DineOut CMUC

This Lent we are organizing our second DineOut CMUC!

April 9th to 20th :: various locations
What’s that?
During the two weeks from April 9th to 20th, the Canadian Memorial community will get together in one another’s homes to break bread, share a meal, and deepen the relationships that make this place so special. Some folks will volunteer to host and cook (you can even pair up to do so, if it feels daunting), and others will sign up to attend. It’s a chance to do as Jesus and his disciples did: build beloved community over food and conversation.
I’ll host a dinner!
We invite you to sign up to host (and cook) a dinner for CMUC folks in your home. You fill out the form below to let us know what possible dates (between April 9th to 20th) work for you, how many people you can fit, what dietary requirements you can meet, etc. Hosts will be reimbursed for food costs, and dinners will be BYOB.
Drop the form off for Christine in the main office by March 4th.
I’d like to attend!
After Worship on Sundays from March 11th to April 1st, there will be a table in the Great Hall to sign up to join a meal. The cost is a sliding scale $5-15, and will go to reimbursing the hosts for food costs. Guests are invited to bring wine/beer to share if they would like.
Questions? Find Christine, our Minister of Community Live, during coffee hour, or email her at christine (at) canadianmemorial (dot) org.

SIGN UP TO HOST A DINNER

NEW Parent and Tot Play Group

Happening Thursdays from 10am – noon.

Canadian Memorial is hosting a brand new, FREE play group for all ages, from babies to preschool. A more peaceful play group for your littlest ones or those who prefer a bit less stimulation. Professional storytime with songs and stories and puppets every week. Snacks, tea and coffee (by donation). This is not specifically a religious program, it is truly welcome to all.

Drop in, play and connect!

At Canadian Memorial United Church’s Centre for Peace (not the sanctuary building): 1825 West 16th Ave. Free parking onsite.

For more info, email Michelle: mcobban (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Holding Space for One Another at Christmas

Blue Christmas

Vancouver, BC. December 11, 2017. – “Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer. Fun for all that children call. Their favourite time of the year.” So goes the popular holiday song. But sometimes Christmas can be anything but fun.

It’s a season where we naturally call to mind relationships with family. We reflect on all the things we accomplished this past year…or didn’t. We look back and smile at our successes, or cringe with disdain at our failures. For many, Christmas is full of anxiety, dread and loneliness – but we seldom have a safe space or even the permission to admit it.

Naomi looks back on her life this year and it’s been a year full of highs and lows. After years of wrestling with her identity she finally married her loving partner Jenn on Easter Sunday. The two are now stepping into life as wives, and while their relationship is full of love and acceptance – a few of Naomi’s conservative Christian family hasn’t been so keen.

“My dad was really great about it – but while he still says he loves me he can’t really get on board. The same can be said for my brother and sister-in-law. I know they love me – they just can’t accept that ‘my person’ is a woman or that I have a wife.”

Naomi explains that it’s really challenging to have such accepting friends, a loving urban family and yet have a less-than-tolerant blood family: “we all live in different parts of the world which makes working through this even more difficult.”  

And set against the backdrop of all of this family rejection this last year, Naomi’s mother’s quality of life was rapidly deteriorating with Parkinson’s and dementia and Naomi was unable to really connect with her Mum. She later died just a few short weeks ago in November.

“It’s been 12 years that we have seen my mom lose to this disease. Parkinson’s can be all consuming and in a way I felt like I lost my relationship to both my parents. We all processed it in different ways. Life became all about the disease for my parents. You know that the person is there in the physical form but they can’t communicate effectively.  But when my mom was on her deathbed we did have some closure.

And now I feel after she has passed almost closer to her. I don’t know what the ‘other side’ is like but there is something about her being in that place which has shifted things for me. I wonder whether since she has been freed from her physical body if she can now see parts of my life that she couldn’t see or participate in before. This story is helping me process our relationship and my grief.”

Naomi can’t help but reflect on love and loss this year at Christmas. Part of her healing will be attending a special Christmas Service held at Canadian Memorial United Church called “Blue Christmas”.  

Minister Beth Hayward of Canadian Memorial United Church  has been putting on the special service for several years now and it’s gaining in popularity.  She says, “We are finding people really need a safe space to be free to admit grief, sadness, stress, anxiety – all of the human emotions that Christmas can often remind us of. So in our Blue Christmas Service we aim to acknowledge and release our grief and sorrow and begin a new journey toward joy.”

Naomi says, “I will definitely be attending this year. Holding space for each other to just ‘be’ – to be in the tension of life, death, relational tensions and unresolved questions, where love is the blanket that wraps you up in the uncertainty – is so important in the journey of healing. Canadian Memorial facilitates this kind of space really well.”

Blue Christmas takes place December 20th from 7:30 – 8:30pm at Canadian Memorial United Church. There will be a time of music, quiet reflection, and stories. The service is free and open to all.  

