December Theme: Drama and the Art of Empathy

All December services will be available in person and
on Zoom via live stream at 11:00am, Christmas Eve service is at 4:00pm

Details are below including our Zoom service link.

Sunday, December 5
Drama and the Art of Empathy 
Presented by Rev Debra Thorne

Sunday, December 12
Class and Money 
Presented by Anna Isaacs 

Sunday, December 19
The Divine Drama in Winter Solstice  

Presented by Rev Debra Thorne

Friday, December 24 at 4:00pm
A Christmas Carol Eve     

Presented by Rev Debra Thorne and a cast of Fellowship Actors 

Sunday, December 26
Boxing It Up & Reclaiming this Day
Presented by Rev Debra Thorne and Patrick Courtin 

Sunday, January 2
Song of Believing: A Service of Music and the Spoken Word 
Presented by Patrick Courtin and Deborah Goodman 
December 17 & 18      A Charlie Brown Christmas       7:30pm

December 24              A Christmas Carol Eve               4:00pm
This is the season of ritual and stories. Let us celebrate the season singing our favourite carols, watching our favourite movies and television shows.  Isn’t this what we look forward to? Oh, sure we’ll eat cookies and drink a little eggnog, but it’s the songs and stories that remind us what this season is truly about.

I’ve a friend whose seasonal ritual is to snuggle into their favourite chair, a glass of cheer in hand and watch The Grinch, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol. Only then is the season celebrated fully.  

Once a year it seems we need reminding that we are not selfish tired materialistic grumpy people. Once a year our hearts need a little encouragement to believe that we are truly connected to our family, friends and neighbours, that this world is a good place to be, and we are loving people. The season of Snoopy and Scrooge reminds us that we are still capable of thinking about others with true generosity. Which is why I love this season and all the songs and stories we share. 

May you be nourished by good stories this December. Stories that renew your desolate heart. Stories that remind you that you are truly connected in meaningful ways to those around you. Stories that rekindle hope. 

May your heart grow three sizes this month! God bless us everyone! And may the season of light, illumine even the darkest places.   

Warmly, Rev Debra

Hiiye’yutul tst ‘u to’ mukw stem ‘I ‘u tuna’ muka
Everything in nature is part of our family; we are all family


At FUFON we create spiritual connection and
bring compassion, discovery and social justice to life.
Our theme for December is Drama and the Art of Empathy. This month we’ll delve into the science behind drama, the drama in classism, the mystical drama of the solstice and the drama of empathy underlining Christmas and Boxing Day.
To join any of our upcoming services on Zoom,
please click on this 
SERVICE LINK a few minutes before the service


Sunday, December 5
Drama and the Art of Empathy 
Presented by Rev Debra Thorne

There is no better way to understand the emotions and feelings of another person than to walk in their shoes. A close second is to portray a character that walks in their shoes. This is where drama comes in. Through imagining, we experience situations and lives not our own. Those experiences can be vividly real because our imaginations are linked to our senses and nervous systems. Thus, drama becomes a vehicle for empathy and leads to social transformation. 

Sunday, December 12
Class and Money 
Presented by Anna Isaacs 

What is it like to live “below” middle class? What is it like to be at a church with a middle class culture for those “below” middle class? Socioeconomic class identity is about both culture and finances and is a topic we rarely talk openly and directly about. Let’s start a conversation.
Anna Isaacs is a longtime UU. Her dad worked as a carpenter, her mom drove a school bus, and her current main paid gig is frontline care work for people with developmental disabilities. And as with most things in life, it’s also more complicated than that.

Sunday, December 19
The Divine Drama in Winter Solstice  

Presented by Rev Debra Thorne
In the dark of winter, deep in our collective psyches, hides the divine dance between our masculine and feminine self. It is the drama of the winter solstice that enacts the awakening of the divine feminine. Beckoned, kissed and honoured, the divine feminine emerges and takes her place of wisdom.

Friday, December 24 at 4:00pm
A Christmas Carol Eve     

Presented by Rev Debra Thorne and a cast of Fellowship Actors 
Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843*, as he struggled with the meaning of his life and its reflection in the state church. He was looking for a new perspective, one freer of thought and more rooted in the realities of his day. The drama of Dickens struggle is brought to life in the story of Mr. Scrooge and the Cratchit family. With its focus on family and generosity, it has become the basis for how Christmas has been celebrated for 175 years. (*The same year Dickens found the Unitarians.)  

