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Newsletter for Members & Friends of the South Fraser Unitarian Congregation, Surrey BC
------------------------- November 2011 -------------------------Sunday Services (10:30 am)
Nov 6 “Interfaith Series - Hope and Chivalry” ~ Kerr Cuhulain
An Invitation to Meditation
Carl Sagan, the late cosmologist and science writer once said: “It is better to light a candle then to curse the darkness.” And lighting fifty candles is even better. Every Wednesday evening this fall a small group of South Fraser Unitarians met at dusk at our labyrinth in Fleetwood Park. There, as the sun went down, we lined the curving paths of the labyrinth with flickering tea lights. The effect is, in a word, breathtaking. The spectacle attracted people from the neighbouring streets and pathways to ask questions, participate in a walking meditation, or just watch quietly. We fielded questions about the labyrinth, Unitarianism in general, and our religious community in particular. The Candlelight Walking Meditation program is taking a break over the cold winter months, but it will start up again in the spring and we want you to be there. If you are seeking a personal time for peaceful meditation and reflection, this event is for you. If you are seeking ways to reach out, create sacred space and connect with your community, this event is for you. Most of all, if you are a person who would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, this event is for you. If you are interested in supporting this program when it starts up again in the spring, please let Kate Coghlan, Dan Coghlan, or David Dalley know. We look forward to hearing from you!
What does it mean to live with chivalry? Living according to a code of chivalry means living with sincerity, courtesy, compassion, perseverance, industriousness, justice, loyalty, courage, self-discipline, humility, largesse, truth, and honor. It means challenging indifference in the modern world by developing a sense of right action. Modern knighthood is not about appearance, but action; not about tinsel, but tenacity; not about glitter, but genius; not about fashion, but faculty. It isn’t about fighting but effectiveness, about using your head not your hands. You can’t do anything about how other people live their lives except to show them with your own how things could be. Nov 13 “Be Yourself/Be Transformed” ~Rev. Stephen Atkinson
We often hear someone saying to us or someone else: “Don’t worry; just be yourself.” Many people, though, finding the simple act of being yourself quite difficult. Recently it occurred to me that becoming able to be truly oneself is to experience transformation: an interesting paradox – we are changed at the very moment we become ourselves. For additional context, please see the short biography of Rev. Atkinson on Page 5 Nov 20 “To Transform Lives in a Profound Way” ~ Rev. Steven Epperson
The purpose of an authentic religion is to enable us to fundamentally transform our lives—from despair to hope, superficiality to spiritual depth, loneliness to fellowship, egotism to service; that is our mission and our vision. Unitarianism should be dedicated to this practice and goal: providing an inspiring “third way” between religious dogmatism and secular consumerism. Nov 27 “Women and Poverty” ~ Denise Darrel
Calendar of Events for November ’11
Wed, Nov 2, 9, 16, 23: Telling our Stories event (details page 2) Sun, Nov 6: Book Bash (details page 2) Wed, Nov 9: Games at the Phillips’ (details page 2) Thur, Nov 17: Movie Night (details page 2) Sat, Dec 3: Service Leader Workshop in Victoria (details page 2) Sun, Dec 4: Holly Day Craft Sale (details page 2)
South Fraser’s Bulletin Board
November Birthday Greetings to: 1st Pearle Glen Barbara Davenport 2nd Sandy Chism 5th Samantha Marciniak 11th Diana Ng ------------------------------------------------------------------HOLLY DAYS, our annual holiday card, craft, evergreen sale will be held on December 4 after the Service. Start today if you haven’t already begun work on your creative contribution. ------------------------------------------------------------------Those of you who enjoy WORD GAMES, please sign up to join others at the Phillips’ home at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9. No cards or board games will be involved; instead, Balderdash, Password, charades, etc. will be included. Dessert and beverages will be provided. A donation