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The Canadian Unitarian, Fall 2011


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

Vol. 53, No. 3

Theme: Food Issues

Published in: Spiritual
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The Canadian Unitarian, Fall 2011

  1. 1. on it i ed bwe the can adian unitarian Newsletter of the Canadian Unitarian Council Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011 Does Food Create Community? Yes indeed, it does. At the Unitarian Church of Montreal (ucmtl), we started out by worshipping at the altar of the coffee urn, which has recently progressed to worshipping at the groaning side-table. Although we used to fuel conversation with notoriously weak coffee, we’ve moved on to aromatic free-trade coffee and an array of tempting dishes. Why? Because so many church events are held after the Sunday service; people can’t go to meetings on an empty stomach. How can you speak up for social justice with ten tummies rumbling around you? All it took was a group of friendly foodies. Suddenly, we were hosting minor and major events. We are blessed with cooks who have a range of talents. Need bread? Ask Paco. Want soup? Talk to me. John’s the guy if you want to put on a potato bar. We have hosted many Loaf’n’Ladle lunches. And then there’s Maychai with her exquisite chocolate orange cheesecake. Some people use the term ‘to die for’ when speaking of an amazing dish or meal. We like ‘to live for’ better. Here’s how we do it: The ucmtl Hospitality Committee has no budget from the church. Money is raised through pay-as-you-can donations by congregants who stay for lunch. Regardless of the event, we only ask that people give if, or what, they can. Proceeds are then used to host future events. Recruiting is important. We started out with a core group of five people. We now have a total of 32 members because you can’t have a team of five serve 120 people every second Sunday. Does this sound like the voice of experience—or maybe just the voice of five tired people? The best recruit- ing line yet: “Do you have a springform pan?” “Yes,” comes the reply. “Excellent! Do you think you could fill one for me on January 10? We’re doing a fundraiser to replace our piano hammers.” “Yes,” is again the reply. “Oh, great! Look, while we’re at it, can I add you to the list of Hospitality Committee members?” Your volunteer is looking dazed and confused by now, in the din of Phoenix Hall, after the service in the sanctuary. Recruiting 101: Get’em while the going’s good! So where does the community part come in? Nobody wants to talk to a psychiatrist: it looks as if, horror of horrors, there might be something wrong with you. Even talking to the minister can be a bit daunting sometimes: “Um, if you have a moment I’d like to chat about my love-life/ dying parent/unsatisfying career...” But if you’re cutting carrots (julienned not coined, please!), assembling turkey wraps, or stirring a soup, you can engage in some comfortable chin-wagging with your fellows, while on the road to foodie heaven. In 2010–2011, the ucmtl Hospitality Committee hosted 41 events, serving between 90 and 220 people each time, with an average of 120 on Sundays. We help other committees, such as the Social and Environmental Concerns Committee (secc) to raise funds that pay for ucmtl’s mem- bership in Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice. We help out at memorial services, host major birthdays and other milestone events, and provide free lunch on New Member Sundays. We also provide the bread for Bread Communion Sundays and generally respond to any food requests, be they from the minister, the Caring Network or any other committee. Basically, the ucmtl Hospitality Committee works with other committees to promote outreach and foster a sense of community. Working in close cooperation with ucmtl vice-president Margo Ellis, we jointly hosted the Eastern Regional Gathering in November 2010 and the Ysaye Barnwell Workshop Weekend in April 2011. And we co-hosted the opening of the ucmtl Stairwell Art Gal-
  2. 2. lery with the Music Ministry Collective in May 2011. To the dulcet sounds of the ‘No More Blues’ band, we served wine and cheese for all! Food is love. Nancy Kleins,the c an ad ian Congregational Treasurer & Chair, Hospitality CommitteeUnitarianVol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011 Read more about Food (Glorious Food) forISSN 0527–9860 socially-and environmentally-aware eaters, from page 24 of this issue. Food-related reflections alsoThe Canadian Unitarian is the newsletter of the appear En français, in the minister’s column, andCanadian Unitarian Council. It is free to all mem- Religious Education.bers for whom the CUC has a current address.*The Canadian Unitarian reports on newsworthyevents in the denomination, including the annual ElizabEt Forbathconference each spring. It attempts to reflect all ucmtl truffle maven andsegments of Unitarianism and Universalism in hospitality Committee memberCanada. We welcome all submissions; however with her mother, Nancy Kleins.publication is based on the criteria of newsworthi-ness, relevance to readers, length, and balance.Signed letters to the editor will be included, afterbeing edited for length and content.* Non-members can subscribe to The Canadian Unitarian for $15 CDN or US. Send name, address, and cheque to CUC office.Canadian Unitarian CouncilConseil unitarien du Canada100–344 Dupont StreetToronto, ON M5R 1V9Toll-free 1.888.568.5723Phone 416.489.4121Email info@cuc.caOpinions expressed in The Canadian Unitarianare those of the contributors. Sources and num-erical values reported within articles have beenverified by the authors. loriaN K Printed on Canadian-made, acid-free, the Sunday worship service of the Western regional Gathering, Edmonton, ab. recycled paper (100% post-consumer fibre)
