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The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011
 

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.

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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    The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011 The Canadian Unitarian, Summer 2011 Document Transcript

    • 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
    • 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)
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • “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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • New Ways of Worship at PEI will join rev. Shawn Newton in examining how reli- Colombia, whom we sponsored through the mary Cramer The Unitarian Fellowship of Prince edward island looks gious communities address barriers to peace-making. federal government’s private refugee-spon- forward to returning to our regular biweekly format in The audience will reflect the diversity of the speakers. sorship program. This journey began with September. holding the event on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 is a call from liliana Castaneda, asking for inspired by the local Baha’i group, we started using a motivated out of a desire to transform this date. ideally, help for her sister and family, for whose devotional format, where people bring readings, music, this event will be one of a series, so that the conversa- safety she feared. The Board-approved or whatever, and group-participate rather than all lay- tion that begins on 9/11 will deepen over time. sponsorship provides financial settlement led complete services. This has worked really well for assistance to the family for one year. us, and allows a small group to maintain its existence. Faye Perkins At the end of a process that began in we hope, in time, to regain our population. January 2010, it was a very moving experience to however lay chaplaincy is very active. i am a lay Huronia Sings-4-It finally meet Soffi and Julian and their sons Camilo chaplain with the Fellowship, and performed a wedding while the huronia Unitarian Fellowship in Barrie , on, and Santiago in June. The congregation sang “Spirit at Christmas, will do three more this summer, and have is among the smallest of UU congregations in the of Life” in Spanish to welcome them. We also hosted another booked for next year! CUC, we are seeking constructive engagement with a baby shower—Soffi was expecting—and a healthy Chris Vessey the community around us by offering our energies for baby boy arrived just a few weeks later. The family is the common good. now settling into life in Kitchener with the help of North Hatley WOWs ‘em all music director Sandra ruttans signed up huro- sister Liliana. after three years of cancellations of weaving our wor- nia for Canada Sings!, so that every few weeks we are another big event for our congregation was the re- ship workshop in our region, the Unitarian Universalist hosting a neighbourhood singalong at our downtown ceipt of a $75,000 grant from the federal government’s Church of North hatley decided to host a one-day location. This collaboration links us with a recognized enabling accessibility Fund, to install an elevator in version in early june, called the wow of worship. we network of informal choral events Canada-wide; we our building. The amount is about half of what we will invited folks from around the region and over the bor- Building the new sanctuary for Victoria First: part of the photo show commemorating the congregation’s 50th provide free, healthy entertainment, helping others to need to complete the renovation, so we will be looking anniversary in june.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 n a d a a c r o s s c der. in the end we were 22 participants from five con- Kingston: so near, yet so far Peace Pole at Toronto First enjoy golden oldies as well as familiar melodies used to raise additional dollars internally. an architectural gregations, and six attended a supplemental Saturday The kingston Unitarian Fellowship is moving only two our traditional September water service marking the in the Unitarian songbooks. we promote these events firm is drawing up plans for us. evening session on Creative writing for worship. doors down the street, while moving into a wonderful beginning of the new worship year, will also include a with a sidewalk sandwich board, and on our website it was a nice little cluster, but it feels like we only new stage of its existence. This spring, the Fellowship dedication of the new Peace Pole at the First Unitarian and the Canada Sings! website. Margaret Insley scratched the surface, and some of us are looking for- purchased a 15,800 sq. ft. building, which it will reno- Congregation of Toronto, a project of its Social justice This musical project echoes the Go-4-iT campaign ward to sequels and complementary sessions at future vate to accommodate the growing congregation. Now Committee. created some years ago by CUC past-president kalvin Spaces for Sharing at Winnipeg gatherings, such as at eastern regional Fall Gathering the congregation is awash with activities necessary to The Peace Pole, which contains the message “may drake; “Go oN! Go deeP! Go UP! Go oUT!” Going The First Unitarian Universalist Church of winnipeg in Fredericton, nb. sell its current building—and develop the commercial Peace Prevail on earth” in six languages, has been in- out means, for us, creating synergistic partnerships started the summer with the dedication of its new Keith Baxter rental space in the new building that will help to pay stalled in the garden near the front door. it symbolizes outside of the denomination to maximize our collec- deck and patio, with access onto the backyard. a fes- the mortgage. the oneness of humanity and our common wish for tive strengths and to extend our reach toward common tive spirit prevailed as Board president Craig edwards Lakeshore is Moving! The success of the spring capital campaign allowed a world at peace. Peace Poles are the creation of the purposes. and rev. millie rochester cut the ribbon. The church after 25 years of renting space in a large west island us to begin transforming the building, which was built world Peace Prayer Society, an affiliate of the United Qennefer Browne stands on the bank of the assiniboine river; during the United Church building, lakeshore Unitarian Univer- as the Steelworkers’ union hall. members are looking Nations. dedication it was running as high and as fast as anyone salist Congregation in montreal is moving to a new forward to a spacious sanctuary, re area, kitchens, of- on September 11 Toronto First is holding a Peace Reaching Out (and Going Up) at Waterloo could remember. location. it is now renting space from the Norwegian fices, and even a living room—a place where we can encounter, where leaders of the Buddhist, hindu, is- at our june 26 service, the First Unitarian Congregation another big development this spring was the forma- Church association, which owns a former Presbyterian continue to host the local jewish reform congregation lamic, jewish, and mennonite (Christian) communities of waterloo joyfully welcomed a refugee family from tion of two new Chalice Circles, continued on page 20 church in the montreal borough of lachine. They of- and Quaker meetings. ThaNkS To BriaN keily liz jameS warreN aNdrewS fered a lower rent, for a huge sanctuary and a large hall. Jean Plfeiderer This presents an array of new challenges. it moves us further east, although most of our current members are more concentrated in the west. we have to find a way to project warmth and welcome in the large space. eft to right: L But it has a good aura, and wonderful acoustics—so • Brides to-be ride in pride, on the UU float in edmonton’s Pride Parade. rev. Brian kiely of the we are beginning a new adventure! Unitarian Church of edmonton ‘officiates’. • Fabulous faces from all ages’ time in re, at the Susan Czarnocki Unitarian Congregation of Saskatooon. • huronia Unitarian Fellowship hosts a Canada Sings! neighbourhood singalong series. 18 The Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011 19