of $5 is requested. ------------------------------------------------------------------"Are you interested in learning more about being a SERVICE LEADER? If you have a feeling it’s something you’d like to do, but just need that extra “push”, consider this Workshop for budding leaders still learning the ropes or experienced leaders wanting to get better. It will explore how to put together and carry out a good service, with practical tools and useful foundations. Rev. Antonia Won will conduct this "Service Leader Workshop" at First Unitarian Church of Victoria on Sat. Dec. 3, approx 9-4. It will be an introduction to the pleasure of Leading Worship (not preparing the sermon). We'll practice welcoming words, work with microphones, and consider the 'choreography' of a service. Experienced leaders wanting “retraining" are most welcome, as are worship teams. A hot lunch will be provided and, if you need home billeting, please let us know. email@example.com" ------------------------------------------------------------------A great variety of special offers and coupons are included in the 2012 ENTERTAINMENT BOOK which is available now until the first Sunday in December. Please let your family and friends know that we are selling them. The price is unchanged at $46. ------------------------------------------------------------------Our fall BOOK BASH will be organized by Nancy Vivian and friends for Sunday, November 6 after the Service. This is a great chance to stock up for your winter reading at very reasonable prices. ------------------------------------------------------------------The theme of this month's MOVIE NIGHT is Buddhism. The movie is titled "Seven Years in Tibet". It will be shown on Thursday Nov 17th at 7:00 pm at Lynne Rhead's home. Please check your Connections for my address. You can ask me for a map at Sunday service or use your internet Google Map or Map Quest for directions to my home. Please RVSP your interest so I know how much popcorn and coffee/tea to be made at firstname.lastname@example.org. Following the movie we will have a group discussion /activity about Buddhism. Although I will be facilitating the discussion it is an opportunity to share our knowledge about Buddhism and how it has affected our spiritual journey. ------------------------------------------------------------------TELLING OUR STORIES: Sikh, Muslim, Jewish and First Nations community members reflect on cultural and religious traditions. Crescent United Church invites you to participate in this dialogue opportunity to connect with neighbours from diverse faith traditions. The dialogues take place Wednesday evenings, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm November 2, 9, 16 and 23 at Crescent United Church, 2756 – 127th Street. Each night will focus on a different theme. Contact David Dalley for details: email@example.com or (604) 502-8661
Let’s Tell Our Stories
I feel that among us we have many experiences and some wisdom to share. To that end, I suggest a Stories of Change Group to meet once a month to talk about what has made us see things differently or change our spiritual path. This idea was reinforced when I spent the weekend at the UU Women’s Retreat on the shore of Westwood Lake west of Nanaimo in mid September. It is a beautiful setting for personal reflections well as exchange of ideas. Next year is the 15th Women’s Retreat and I hope some of you can cut loose from your busy schedule to get there. Rain was forecast, so I unpacked my swimsuit, however next year can be different. There is an almost 6 km trail around the lake for those who are wanderers and an 11-ring stone labyrinth for those who walk in smaller circles. It was while I walked the labyrinth that I thought about what to write for the next newsletter. The labyrinth is open to the public. I combined this trip with a visit to Laurel Allard in Parksville. We celebrated her 75th birthday with oyster burgers and trifle at a very British restaurant in her new home town. I would like to meet with persons interested in telling stories in my home at 7 p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. We started already on October 18, next meeting will be November 15. In the future, dates would depend on the host for the evening, and the topic may change. Those who want to socialize with UU persons during daytime should look into the schedule for the Knit-Wits, who meet to produce warm clothing for the needy.
