Apr-1-2018: A Holy Foolishness

Rev. Debra Thorne
Hee-hee-hee! Did you hear the one about the Unitarian? The world of humour has a pointed wisdom, and jokes about Unitarians are no exception. What do jokes tell us about who we are? What humour delights and what humour offends? Let’s try a little ‘laughing yoga’ with our chocolate bunnies this Easter Sunday.

Mar-25-2018: Beyond the Pail: Finding Meaning in the Here and Now

Guest Speaker: Valentin Schaefer
Service Coordinator: Janet Pivnick
The creation of a bucket list encourages people to seek the extraordinary with expensive trips and adventures. Contemplating retirement, Val Schaefer, an Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, is choosing to think “beyond the pail”. Expanding mindfulness to find the extraordinary in the ordinary is a different type of adventure that involves cultivating new ways of knowing. Using stories of discovery in the natural world, Val offers ideas for finding fulfillment by staying rooted in place.

Mar-11-2018: Singing, Shouting & Celebration: 250 Years of Universalism

John Hagen, Phil Campbell, choir members and others
What’s in our name? Today we are going to take a look at ‘Universalism’, the other ‘U’ within the historical background of our UU faith. Our intention is to gain knowledge and perspective on a very different religious period in our church history (1800–1920), and how it’s adherents then influenced who we are today. Come and join us for singing, shouting & celebration! We will: sing old hymns; explore old theology; admire the pioneering of new religious values which we still adhere to today; and learn a little more about our Universalist forebears.

Feb-25-2018: Put a Little Love in Your Heart: Giving and Receiving at Burning Man

Amber Strocel, Jeff Young

What does it mean to truly give a gift, and what does it mean to truly receive a gift? One Beaconite explores gifting through the lens of Burning Man, an intentional arts community created for one week each summer in the Nevada desert. Expect music, pictures, and big questions.
Amber Strocel has been active at Beacon since 2001. In that time she switched careers twice, had two children, and discovered a love of skiing and playing guitar. She is now a teacher and loves working with children. This past summer she attended Burning Man for the first time, and developed some new perspectives on what it means to really give and receive a gift.
Jeff Young is an entertainment lawyer and music producer who lives in the Vancouver area with his wife Doris. He also teaches at a number of post-secondary institutions, and is the proud father of an adult daughter. He is a three time “burner”, having attended Burning Man in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In his free time he enjoys skiing and composing music.

Feb-11-2018: Beacon Retrospective

Rev. Debra Thorne and Beacon Members

Today we celebrate Beacon’s 35th Anniversary by remembering Beacon iniatives that changed lives across the world and across the years. Stories from a transformational experience in the youth group; to the Bed and Breakfast program that started the Building Fund; from the homelessness initiative that started the POCO Food Bank; and more recently the Refugee Settlement program that is uniting families and two distinct cultures. This is a moment to celebrate the power of a community to connect, inspire and transform our lives.

Feb-4-2018: As Individuals in an Interrelated World

As Individuals in an Interrelated World
Lay Chaplain: Marilyn Medén

Marilyn Medén looks to the future: The end of war? An interrelated world? Sure. Let’s start with ourselves. Try things out. Practise peace. Let peace begin with us! “When people act for selfless ends, there is vast augmentation of their individual capacities. Something wonderful, something momentous happens. An irresistible force begins to move, which, though we may not see it, is going to change our world.” —Eknath Easwaraen, Spiritual Leader.

Jan-28-2018: A Quiet Risk: Living an Undivided Life

Special Guests: Kimiko Karpoff and Rachel Yordy
Service Leader: Janet Pivnick

Showing up as ourselves, daring to live authentically, aligning our public selves with our inner life are risks that the soul takes moment by moment, without fanfare or notice. Circle of Trust approaches, based on the work of Parker Palmer, provide an opportunity to be in community to support each other in the difficult work of listening and acting upon one’s soul call.
Janet is joined by Kimiko Karpoff and Rachel Yordy, all of whom have experience with Circle of Trust approaches, to share principles and practices of this powerful work.

Jan-14-2018: When All of Life is a Risk

Note: Volume of recording increases at 1 minute 42 seconds. Apologies for the poor sound quality of this recording.

Special Guests: Fazineh Keita & Ava Vanderstarren

Fazineh Keita grew up in Sierra Leone during the country’s civil war. As a former child soldier, Fazineh is using his experience to bring awareness to the realities of war. Since graduating from the Vancouver Film School, Fazineh has used his skills to tell stories, educate youth and to help people find healing through art. He and Ava created ‘Innocence Lost Foundation’, a project to rehabilitate former child soldiers in Sierra Leone.

Dec-3-2017: Give Peace a Chance?

Give Peace a Chance?
Rev. Debra Thorne

From their hotel bed in Montreal in 1969 John and Yoko sang ‘Give Peace a Chance’ and it became the worldwide anthem for a peace movement. Do we still yearn for peace or have we become habituated to the violence around us? Are we prepared to embrace the challenge of our time—to hold peace in our hearts without closing ourselves off from the violence of the world?

Nov-26-2017: The Reason You Walk

The Reason You Walk
Vrindy Spencer, Judith McLean, and Al Sather

On November 26th three Beacon speakers, Vrindy Spencer, Judith McLean, and Al Sather, will use the title of Wab Kinew’s book The Reason You Walk, to explore what is important in their lives, what gets them up in the morning, and what keeps them going.