    • continued from page 19 or small group ministries. one is more academic, and a third that is more spiritual or is a daytime group, specifically aimed at the needs of action based. we are excited to try something new, and people who cannot attend evening gatherings. the learn more about ourselves in the process! other is aimed at the needs of the growing young adult population in the church. more group formation is Liz James expected in the fall. Roger Rochester Edmonton: 36 years of Same-Sex Weddings members of both the westwood Unitarian Congrega- New Sundays for Saskatoon tion and the Unitarian Church of edmonton played a Prompted by the high ratio of kids to adults, as well large role in this year’s Pride week events. Inspired by as the demand for more small group activities, the an idea from the halifax congregation last year, about Lifespan Learning team has planned an enriched 30 of us marched and staged a same-sex wedding on Sunday Service format at the Unitarian Congregation a beautifully decorated float while wedding guests of Saskatoon, taking inspiration from a US congrega- handed out ‘invitations’, for anyone who might wish to tion. have their wedding with us. edmonton Unitarians were on Sunday mornings starting this fall, all ages will celebrating 36 years of performing such services. the gather in the Sanctuary, for half an hour of multi-gener- wedding kiss was very popular with the crowd and was ational worship time. the kids will then have their own an oft-repeated part of the ceremony. the couple— group circle during the sermon. after a snack, all ages two young women—plan to be married for real next will be invited to re: the kids will go to their usual colour summer. groups, and the adults will choose between three dis- Days later, rev. anne Barker and rev. Brian Kiely tinct adult re streams. we have moved congregational participated in a religious diversity panel discussion response out of the service into one of the re streams at the University of alberta. the purpose was to show (a forum), and will work to offer another stream that positive religious alternatives open to GBLt people. Rev. Brian Kielya 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 yard bomb shelters in a nuclear age, the city’s professional musical community and her civil defence director called to express not persuasiveness… and was always a willing only his disapproval, but outrage. participant in our sometimes crazy efforts “In the late 1960’s, a diplomat from the US to raise the profile of this project.” Embassy attended a service here in which I Barry Read noted, “Jane is a professional of reiterated my condemnation of the Vietnam the highest degree with great expectations War. Learning that I was an American citi- for her choirs. But she also has an approach- Two New Emeriti for Ottawa First zen, he drew me aside at the coffee hour and ability that belies [her] strength, rigour, and accused me of being ‘a traitor.’” integrity… making beautiful music of the Rev. David Pohl was conferred the honour Rev. Pohl closed with the observation: “In highest quality.” of Minister Emeritus by the First Unitarian this glorious and free land, in this beautiful While Jane will be deeply missed, we are Congregation of Ottawa on April 13, 2011. capital city on the route of the voyageurs, and glad that she will remain part of our larger Rev. Pohl served the congregation from 1961 in this house of cedar and glass that shelters a UU movement as she assumes the role of to 1971, as a dynamic preacher, able admin- free religious community, may you continue Director of Music at the Unitarian Church of istrator, and beloved pastor. It was during his to honour your congregation’s legacy even as Calgary, Alberta. We hope to honour Jane’s tenure that the congregation relocated from a you dream new dreams for the ever-changing legacy here by maintaining a high standard small sanctuary in central Ottawa to a six- future and the children who succeed us.” of excellence in our music program. acre campus on the west side of downtown A farewell ceremony and service was held Ottawa, with a much larger sanctuary and on June 5, 2011, celebrating Director of Music Rev. John N. Marsh, enough land to eventually locate an apart- Jane Perry’s 11-year tenure. In recognition of Minister ment complex for seniors and a daycare long and meritorious service, she was named center for pre-schoolers. Director of Music Emerita. Rev. Pohl preached the Sunday sermon During the ceremony, Margaret Linton on May 8, in which he recalled that 40 years and Barry Read paid tribute. Margaret ago, the press still covered sermons deemed Linton recalled her work with the Steinway newsworthy, or controversial: fundraising committee. “She arranged a “When I preached on The Ethics of Civil special fundraising concert series, draw- Defence, criticizing the promotion of back- ing on her extensive connections with the 20 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
    • thaNKS to LIz JameS thaNKS to LIz JameS Lighting the rainbow candles during Children’s worship at the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon celebrates a service the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon. dedicated to procuring funds for a well in masai mara, Kenya. Certified Green Kelowna hosts BC Fall Gathering improving its energy efficiency, as well as updating he after a three-year effort, the Unitarian fellowship of sanctuary and the children’s re rooms. we have also Kelowna is celebrating its certification as a Green renovated our website! Check out our new dynamic web Sanctuary. Kelowna is the fifth congregation in Canada pages at www.unitariancongregation.org/wordpress/. and the first in British Columbia to be certified by the and we cordially invite all to join us for the bc fall UU ministry for the earth. Gathering october 21 – 23, 2011, hosted by the UfK in the fellowship received a generous bequest from cooperation with the Kamloops fellowship. threads rev. rob Brownlie last year. the congregation voted we are planning include contemporary worship and to use some of the money for our church building, music, homelessness, financial 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 gional Gathering. It was an action-packed eral Meeting in June, the congregation agreed weekend and great fun to welcome fellow to a second trial year as we begin to work on Unitarian Universalists from across the re- policies and changes to our by-laws. gion. In May, more than 20 of us attended Our Social and Environmental Concerns the CUC Annual Conference and Meeting. Committee has been actively supporting a Participants brought back much inspiration, local day centre for the homeless, and keep- which will carry us through the coming fall. ing its eyes on international projects as they Lively Times at Montreal As minister of the UCM, I was honoured to arise, such as supporting Haiti. deliver the ACM Confluence Lecture. The congregation raised nearly $7,000 for This has been a busy year at the Unitarian We’ve completed our first trial year with Oxfam last January and recently received Church of Montreal. We’ve welcomed eight a new governance structure, developed with a framed certificate from the organization new babies into our midst. Families with Dan Hotchkiss’s book, Governance and for its efforts. We’ve hosted an Empty Bowls young children have been helping to set up Ministry in mind. event that raised more than $10,000 this year, new initiatives, especially in Religious Edu- Changing governance is no easy task and as well as a Fair Trade Fair. We also have cation. We’re also excited to see our Young there are many people engaged in the process. been named a Blue Ribbon congregation by Adult group coming together under new We are learning as we go. At our Annual Gen- the UU-UNO. leadership. Significant milestones for us this year thaNKS to DIaNe roLLert Our redesigned website is bringing in include the retirement of Nicoline Guerrier many newcomers on Sundays, and our en- who has completed her six-year term as a lay ergetic Hospitality Committee keeps things chaplain. Nicoline is working on her studies hopping after services. Our new Music for the UU ministry. We are very proud of Ministry Collective has been planning con- Curtis Murphy, a member of our Young certs, hosting workshops (such as last April’s Adult group and our Youth Programme Co- amazing weekend of singing, history, and ordinator, who was elected to the CUC board heart with Ysaye Barnwell), raising funds to in May as the representative for the Eastern replace the hammers in our famous Laliberté winter holiday service at thea Unitarian Region. Curtis has just begun his studies for piano, and increasing music’s presence in all Church of montreal, celebrated in the the UU ministry. tradition of a mexican Posada. their maria aspects of congregational life. was truly pregnant and truly named maria, In fall 2010 we hosted the Eastern Re- and gave birth to her baby on December 28. Rev. Diane Rollert 21
