Informal Summer Services and Gatherings
We offer informal services over the summer, at various venues. Regular Sunday worship services and Religious Exploration classes will resume on September 10, 2017 at Sapperton Pensioners’ Hall in
New Westminster.

Summer Services 2017

Sunday,
Jul. 9

11:00 am

Poetry, Prose, Music Service: Leadership & Following
Marilyn Medén
Location: Astoria Retirement Home, 2245 Kelly Ave. Port Coquitlam

Potluck snack: Please bring your own plate as well as some simple finger food to share at the end of the service. Coffee and tea are available for a $1 donation. Weather permitting, we will be on the patio.

The theme will be Leadership Versus Finding Your Own Path. Ideas you might contemplate are: What is authority? Be your own authority. What is Leadership and Following if one must inevitably and necessarily come to one’s own awareness/answer? The above introduces the semantics of Law+Order. A video you may wish to watch is “Law & Order” and Civil Disobedience | Philosophy Tube

You are invited, really encouraged, to read what you choose (not necessarily on the theme) from your own writing or that of others. Please, please let Marilyn Medén (m.j.meden@telus.net 604-469-6797) know as soon as possible that you would like to read, so she can plan “the arc” of the service, [and she knows what to add to it herself!]. Marylke Nieuwenhuis will play the recorder and Michael Jenkins will be one of the speakers.

Sat., Aug. 19

3–8 pm

New Westminster Pride Street Festival
Coordinator:
David Krisjanson
Location: Columbia Street in New Westminster

Come visit the Beacon table on Columbia Street in New Westminster. Sit with us for a while and talk to people who stop with questions. Contact David Krisjanson to sign up for a shift at the table between 2 pm and 9 pm. Set up the booth from 2–2:45 pm; pack up the booth from 8–9 pm.

Sunday, Aug. 20

10:30 am

Sunday Service in the Park: Freedom to Be
Rev. Debra Thorne
Location: Tipperary Park, New Westminster

We are all unique and precious. However you identify and wherever you are on your spiritual and personal journey, you are welcome. Bring a friend and join us for a gentling, a quieting and a deepening time under the trees in Tipperary Park, New Westminster,

Enter from 4th Street off Royal Avenue, parking on Fourth Street, meet at the Friendship Garden.

Sunday, Aug. 27
10:30 am
Music in the Summer

Peggy and Tom Lunderville
Location: Armstrong Ave. and Cariboo Rd.

Come join us at the Lundervilles’ to sing hymns—old favourites and those still to be discovered—or bring your instrument and play along. There is no audition for singers or players, we welcome you as you are. If you’ve hungered for more than three hymns at a service and would be just as happy singing as listening to a sermon on a beautiful August morning, this is the service for you. If you don’t know all our hymns, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get comfortable with a few more of our musical treasures. Please join us after the service for beverages and conversation and a potluck lunch. Call Peggy Lunderville for any questions, further info, or address: 604-522-3001.

Past Services

June 2017

Choose from two services:

Sunday,
June 4,
10:30 am

At Camp Sasamat, 3302 Senkler Rd, Belcarra, BC V3H 4S3:
Flying High!
Co-ordinated by Laura Redmond and Rev. Debra Thorne
Community singing will be led by Patti Powell
Welcome summer and join with campers, families and friends at the annual pilgrimage to Camp Sasamat. We gather under the trees, on the shores of Lake Sasamat to sing, play and worship together.
Patti Powell is a community choir leader in the Ubuntu Choir Network. Ubuntu choirs aim to be inclusive, community-focused, non-auditioned and socially-engaged. Patti leads four community choirs and is an apprentice conductor with Brian Tate and the City Soul Choir.

At Sapperton Pensioner’s Hall, 318 Keary Street, New West:
‘Roots hold me close. Wings set me free.’
Coordinated by Sue Sparlin and friends
Before we dare great things we need to know there is a safe place to land. We will share stories of our roots, our safety nets, and how having them has made it possible to try something new or daring. We will sing and laugh and soar to great heights, then land softly and share food together. This is an all-ages service. There is no separate RE program for the children. An art table will be provided at the back of the room. Cookies and juice will be available to share upstairs after the service.The food bank collection will be next Sunday, on June 11th.

Sunday,
June 11,
10:30 am
Living in Whiteness
Rev. Debra Thorne
There is a difficult and necessary conversation taking place right now across Canadian and American Unitarian Universalist communities. In the past month there have been 690 congregations offering services and teach-ins on the issues of ‘white supremacy’. The institutions are being challenged as are the congregations to face with courage and love that which is so hard to see. I will share my understanding of what white supremacy means and bring Beacon into this crucial conversation.
Sunday,
June 18,
10:30 am
Up Up and Away!
Rev. Debra Thorne and
DRE Ashley Cole
This our last service together before the summer months take us off in many directions. It is a time to celebrate each and everyone in the Beacon community. Young and old and in between, we will weave together our dreams and hopes for future days in a colourful tapestry of love and gratitude.
• After the service we will head out to the park for our annual family picnic. Please bring the whole family and a contribution for the potluck lunch.

