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UPCOMING ONLINE SERVICES
 Please join us via live stream on Zoom at 11:00am unless noted
Details are below including Zoom service links.

Sunday, February 7
A Faith Worth Failing For - National Service at 10am
Presented by Rev.'s Shana Lynngood and Samaya Oakley

Sunday, February 14
Broken Hearts Dance Club
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne

Sunday, February 21
Covid, Control and Soul
Presented by Leah Hokanson and Rev. Debra Thorne in Conversation 

Sunday, February 28
The Truth We Resist 
Guest Speaker Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana  
Music by Tony Turner 
UPCOMING FEBRUARY EVENTS
                                
 
February  7               FUFON Online Social                    11:00am

February  9               The Deepening Path                      4:00pm-6:00pm

February 21              Town Hall Online Meeting             1:00pm 
MINISTER'S MESSAGE
What Will This Next Year Bring?
 
Last month, yet more hatred was directed toward Indigenous People on Vancouver Island. It focused on the Cowichan Tribes after they announced that their Covid numbers were rising and were mandating a shelter in place order. Social media released its ugliness and leaders pushed back.  Dr Henry suggested that ‘we must all take the time to speak up and speak out.’  The Mayor of North Cowichan, Al Siebring, did just that. In a passionate Facebook message, he called out the racist behaviour in his area and in no uncertain terms said, ‘Some of the posts I've seen are vile; filled with racism and an "us/them" mentality. They are fear-based, and they are inappropriate. Folks, we are better than this. And it has to stop.'  His post was shared over 3,000 times and there are over 600 comments. 

BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Teegee said, “These are dangerous times as we experience the increasing visible social sickness of racism, and both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples must pull together and work against its harmful effects.”  

Now is the time to speak up and say that this hatred is not acceptable, that we will not allow it to grow and spread. This is not happening in some one else’s back yard. I have heard first hand accounts of attacks on Indigenous people in the catchment area of our congregation, (Qualicum to Duncan) from members of our congregation. Let’s use our principles to encourage ourselves to take action, act for justice, basic human decency and respect for every person. 

As Mandish, owner of Taj Mahal Spices in Nanaimo said, “The virus doesn’t know the colour of our skin and it doesn’t care – to the virus we are all the same!’ Another way of saying, ‘We are all deeply connected.’

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
       
      MISSION STATEMENT

At FUFON we create spiritual connection and
bring compassion, discovery and social justice to life.

 
SUNDAY SERVICES
 Theme for February is ‘Deeply Connected’

Sunday, February 7
A Faith Worth Failing For - National Service
 at 10am 

To join on Zoom, please click on this NATIONAL SERVICE LINK a few minutes before 10 a.m. PT

We often talk about Unitarian Universalism as a transformational faith – and yet to be transformed means to take a risk. How is it that we are averse to taking such risks when it comes to widening the circle of who we are as a community? Join Revs. Shana Lynngood and Samaya Oakley for a service that explores mistakes we've made and how we can learn from them to become the transformational faith we proclaim to be.       

The virtual collection taken during the service will be allocated to successful congregational applicants for growth initiatives. These funds will be supplemented by a Foundation Fund administered by the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto.

Following the National Service, there will be a FUFON Social Time at 11am.
The FUFON Social has a separate link that will be found in the Weekly Update or on the FUFON Website.

 
To join any of our other upcoming services on Zoom,
please click on this 
SERVICE LINK a few minutes before 11 a.m.

Sunday, February 14, 2021
Broken Hearts Dance Club
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne


The gods of love and heart break are inviting you to an intoxicating revelry. They promise there will be dancing and laughter, and perhaps some tears of release.  They will touch on the many forms of love that we have available to us; the affectionate, the enduring, self and selfless. From the romantic to the transcendent, from the torments to the  ecstasies, secrets from the path of love will be revealed!  

Sunday, February 21
Covid, Control and Soul
Presented by Leah Hokanson and Rev. Debra Thorne in Conversation 


Covid restrictions have revealed to us the priorities and blindness's of our society. Some of us may be wondering: why is it okay to go to Costco, but not okay to go to the Fellowship? Why can I go to a restaurant, but I can’t go to a choir rehearsal? As a spiritual community we have experienced our values, knowledge and experience being challenged by the restrictions. Have we come to any conclusions? In conversation, two Unitarians peel back the idea of there being only one narrative (story) about what we know and how we know it.

There will be a discussion after the service, and before the Town Hall Meeting.


Leah Hokanson is a pianist, vocalist, choral director, and facilitator. She sings with the Life Journey Singers, and directs the Song Keepers Women's Choir (Gabriola) where she lives. Leah is FUFON's beloved Music Director.



Sunday, February 28
The Truth We Resist 
Guest Speaker Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana  
Music by Tony Turner 


With all the divisions that we experience and antagonisms that current events display, we can be tempted to believe that we are either on our own or with the tiny group with which we share views. The reality is that all of us are inextricably connected.  We do not need a global pandemic or other disruptive events to be reminded of that critical fact. How can the “Ubuntu Philosophy, I am because you are” be of help as we navigate a divided world? In this service, I will share my belief that our hope is in that delicate balance between “I - we” and the “other - stranger”. 

