurants, shops and suppliers that agree to serve or provide ocean Wise: created by the Vancouver aquarium to educate sustainable, ocean-friendly seafood. The list is available online and empower consumers about issues surrounding sustain- at www.oceanwise.ca. able seafood (www.oceanwise.ca). Amanda Strong david suzuki foundation: science-based education and is a freelance writer specialising in food, advocacy group that distributes information on Canadian health, travel, and sustainable living. fishery policies and healthy oceans (www.davidsuzuki.org/ She runs The Mindful Table (www.mindfultable.ca), issues/oceans). a blog that explores local and sustainable food across Canada with a focus on Montreal and south-western Quebec. 25
  • food (glorious food) Harvest Moon Society: Bringing Farm and City Together. It’s a fact of modern life that few of us are directly involved in the to play a small role in the Harvest Moon Local Food Initiative. production of the food that sustains us. Even with the renewed We are the first place in Winnipeg that Harvest Moon chose interest in community gardens and farmers markets, the urban for a distribution point. Some of our members are regular cus- majority remains isolated from its food sources. tomers. Others have gone to the festivals. We are helping our We tend to think of the food producers as being isolated, members and our neighbors become less isolated from their separated from the museums, sports arenas, and concert halls food sources. that symbolize urban centers. But most of our popular culture For more information please visit: www.harvestmoonfood. can be shipped electronically at very little cost, while the capacity ca, www.harvestmoonsociety.org, and www.harvestmoonfes- to walk out your kitchen door and harvest your dinner cannot tival.ca. be transported at all. Isolation, on the food security spectrum, is mostly found in cities. Roger Rochester However, popular culture—television and the internet— First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg pays little attention to rural areas and the people who live there. Mechanization of agriculture has reduced the number of people required to grow the major food crops, which has eroded the cus- tomer base for small business and the need for public services, To Harvest Moon Local Food Initiative, leaving many small towns and hamlets unsustainable. In southern Manitoba, 200 km southwest of Winnipeg, the We at USC Canada are very interested in what the Harvest people in the small community of Clearwater found themselves Moon Local Food Initiative is achieving: USC Canada has sliding down that slope. They needed something to infuse new been part of sustainable agriculture worldwide for decades, life into their town, something that the urban folks would value through the Seeds of Survival program, which operates and support. The Harvest Moon Society was formed to provide a in the most marginal communities in Africa, Asia and link between urban people and rural life, to educate the populace Latin America. These farming men and women, though about the values of sustainable agriculture and environmental far from Manitoba, have so much in common, from what protection. They purchased the elementary school (which was I have learned about Harvest Moon. USC Canada has also being abandoned by the Prairie Spirit School Division) to serve been fighting the uphill battle of cheap, mass produced as their base of operations for education, but their classes also and often unhealthy and unsustainable food systems, and involve field work and outdoor activities. This hands-on approach supporting successful community ventures in local seed has generated programs that invite urban participation, and even banks, organic/sustainable agriculture and small farmer class credit from the University of Manitoba. cooperatives. Another favourite activity the Society provides is the Harvest Moon Festival. In the last ten years, thousands of people have “Healthy Land, Healthy Food, Healthy Communities.” come to Clearwater to join in the festivities, enjoy locally-prepared This is where the world needs to go. This is what I see in foods, view and purchase local art, and listen to home-grown the international work of USC. And it is the living, growing music. It’s a big-time, small-town harvest celebration. and vibrant work of groups like the Harvest Moon Society The Harvest Moon Local Food Initiative builds on the success that is helping get it underway in Manitoba too! Where of this festival by connecting urban consumers directly with hunger, injustice and environmental crisis are looming, the farmers who produce the food. Starting with local pasture- it is the community-based solutions, grounded in small raised and grass-fed meats, free of antibiotics and hormones, the scale, sustainable food systems that win out time after products now include organic grains and in-season vegetables. time: Manitoba, Tamil Nadu (India), Humla (Nepal), Sucre Customers can place their orders online and they are delivered (Bolivia), Douentza (Mali) or Wollo (Ethiopia)—change is to select locations in Winnipeg on a monthly schedule. Most coming and it is about time. I am so glad that I was intro- importantly, this initiative brings urban citizens together with duced to Harvest Moon Local Food Initiative. farmers, to build a local food community. No longer passive consumers in an anonymous food and agriculture system, food Very best wishes, and thank you! citizens are empowered