May 2017

Sunday,
May 7

10:30 am

Healing Waters
Rev. Debra Thorne
Recently returned from the Celtic waters of Scotland, Rev. Debra shares her insights and discoveries from her sabbatical journey.
Sunday, May 14

10:30 am

Unquenchable Spirit
Rev. Debra Thorne and friends
Lalleshwari was a thirteenth century Hindu mystic and poet, who lived a life of ecstatic freedom and devotion after fleeing a cruel marriage. Lalla inspired many in the Sufi tradition in Kashmir and is described as the supreme Mistress Mother of Yoga.
• The choir sings
Sunday, May 21

10:30 am

Thirst for Peace

Rob Hughes, Lawyer

“Peace is not the absence of war. It is the presence of justice and the absence of fear.”
—Dr. Ursula Franklin, Quaker, scientist, peace advocate, feminist, educator.
This morning, Rob Hughes, an immigration and refugee lawyer, will be talking about his work with LGBTQI+ refugees who flee persecution in their home countries because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and what we can do to support them.
Rob represents LGBTQ and seropositive refugee claimants as well as applicants in same-sex relationships immigrating to Canada or applying for visitor, work and study permits. In 2000 Rob co-founded the Rainbow Refugee Committee, a support group for queer refugee claimants in Vancouver. His practice, Out/Law Immigration Legal Services is located in New Westminster. Rob is a Quaker, a member of The Society of Friends.
Sunday, May 28
10:30 am
Belonging: Unity in Diversity
Rev Debra Thorne
It has been one hundred and fifty years since the Canadian Confederation was formed. In light of the commitment to the process of Truth and Reconciliation, how can Unitarians celebrate the establishment of Canada and at the same time honour and respect Aboriginal history?
• There will be a new member ceremony this morning.
• The choir sings

April 2017

Sunday,
Apr. 2

10:30 am

The Power of Compassion
Sandy Burpee
Compassion is a powerful emotion, but does it always lead us in the right direction? Today we will explore the nature of compassion and consider its intersection with the ethical treatment of others.
A long time Beacon member, Sandy has chaired the Tri-Cities Homelessness & Housing Task Group since December 2006. Previously he was the founding chair of the Fraser-Burrard Community Justice Society (now the CERA society), a restorative justice program for youth, as well as the Tri-Cities Housing Coalition. He was Volunteer Lead at SHARE’s Coquitlam food bank depot for 10 years until May 2014, and is a Life Member of Coquitlam Search & Rescue. Sandy retired from a career with BC Hydro in 2004. On March 20, 2017 he was presented with a BC Medal of Good Citizenship at a ceremony at the Coquitlam Town Centre fire hall.
Sunday, Apr. 9

10:30 am

Compassion:
Our Interrelated Lives
Sarah Hong, Susan Millar, Sita Sahasrabudhe, Janet Pivnick and Marilyn Medén
Beacon writers Sarah Hong, Susan Millar, Sita Sahasrabudhe, Janet Pivnick and Marilyn Medén will go deeply into their own and others’ experience of compassion, to give us food for thought and action.
Sunday, Apr. 16

10:30 am

Compassion in the workplace
David Jordan and
Brigit Atkinson
Service coordinator: Joan Morris
With the theme of compassion this month, two Beaconites will explore their experience of compassion working in the caring professions. David Jordan, a wheelchair technician, and Brigit Atkinson, a registered clinical counsellor and trauma therapist, both work in an environment where compassion can make a difference in the lives of those they care for. Find out what role compassion plays in their work.
Sunday, Apr. 23
10:30 am
Autonomy and Choice
Rev. Arthur Berman
Service Coordinator:
Marilyn Medén
We welcome the Rev. Arthur Berman’s return. His sermon will deal with the ethical issues raised by medically assisted death. His views are informed by his experiences as a spiritual care practitioner at Vancouver General Hospital.
• Choir sings
Sunday,
Apr. 30

10:30 am

Compassion in
Troubling Times
Guest Speaker:
Heather Talbot

Service Coordinators: Nancy Rupert and Janet Pivnick
Recent world events have left Unitarians feeling a sense of despair and seeking ways to support and catalyze change. Yet some may wonder how to participate in social justice without burning out or giving in to despair. Join us this week to listen to Heather Talbot share the ideas of deep ecologist Joanna Macy who has created an experiential model called the Work that Reconnects. Heather will answer the question, “How can we keep our hearts open in these troubling times?
• Choir sings

Heather Talbot is an artist and counsellor who has been facilitating Joanna Macy’s ‘work that reconnects’ for the past six years.

