November 2019 Newsletter
    All are Welcome to Our Upcoming Sunday Services

Services start at 11:00am
Service Details & Presenters Are Below

November 3
A Vision of Freedom 
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne

November 10
Choosing Peace 
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne

November 17
Responsible Choice 
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne

November 24
What is Freedom? A Service of Poetry and Music 
Presented by the Fabulous FUFONics and Leah Hokanson

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


November  3     Membership Informational Tea                         2:00pm
November  7     FUFON Book Club                                             1:30pm 
November  23   Moving into Our Future Together Workshop  9:30am-4pm      
November 3
A Vision of Freedom 
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne

We live in a country where religious freedom is taken somewhat for granted. At least we aren’t being killed for our beliefs. Not so at the time of Queen Isabella and her son the young King Sigismund. It was their audacious vision of a society of toleration and respect that lives on in our society today. Do we have a responsibility then to speak up against Quebec’s secularism Bill C21 before it ends 450 years of religious toleration?

November 10
Choosing Peace 
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne

Our search for religious truth impacts our political decisions every day. If you uphold a responsibility to the interdependent web, this will naturally affect the causes you choose, where you put your money and what party you vote for.  A commitment to a world of peace might lead you to break the law or be expelled from a beloved community. Let us remember those who made difficult choices for the sake of peace.

November 17
Responsible Choice 
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne

Regardless of our circumstance we each have the personal power to choose how we respond to what life throws at us. This power of human freedom is practiced thousands of times a day.  What informs our choices to be happy, angry, desperate or fulfilled? Our challenge is to bring as much awareness to our choices as possible. This includes the impact our choices have on us and on others.

November 24
What is Freedom? A Service of Poetry and Music 
Presented by the Fabulous FUFONics and Leah Hokanson

What is freedom? How do we experience freedom? What is the relationship between inner and outer freedom? Why are freedom and responsibility inseparable? Join us as we reflect together, through poetry and music, on how freedom and responsibility shape and define our lives, both individually and collectively. 
This month we are reflecting on the fourth Principle: The free and responsible search for truth and meaning.  I wonder how many of you discovered a Unitarian congregation because you were searching for your truth, or searching for a deeper meaning to bring into your life?  This is a common path to our UU doors. Many, and I fit into this category, were teenagers or young adults who had moved out of their family traditions and maybe out of the family house and were on a quest to discover for themselves what they believed. I remember going to a different church each Sunday, curious about how people I didn’t know came together to explore and to live into their religious values. I went to churches and synagogues, temples and retreat centers.  I sang and prayed and sat in silence all the while wondering,

Is this my place? Are these my people?

This makes we wonder, “What do we offer these young people or older people, who are searching for new meaning and new understanding?”   Especially now when our world seems on the edge of destruction.  I know many of us are struggling to make meaning out of our times. What about those who do not have a community of support?  Is it our responsibility to reach out to them, to let them know that we find that in dark times it is helpful, even lifesaving, to surround ourselves with others who are asking similar questions and seeking ways to make our lives relevant.

I believe we at FUFON have something rare and precious to offer a hurting world and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing mine at the congregational workshop on Saturday, November 23: Moving Into Our Future Together. 

Warmly, Rev. Debra Thorne
Your 2019-20 Board is in place and ready for the coming church year. There have been a few changes to Committee and Staff Liaison assignments and the table below should bring you up to speed:

And another church year also bring an updated set of goals for the Board. 

Board Goals for 2019-20
  1. Continue development of a policy handbook
  2. Continue work on developing a strategic plan
  3. Successfully integrate our new minister into the Fellowship
The first two are goals are carried over from last year and the third goal is a natural outgrowth of having a new minister in our midst. More goals may be discussed over the next month or two.  

You can be part of the suggesting possibilities and setting our direction by coming out to the Moving into Our Future Together workshop on Saturday, November 23. Check out the event poster below for more information.
Informal Afternoon Tea

Are you interested in learning more about Unitarian Universalism?
Would you like to learn more about our Fellowship?
Are you considering membership?

Join Rev. Debra Thorne and the Membership Team for an informal afternoon tea where we will help you understand the basics of Unitarian Universalism, understand how our Fellowship works and learn what is involved in the path to membership.  Bring your questions!

All newcomers are welcome!

Sunday, Nov 3rd at 2:00pm at the Fellowship

Just let one of the Membership Team know if you would like to attend. We have yellow ribbons on our name tags!