  3. 3. letters to the Editor C a n a d i a n U n i ta r i a n C o U n C i l B oa r d o F t r U S t E E S a n d S ta F F President Fritchman never did join the Communist Gary Groot Party according to his autobiography, but what Vice-President if he had? Who cares? Two leading church Ellen Campbell members I have worked with in Victoria were Treasurer card-carrying members in the early days, before John Michell the truths of Stalinism were public knowledge. SecretaryFritchman’s Canadian Sojourn Both are praise-worthy Canadian Unitarians. Glenda ButtSeveral of us here enjoyed the summer issue Many of us are proud to be called socialists. Social Responsibility Liaisonof The CanU, with its many in-depth articles. I Stephen Fritchman was an outstanding leslie Kempespecially appreciated the Rev. Phillip Hewett’s minister and fighter for human rights and Curtis Murphyerudite and philosophical review of Rev. Charles dignity for most of his long life. The UU Ser- rev. Jessica Purple rodelaEddis’ recently-released book, Stephen Fritch- vice Committee recognized his contributionsman: The American Unitarians and Commun- to social justice; UUA World magazine called Kristina Stevensism (, 2011). The question of whether him one the 20th century’s giants of liberal Minister Observerthe ends ever justify the means is still with us. religion; and in 1976 the uua awarded him rev. Kathy SageWhen we are all UUs we at least share the Prin- their most prestigious annual Award for Dis- Youth Observerciples, thus having common ideals on which to tinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Micaela Corcoranstart the dialogue. Universalism. Toronto First was lucky to have Executive Director Also, there is a Canadian aspect to this story him for five months. Jennifer dicksonworth mentioning: Rev. Dr. Stephen Fritchman Congregational Development,spent four or five months at the First Unitarian Christine Johnston, Central Region Helen armstrongCongregation of Toronto in 1970, when Rev. First Unitarian Church of Victoria,John Morgan was on sabbatical. I was the Direc- (1963–1997 at First Unitarian Office Administrator Karen Claneytor of Religious Education at that time and have Congregation of Toronto)kept photos, a few sermons, and even a personal National Youth and Young Adult Programming & Ministry Developmentletter from Steve, as well as a speech by his wife ariel Hunt-BrondwinFran on Woman’s Day. Many at Toronto First Re: “The Work of a Lay Chaplain” (spring 2011) Congregational Development,found his sermons and presence inspiring. I have just read your article in which you quote Eastern Region Fritchman’s autobiography Heretic (Beacon the poem by Max Coots, whom I once knew. Kelly McdowellPress, 1977) adorns my bookshelf, joined now He was occasionally our visiting minister in Director of Resource Developmentby Eddis’s latest research. Fritchman was on Kingston, on, when we were a struggling Uni- Kathleen Provostthe aua staff (hired 1938 for Youth activities) tarian Fellowship in the 1940s and 50s. I lived Director of Financeand in charge of their newsletter, The Christian there for forty years and have been a Unitarian Philip StrappRegistrar (1942–1947), which was an influential since 1939. Director of Congregational Developmentposition. Because he was sympathetic to social- I have always admired Rev. Coots and would linda thomsonist ideals, seemed to be a communist ‘fellow- love to know more about him. Communications Directortraveller’, and did not print opposing views, he I have cut out Max’s poem and shall keep Ben Wolfegot into hot water. Even the aua President, the it by me. Congregational Development,Rev. Frederick Eliot, was suspected of socialism the West and British Columbia rev. antonia Wonfor defending him for quite a few years. Margaret Shortliffe In 1951, when serving the Los AngelesChurch, Fritchman was brought before theUS House of Representatives’ Committee on Rev. Max Alden Coots (1927–2009), Minister t H E C a n a d i a n U n i ta r i a nUn-American Activities (of the McCarthy era Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church Editorwitch-hunt fame). This Committee also tried in Canton, New York, is the author of Seasons of raquel riverato persuade the congregation to fire him. But the Self, a collection of poems (Skinner House Graphic Designerhis church stood firm. In 1954 the L.A. Church Books, 1971). More on his life and work can be Kim Chuadeclined the questionable California ‘loyalty found at: Issue Proofreadersoath’ which at that time was connected to Mc- david Hudson, Jean PfleidererCarthyism. Along with several other religious Memory-.-.-.-Max-Alden-Coots-1927–2009-.bodies, they lost their tax exemption, but after htmfour years, the Supreme Court finally restoredit and the lost taxes. What a great example! 3
  4. 4. President’s Message Where We Are—Where We Want to Go Board work is like a three legged stool, with each leg representing one of three jobs that the Board must do to be effective. The first leg is the development of good policies—sort of like developing a good operating system for a computer. Over the last several years the Board has dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy to that task. For those who are inclined to programming ( as opposed to using) computers, the current policy manual is available on the cuc website for your inspection. Much like the patches and updates we see now and again for the computer systems we use, there will be occasional changes art brEWEr to the policy manual. But for the most part the development work is complete! This is allowing your current Board the luxury of focusing on strengthening the other two legs of our stool—knowing where our member congregations want the organization to go, and monitoring to see if we are getting there. The monitoring schedule will soon be in place and available for all to view on the website as well. Today I would like to share with you the efforts the Board is making to connect with the membership, to understand the directions you want us to go in our ‘bigger boat,’ as described by Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela in her homily delivered at the acm 2011. The Board has traditionally connected with member congregations by contacting the presidents and ministers in advance of the face-to-face