Ministers Blog

April in Portland!

Rev. Kathyrn BertFebruary 15, 2018 - Rev. Kathryn Bert

regional assembly - facebook bannerDid you know that Regional Assembly is coming here?! Well, across the river in Portland, to the Lloyd Center. This is a regional assembly of all Unitarian Universalist congregations from Hawaii to California up to Washington, from New Mexico to Montana and everywhere in between. The Pacific Western Region includes congregations in the Pacific Northwest, the Pacific Central, the Pacific Southwest and the Mountain Desert districts. Regional Assembly happens April 27-29 at the Lloyd Center Double Tree in Portland, OR.

Regional gatherings are a great way to recognize that we are not alone. That our church is a part of a greater network of congregations. That issues which affect us, touch others. We learn from them, and they learn from us, and together we can make more happen.

Keynote speaker on Saturday, April 28 will be Congresswoman Pramila Jayapil from our great state of Washington. The newly elected president of the UUA, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, will share her emerging vision for our future. And on Sunday, April 29, the Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern will lead worship.   Worship begins at 10:30am (and will last until 12noon) and is open to the public.  Worship services here will also take place at 9:30 and 11:15 as usual.  

This is a great opportunity that will not be here again for a few years. I hope you will get excited and join us for the last weekend in April. If you'd like to do more than attend Sunday morning worship, you may register for the entire weekend and attend workshops, etc. Here is where you can read more information about this exciting gathering of liberal religious people coming to our region very soon.

New Meditation Bell

Rev. Kathyrn BertDecember 9, 2017 - Rev. Kathryn Bert

I invite you to join us for worship at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver!  At the beginning of each service, I invite the bell to sound as we gather for worship.  We also light a chalice, symbol of our faith.  We have both a new flame for the chalice and a new bell.   

The oil lamp flame is one that is common to many UU congregations, including the one I served most recently in Michigan.  We tested it for safety before lighting it on Sunday, but didn't calculate the effect of the new wick sitting in the oil for 48 hours before lighting it.  So, it was quite a show on Sunday! (especially in the first service, before we cut back the wick)  We hope you will all enjoy the new flame in our wood chalice, lovingly created by Skip Morey.

The SantAngelo family donated the gorgeous new bell, after consulting with me about its usefulness in worship (and no doubt watching me struggle to invite the smaller bells to sound)

They write,

"In Zen tradition, the bell is considered to be the Voice of the Buddha, calling us to meditation and mindfulness. Bells such as this one are used in all Buddhist traditions and considered holy objects to be handled with great respect and reverence. This bell was hand-crafted and tuned by hand-hammering, then signed by the craftsman. The bell is quite special in that it was purchased at Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh's home and central monastery in the Bordeaux region of France.

"The SantAngelo family has donated this bell with hope that the bell will assist Rev. Bert in calling our UUCV family to worship services for many years to come, and that it should occupy a place of honor in our sanctuary."

I am a lover of ritual and appreciate these objects of beauty that adorn the sanctuary here in Vancouver.  The pulpit, though not new, is also a thing of beauty, and was carved by John Shannock.  I hope you will join us for worship one Sunday and enjoy the beauty of these symbols of our faith, and the love with which they were created and donated.