web editionthe can adianunitarianNewsletter of the Canadian Unitarian Council Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011 One of the cor...
the case of natural Resources canada Geoscientist Scott Dallimore and the week-                                           ...
Letters to the editor                                                                                                     ...
President’s message                                    Looking Upstream                                    When i was in m...
message from the executive Director       Society and Spirit                                                              ...
continued from page 5                                                             the cUc will convene its first-ever Spir...
United in Learning in Halifax                   Fifty people gathered at the Universalist Unitarian church of          On ...
PhIL weIGaND           art Brewer   thaNKS to m. BatteNBerG    art Brewer8the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No...
mIChaeL BatteNBerG                                                                                            PhIL weIGaND...
“Words make you think. Music makes you                                                                                    ...
milieu. au lieu d’engager un organisme communautaire, j’ai                                                                ...
Fundraising is not a profession; it is a gift i was given.            For me it all started when my father asked me to hel...
Building Schools in Guatemala and Honduras                the First Unitarian congregation of toronto has facilitated de- ...
Multi-Generational MagicWe have wonderful teachers in our children’s program at the First Unitarian church of Victoria.Las...
BeCCa CLoe                                                                                       At left:                 ...
a Unitarian controversy                                                   Book Review of                                  ...
Meditation on Spaceby Kate Marshall Flaherty  Modern science now knows what sages of old have always known:  that, in the ...
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
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The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011

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

Vol. 53, No. 2

Theme: Natural Resources

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  1. 1. web editionthe can adianunitarianNewsletter of the Canadian Unitarian Council Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011 One of the core principles promoted by congregations of the cUc is a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” this is key to realizing the other principles, such as promoting“the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process…”, “the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all”, and “respect for the interdependent web of all existence….” to make the search for truth and meaning effective, especially for such important issues as the preservation of our environment, biodiversity, and climate change, the public requires access to the best and latest results of scientific inquiry. admittedly, scientific results are rarely if ever the final truth, and biased reporting is not un- common for research paid for by commercial interests. However, there is an established procedure in science, one involving peer review, verification and reproducibility of published results, and ample opportunity for scientific debate and challenge, that has proven an effective if not always efficient path to a reliable base for new knowledge and inquiry. public institutions and governments are the main source of funding for untainted research, and research for which there is little prospect of direct industrial application. the public needs and deserves access to the scientists and their results involved in this research, and in this tech- nically-advanced society, that access should be immediate—not subject to weeks of bureaucratic review. increasingly common attempts by governments to constrain information that may run counter to political objectives, and to tailor scientific communication from its scientists to serve their agendas, are damaging and counter-productive. in order to evaluate scientific reports and understand what constitutes peer-reviewed consen- sus, the public needs unbiased reporting that is free of political, commercial, and religious bias. in 2006, just months after the Harper government came into power, it advocated as its no. 1 policy statement for government communications (according to the treasury Board) to: “provide the public with timely, accurate, clear, objective and complete information about its policies, programs, services and initiatives.” Unfortunately, this policy has been counter-mandated by more recent directives and actions. it used to be that government scientists were encouraged to share their results with the public, and journalists could simply call the scientists for clarification and elaboration. Furthermore, the 15 journals of the national Research council would issue regular press releases about results of interest or concern to the public. However, that has all changed during the past three years, according to articles on the cBc news’ website and in several newspapers. in 2008, new government rules required that press releases have prior approval of the privy council, and carolyn Brown, the former manager of nRc journals, reported that when submitted for approval, her routine press releases were being Let rejected or delayed by months, so as to become use- less. after a few such frustrating experiences, tiStS she decided it was not worth the effort Scien to prepare the releases, and she resigned her position. Speak
  2. 2. the case of natural Resources canada Geoscientist Scott Dallimore and the week- long delay in his permission to discuss results published in the international jour- nal Nature (about flooding in northern canada some 13,000 years ago) was widely reported. it was strongly criticized in Nature, itself, by kathryn O’Hara, president of the canadian Science Writers association. according to O’Hara, access to informa-the c an ad ian tion requests showed a policy enacted in March 2010 that, “stipulates that all federal scientists must get pre-approval from their minister’s office before speaking to journal-Unitarian ists who represent national or international media. the pre-approval process requiresVol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011 time-consuming drafting of questions and answers, scrutinized by as many as seven people, before a scientist can be given the go-ahead by the minister’s staff.”http://www.cuc.ca/canu O’Hara concluded in her Nature editorial, “there is a need to return to a procedureISSN 0527-9860 that served us well in the past. it means working without cumbersome and propa- gandistic media lines, and trusting that scientists, journalists and press officers knowThe Canadian Unitarian is the newsletter of the what they are doing, are good at their respective jobs and will not work from a scriptCanadian Unitarian Council. It is free to all mem- that restricts the spirit of inquiry or accountability. access to scientific evidence thatbers for whom the CUC has a current address.