Past services

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.

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July 25, 2021

Class and Money

Anna Isaacs with worship associate David Vest – 

What is it like to live “below” middle class? What is it like to be at a church with a middle-class culture for those “below” middle class? 

Socioeconomic class identity is about both culture and finances and is a topic we rarely talk openly and directly about. Let’s start a conversation.

Anna Isaacs is a longtime UU. Her dad worked as a carpenter, her mom drove a school bus, and her current main paid gig is frontline care work for people with developmental disabilities. And as with most things in life, it’s also more complicated than that.

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July 18, 2021

Sustainability and Unsustainability: Coming to Terms with Living on an Island

Dr. Richard Kool with worship associate Fran Pardee – 

Many of us living on Vancouver Island think we’re pretty ‘green’ and are living more sustainable lives than people elsewhere in Canada. Rick’s presentation will explore the reality of the unsustainability of the human population on Vancouver Island and outline some of the issues that keep our unsustainability hidden from our eyes, while also offering some suggestions for action.

Rick Kool is a child of Dutch parents who grew up in Boston, Mass. He came to B.C. in 1971 and never looked back. He has worked as a high school teacher in Ucluelet, at the Royal BC Museum, in BC Parks and with the BC Ministry of Environment. 

He came to Royal Roads University in 2003 to found the MA program in Environmental Education and Communication. He is also a long-time member of the historic Congregation Emanu-El, and for the past seven years has been responsible for the 160-year-old Victoria Jewish Cemetery.

Video of the service.

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July 11, 2021

Holistic Bodies and the Physical Education Revolution

 Paloma Callo with worship associate Samantha Magnus – 

Inspired by Paloma’s undergrad thesis work, this sermon explores body movement across time and space, primarily regarding the subtle (and overt) impacts of modernity’s landscape and institutions. 

As many of Paloma’s interviewees who identify as professional “movers” expressed through their stories, it takes patience and awareness to integrate being and body—especially when the rhythms of modern life disrupt our relationships to our vessels. How do our relational, spatial-temporal, and intimate contexts shape the way we move and dance through life? It’s high time to shift the popular narrative regarding physical activity and body movement to one that honours a healing and revolutionary journey.

Paloma Callo is entering her final semester of Carleton University’s Global and International Studies program and has specialized in Globalization, Culture, and Power. Delving into her own experience of the body and exploring various movement practices quickly trickled down into her academic work — it has now been the focal point of her studies for a year and a half. 

 

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July 4, 2021

“Oneness” – A Sacred Tool for Reconciliation

Sharon Jinkerson-Brass with worship associate Lynne Bonner – 

The medicine wheel is a metaphoric tool used to describe the infinite cycle of space and time according to Sharon’s ancestors. The medicine wheel offers human beings an opportunity to create connection and awareness to our physical and metaphysical worlds. 

In addition to creating connections, the medicine wheel offers us opportunities for healing, sharing wisdom, and provides a template for creating ceremonies that align with the natural forces in the universe. In addition to the Medicine Wheel teachings, Sharon will share some teachings around why the number “zero” is so powerful and healing to her people.

There are multiple stories and ideas around the Medicine Wheel and the teachings Sharon will share are based upon her cultural heritage and experiences.

Sharon Jinkerson-Brass is a member of Key First Nation in Saskatchewan and has a background as a Front-line Worker, Administrator, Artist, Writer and Filmmaker. Her practice is firmly rooted in the teachings of her Anishinaabe grandmother Rebecca Brass and an advocate for Aboriginal Health Services that integrates ancient approaches and practises into mainstream Health Care Settings.

Currently, Sharon works as a community-based health researcher for the Indigenous Wellness Research Team at the University of Saskatchewan. Sharon has also been part of many reconciliation activities and events for various groups and organizations. In addition, she has been active in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver Community of Knowledge Holders, and also returns home to participate in her family’s ceremonies. Sharon holds a vision for healing for Indigenous people and all people.

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June 27, 2021

Pride and Poetry 

James Summer, City of Victoria Youth Poet Laureate, with worship associate Casey Stainsby –

 Poetry is an amazing way to communicate our experiences and connect with others. LGBTQ+ Pride season is about expressing ourselves and being proud of who we are and who we love.

We’ll be joined by a very special guest, Victoria’s 2021 Youth Poet Laureate James Summer, who will share some of his poetry and guide us in exploring our own creative voices.

James has been involved with the poetry community since 2017 when he joined Victoria High School’s slam poetry club. His poetry’s content contains the most raw and passionate experiences he faces.

Although hard to face, James hopes that it will connect with youth around him, and that they will feel heard just as he did when he was going through high school surrounded by poets.

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June 20, 2021

Anti-racism Work as Spiritual Practice 

 Donovan Hayden with worship associate David Tietz –

Summer 2020 has been described as a moment of racial reckoning. Black people, along with allies, took to the streets to protest police brutality and anti-Black racism. However, with those months of intense activism behind us, those committed to social justice must ask “What do we do now?”

It is easy to lose energy and purpose in the struggle against white supremacy. As Unitarians committed to this struggle it is important that we continue to engage and support anti-racism work through spiritual practice.

Donovan Hayden is a Black activist and artist. He is currently a MA student in Theatre & Performance Studies at York University in Toronto. He spent the last year in Pittsburgh, PA, where he participated in the Black Lives Matter protests after the killing of George Floyd.

Through his experiences, Donovan has had the opportunity to engage with Unitarians and anti-racism work on both sides of the border. He remains committed to using theatre and activism to achieve black liberation and dismantle white supremacy.  

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June 13, 2021

Transitions

Arran Liddel with worship associate Victoria Barr –

Come celebrate the individual and collective transitions that have taken place in our community over the last year.

Arran Liddel is our Director of Spiritual Exploration and Learning for Children and Youth. He is also a seminary student and candidate for UU ministry.

 

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June 6, 2021

What Holds You?

Rev. Debra Thorne with worship associate Emily Tietz – 

What do you name the invisible arms that hold you in the bright warmth of day and in the long dark night? 

What do you trust with your heart, your prayers, your secrets?  What is the thought, the feeling, the knowing that you lean into when the world shivers and shakes under you? 

What holds you?   

Rev. Debra Thorne is a west coaster from birth who grew out of a theatre family and into a Unitarian family. Today she serves the Nanaimo Unitarians after seven years with the Beacon Unitarians in New Westminster.  Recently she completed three years representing Canadian UU ministers on the CUC Board.

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May 30, 2021

Commitment for Community Can’t Be Quarantined, Nor Infected

Rev. Csongor Benedek, introduced by Michelle Poirier Brown, with worship associate David Vest

As a Unitarian minister of a small-town congregation in Transylvania, Rev. Benedek reflects on the importance of church connections – and the “accumulated need” to get back to our beloved communities again after the pandemic.

He will share what it is like to live with this longing for community among his parishioners in Sovata, and his sense of the recovery we will see when we can come back together. 

Rev. Benedek writes: “I am a Unitarian minister in Transylvania, Romania. I have been serving all together for three and a half years as a Unitarian minister in four small churches (different congregations). After graduating high school I studied English for one year and geography and tourism for five years (as a first degree) and then I immediately turned to Theology (my father being a Unitarian minister as well) and studied for six years in the Institute of the Protestant Seminary in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania. 

“I visited different UU congregations in the U.S., I also preached in St. Paul, Minn., once. I feel really connected to Unitarian Universalists and their 7 principles. I am delighted to be in touch with Canadian UU’s through my great friend Michelle Poirier Brown.”

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