Barry Wiebe
September 1, 2021

Amplify-UU

Upgrading our sound and visual equipment in the sanctuary will greatly improve the overall experience of our services, especially for the hard-of-hearing.

With our new equipment we will be able to invite guest speakers to our sanctuary, or view them at home, from anywhere in the world.

Final Feasibility Study Report

Amplify-UU is being led by a new board-appointed team to help complete this ambitious project – Marion Pape, Gary Theal, Nancy Dobbs and John Hopewell in consultation with the Finance Committee.  If you have questions, please email John Hopewell or Marion Pape and we’ll provide answers or find someone who can.

For more information on our Capital Campaign please click here.

Pledge to support Amplify-UU

More information here.

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August 29, 2021

The Risk of Living

The Risk of Living – Rev. Shana Lynngood with worship associate David Vest – 

Being alive is inherently risky. The pandemic made the risks that we choose and choose to ignore clearer than ever. 

What else did the pandemic make clear? While we no doubt spend the next several years sifting through the learnings from this time, some places of clarity seem to be obvious even from this vantage point. 

What have you figured out personally, in light of the last year and a half? What do you think (or hope) we have collectively learned from this time? How have we been changed by the risks we all felt and witnessed?

Send an email after 9 a.m. Sunday to obtain the entry code. Then join us online at 10:15 a.m. for the worship service.

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August 22, 2021

Be Calm. Be Kind. Again. Still.

Be Calm. Be Kind. Again. Still. – 

Rev. Melora Lynngood with worship associate Mollie Twidale – 

As we prepare to transition out of the pandemic and begin to figure out how to do church in person again (likely Sept. 12, stay tuned!), how do we want to be with one another? 

How do we navigate our variety of comfort levels – masks, no masks, personal space, hugs, no hugs? (And where are the candles again?)  

Some of us will be ecstatic to leave the pandemic behind and finally be together; some of us will actually miss some features of the quieter pandemic period; many of us will have mixed feelings.  

It will be awkward. It will be strange. It could be wonderful – AND awkward and strange.  

What do you need to maximize the wonderful?  At this point in history, at this point in your life, how do you want to be in the world?

Send an email after 9 a.m. Sunday to obtain the entry code. Then join us online at 10:15 a.m. for the worship service.

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August 18, 2021

Welcome Visitors

Curious about our congregation?

Just discovered us?

A Unitarian from elsewhere? 

During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic you can still get to know us.

You may view our Sunday services on Zoom. Just send an email after 9 a.m. Sunday to obtain the entry code. Then join us online at 10:15 a.m. for the Sunday worship service.

If you wish, please take a moment and fill out and submit the Visitor Form below:

 

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August 15, 2021

Promoting a Death-Positive Culture

Promoting a Death-Positive Culture – 

Tracey Thompson with worship associate Victoria Barr – 

Tracey is a trained death doula from the Institute of Traditional Medicine. She desires to create and hold space for conversations about death and dying, to reduce stigma and hopes that this will lead to a more death-positive culture. This supports all of us to have valuable dialogues in our homes and communities. 

Tracey will discuss the varied roles of death doulas, how to start a personal conversation, and will share how small rituals keep her and her family connected to the memory of her dad.

Tracey Thompson is the eldest of three daughters of church member Glenys Thompson. 

Tracey moved here in 1992 to study at the University of Victoria, completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Human and Social Development. 

Over the past 30 years, she has worked in a variety of settings including: schools, hospitals, community originations which included a local crisis line. Currently, Tracey works with the Vancouver Island Health Authority as a Regional Harm Reduction Coordinator in Population and Public Health. This position supports compassionate engagement in the context of the Drug Poisoning Public Health Emergency.

In her personal time, Tracey trained in 2017 as a death doula through the Institute of Traditional Medicine. Her interest and involvement in becoming a death doula parallels her life experience. As friends and sisters were starting families, she was asked to support them during their pregnancy and birth. She felt honoured to discuss with expecting parents their birthing wishes. As requests steadily increased, she paired her experience with education and became a DONA (Doulas of North America) trained birth doula. 

Now she finds herself supporting friends and family in pivotal health transitions, including end of life. Since 2011, Tracey has volunteered with Victoria Hospice and organizes community dialogues with the Victoria Holistic Death Care Community.

Send an email after 9 a.m. Sunday to obtain the entry code. Then join us online at 10:15 a.m. for the worship service.

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August 14, 2021

Beloved Conversations Anti-Racism Program

A deep dive into soul-nourishing and mind-opening resources, worship, and personal conversations to support you in the communal work of dismantling racism.   

Thirty congregants, your ministers, your director of children & youth programming, and two children’s programming staff participated in this program last fall. Now you can too!

Sign up for the fall Online program before Aug. 14 and receive the early bird 10% discount!

Deadline to register is August 31.

There is a generous sliding-scale and scholarship program. No one should feel they cannot take the program due to financial hardship. 