    • events—we hosted regular speakers on The Green Sacred Space Award sponsor, environmental topics such as the Transi- Guelph Hydro Inc., was joined by repre- tion initiatives. sentatives from the Trillium Foundation and Greening Sacred Spaces Waterloo/Welling- 3. Involved in outreach programs in the com- ton/Dufferin for the presentation. munity at large—we provided space for To us, The Green Sacred Space Award community meetings and had members means we’re being supported to do this Guelph wins Green! participating in the annual Guelph Speed work—in our own congregation and together River Clean-up. with other earth-honouring congregations The Unitarian Congregation of Guelph Weekly e-bulletins and e-newsletters also who recognize the interdependent web of (UCG) was presented with a Green Sacred help bring the environmental message home. which we are all a part. Space (GSS) Award during Transition UCG partners with various environmental We know our living planet’s ecology is a Guelph’s Resilience 2011 event on March organizations and encourages tool and car- wonderful metaphor for our individual and 26. sharing cooperatives, Freecycle initiatives complex spiritualities and this award gives The Green Sacred Space Award recogniz- and Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) us even more incentive to do more greening es the contributions that faith communities programs. of our sacred space in the coming year. make toward creating a sustainable environ- UCG is also reaching toward the sun. ment. In order to win the GSS Award, UCG By September 2011 we will have installed Helen Prinold met three stringent criteria: solar panels (and have launched the sale of 1. Completed practical actions—we com- debentures to finance this project), and are pleted a lighting retrofit, and built a pol- continuing to travel further along the path linator garden. to becoming an official ‘Green Sanctuary’ (a program similar to the EcoSchool program in 2. Engaged in numerous local sustainabil- the Unitarian Universalist tradition). ity and energy conservation educationala 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 stewardship, a concurrent ses- thank you to the CUC, and other congregations sion for owL training, and a youth conference. hope for contributions to the annual Sharing our faith to see you there! collection. Wayne Broughton Heather Stefanek Biggest Numbers for North Shore Kamloops Sings Praises annually in may, North Shore Unitarian Church in a Sharing our faith Grant was awarded to the Unitar- Vancouver holds a goods and services auction to raise ian Universalist fellowship of Kamloops, which was funds towards the church’s operating expenses. In used to assist with the newly formed choir. Under the keeping with this year’s mission goal of “welcoming leadership of Choir Director margaret waldon, they all to our caring community” and in awareness that spent several months rehearsing for regular worship ‘radical inclusivity’ is one means toward that goal, the services as well as a special musical service which was auction organizers succeeded in making fUNdfeSt presented to their congregation on may 1. a more multi-generational and celebratory event than the program consisted of popular songs from the ever before. Unitarian Song Books, Singing the Living Tradition they sought out offerings that would appeal to and Singing the Journey. It included a special ar- young families—such as a beach party for parents rangement of “Sakura #177”, in remembrance and children—in recognition of our many new of the people of Japan in the aftermath of the young families that have been visiting regularly earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. also this year. In this spirit, one church member made a couple of choral pieces: “Song, circling all a cash donation to fUNdfeSt to be used the earth” and “Deep in our hearts” from by members who might not be able to Wind of Change. the choir members shared participate for financial reasons. although their reasons for singing and love of music, the recipients were never disclosed, the and their particular favourite UU song. congregation as a whole was very moved we are a small congregation of around 30 by this gift. members, and one third of us sing in the choir, Perhaps it was these factors, and the the hard including three couples! work of the committee, that allowed it to be 22 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
    • Currently the Greening Sacred Spaces lo- and the restaurants and retailers who stock cal network comprises more than 100 faith these fish. communities in Waterloo, Wellington, and The Mosquito Fleet is a team of small Dufferin Regions. Network members are fishing boats that will monitor the changes invited to free quarterly training meetings, in the ocean ecosystems as global warming have access to free downloadable resources, receive information about energy-efficiency occurs, while the Bottle Drop will show where and energy audits, funding opportunities, and oil spills could flow. upcoming environmental events. Nanaimo: Tag a Fish, Trace an Oil Slick These projects are designed to connect 10 GSS awards are granted in areas across fishermen, urban dwellers, and scientists Ontario where Greening Sacred Spaces Changing the world can begin with some- who study climate and the ocean waters off programs are active (Waterloo Region, Wel- lington County, Toronto, Ottawa and Eastern thing as simple as discussion over a slow meal the bc coast, explained renowned ecologist Ontario, Hamilton, and Peterborough). For of potluck dishes—and a salmon caught by Buzz Holling, one of the potluck organizers more information or to join the free Greening a local fisherman. and a member of FUFON: “We want to Sacred Spaces Network, go to www.greening- That was the idea behind the first in a implement identifiable actions that will help sacredspaces.net. series of Potlucks for Progressives held this our children and grandchildren adapt to the Transition Guelph is Canada’s second official Transition Initiative, joining Peter- February at the First Unitarian Fellowship large economic, environmental and social borough, on, in May, 2009. Transition towns of Nanaimo (FUFON). changes that are coming. commit to reducing their carbon footprint, Tasha Sutcliffe of Thisfish and Eddy “The causes are global, but the impacts are embarking on a joint journey to a lower energy Carmack, organizer of the Bottle Drop and local, and it’s on the local level that we can future. The transition movement continues Mosquito Fleet, joined potluck participants effect change.” to grow in Canada and around the world, in roundtable discussions during the event. with over 275 official Transition Initiatives Thisfish is a tracking system that lets Kathryn-Jane Hazel worldwide. For more information go to www. you trace the fish you buy—back to who transitionguelph.org. caught it and where, where it was processed,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 ChrIStINe hammoNDS marY Cramer the newly-formed Kamloops Choir, of the Unitarian first Unitarian Church of Victoria’s rev. melora (left) and Universalist fellowship of Kamloops. rev. Shana, wearing their new stoles made by quilters Liz Graham and Pat Kinrade, and weaver Kjerstin mackie. our most financially successful auction ever, and an Victoria First: New Ministers and 50 Years-Old enjoyable evening for the largest number attending the first Unitarian Church of Victoria held the installa- in many years. tion of our new co-ministers, revs. Shana and melora another event was that our Purchase and Sale agree- Lynngood on march 4, 2011. rev. John millspaugh from ment fell through on march 31 after more than three winchester, mass. preached the sermon, rev. Stephen years of hoping, but congregants are not disheartened; epperson from Vancouver gave the Charge to the minis- we maintain our resolve to continue seeking a purchas- ters, and rev. antonia won of the CUC gave the Charge er for our property. the majority of members remain to the Congregation. the Chalice Choir and Children committed to becoming a more visible and accessible and Youth choirs provided the music. Special guests church in some as-yet-to-be-found location. included rev. Jane Bramadat, minister emerita, rev. Don Vaughn-foerster, our Interim minister, rev. Phillip Rev. Stephen Atkinson hewett, our Interim minister in continued on page 24 23
    • continued from page 23 1991, and rev. marvin evans, and music directors. the sanctuary was decorated with the first minister of our church 50 years ago. paintings and fabric art by 17 members of our church on June 17, we celebrated our 50th anniversary with who are artists. a ceremony and a multi-generational dance. During the Suellen Guenther ceremony, we featured special music by all the choirs, funny stories from the past, and the four change points Beacon bids goodbye, but keeps a fun tradition in the life of the church. Beacon Unitarian Church in Coquitlam, bc, said good- the four change points were: buying our first bye to rev. Katie Stein Sather on July 19th, after eight church building in the 1960s; lifting that building years of her ministry. we will miss her. we are in the and excavating underneath to create rooms for the process of searching for a part-time contract/develop- religious education program; carrying the flame in a mental minister to start in January 2012. this year will hurricane lantern, in a relay-walk from our downtown be one of change and possibility for Beacon. we enter church all the way out to our new church property, led it with a mix of hope and trepidation. by the church secretary, who carried the membership on a more joyful note, Beacon hosted another fabu- book for the entire five-hour walk; and building our lous family Camp at Sasamat Lake in June, with lots of new sanctuary. we illustrated the change points with kids, families, and friends from all the Lower mainland power-point photographs and re-enacted the carrying churches. we sang, ate, swam, canoed, roasted marsh- of the flame. mallows and wieners and generally had a great time. the ceremony also included recognition of those we look forward to continuing this annual tradition for who have been members for more than 40 years, elders, many years to come. ministers, past-presidents, lay chaplains, re directors, Sue Sparlina 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 rUSSeLL mCNeILL thaNKS to SUe SParLIN KarIN CarLSoN Clockwise from top left: • the first Unitarian fellowship of Nanaimo welcomes their newest lay chaplain, anne morrison. howard rose, Chair of the lay chaplaincy committee, led the installation. • rev. Katie Stein Sather dedicating Beacon Unitarian Church’s newset member, Jacob Stroecel. • Gathering after the service, at the first Unitarian Universalist Church of winnipeg. 24 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