Board meetings held in September, February, and May. In addition we try to visit member congregations at least once in a three-year term, and we try to connect with people at the regional fall gatherings and the annual meeting. This year we are adding two new initiatives. The first annual Congregational Survey was sent out this spring. Although the survey needs to be more user-friendly, the in- formation gleaned from the results provided us with a richer understanding of where people wanted us to focus and where we currently are as an organization. The established information-gathering systems, combined with the results of the survey, allowed the Board to instruct the executive director to focus 80% of staff time and budget on four organizational goals: 1. Resources for religious exploration and spiritual growth 2. Resources to nurture leadership 3. Resources for social sustainability 4. Resources for multi-generational appeal and relevant life-stage ministries The executive director and staff are now working on a revised Work Plan to reflect these priorities, which should be available by the end of December for all to see. Finally, we anticipate that the Spiritual Leadership Symposium , which will be held in Ottawa next May, will not only be a time for individual deepening but also an opportunity for us to gain further insights into where member congregations want the cuc to go. I would like to encourage each congregation to begin considering which current and emer- ging leaders should attend, in order for all of us to get the most out of the Symposium. Stay tuned; there will be more information available in the very near future. The boat has left the dock. Come join in the voyage! Gary Groot, President, Canadian Unitarian Council4 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  5. 5. Message from the Executive Director Survey, Symposium, and Freedom of SpeechFreedom of SpeechDuring 2005, William Whatcott distributed flyers door-to-doorin Saskatchewan expressing his concern regarding the spreadof tolerance towards gays and lesbians through the educationsystem. Mr. Whatcott suggested that laws should be enactedto prevent gays and lesbians from teaching in schools. And hedeclared that exposure to gays and lesbians would endanger raQUEl riVErachildren. This resulted in complaints to the SaskatchewanHuman Rights Commission, which referred the complaintfor determination by a human rights tribunal. The finding ofcontravention by the tribunal was upheld by the SaskatchewanCourt of Queen’s Bench, but was subsequently overturned bythe Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. The Saskatchewan HumanRights Commission, in turn, appealed this decision with theSupreme Court of Canada. Last week I attended the Supreme Court when it heard fromlawyers for the Commission, for Mr. Whatcott, and for severalintervenors. society for decades to come. It was an honour to represent the Mr. Whatcott took the position that the restriction infringed values and commitment of Canadian UUs at the proceeding.on both his freedom of speech and freedom of religion under In this issue of The Canadian Unitarian, ucs also reflects onthe Canadian Charter of Rights. Several argued that the restric- the experience.tion within the Human Rights Code should be struck down forvarious reasons. Congregational Survey In opposition, the Human Rights Commission argued the Thanks to the many who responded to the first annual Congrega-restriction is constitutionally valid, relying on a similar decision tional Survey, despite the difficult timing and technical glitches.of the Supreme Court from 1990. The Commission and several Future surveys will be sent earlier in the year, and questions willintervenors also argued that instances of hate crime had risen in be revised to make them more accessible.Canada since 1990, and that the protection of vulnerable minori- The Board and I are clear that this is a good investment ofties is as relevant today as in 1990—perhaps even more so. everyones time. Regular surveys give all members a real oppor- The Supreme Court accepted written intervenor submissions tunity to influence the future of cuc, and help in the assessmentjointly submitted by the Canadian Unitarian Council and the of performance and progress, year-by-year.Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon (ucs). We argued thatreligious freedom should not insulate messages of hate from Symposiumconsequences under the Human Rights Code, and that sexual Planning has been launched for the Spiritual Leadership Sym-minorities deserve the same level of protection as any other posium in May 2012, which will include themes of intergen-protected group.* erational shared ministry, social justice as spiritual practice, A panel of seven judges from the Supreme Court heard the and the culture of leadership—you’ll find more details in thematter and are expected to release a decision within about one following pages. Now is an excellent time to identify delegatesyear. It is clear that the result in this case will impact Canadian in your community, and to consider what spiritual leadership means to each of us. Finally, in honour of the harvest season, The Canadian Uni- tarian has gathered a number of articles on the theme of food, for socially- and environmentally-conscious eaters. May this spread inspire thought and action, and further our apprecia- tion of good food and the community it continued on page 6 5
