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Save the Date!

I hope you’ll plan to join us at 4:00pm on Sunday, May 5th, when the congregation will formally install me as the settled minister of the Vancouver Unitarians. You may be wondering why we will be doing this, given that I’ve already been “on the job” since the beginning of August. In a Service of Installation a congregation and its new minister enter into a covenant, making promises of mutual care and support to sustain our shared ministry. This is something the Vancouver Unitarians have done several times since the congregation’s founding in 1909.

Diana Ellis, our archivist extraordinaire, recently provided me with the Orders of Service from the Services of Installation for most of the congregation’s previous ministers. It has been a poignant experience to read through these materials, as it has served as a reminder that our present ministry is but a chapter in a book with many chapters that stretch back over a century, and, hopefully, many future chapters still to be written.

In the coming weeks, I will be drafting a version of the ritual for this service that will draw significantly on the words that have been spoken in the past between the congregation and its ministers. I will be reviewing these words with the Board in March to seek their approval. I will also include a copy of the agreed text in the April Monthly Bulletin, so that you may have an opportunity to read and reflect on the words in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. After all, these will be promises we will be making to each other, so it matters that we come to mean them.

I look forward to taking part in this ceremony with you. It has been a joy and an honour over these last many months to get to know the congregation as a whole, as well as the many wonderful people who make VanU all that it is. I am incredibly hopeful about who we will become, together, in the years ahead.

In faith and love,



Sunday Services coming up in March:

March 10th – What Does It Mean to Be a Unitarian?

Rev. Shawn Gauthier

Many years ago, there was a trend for Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists to develop their “elevator speech,” the brief explanation of our tradition that one might offer up to a fellow traveller as you ride from the lobby up to the 24th floor. As most people discovered, this isn’t an easy task! In this week’s service, Rev. Shawn will offer some tips that might be of help.

March 17th – For Giving and For Getting

Rev. Shawn Gauthier

What are we to do we do when seeking an apology that never comes? How are we move to on if forgiveness isn’t forthcoming? This Sunday, Rev. Shawn will be reflecting on the many alternative paths we might take to undertake the work of forgiveness. 

March 24th – Climate Transformation: Heeding the Call of the Anthropocene

Reilly Yeo, Candidate for UU Ministry

We’re called in this time of climate crisis not just to change our world, but to transform it. In the process, we will need to transform ourselves. Climate change is a wake-up call that heralds the urgency of our third principle as Unitarian Universalists – spiritual growth. Join Reilly Yeo, Candidate for Unitarian Universalist Ministry and Co-Founder of Climate Plan for this exploration of the spiritual dimensions of the climate crisis.

March 31st  – Threatened with Resurrection

Rev. Shawn Gauthier

Theologically, Easter is one of those particularly complex days for Unitarians. But there is much to celebrate in this time of year, even if we don’t find personal resonance in the Christian story. Rev. Shawn’s sermon will explore the meaning that we, as Unitarians, might find in this time of renewal and, even, resurrection.