October Theme: ReOpening Through the Lens of Creativity  

All October services will be available in person and
on Zoom via live stream at 11:00am

Details are below including our Zoom service link.

Sunday, October 3
Truth and Reconciliation                 
Speaker: Rev Debra Thorne

Sunday, October 10
Non Fiction in Truth Telling

Guest Speaker: Lois Peterson, author, poet, artist

Sunday, October 17
Tower 25

Guest Speaker: PJ Patten, poet, illustrator, author and tattoo artist

Sunday, October 24
Perfectly Imperfect  or The Ethics of Playing God

Speaker: Rev Debra Thorne

Sunday, October 31
Meet the Ancestors Part 2 

With Rev Debra Thorne and a host of characters from the past
Inclusion, Care, Covenant and Consent!

As we move forward this fall, experimenting with how our community re-opens and re-forms, we are called to pay attention to relationships of mutuality. This means that we take the time necessary to listen to each other’s concerns, hopes and fears before making decisions that might marginalize some in the community, or even put members at risk, either physically or mentally.

There is no perfect solution, no perfect decision; and we will be responding to the shifting information from the Provincial Health Office and the Center for Disease Control as we learn of it.

We will practice inclusion, care, covenant and consent in our planning and decision making.

Inclusion: We are planning that all events are open to everyone regardless of vaccine status. This means that both Zoom and in-person options are available. If you are partially or unvaccinated you can participate through the online access.

Care: We will continue to keep everyone informed of the plans for gathering and we will allow people time to consider how they will feel about being together physically with and without masks, how they feel about singing together and eating together.

Consent: We ask that you adopt an individual practice of consent among friends and group participants within the Fellowship, even when meeting outdoors. Ask each other what is safe and what is comfortable. Respect what others might need, even if you don’t have the same needs. Asking for consent builds trust, inclusion and muscle memory. For example: before hugging someone – ask and wait for their answer.  Before taking off your mask – ask and wait for their answer.

Covenant:  With the Provincial Restart Plan now requiring masks again to be worn indoors and vaccine passports needed for social events, there will be some who resent the recommendations and others who are relieved to have them. Our covenants call us to work through our differences.

The Fellowship is a life affirming respectful community.
We will get through these adjustments to our reopening. And I trust that by practicing inclusion, care, consent and covenant, we will be stronger for it.

Warmly, Rev Debra Thorne
Hiiye’yutul tst ‘u to’ mukw stem ‘I ‘u tuna’ muka
Everything in nature is part of our family; we are all family
October Theme: ReOpening Through the Lens of Creativity  
This month we narrow our focus to ‘Non-Fiction and the Art of Truth Speaking’. From a children’s text book, to an illustrated memoir, to an Indigenous reconciliation call to action, we are using a variety of non-fiction works to delve into crucial issues alive in our society today. Bookending National Homelessness Week (October 10 to 17), we have two special speakers: Lois Peterson is launching ‘Shelter’, a grade school text book busting myths about homelessness; and PJ Patten Zooms in to describe how he came to create his graphic memoir, Tower 25, about his first-hand experience of homelessness. 

Regarding Hybrid Services
Beginning in October, we are introducing hybrid services. This means that the Hall will be open on Sunday morning to everyone 12 and over who are fully vaccinated and wearing masks. The service will continue to be available online through Zoom. There will be a sign-up process to reserve a seat in the Hall, those details will be sent to the community in an email. In this initial period, as we work through the details for hybrid services, we won't be sharing food after the service, nor will the choir be singing in the Hall. If provincial guidelines allow, we hope to re-introduce these in November.

Some of our speakers and service leaders will be in person in the Hall, and some will be online. We have noted where they will be speaking from after their name. 