through Harvest Moon to get involved in the governance of the project, and ultimately to have a say in Kate Green, the way their food is produced, distributed, and eaten! Program Manager, The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg is glad USc Canada 26 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • Pass on the Meat, Milk, Eggs—Pile up the Grains, Veggies, and Fruit. As Unitarians, we affirm our respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Often, though, we just don’t know how our choices pull on that web. Take food, for instance: it may surprise you, but your food choices constitute by far the biggest effect you have on this world. A study published in the scientific journal Nature (Oct 20, 2011) emphasizes this fact. Agri- culture, the report tells us, is responsible for fully a third of total greenhouse gas emissions each year, more than any other single contributor. It consumes the vast majority of our fresh water and it is responsible for a very great deal of the pollution in the world. Fertilizer and manure use, the report tells us, have dramatically disrupted nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. Every year, a 20,000 square-kilometer dead zone forms at the mouth of the Mississippi—a direct result of nitrogen-rich runoff from the farms of the Midwest. In addition, the study reports that 38% of Earth’s terrestrial surface has been converted to farmland. Over a quarter of tropical forests, just under half of temperate deciduous forests, and fully 70% of grasslands have been cleared for agriculture. And still, a billion people don’t get enough to eat each day. A primary cause of all this destruction, it turns out, is animal agriculture. Most of the land we’ve converted to agriculture has been cleared to provide crops and pasture for farm animals. A huge portion of agriculture’s contribution to global warming is due to the cattle we raise and the methane they produce. The equivalent of 450 kg of CO2 per Canadian is belched from Canadian cows each year. And nitrogen runoff? It’s no surprise that it’s a big problem: the majority of fertilizer goes to feed crops for animals, and once those crops are eaten, the animals generate an awful lot of manure—130 times as much, the World Watch Institute estimates, as that produced by all of humanity combined. Clearly, our choice to eat significant amounts of meat and other animal products has serious consequences. But still, all of this is arguably not the worst of it. For the fact is, in choosing to eat a meat-heavy diet, we’re managing to get an awful lot less food from our lands than they could otherwise provide. In effect, we’re taking food out of the mouths of the poor. Raising animals for food is incredibly inefficient. This is especially true here in the West, where factory farming is the norm. The way we raise chickens today, it takes almost two and a half pounds of dry corn, soy and oats to produce one pound of meat. Eight to ten pounds of similar feed go into an average pound of beef. Cornell University’s David Pimentel calculates that we could feed 800 million more people from US land alone, were the crops grown for people instead of for animals. Indeed, the Nature report tells us, we could increase the calories available worldwide per person by 50% if we would simply consume the crops we grow directly, instead of diverting them to animals. So, why not do it? Why not cut back on your meat, milk and eggs? It’s not hard. There are lots of meat-free recipes available on the internet. Substitutes like Gardein and Tofurky offer tasty alternatives to the meats we’re used to eating. You’d be doing the world a huge favor—not to mention the animals. Conditions on factory farms are truly egregious. And you’ll likely be doing your body a favor, too. Dave Steele Unitarian Church of Vancouver 27
  • food (glorious food) Where Will We Grow it? Destruction of Agricultural Land Rapid urban growth that consumes fertile agri- January 2011): “The ofa voiced its concern and cultural areas is a loss that cannot be recovered. opposition for both re-zoning plans, pointing With the increasing cost of transporting food out the contradiction and blatant violation of the over large distances, the conversion of agricul- spirit of the Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth tural land should be a major issue in a discussion Management Plan.” about food, and food provision to populations. In a plan prepared under the Ontario Places to The National Soil Tilth Laboratory in Ames, Grow Act, 2005, “There is a large supply of land Iowa, expressed that, “Each human on earth already designated for future urban ,” including lives off the farming equivalent of improved transportation. Another major about a third of a football field today. highway similar to the Queen Elizabeth Population growth and urbanization Way artery is under consideration. will shrink the available land base in Accord ing to t he 2008 repor t half by 2050.” “Regional Municipality of Niagara Growth Currently a major protest is ongoing in Management Strategy,” the region had already southern Ontario which has reached gov- reached its population target for 2011 by 2006. ernment decision-makers, and is directed “An increased demand for transportation against the proposed development of a very and logistics-related facilities are anticipated, large quarry on agricultural land. The situa- which will have a significant impact on the tion reveals the conflict of two primary needs