To register and learn more:    

https://www.meadville.edu/fahs-collaborative/beloved-conversations/ 

The program this fall (phase one, called “Within”) runs mid-September through mid-December, and includes:

  • Individual study of videos and readings, accompanied by reflection prompts  
  • conversations with a “critical friend” chosen by the participant
  • Bi-weekly small group conversations in a “learning pod” with other UUs across the continent 
  • Larger, monthly, ‘meaning making sessions,’ facilitated by Beloved Conversations staff 

The “Within” work is different for White folks and for Black, Indigenous and other People of Color and will be done entirely in race-based caucuses.  

“…this is a program for Unitarian Universalists who are seeking to embody racial justice as a spiritual practice.  We believe that we are here to heal the impact of racism on our lives in order to get free together. Beloved conversations is intended to be a tool in your toolbox, for you as an individual, and [as] a part of a congregation, to eradicate white supremacy, to work to become anti-racist, and to make our faith a welcoming place for everyone.”  Rev. Kierstin Homblette Allen, co-creator of Beloved Conversations

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August 10, 2021

Connect During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed how we gather and connect. Through it all, rest assured that the church staff and community are still here for you — virtually and by phone. Here is how to connect with the community:

Sunday worship:

We continue to gather online at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday. The Zoom connection info will be emailed to all members and friends on Friday or Saturday.  You can connect by phone or online.  Check your inbox and then please join us.

Click here for more info.

Kids and Families:

Social Justice Storytime: Picture book stories for all ages. Gather at 8:15 am Monday – Saturday.
Click here for more info.

Pub Night:

Meets on Zoom on the first and third Mondays at 7 pm each month for informal social connection.  Email hopewell@telus.net to receive the Zoom link.

Pastoral Care:

While Rev. Melora and Rev. Shana are on sabbatical until August 10 you may contact Pastoral Listeners who offer a trained, sympathetic and confidential ear to help with crises and emotional issues. (They do not, however, provide counselling).

Liz Graham
hello.liz.graham@gmail.com
(250) 384-4351
Hanny Pannekoek
hannyhugo@shaw.ca
(250) 385-2299
Darcy Allder
(250) 818-0419

For other enquires:

Steve Sharlow, Board President (if it is about church business and decision-making) sharlowsteve@yahoo.ca and 250-519-0400

Andy Lee, Chair of Committee on Ministry (if it is about a relational or church and ministry dynamics concern) andrew.lee@firley.ca and 250-858-5155

Barbara Boyle, Chair of Care and Concern (if in regard to a caring issue) barbara.boyle@shaw.ca and 250-381-0264

Communications and Church Business:

Our church office and staff continue to work to keep us connected. Our weekly email newsletter, and sometimes special messages will be sent out to keep you posted on what is happening and how to remain plugged in to the community. Be sure to check the Church Calendar for upcoming Zoom meetings. 

Our office staff will be working remotely and you can still reach them during their regular work hours — their email addresses are unchanged. You can leave voicemail messages on the church phone 250-744-2665 as they will be retrieved each business day (not Friday or Saturday). 

You can reach Shannon about all Communications needs (setting up a Zoom meeting, sending out messages to the congregation, database, social media) at communications@victoriaunitarian.ca. 

You can reach Church Administrator, Niki, for questions about cheque requisitions, rental concerns, general office needs, or property questions that have arisen even while we don’t meet on West Saanich Road. Niki can be reached at churchoffice@victoriaunitarian.ca.

More than anything, we want you to know that we are still here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with a call, text, or email if you want to connect.

– Rev. Melora and Rev. Shana

 

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August 8, 2021

Letting Go

Letting Go – 

Emily Tietz with worship associate Lynne Bonner – 

Winter yawned into spring, then spring roared into summer. It might be hard to imagine now but, before we know it, summer will give way to fall — a time of letting go in order to make way for fresh life to break through.

What might our lives be like if we followed nature’s lead and periodically took stock of what to let go so that new life can bloom?

Emily Tietz is a member of First Unitarian Church of Victoria. Her career is in the world of educational publishing.

She enjoys exploring the natural wonders of Vancouver Island, or simply strolling with her husband, coffee in hand, watching for seals and otters. After nearly two years in this pocket of the globe she still finds the changing of the seasons endlessly fascinating.

Send an email after 9 a.m. Sunday to obtain the entry code. Then join us online at 10:15 a.m. for the worship service.

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August 7, 2021

Social Justice Storytime

A daily Time For All Ages where all UU’ers, from newborns to the elderly and everyone in between can light a chalice, breathe, and enjoy a social justice themed picture book.rainbow egg

Saturday mornings at 8.30 am (approx 15 mins). Join us online: https://tinyurl.com/SJS-Spring21. If you have any trouble joining us please email Arran

Light our chalices together (if you have one); take three deep, centring breaths together.

Lindsay or Arran (or a guest) will read a social justice themed picture book. While they are reading, you’re encouraged to type your reactions on the chat thread in Zoom.

Take three deep, centring breaths together; extinguish our chalices together.

Tips: click on the “gallery” setting so we can see each other’s faces, and have your microphone muted if you are not talking.

More details here.

 

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August 1, 2021

Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

11:00 am service – 

Six white Vancouver Unitarian members take a first step and agree to meet and study the controversial book, “Me and White Supremacy” over a 12-week period.

They weren’t all on the same page but they persevered.

First Unitarian Church of Victoria joins Unitarian Church of Vancouver for the first of two weeks of combined services.

View  the service —

 

 

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