Please join us via live stream at 11:00am
Details are below including our Zoom service link.

Sunday, March 7
This Deep-Rooted Faith
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne

Sunday, March 14
The Spoken Word of Belonging  
Presented by Tracy Myers and Marvin Makepeace - Tongue and Groove

Sunday, March 21
Spring Fever
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne

Sunday, March 28
Extraterrestrial Life and the Spiritual Implications of Finding It
Presented by Bill Woolverton
March 7               Canvass Kick Off                            After the 11:00am service

March 28             Canvass Celebration                      After the 11:00am service
We are called by love and justice to be radically inclusive
I was in the CUC Business meeting held in Vancouver in 2013, when the 5 Canadian Unitarian Universalist Aspirations were ratified. I vividly remember the conversation before the vote as ministers and delegates questioned each aspiration. When the second aspiration came up for discussion, there was the expected wondering about what ‘broadly inclusive’ meant.

A number of people stated what they thought it meant. Then Katherine from Montreal stood up and said something along the lines of, “This is not good enough for our movement. We need to aspire higher. We need to be radically inclusive!” And suddenly the temperature in the room jumped a few degrees. Sleepy delegates raised their heads noticing the shift in energy. Then Rev. Steven Epperson stood and picked up on Katherine’s remark, affirming that this was worthy of our aspirations as a theology that has been historically on the forefront of social change, and one that has not shrunk back from pushing the boundaries of religious leadership. Now the whole room was abuzz and many hands shot up. And though we may not have all agreed on what ‘radically’ meant, the room affirmed that being radical scared us, but in a good way. We wanted to be those people who were ready to aspire to be radically inclusive. The vote was taken and ‘broadly’ was changed to ‘radically inclusive’.

We are still living into what this aspiration means to us, individually and as a religious movement. This month we have another opportunity to explore its meaning. 

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

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

 Theme for March is Radically Inclusive
To join any of our other upcoming services on Zoom,
please click on this 
SERVICE LINK a few minutes before 11 a.m.

Sunday, March 7
This Deep-Rooted Faith
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne

This isn’t a social club. This is a faith reaching back 500 years. A tradition that calls us, through our interdependence, to love and justice.  Once called we ask, ‘How do we open our hearts and our community to all who need a place of courage and resilience? What inspires us to be a community of radical inclusiveness? Of Universal love? Are we worthy of this vision held by our tradition since the first Universalist stepped onto the shores of North America? Are we ready?

Sunday, March 14
The Spoken Word of Belonging  
Presented by Tracy Myers and Marvin Makepeace - Tongue and Groove

The art of Spoken Word is deeply rooted in social justice, which is fundamental to our sense of belonging and inclusion, both in our own communities, and beyond. Spoken Word is also one of the ways that artists speak truth to power, and help raise the collective consciousness. Our back-by-popular-demand guests, Tongue and Groove, are pleased to be part of our March exploration of Radical Inclusion.  

Tongue and Groove is a political, musical, lyrical project that spans 20 years of creative work. Their aim is to move heads and hearts with words and bodies with groove.  They have adopted the motto attributed to Emma Goldman, "If we can’t dance we don’t want to be part of your revolution.

Sunday, March 21
Spring Fever
Presented by Rev. Debra Thorne

It’s the time to hear the earth’s song rising from cold depths. Time to welcome back from the underground lover of darkness, the goddess Persephone cloaked in fragile green.  It is the time to honour the planting and rising of innocent seeds. Today we celebrate potent beginnings, the Spring Equinox.

Sunday, March 28
Extraterrestrial Life and the Spiritual Implications of Finding It
Presented by Bill Woolverton

The building blocks of life appear to be common throughout the Universe. With the presence of methane on Mars and possible discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus, there is speculation is that extraterrestrial life may be discovered within the next decade. Join retired meteorologist Bill Woolverton as he takes us on a journey from the first thoughts about life on other heavenly bodies through the current search for extraterrestrial life and the spiritual implications of finding it.  

Bill is the chair of the Sunday Services Committee at FUFON and a past-President of the Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice. He has a degree in Physics and worked for thirty odd years as a weather forecaster with Environment Canada in various provinces and the Yukon. He enjoys reading and has a personal library of hundreds of books on various subjects in the apartment in Pacific Gardens Cohousing in Nanaimo he shares with his partner Sharon Fulton.

The Board recently expressed its recognition of the extraordinary work Lise Smith has done as our Office Administrator in the transition to a new financial model at FUFON. To acknowledge this valiant effort, Lise was presented with a $1,000 bonus. Thank you Lise and a big thank you also to Marla Thorburn for her role as volunteer treasurer and advisor during this challenging time.

In another transition, the Human Resources Task Force completed its review of the personnel policies and documents and a new Human Resources Committee has been formed. Board-Staff Liaisons, Ruth Anderson, Sharon Reeves, Ron Wilson and Brenda Stewart will form this committee with Brenda in the position of chair and Rev. Debra Thorne participating in her staff supervisory capacity. 

We want to acknowledge Bill Woolverton for his many years of service as chair of the FUFON Personnel Committee. His commitment and dedication have been consistent throughout good times and difficult periods. Thank you, Bill, for your years of service.