Sunday, December 26
Boxing It Up & Reclaiming this Day
Presented by Rev Debra Thorne and Patrick Courtin 

Let’s reclaim Boxing Day! Let’s yank it back from shouting adverts and the glaring lights of consumer frenzy! The true meaning of Boxing Day is generosity. In particular, a day to give generously to people outside your family. This year as part of the Boxing Day Service, we will create ‘boxes’ for the Unitarian Shelter Staff who have worked faithfully and compassionately all year for the Shelter guests. In preparation, we ask that you drop off your gifts at the office before December 25. We are collecting cash, gift cards, chocolates, nuts, sweets, books, gloves and hats. These will be boxed, decorated and given to the staff on Boxing Day. Oh, and we’ll tell some stories, sing some favourite carols and celebrate the true meaning of Boxing Day together.

Sunday, January 2
Song of Believing: A Service of Music and the Spoken Word 
Presented by Patrick Courtin and Deborah Goodman 

For over a decade, our congregation has marked the end of the holiday season with a 'Mirth and Music Service' that departs from our standard Sunday format, and offers listeners an hour to 'decompress from holiday stress.' Our theme is drawn from the words of award-winning Oregon writer, Brian Doyle, who wrote 'I sing a song of things that make us grin and bow, that just for an instant, let us see sometimes the web and weave of merciful, the endless possible, the incomprehensible inexhaustible inexplicable yes.'

Debbie is a wildlife artist, story-teller, and occasional service speaker at FUFON. She and her husband Bob have been FUFON members since their 2009 arrival on Vancouver Island.

They enjoy being members of this joy-full community, and camping in the Enchanted Rainforest.


Patrick Courtin, our staff Music Director, is an accomplished pianist, accompanist, piano teacher and music arranger. Nuria and Paul Courtin, Fellowship members, are Patrick’s parents, and he had his first job as accompanist at the Fellowship many years ago at age 16. Since 2016, he has been the Music Director with Theatre Royal, Barkerville Historic Town. 
For the Fellowship:
May this Solstice and turning of the wheel
bring you love, peace, and good fortune in the coming year.
Let us welcome the returning sun with Hope and Joy.
May you never thirst!
For all you do, For all you are.
All our thanks and good wishes for health and joy.
From your Board: Bill, Brenda, Debbie, Don, Linda, Ron, Wiley
Latest COVID Update - November 15, 2021

The COVID Advisory Task Force and the Board continue to identify the needs of our members and explore options to meet those needs. The following are the latest decisions and procedures regarding Fellowship life under COVID-19.

Sunday Services
We offer hybrid Sunday services every week at 11am. This means you can access the services via Zoom or, if you want to, attend in person by coming to the Hall. We ask that if you chose to attend in person, you are fully vaccinated and wear a mask. Singing is permitted when wearing a mask. Capacity is limited to 50%. Contact Lise, our Office Administrator, to reserve a seat in the Hall and for the Zoom link at 250-755-1215 or

Choir Rehearsals
Our choir, the Fabulous FUFONics, have hybrid rehearsals on Zoom and in the Hall with masks, Sunday mornings at 9:30am and one Saturday a month. 

Meetings & Visits
We are adapting to the changing situation by making available all meetings and groups in multi-platform options. Please check the weekly update to see which groups are meeting and their Zoom links. Staff continue to work from their Hall offices. Short visits related to Fellowship business must be planned in advance with our Office Administrator, who will require name(s) and time of use.  Building access and cleaning protocols (see attached files) must be followed. 

The Fellowship Hall is now open at full capacity for rentals from the general public. Food and drink are allowed when seated, and hygiene protocols are followed.

Cleaning and Building Access Protocols
Cleaning Protocols Instructions
Building Access Protocols

The building use protocol requires everyone who wants to access the building to contact Lise, our Administrator, ahead of time, with name(s) and time of use. You can no longer just ‘drop in’ at the building.

Please contact Lise Smith, our Office Administrator, for more information at
Supporting Our Fellowship
Since the introduction of hybrid services on October 3rd, the Fellowship’s Audio-Visual (AV) team has been key to making the Sunday service experience accessible to all, whether attending in person or through Zoom. A typical hybrid service now requires three individuals working behind the scenes. Our AV team currently has 5 team members. To be sustainable, we need more.