  6. 6. What We Heard From You Results of the Congregational Survey 2011In June of this year there were 40 respondents to the Congre- In particular, we know that respondents want:gational Survey. From these, the Board has learned that our • Clear vision and missiondefined objectives are seen to address the critical issues. We’ve • Increased and effective communication among board, staffalso learned that the top three resources regarded as most im- and congregations, and between congregations, to shareportant for Canadian UU communities are: information and resources, and to ensure that leaders and1. Nurturing leadership within our communities . . . . (63.2%) congregations are kept informed about events and news2. Religious exploration and spiritual growth . . . . . . . (48.5%) • Recognition that members and congregations are yearning3. Benefitting the wider community for spiritual, theological, and intellectual deepening in which we operate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (34.4%) • Support and resources for smaller, lay-led congregations, and for distinct communities like religious educators,We learned that the cuc activities considered most crucial to its music directors and lay chaplainsfunction as the national voice for UU communities are: • Nationally-led action on social justice issues (although1. Professional and volunteer leadership development . .(70%) there is recognition that consensus on such issues is hard2. Spiritual and theological deepening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(65%) to achieve)3. Membership retention and growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(50%) • Leadership and volunteer development as a priority4. Strengthening congregational vitality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . (35%) • More of the timely and skilled services that are being5. Inter-congregation communication, provided by cuc staff cooperation and support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (25%) The first annual congregational survey has also helped to create some benchmarks that will help the Board track achievements.These results have been taken into account in the Board’s defin- As the survey is refined over the next few years, it will provideition of its priority outcomes, and will impact the direction and solid comparative data to guide us in building the best possibleallocation of resources within the cuc Work Plan for 2012. cuc for the benefit of all.Respondents also offered ideas and information that are help- Thank you to all respondents for your participation in the firsting the cuc focus on how best to fulfil the Board’s strategic annual Congregational Survey, and we look forward to hearingoutcomes. more from everyone in the future.continued from page 5creates. Also, please visit USC Canada ( for newson October’s meeting of the UN Committee on World FoodSecurity in Rome. Canadian weather is changing, our spiritual leadership isgrowing and the laws of Canada are evolving—as are we all. Jennifer Dickson, Executive Director, Canadian Unitarian Council * Thanks to Arif Chowdhury of Fasken Martineau Du Moulin llp, who worked pro bono on the case.6 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  7. 7. iNVErSEhyPErCUbE (CrEatiVE CoMMoNS) JUStiNForM (CrEatiVE CoMMoNS)KElly FiNNaMorE (CrEatiVE CoMMoNS) Images of the Occupy Movement What began in the Wall Street financial district of New York City this September sparked Occupy protests in Canada and around the world. Many found voice during a time when increasing numbers of Canadians are anxious about their future and areJUStiNForM (CrEatiVE CoMMoNS) questioning whether governments and corporations’ decisions are truly for the benefit of the majority. The Canadian Unitarian Council has resolutions that speak to many issues that are related to protesters’ concerns. Economic Today, along with those who occupy the public square, Justice, Environmental Integrity, Globalization, Peace, Democ- we call for a vision of a nation where all people can have racy, as well as Racial, First Nations, Religious, Metis and Inuit a roof over their heads, food on their tables, quality Justice and Equity are areas where we’ve spoken out, using our healthcare, and a living wage. We ask to live in a country collective voice to identify shortcomings in public policy. whose most important resource is its people, and where The protesters took to the streets to draw attention to the fact each person is treated with respect. that for too long, many of our systems have failed to protect the The Occupy protests are a wake-up call and we most vulnerable among us. According to a recent report from add our voices to the sound of that alarm, knowing the Conference Board of Canada, the gap between rich and poor that when we come together with others, our voice is growing much faster in Canada than it is in the United States is stronger. Together we believe that we can repair a (even though the US currently has a larger gap). broken system in Canada. May we, working together, Canadian Unitarians recognize that it is both a moral and change our country with our compassion, our good will, religious imperative to speak out when we see social, environ- and our willingness to make our voices heard. mental, or economic injustice —our principles demand we do this. A central requirement of effective democracy is an engaged Rev. Julie Stoneberg citizenry. We are seeing democracy in action! President, Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada (uumoc) Gary Groot, President, & Jennifer Dickson, Executive Director, (excerpted from the uumoc letter of October 21, in Canadian Unitarian Council support of the Occupy movement of protests begun this September) in Vancouver, toronto, and Montreal, the occupy Movement found receptive ears and willling voices. 7