March 2017

Sunday,
Mar. 5

10:30 am

The Cost of Our Arising
Rev. Debra Thorne
In this season of Lent the Christian tradition begins its journey of delving deeply into the meaning of death and the renewal of life. On a similar theme, we turn our focus to discerning that which is essential from what is not. From the mystic Gurdjieff to Saint David, wise people have set down formulas for deepening spiritually by leading simpler lives.
Sunday, Mar. 12

10:30 am

To Live Deliberately
Rev. Samaya Oakley
Service Coordinator:
Joan Morris
We live in an age where we are constantly bombarded with messages
about how to dress, what to eat, what to drive, what to listen to, and how to live. How do we, as Unitarian Universalists, maneuver ourselves through the quagmire of these messages? This service looks at the words of our Universalist forefather, Henry David Thoreau, to see if they provide any clues for those of us living in the twenty-first century.
• Choir sings.
Sunday, Mar. 19

10:30 am

Failing at Simplicity
Rev. Debra Thorne
As a country and as a culture, Canadians are the most wasteful, indulgent and neglectful in the world. We have been called environmental laggards. Knowing this doesn’t seem to make a difference. How do we encourage a sea-change in our
relationship with earth and technological resources? I suggest our survival is dependent on a spiritual transformation.
Sunday, Mar. 26
10:30 am
Searching For Clarity, Finding Focus
Janet Pivnick and
Marilyn Medén
What are those aspects of our lives that call to us again and again, providing meaning and grounding? What can we let fall away? Are there common threads that have accompanied your journey, that call you forth? Janet Pivnick and Marilyn Medén will lead a service to help us clarify a focal point in our lives.
• Choir sings

February 2017

Sunday,
Feb. 5

10:30 am

When Love Requires Justice
Rev. Debra Thorne
The Social Contract envisioned by Rousseau in 1762 stated that it was only ‘the people’ who had the power to govern—not monarchs. He might say the same today. Yet any social contract requires each person’s buy-in, which requires us making choices, every day. What happens when my justice is not your justice? How do we keep our hearts open when our world vision differs? When does love require us to walk in another’s shoes?
Sunday, Feb. 12

10:30 am

The Syrian Conflict:
A Personal Perspective
Mohamad Kebbewar
Mohamad has been a volunteer translator for the Settlement Team since last summer, after serendipitously meeting Susan Millar at a poetry reading in which he was presenting. Mohamad, a native of Syria, will be speaking about the Syrian conflict and sharing some of his original writing.
Mohamad Kebbewar was born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, and educated in Canada. His writing is about the struggle of the ordinary citizen in a war that grinds an entire population into nothingness, and what remains after the rubble has settled.
Sunday, Feb. 19

10:30 am

Our Interdependence Calls
Rev. Debra Thorne
Listen. We are not alone. Breathe. We are connected to every person and every plant and every star. There is a humming rising from this connection, it is a song of joy and a song of love. It is a truth more powerful than a bushel of doubts, more real than your own hand. Smile.
This is Sharing Our Faith Sunday when a special collection will be taken to aid ministry, projects and outreach for congregations throughout the Canadian Unitarian movement.
Sunday, Feb. 26
10:30 am
Joy and Justice
in Climate Action

Guy Dauncey
If we don’t have a pretty firm idea of where we are going, how are we going to get there? Guy Dauncey, eco-futurist and author of 101 Solutions to Global Warming; Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic and Journey to the Future, will speak of joy and justice in climate action. Guy’s positive vision of a sustainable and congenial future, will lead us to see the possibility of practical and enjoyable action.

January 2017

Sunday,
Jan. 1

10:30 am

Meditating on the New Year: A Simple Service of Readings and Contemplation

Sue Sparlin and Marilyn Meden

Please join us as we turn our focus to the coming year. This is an all-ages service (no religious exploration classes for the children today).
Sunday, Jan. 8

10:30 am

Letting Go: A Fire Communion
Rev. Debra Thorne
Through the elements of soothing water and sparkling fire we remember and release the past year to make way for the new. We will honour those we have lost and all that was unfinished and unrealized. We will celebrate small victories and major accomplishments. We will make way for the new.
Sunday, Jan. 15

10:30 am

Polyamory
Guest Speakers: Madeline Micheals and Melanie Ray

Service Coordinator: Marilyn Medén

As part of our spiritual development we open ourselves to a deeper understanding of the many ways in which human love is expressed. On this Sunday we are fortunate to have two polyamorous speakers tell us of their outlook and about polyamory in their lives. We will also welcome a guest soloist, Zoey Wren.
Sunday, Jan. 22
10:30 am
New Normal(s)
Rev. Debra Thorne
From the outside, we can’t see how brains function, but they do. Neurodiversity is the term that describes a spectrum of human functions including thinking, sensing and feeling. The Neurodiversity movement suggests that there is a greater range of normal variations of brain-body function than previously understood. This ‘new normal’ requires a radical expanding of our hearts as we welcome—with understanding, not judgement—those who, in the past, were considered ‘different’.
Sunday, Jan. 29
10:30 am
Disability, Radical Inclusion, and Attitude Shifts
Dave Symington
Service Coordinator: Joan Morris
This talk will explore various issues concerning disability, societal attitudes, and some radical ideas about sexuality and inclusion. Through personal experience of living with a disability for over 40 years, as well as 20 years of living without a disability, the speaker will explore systemic and social changes up to this point and possibilities for the future.
Dave Symington spent most of his career working in the post secondary system as a counselor, advisor, program manager and policy coordinator. He currently spends his time engaged in music, advocacy and volunteer work.