future density levels across Niagara industrial of our society: gravel for housing and road business parks.” building, versus maintaining agriculturally The loss of agricultural land will increase productive land. This important protest ad- the cost of basic food—a major factor in the dresses only a very small aspect of the prob- increasing lifestyle disparity in our popula- lem when seen in the full context of the loss tion. Canada already imports nearly 40% of of agricultural land over the entire Greater its fruits and vegetables. (That most of it is Golden Horseshoe Area (ggha), spanning transported by trucks, and that trucks rank from east of Toronto to Niagara, which hosts high in the consumption of transportation one of the fastest growing populations in energy, is another matter altogether.) North America. The big urban centres are economic neces- In Landscape Ecology (vol. 9 no. 2), Michael sities but are also the long-term liabilities of Mueller and John Middleton described “an our time. The Preservation of Agricultural intense three-way landscape use conf lict” Land Society (people.becon.org) offers some between urban, agricultural, and thought-provoking statistics: 94% natural uses in this region, and of Canada’s lands cannot be a 30% increase in the population farmed, only 0.5% of Canada’s of the ggha is foreseen by 2031. lands are class 1 (meaning no sig- Although by 2015 a minimum nificant limitations for farming), of 40% of all residential develop- and less than .004% of Canada’s ment will be within built-up areas, lands are suitable for growing ten- this would still leave 60% to urban der fruit. 85% of urban growth has sprawl. taken place on classes 1–3 lands and Even now, the identification of fruit lands, and since 1966, agricul- prime agricultural areas is not based ture has lost over 6 million hectares of on national need but “in consultation with land in Canada (over 1.5 million hectares municipalities and other stakeholders,” ac- of land in Ontario). Finally, two-thirds of the cording to “Places for Growth, the Government value of Canadian food imports consists of food of Ontario’s 2006 Growth Plan for the ggha”. already grown here in Canada commercially. Recently, prime agricultural land was even re- designated as “Strategic Industrial Employment Fred Lautenschlaeger, Area,” against which the Ontario Federation First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, of Agriculture (ofa) protested (as recorded in grows vegetables in the good ggha soil. the ofa appeal to the Ontario Government, of 28 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • Food, the Tie that BindsWe have to eat to live. That is a fact. But we would all agreethere is much more to food than survival. It is, surely, one ofthe most important components in binding family, friends, andcommunity together. Over the years, families develop favorite dishes for each holi-day and anniversary. In my family it was the Christmas morningcoffee cake and homemade doughnuts for Remembrance Day.We each had a favorite birthday cake; for my husband and sonsit was rum cake—chocolate for me. I know we are all trying to Our Fellowship depends upon our personal pledges and ourcut back on carbohydrates and fat these days, but if we only eat annual ‘Bid Nite’ each November. Each of us offers one or morecake at birthdays, we won’t be upsetting our diets too much, items for auction and the most popular item is food—dinners,will we? teas, lunches or brunches. The highest bidder gets to choose the Our UU Fellowship is very small—30 members plus ad- day and dining companions. We know we are bidding againstherents. An important part of each service is coffee time. The each other but somehow it all works and provides a lot of fun.church supplies the coffee or tea, but we never supply snacks Of course, we begin the evening with a potluck supper. Weand no one is assigned to bring them. Yet cookies and muffins just love potlucks and arrange them at every opportunity. Wealways appear, just like magic. Cup in one hand, a muffin in the never assign anyone to bring a specific dish but we are all awareother, we use this time to get to know each other, share personal of eating sensibly and of the vegetarians and dieters in ourjourneys, or give support to people in need. It is a vital time for congregation. This is my favorite contribution, partly becauseour Fellowship. My favorite contribution is: it can be made ahead: Scottish Oatcakes Broccoli Salad 2 cups oatmeal, medium grind (not rolled oats) 3 cups broccoli florets ¼ cup sugar (or less) ½ cup red onion, chopped ½ cup margarine ¼ cup sunflower seeds, roasted 1 teaspoon salt ½ cup raisins 1 cup flour ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ cup water Dressing: ½ cup low fat yogurt Mix dry ingredients. Add margarine and water. Roll ¼ ¼ cup light mayonnaise inch thick on a board covered with oatmeal. Cut into 1 tablespoon sugar (or less) diamond shapes. Bake on a cookie sheet, 350°F (177°C ) 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice until light brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with a plate of salt and pepper to taste. cheese slices. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients. Stir well. Pour over salad and toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, or up to 2 days Food has had an important place in religious rituals since time began: Christian tradition has the breaking of bread, as well as the sharing of the loaves and fishes. There is corn and fruit for Kwanzaa, while bread, olives and grapes feature at Jew- ish ceremonies. The inclusiveness of our UU beliefs gives us the opportunity to enjoy the foods associated with all religious groups and, in so doing, bonds us even closer together. Enid Damer Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kamloops 29