 

 

 

 

Event at a Glance

What: Blue Christmas Service
When: December 20th, 2017
Where: Canadian Memorial United Church, 15th and Burrard
Time: 7:30-8:30pm

Cost: Free
Contact: 604-731-3101

Fall 2017 Connection Circles

Connection Circles are an opportunity to deepen relationships with other members of CMUC through a shared interest. Registration sheets are in the main church office, or you can register by emailing christine @ canadianmemorial.org.

The Fall 2017 Connection Circles are:

Deepening Reconciliation

Led by Hilary Kitson
Dates: Mondays 7:00-8:30pm, Oct 23 to Nov 27th
Location: CMUC Library
Limit 8 people

DESCRIPTION COMING.

Spiritual Practice for Busy Lives

Led by Michelle Cobban
Dates: Mondays 7:00-8:30pm, Oct 16th to Nov 20th
Location: Michelle’s house in Kits (address will be sent to those who sign up)
Limit 8 people

Sometimes our lives are so busy that we barely have enough time to brush our teeth before falling into bed at night. How do we make time and space for God in our life when we are balancing kids, pets, caregiving, multiple jobs, hobbies, housework? Bring your ideas and challenges as we talk about ways to support each other in a daily spiritual practice in our busy lives. Please bring your busy lives with you—kids, pets, food, wine, piles of bills… Come late or leave early—in this circle, the chaos of our every day lives will be present; there is room for all.

Bible Study for Doers, Dreamers and Doubters

Led by Rev Beth Hayward and Seth Baker
Dates: Tuesdays 7:00-8:30pm, Oct 10th to Nov 14th.
Location: CMUC Sanctuary
Limit 15 people

A key part of nurturing our Christian faith is learning to wrestle with our texts. This six week study group will explore the biblical tradition of prophecy with an eye to how it can enlighten our response to today’s Pharaohs. Led by Rev. Beth Hayward and Seth Baker, this circle is intended to deepen our comfort with and knowledge of the scriptures. No experience required!

Active Witnessing – Challenging hate and intolerance in our everyday lives

Led by Carol Sutton
Dates: Tuesdays 7:00-8:30pm, Oct 10th to Nov 14th.
Location: Carol’s house near Cambie and Broadway (address will be sent to those who sign up). Wheelchair accessible space, with small washroom.
Limit 10 people

Following CMUC’s excellent workshop on Active Witnessing, this Connection Circle aims to bring the discussion into the Canadian context. The purpose of Active Witnessing, also called ‘Bystander Intervention’ is to provide practical ideas of words and actions any individual might take in the face of threatening racist, sexist, homophobic and other unacceptable comments and behaviours. As a circle we will learn, reflect and practice Active Witnessing in the types of everyday situations we have encountered and might encounter in our own lives.

Book Study: A God that Could be Real: Spirituality, Science and the Future of Our Planet

Led by Angie Gerst, Elisabeth Tanner and Stephen Tanner
Dates: Wednesdays 7:15-9pm, Oct 4th to Nov 8th.
Location: Stephen and Elisabeth’s home – near 20th and Main (address will be sent to those who sign up). Wheelchair accessible.
Limit 12 people

In this circle, we will engage in discussion about the nature of God, based on the book “A God that Could be Real: Spirituality, Science and the Future of Our Planet” (2015). In this book, “Abrams explores a radically new way of thinking about God. She dismantles several common assumptions about God, and shows why an omniscient, omnipotent God that created the universe and plans what happens is incompatible with science – but explains that this doesn’t preclude a God that can comfort and empower us…. Abrams finds something worthy of the name “God” in the new science of emergence… A God that could be real…. is what humanity needs to inspire us to collectively cooperate to protect our warming planet and create a long-term civilization.”

Developing a Meditative Practice

Led by Bob Russell and Sam Wyatt
Dates: Thursdays 7:00-9:00pm, October 12, 19, 26 and November 9, 16.
Location: CMUC Library
Limit 10 people

The intent is to introduce a variety of meditation practices (including contemplative prayer, which has strong traditional roots in Christianity) to help one to cultivate an inner silence and thereby move from being a victim to a witness.  The Circle is open for people with all levels of experience, from those with none at all to those with a daily practice.
Meditation practice has undergone a wide resurgence of interest as it has become recognized as not simply a luxury suitable for use within cloister walls, but a necessity to people living in a world hungry for the recovery of its spiritual roots.

Cinema Sophia

Led by Tom Little
Dates: Fridays at 7pm, Sept 29th, Oct 13th and 27th, Nov 10th and 24th, Dec 8th. (Winter/Spring dates to be announced.)
Location: CMUC Fireside Room (Oct 27th will be in the Meditation Rm)
Limit: 30 people

More than a film watching group, this is a chance to experience deep and moving (and sometimes fun and funny) films, and then discuss and reflect on them among spiritual community. Sophia is the Greek term for Wisdom. Let this experience deepen your Fall, with the wisdom of art, the wisdom of others, and the wisdom within.