* informs policy is not a luxury. it is an essential part of our right to know.”The Canadian Unitarian reports on newsworthyevents in the denomination, including the annual More recently, as reported in The Globe and Mail (February 2, 2011), water expertconference each spring. It attempts to reflect all prof. Helen ingram resigned from the alberta oil-sands panel that was formed tosegments of Unitarianism and Universalism in monitor environmental concerns, partially because there were so few scientists on theCanada. We welcome all submissions; however panel but also because all communications from the panel had to pass through, andpublication is based on the criteria of newsworthi- be cleared by, the office of environment Minister Rob Renner.ness, relevance to readers, length, and balance.Signed letters to the editor will be included, after the present federal government has shown an almost fanatical drive to control allbeing edited for length and content. messages coming from its agencies, and to ignore or act contrary to the best advice of its professional civil servants. Other examples have been seen in its reversal of policies* Non-members can subscribe to The Canadian by the canadian nuclear Safety commission, Statistics canada policy on census long Unitarian for $15 CDN or US. Send name, address, forms, the canadian Radio and television commission on internet providers, and and cheque to CUC office. actions contrary to advice of three national police organizations on gun registrations, to studies of drug addiction on safe inoculation sites, as well as to the preponderanceCanadian Unitarian CouncilConseil unitarien du Canada of scientific research on correctional programs and rehabilitation, and ciDa advice on the funding of international aid organizations.100-344 Dupont Street the muzzling of government-funded scientists has several detrimental effects.Toronto, ON M5R 1V9Toll-free 1.888.568.5723 • it denies the public access to important information that they in fact funded, infor-Phone 416.489.4121Email info@cuc.ca mation that may be critical in judging dangers of climate change, stem-cell research, use of gene manipulation, or the need to take action on a wide range of issues. • Since the reports that pass government screening are often politically manipulated, at least in appearance if not in fact, the public has less faith in them and less motiva-Opinions expressed in The Canadian Unitar- tion to support government-sponsored scientific investigations.ian are those of the contributors. Sources andnumerical values reported within articles have • it is a natural extension to assume that all scientific reports are politically manipu-been verified by the authors. lated and that none can be trusted. they become viewed as mere opinions and the opposite conclusions may be equally valid. Media feel compelled to present a ‘balance’ of ‘both sides of the argument’ without regard to whether both sides are equally supported by evidence or scientific consensus. this enables funded special interest groups to raise doubts or cynicism about any damaging science reports. it blinds the public to the nature of the scientific process and represents a serious disservice to the search for truth. the critical evaluation of scientific results is challenging but necessary for a well- functioning society. any message manipulation by government officials for political or profit incentive undermines the critical service that scientific research can provide to society. Bill Baylis, for the Social Responsibility Committee Unitarian Universalist Church of Olinda, Ruthven, on Printed on Canadian-made, acid-free, recycled paper (100% post-consumer fibre)
  3. 3. 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 although currently in the netherlands, i’ve undisturbed. But i do not know relative track Gary Groot belonged to various fellowships and churches records: successes, failures, percentages of Vice-President in canada prior to 1998. overhead, other. Ellen Campbell i very much enjoyed what executive Director Treasurer Jennifer Dickson said about the responsibilities John Michell of fellowships and churches across canada in Mike Curtis, Secretary The CanU summer 2010. Vancouver, bc Glenda Butt author erich Fromm warned of the pitfalls of Social Responsibility Liaison abandoning our own power and responsibility in response to “Seed Saving to Feed the World” leslie Kemp in his book, Escape from Freedom. in the spring 2011 issue, i certainly admire the Curtis Murphy to have spelled out very clearly what the role good intentions behind this and similar articles. rev. Jessica Purple rodela of the cUc can be, versus the desires of some to However, such simplistic and polemical ac- enter a dependant relationship, can only set the counts of complex problems do a disservice. Kristina Stevens stage for the long-term health of all involved! claiming corporations and capitalism are Minister Observer the primary cause of mental health problems, rev. Kathy Sage Hank Hulsbergen and making primitive agriculture the answer to Youth Observer food security, are questionable propositions at Micaela Corcoran best. i would hope we could explore issues with Executive Director i have hopes that two sensibilities will be ad- more balance, and sometimes even celebrate the Jennifer dickson dressed in [this issue’s] spread on canada’s ways in which our society is the best realization Congregational Servies Programmer, relationship to natural resources: of our basic ideals that has ever existed. Central Region Helen armstrong 1. a reminder that canada’s aboriginal sha- Gary Duim, Office Administrator Karen Claney mans routinely honour that which is around Peterborough, on us. a shaman begins a ceremony by directly Youth and Young Adult Programmer ariel Hunt-Brondwin acknowledging various elements. For exam- To be precise, the article claimed that massive ple, “we name the bees, they who fertilize farmer suicides in India could be blamed on Congregational Services Programmer, Eastern Region flowers bringing us fruit and who bring us the failure of genetically-engineered crops, and Kelly Mcdowell honey.” proposed that the loss of seed diversity was a threat Director of Resource Development to food security. Katheen Provost 2. in leaving a legacy or donating to a conserva- But we second your call for balance and welcome Director of Finance tion fund, i’d like to be able to compare these all submissions. Philip Strapp funds. For instance i am interested in groups --Editor Director of Congregational Services that set lands and waters aside to remain linda thomson Communications Director Ben Wolfe Congregational Services Programmer,UN Photo/JeSS hoffmaN the West and British Columbia rev. antonia Won t H E C a n a d i a n U n i ta r i a n Editor raquel rivera Graphic Designer Better representation at the United Nations Kim Chua Canadian UUs will be gratified to learn that activities; Canadian-centred communications Issue Proofreaders the CUC has signed an agreement to play and a Canadian advsory Council; seats on a Warren Scott, Stu Whitney a bigger role in Unitarian influence at the new advisory council for the new UU-UNo de- United Nations. partment of the UUa; and control of Canadian the agreement between the Unitarian Uni- financial matters. versalist association of Congregations (UUa) as CUC executive Director Jennifer Dickson and the CUC allows for, among other things, put it: “Canadian UU values and the values of a designated CUC staff person assigned to liberal religion will have more impact in a world Canadian participation in United Nations that needs them!” 3