Rev. Fulgence is the founder of the Burundian Unitarian Universalist Church (2002) and served as Vice President of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. In 2012 he began The Flaming Chalice a Canadian charity that invests in the future of refugees through education, small business and connecting with supportive community. Recently Rev. Fulgence founded Communaute Sans Frontiers, Unitarienne Universaliste, an online francophone community supporting Francophone UU’s around the world.    


Tony Turner has been a member of FUFON since 2017, but for many years has contributed to the life of First Ottawa and other Unitarian congregations through his music and other activities. He has recorded three CDs of original songs and performed at clubs, festivals and Unitarian churches across Canada, where his Circle of Song has become a favourite. A singer with a social conscience, Tony has penned songs that address political, social and environmental issues of our times, including the song Harperman in 2015, for which Tony was given an international Spirit of Folk award.
BOARD BITZ
Life Memberships

At the Annual General Meeting last September, the congregation approved a change to the article (2.7) about life membership in the FUFON Bylaws. It now indicates that the Board can confer life membership upon a member who has become inactive due to health or geographic considerations, in recognition of their exceptional and/or long service to the Fellowship. It goes on to say that life members continue to have all the rights of membership but are not required to make an annual contribution. 

To date no one has been designated a life member under the new clause.  The Board welcomes suggestions from the congregation as to who might fall into this category.
BEYOND FAMILIAR
The Sunday Service Committee plans over 50 services a year. Our minister covers half of those services and the balance are lay led. That means that they are led by congregational members, who often invite guest speakers from outside our community.  This congregation is proud of our lay lead services because we place a high value on hearing from a diversity of people, their ideas, opinions and creativity. Sometimes finding new voices is challenging which is why we are turning to you for help.
 
Is there a community speaker, someone whose work or ideas have challenged or inspired you? Do you have a topic that you would like to see addressed in a Sunday service?

The Sunday Service Committee would appreciate your suggestions.

Please give this request your thought and forward names and ideas to Lise Smith at info@ufon.ca.

 
THE DEEPENING PATH
Like the Soul Matters groups, Deepening Path is an opportunity to deepen together through active listening and personal sharing. As the group deepens into trust and care, we become companions on the journey, down the inner path of wisdom.

This is a group where you simply show up as you are, in body and soul.  Rev. Debra will guide the journey, inspired by the monthly themes.
                    
The group meets once a month on the second Tuesday at 4pm for 2 hours.
Limited to twelve participants.  
Dates: Feb. 9, March 9, April 13, May 11

Email  
minister@ufon.ca to reserve your place.  
6-MINUTE MEMOIR STORYTELLING
Anne Bokima, who spoke to us on January 17th about her year of living spiritually, also runs a memoir writing workshop series. 

The 6-Minute Memoir online writing workshop series helps people select, shape and share true stories from their lives. You can find out more information about these events at her website:  annebokma.com

The next popular 6-Minute Memoir storytelling event will be held online via Zoom on Feb. 12 and will feature 12 storytellers sharing their personal true-life tales on the theme of "Turning Point."
 
Anne is the author of My Year of Living Spiritually: One Woman’s Secular Quest for a More Soulful Life. She is a long-time member of the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton.

 
CHILDREN'S RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
The CRE program is still going strong, and continues to run two meet-ups per week, one for little folks and one for youth. Both remain well attended and the little folks meet-up continues to evolve into a multigenerational meeting space where grandparents have a chance to meet with children and grandchildren in a welcoming space online, bridging the distance between family members whether caused by Covid or by logistics. The youth meet-up has given our preteens and teens a chance to deepen relationships, consider some of life’s big questions as well as share stories and play games.

If you have any young people in your life who might be interested, just email me at cre@ufon.ca, and we can have a chat.

The CRE committee met in early January. Topics included the higher attendance numbers online, especially for local grandchildren who didn’t often attend the program in person and grandchildren who don’t live in Nanaimo. We considered possible next steps for ensuring the relationships we build online can continue to grow when we can begin to meet in person. This was interesting because it included the idea that we may still have some online meet ups, which is such a turn in thinking when mostly we’ve just been dreaming of when we can meet again in person and get off zoom. Funny how things change and gifts bubble up to the top, no matter the situation.


Sibyl Birrell
Children's Religious Educator
MEDITATION FRIDAYS

Please join us on Fridays at 11am for an hour
of silent and contemplative meditation.

This is an ongoing and open group.
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: 
facebook.com/unitarianshelter/                
Contact the Outreach Program c/o
shelter@ufon.ca or 250-758-1601
COVENANT OF RIGHT RELATIONS

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

HAVE SOMETHING FOR THE NEWSLETTER?

Deadline for submissions is the 15th of the month
Next publication date: February 26th
Contact the newsletter editor at news@ufon.ca


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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 info@ufon.ca        595 Townsite Rd. Nanaimo BC, V9S 1K9 



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