    • Canada’s Bounty: nature and natural rescourcesenergy and Mining: canada’s Bedrock?the alteration of nature in canada often results in employ over 680,000 people, and contribute to thethe loss of forests, marshland, fertile agricultural trade balance $75.5 billion, $25.8 billion, and $20.1areas, depletion of fish stocks, the damming of billion, respectively.rivers and the destruction of migrating species. in canada, an enormous amount of resourcescanada Yearbook 2010 reports that alterations of is invested in the traditional business of resourcenatural waterways provide 65% of our hydro en- development—at the expense of technologies thatergy. Land-based uranium mining provides 15% of will serve us in the future. according to The Globenuclear-based energy (in Ontario that figure jumps and Mail (June 30, 2011) canada’s rank in R&Dto 53%). the tar sands contribute 44% of total do- spending is lower than Sweden, korea, Finland,mestic oil production. about 68% of oil is exported, Japan, Switzerland, the USa, Denmark, Germany,mostly to the USa (20% of its consumption). all France and austria, and our ranking is dropping.aspects are currently an indispensible part of the a completely new business model for societyeconomic health of canada. would need to be developed to maintain what we We need to better understand the impact of consider our standard of living, and at the samethis. apart from the ecological consequences of the time improve environmental regulations andexplored materials themselves, we need to distin- enforcement.guish short-term and long-term consequences on no democratic government can be expected tothe natural environment. do that unless business and the population demand in this author’s opinion, exploration for resourc- it. a White House recommendation in June 2011es (mining) will, in the very long term, still allow called for drastically higher gasoline mileage forthe earth a chance to establish a new ecology. the cars. The Washington Post (June 26, 2011) reportedexploitation of nickel near Sudbury has destroyed that response from industry was that “we needthe surrounding area, but major reclamation is to preserve affordability, vehicle choice, jobs andsuccessful. coal mining areas in the USa and safety as we improve fuel economy.”Germany have been reclaimed. the tar sands kill Finally we need to consider the enormous wastehuge areas (not to mention the significant social of resources. the feeding frenzy on oil reserves isdamage they cause), but Suncor claims that of the ecologically and strategically indefensible. it should530 square km, 65 had already been reclaimed in be unacceptable to massively burn hydrocarbons—2009. the alberta Government holds reclamation creating carbon dioxide and global warming—thesecurities from industry. way we do. Hydrocarbons are a high-energy source (at the same time we must also recognize the for life. they are an inexpensive raw material foreffect of urban sprawl. For example, the land dis- plastics, pharmaceuticals, and new biological ap-turbed by oil sands by 2009 is only half that of the plications under development. instead, we chooseagricultural land that has been subsumed by the to burn them up to feed inefficient engines orcity of edmonton, according to canada Yearbook buildings—to sustain a distorted sense of comfort2010.) or necessity. to complain about explorations is not sufficient exploration for resources serves our collectiveunless at the same time we agitate even more human greed for growth. the business communitystrongly for the reduction of our demands on these —which means directly and indirectly most ofsame fronts. We are conflicted by incompatible us—needs this growth to pursue our concept ofbusiness and ecology models. On the one hand, what is a proper standard of living. We need glo-the discovery of a major oil field is celebrated, bally persuasive forces to stimulate a new collectivewhile on the other, it is understood that more oil spirituality.will cause an even faster decline in the existingenvironment. Fred Lautenschlaeger, energy and mining is vital for canada’s econ- First Unitarian Congregation Torontoomy: the government budget depends on these (and part of the urban sprawl)incomes and the associated employment. accord-ing to the canada Yearbook 2010, of the GrossDomestic product’s 1,233 billion dollars, naturalresources account for 12% (energy 6.8%, miner-als 3.3%, and forest 1.9%). these three resources 25
    • Canada’s Bounty: nature and natural rescources Mining abroad: the Ugly canadian? Local development. community consultation. corporate social responsibility. terms such as these have recently become a key component of pR strategies for any interna- tional mining company seeking a social license to operate. in today’s globalized mining industry, several of canada’s most well-known and robust mining companies are vocal signatories to various international declarations on transparency and accountability. Many are listed on sustainability indexes and are recommended holdings for ‘socially responsible’ investors. they promote their voluntary contributions to community development, which include such initiatives as building wells, running drug awareness programs, and providing jobs for local people. But despite this shift in image—from cold, hard corporations that seek only high profits for shareholders, to caring, community-oriented enterprises, improving the lives of local people— grassroots resistance to canadian mining companies operating internationally has only become louder and stronger. We need to listen to these voices in order to get an accurate picture of canada’s international mining industry. in Guatemala, Vancouver-based Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine has severely contaminated the water, resulting in serious health impacts on the municipalities of San Miguel ixtahuacan and Sipakapa. the crackdown on local resistance movements has shown total disregard for human rights; at- tempted assassinations, threats, and other violent reactions to peaceful protests, tear at the social fabric of the community. in the philippines, thousands of fishing families were devastated when the canadian-owned Marcopper mine dumped 200 million metric tons of tailings into the calancun Bay, destroying the fishing industry and resulting in record-high levels of mercury and lead in the local population. in tanzania, toronto-based Barrick Gold has been found complicit in the shootings of several artisanal miners that were trying to access the mineral deposits in waste rock on which they depend for their income. evidence of the environmentally, economically, and socially destructive impact of canadian mining can be found all over the world. But we can find hope in the resistance of community groups that are tireless in their efforts to hold canadian mining to account. in 2005 in Sipakapa, Guatemala, the absence of meaningful consultation seeking the consent of indigenous people, resulted in community groups holding a popular referendum (known as a consulta) on the mine. thousands of residents cast their vote, and over 98% of voters made it clear that they did not support mining on their land. this movement of communities taking ownership of their right to self-determination through popular democracy is growing, and now over 50 communities in Guatemala and several communities elsewhere have found their voice through the consulta. across the globe, resistance takes the form of mass protests, lengthy blockades, legal action, issuing complaints to international bodies, calls for international solidarity, and countless other creative actions that aim to bring attention to the impact of mining on local communities, the environment they depend on, and our obligation to support these efforts by calling our companies to account. these communities have alternative visions for their own development—but we all need to do our part in tearing down unjust structures that stand in the way of their realization. Let us never surrender our critical mindset when faced with false development schemes that seek to distract us from the cries of those that refuse to let destructive and unjust mining prac- tices become their only option. For true local development comes not from a foreign-imposed operation but from an empowered people. community consultation is not sufficient if it does not recognize the right of a community to say no to mining. and corporate social responsibility is no replacement for accountability, justice, and genuine solidarity. Kaitlyn Duthie-Kannikkatt, Eastern Region Coordinator for the Student Christian Movement of Canada, has just finished an internship with MiningWatch Canada www.miningwatch.ca 26 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