Roots and Wings: Religious Education at SFUC
By Kate Coghlan, DRE
Have you had a good start to the church year? I have, and I'm really excited about our Spirit Play program this year. Have you had a good start to the church year? I have, and I'm really excited about our Spirit Play program this year. I want to tell you a bit about the amazing resource that is available to us. Last year, David Dalley and the Surrey I want to tell you a bit about the amazing the Surrey Public Library to put together a David Dalley and the Surrey Neighbouring Faiths group worked alongsideresource that is available to us. Last year, set of multi-faith kits. We did Neighbouring Faiths and it was fun to think the Surrey Public in the to for discovery by of multi-faith people did one for Unitarianism,group worked alongside of what should go Libraryboxput together a set curious youngkits. Weand one caregivers. their for Unitarianism, and it was fun to think of what should go in the box for discovery by curious young people and their caregivers. With our new multi-faith series of speakers, I thought it was a great opportunity to use these kits in our lesson plans. With our new multi-faith series music to dance to, sacred objects to opportunity to use these kits in our lesson plans. Each is filled with books to read,of speakers, I thought it was a great explore, activities to try, and even felt stories – it Each is in to with books to format! fits rightfilled the Spirit Play read, music to dance to, sacred objects to explore, activities to try, and even felt stories – it fits right in to the Spirit Play format! We had the pleasure of checking out the Hinduism kit for the month of October. I believe each teacher got to work with We had the I'm sure some of us out the a lot from it for the I did). Timing was believe each friends and neighbours it once, and pleasure of checking learned Hinduism kit(I know month of October. I perfect as ourteacher got to work with it once, and I'm sure Diwali, us this past lot from got ready to celebrate some of justlearned a week. it (I know I did). Timing was perfect as our friends and neighbours got ready to celebrate Diwali, just this past week. On a day when we have visitors from another faith, we will always try to have the kit for that faith in our classroom. I On a day when we have visitors discussion between children and their parents, learning that faith in if classroom. I hope that this can generate some from another faith, we will always try to have the kit fortogether. Andouryou'd like to hope down to the generate and discussion between or read and their parents, learning together. And if you'd like to come that this can classroomsome take a look at the kit childrenthrough any of the materials, please just let me know. Do come down to the classroom through a look at the kit or read through any of the sure to keep the kit let me – but I'd ask – these items are on loan and takepersonal library cards, and we need to makematerials, please justtogetherknow. Do ask – these items are arrange it for you. be more than happy toon loan through personal library cards, and we need to make sure to keep the kit together – but I'd be more than happy to arrange it for you. Our month of studying Hinduism has come to a close for now, though I look forward to more of it in the future. Our month of studying Hinduism has come to a close for now, though I look forward to more of it in the future.
By David Dalley
Social Action Update
By Steve Faraher-Amidon, Social Action Chair
“Spirit of Life and Love, bit of a gathered last out Rosemary Liburd continues to participate strongly Social Action has taken awe have turn fromagainyear.of our separateness to know that we are not alone.” as a volunteer with the South Fraser Women’s Services Society. Through her leadership we have pledged to seek more involvement On the society, and we Chism addressed a room full of spiritual leaders from diverse faith traditions withSeptember 17, Patsi are excited that Denise Darnell, their director, shall soon be speaking to SFUC.in our community at the annual Interfaith Peace Conference at Northwood United Church. Her words were carefully chosen, and gently delivered. “In our can we a not alone. which shall see us being finding it in fleeting moments, and losing it again to We are hopeful wefears,formarerelationshipIn our grasping for peace, active in support of their services for women in our some turmoil of the mind and heart, we are not alone.” Surrey community. As Rosemary, Sandy Chism and Mona Milne all volunteer there, it felt like a potential fit for us to become more active with their needs. Later in the conference, a speaker from the international interfaith organization “United Religions Initiative” (www.uri.org) would elaborate on this idea that peace is not something we arrive at, but something that we We still endorse and support the Burns Bog, and Sandy Chism has placed this high on her agenda. Sandy has also been must struggle to create and re-create in every moment of our lives. But for now, Patsi held the stage: busy with planning our new Social Action banner, and we shall be bringing this forward soon to the congregation. Last year we were focusing on Newton Advocacy and we still are supporting giving them help when needed (once in a while “And so we dwell in You, Spirit of healing and wholeness, for this brief time - willing to be held here in an immense and Steve helps with furniture moving, and we helped big time last year with the Christmas dinner with SFUC members eternal love whose origins we do not know, whose reality is irresistible.” Renie McRae and Alec Drysdale and Kathleen Zimmerman helping prepare the food). Before we can have peace, we must be able to listen to one another. Really listen. Not Steve F-A and Royce Rourke have focused on the presentation involved with change and how our congregation deals be deciding whether we agree or disagree with what is being said. Not be thinking with it, based on information presented at the Toronto CUC meeting last Spring. As well, we still support the Canada about how we are going to respond when it is our turn to talk. We need to just listen; Plan, with monetary support for young girls in Colombia. Finally, we are augmenting our congregational support for the listen because we want to understand, understand because we want to trust, and trust KIVA loans programme by asking more SFUC members to individually take on loans to needy individuals, groups and because we want peace. families, virtually all over the globe. Our SFUC Social Action initiative has resulted in loans being made to people in 3 countries, Mexico, Benin and Mali.