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


Each year we honour a Charity Policy donation of 1/2 of undesignated offerings at Sunday Services.   The congregation is requested to suggest charity recipients to whom we contribute.  The board then takes into consideration the suggestions and decides on which three charities will receive donations. 
During 2018,
The Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) was chosen to receive the donation for April, May and June.  Jackie Hildering, MERS Director has had three speaking engagements with us over the past years and will again give a presentation this spring.  At June’s end, Jackie was mailed a cheque for $1,104.88 representing our generosity and she responded with the following appreciative message:
Please can you relay to the congregation how moved we are to receive the donation provided to support our work as the Marine Education and Research Society? Not only does this amount make such a difference to the work we can do to reduce risk to whales, but to know that we are supported by the FUFON community puts so much wind in our sails.

With such gratitude, on behalf of our team,
Jackie Hildering, Education/Communications Director and Humpback Researcher

Marine Education and Research Society
I am writing this on Thanksgiving Day, feeling so grateful for the good things in my personal life, the chance to do work I love, and the contributions of the shelter staff volunteers, donors, funders and supporters who make such a difference as we provide respite from the streets for our guests.

Our work at the shelter is challenging these days, made most difficult by the number of people we have to turn away each night. Especially as the days get darker, colder and wetter, leaving too many people literally out in the cold. If we can’t accommodate them, there are few other options to suggest. Although word is that the Extreme Weather Centre Shelter will reopen at St. Peter’s Church in the next month or so.

I do occasionally hear complaints from residents and businesses that ‘no one is doing anything about the homelessness situation in Nanaimo’. A claim that is clearly refuted by the commitment and dedication of the many agencies and individuals who participate in the Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition. Its mission is Uniting the organizations, citizens and governments that support our most vulnerable residents. 
Together, we work to end homelessness while diminishing the harm it causes to individuals and community.

The Coalition has recently made great strides the area of communications. A lot of work has been done in our community to address issues of poverty and homelessness. But we have not always done shared success stories and challenges.

You can find out more about what we’re doing as a community by checking the Coalition’s website at or by following its Facebook page

In both places you will find information, stories and news of upcoming events. The City of Nanaimo is a member of the committee and hosts the monthly meetings. You can access Nanaimo’s Action Plan to End Homelessness 2018-2020
One question that you might have is
But what can I do?

With winter coming on, we want to make sure that shelter guests and those who come to use the showers at Caledonia Park stay warm and dry. We will be holding our annual Coat Drive later in the fall. In the meantime, we invite you to add gently-used or new gloves, socks and toques (plain watch cap style are the most useful) to the Hat Rack in the Fellowship Sanctuary until the end of November.

And cash donations are always welcome. We are currently running an appeal to raise the funds to launch a Pilot Outreach Program in January. This will help us provide service to shelter guests beyond 7am –the time at which the shelter closes each morning, sending our guests back into the street.

While our immediate job and main mission is to provide overnight respite from the streets. Like so many in the community, we hope to play an increasing role in finding longer-term solutions for our guests - housing, health and addiction services, employment… all things that the more fortunate of us give thanks for every day in our own lives.

Lois Peterson, Executive Director
Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter


Unitarian Shelter   595 Townsite Road     (250) 754-3720

There is an answering machine attached to the phone so it is checked daily for messages and answered when staff are not busy with guests when they are in.

FUFON Book Club

The next meeting of the FUFON Book Club is Thursday, Nov. 7th at 1:30pm.

For more information please talk to Bev Lock.

Calling All Painters 

The UFON Building Committee needs volunteers for painting the hallways and doors.
Please contact Katherine Ball
@ 250-714-1164 if you can help.
Thank you!
Worship as a Beacon for Congregational Growth - Part 2  
November 9, 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. ET
Learn how to create and sustain a strong worship program for both clergy and lay led congregations in this online event. Our presenter is the Rev. Dr. Barbara Wells ten Hove. Registration deadline: October 31. 

Connect and Deep - Virtual Gathering, Monthly
November 10, December 8, January 12, February 9, March 8 (2nd Sunday of the month), 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. ET

Join us for the opportunity to discuss matters of spiritual and theological significance in small and connect with people across the country.

Serving With Spirit: Stronger Together, Planning for Partnership
November 23, 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. MT

Explore our potential for meaningful, creative congregational networking and partnerships. Together, develop strategies to support and sustain the growing number of small congregations. Rev. Joan Becelaere is the presenter for this event. Registration deadline: November 12.


Deadline for submissions is the 15th of the month
Next publication date:  November 22

First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo
First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo
FUFON uses Fair Trade coffee.
Our hall is wheelchair accessible through the front door.
We have a T Loop system for those persons having a T Loop switch.

250.755.1215 or email us at
Our mailing address is: 595 Townsite Rd. Nanaimo BC, V9S 1K9 

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