  • food (glorious food) Talking with the Author of Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal ‘Contract’ is a word Jennifer McLagan, author of the newly- process it.” She pointed out that if we do want to keep eating released cookbook Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal cheese and milk then we will need to raise sheep, cows and goats, (Harper Collins, 2011), uses when describing the relationship which will need to reproduce, creating populations that need to between humans and our farm animals: “We’ve domesticated be culled. “What are we going to do with all that protein—throw them, that’s part of the contract. On a well-run farm they pro- it away? I don’t think so.” tect their animals, feed them, give them a good life and a swift She also argued for the efficient use of non-arable land, such death.” In return we receive their products. as a rocky hillside: “All you need is rain and sun, which makes This is the foundation of the food-philosphy that inspired grass, to produce protein we can eat. [Grazing animals] process Odd Bits, as well as McLagan’s two previous award-winning all that cellulose and produce this fabulous meat and fat, and cookbooks: Bones, and Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood we get milk and cream and turn that into butter—another mir- Ingredient. To fulfill our end of the contract, we should re-learn aculous product from animals—and manure too.” how to eat the whole animal. McLagan contends that this is not Jennifer McLagan, author of what must be this season’s most only morally correct, it also means the return of many delicious thought-provoking cookbook, would like to see us all return to dishes that are more nourishing than the skinless fillets we are the original contract, re-installing proper animal husbandry and presently cooking at home. the full use of animals and their products; “we need to buy our In Odd Bits we learn that pork belly—favourite of professional meat from people who care about their animals.” chefs—is the cut for neophytes because its layers of fat make it virtually impossible to overcook. Recipes for Spiced Lamb Ribs with Beans and Spinach, Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with Cider and Rhubarb, and Whole Veal Shank with Saffron, could serve as toothsome cold-season staples on a family menu. McLagan considers none of the recipes to be difficult: “some of them take time, more than any great expertise.” Moving from head to tail, Odd Bits takes readers on a tour of animal parts, their correct preparation, and some tasty ways to eat them. Whether it’s pork, lamb, chicken, beef, veal, rabbit, or game—cheek, jowl, organ, or rump, Jennifer McLagan guides Salad with Warm bone Marrow Croutons, one of the many tempting readers to a better knowledge of the animals they eat. recipes From Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal, by Jennifer Mclagan (harperCollins, 2011). And even if you already know that tripe is not to your taste, or lEiGh bEiSCh you never plan to whip up a batch of Chocolate Blood Ice Cream, reading through Odd Bits (and its predecessors Bones and Fat) is fascinating, and offers compelling arguments for better taste and nutrition. A flexible switch-and-replace approach encour- ages home cooks to make a recipe their own—or indeed just use these parts as substitutes in their own favourite dishes. “I wanted to introduce them back and put all that knowledge in one place,” McLagan explained. With the help of Odd Bits, Bones, and Fat, the chef/food- scholar hopes that people will return to the butcher and start asking for the other parts of the animal, “so that those parts will become more accessible.” She’d also like to see the return of an exchange of food information between vendor and customer: “We’ve just aged this beef, or, no we don’t have any shank left for your stew, but you could use these neck pieces.” She’d like people to eat local pasture-raised animals exclusively: “It’s more expensive but its better for you.” And eat all the animal because, “if it’s more expensive you can’t afford, and morally it’s wrong, to throw half of it away.” For those that are considering shunning meat from their diet altogether as a response to factory-farming, McLagan suggested several reasons for switching to farm-raised animals instead. “I think humans are designed to eat meat—we’re omnivores, we’re higher up the food chain, that’s just how it is. I don’t think we can live on salad alone because our gut isn’t big enough to 30 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • Confessions of Farmers Market Groupie Bees hover around Crystal and her booth of naturally-scented It’s great to grab a coffee and a scone, sit down and wait to bath and bodycare products at the Haney Farmers Market in see who shows up. Banners and live music make for a festive Maple Ridge, on, just as I hover around the market’s hot samosa and inviting atmosphere. The more I go, and the longer I hang booth; we’re all looking to satisfy our appetites. I have better out, the better the chance I have of either meeting a friend, or luck—Crystal doesn’t give anything to the bees. making a