Our church was founded in 1953 by a small group of local Unitarians. Coincidentally, 1953 was the 400th anniversary of the death of Michael Servetus, a Unitarian theologian-scientist from the 16th century, who was martyred for his “heretical” belief that God was One, not a trinity. His compelling story made the cover of TIME Magazine that fall, and inspired the group to name their new community the Michael Servetus Unitarian Fellowship (becoming Michael Servetus Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in 1961 when the two denominations merged).
The group referred to themselves as “Servetans,” and met in various locations around Vancouver until 1961, when they purchased the current property, a lovely piece of land beside Burnt Bridge Creek. They moved a war surplus building to the site and rehabilitated it.
Worship services were conducted by lay leaders and guest speakers until 1983 when the congregation called its first minister, the Rev. Bruce Clear, who served for ten years during a period of rapid congregational growth. In 1992 a new building was completed, housing the sanctuary, office, nursery, kitchen and library. The original building was re-purposed and is now used primarily for Religious Education.
Our congregation called the Rev. Mark Gallagher in 1994. In January 1999 we added a second Sunday service to accommodate continuing growth.
In June 2009 our members voted to change our congregation’s name to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver (UUCV), reflecting our desire to make finding us easier for people seeking a liberal religious home locally.
In the fall of 2015 UUCV embarked on an exciting and busy two-year period as we began working with interim ministers. The change was precipitated by the departure of long-time minister Rev. Mark Gallagher in 2015, who chose to pursue other types of ministry. Interim Minister Rev. Lee Bond-Upson was with us one year, followed by interim minister Rev. Greg Ward. During this time we searched for a permanent ‘settled’ or ‘called’ minister. These two years of Interim Ministry were an opportunity to reflect on ourselves, our congregation, and our church as a whole as we move forward.
We welcomed Rev. Kathryn Bert as our our settled minister in 2017.