    • the courtenay River estuary: Rich past, Hopeful Future Stewardship and sustainability are ‘ecobuzz’ words that are preserve and restore a beauty of nature that is primed for a return rapidly becoming mainstream as canadians think more about to abundance (www.projectwatershed.ca). Major industries along fresh water resources. thank goodness! its shores, contributors to a steady decline during the past 75 We are accustomed to hearing that one-fifth of the world’s years, have been removed. One example is a large sawmill near fresh water sources are located within our boundaries, but less the bridge with log storage where the estuary met the ocean at comfortable with the fact that only 2.6% is in southern canada Goose Spit. a large, obsolete cement tower along the western where most of us live. We know that rivers were the highways shoreline road, has also been removed. for voyageurs and explorers that resulted in a vast country of in 2010 five local governments—a city, town, village and two 2,000,000 lakes, bordered by three seas and the american rural districts—adopted a new comox Valley Regional Growth land mass. But few of us realize that 22,000,000 people live in Strategy plan that received a 2011 provincial award for its sustain- watersheds, where at least 10% of the local water flow is critical able management component, including the estuary, to insure to their lifestyle, according to canadian Geographic’s web sec- future protection. tion on watersheds. and now we know that pre-contact aboriginal populations liv- Rivers and lakes are important reservoirs of fresh water but it ing along the shores managed this highly productive estuary for is estuaries that most directly reflect the Unitarian principle of centuries. a major archeological study is being prepared by two“respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we local workers for publication. it demonstrates that the courtenay are a part”. estuaries are nodal points, the most fertile spots on River estuary possesses the remains of thousands of wood stakes, the planet. these brackish bays, in which fresh and salt waters comprising a coordinated system of fish traps, that utilized the mingle, host insects, plants, bushes and trees, tadpoles and ma- tides. two distinct intertidal fish trap types have been identified: ture fish, small and large wild animals, migrating birds—and the Winged Heart and the Winged chevron. this suggests that families of people—because they are bountiful and beautiful the ancient inhabitants of this area had an extensive fishery using places. passive fish trap systems. the researchers (who wish to remain We are estuary residents who live along the courtenay River unidentified for the present, during their final work on their estuary, at the base of one of the 595 watersheds in this country. manuscripts) conclude that harvesting was based on knowledge Only three kilometres long, the courtenay River is one of the of fish behavior, understanding and replication of sophisticated world’s shortest navigable rivers. the comox Glacier dominates engineering principles, and an appreciation of sustainability our Vancouver island Valley from its position in the Beaufort that operated for more than 1,300 years. this significant study mountains. two major watershed rivers join near the northern stimulated the formation of a community committee to propose condensory Bridge at 1st Street in the city of courtenay; the national Historic status for these trap systems. the project moveable bascule 17th Street Bridge is the southern crossing Watershed Society has assembled stakeholder representatives near comox Bay. and sponsors the committee. UneScO World Heritage status in this small urban area, a heart-shaped estuary has supported might also be an achievable goal. life for millennia. it is the second most important estuary in Brit- British columbia has more than 25,725 coastline kilometers. ish columbia, after the huge Fraser River, with some geologists the courtenay River estuary is one of the most precious nodal arguing that it comprises the northern boundary of that massive points. From a biodiversity perspective, it is threatened but not outflow. in the middle part of the last century, this was one of lost. if these 21st-century stewards achieve their dream, they the prime sports fishing destinations in canada. honour an aboriginal tradition that sustained life throughout British columbia has 442 estuaries, but only eight are consid- many seasonal rotations. the legacy for all canadians, including ered class 1. the classification is based on habitat size, intertidal other species in the interdependent web of existence, will sustain biodiversity and use by fish and waterfowl. the courtenay River abundant life for future millennia of diverse inhabitants. estuary provides habitat for 145 bird species (more than 70,000 birds), 218 plant species, 29 fish species (including all five spe- Betty Donaldson, cies of pacific salmon) and innumerable species of intertidal Professor Emerita, University of Calgary, and animals (clams, worms, and microbes). it is the major stopover Paul Horgen, for migrating trumpeter swans. Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, the comox Valley project Watershed Society has been con- serve on the Project Watershed Board of Directors. cerned with restoration of all local watersheds, but for the last five Betty Donaldson is a member of years has focused on the estuary. an environmental stewardship the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship. group, it works with local governments and the community to 27
    • Canada’s Bounty: nature and natural rescources Ghosts and Orphans: the legacy of uranium mining the good old days weren’t always that great. past mineral resource extraction practices have left us with a witches’ brew of environmental problems that continue to haunt northern communities. consider, for example, uranium mining in northern Saskatchewan dating back to the 1950s. Uranium ore, when brought to the surface, contains a mixture of compounds of uranium and its various radioactive decay products that have accumulated over the millennia, as well as several chemically toxic elements such as arsenic. Uranium238 has a very long radioactive half-life (four and a half billion years). it is constantly throwing off alpha particles that leave it transformed into thorium, which is itself radioactive. this sequence continues through 14 successive decay steps before a stable, non-radioactive isotope of lead is reached. So uranium ore contains a mixture of all of these radioactive materials, the bulk of which need to be removed before the uranium product is shipped away for refining. the ore is crushed and milled close to the mine, and the unwanted contaminants are left on site as tailings, in the form of a fine sand-like material. the problem then arises—what to do with these tailings, which still contain radioactive materials with half-lives of hundreds of thousands of years. a sad example of how tailings were handled fifty years ago is the Gunnar mine site, close to the shore of Lake athabasca. Uranium was mined there from 1955 to 1963, initially from an open pit and subsequently from underground workings. the rim of the pit was separated from the lake only by a narrow ridge of bedrock. Over 4 million tonnes of tailings were created during the operation of the mine and mill. at first these were dumped in a nearby depression. When this was full, a new, shallow dumping site was used. Unfortunately, from there, tailings flowed or drifted into Langley Bay, a narrow arm of Lake athabasca. in those days uranium mines did not have to be licensed (although their product, as a strategic material, was certainly regulated). When the mine closed in 1963, little or no de-commissioning took place. the mine pit was flooded by blasting a narrow trench in the rock that separated it from the lake. Water flowed into the pit and eventually also flooded the underground workings. the channel was then blocked with waste rock. and this was how the site was abandoned, and still remains, with wind-blown radioactive tailings spread over a fairly large land area and drift- ing into the lake. the owner of the mine, which operated without environmental restrictions, is no longer in existence, and the site is designated as an orphan site. this means that dealing with the problem falls back on government and taxpayers. But it isn’t at all obvious how the site should be treated. there are questions about whether disturbing the lake sediment, where contaminants have ac- cumulated, would actually cause more problems than it would solve. Some of the tailings could be put into the mined-out pit, but there isn’t room for all of it. the Saskatchewan Research council has been contracted to develop a reclamation plan for Gunnar and several other similar sites. it will be costly and difficult, and there isn’t consensus about what degree of clean-up is acceptable. project cLeanS’ (cleanup of abandoned northern Sites) website, at www.saskcleans.ca, reports on this process. We should note that the modern uranium industry is highly regulated. However it is still dealing with extremely long-lived radioactive waste materials which need to be kept isolated for periods of time far exceeding the experience of human history. Ann Coxworth, Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon, volunteers as Research Advisor to the Saskachewan Environmental Society (SES) 28 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