friend. I love to hover, browsing the offerings at the Market: the I was delighted when Maple Ridge opened up another market carrots and beets and beans all laid out side by side; the pottery nearby because I’m a farmers market groupie. It started when inviting me to make a casserole; the jam jars tempting me to I was a child. Our town had a great farmers’ market, and my toast. Then there is the teenage chocolatier, offering hand dipped farmer parents knew some of the vendors. We went most weeks sweets. They are all too tempting. to get our eggs and chicken. Even more than the food, though, I look for friends and Interest in locally-grown food, particularly organic food, is acquaintances at the Market. Is there anyone I know at the tiny increasing. Meanwhile there is heightened pressure to develop café that’s been set up for the day, or among those browsing the housing on area farmland that is now growing food. My husband merchandise? Al Sather joined the Haney Farmers Market Board to work at protecting farmland. He found there to be a vibrant commun- ity, growing each week along with the market. This communityKatiE StEiN SathEr extends from the Board and the very supportive town council, to the vendors, to their customers, and to other local organizations, as well as to the citizenry in general. Eileen Dwillies, the Haney Farmers Market’s long-standing manager, knows the market builds community. “Consumers ap- preciate knowing not only where their food comes from, but who grows it. They talk to the vendors when they come to shop.” She coaches vendors to focus on customer service, to work at building ongoing relationships with shoppers. It will be those connections that bring them back even on the rainy, chilly days. The Farmers Market specifically encourages both vendors and visitors to get to know their community. Each week a com- munity organization is featured, such the spca, or the recyclingKatiE StEiN SathEr society. Connections to the land, to the seasons, are other aspects of farmers markets. Local fruit and vegetables all come round in their proper time; it’s not flown in from the other side of the world. Citizens begin to develop a sense of place—the place in which they live. They learn what will grow here, and what will not. They learn what crop is available, and when. People are hungry for more than the food available at a mar- ket; they hunger for connection. The Haney Farmers Market feeds both. Rev. Katie Stein Sather (recently ended her eight-year ministry withKatiE StEiN SathEr New Westminster’s Beacon Unitarian Church) local-grown food and community are what’s on offer every Saturday, May through october, at the haney Farmers Market in Maple ridge, on. 31
  • message from UUmoC spritual food health authorities constantly encourage us to follow a bal- For Unitarian Universalists not all communion occurs anced diet for the good of our bodies, but we also need within worship itself. Simply seeing each other—taking a spiritual food for the good of our souls—and by soul i mean moment really to look at each other when we meet—is in the deepest, truest expression of each human being. you can my mind one of the offerings that we need the most. We decide if it means something more than that. reject anonymity and superficiality. We accept each other in the movie Mermaids, Cher plays a mother of two while hoping also that we might come to know each other girls; when life gets a bit difficult, she moves her family to even more deeply; it’s an invitation to open the shutters on another town to start all over again. her idea of food is hors who we are and what is ultimate to us. in that atmosphere d’oeuvres, so she prepares gherkins and olives on toothpicks, of mutual acknowledgment, we take risks together: join- cheese on crackers, mini-meatballs and such for every meal. ing in hymns even if we’ve been told we can’t sing; sitting Eventually this mother learns that a lifestyle that only tastes together in silent trust; discovering that we are not alone in experience goes nowhere of importance. Sometimes any of our insanities; preparing ourselves to hear what might call us might prefer just a bite of spiritual sustenance: a bit of us away from comfort into courage. this or that; something that can be held in the fingers and it may be that specific people—minister, staff, lay lead- goes down easily. ers—prepare and lead the service with care, in the hope that in fact, in any single worship experience there are a variety those attending will feel refreshed, rejuvenated, encouraged, of spiritual tastes to savour; not all of us find them equally and strengthened to live through the week with an expanded nourishing, though each service aims to fill and fulfill, to make view of what life can be. Eventually, however, those of you who us whole, healthy and strong. although most of our congrega- come regularly on Sunday begin to understand that your very tions do not observe the ritual of receiving communion, many presence is a bountiful gift that sustains others. of us come to church in hope of the same sense of renewal remember the ending of the old story: “in heaven, we that this ritual offers to those in other faiths. feed each other.” one goal of Unitarian Universalism is to What is our bread? to me it is the substance of the service, build as much of heaven as we possibly can here on earth. all that relates to the message: the sermon, the readings, Whether you bring your hunger or your own best dish for the even the lyrics