December 2016

Sunday,
Dec. 4

10:30 am

Sweet Expectation
Rev. Debra Thorne
Savouring possibilities that life may bring is a delicious joy, to be held lightly and released freely when expectations are not met; the wisdom comes from knowing when to hold on and when to let go. How can we hold on to a sweet expectation in these dark days of winter?
Sunday, Dec. 11

10:30 am

Revelation: Neither Sealed Nor Known
Rev. Ev Morris
In my opinion, the essence of Unitarian truth is simple. That which separates us from, and elevates us above all other religions, is one simple phrase: Revelation is neither sealed nor known. It amazes me that something so clear and central and basic has received such little attention. This sermon tries to correct this oversight.
Rev. Ev Morris is a member of Beacon and a retired Unitarian minister who served Beacon from 1998-2002. A few years ago Rev. Ev self published a little book of poetry and a book of sermons. He has recently produced a blog of what he assessed were his best sermons over his 15 year career as a minister. You can find these sermons and some of his other writings at https://evmorris.wordpress.com.
Sunday, Dec. 18

10:30 am

A Common Light
Rev. Debra Thorne and a cast of hundreds!
The Beacon family pageant is a joyous celebration of the many festivals of light at this time of year. The children and youth will dramatize the holy days of Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice and the Islamic celebration of the birth of Mohammed. There will be guest singers and musicians, and the Beacon Choir.
Saturday, Dec. 24

7:00 pm

Christmas Eve Service, 7 pm
Moments of Magic
Rev. Debra Thorne and Guests
Join us for a Christmas Eve of readings and music celebrating the surprises of Christmas; the moments of magic when children’s eyes light up, friends’ smiles warm your heart and when the unexpected hoped for dream becomes real. There will be hot apple cider after the service. Please bring cookies to share.

(There will be no Sunday service on December 25th. Merry Christmas!)

November 2016

Sunday,
Nov. 6

10:30 am

Friends in Hard Times
Rev. Debra Thorne
Eight years ago in Chicago I watched the inauguration of Barack Obama, in a room of Unitarians, some of who had marched alongside Martin Luther King in the great civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. It was a day of unimagined joy. This next American election has been unimaginable in a very different way. How do we understand the forces at play and support our American friends and neighbours?
Sunday, Nov. 13

10:30 am

Hunger for Peace
Rev. Debra Thorne, John Hagen and Guests
Why do we engage in fighting, and with the same breath, yearn for peace? In the human dance between conflict and harmony is a struggle to live at a deeper level. Let this be a time to renew our desire for peace between nations and peace in our souls. Through music and readings the longing for peace breaks through, feeding our hope, strengthening our will.
Sunday, Nov. 20

10:30 am

Hungry Ghosts
Rev. Debra Thorne
Children who are loved and surrounded by a safe and nurturing community grow with an ability to connect to others. On the other hand—according to Dr. Gabor Mate, physician and writer—trauma, abandonment, and neglect have a direct effect on the human body and mind and are the underlying reasons adults become addicts.
• The choir sings
Sunday,
Nov. 27

10:30 am

SOUL FOOD:
Bread for LIFE!
Service Co-ordinator: Joan Morris;
Guest Speaker: Anne Morrison
This talk will explore how unfulfilled yearnings are sometimes even more depleting than going without food, by preventing us from experiencing true contentment in life. Join Anne Morrison as she explores how tending to our yearnings is the universal food that fuels our life energy and enables us to experience inner peace. We all hunger to experience our own worth and have our yearnings fulfilled.
• The choir sings

Anne is a former member of the Beacon Unitarian Church and a current member of the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo. As a community developer and therapist, Anne has over 40 years’ experience facilitating ways for people to transform inner pain so that they can stand tall in their own magnificence. Anne currently conducts individual, couple and family therapy, as well as therapist training and supervision, from her serene Chemainus home office. Anne’s website: annemorrison.ca

October 2016

Sunday,
Oct. 2

10:30 am

The Light between Us
Rev. Debra Thorne
We live in a diverse and beautiful world. Everyday, somewhere on the earth, it is a sacred and holy day. This week marks both the Jewish and the Islamic new year, and the Hindu festival of Navratri. How are we inspired and transformed in this time of spiritual interdependence?
Also on this Sunday, Shari Mahar will introduce the Sharing the Plate program recipient organization: Community Integration Society Services.
Sunday, Oct. 9

10:30 am

Currency Transformed
Rev. Meg Roberts
As Unitarians, we are comfortable talking about politics, religion, and sex. So how can we become more comfortable talking about a very important driver in our lives and culture—money? I think of money as ‘stored energy.’ How do we decide where to invest that energy to reflect what we care about so it actually changes lives? Reflecting on these things is exactly what a spiritual community can help us with.
Rev. Meg Roberts is in her fifth year as a part-time consulting minister with the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship. She lives in Vancouver, and also does a community ministry called Spirit Arts: using our creativity to explore our spiritual lives.
Sunday, Oct. 16

10:30 am

Coming through the Storm
Rev. Debra Thorne and Deepak Sahasrabudhe
When the foundations crumble and we tumble into the darkness of loss, what do we reach for to find our way back to the light, to safety, to stability? Each of us will find we have strengths we didn’t expect to find, courage we didn’t know we had, and perhaps a whole new way of seeing ourselves.
Sunday,
Oct. 23

10:30 am

Circle of Care
Rev. Debra Thorne
Many of us value caring, value being a caring, compassionate and giving person. Yet caring too much can be detrimental to ourselves and others. Caring for the wrong reasons can be unhealthy. When we take a look at the whole circle of both care and carelessness we become more aware of our motivations behind our value of caring.
• Choir sings
• Nelson visitors and Soup Lunch
Sunday,
Oct. 30