In addition to Sunday Services, we are being asked to provide audio-visual services to support Fellowship meetings such as Town Halls, memorial services, and to support the needs of some of our renters, who are required to pay for AV services.   

Opportunities to Serve – Opportunities to Learn
Training in all aspects of AV is currently being offered. The AV team is friendly and supportive and a great group to be a part of. We take care of the following: 

-   Zoom spotlighting, PowerPoint slide preparation, and Zoom screen-sharing, which can be done from home. 
-    Hall sound and camera operation, which requires being in the hall. 

None of these tasks is difficult with a few hours of basic training. If you want to give it a try, we will support you every step of the way. You will progress at your own pace, and take on only what you feel you can handle at any given time.

Youth are welcome! This can expand skills; it looks good on a resume and can even lead to paid work, doing AV for renters in the future.

If you are interested in being trained in one or more aspects of AV, please get in touch with 
Ruth Anderson at
We have compiled a directory of seasonal craft fairs, markets and local artist and businesses to help you shop local.

The big box stores and the restaurant chains will survive.
Take your money to people who truly need it to survive.

See directory the directory with our Personal Climate Action Plans (PCAPs) on
 our website here.


Watch for additional businesses which support local growers and suppliers in the new year, and consider giving them your business. 
Shop small, shop independent, shop local and help the environment too.

Presented by the Mahogany Hall Jazz Ensemble

Friday, December 17th and Saturday, December 18th
Shows begin at 7:30pm at the Unitarian Hall in Nanaimo


Your favourite songs from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special Holiday classics from Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and more.
Join our Music Director, Patrick Courtin, piano; Simon Paterson, vocals;
Andrew Cullen, upright bass; James McRae, drums. 

Covid protocols are in place, attendees must be fully vaccinated and masks are required.

Tickets will be as follows:
Adults: $25
Youth (12-19): $10
Children (12 and under): free

Please contact Patrick directly or from his website here to reserve tickets or ask for details.
During the wild and wet weather of the last few weeks, it has been a task for even housed people to stay dry. Imagine surviving these conditions without a roof over your head? Being cold is unpleasant, but being wet and cold has to be the most uncomfortable feeling of all. Our shelter has been full, providing respite to many from the weather conditions. People are clearly happy to rest in a warm environment, get a change of clothes and be provided with hot meals to warm body and soul. 

Please take a look at the Shelter’s appeal for donations of socks or cash and consider donating if you are able. We are currently low on socks and are seeking donations of sports, hiking or work socks (those that can be easily laundered). Cash donations are always helpful as well, because we can direct the money to where it is needed the most at the time and take advantage of bulk buying.

We always like to put together little care packages over the holiday season and cash donations allow us to buy coffee gift cards, flashlights, rain ponchos and other items that are needed by folks that are currently without housing.

Donations can be made by e-transfer to or by cheque to the Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter at 595 Townsite Road, Nanaimo BC, V9S1K9. You can also drop off socks at the Fellowship on any Sunday, or by arrangement with Lise. Lois Peterson will also be happy to pick up socks (minimum 8 pairs). Contact her at Let’s see how many “souls” we can warm this season!

St. Peter’s Emergency Shelter has opened on November 22 this year, just in time for the next onslaught of rain storms coming in! The John Howard Society is operating the facility this year and we wish them a successful season.

Thank you in advance to all FUFON members who are able to donate to our warm “souls” drive and for your ongoing support throughout the years. The Unitarian Shelter is making a difference to the lives of many in our community.

Debra Librock
Having warm, dry feet is vital to anyone living on the street in these cold, wet days. 

You can warm their soles in three ways:
1. By making a donation of cash (eTransfer to or by cheque to the Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter at 595 Townsite Road, Nanaimo, BC. V9S 1K9).

2. By dropping off your cash donation or donation of socks to the Fellowship on a Sunday, or by arrangement with Lise ( or 250-754-3720).

3. By contacting (to arrange pickup of a minimum of 8 pairs of socks).

Most of our guests are men, but women need them too.
(We know there are many wonderful knitters out there, but our guests prefer store-bought sports, work or hiking socks that can be easily laundered.)
******  THANK YOU  ******
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: December 27th
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Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo
Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo
250.755.1215 or email us at        595 Townsite Rd. Nanaimo BC, V9S 1K9 

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