October hybrid services are available in-person and
on Zoom via live stream at 11:00am

 Click on this SERVICE LINK a few minutes before the service

Sunday, October 3
Truth and Reconciliation                 
Speaker: Rev Debra Thorne

(in person)

Reconciliation is a beautiful word and a beautiful process, filled with dignity, wisdom and honourable human work. The deep kind of work that all our relationships deserve if we are to honour ourselves and the people we respect. There is much to learn about reconciliation from the Indigenous people of this land. Lessons that we can adopt to all our relations and relationships. Such as, how to speak truth clearly and listen respectfully, how to honour the pain of historical wrongs, and how to move forward building deeper relationships. 

Sunday, October 10
Non Fiction in Truth Telling

Guest Speaker: Lois Peterson, author, poet, artist 
(in person)

In researching and writing her children’s book, Shelter: Homelessness in our Community, Lois Peterson straddled the fence between presenting verifiable facts and recognizing that there are varying opinions about the causes of and solutions to homelessness. Lois will share how she struggled to keep her balance while staying true to her own values and presenting the situation in a true light.

Lois Peterson is the award-winning author of eight books of fiction for children, and numerous short stories, essays and articles for adults.

She worked at a public library for more than 35 years, is a member of the Fellowship, and was the executive director of the Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter.

Sunday, October 17
Tower 25

Guest Speaker: PJ Patten, poet, illustrator, author and tattoo artist
(via Zoom from New Westminster)

PJ Patten will talk about his own story and art from his graphic memoir Tower 25, which reveals his own challenges of trauma, isolation and becoming sober, allowing him to process his own past in hopes of inspiring greater empathy from the general community for those struggling with homelessness and addiction. He'll be describing the creative process behind the work and how it was influenced by the daily journals he kept.

PJ is a published poet, author, illustrator and tattoo artist who currently makes his home in Burnaby BC.

Tower 25 which is based on his own experience in Southern California where he grew up, is his first graphic novel.

Sunday, October 24
Perfectly Imperfect  or The Ethics of Playing God

Speaker: Rev Debra Thorne 
(in person)

This summer I tackled, ‘The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race’ by Walter Isaacson. This is the story of how a scientific community grappled with ambitions, egos and ethics in the race to discover RNA and gene editing. And they were just in time to address a planetary virus!  The door has been opened to gene editing and yet many questions are left unanswered. Such as: Are we as a species wise enough to use gene editing to only fend off viruses like Covid or will we eliminate all that makes us unique, our diversity, our humility, and our empathy?  What are the risks of playing God? 

Sunday, October 31
Meet the Ancestors Part 2 

With Rev Debra Thorne and a host of characters from the past
(speakers are in person and via Zoom)

Our Unitarian Universalist ancestors live again on this All Hallows Eve. Showing up are some admirable spiritual siblings who made their mark in the advancement of science, the arts and humanitarian endeavours. Meet the British nurse Florence Nightingale, and the Czechoslovakian/Canadian humanitarian Lotta Hitchmanova. They are joined by scientist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson and children’s writer Beatrix Potter. Please welcome these hallowed souls from our Unitarian Universalist past! This is a great service to bring a friend to.

Introducing Your Board for 2021-2022
Continuing Board Members Brenda Stewart, Board Chair, Ron Wilson and Wiley Fargen, Members at Large, are pleased to introduce the incoming Board Members:

Debbie Goodman
As we journey together through these unusual times, I've been reflecting on what our Fellowship community means to me. Bob and I arrived here in spring of 2009, and through all the ups and downs of the past 12 years, the Fellowship has been our source of lasting friendships, emotional healing and spiritual awakening. I'm looking forward to serving on the Board in this spirit of gratitude, interdependence and hopefulness.


Bill Woolverton, Linda Reid
and Don Gayton

Seen here at the Membership Ceremony welcoming Linda into our Fellowship on September 2nd with Lise Smith, Brenda Stewart and Rev Debra Thorne.

Linda Reid Although Linda is a relative newcomer to Nanaimo and our Fellowship, she has been thrilled to discover that the UU principles and teachings resonate deeply with the Buddhist studies she has been steeped in for many years.

Leah, the Fabulous Fufonics, and the joy of singing brought her more deeply into the community and she is most grateful for the dear friends she is making along the way.