10:30 am

Breaking Free
Cathy Tingskov
Service Coordinator:
Marilyn Medén
‘Breaking free’ from internalized oppression, to live a happier healthier life, can be a challenging process. For some who are not quite there yet, it can take months, years, or even a lifetime to achieve. Yet, at any age, the risks and benefits are well-worth the journey.
Using personal stories, Cathy Tingskov will share some experiences on her path to breaking free. In doing so, she hopes to support and inspire others who may be on similar journeys.
• Choir sings

September 2016

Sunday,
Sept. 11

10:30 am

Juicy Roots: In-Gathering Service and Water Communion
Rev. Debra Thorne
It’s time to gather again as community after a summer of gardening and travel, visitors and solo journeys. Please bring a sample of water that represents your summer and be prepared to share what water means to you: spiritually, socially and environmentally. Children will attend the service upstairs to start, and then go downstairs to have their own water service.
Sunday, Sept. 18

10:30 am

Deep-rooted Tradition
Rev. Debra Thorne and the Beacon Choir
If you ever thought being a Unitarian was easy because you can ‘believe anything’, think again! Unitarian theological roots have been growing for close to five hundred years. Ours is a deep-rooted tradition of liberal ideals—ideals of diversity and inclusiveness, of interdependence and the free will to seek and chose a faith that is true to oneself. (This is an excellent service to introduce friends and neighbours to the roots of our tradition.)
• Choir sings
Sunday, Sept. 25

10:30 am

Finding our way home
Co-ordinated by Joan Morris
How, when we are in chaos and time of personal challenge, do we find a way back to our roots? How do we reconnect to our deeper selves? Four of our members will share stories about how they find their way back to their roots, whether it be through community, nature, theology or their inner resources.
• Choir sings

Summer Services

Sunday,
July 17,
11 am
Poetry! Prose! Music! Listen, read, or play at an informal service outside on the patio (or in the Gathering Room) at The Astoria, 2245 Kelly Ave. in Port Coquitlam (Denis Probst’s home). Bring your own writing or someone else’s. Entertain us with a musical instrument. There is coffee and tea available for a donation, or bring your own beverage. We will have a light potluck lunch after the service.

If you would like to read or play, please let Marilyn know you’re coming, so she can do a little planning. Marilyn Medén 604-869-6797, m.j.meden@telus.net.

Saturday,
August 13,
3 pm to 8 pm
New Westminster Pride Street Festival
Come visit the Beacon table on Columbia Street in New Westminster. Sit with us for a while and talk to people who stop with questions. Contact Sue Sparlin to sign up for a shift at the table between 2 pm and 9 pm. Set up the booth from 2–2:45 pm; pack up the booth from 8–9 pm.
Sunday, August 14, 11 am
Sunday Worship in the Park
Tipperary Park, New Westminster
Rev. Debra Thorne
We are all unique and precious. However you identify, and wherever you are on your spiritual and personal journey, you are welcome. Join us for a gentling, a quieting and a deepening time under the trees. Tipperary Park, New Westminster, entrance for cars from 4th Street off Royal Avenue. Parking on Fourth Street, meet at the Friendship Garden.
Sunday,
August 21,
10:30 am
Music in the Summer

At the Lundervilles’
Come join us to sing hymns, new and old favourites, or bring your instrument and play along. There is no audition for singers or players, we welcome you as you are. If you’ve hungered for more than three hymns at a service and would be just as happy singing as listening to the sermon on a beautiful August morning, this is the service for you. If you don’t know all our hymns, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get comfortable with a few more of our musical treasures. Please join us after the service for beverages and conversation and a potluck lunch. Call Peggy Lunderville for any questions, further info, or address: 604-522-3001.

June 2016

Sunday,
June 5,
10:30 am
At Camp Sasamat, 3302 Senkler Rd, Belcarra, BC V3H 4S3:
Sing a Joyful Song
Rev. Debra Thorne and
Laura Redmond
In the beauty of the Sasamat Camp, amid the trees and family of campers, we will sing our joy of being together. This annual worship service brings together families from across the Lower Mainland.

At Sapperton Pensioner’s Hall, 318 Keary Street, New West:
Joy or Happiness?
Is there a difference?
Beacon member Sue Sparlin and friends
Today’s informal service will explore our lived experience of joy and happiness. People will be asked to share their own thoughts on the subject. Sue will bring some readings. You are invited to bring poems or music or readings that speak to you of joy or happiness and how they might differ.
This will be an all-ages service. Any children will be invited to join in the discussion. The food bank collection will be next Sunday, June 12th.