    • teztan Biny: a Sacred place taseko Mining still wants to develop prosperity Mine—and (June 10, 2011) quoted the tsilhqot’in as saying: “this equally bc’s premier, christy clark, publicly declared she is in favour damaging proposal was submitted with zero consultation with of it. taseko revamped their previous proposal in February 2011, the tsilhqot’in nation, who in fact received the submission after renamed it new prosperity, and announced their intention of it had already been sent to both governments.” re-submitting their proposal to the canadian environmental perhaps more of us should oppose the new prosperity mine. assessment agency (ceaa). prosperity Mine would have needed a huge subsidy from Bc if the new prosperity mine is approved, it will provide ap- Hydro to be economically viable, and there is no reason to be- proximately 375 direct jobs, with an annual payroll of $30 mil- lieve that new prosperity will be any different. as Bc Hydro is lion, in the economically depressed Williams Lake area in the a crown corporation, this subsidy would come from you and me. interior of bc,. per taseko’s website, new prosperity has proven Simon Fraser University faculty member Dr. Marvin Shaffer reserves of 5 million ounces of gold and 2.4 billion pounds of estimated in The Tyee ( July 9, 2010) that the cost could be as copper. these are products that each of us use every day in our much as $20 million annually. those 375 jobs also come at the industrial civilization. every time we flip on a computer, tea cost of a First nation’s lifeway, a grizzly bear habitat, the loss of kettle, air conditioner, or microwave, the electricity is delivered fish and fish habitat—and, generally, with colossal destruction through copper wires. Gold is used for various industrial pur- of the environment. poses as well as for jewellery. So this revised proposal is a good Why doesn’t premier christy clark choose to subsidize envi- thing, right? not so fast. ronmentally friendly projects instead? (i’d like to propose terra talk about destroying nature to acquire natural resources: preta—a human-created soil additive made from charcoal and teztan Biny (Fish Lake) is a sacred place for the tsilhqot’in, who compost that is incredibly fertile and—even better—sequesters have fished, hunted, and gathered medicines on it and around carbon.) Do we, as a society, believe that we can ignore natural its shores, just as their ancestors did long before British co- limits to growth? lumbia was settled. taseko Mining proposed to drain it in their a paradigm shift is possible; if we change ourselves, and work original plan. their new and improved proposal surrounds the to make a change in the world with loving kindness, we are not trout-filled lake with an open pit mine and tailings dump. the doomed to destroy nature and consequently, ourselves. original prosperity Mine proposal was roundly rejected by the ceaa and by the conservative federal cabinet as it was extremely Tuula Helin, destructive to the environment and to the traditional lands and Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kamloops lifeways of the tsilhqot’in nation. the tsilhqot’in nation doesn’t see new prosperity as an Visit tuula Helin’s blog: www.connexionsandcontradictions. improvement on prosperity Mine. the cBc news’ website blogspot.com, or email her at the-cap@shaw.caLorNa eLKINS teztan Biny (fish Lake) is important to the tsilhqot’in Nation, who place great emphasis on preserving their culture and their way of life. 29
    • Canada’s Bounty: nature and natural rescources potatoes vs. an Open pit imagine the area of about 1,200 soccer fields and you have a size together and calm down and appreciate that they might get a similar to that of the proposed mega-quarry near Melancthon, golf course out of this.” Mayor Hill wrote a letter of concern north of Shelburne, on, and only three kilometres away from and complaint to premier Dalton McGuinty in response. the our 55-acre Unitarian summer Unicamp, in Honeywood, on. if deadline of april 26 for official letters of objection to Highland the proposal goes through, prime agricultural land will be dug and the Ministry of natural Resources was then extended to July up to create the biggest open-pit mine in canada, and likely the 11. Over 2,000 letters were sent. second biggest in north america. the Highland companies have two years to reply to every How did it come to this? letter. if their response is unsatisfactory, it may be rebutted with about four years ago a hedge-fund operated company based in another letter to this effect, copying the Minister of natural Re- Boston, the Highland companies, bought 7000 acres of prime sources. Be assured this powerful US-based company will fight agricultural land with the supposed intention of farming, grow- hard for their perceived rights to the valuable Ontario limestone. ing, and processing potatoes in the township of Melancthon. it is that same limestone that makes the land prime potato land, about three years ago they announced an interest in extracting providing great drainage, and preventing the potatoes from limestone. this would be accomplished by digging a pit of 2300 rotting. this fact alone should give us a hint that restoring acres, going deeper than 200 feet below the water table. the land on the bottom of the quarry after extraction—as has there are a number of concerns should the mega-quarry go been promised—will not in any way bring it back to its orginal ahead. Drilling into the aquifer will likely affect the quantity prime and class-1 condition, nor will it be suitable for growing and quality of water supplying local wells, springs, as well as potatoes. the headwaters of rivers such as the nottawasaga, Saugeen, and the international online petition organization avaaz has col- the Grand River, which reach millions of people in Ontario. a lected over 100,000 signatures to put pressure on the Ontario whopping 600 million litres of water would be used every single Minister of natural Resources. Despite past deadlines, there day to minimize dust. every single day 4000 trucks would drive is still an opportunity to keep the pressure on: sending letters over the mostly gravel roads in the area, and the noise level of to your Mp and Mpp, and organizing events and protests will ongoing blasting to extract the limestone would likely have quite get the attention of the media. this is a fight for years to come, an impact on the quality of life for residents. unless laws are changed by the government and the people in response, the north-Dufferin agricultural community of Ontario, to give priority to valuable agricultural land over taskforce (nDact) was formed by the local citizens, alerting mineral extraction. the friends of Unicamp about the proposed quarry. We spread the word to UU congregations in Ontario. Ellen Papenburg, the Highland companies demolished over 30 homes, past president of Unicamp which they had let go derelict, and removed many old-wood moderator FriendsOfUnicampStoptheQuarry egroup lots (“normal farming practice” they claim). according to their join us ellen@wightman.ca promotional video they intend to plant new woodland around the quarry. i’ve attended the Melancthon town council meeting every month since September 2009, and was present when we heard that the Highland companies finally filed their application on Related links: March 3 of this year. now the nDact, Unitarians, the council www.ndact.com of canadians, conservation groups, First nations, and many www.stopthemelancthonquarry.com more can take action. miningforthetruthinmelancthon.blogspot.com the government needs to hear that Melacthon does not want www.melancthontownship.ca a mega-quarry. Ontario’s Minister of natural Resources, Linda search on facebook for “Stop the Quarry” Jeffrey, showed support for the mega-quarry when she told Melancthon Mayor Bill Hill that he, “should get the community Background info from the other side: http://www.highlandcompanies.ca/index.php/site/ 30 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