  4. 4. President’s message Looking Upstream When i was in my early twenties, i worked as a medical doctor in charge of a hospital in art Brewer what was then Zaire—often treating illnesses that would be easily prevented in canada. i remember at one point being overwhelmed by huge numbers of newborns dying of tetanus. When i visited the region where the infections were coming from, i found that villagers had started putting cow dung on the umbilical stumps of all the newborns to make the cord fall off more quickly. Finding the source of the neonatal tetanus and putting an end to it was my first ex- perience in what is known as ‘upstream’ work—finding the root source of an issue and changing the system to appropriately address it. Unlike much of the work i was doing in Zaire, my work with those villagers involved no dramatic surgeries or miracle medi- cations. in fact it didn’t even look like the normal practice of medicine. My job was to be patient, to observe, and to engage people in conversation. But the results were more effective and broad-reaching than the treatment of the individual cases that lined our hospital corridors. Systems matter. churches and church organizations are systems too. at the same time as the day- to-day tasks need to be done, someone needs to take up the challenge of stepping back from the busyness of all that work to think ‘upstream’. that is the kind of work that the cUc Board is charged with doing. it takes patience—on our part and on yours—as we endeavour to know the diverse group that we serve. But like the preventative work in Zaire, the results can be significant—even transformative. in Zaire, seeing small infants die of preventable illness was the impetus for me to look upstream to find out why. a deep belief in the value of our liberal religious tradition for our society today was the impetus for me to serve on the cUc Board—to look upstream in addressing our potential. at the same time as you have seen (and will continue to see) the return of services to congregations with the hiring of new staff, your Board is looking upstream to try to discern needed improvements or corrections to these services. We must examine needs, but also how we address those needs as we work to fulfill our mission of “growing vital religious communities in canada”. We on the Board do not take this charge lightly and we know that it is something that we cannot do in isolation. Our job requires that we have patience, observe the system carefully, and engage people in conversation. a significant part of this conversation will occur at the upcoming symposium on spir- itual leadership next May. We look forward to learning together what effective spiritual leadership might look like, and how that might re-align the priorities of the cUc. i ask everyone involved—both our ministers and the various lay leaders alike—to participate in our chorus of dynamic community building, both at the symposium itself and in conversations leading up to it. i am in awe of the community we have as canadian UUs and the excellent work that has been done over the last 50 years in canada. i am confident that, with your help and patience, the canadian Unitarian council—our national organization—can and will serve to build on past successes and provide the necessary tools to ensure the growth of vital religious communities over next 50 years and beyond. Gary Groot, president, canadian Unitarian council4 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
  5. 5. message from the executive Director Society and Spirit raQUeL rIVera this edition of The Canadian Unitarian demonstrates again the commitment to independ- ent thinking shared by Unitarian Universalists across canada and beyond. Our diversity of views reflects canada’s political reality, a concept we embrace, protect, and often work with courage and integrity to enhance. i am by nature politically optimistic, and believe that we have in canada a broad culture and tradition of pluralism that equips us to contribute to the new world. and it is my view that Unitarianism brings spiritual vitality to this tradition, and might therefore bring to the world a more positive pluralistic vision of the future than we may have seen so far. You’ll see several consequential issues discussed in this edition of The CanU. the cover story calls for an effective and meaningful search for truth in the free discussion of results from scientific inquiry—especially critical for information on the preservation of our environment, biodiversity, and climate change. You’ll also see discussion on, • the legacy of uranium mining that continues to haunt northern communities • stewardship and sustainability of natural habitats • whether canada wastes its natural resources • the connection between natural resource exploration and our demand and many other thoughtful articles and viewpoints on environmentally sensitive issues, generously shared by Unitarian Universalists and friends from across the country. as well as these, we here at the cUc are approached directly with ideas and advocacy that appeal to our social consciousness and desire to help change challenging circum- stances. Recent requests for UU intervention include: • a request that canadian UUs speak up for positive change for canada’s factory-farmed animals. agriculture and agri-Food canada is inviting canadians to comment on Growing Forward 2, their proposed policy framework that will define the future of agriculture in our country. Unfortunately they are still ignoring the very serious impact that current farming practices have on animals, your health, and the planet. this is an opportunity for Unitarians throughout canada to speak to agri-Food canada about our concerns around food production in our country. Fellow Unitarian Henry Bergh (1813-1888) was the founder of aSpca and the Society for the prevention of cruelty to children. Send a letter and stand up for farm animals now. the deadline for receipt of responses has been extended to September 30. • the Government of canada is looking for congregations (constituent Groups) to take on available refugee sponsorships from iraq. they are willing to fast-track a number of these cases but they need sponsorship groups. • as well, the cUc has been awarded intervener status on two current appeal court cases, one concerning the issue of free speech in relation to sexual conduct, and the other a constitutional challenge to s.241(b) of the criminal code (which currently penalizes assistance with suicide by up to 14 years incarceration). as together and individually we consider, engage, refute, and address these and other examples of our ‘social responsibility’ commitments, let’s think about how they might (or might not) impact, be better supported by, and strengthen our local, regional, and national mission and purpose. continued on page 6 5