Sunday,
June 12,
10:30 am
Transitions
Rev. Debra Thorne
There are times in our lives when ‘what was’ is no longer and ‘what will be’ is unknown. These are the transitions of our lives. Sometimes we are aware when the transition is upon us and other times it is only on reflection that we see the moment of change. Today we celebrate Danae McLean and Hannah Brown who are bridging from youth to adulthood.
A tea, in honour of Beacon elder Ivy Hubbard, will follow the service.
• Food bank collection
Sunday,
June 19,
10:30 am
Our Interdependence Calls Us to Love and Justice
Rev. Debra Thorne
We are each called to something in our lives. Have you heard a whisper in your heart, or a shout from the world beyond you? What inspires you, what moves you, what gives meaning to your life? What calls you?
This service will also include a presentation from our Sharing the Plate program to I’s on the Street.
• Beacon Family year-end picnic follows the service

May 2016

Sunday,
May 1,
10:30 am
May Day Blooming
Rev. Debra Thorne and
Casey Thorne-Stainsby
May Day, or Beltane, is traditionally a time to celebrate abundance and growth. In this intergenerational service the whole community will take this opportunity to consider the things we would like to see blooming in ourselves, our relationships and the wider world. We will reflect and share with a Compost Communion ritual, and dance around the Maypole. There will be no Sunday school classes as the children will be participating in the whole service.
Sunday,
May 8,
10:30 am
Continuous Revelation
Rev. Debra Thorne
Some religions look to books for revelation, some look to prophets, some to stones, and some to numbers. How do these experiences and methods of revelation compare across the religious landscape? How does the Unitarian understanding of revelation distinguish itself and support your being in this world?

• Choir sings

Sunday,
May 15,
10:30 am
The Song of the
Winter Wren
Rev. Debra Thorne and
Teresa Morton
The Winter Wren returns to precisely the same spot in a wooded acreage on Vancouver Island, for safety & rest. What size was the map of her world? How did she know this was a protected niche? Science would eventually be able to elucidate the size of winter wren’s range, but only if we turned our science ‘spotlight’ on it. And in employing our spotlight we risk losing sight of the whole, of the interconnectedness, of the old knowledge. Perhaps, as our ‘scientific progress’ proceeds, we are losing as much, or more, indigenous knowledge. What are the risks associated with this erosion of place-based, time-enriched understanding and knowledge?

• Choir sings

Sun.
May 22,
10:00 am
Chan Centre at UBC
Growing Bolder
Every Day
Chan Centre at UBC, 10 am
Rev. Debra Thorne, Rev. Steven Epperson
Join 500+ Unitarians at the Canadian Unitarian Council Conference at UBC. The worship service will feature Aline LaFlamme and Daughters of the Drum and the Conference Choir under the direction of Alison Nixon. Not to be missed!

Doors to the Chan open at 9:30 and the service begins at 10:00 am. Please allow plenty of time to park in the nearby structure and walk a short distance to the entrance. There is a special accessible drop-off zone. Free admission tickets to the Chan (required for entry) will be available in local churches by the weekend of May 8, from volunteers outside the building on the morning, or in packets for registered participants. Contact your local Host Committee member if you can offer a ride to anyone needing assistance.

For directions and parking to the Chan Centre go to: http://chancentre.com/directions/

Sunday,
May 29,
10:30 am
Continuous Revelation: Engaging in Life’s Planned & Serendipitous Moments!
Joan Carolyn, CUC Congregational Development staff for BC and Western Regions
Service Co-ordinator: Joan Morris
What does it mean to engage well with life? With a commitment to give concrete expression to what we value, be prepared to act. And then with humility and eyes wide open, be prepared to engage life—from the well-planned event to the ever surprising serendipitous opportunities—continually open to inspiration and re-creation.
Joan has been privileged to pursue studies in World Religions and Cultural Anthropology (B.A.) as well as completing a B. Th. and M. Div. (double major, Theology and Peace Studies). Outside of the classroom, Joan has sought to continue life-long learning—of special note here are training and experience with: Conflict Resolution; Cycles of Violence/Wellness Planning; and Aboriginal Awareness.

April 2016

Sunday,
Apr. 3,
10:30 am
I am an imPerfectionist:
A Unitarian Confession
Rev. Debra Thorne
The fault, the blemish, the crack, the imperfect is part of nature and human experience. To think otherwise would be irrational. Yet we are irrational beings and need processes to release the pressures of shame and guilt: a challenge for Unitarians. Confession is good for the soul.
Sunday,
Apr. 10,
10:30 am
Do it Anyway!
Rev. Debra Thorne
If we look into the historical roots of the first world problem of perfection, we’ll see that by putting so much focus on our selves, and striving to be something more than we are, we trap our ability to change the real wrongs in the world.
Sunday,
Apr. 17,
10:30 am
The Importance of Imperfection

Lam Wong

Service Coordinator: Marilyn Méden

Realistically, we always begin with imperfection. From ourselves to the world, from art to philosophy. Everything begins with the essential recognition, and acceptance of imperfection. Lam Wong, Buddhist, Eastern scholar, and artist will engage us with The Importance of Imperfection. Upstairs, after the service, you are invited to participate in a tea ceremony.