Having longed for involvement in a community of like minded people, she feels honoured to be asked to play a more active role at our Fellowship.

Don Gayton Don and his wife Beth moved to Nanaimo in 2014 and joined our Fellowship shortly after. Don was an active member at the North Shore Unitarian Church (NSUC) since 2001, serving on that Board as Vice President, President and on the Canvass Committee. He has also served on the Eliot UU family camp board, and is currently Vice President of the Cascadia UU Growth Fund board.

Since becoming a member, Don has served on the COSM, the Canvass Committee, helped build the new website, and is currently co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee. 

He looks forward to deepening his connection with the Fellowship and other board members as he steps into the Treasurer role.

Bills Woolverton Bill's Introduction to the Fellowship was in 2009 when he attended a concert in our hall. He learned more about the Nanaimo Unitarians at Pacific Garden potluck dinners where he was invited to attend services and he became a member in 2011. He joined the Board and the Joint Finance Committee as Treasurer in 2012, and has been chair of the Sunday Service Committee for a number of years.

As the mainstay of the Personnel Committee for many years, he recruited hiring committees whenever the need arose until the new Human Resources Committee was formed last year.

At this interesting and challenging time, as our Shelter workers have voted to join a union, Bill brings his extensive union experience to the board.


At FUFON we create spiritual connection and
bring compassion, discovery and social justice to life.
Eating Green
The fall season is a great time for eating. The fall harvest is in full swing, Thanksgiving dinner beckons, and Halloween candy will soon be  prevalent in the stores. Bev Lock is our champion for “eating green” and has written an excellent article which can be found here.  

If you are interested in learning more about sustainable food, she’d love to start a group where we can share knowledge and support each other.

We can change our eating habits, encourage better agricultural practices and help make the world a little greener in the process.
Operations are moving smoothly at the Shelter with near full nightly numbers of guests. The search to fill the executive director position is still underway as the hiring committee searches to find the right individual with the level of skills to manage the role.

FUFON was approached by BC Housing to operate the extreme weather shelter at St. Peter’s Church once again this season, but without a leader in place,
 we have declined to take on the additional responsibility and workload. 

The City of Nanaimo has also enquired if we are able to serve coffee and a cold breakfast at the shower program at Caledonia Park, with the unfortunate closing of the 7-10 Club. This request was also turned down, as once again, we are not currently in a position to be accepting new ventures. 

We are also learning about the changes that need to happen when the BCGEU will be certified in the workplace. The FUFON board will have to ratify the contract when the time comes. A special general meeting will be called by the board if that is required.

Carole van Herwaaden, our outreach worker is now coming to the shelter twice a week from 7 to 9 pm to engage with shelter guests.  Those who are interested can get assistance from Carole with accessing community resources, locating and maintaining housing, applying for income assistance and other issues. Now that Covid restrictions have lessened somewhat, we may now be able to consider inviting guest speakers again to inform our guests about other community resources.

With the autumn winds bringing in cooler temperatures and moisture, the Unitarian Shelter continues to provide safety, a hot meal and bed to many individuals in need in our community. There are so many people who are genuinely thankful for this valuable community service and feel gratitude to the Unitarian community for opening their doors for so many years to those without a home.

Debra Librock
Unitarian Shelter Advisory Committee Chairperson
Unitarian Shelter     595 Townsite Road     (250) 754-3720
The answering machine is checked daily for messages and calls are answered as possible depending on staff and client needs. 

Shelter Facebook page:                
Contact the Outreach Program c/o or 250-758-1601

In creating the beloved community here at FUFON,
we remember that relationships are more important than the issues

We, the members and friends of FUFON, commit to:

a) consider our personal responsibility in the community
b) come from a place of compassion and integrity in our communications with others
c) work to uplift congregational life
d) be mindful of the breadth of diversity in our congregation
e) engage in conflict respectfully


Deadline for submissions is the 15th of the month
Next publication date: October 29th
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First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo
First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo
250.755.1215 or email us at        595 Townsite Rd. Nanaimo BC  V9S 1K9 

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