Courses & Programs

Exploring UU and Our Congregation

Curious to know more about Unitarian Universalism and what our congregation at First Unitarian is up to in Victoria?

 NEXT MEETING:  SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 12:30 – 2:30 pm.
(In-person or Zoom will be announced as we approach the date of the meeting.)

For newcomers, searchers and anyone wanting to learn more, the purpose of these online gatherings are two-fold: to share information about events and activities within our community so that you can discern and decide how to get involved, and to introduce you to some of the history, stories, and theology of Unitarian Universalism so that you have a sense of what is unique about our spiritual community and ways we may be similar to other congregations and communities.

This is also a time to connect with others who are new to exploring this community as well as connecting with Rev. Shana and some members of the congregation. We will outline the pathway to becoming a member or friend of the congregation.

RSVP before April 8, 2020 to rev.shana@victoriaunitarian.ca and/or membership@victoriaunitarian.ca – we will send location and meeting details in reply. Snacks will be served.

Please contact Reverend Shana Lynngood at rev.shana@victoriaunitarian.ca or 250-891-6331 with your questions and wonderings.

Soul Matters

Zoom Coordinators: Anne Vaasjo and Mary Burcher

Last Tuesday of the month – 6:30 – 8:30 pm  Group is full. Stay tuned for more meetings.
Soul Matters is a spiritual self-exploration series.
Questions? Email your phone # to Anne: annevaasjo70@gmail.com or Mary: mary.burcher@gmail.com 
It is offered on a 1st come, 1st served basis.

Transgender Inclusion in Congregations Course

Jan. & Feb., 2022

It’s back! In case you didn’t get a chance to take this course last spring or last fall, Rev. Melora is facilitating one more group this January and February. 

This is an online course, designed by a UU organization.  Our congregants discuss the material together in small groups.  The course is geared toward people from generally LGBTQ-welcoming congregations or faith groups who want to deepen their understanding of gender and transgender identities and are invested in creating truly trans-affirming faith communities. It is designed for people of all genders and has an innovative intersectional perspective. (what is intersectional? Click here for great short video) 

The Discussion Groups (to discuss the online material) 

Time:  Tuesday 6:30-8:30 pm, online (Zoom)  

  • January 25 
  • February 8
  • February 22

Sign up by adding your name to this google sign-up sheet, or email rev.melora@gmail.com with subject heading “transgender inclusion” or text/call 250-891-6330

The Online Material   

Time: Whenever works for you!

There are six sessions, which we are combining into 3 sets (we’ll discuss 2 sessions at each of our 3 group discussions). Each session includes a 45- to 55-minute online video lecture by instructors Mykal and Alex, reflection questions, resources to take it deeper, and a short informal quiz. 

  • Sessions 1 and 2 are designed to ground you in this work, theologically, spiritually, and historically, and help you explore why we are called as people of faith to dismantle gender-based oppression—as well as exploring how each and every one of us are impacted by it and practices that can help us stay present.
  • Sessions 3 and 4 explore gender diversity and the lived experiences of trans people—including the ways that race, class, and other factors influence those experiences—along with trans spirituality.
  • Sessions 5 and 6 are all about culture and how to transform it. Expanding the circle of inclusion within a congregation or faith group requires understanding the unique culture of that group, along with how that culture works to include or exclude. 

At the end of this course we will have a number of practices, frameworks, and tools that to help create an action plan for being radically welcoming to trans/non-binary people in our congregation. 

Cost:  No cost to you.  The cost for the course has been covered by the First Unitarian Church of Victoria.

Want to know more? Check out this video about the course.

Questions, contact Rev. Melora rev.melora@gmail.com , text/call 250-891-6330

CUC Inclusion Forums:

Inclusivity Forums:

Alternative relationships, Dis/abilities, Class

(CUC = Canadian Unitarian Council, our national organization of Unitarian Universalists)

We started this congregational year in Fall 2021 focused on dismantling racism within Unitarian Universalism and were thrilled to have over a hundred people attend each of the four CUC forums!  The New Year 2022 will see three additional Forums which we anticipate will be attended with much enthusiasm as congregations work to dismantle barriers to full inclusion for all. Please register early so we can properly prepare for these important events.