  8. 8. Spiritual leadership Symposium 2012How Does Your CongregationFoster Leadership? The long weekend in May is traditionally the time for our national community to gather for a range of diverse presentations andLeading up to the Spiritual Leadership Symposium workshops, under the umbrella of the cuc Annual Conferencein May 2012, please help us all to begin reflecting on and Meeting. For the year 2012, this weekend will be dedicatedways and means for finding and fostering leaders in our instead to a Spiritual Leadership Symposium, a special collabora-communities. Here are some examples: tion between the cuc and UU Ministers of Canada (uumoc). What is Spiritual Leadership? During recent conversationsfirst unitarian church of hamilton held a full-day with UU leaders two themes have emerged: spiritual leadershipleadership development retreat that provided inspiration models how to live out our values in the world as distilled in ourand hands-on workshops for congregants. 80 people seven principles; and spiritual leadership helps us to discernattended. meaning in our lives. The Symposium will be an opportunity to explore more fullyfirst unitarian congregation of toronto holds what spiritual leadership is, and how it can be practiced withinworkshops for Committee Chairs on how to recruit our congregations and our movement.members. The goals of the Symposium are to: first unitarian congregation of waterloo uses 1. Share ideas and approaches related to spiritual leadership brainstorming sessions to plan events and programs. 2. Inspire transformation in our congregations and in our The sessions end with the question “what are you movement willing to do?” This helps to confirm commitment to action. At each meeting of the Council of Chairs, a new 3. Discern our future as a Canadian UU movement and the‘leadership tool’ is presented with a 20- to 30-minute role of the cuc in fostering this exercise, fostering a culture of learning. The Symposium has the potential to begin a process of reneweduniversalist unitarian church of halifax es- spirit and leadership in our movement. Let’s begin the dialoguetablished a Leadership Fund to assist congregants in about Spiritual Leadership ahead of time, through regionalattending various leadership programs and events gatherings, face-to-face conversations, on the internet, and heresuch as cuul School, the cuc acm, and other cuc in The Canadian Unitarian. Leading up to the Symposium, con-workshops. The church also set up a system that allows gregations are invited to organize opportunities for dialogue andcongregants to donate their Aeroplan points to finance conversations about what spiritual leadership means to you.youth travels to cuc events. We also invite you to identify existing, new, and emerging leaders of all ages within your congregations, and support themkingston unitarian fellowship ensures leadership in attending the Symposium. Who do you want to encourage tosuccession in their annual canvass by staggering the be delegates and Symposium participants?terms of two co-chairs: one providing guidance to theincoming co-chair. The following year, the second co-chair leads and mentors the new co-chair. Thus, no oneneed serve in the role of chair for more than 2 years, Planning Committee forwhile smooth transition and new leadership is fostered The Spiritual Leadership Symposiumin the congregation.Please share the events, systems, or strategies yourcongregation employs: contact Leslie Kemp, PlanningCommittee, at Leslie Kemp8 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  9. 9. Our Spiritual Leadership Symposium So Farplanning: program:program deSign The Symposium will open the evening of Friday, May 18 follow-The content of the program will reflect the principles of spirit- ing the cuc Annual General Meeting on that day. It will closeual leadership. We will open on Friday evening with a keynote on Sunday, May 20.presentation. There will be many opportunities for structuredconversations. We anticipate using a range of participatory Friday, May 18 evening:methods such as open space, world café, art and music, and Symposium opening (keynote presentation)small group discussions. Saturday, May 19:PLANNING COMMITTEE large and small group sessionsCUC Board Curtis Murphy (Montreal) Sunday, May 20: Leslie Kemp (Vancouver) worship services, large and small group sessionsUUMOC Sunday, May 20 evening: Rev. Shawn Newton (Toronto) Symposium closing Rev. Shana Lynngood (Victoria) Rev. Diane Rollert (Montreal) SYMPOSIUM THEMESYouth Intergenerational Shared Ministry Kaleb McNeil (Saint John, nb) • Value and share leadership from across the age spectrum in the work of our religious communitiesYoung Adult • Understand the term ministry, not just as an operational Casey Stainsby (Montreal) task but as a religious expressionCUC Staff Social Justice as Spiritual Practice Jennifer Dickson Ariel Hunt-Brondwin • Social justice as a spiritual practice for individual UUs Linda Thomson Jorge Moreira • How congregations can have impact on their wider communitiesFacilitation Advisor Diana Smith (Victoria) • How the broader UU movement can have impact on the wider worldReligious Educator Lynn Sabourin (Vancouver) Culture of Leadership • Shifting the culture of leadership from the status quopractical information: towards a transformative approach that aligns needs of the congregations, communities, and the world, with the giftsVENUE of people in our congregations and movement.The Annual General Meeting of the cuc and the Symposium willtake place at The Westin Ottawa, from Friday, May 18, throughSunday, May 20, 2012. Congregational Participation This will be a multigenerational event:REGISTRATION-KEY DATES • Youth, young and older adultsMarch 31, 2012 Early registration deadline • Board and committee leadersApril 17, 2012 Deadline for hotel bookings • Parish MinistersACCOMMODATION • Religious EducatorsThe cuc has reserved rooms at The Westin Ottawa at specialconference rates. Rooms must be booked by April 17; to receivethe discounted room rate, be sure to mention that you are partof the cuc conference, when you book.RATESTraditional: $119 Deluxe: $169Premium: $139 Extra Person: $20 9