  6. 6. continued from page 5 the cUc will convene its first-ever Spiritual Leadership symposium in Ottawa next May. Delegates, trustees, ministers, religious educators, youth, and young adults will examine and explore participation and leadership, as we reflect on our vision and mission. Through our temporary lives the great currents of history run. Let us keep the channels open and free so not to obstruct purposes greater than our own. Let us keep our minds set upon the high goals that here bind us into one sharing fellowship of loving hearts. Amen. Rev. Carl G. SeaburgCUC Board of trusteesFront row, left to right:Curtis murphy, Glenda Butt, Leslie Kemp, ellenCampbell, and rev. Jessica Purple rodelaBack row, left to right: Jennifer Dickson,John “mich’ michell, Kristina Stevens, Gary Groot, executive Director,Jennifer Dickson, and John hopewell canadian Unitarian council art Brewer6 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
  7. 7. United in Learning in Halifax Fifty people gathered at the Universalist Unitarian church of On the day of the workshop, a diverse group was gathered; Halifax for the pastoral Visitor Workshop, Unity in Learning, last people from many denominations and churches (catholic, an- april 9. that fifty people chose to be at a church workshop on glican, United church of canada, evangelical Lutheran, Baptist, a beautiful spring day is one thing; that 80% of them were not Baha’i, Buddhist) as well as volunteers from hospitals and other UUs is a testament to their keen interest in the subject, and proof community organizations. that there are points of convergence where faith lines become Rev. Fran Dearman (interim minister, UUcH) and Rev. blurred and common themes and issues can be identified and catherine MacDonald (minister, United Memorial) began and discussed collaboratively. closed the day with an interfaith prayer. Fay Louch and Susan earlier in the year, the caring committee of the UU church Macalpine-Gillis made a great team and kept things flowing in of Halifax applied to the West trust Fund for financial support a responsive style, amidst enthusiastic discussion on topics such to hold an interfaith workshop. We identified that lay pastoral as active listening, body language, ‘good’ and ‘not-so-good’ pas- visiting is an important aspect of church life and that church toral visits, grief and the dying, and development of lay pastoral people everywhere encounter friends, family, and church teams. We realized going in that this one-day workshop could members who are ill, grieving, dying, or struggling, and who only briefly touch on the topics and issues, but might serve as a need support. in addition, it was noted that many people are catalyst for future workshops and information sessions within uncomfortable with the idea of hospital or pastoral visiting. “i the community. don’t know what to do” and “i don’t know what to say” are oft- My personal interest in inter-denominational and interfaith overheard comments in church circles everywhere. Hence, the collaboration probably fueled this aspect of the workshop. i idea was born and nurtured: to offer a venue where one could believe that one key to strengthening Unitarian Universalism learn basic skills, network with others in a workshop setting, in canada lies in creating and seeking opportunities where and allow seed-sowing for future educational events. local churches find common ground, allowing us to work and With news of our successful grant application, the work lay learn together. this not only serves to raise the UU profile, it ahead to create a well-organized event which might raise the also helps heal negative perceptions of religious institutions in profile of the Universalist Unitarian church of Halifax, and our increasingly secular country. i take my lead from Unitarian demonstrate that we can offer meaningful hospitality to the adlai Stevenson’s inspiring words: larger community. planning became key and no detail was overlooked: a spring … difference, in fact, is one of the healthiest and most date was chosen; two gifted and complimentary co-facilitators invigorating of human characteristics without which were approached and confirmed—Rev. Dr. Susan Macalpine- life would become meaningless. Here lies the power of Gillis, pastoral theology professor and minister at cole Harbour- the liberal way: not in making the whole world Unitar- Woodside United church, and Fay Louch, staff chaplain with ian, but in helping ourselves and others to see some of Spiritual care at Qe ii Health Sciences center in Halifax. a vig- the possibilities inherent in viewpoints other than one’s orous publicity campaign was launched; a handbook was created own; in encouraging the free interchange of ideas; in to be a take-home resource for all workshop participants; other welcoming fresh approaches to the problems of life; in details were addressed, such as catering, preparing workshop urging the fullest, most vigorous use of critical self- packages, recruiting volunteers, web registration, etc. examination. While we had every hope that there would be interest in the community, we had no idea just how broad that interest would turn out to be. as the central contact for registration, i was Helen McFadyen, overjoyed at the enthusiastic response; the list of participants Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax, grew. We determined that 50 was the maximum number we seminarian for UU ministry at the Atlantic School of Theology, could reasonably accept; some people were turned away because and workshop organizer of the demand: Fay Louch is now planning two additional workshops.thaNKS to UUCh weBSIte 7
  8. 8. PhIL weIGaND art Brewer thaNKS to m. BatteNBerG art Brewer8the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011 art Brewer mIChaeL BatteNBerG mIChaeL BetteNBerG PhIL weIGaND
  9. 9. mIChaeL BatteNBerG PhIL weIGaND acM 2011: trust the Dawning Future 1 author and economist David foot gives the keynote address. 2 Jane ebbern, Liz James, and John ‘mich’ michell, in conversation. 3 Gorgeous smiles from marlo turner-ritchie and Kelly mcDowell, during friday’s registration. 4 rev. Jessica Purple rodela, opens the aCm with her sermon, “we’re going to need a bigger boat”. 5 Junior youth enjoy some quiet time with games and crafts. 6 rev. Julie Stoneberg reads the recognition of Service on Sunday, with Lorna weigand. 7 Signing in for the youth conference, CanUUddle XI. art Brewer 8 Call to Sunday service: the Bucket Drummers of the regent Park School of music perform outside Convocation hall. 9 aCm choir practice at the Church of the holy trinity, behind the eaton Centre. 10 Sunday service at Convocation hall, University of toronto down- town campus. 11 the Knight family: sponsors of the Knight award, recognizing vol- unteers who have furthered UU principles at the national level. 12 CUC founders Phillip hewett, ‘Bunny’ turner, and Charles eddis blow out CUC’s 50th anniversary birthday cake. 13 Celebrating 50 years of the Canadian Unitarian Council!KIm tUrNer KIm tUrNer 9