    • economic efficiency and canada’s WaterHuman activity is having profound consequences on the earth. Our overuse of many naturalresources is leaving a much-degraded planet for future generations. For many in religious andenvironmental groups, this can only be tackled by a profound change of values. another perspective on how we can take better care of the earth comes from the economics-based notion of efficiency. anyone who has managed a household or business knows that beingefficient means putting ones resources to their best use and minimizing waste. For example, acongregation using a coffee pot so leaky that 10% of the coffee spills onto the counter each Sunday,wastes coffee and human resources (those who clean up the mess). in economics, we would callfixing the leaky coffee pot an example of a pareto improving action: one that makes some peoplebetter off and no one worse off; it’s an easy decision. efficiency can guide the stewardship of the earth’s natural resources too. Water is one example(but the arguments apply equally to other natural resources). if we look at how water is pricedand consumed in canada we can conclude that we use water very inefficiently. Water prices arefar too low and, as a result, water is wasted. according to economist Steven Renzetti, in his report Wave of the Future: The Case for SmarterWater Policy (c.D. Howe institute-Institut C.D. Howe, 2009), it is costly to supply clean waterto people. there is the building of infrastructure to bring water to homes, the monitoring andchecking of water quality, the cost of treating water so that it can be safely consumed. Municipalwater agencies collect revenues to pay for these costs through various charges levied on custom-ers. However the amount of revenue collected from these charges does not cover the basic costsof supplying water to users. in 2007, revenues collected by water agencies in canada coveredonly 70% of reported costs. in addition, most canadian cities have failed to maintain and replaceaging water supply networks, which causes losses through leakage and signifies future repaircosts. Finally, the reported costs put no dollar value on the water itself. One important economic principle: resources will be used inefficiently if they are not pricedto reflect their true costs. a comparison of water prices across nations shows that canadian waterprices are much lower than in many european nations. the most recent comparison available isfor 1999, which shows average water prices in Germany of about $2.16 per cubic metre comparedto canada’s average of about 31 cents. in Germany, consumption of water in liters, per person perday, was about 125 compared to a figure for canada of 325 litres per person per day. in addition, asignificant number of canadian households (about 35% in 2004) pay a flat monthly rate for water,no matter how much they use. Studies have shown that moving from a flat fee to a price per litreconsumed can cause household water consumption to fall by half. When the true cost of wateris included in the price, many people would stop watering lawns, for example, and businesseswould find ways to reduce water consumption. the economic efficiency argument holds that charging a price for water which reflects thetrue cost of using the resource is the surest way to ensure that we will not waste it. the paymentshould cover the cost of delivering water resources to homes and businesses, and a user cost toreflect the scarcity of water in particular regions. charging a higher price for water is not as easy a decision as replacing a leaky coffee pot. Whatabout people who can’t afford to purchase water at what would be considered an efficient price?Our UU principle of justice and equity calls on us to ensure that everyone has access to food,clean water, and shelter. Rather than subsidize water consumption as we do now, i’d advocatefor better income redistribution so that everyone has enough to purchase necessities includingwater, food, and shelter. it is also possible to establish an escalating price rate on water, beyonda certain mimimum of units needed to meet a household’s basic needs. this can help eliminatethe impact of increasing water prices on those who can least afford it, while promoting conserva-tion and wise use of the resource for all. to use the earth’s resources wisely we must use them efficiently. Margaret Insley, First Unitarian Congregation of Waterloo and Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Waterloo 31
    • Message from UUMoC Symptoms and Soul Religion in the ecological epoch will need to be based on a Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Llewellyn Vaughan- sense of deep communion with all beings—through empathy, Lee reminds us that in western culture, “the core of Spiritual through the power of the heart, through our deepest intuition ecology is an understanding that our present outer ecologi- of the sacred pulse of life and the sacred nature of the cosmos. cal crisis is a reflection of an inner spiritual crisis… a lack of It will be a religion in which heart and mind combine. It will be awareness of the sacred within ourselves and within all of a religion of celebration and joy. life [that] has created an inner wasteland as real as any outer landscape. we cannot redeem our physical environment” he Henryk Skolinowski, a Sacred Place to Dwell asserts, “without restoring our relationship to the sacred.” we live in ‘interesting’ times: times of radical transition, amidst early evidence of a global consciousness shift. the uniquely relevant theology of our Seventh Principle, as rev. So often these days I hear us asking the ageless religious David Bumbaugh wrote (UUa world 1995), “calls us to questions: who are we, what is our calling, how shall we reverence before the world—not some future world but the define our mission and vision? Soul questions. and while miraculous world of our everyday experience… It bespeaks we search for answers as individuals and as congregations, a world where—because all things impinge on all other I believe we are called as a religious movement to respond things—everything matters.” to the soul needs of our age. to remember that the ‘anima So we work to clean up pollution, protest the tar sands, mundi’—the spirit of our times—along with the scarred and protect endangered species, lobby to pass legislation declar- sacred earth, is equally in need of healing. ing water a universal human right, attending in myriad ways a strong commitment to environmental justice is a to the symptoms of a pervasive, systemic spiritual crisis. natural for Unitarians and Universalists. as individuals and as wise religious activists, let us not become so busy we as faith communities, we typically express our longing for neglect what empowers us for sustained action and renews environmental and social justice with social and political our spirits for the long haul. healing the spiritual malaise of action on many fronts, locally and in every region of Canada, our age calls us in ‘celebration and joy’ to savour the world extending our concern to all corners of the globe. a religion we seek to save. this is work best nurtured in supportive, of celebration and joy? multi-generational community. faced with the enormity of the mandate to save an entire In the words again of Joanna macy, “It is a privilege to be planet, the miracle is how many manage to not only retain joy alive in this time when we can choose to take part in the self- but avoid burnout. what inspires us, keeps us going, restores healing of our world.” Could it be that our Seventh Principle , us in the face of daily frustrations, set-backs, defeats, justice “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which denied or delayed? we are a part”, points us toward balancing and integrating I believe it is our encouragement of each other in com- our work for eco-justice with an authentic eco-spirituality? munity, doing the inner work that sustains the outer work. may it be so! maintaining hope by celebrating what Buddhist teacher and activist Joanna macy calls a basic “gratitude for the gift of rev. Carole martignacco, life… the primary wellspring of all religions.” Unitarian Universalist Church of North hatley we would do well to intentionally integrate more spiritual renewal, a reawakening of wonder, reverence and awe for the sacred earth into our environmental activism. writing in The Huffington Post after the failed initiatives of the 2010 UN32 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
    • London hosts Falun Gong practitionersthere wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Falun Gong practition- Before the children of the UFL went off to their separateers David Song and Hongmei Lu finished speaking. they had religion education classes, David and Hongmei demonstratedcome at the invitation of the Reverend Myron andes, minister of a simple Falun Gong exercise that children and adults could do.the Unitarian Fellowship of London (UFL), for one of the year’s Spontaneously, all the members of the congregation stood upSocial Justice Sunday sermons. this sermon was titled “Falun and joined in. Young and old members all stretched and swayedGong: a practitioner’s experience in the people’s Republic of and moved in unison.china”. When asked what we can do to help stop the persecution of David and Hongmei related how loss of jobs, false arrest, Falun Gong members, David and Hongmei suggested the weharassment, imprisonment, and torture—all at the hands of the speak out about the plight of amnesty international politicalchinese government—are among the possible fates awaiting a prisoner, Zhisheng Gao (高智晟). in 2001 Zhisheng Gao wasFalun Gong member who refuses to give up the faith. named one of china’s top ten lawyers by the Ministry of Justice What started off as a small sect in 1992, initially embraced for his work defending victims of medical malpractice and farm-by the chinese government, now has more than 100 million ers whose land had been seized for redevelopment. But in 2005practitioners throughout china. With such large numbers, it is Zhisheng Gao began defending members of unofficial christianrumored that the Falun Gong’s membership exceeds that of the churches as well as adherents of Falun Gong. after acceptingchinese communist party by 30 million. these highly controversial cases, his license to practice law was contrary to politburo beliefs, Fa- suspended, the chinese govern- thaNKS to marK KoNraDlun Gong members have no politi- ment shut down his 20-membercal agenda, wishing only to be left law firm, he was harassed, unjustlyalone