We look forward to more comments and involvement from everyone in support of this most worthy cause which helps BOARD HIGHLIGHTS people help themselves, and the loan repayment is approximately 95%, which is more than outstanding. You are Submitted the loans one can make, by going in using the term KIVA in a google search.You can encouraged to go in and look atby Carrie Phillips, Board Secretary then make your own loan or contact the Social Action Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further help or advice if Highlights from the Board needed. This is one outstanding programme Meeting held Oct 6, 2011SFUC needs to at least be aware of, as it represents which EVERYONE in our 7 principles in an engaging and ACTIVE way! PRESENT: Lynne Rhead, Erin Knudsen, Mike Sands, REPORTS FROM Carrie Phillips, Sandy Chism COMMITTEE LIAISONS: 3
Submitted by Carrie Phillips, Board Secretary Highlights from the Board Meeting held Oct 6, 2011
PRESENT: Lynne Rhead, Erin Knudsen, Mike Sands, Carrie Phillips, Sandy Chism REPORTS FROM COMMITTEE LIAISONS: Ministry Search: One application has been received for our ministerial position. Advertisements have been placed in the September United Church Newsletter, and in the Congregational Record section of the UUA publication. Both are available online. Worship: Services are planned to the end of 2011. A new mixer and audio equipment have been purchased. Chairpersons of committees were approved as follows: Worship - Mona Milne Social Action – Steve Faraher-Amidon Care and Concern – Linda Pugh Lay Chaplaincy – Sandy Chism Fund Raising – Carrie Phillips Personnel - Mary Hamilton Adult RE – Lynne Rhead Membership – Ryan Usenik Publicity – Kathleen Zimmerman Children’s RE – Erin Knudsen Ministry Search – Kathleen Zimmerman OLD BUSINESS: Volunteers are needed to oversee lunches and Congregational gatherings; personnel and nominating committees need more members; Surrey Neighbouring Faith Program needs a liaison person.
The Budget Meeting is set for January 22, 2012 after the Service, and the AGM is planned for May. Two delegates will represent SFUC at the Fall Gathering in Kelowna: Sylvia Zeelenberg and Erin Knudsen. David Dalley also plans to attend. A motion was tabled regarding collecting monies for charity that: the policy of SFUC be to continue the practice of remitting Third Sunday non-designated collections to the food banks, and that we allow collection of amounts for the benefit of organizations connected to guest speakers if necessary or appropriate. It will be our general policy to not cooperate with collections for other charities unless approved by the Board. In considering other requests, the Board will be discouraging unless there is some particular reason. Passed. Carried. All committee chairpersons are asked to submit budget requirements for next year by the end of November. NEW BUSINESS: The annual Canvass will begin on November 13th. Lynne presented a chart showing organizational and committee structure including participants. The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, November 2 at 6:45 at the home of Carrie Phillips.