  10. 10. “Words make you think. Music makes you feel. a song makes you feel a thought.” Yip Harburg (1896-1981), American poular song lyricist the Unitarian church of Montreal’s minister, Rev. Diane Rollert, the civil Rights movement. the historical, social, and political dreamed of hosting Ysaye Barnwell and her workshop, Building context of these songs provided a framework for a deep, com- a Vocal community®, since she participated in one of Ysaye’s munal experience. workshops a number of years ago. it was obvious this event had the workshop participants sang in a wonderful Sunday touched her deeply, as it does all of those who get the chance to service that was filled to capacity. When you feel the walls of experience Ysaye’s work. your church resonate and vibrate with the richness of such a But doing an event like this takes a lot of planning, patience chorus, you know you have witnessed and taken part in some- and persistence. i joined our church in January of 2010 after thing special. moving to Montreal in the previous fall. a lifelong Unitarian people come back again and again to work with Ysaye. Her from the US, i’ve been a cultural activist and musician, and musicality is exceptional, with a vocal range spanning many have produced music and art events for many years. i took up octaves. She carries a rich, resonating, powerful presence and the challenge of making this event happen. projects great patience and acceptance. Her sense of humour is We got through the first hurdle of scheduling, always a evident as she shares stories, songs and her life experience. She challenge with a performer like Ysaye Barnwell, who tours as opens others to their own sharing, and to self-examination. a member of the renowned Sweet Honey in the Rock, an all- So what does it bring to your church to do an event like women, african-american, a cappella ensemble. We found a this? the covenant between those involved in the planning weekend—a year from then—squeezed between some exciting and management of the event is a wonderful model—how we events that Sweet Honey in the Rock had planned. do the work is as important as the endpoint. For the congrega- a year of careful planning and organizational work paid off tion and participants, it brings fun, outreach, music, and some with the production of an exciting and inspiring three days challenges—to shake up people’s thinking and enrich their lives. of learning and singing over the first weekend in april. More Music ministry has amazing potential to carry the word and the than 90 people attended, from all over canada and a few from work of UUs through canada and the world. Yes, we do have the US. beliefs to share with the world. Let’s sing about it! teaching in the oral tradition, Ysaye led us in singing rhythms, chants and traditional songs from africa and the diaspora, as well as a variety of songs from african-american culture, in- Margo Ellis, Vice-President, cluding hymns, spirituals, ring shouts, gospel, and songs from Unitarian Church of MontrealaLISoN haLL aLISoN haLL 10 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
  11. 11. milieu. au lieu d’engager un organisme communautaire, j’ai décidé d’insérer cette approche dans un contexte spirituel en proposant un programme exploratoire à l’association unitari- enne de peterborough. « etre vu/e, entendu/e et estimé/e » De braves bénévoles ont accepté de se joindre à moi pour cette aventure et nous nous sommes retrouvé/es lors de cinq séances de deux heures de mars à mai 2011. cet article est trop court pour parler en détail de la série. Je ne peux offrir qu’un simple résumé de l’approche suivie. J’ai envisagé la série comme un voyage anthropologique au sein d’une contrée peu connue de l’appartenance afin de découvrir les ingrédients es- sentiels au développement d’une culture et d’une structure de l’appartenance. J’ai retiré deux enseignements majeurs de cette exploration. en premier lieu, le thème de l’appartenance permet de créerDans le cadre de mon travail professionnel, j’ai la chance de une vision claire et imagée de ce dont on parle. Les participant/pouvoir intégrer trois domaines de recherche qui me tiennent es de la série ont affirmé que pour développer un sentimentà cœur : l’insertion sociale, le développement communautaire d’appartenance à un groupe, il faut y « être vu/e, entendu/e, etet la formation des adultes. ces passions font que je cherche estimé/e ». cette définition, riche en verbes, a généré de captivan-inlassablement à mieux comprendre ce qui mène à la promotion tes conversations. L’inclusion, par contre, a tendance à engendrerd’organisations communautaires et de groupes inclusifs, ouverts des définitions plus abstraites qui limitent la capacité de certain/sur le monde. ce questionnement, je le partage avec beaucoup es participant/es à imaginer ce qui les lie directement au sujet.de collègues et souvent on se demande pourquoi, en dépit de nos cette définition introduit une autre dimension qu’il importeefforts répétés, nous ne semblons guère progresser. de noter: le lien très intime qui existe entre appartenance et Une analyse des facteurs en jeu dépasse de loin la portée amour—lien confirmé par les recherches que j’ai faites surde cet article. Je tiens simplement à indiquer qu’en dépit de l’appartenance. J’en ai déduit que l’appartenance est un sujetcertaines avancées, il n’existe pas de formule incontestable ou éminemment spirituel. ce n’est pas étonnant puisque la spiritu-de méthode infaillible pour promouvoir l’inclusion. avec mes alité porte, entre autre, sur notre rapport avec les autres. Qu’uncollègues, je continue à explorer de nouvelles approches et pistes groupe unitarien ait éclairé cette dimension de la question dede recherche. l’appartenance est tout à fait révélateur. c’est dans cet état d’esprit que j’ai décidé de tester une Qu’en conclure? cette observation me fait dire que, peut-être,nouvelle démarche au printemps dernier. plutôt que d’aborder ce qui manque aux travaux sur l’inclusion au sein des organismesdirectement les questions d’inclusion, je me suis dit qu’il serait communautaires, c’est une discussion ouverte et engagée de laintéressant de mettre l’accent sur le sentiment d’appartenance. dimension spirituelle du sujet. il est possible qu’en l’absence deaprès tout, les communautés inclusives sont supposées favoriser cet aspect, on ne puisse réellement progresser. On se voit alorsle développement d’un profond sentiment d’appartenance parmi limité à des avancées superficielles, sans jamais pouvoir entrerleurs membres. De plus, j’ai pensé que cette entrée en matière dans le vif du sujet… est-ce le cas ? peut-être… c’est définitive-permettrait d’établir un point commun entre les participant/es ment une nouvelle hypothèse qui m’interpelle.étant donné que nous cherchons en général, d’une manière oud’une autre, à nous identifier aux autres. Joëlle Favreau, non seulement ai-je modifié le thème de mon exploration, Cheffe des services communautaires et du centre dej’ai aussi cherché à ancrer cette recherche dans un nouveau formation Compass à la YWCA Peterborough CUC friends are special supp ort the CuC , become a friend! people who help the organi- name address zation 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 http://www.cuc.ca/friends Clip and send with donation to: CUC, 100–344 Dupont Street, toronto, on, m5r 1v9 11