Following the recommendation of the Covid Advisory Task Force, a letter has been sent to the Provincial Government, Ministry of Health requesting Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry reconsider the restrictions currently placed on groups like ours.

The letter, over Board Chair Ruth Anderson and Rev. Debra’s signatures, asks that specific guidelines and protocols be issued that will enable us to meet in a safe environment. Copies of the letter were also sent to UU congregations in BC, suggesting they write similar letters to the government. 
This year’s Canvass will be quite different from previous years as, due to COVID-19 protocols, it will be online. The Canvas will kick off on Sunday, March 7th and will conclude with an online celebration on Sunday, March 28th. The theme for this year is “Deep-Rooted Resilience” reminding us that not only have we as individuals had to be resilient during this strange time, but that our beloved community and the infrastructure behind it, has also had to be resilient.  And we need to grow deep roots in order to stay resilient.

Canvass month is our chance to think about what the Fellowship means to us and how we can support it from a fiscal point of view.

For those of you who are new to this Canvass process, this is the time when all members and supporting friends are asked to make a financial commitment or pledge to support the Fellowship during the coming year, July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. In order to make plans and develop a realistic budget, it is key to have everyone complete and return a pledge form indicating their level of financial commitment for the coming fiscal year. Our Goal for this year is $90,000.
Thank you to all who pledged last year, and for all the contributions of dollars, time, talents and other resources without which our wonderful Fellowship could not continue. Last year we exceeded our goal and raised just over $85,000.

After the Sunday service on March 7th, you will receive a personalized e-mail pledge package. Anyone who does not have access to e-mail will receive one by mail. We ask you to take the time to review the information and think about how you can support our Fellowship. Included in the package will be a simple pledge form for you to complete and return to Lise via email.  

We hope you will pledge as generously as possible, mindful of the Treasure Principle:
Invest your money, time & energy where it will matter most in your life.

Your 2021 Canvass Team:  Don Gayton, Jane Nares, Marla Thorburn

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

The Environmental Justice Task Force
Has Arrived!

FUFON members and friends have said they want to take action to help heal the earth and reduce our carbon footprint. We presented our program, made up of three components, at the February Town Hall meeting. 

Part one is advocacy, the long-haul work. We are following climate activists in Nanaimo and area to see what the main causes are and how we might advocate effectively for them. We will post our advocacy campaigns on the website and inform you through the Weekly Update.  

Part two is a review of our energy use in our facility. Katherine Ball has done an excellent job of keeping our Fellowship hall on a low-energy diet, but perhaps we can do more. We will be working closely with the Building Committee to make that happen.

Part three is the Personal Climate Action Plan (PCAP), where you can make a difference. Over the next year we will feature eight different actions you can take that will reduce our impact on this world we inhabit. Each month a climate champion will lead the way with background material, education, and positive action you can take. Over the year, we will ask you to take part in alternative transport, reducing your energy use, reducing plastic consumption, adopting a greener diet, local shopping, planting trees, reducing household waste, and water consumption; hopefully some habits will change forever.  We will focus on one at a time. 

We have applied for Green Sanctuary certification, a program from the UUA that encourages congregations to be more climate conscious. Part of that program is to measure how we do with our one-year plan. For that we need you. We request that you do a carbon footprint calculation now and a year from now, after we have changed some of our ways towards a greener future. It will take about an hour to complete. If you are willing, please email for more information.

Imagine a year from now, when you feel like you have really contributed to reducing the effects of green house gases by our collective actions. Shifts happen when minds and hearts open. It’s a practical, as well as spiritual, journey.
February’s snowfall cast my mind back to last February, when we reluctantly cancelled Messy Church because of a snowfall and icy roads warning. Then, of course, March brought Covid, and we cancelled Messy Church once again. I don’t think many of us understood at the time what this year would be.

Meeting online has one big advantage, and that is, despite the weather or the miles between us, we can still meet, have a chat about the week, share a story and our joys and concerns.

The children in our community are a resilient folk. They have deep roots, thanks to loving families, friends and communities. And they remain buoyant, hopeful, funny and engaged with life.

We will keep meeting up online, and I’m sure our meet-ups will continue to evolve and change according to the changing needs of people during this time. We’ll do what we can to support each other from a distance, all the while looking forward to the time when we can all be together again.

Sibyl Birrell
Children's Religious Educator
Shelter Updates

The shelter kitchen is getting fresher by the minute as we continue our renovations. Thanks to a grant from the federal government's Reaching Home Fund, administered by the United Way, we have installed new countertops and cupboards. Our volunteers will have a great treat when they are able to return, and in the meantime, staff are enjoying the commercial upgrades.

The same grant has also allowed us to continue our Outreach Program. With funding from Reaching Home and the United Way, we now have secured funding to continue the program until April 2021. The generous donations received from the Fellowship should support us to continue into the summer months as well. 

Thank you for your support.

Isha Matous-Gibbs
Executive Director, Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter
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


Deadline for submissions is the 15th of the month
Next publication date: March 26th
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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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