to practice their three main detained, and tortured by the chi-tenets, truthfulness, compassion, nese secret police.and Forbearance. Unfortunately, Since then, over the years, Zhish-the chinese government believes eng Gao has been arrested, prohib-them to be a destabilizing threat ited from publishing or speakingto the social order. as a result, out, imprisioned, and tortured.since July of 1999, the govern- in February 2009, he was takenment banned the practice and has away again for interrogation by thewaged a ceaseless campaign to chinese secret police and was notdiscredit and ultimately wipe out seen until he resurfaced in thethe group. Shanxi province of the people’s David and Hongmei have both Republic of china in March 2010.been victims of government op- Several days later he disappeared,pression and spoke openly about and as of this date, his whereaboutstheir respective experiences. David remain unknown.served three years in a government David and Hongmei circulatedprison, and Hongmei was arrested, a letter of concern on behalf ofheld, and questioned by security David Song and Hongmei Lu share their religious amnesty international politicalpolice for a short period. David told practices and their experience with the Unitarian Fel- prisoner Zhisheng Gao (高智晟).the assembled congregation about lowship of London. and after such a passionate pres-life in one of the three chinese entation, members of the UFLprisons in which he was incarcer- eagerly signed on. Hongmei says,ated. a light was on 24 hours a day in his small cell, which he Zhisheng Gao is a true hero to members of the Falun Gongshared with as many as 20 other prisoners at a time. community, more people should know about his plight and do He and the others were forced to do labor for 12 to 15 hours a something to help. She urged members of the international com-day, in some cases making products for western markets. Before munity to call on the chinese government to immediately andhis spellbound audience, David lamented his experience mak- unconditionally release Zhisheng Gao, and David added “… anding ‘cargo’ pants under unbearable prison conditions. David stop the persecution of the Falun Gong members!”explained that, “ …cargo pants are those long pants that can be then, with a bow to their audience, David Song and Hongmeiconverted to short pants that many of the western people seem Lu finished their presentation to thunderous applause.to be wearing in canada…” David warned us that some chineseproducts are produced by chinese prison slave-labor and that is Mark Konrad,why the product can be sold so cheaply. Somebody, somewhere Unitarian Fellowship of Londonis paying a very high price. 33
    • tips & tricks: Designing your congregation’s new Website at the UU Fellowship of kamloops, we’ve redesigned our website: www.uukam.bc.ca. Our three month project was accomplished by a team of volunteers and a professional. the completed design specifications and text were handed over to a professional web designer, who completed the website in three weeks for a very reasonable price, and now updates our website once a month. Here are some tips we learned along the way: • Research web design. the best internet source i found was called the Best Damn Web Marketing checklist. With this, i was able to highlight all the areas where we needed to make changes. • Visit every UU website in canada, and as many as you can in the US. along the waySupport the Lotta you will get design ideas and menu names . it is a good idea to treat any website as copyrighted, even if it doesn’t say so—another reason why it’s best not to draw too Hitschmanova heavily from only one website. Legacy • Who is going to design and maintain the website? a volunteer, a professional, or a combination of both? We decided to hire a professional to design the site and update Fund it monthly, while we supply the content. We felt that this would ensure a profes- sional look to the website, plus it would avoid future problems with maintenance volunteers moving, taking holidays, or burning out. • if you must update more frequently than once a month, it would probably be ad- vantageous to have a content Management System. this costs more to install, butPlant the Seeds then a trained volunteer can easily update the website. of our • photos. Whatever you do, make sure that the photos are of the highest quality with good composition and lighting, and they send the desired message. if you don’t haveSurvival! a decent photo, then do without. it is also best to obtain permission from people in the photos before posting them to the website. • Graphics. For free chalice graphics, go to UUa chalice art, and cUc Logos & Fonts. i hope you find some of this helpful. enjoy the journey! Anne Neave, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kamloops Contact: David Rain 1-800-565-6872 x 231 rain@usc-canada.org or visit www.Dr. Lotta.ca 34 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 2 • Summer 2011
    • Inform Advise book design & layout brochures, posters, calendars… Advertise Put your business or service mes sage in The Canadian…my tech department Unitarian and reach Unitarian Universalists across Canada and into the United States, in design for print & web | digital media print and online. Contact the Canadian Unitarian Council at: kim@sitedish.com | (514) 257 6785 info@cuc.ca or 1-888-568-5723 for more information. 35
    • tribute to kathryn ‘kay’ cook inspired, i decided to start a church called the Music church in the hope that after a few years the congregants might elect me as chaplain. Our creed was, no Dogma just great karma. We sang uplifting music and gave thanks. We had some amazing musical guests and we traveled to restaurants and through people’s homes for about two years. But i began to burn out, as i was doing almost all the duties of keeping the Music church alive. i was too busy to give a thought to kathryn (kay) cook was widely known as a wedding chaplaincy work. officiant in toronto. appointed a chaplain by the When i felt the calling to do services again i congregation of First Unitarian church in 1973, she had a brochure made and kay helped me find quickly gained popularity among couples seeking source material and gave me a copy of a book she non-traditional wedding ceremonies. wrote to help couples plan their own wedding. Buttressed by the feminist movement and the kay helped me officiate my first wedding at the liberalization of canada’s divorce laws, she began her north York wedding chapel on Valentine’s Day. career by offering an alternative to the conventional it was such a thrill to perform this ceremony church wedding. She believed that committed couples with my mentor. deserved the sanctity of marriage in spite of differ- a couple of years later kay told me about a ences in ethnicity, race or religion. She conducted new Unitarian congregation starting up in the commitment ceremonies for gay couples long before Beaches neighbourhood of toronto that would the Ontario court of appeal eliminated the ban on be needing lay chaplains. So i visited and i fell same-sex marriage in 2003. in love with the neighbourhood Unitarian Uni- versalist congregation and its fabulous minister, from the Lives Lived Column of Rev. Wayne Walder, and i have been there ever The Globe and Mail since. (Oct 28, 2010) after shadowing Wayne and taking training sessions, i became their first lay chaplain. One Sunday i was giving a talk on how i became a lay i met kathryn cook in 1977. as a Unitarian lay chaplain and i invited kay—i wanted her to know chaplain, she officiated at my first wedding. i how grateful i am to her for helping me achieve was so impressed by her ability to make everyone my dream. after the service so many people came feel relaxed as she conducted our ceremony with up to her to say hello and tell her that she married such grace. it was at this ceremony that i became them and many of their friends. intrigued with the idea of becoming a chaplain i was so shocked to hear that kay passed away myself. i let the idea simmer in the back of my last year. i never got a chance to say goodbye and mind and carried on with my career as an arts/ thank her for guiding and nurturing me to do Send address Corrections and returns to info@cuc.ca or to: educator and performer. this wonderful work. She was unique and special, For my second marriage, my fiancé and i and i will always remember her in her beautiful asked kay to officiate (i’ve often joked that she gowns, speaking words of wisdom and love. CUC, 100-344 Dupont Street, Toronto, ON M5R 1V9 gave me a discount the second time as the first marriage didn’t take). this second wedding was thanks kay. an intimate ceremony and kay helped to make our living room a sacred space as she blessed our Naomi Tyrell,Canada Post agreement #40009492 union with words of wisdom and inspiration on Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist our special day. Congregation a few years later i was asked to help team-teach a drama workshop for children. My partner was kay cook. We had a wonderful time teaching the class together and i told her of my dream of becoming a chaplain. She mentioned how much it helps to have a theatre background to do the ceremonies. She helped me brainstorm ways that i could get licensed.