  10. 10. Spiritual leadership Symposium 2012 Ask a dozen Unitarian and Universal- ist leaders to define the term spiritual leadership, and you might expect to get a dozen (or more!) answers. But Take a Breath: Reflecting on Spirtual Leadership from informal check-ins conducted by cuc Board members to lay leaders “I’ve come to believe that ‘preaching to the choir’ is exactly the right thing to do. of congregations, we on the cuc Board have found a great deal of agreement If I can help those who already share certain beliefs and dreams sing their song a about the intention and potential of little clearer, a little more confidently, I know they will take that song back to their providing and promoting leadership that is spiritual—even if use of the networks…. We gain courage from learning we’re part of a choir. We sing better word ‘spiritual’ rankles for some. when we know we’re not alone.” Responses highlighted two cri- teria: that spiritual leadership models how to live out our values in the world, Margaret Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science as implied by our seven principles; and that it helps us discern meaning in our lives. Leadership that is spiritual, then, provides guidance in the context of Unitarian Universalism. For the individual, this offers help in prioritizing values in a society full of con- tradiction and compromise. For the congregation, this offers maturity and growth so that it can make an impact on its wider community. The Latin root of the word ‘spirit’ means ‘breath,’ which is firmly based in our lived human experience. As we breathe, we live. In our Sunday gatherings, we practice breathing together— when we read in unison, when we share a moment of silent meditation, when we raise our voices to sing a song. These practices embody spirituality. We each breathe separately, but of the same air; we are just one, but also part of a collective; we strive to balance our keen sense of individualism with the bigger purpose of participation in the voluntary association of a congregation. And our member congregations interact as part of the collective that is the Canadian Unitarian Council. Effective spiritual leadership can lead us, as individuals, to better understand our effectiveness when we work collaboratively with a common purpose. Our covenant of walking together in the work of the world is work that matters. How to be together, to breathe together, this is the heart of the discourse we hope to inspire at the Spiritual Leadership Symposium in May 2012. I hope representatives from all our member congregations will be part of this journey of dis- covery, joining Unitarian Universalist voices as we sing our song of hope and transformation in a world ready for change. Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela First Unitarian Congregation of Waterloo the results of the cuc first annual congregational survey are in. we are listening and are ready to make changes with you. the cuc needs your support to provide the services you are asking for— please become a friend today!10 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  11. 11. Alimentation vivante : santé et spiritualitéLe crudivorisme consiste à n’absorber que des aliments chauffés ser les aliments par le feu : « Ne tuez ni hommes ni bêtes et neà moins de 50 °C (la température maximale afin de promouvoir détruisez pas les aliments que vous portez à votre bouche, carla vie). Ce mouvement se décline en plusieurs sous-groupes : si vous mangez des aliments vivants, ceux-là vous vivifieront ;instincto permettant de manger de tout pourvu que ce soit cru, mais si vous tuez pour obtenir votre nourriture la chair mortehygiénisme insistant sur les combinaisons alimentaires per- vous tuera à votre tour. Car la vie procède seulement de la vie,mettant une digestion optimale, frugivorisme principalement et de la mort ne sort toujours que la mort… »basé sur d’énormes quantités fruits, végétalisme bannissant tout Très souvent les tenants de l’alimentation vivante méditentproduit animal (lait, œufs, miel), etc. Son expression la plus à et sont socialement très conscientisés, se préoccupant non seu-la mode aux États-Unis est l’alimentation vivante végétalienne lement de commerce équitable ou de l’équilibre mondial desconsistant à ne manger que cru ou déshydraté : légumes, fruits, ressources alimentaires, mais surtout de leur empreinte écolo-noix, graines, algues, huiles et pousses de grains, de graines ou gique (d’où l’achat local, biologique, non-ogm, etc.), et certainsde légumineuses. Et, contrairement à ce qu’on pourrait croire, vont encore plus loin, mangeant très frugalement ou encoreil se trouve maintenant des milliers de recettes aussi variées refusant de consommer des aliments hybrides (voir Génèseque délicieuses. 1 :29), car sans semence, point de reproduction. Vous croyez peut-être qu’il s’agit là d’une nouvelle mode Appréciez par ailleurs toute la spiritualité qui transpire depassagère, mais détrompez-vous : l’alimentation vivante tire en la recette du célèbre « pain essénien » selon les Évangiles deeffet ses lettres de noblesse de l’Évangile de la Paix des Esséniens, la Paix : « Humidifiez votre blé afin que l’ange de l’eau fassedémontrant qu’il s’agit là du mode de vie que pratiquait, voilà sortir le germe de vie puis écrasez votre grain et confectionnezplus de 2 000 ans, cette ancienne secte juive. Il semblerait que de fines galettes comme l’ont fait vos pères. Laissez-les ensuitede nombreux yogis vivant dans des lieux reculés se sustentent du matin jusqu’au soir exposées aux rayons du soleil afin queencore ainsi, suivant une tradition spirituelle immémoriale. Au l’ange du soleil puisse y descendre ».XIXe siècle, un médecin autrichien soignait ses patients atteints La place manque ici pour une dissertation sur les effets quede graves difficultés digestives par le cru, les sauvant ainsi d’une pourrait avoir sur la spiritualité un apport alimentaire ni carnémort certaine. Au XXe siècle, Ann Wigmore redécouvrit cet art et ni raffiné, mais vivant, pacifiant, débordant d’enzymes et de vita-fonda, s’étant ainsi guérie de plusieurs maladies, le très fameux mines, frugal et léger – donc facile à assimiler et permettant, deInstitut de santé Hippocrate. De nos jours, Gabriel Cousens, ce fait, une digestion et une santé optimales, la décontraction desmédecin, psychiatre, auteur de Nutrition Spirituelle, en est l’un tensions, un sommeil réparateur et une étonnante clarté d’esprit.des plus ardents et crédibles défenseurs. C’est pourquoi je vous encourage à vous renseigner. Après tout, Mais pourquoi manger vivant, vous demandez-vous sans manger 50 % vivant, c’est la moitié du repas en salade, crudités,doute. La perspective de résoudre certains ennuis de santé est pousses et fruits au naturel : ce n’est peut-être pas très éloignécertainement la raison qui attire le plus d’amateurs. Simplicité de ce que