  12. 12. Fundraising is not a profession; it is a gift i was given. For me it all started when my father asked me to help him sell i became a certified Fund Raiser executive, one of the few chocolates for the Lions’ club. it’s not the selling of chocolate that thousands in the world. My career path took me everywhere. i i remember; it is how it made me and others feel. i was happy to managed a $15 million campaign for conservation, when ‘being sell the chocolate because i knew what the funds raised would green’ was very new. i raised funds with some of Quebec’s most do for needy families; and those buying the chocolate felt like prominent women for the YWca. i had the privilege of working they were doing something important to help. My father was a with some of canada’s renowned politicians and corporate lead- generous man and this was one of his gifts to me. ers, and raised funds for international aid at caRe canada. Fundraising is the activity of soliciting and gathering con- You see, acts of philanthropy take many forms. they might tributions, as money or other resources, by requesting include donating money to a charity, volunteering at a donations from individuals, businesses, charitable local shelter, or raising money to donate. What is im- foundations, or governmental agencies. though portant is the result. How does the person making people have fundraised for centuries, there was no a donation feel? How does the person asking for a course of study for fundraising when i was at school. donation feel? and how does the person receiving i graduated from McGill University with a B.a. in po- the donation feel? litical science and a certificate in public Relations. i feel privileged to be a fundraiser, being able to My real education in fundraising was acquired in play a role in bettering humanity. and not only do i do the not-for-profit sector. Fundraising was an emerging this as a profession, i also strongly believe in doing it as profession, and i worked with professional firms who devel- a volunteer. So i remain involved on boards of not-for-profits, oped some of today’s tools and science of fundraising. i worked fufilling roles over the years such as volunteer solicitor for the with board members who challenged my thinking. all of these Soup kitchen, and volunteer Deputy national commissioner– people gave me the gift of inspiration throughout my career. Development with Scout canada. i will always cherish the post-it note left for me by one ex- i am honoured to be able to share this passion with the ca- ecutive director, after a lengthy debate on methods, which also nadian Unitarian council, its member congregations, and each touched on my own concerns and self-doubts. to this day, when- individual UU. i think that together, we can continue to share ever things get difficult i pull it out. it simply reads, “Y not U”. our gifts and show our love by taking part in the betterment of it was after managing and organizing golf tournaments, humanity. direct mail programs, and capital campaigns that i realized the idea behind fundraising is ‘philanthropy’, which directly translated from Greek, means “love of mankind.” i realized my Kathleen A. Provost, daily work was about creating opportunities to have the same Director of Resources Development, feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment as i once had when i was Canadian Unitarian Council selling chocolates.rICharD KIrSh LeSLIe GorDoN 12 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
  13. 13. Building Schools in Guatemala and Honduras the First Unitarian congregation of toronto has facilitated de- participants experience conditions in remote mountain com- velopment projects in central america since 1997, with the goal munities where people live much like they did hundreds of years of building understanding between people and improving the ago. they witness the difference that effective international social, economic, and living conditions of people in the poorest assistance makes in people’s lives. they have the opportunity areas. We do this primarily by helping with the construction of to visit the ancient Mayan city of copán. they experience deli- community facilities that have been requested by indigenous cious local dishes, lovingly prepared by our cook, featuring: rice, nGO’s in Guatemala and Honduras. beans, tortillas, plantain and stews; juicy, field-ripened pineap- Since 1999, toronto First has worked in a rewarding partner- ples and tree-ripened mangos, and fresh juice. the evenings ship with World accord, a Waterloo based charity, and the are set aside for relaxing and enjoying the company of community of christ, learning that what we have in fellow-volunteers from across canada (who often be- common is more important than our differences. come close friends). these are quiet times, for reading to date, over 400 canadians have participated a book, playing a friendly game of cards, or heading in construction expeditions, including over 100 outside to enjoy the absolute night—the blackness Unitarians from 22 congregations (Saint John to and the sky full of stars. construction expeditions Vancouver), contributing over 1,000 person-weeks volunteers usually go to sleep early and easily. of volunteer labour and $300,000 in donations for this winter construction expeditions is planning construction materials. three more family-friendly excursions, to make a positive Volunteers have had fulfilling, first-hand experiences, difference in the lives of others—and in our own. working with local people in mountain communities. they’ve built more than 50 schools, training and community centers, and homes. they’ve carried and laid more blocks, mixed more Richard Kirsh, cement, sifted more sand, and bent more re-bar than they First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto thought possible. they’ve worked with the warm sun on their backs, to the sound of happy, chattering children playing—and sometimes helping too. Two week trips: January 14–28; February 11–25; and March 10–24, 2012 Teams of 12 from across Canada. Construction Expeditions to Central America Anyone in reasonably good health; 18 to 75+; youth under 18 travel with parent or guardian. Construction skills and Spanish not required Far left to right: • a typical house or one-room school requires 100 batches of Work comparable to do-it-yourself renovations; hand-mixed cement over the course of a two week trip. requires some stamina. • Building two additional classrooms for a primary school in Billeting at the headquarters of our local partner. horconcitos, honduras. Warm showers, tasty meals, safely prepared, and safe water. • In Guatemala and honduras, construction is considered men’s work. Seeing Canadian women building inspires the local girls, and sometimes women, and gives them licence to participate Costs: $2,000/person for: room, board, local transportation and in a non-traditional activity. construction materials. Airfare additional (typically $900 – $1,300).rICharD KIrSh Costs eligible for tax receipts. Applications available by e-mail or through the World Accord web site. $1,200 non-refundable deposit. More Information: Richard Kirsh richardkirsh@sympatico.ca 416-767-5837 www.firstunitariantoronto.org/centralamerica www.worldaccord.org 13