• Choir sings

Sun.
Apr. 24,
10:30 am
The Real Cause of Addiction

Rev. Amanda Aikman

Service Coordinator: Joan Morris

What if everything we have been told about addiction is wrong? What if the real cause of addiction is very different, and simpler, from what we have come to believe?
Rev. Amanda Aikman serves South Fraser Unitarian Congregation in Surrey as their half-time minister. She is retiring in June and looks forward to devoting herself to writing plays and avoiding yardwork.• Choir sings

March 2016

Sunday,
Mar. 6,
10:30 am
Strangers in a New Land
Rev. Debra Thorne
The Syrian refugee family sponsored by Beacon Unitarian Congregation is about to arrive. Imagine being a stranger in a new land where every smell and taste and smiling face is unfamiliar. How do we minimize our assumptions and our expectations? How do we maximize our cultural awareness?
• Food Bank Sunday
Sunday,
Mar. 13,
10:30 am
Trending Towards Love
Rev. Debra Thorne and guest speaker Rev. Schuyler Vogel
We put a lot of effort into being the best we can, but often we fall short anyways. How can we make sense of our vulnerabilities and see others as equally human?
Rev. Schuyler Vogel is the minister of United Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He is a recent graduate of Harvard Divinity School and previously served several congregations as a religious educator.
• Choir sings
• Theology Pub after the service
Sunday,
Mar. 20,
10:30 am
Resurrection Again!
Rev. Debra Thorne and Casey Thorne-Stainsby
The first day of Spring unleashes winter’s buried energy—flowers bloom, sap runs, desire for the renewal of life returns with glee. How wonderful is our interconnectedness with all the forces of nature. How intricate are the many religious responses to this annual renewal of earth energy.
The RE children will help the adults raise the energy of spring for the first half of the service and then will go downstairs to prepare a surprise for the adults.
• Choir sings
Sun.
Mar. 27,
10:30 am
Transformation Survival
Sita Sahasrabudhe, Susan White and Sue Sparlin
Service Coordinator: Joan Morris
Three Beaconites will share personal stories of events that turned their lives around. Big changes in one’s life can result in a major shift in perspective, or a whole new lifestyle. Retirement, major moves, or illness affect all of us in major ways. Come and hear how these individuals’ lives have been affected by major life changes.

February 2016

Sunday,
Feb. 7,
10:30 am
Sharing Our Faith:
A Year of Reconciliation

Rev. Debra Thorne
It is an auspicious time in Canada, an opportunity to heal historical and present day wrongs through knowledge and spiritual commitment. This opportunity for reconciliation is being shared by Unitarians across Canada as part of our commitment to Indigenous people through the Truth and Reconciliation process.
Sunday,
Feb. 14,
10:30 am
Feeding the Phoenix  
Marilyn Medén and Friends
How do we rise above “we/they” and move into just plain “We”? If our private lives are a microcosm of the larger picture, the nation, the world—what guidelines can we use? Can we really “be the change we want to see”? Friends from our congregation will explore the possibilities.
• Choir sings
Sunday,
Feb. 21,
10:30 am
When the Water Runs Clear
Aline LaFlamme
Co-ordinated by Rev. Debra Thorne
Reconciliation is justice. It is a profound tradition within Aboriginal culture rooted in ‘right relationship’. Without right relations there would be no community. When relationships are broken because of hurtful or thoughtless action, reconciliation transforms them and community is restored.
• Choir sings
Aline LaFlamme is a Métis grandmother, Sundancer and pipe carrier whose work includes teaching traditional Aboriginal culture and history, as well as facilitating healing workshops and ceremonies. Aline blends modern methods of non-violent communication approaches with traditional ways of resolving conflicts, focusing always on restoring relationships. Aline has deep trust in traditional methods of restorative justice. This she has incorporated into several healing programs she implemented at the Aboriginal Front Door Society and in various prison programs she established.
Sun.
Feb. 28,
10:30 am
What is the Shape of Justice?
Paul Caspell
Co-ordinated by Joan Morris
Join Paul Caspell as he recounts his journey toward restorative justice after a distracted driver killed his brother John. He will describe the life experiences that led to his family’s decision to pursue an alternative penalty to jail time.

January 2016

Sunday,
Jan. 3,
10:30 am
Letting Go:
A Fire Communion
Joan Morris, Nancy Rupert, Rev. Debra Thorne

The Fire Communion will be a creative and flashy letting go of 2015, so as to make room for all the surprises, gifts and learnings that await us in 2016. Through contemplation and visual art we gather up our experiences of the past year and prepare to release them.
Sunday,
Jan. 10,
10:30 am
Playing with Art, and Life
Rev. Katie Stein Sather
When I retired from the Unitarian ministry and started art quilting, I was immediately struck by the details of my creative process, and how moving from words to art was both similar and different. I realized that creativity and play—and the risk-taking necessary to be creative—leads to a more satisfying life.

Rev. Katie Stein Sather, has ministered in St. John’s, Newfoundland, a suburb of Detroit, MI and for 8 years at Beacon. She retired from active ministry in 2011, and now focuses her time and energy on paddling and textile art. Last June she paddled the ultra-marathon canoe race the Yukon River Quest, successfully completing the race. 717 km in 52 hours 47 minutes 35 seconds!