vous faites déjà. Par contre, c’est un sérieux coup deet facilité d’exécution en séduisent d’autres, principalement ceux, pouce pour le physique, le mental, l’émotionnel et le spirituel.toujours plus nombreux, affligés d’allergies ou intolérances À ruminer, si j’ose dire…au gluten ou aux produits laitiers. Il y a également toute unedimension spirituelle qui attend cet explorateur de l’extrême Noëlle Laissyqu’est l’adepte de l’alimentation vivante. En effet, les Évangiles Directrice du conseil d’administrationde La Paix nous exhortent non seulement à « manger à la table Congrégation du Bord du Lac, Lachine, Québecde Dieu », donc végétarien, mais également à éviter de dévitali- CUC friends are special supp ort the CuC , become a friend! people who help the organ- name address ization meet its annual goals city province postal code through direct financial gifts. i would like to donate $ Please send me more information Will you become a friend? thank yo u for yo ur supp or t Clip and send with donation to: CUC, 100–344 Dupont Street, toronto, on, m5r 1v9 11
  12. 12. cebook? Why use FaFacebook—is it an exciting new way for your the Declaration’ banner train to Ottawa,congregation to connect, share information, for the UN Declaration on the Rights ofand build community? Indigenous Peoples. Or is it an ad-cluttered time-sink, that You’ll find occasional questions andmakes a poor substitute for genuine human quotations that provoke thought and dis-relationships? cussion, and easy links to the Facebook UUs tend to be people who see things from streams of congregations and related organizations:multiple points of view—and that’s helpful when talking about owl, USC Canada, UUWorld magazine, the UU United Na-Facebook, because it can be both of these things. tions Office, the Liberal Religious Educators Association, and Many congregations have asked lately whether they should the Unitarian Universalist Association in the USA.make use of social media. A year ago I hesitated, but not any What makes Facebook worth the effort? It’s fast. You canmore: the answer is yes, and Facebook is the place to start. The update your page—and the Facebook stream of everyone whocuc Facebook stream is now an important ongoing part of our ‘Likes’ your page—in an instant. Facebook messages have aown communications. Features introduced over the last few friendly feel, and they can lead people to your deeper and bettermonths make it more suitable for non-profit organizations. ways of communicating. There are drawbacks. (It’s still Facebook.) But with its vast At first, only a few people will follow your page. Don’t worry,reach, easy setup and zero cost, your congregation should plan spread the word, and carry on. Those first few people are likelyto be there too. to be what Malcolm Gladwell, in The Tipping Point, calls “con- So, how do you begin? And what will make Facebook valu- nectors.” Everything worthwhile that reaches them is reachingable to you? other people too. The cuc page will give you some ideas. Just type “Canadian Like most good web tools these days, Facebook makes it easyUnitarian Council” into Facebook’s search box (or visit www.face- to track results. For example, the “Page Insights” feature of cuc page tells me, as I work on this, that we had 9,405 post views Note that I said cuc’s “page.” In the past, there was a question in the last month, that we have 35% more active users than lastof whether to set up a ‘Page’ or a ‘Group’. In February, that ques- month, and that 240 people “Like” our page so far.tion was decisively answered. A page now lets you post as your (By the way, do ‘Like’ the cuc page. You’ll see our future postsorganization. You can let multiple people do this for you. There automatically in your Facebook stream.)are other new features too. You’ll find details and instructions at At least eight cuc member congregations are (If your congregation has with Facebook: Winnipeg, Saskatoon, London, Nanaimo, Comox,a Facebook group, Facebook may have invited you to convert it Don Heights, Peterborough and First Unitarian Congregation ofto a page, and you should.) Toronto. (Did I miss you? Let me know.) A few others are online In cuc’s stream you’ll see links to news and articles of wide in the old ‘Group’ format.UU interest. One fresh example is nasa honouring a UU scien- If you want to pursue this more seriously, there’s an ongoingtist, the “mother of the Hubble telescope,” with an award previ- conversation in the UU Social Media Lab, at given only to Einstein, Hubble and Carl Sagan. groups/uusocialmedialab. But remember what wise Facebook You’ll find announcements of upcoming events and trainings, users say: “A single conversation across the table with a friendfor lay chaplains, owl leaders, Youth and others, with links to is worth a year’s worth of Facebook status updates.”details and online registration. You’ll find videos of talks, and live coverage of import- Ben Wolfeant events, such as our 50th Anniversary gathering in May, Communications Director,and our congregations’ involvement in Kairos’ ‘Roll With Canadian Unitarian Council12 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011
  13. 13. the graduates and staff of Goldmine 2011: the intensive six-dayarDEN hoDy youth-leadership camp took place this summer in Mississauga, on. small groups to reflect on the credo questions they have been asked to ponder earlier in the day. At the yes camp—which is a secular program—campers gather every night for evening Reflections, a safe time for teens to share the hopes and fears they have with peers. For many, this is the first time they have ever had such an opportunity. Summer or Other—Nothing Beats Camp It has been my observation that when this kind of reflection is allowed to happen in a camp-like setting, this combination As a Unitarian I am not yet sure of all that I might believe in. The creates powerfully fertile ground for self growth. As individ- things in my life that are of most value to me are still growing uals begin to feel truly comfortable in their own skin they gain and changing. There