  14. 14. Multi-Generational MagicWe have wonderful teachers in our children’s program at the First Unitarian church of Victoria.Last year, when the planned curriculum for our nine to 12 year olds was not working, the teach-ers sat down with the children and asked each of them what they wanted to do at church. theiranswers: learn more about mythology, do crafts, explore environmental issues, go outside, andmore. at first it seemed difficult to put it all together, but there was one idea that could be madeto link with all the others: learn more about the ocean. We began to weave together a new curriculum. it was multi-disciplinary, based on ourSeventh principle, and woven with components from our various sources, including ourJudeo-christian roots and other world religions. the group transformed; suddenly therewas enthusiasm! the Oceans project began late last church-year and wasso successful, we continued it this year. in January, when Victori a Ti m esthe church’s environment committee decided to create a Letters to the Colonis t March 1 editordisplay about the enron pipeline that threatens the health 2, 2011 D ea r Edof our local ocean, the Junior Youth class got involved. to itor,learn more about it, the class hosted members of the com- -Re: ---Tankermittee as well as a guest speaker from a local environment --- No - s— -------Keep B C’ ------- s Coasgroup, Dogwood initiative. Hello, w e a re t ------- Oil Ta ------- ker Fr n upset a the children decided to raise money for the cause. En brid tanker ge Nort hern Ga nd c o nc erned a ------ee -- bout thWith the help of a multi-generational crew of volunteers, spill w s to ou r north te way p roject that wi e propo se d coast.they prepared sandwiches and other goodies to sell at the tr y, to ill aff e ct o u r ho m e—t We a r e afraid ll brin g oil urism—congregational Meeting, earning $360 in the process. threat he wild that an We a r e ening o life, f oil the jun u r e cos ishingthe following Sunday, the Junior Youth were proud to Church of Vict ior you th class yste m. indus- that wi oria (a at thepresent a cheque to a representative from Dogwood la n d t h ll inhe rit thi ges 10- 13). We First U nitari are theinitiative during time with the children. it was an at is i s land, an m possib a nd w e genera We, the le to cl don’t w tioninspirational moment for everyone, and felt very much Initiat youth g ive, an roup, r ean up. ant a w aste a is e d $like multi-generational magic! tition. Please d a re c ollecti 360 for the Dog ng sign the Junior Youth wanted to raise more awareness, sign th e petit go to t ion onl he Dog w oo d Ini atures woo d for theand composed a letter to the editor of Victoria’s daily ine: htt tiative ir p Sincer p://dog website e- woo dini tonewspaper, which was published on March 15. Junior ely you rs, tiative .org youth g With the enron experience, we were all reminded First U nitari roup,that working for change takes determination and (Lini J an ohn-Hen Church of Vic derson, toriaa great deal of courage. Sometimes it can be over- Tuli Po rcher, Emma Le Sean va n Gesse Sp e n c ewhelming. it’s important to maintain a strong A rjun N r Quayl e, Mari ntz, Aa ron Bri l, Ti m i lu Fast , n Hoh, m aco m bsense of hope. For inspriration we looked to ‘eco- iranjan an, Kei ran Marr Georgi a Alexa e, nder,heroes’—people working to make the world a bet- ett-Hit ch)ter place. there are all sorts of great stories aboutcanadian eco-heroes on planetFriendly.net (www.planetfriendly.net/heroes.html#a). after working on ocean health, we brought our focus home. Our church kitchenis full of amazing volunteers who serve delicious snacks and meals. Sometimes people don’t eat every-thing on their plate, and i was bothered by the amount of food that was going into the garbage. i askedthe Junior Youth if they could help me with my personal dream of creating a composting system at ourchurch. they agreed! that’s when more multi-generational magic began. no sooner did we announce the plan during an-other time with the children, then the environment committee offered their support to us. througha series of conversations, a little research, and a lot of goodwill, progress was fast. Within two months,our church became the proud owner of a composter that can accomodate cooked food, without temptingpests. Someday we hope to grow a few vegetables in that compost! Faye Mogensen, Director of Spiritual Exploration and Learning for Children and Youth, First Unitarian Church of Victoria14 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
  15. 15. BeCCa CLoe At left: eva Jordison (right) and Doug enneberg with Becca cloe at theologicOn 2009. Up! to Sign ime till T –35): S s 18 lts (age Eva Jordison is nearing the end of her two-year term as Co-Chair of the bc ng Adu region’s Youth-Adult Committee (BC YAC). the canadian Unitarian You asked her to free-associate—on the job and what it’s meant to her. victoria uu young adult camping retreat Significance of the BC Youth-adult committee camp pringle, shawnigan lake, vancouver island, bc the Bc Yac has provided me personally with opportunities to develop september 23rd to 25th my skills and comfort in leadership positions, which is invaluable. i Community building,relaxing and spiritual deepening at beau- don’t think i could have learned that in such a safe and encouraging tiful Shawnigan Lake, partway between Victoria and Nanaimo. environment elsewhere. For that alone, i personally thank the Bc Just bring a sleeping bag. Yac. in terms of regional importance, in a recent Bc Yac discussion, Bring your own skill or interest, to make this weekend special. a contemporary worship workshop will be held on Saturday we were talking about how empowerment of youth (as well as adults, afternoon. Young adults who wish to bring their children, especially youth allies), communication between youth throughout contact us for details. the region, providing resources to those youth, inspiring them, and reflecting our UU principals were what we considered our main goals Costs (to cover food, which we will make ourselves): to be. For a group of youth, a young adult, and a few adults to come up $60 early-bird rate by end-august, $65 in September. Saturday-only day rate: (lunch, dinner and workshop) $20 with—and commit to—those goals is, in and of itself, inspiring. early-bird rate by end-august, $25 in September. Bursaries available—just ask! Feats, exploits, and other accomplishments i was excited to be part of getting trainings happening (such as the there will be one pickup from the Vancouver-Victoria ferry, Leadership Development conference this past March) and have also and pickups in Victoria out to Shawnigan Lake. Contact young-adult@victoriaunitarian.ca or register online had the honour to be on staff and planning for large regional/district through the facebook event: conferences, including the american pacific northwest District http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=200050746681924 (pnWD). What i’m really looking forward to at the moment, is being a co-Dean for the bc Fall Regional Gathering, as well as being on staff this summer at the pnWD GoldMine Leadership School, which bc youth attend. 