BRITANNIA - Never Give up on a River
By Gerri Ormiston
We often read stories of the devastation of the environment but revival of Britannia Creek and Howe Sound is a good example of caring volunteers and government working together. Recently, John Buchanan, a Squamish conservationist checked Britannia Creek and after spotting a large salmon followed it upstream with an underwater camera and videoed an additional 14 salmon. The stream was poisoned by the Britannia copper mine and when the Britannia copper mine closed in 1974, the contaminated, acidic water continued to flow from the mine and the area became a dead zone. Finally, after many decades of lobbying from concerned community groups, the government acted in 2004 and requested proposals to clean up the contaminated water. In 2005, EPCOR opened a facility and began treating the water. Mark Angelo, chair of the Rivers Institute at British Columbia Institute of Technology was surprised at how remarkably fast the results have been. Rob Bell-Irving, community advisor for the federal Department of Fisheries stated that the recolonized fish are now dropping down from water above the mine site, and pink salmon are also coming in from the sea. Mr. Bell Irving noted that the change at Britannia has also resulted in change for all of Howe Sound. He is constantly receiving e-mails from people sending him pictures of whales, dolphins and sea lions. In 2006, the Squamish Stream-keepers Society began wrapping creosote-covered wood pilings with non-toxic landscape fabric. The result was that the herring population, which had all but vanished, soon rebounded. Jack Cooley, society cochair recently noted that herring were spawning everywhere. The return of herring to Howe Sound and salmon to Britannia illustrate the resilience of nature and the ability of people to make a difference.
by Mona Milne
When Trudy was born in Switzerland, her parents were told she would not live beyond 3 years of age. Something about her heart made her very tired, but she survived. Times were economically bad and her father’s business went bankrupt, which led the family to move to northern Germany. Living at sea level helped Trudy’s health. Her father ended up in a concentration camp for a while because he opposed Hitler’s policy. Trudy became a class rep in High School. She was noticed after her class protested when their teacher was replaced because he didn’t tow the Nazi party line. She studied Stenography and English, which were to become her way of supporting herself later in life. With her background it was difficult being accepted as an apprentice, but eventually she got placed in an agricultural program. She can both milk cows and shear sheep. After two years she managed to get to England, where she worked as an apprentice nurse in a German Hospital and later as a maid with a family who treated her like a daughter. Just before the war started, she had to return to Germany and worked in an office, where she met a young business man born in Alberta to German parents. They married in 1940 and had a son and a daughter. During the war their city was constantly bombed and eventually their house was partially destroyed. Their daughter died at the age of 3 from meningitis when the war was over. Later they had another two sons. As her husband had dual citizenship, they moved to Montreal in 1953. However, Trudy was stateless in Canada for 2 years. They stayed with friends until her husband got a job with Bombardier, starting as a tin smith. Trudy started her career as a waitress and ended up as the office manager of a publishing company. Eventually they retired and became full-time grandparents. That was a blessing especially for her husband, who hardly saw his own children when they were growing up. One of their sons was an intern at St Paul’s Hospital, and while they were visiting him in Vancouver, he brought his mother to the Unitarian Church. It was Easter and there were balloons in the air, symbolizing the fragile earth. Trudy was captivated. Her father had been a Catholic and her mother a searching Lutheran. She had not felt religion had anything to offer until then. They moved to White Rock in 1989. She had just finished her term on the South Fraser Board in 2005, when I retired from teaching and felt ready to become a Board member. It was about that time she changed her name from Gertrud to Trudy. In her youth and as a mother she hiked, skied and swam, and as a senior she has played and competed in lawn bowling. She now lives in a retirement complex, where she takes computer lessons and skypes to her younger relatives in Europe. Walking in the park and feeding the ducks are some of her pleasures. Her heart still acts up, so she doesn’t take passengers when she drives her car. She has written her memoirs. They are divided up into 9 parts, each telling about a decade of her life.
A Short Biography of Stephen Atkinson
Stephen Atkinson serves one of our neighbouring congregations: North Shore Unitarian Church, and he recently received Final Fellowship as a Unitarian Universalist minister. His work at North Shore is focusing on making that church’s Mission Statement a reality and is glad to have numerous lay volunteers working on that, too. This year he is also being awakened to the social justice side of ministry and is looking to the well-informed and activist members of his congregation to help him find a ministerial role in support of their work. Prior to becoming a minister, Stephen was a practicing psychiatrist in Toronto for many years; he attended Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, graduating in 2007; he counts himself very fortunate to have interned with The Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman at First Unitarian Church of Dallas as well.
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