is, however, something that I do believe self-confidence and self-esteem. When this valuable experi- in without equivocation—I believe in camp. ence is combined with learning about leadership, the results I hold a degree in Outdoor Education and worked for many are blossoming leaders—not authoritarians, but rather people years as a counselor and leader at a summer camp on Vancouver who’empower, having gained a new responsibility to share their Island. I have seen first hand that camp has the power to bring gifts with others in a visionary way. us together and create communities where there were only indi- I saw this growing and deepening happen to participants and viduals gathered a few days before; ultimately it is an experience staff at each of these three programs this summer. I know that that can leave us transformed. the changes cuul school and Goldmine grads feel, when they Whatever the location, size, program or theme, all camp go back to their youth groups, committees, and Boards, have a experiences have four important elements. tremendous ripple effect on our communities. In congregational 1. You must leave your home and stay overnight (and usually settings, their new self-awareness and self-confidence is infec- for longer than just a night or two) tious; because authenticity, leadership, and positive transforma- tion are things we all can believe in. 2. You are asked to share your living, working, and eating space with the group. 3. You are asked, at some level, to leave part of yourself Ariel Hunt-Brondwin behind; and to understand yourself as belonging to a new, National Youth and Young Adult Programming larger, whole. & Ministry Development 4. It has a defined beginning and end, and when it is over you have to go home. These essential and fundamental aspects of a camp experience provide a safe container for learning life skills: understanding canadian unitarian universalist leadership school how to work together respectfully, how to communicate honestly, (cuul school) is the cuc’s own residential, intensive four- and how to lead and empower one another. day leadership program for experienced and emerging Cuc’s cuul School Program, the Goldmine Youth Leadership congregational leaders. Program, and the bc Cooperative Association’s Youth Leadership Program (yes camp) are all camps of this nature. goldmine is a Youth Leadership Program developed in The curricula of these programs are different, but they all 1991 in the uua’s Pacific North West District. In 2009 the share the goal of nurturing and growing leaders through intro- cuc piloted this program at the Unitarian Congregation ducing concepts and activities that are, among other things, in Mississauga and, because it was such a success, we ran intended to increase self-awareness. In their different ways, each it again this summer. program seeks to encourage, and provide space for, participants to express themselves freely, to reflect on and share their current the yes camp is the youth leadership program of the bc beliefs and feelings. Cooperative Association and has been running for over 30 Cuul school has sessions called Covenant groups, or Chal- years. It offers week-long summer camps, where bc youth ice Circles, and these offer participants an exposure to the UU are sponsored by local credit unions and cooperatives. version of small group ministry. At Goldmine the participants have daily Credo Group meetings where they are given time in 13
  14. 14. n… katoo n Sas oU ma ri Cl r s sC ay Yea Ca ot e th e ye he tastebUds d p ork s Coffee at fU On ry rl t fo nd Ca len r C ra si an isin ally UU g rCh g dl nipe e a re help ChU Cho o W noW deat Win t has niCe ing r Cola haCky Wt yk h by Ch la at ho bod al oi te l m Ce no sa a s: s dv m ke We Ce Cid e saCk eo t (haiti) Coin san en ne he da best garliC toast ever en in s gl les baking marathon gho pla n the d rU for fonkaze in t st i yin adrian oUr sUperhero he C g gr ark rs op p W sh ee gUrU h s oUn d rk asl een ip W ng try at lli an o o fa g h Co-Co-dean-dean-dylan in Ug at doCon sUpe qUi nn app les se ad g e e rh iC lt to in f s ki lad eren ero milk d ays gabe’s app rv U th oin o Ce: Uds les e o tig is C are ribs C le sore bry hippi ar j er a fUn e Co ptUr mon ky fr eal nf e & oot an liC d by / t do iCal pl th d o tt Ci plan ige Wha /eth yday toa nn lo Wa on a oUs ay e p nin st am op g fo r ligi ever in ia er ever l/re halloWeen oUr o s s r Cr yth itUa an in y g re igi r rl ing spir Un n e re e danCe on o o U me life? so n y fo n t n Ck r oU U C l fo o Ch eing e s ve lv is od rC he ro rro rs hr n t b i ed a an Uffe is o go d on r v ho sW Cr hit toph : oC im d op g imm od als po Chen er W &d in bla sin s rU ing yla oga n ir s g & t ps a th hr nin e to ste r ns Ca g Up to Ul r de e We nne e kin UC ny e m oU g ok the po mU pme rn ks rti at ash Us gh tin r seU nt ti ma ng ti ov do na of ota oU ligh fo ta di g al s bo om m eU m id ie dj Ck d p m e t ies m m o at vass Up m r st mov a he oe ra & ot g f vo ti & lo a e a or riss e- ve th Col th t n qU din rr dy ve a h he l Ca ho at m WatC e e iCe e dt p- a o th e Us ea t re t k r sq ee sp ne g d d Ch s - ma ad pUppie in fin izza ds piz oUp-s da Uar ais s h de h an UrC dr e m y in nC e mUC y d e h n le ’t all in hi he Cno -p g aren fU idd -s za th nke fUn t tW in Up st nt t e pr at sor om Chi advi mo ep so We min nig ng go oUr ld ha o n is o ht ld rya toronto ni b moniCa’s e moniCal Greetings from the UCS Youth The Canadian Unitarian asked for impressions from the Youth of the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon, and impressions is what they gave! Using a big, green bristol board and covering it with writing in all sizes, shapes, and directions, a collage repre- senting one year for Youth in Saskatoon was created. Reproduced here, also in collage form, are their reflections and memories— of taste, sound, events, and accomplishments. Thanks to Bryan ar Carroll, ucs Youth group advisor, for encouraging this expression, t ye and for passing it on to the rest of us. nex ou e ey …s14 the Canadian Unitarian Newsletter • Vol. 53 • No. 3 • Fall 2011