of hymns when they are chosen as a way to table, there is more than enough for all of us. carry the theme. thE harVEy StUDioS What is our wine? i would put this differently: what takes us out of our head and into the ‘heady’ atmosphere of direct Rev. Stephen Atkinson experience? For me it is all that stimulates the senses: the North Shore Unitarian Church visuals of flame and aesthetic colours; the faint smell of the chalice candle; the uplifting sound of music; the prayers and meditations that are not-quite-of-this-world; the physicality of standing, singing, sitting, and taking hands (for those who are comfortable with direct touch).What is a Chalice Lighter?The Northern Lights Chalice Lighter Program sup- It is a growth program, but the word ‘growth’ports Unitarian Universalists in building healthy is not to be strictly interpreted as growth only inand sustainable communities within Canada. membership numbers: growth comes from strong,The Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada consistent, high quality programming, and from(uumoc) and the Canadian Unitarian Council (cuc) congregations developing and fully supportinghave created this program specifically to nurture appropriate internal structures suitable for theirgrassroots, transformative initiatives. present and future size. To do this, Northern Lights recruits and main- Please visit the Northern Lights Chalice Lightertains an ongoing pool of Chalice Lighters—indi- Program’s website (www.northernlightsgrant.ca)vidual donors who pledge to provide twice-annual for more information. The momentum is building.donations toward selected projects. Become a Chalice Lighter and join the hundreds of UUs who are making real growth possible.32 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • The Apple: Symbol of Knowledge in Spiritual ExplorationThe Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga (ucm) has a long But the apples went even further—into our Thanksgivinghistory and association with apples. In 1956 our founders pur- service, which is a family event to celebrate the harvest. Dur-chased our property from a farmer who was operating an apple ing the service, members of the choir retold the story of Johnnyorchard. There is still a fruit-bearing tree beside our original Appleseed to the children. Afterwards the children presentedbuilding. Hanging on our library wall is a beautiful painting everyone with an apple, before rushing off to the kitchen to makeby a member of our congregation, depicting a group of joyful apple crisp, which they proudly served at our Friendship hourchildren holding hands and circling that very apple tree. The at the end of the service.apple theme was reflected for many years in our newsletter From the simple act of apple picking, we explored the Seventhby our long-serving minister Rev. Jeff Brown, whose monthly principle, respect for the interdependent web of all existence ofcolumn was titled “Under the Apple Tree.” And so it has been, which we are a part. We supported a family who continue to farmfor over 50 years, that our beloved community has grown and their land, just meters away from new home developments of theflourished by this apple tree. ever-expanding Greater Toronto Area. We helped our children At ucm we refer to our religious education programs as to share the fruits of their labour and to make a tasty treat fromSpiritual Exploration (Se), and we are often asked to explain local produce. And to continue that lesson by making applesaucewhy. Our programs are designed to encourage our children and and to sell at our Festive Fair to raise funds to support the workyouth to explore the seven UU principles and to develop, along of our beloved community.with their families, their own set of beliefs. Knowing that they Lessons in religious education—Spiritual Exploration—areare valued members of our beloved community is also an im- reinforced beyond Sunday mornings. Picking apples helpedportant goal of our program. These goals are accomplished in us achieve a goal of exploring of our values and principles,a variety of ways. Our children attend Sunday morning classes strengthening our community connections; and we had a littlewhere they explore and search for truth and meaning. We also fun along the way.know that this search is more fulfilling when shared. As manyof our members came to our congregation as adults, they often Wendy Shusterman,say that they further their UU education through our children, Director of Lifespan Learningduring our many intergenerational services. The teachers also Unitarian Congregation in Mississaugasuggest that they learn as much as they teach when preparingfor, and facilitating the SE classes. On a Saturday afternoon earlier this fall, a group of children,youth, and adults set off to the Willis family farm to pick apples.The trip to the farm provided children and adults alike with awonderful opportunity to explore the orchard and to pick theheritage McCoun apples. The corn maze, pumpkin patch, andwagon rides added to the experience. And this was more thana pleasant afternoon visit; the plan was to buy enough apples tomake applesauce to sell at our annual Festive Fair. 33