All members and friends of the First Unitarian Church of Victoria are invited to attend these national forums for Canadian Unitarian Universalists.

Materials for each forum will be shared in advance. At each forum, we’ll discuss how UU communities can become more inclusive. The CUC’s Responsibility Covenant will be used to promote safety for all in attendance.

Welcoming those in Alternative Relationships and Families

Wednesday Feb 2, 4-6 pm

This forum will focus on the experiences of UU’s in alternative relationships and family structures within UU groups/congregations.  This includes, but it not limited to, ethnically non-monogamous relationships, polyamorous families/relationships, families where parents are no longer romantic partners but continue to co-parent and have family together, platonic families, and those who ‘do’ relationships and family outside of society’s norms.  A caucus group will be available for those in alternative relationships/families should they prefer to discuss together. 

NO REGISTRATION FEE. Please Register Early: https://bit.ly/RCFGSession1

Welcoming People of all Dis/abilities

Wednesday Mar 2, 4-6pm PST

This forum will focus on the experiences of UU’s with various dis/abilities within UU groups/congregations. This includes, but is not limited to various physical, mental, and emotional dis/abilities. A caucus group will be available for those with different dis/abilities, should they prefer to discuss together.

NO REGISTRATION FEE. Please Register Early: https://bit.ly/RCFGSession2

Welcoming People from all Socio-Economic Classes

Wednesday April 6, 4-6pm PST

This forum will focus on people’s experiences of classism in UU groups/congregations and how our organizational cultures can shift to be more aware of how we privilege those in upper classes over those in lower classes. A caucus group will be available for those who feel they experience classism should they prefer to discuss together.

NO REGISTRATION FEE. Please Register Early: https://bit.ly/RCFGSession3

For each of these forums we are working with people with lived experience to inform what happens.  We invite you to reach out to us to share ideas, review what is being planned and/or share your ideas about how UU communities can become more inclusive.

You can reach us at: erin@cuc.ca  and amber@cuc.ca

Widening the Circle of Concern

Rev. Shana is part of a team of lay and ministerial leaders that will be offering a program this Spring designed to help us look at how to ensure that our ways of doing things (our systems and habits/customs) are intentionally inclusive. The 8th principle process reminded us that being truly and profoundly welcoming takes effort, it doesn’t just happen. We’ll need to look at how we make decisions and welcome new people and gather for worship. In short, all of how we live in community impacts how welcome people who carry marginalized identities feel within the congregation. The better we become at welcoming those on the margins, the better we become at welcoming all of us, and welcoming each of us to bring our whole selves.
 
The 2022 Widening the Circle of Concern: Canadian Edition invites leaders and changemakers in the spring of 2022 to participate in a Canadian UU learning and exploration experience on deepening and living out our values of social justice and equity. The sessions are based on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s “Widening the Circle of Concern” Study Guide, which we have adapted to our Canadian context.
 
If you are interested in being a part of First Unitarian team of aspiring change-makers – and feel committed to dismantling racism and systemic barriers to full inclusion in our congregation, I hope you will consider signing up for these sessions. The program aims to equip participants with the tools to be facilitators of change.
 

There will be four dates, with two 90-minutes sessions on each date, please plan to attend all dates and sessions.

March 12, March 26, April 9, and April 20, 2022
 
  • Session I: 9:30am to 11am
  • Session II: 11:45am to 1:15pm
 
If you have questions, please contact Rev. Shana. The CUC requests a registration fee for the course on a sliding scale of $130- $160- $190- $220. As is always the case, you are asked to pay what you are able, and the suggested fee should never be viewed as a barrier to participation. All are welcome. Details on the CUC website: https://cuc.ca/events/widening-circle-2022/

Sunday Services

Join us online at 10:30 a.m. for the Sunday worship service. Send an email after 9 a.m. Sunday to obtain the entry code. You can connect by phone or online.