Sunday,
Jan. 17,
10:30 am
To play’s the thing…
Don Hauka
Playing: kid’s stuff. Waste of time—not enough time. Life’s too busy. “Play” isn’t taken seriously, even in the dictionary: “Play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.” But you can achieve a lot just by horsing around and not being afraid to have fun. Don Hauka leads you on a journey of discovery of the power of play in a creative process peppered with epiphanies. Join us on January 17 and have your game-face on!
• Choir sings
Sunday,
Jan. 24,
10:30 pm
Our Unitarian Ancestors Part 1
Rev. Debra Thorne
The history of Unitarianism is filled with men and women who have stood above the crowd through brave and principled action. Some spoke truth to power, while others saw an opportunity to fight injustice. Many were also quite eccentric personalities! Today you’ll meet a few of them.
There will also be a new member ceremony and the choir sings.
Sunday,
Jan. 31,
10:30 am
Divine Comedy
Ryan Gunther
Coordinator: Marilyn Medén
Comedy and religion are polar opposites in terms of tone, but often serve the same fundamental purpose: to help us deal with the parts of life that are horrible. This will be a serious discussion of comedy, a light-hearted look at religion, and an exploration of the many ways the two overlap.
Well known in the stand-up comedy field, Ryan Gunther will entertain and enlighten.

December 2015

Sunday,
Dec. 6,
10:30 am
Wisdom from the
World’s Religions
Harold Rosen
Coordinators: Nancy Rupert
& Marilyn Méden
Harold Rosen, a former minister at Beacon, is now a community interfaith educator who designs and teaches courses on world religions. He will engage us in an exploration of Unitarian’s third source of wisdom—that which comes from the world’s religions that inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life. He will address the place of ‘wisdom’ in our lives, and explore two kinds of wisdom from the world’s religions: universally abiding moral-spiritual principles, and historically progressing social-institutional guidelines.
• There will be a discussion of the sermon upstairs after the service.
• Violist Derek Darling will play.
Sunday,
Dec. 13,
10:30 am
Sometimes a Blue Christmas
Rev. Debra Thorne
As we approach the longest night of the year, we pause and touch the tender places of loss and hurt. The Blue Christmas Service is a time for acknowledging both personal pain and the suffering in the world, that we may make ready our hearts for the return of hope and love.
Sunday,
Dec. 20,
10:30 am
A Christmas Pageant
Rev. Debra Thorne, Amber Strocel, L. Redmond and You!
A mother and father seeking refuge have arrived at our doors. We welcome them in and make them comfortable. Then our neighbours arrive, including some shepherds, donkeys and a couple of angels—everyone wants to welcome the new babe. A star in the east has led wise ones to us, and they bring gifts to the child. Together we celebrate every new birth.
• Choir sings.
Thurs.
Dec. 24,
7 pm
Christmas Eve Stories
Rev. Debra Thorne
There is a glass of mulled apple cider and some cookies waiting for you tonight. Come cozy up with Carol and Elf to hear a tale or two this Christmas Eve with your Beacon Family. We’ll sing your favourite Christmas carols, and share stories both poignant and spiritual.
Sunday,
Dec. 27,
10:30 am
Stories that End Well
Marilyn Medén and Friends
On this Sunday—so close after Christmas, and the last Sunday of our theme, Story—we will listen to, read, and interpret stories that illustrate our principles, arrive from many sources, and end well. It will be a joyous, and yet serious; interactive, and yet personal; relaxing, and yet engaging time.

November 2015

Sunday,
Nov. 1,
10:30 a.m.
A Light in the Window
Rev. Arthur Berman
Coordinator: Marilyn Medén
Rev. Berman, a chaplain at the Vancouver General Hospital, presents an exploration of home and family, their meaning for us, and how our religious movement contributes to our sense of community.
Rev. Berman has been a Chaplain for the Vancouver General Hospital for 16 years. He is a member of the North Shore Unitarian Church.
Sunday,
Nov. 8,
10:30 a.m.
Telling the Truth
Rev. Debra Thorne
Telling the truth to ourselves and to others may lead to integrity. But the real truth is a fun but bumpy ride over the potholes made by little white lies, false claims, embellishments and tall stories! When must truth be spoken? On what do you stake your integrity?
Sunday,
Nov. 15,
10:30 a.m.
The Grace in Aging
Rev. Debra Thorne
Aging is a spiritual practice like no other. If we were to take to heart the precariousness of our existence, what strivings and consuming, what cherished beliefs, what clung to personal stories would we let go of? And in that letting go are we prepared for what will return to us?
• Choir sings
Sunday,
Nov. 22,
10:30 a.m.
Climate Change: Really, Why Should I Give a Hoot?
Terry McComas
Co-ordinator:
Rev. Debra Thorne
One hears many alarming predictions about climate change, but sees few examples in our daily life. The local weather remains mild, our fish still swim, our gardens continue to grow. Experts generally agree that the impacts elsewhere will be more pronounced. So, why should we care?
Sunday,
Nov. 29,
10:30 a.m.
Extending our Welcome
Rev. Meg Roberts
Coordinator: Joan Morris
Beacon went through an educational process and an official vote in 2004 to become a Unitarian Universalist ‘Welcoming Congregation’, acknowledging support for the inclusion and participation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. That was eleven years ago. What are some issues transgender people face today and how can we, with integrity, be more welcoming of transgender people?
• Choir sings
Rev. Meg Roberts is a quarter-time consulting minister with Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship. She is a guest minister in Unitarian congregations across BC. Rev. Roberts also offers Spirit Arts workshops, using creativity to explore our spiritual lives.