4th annual young adult weekend unicamp, honeywood, on teamwork with fellow co-chair september 16th to 18th Doug [enneberg] and i have actually only been working together a weekend of fun and connecting. every year has been a little for a couple of months now. He’s responsible and totally on top of different, but in past years we’ve thrown dance parties, trad- what needs to be done, when i’m not always quite there. We’ve been ed clothes, played pseudo-sports, and held small services. pushing hard together, even to have summer Bc Yac conference-call Naturally we also enjoy the splendor of the Unicamp site by meetings, when some churches don’t even meet over the summer. going swimming, apple-picking, hiking, roasting marshmal- lows, and exploring the caves. Significant others and children We’ve got this. are welcome, contact us for more details. Getting involved Cost: $65 (covers the cabin fees and food, which we enjoy bc youth are the bomb. there’s no avoiding it. What is the lesson cooking together). Bursaries are available if finances are a learned from that? Move to bc. Or instead… the fact that bc youth are barrier for you. actually involved in creating events and a culture in which we want to Contact Dayvid racette-Campbell ddc402@mail.usask.ca or be, is why we’re awesome. Which means that the key to awesomeness 416-929-2647 or register online through the facebook event: is getting involved, making the decisions about what you want to do http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=223298127699359 and/or learn. Getting involved, even just attending youth conferences that are filled with cuddling and safe space, makes you even more awesome than you already are. 15
  16. 16. a Unitarian controversy Book Review of Stephen Frichtman:the american Unitarians and communism, by charles W. eddis even a casual glance at the history of the movement to which we belong shows how many skir- mishes there have been over religious and political issues, either with external antagonists or between internal factions. Both are graphically illustrated in a fascinating new book by charles eddis, Minister emeritus of the Unitarian church of Montreal, who himself participated in part of the story he describes, and later undertook several years of detailed research to provide a complete and balanced picture. Stephen Fritchman: The American Unitarians and Communism covers a period during and after World War ii. although the action took place south of the border, and charles was one of very few canadians to be directly involved, there are several reason why readers in this coun- try will relate easily to the story. at the time in question the Unitarian movement in canada, such as it was, was closely integrated with the american Unitarian association and tied to its fortunes. One illustration of this is that the youth organization at the toronto church to which charles originally belonged was called american Unitarian Youth (aUY). the Boston-based executive director of this organization was the Rev. Stephen Fritchman, who was also editor of the denominational magazine, The Christian Register. Fritchman was accused of following a communist line in both these capacities, which prompted his dismissal from thethaNKS to CharLeS eDDIS editorial post, reaffirmed after a bitterly divided debate at the aUa annual meet- ings in 1947. this division of feeling continued for many years, with Fritchman being seen by his partisans as a victim of witch-hunting. the questions raised here are still very much a part of the scene with which we have to deal today, as they have been for centuries. the Unitarian stance has been both liberal and radical, but the two are by no means synonymous. a radical approach can be either liberal or illiberal, and in taking such an approach Uni- tarians have often had to work uneasily or more happily alongside individuals or organizations that are in fact illiberal and dogmatic, though professing common ideals. Such common ideals were professed by communists in the thirties and forties of the last century, and unwary liberals could be easily co-opted to their totalitarian means of pursuing them (i too write from personal experience, having had to wrestle with the same issue in england during the same period). the basic issue is one of whether the end justifies the means. the Stalinist form of communism which had emerged was completely ruthless in its means, but some liberals closed their eyes to this in the interest of their concern for social justice. One could cite more recent examples of the same process in our relations can be ordered from with other bodies; eddis mentions but does not elaborate on events twenty years www.lulu.com/buy. later when it was at the Los angeles church, where Fritchman was then minister, price: US$ 19.95 that the Black caucus came to birth and adopted similar procedures. Stephen Fritchman: The American Unitarians and Communism depicts sincere but fallible persons on all sides trying to deal with a situation in which a real threat was seen by some as primarily a threat to the established order of society and by others as a threat to the basic values that have always been at the core of a Unitarian approach to life. in recounting the scene out of which these opposing interpretations emerged, charles eddis has performed a real service. Rev. Phillip Hewett Minister Emeritus, Unitarian Church of Vancouver 16 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
  17. 17. Meditation on Spaceby Kate Marshall Flaherty Modern science now knows what sages of old have always known: that, in the body, there is more space than matter. —Tony Murdock, Towards StillnessI consider the space between the atoms,then think of the gaps in things.My thoughts leaping across the riftbetween synapse and dendrite,my breath playing through emptiness, CoVer DeSIGN & artworK: CatherINe m. Stewartchasms in communicationwhen no words bridge the dividebetween us.What do I make space for in my life?Reflection:filling of my pauses with pondering.Sleep: the dreamscapewhere my images can floatin a vacuum of nonsense and memory.Walking in nature:in open fields under endless sky,I see pockets of forest in the dense and droning city.Silence: Kate marshall flaherty guidesthe pause at the top of my breath— Golden rule retreats for youth,longing for the inhalation to escape, leads writing as a Spiritual Practice workshops, was a founding mem-to sing out a breathy tone: ber of the Children’s Peace theatre,exhale, let go, make and lives in toronto with her family.even more space where we are going is her fourth bookfor meditation on space. of poetry. “meditation on Space” is reprinted from Trust the Dawning Future (Ca- nadian Unitarian Council, 2011), a poetr y chapbook released for the 50 th anniversar y aCm 2011. Copies are available from the CUC office in toronto, on. please send your submissions of short poems to the poetry editor, poetry@cuc.ca 17

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