  • Making Resolutions: Carrying The Power Forward The cuc resolutions process got an update when delegates at the agm in Toronto ap- proved a new process. Here’s what’s new: • One comprehensive process for all types of resolutions. • An earlier resolutions submission deadline of December 15, to encourage congregations to discuss proposed resolutions and provide feedback to the proposers. • Five categories of proponents (those who may propose resolutions). • The establishment of a Resolutions Advisory Committee to work with proponents through the process. • Feedback and suggested amendments must be given to the proponents prior to February 28; no substantive amendments will occur at the Annual General Meeting. • An ‘Urgent Resolution’ category now exists for topics that arise after the December 15 deadline. • The inclusion of an ‘Action Plan’ in any resolution by proponents, so that follow-up steps are established if the resolution is approved at the agm. Is your congregation thinking about bringing a resolution to the agm in May 2012? This is a good time to act—the draft resolution needs to be sent to the executive direc- tor by December 15, 2011, to be eligible for deliberation at the agm 2012. You’ll find all the information you need to plan your resolution in the Governance section of the cuc website. Please refer to the Resolutions Flowchart and the Resolu- tions Process documents. Vyda Ng Resolutions Study Group While planning your resolution, some things to consider: * Is it linked to UU principles and sources? Is it ethical? * Does it have broad appeal for UUs? A good example is the Resolution for Affordable Housing passed in 2010 (www.cuc.ca/social_respon- sibility/ACM_Resolutions_passed_2010_final.pdf.) If the proposed resolution does not have broad appeal, local or regional action might be more appropriate and timely. * Does the topic need a resolution? Can action be effected through other means, for example, partnering with other area congregations or community groups? * Is there a similar, previously approved resolution? If there is, this might be amended or updated. (For past resolutions, refer to (www. cuc.ca/social_responsibility/resolutions.htm) * Does the proposed resolution have the support of one of the categories of approved proponents (found in Resolutions Process document)? * Does it have a broad base to justify specific actions now and in the future?34 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  • “Fringe-Farm” to Royal TreatmentWhat world-famous haiku poet who grew up in poverty was JaNEt ViCKErSlater celebrated in Japan like a member of royalty? No, it wasn’tan ancient Buddhist monk or a renowned Japanese poet—but aCanadian Unitarian woman, and member of the First UnitarianFellowship of Nanaimo. Although Winona Baker is not well-known in Canadian liter-ary circles, she is appreciated in Haiku circles all over the world.Her work appears in more than ninety anthologies (includingNorton’s The Haiku Anthology), and has been translated intoJapanese, French, Greek, Croatian, Romanian, and Yugoslavian.Her poems are archived in the Haiku Museum in Tokyo, theBasho Museum in Yamagata, the American Haiku Archivesin California, and the Haiku Collection in the Fraser-HicksonLibrary of Montreal. Winona Louise Baker was born in Southey, sk, the sixth ofeight children, and moved to the west coast with her family in Winona baker’s Japanese-form poetry has been widely published and1930. When the family moved from Saskatchewan to a 40-acre translated, and has received many awards.farm in what is now known as Aldergrove, bc, the conditionsof their poverty were more painfully felt through the prejudice Her work often begins by gently finding its way into yourof others in the community. Shortly after the children started heart, then suddenly striking with acute detail on the crueltiesschool there was an outbreak of head-lice and Winona’s family we often overlook in the world around us:was wrongfully blamed for bringing the infestation. moss-hung trees “Problem Child” is the first poem in her latest collection, Fleshin the Inkwell (Leaf Press, 2010) and it illustrates the pain of be- a deer moves intoing relegated to the margins: the hunter’s silence Sometimes I answer her knock In 1989 this haiku won the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Scroll A waif with needs and long face haiku contest, Grand Prize of the World Haiku Festival Contest, which included an all-expenses paid trip to Japan, where she waits on my WELCOME mat was treated like a queen. In another, you can almost smell the Haiku is one of the most difficult forms of poetry. In the introduction of Tidepools (Pacific-Rim Publishers, 2011), a collec- Mingled odours from fringe-farm animals tion of Japanese-style poems commemorating the annual pacifi- chickens cows drift into the room. kana meeting on Gabriola Island, editor Michael Dylan Walsh writes “Haiku poets … revel in the visible with their finely honed You can see her “badly cut hair” and “hardly worth washing” poems—each one presenting a heightened personal experience hand-me-down clothes. You can feel the misery of an under- of the sights and sounds and smells of the everyday world.” nourished child who suffers with sore throat and earaches from Take, for example, her wry observation at the opening of a lo-“October to May.” You will sense the urgent need to belong, as you cal mall, from Baker’s collection, Nature Here Is Half Japanese: hear her “parroting phrases she hopes will please / smiling at mall opening speech people whose cupboards are full” and feel pity for the girl “who feels damned / for something she can’t remember doing and / ‘Once there was nothing here goes like a stone where kicked”. but a forest’ What inspired the poet’s eagerness to learn was the travelling library that came through town every two weeks. “We all went to The challenge, to the writer and reader, is to lift the essential the corner crossroad and took out two books, it’s probably where image from nature to the page, and let the last line whack you in my love of words began.” Now Winona Baker has a long list of the chest—as so many of Winona Baker’s poems have done. publishing credits, and many awards. Janet Vickers Poetry Editor, The Canadian Unitarian 35
  • Human Rights: UCS and CUC File in Supreme Court In October, seven judges of the Supreme Court cerns, among other issues: the constitutionality of Canada listened to arguments and submis- of s.14 of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code sions in a case originating out of Saskatchewan; (which has wording very similar to the Canadian the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon (ucs) Human Rights Code and many other Provincial and the cuc acted as intervenors on behalf of the Codes regarding the protection of sexual orienta- Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, and tion); reasonable limits to religious expression; were represented by pro bono legal counsel Arif the tolerance of prejudicial and repugnant ex- Chowdhury of the law firm Fasken Martineau pression within the larger plurality of ideas (androlaND tUrNEr DuMoulin llp in Calgary to whom we are most when expression crosses the line to hate); the grateful. promotion of free and responsible debate about The case goes back to 2001–2002 when Mr. important ethical issues; and the consequences William Whatcott, a known advocate of homo- of the responsible exercise of expressing one’s phobia and member of the Christian Truth Activ- opinions and beliefs. ists, distributed flyers claiming that homosexuals Easy answers were not forthcoming. The are pedophiles to homes in Saskatoon and Regina. committee involved in the intervenor application Four recipients filed complaints against the worked hard to learn, discuss, and debate within flyer, for promoting “hatred against individuals a respectful and civil context—it is too bad Mr. because of their sexual orientation”. Whatcott could not have done the same. Our able After an unsuccessful appeal to the Saskatch- and affable counsel Arif Chowdhury assisted ewan Court of Queen’s Bench, Mr. Whatcott filed tremendously. a further appeal to the Saskatchewan Court of The Supreme Court of Canada may decide that Appeal (skca). s.14 of the Code is too broad, as the Canadian The skca overturned the Human Rights Tri- Civil Liberties Association has argued in this bunal finding, determining that the flyers did case, and strike down the provision as a violation not violate s.14 of the Code—that the material of the Charter. was not directed at sexual orientation, but rather But protecting the vulnerable in our society behaviour, and that the freedom of expression to should always be a priority. Not everyone is make such statements should be protected. The capable of defending themselves against toxic case was then appealed by the Saskatchewan verbal attacks. And it is always important to Human Rights Commission to the Supreme stand up for those who cannot, or choose not, to Court of Canada. The ucs and cuc were granted stand up for the protection of their own rights intervenor status in order to file arguments on and freedoms. As members of a collective we behalf of the Human Rights Commission and must support and speak for those most vulner- the full case was heard on October 12, 2011. The able so that those who choose to remain silent Court reserved their decision and we will wait to may still feel secure. I think of young people who hear what they have to say. are struggling with finding their identity—that The ucs and cuc were requested by the they should be faced with Mr. Whatcott’s tirade Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission to and told to defend themselves, since this is what Send address Corrections and returns to info@cuc.ca or to: consider applying to intervene in this case. Why society has in store for them. I think of the epi- intervene? The ucs had received the flyers, as demic of suicide, bullying, and depression, and had many congregants. We found the material it moves me to take a stand as the ucs and cuc CUC, 100–344 Dupont Street, Toronto, ON M5R 1V9 to be spreading hateful lies regarding gays and have done in this case. lesbians—folks who were our family, friends, The Court may decide to pronounce what and fellow Unitarians. We were also cognizant constitutes hate speech in our current times, or of Unitarian values and principles, such as the they may leave that boiling pot alone. We will Canada Post agreement #40009492 truth not being told until many voices are heard, wait and see. and protecting the importance of debate, pro- The ucs and the cuc should be proud of their test, and expression in many forms, including participation in this case and it is worth praising religious freedom. the efforts of those who have contributed in this We did not expect that we would all agree on social action journey. definitions of reasonable limits of expression or Please contact the ucs Office if you’d like to the exercise of religious freedom. We did know receive an electronic copy of the ucs and cuc that we are a tolerant congregation and eager to factum. engage in respectful debate within the context Sean Sass of our covenant of right relations. The case con- Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon