At the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship, we come together:
- To explore life’s meaning and celebrate the wonders of our earth and our place in it.
- To provide opportunities for people of all ages to explore spiritual, intellectual and social questions in an atmosphere of respect and trust.
- To provide a safe place to explore our common values and principles.
- To support one another to live those values in the Fellowship, the wider community and the world.
- To invite others to join us in exploring and living their values. We invite you to join us.
Caring for one another, our community, our environment and those in need or suffering injustice: We work to transform ourselves and our world through compassionate action. We intend to fulfill this mission, being guided by our Seven Unitarian Principles. (Adopted by the Fellowship May 2012)
What We Believe
Our Common Principles
Unitarians believe each person has a right to decide for themselves what they believe. Rather than holding common beliefs, we are guided by common seven principles:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- a free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
The Sources We Draw From
Unitarianism supports the right of each person to decide for themselves which sources they turn to for inspiration. That means we have a wide variety of beliefs and philosophies among our Fellowship’s members and friends. Below are various sources that Unitarians turn to – some turn to all, some turn to particular ones rather than others. Which sources inspire you? The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life; Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
Spiritual teachings of Earth centred traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Whatever your faith or philosophy, whatever your background, whomever you love, you are welcome here!
We are a Welcoming Congregation
The Welcoming Congregation program was developed for Unitarian Universalist congregations wanting to become more inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) people. Welcoming Congregations are those which have completed a Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) program and have passed a congregational vote to affirm that they welcome the membership and active participation of the LGBTQ community. This program was first launched in 1990. The Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship officially became a Welcoming Congregation in 2003. We are proud that 99% of the Canadian Unitarian Council members belong to Welcoming Congregations. For more information, visit the Canadian Unitarian Council website.
The History of the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship
1961-¬1962 Fellowship founded in October ¬1st chairperson¬ Henry Spencer. We then affiliated with the Canadian Unitarian Council and the Pacific Northwest District of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
1961-¬1983 ¬ Twice monthly potluck suppers in members’ homes, reading sermons from other Unitarian Universalist churches, holding discussion groups and having some programs for children.
1973¬-1974 ¬ Shared ministerial services of Rev. Colin Mallard with the Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo for one year.
1983¬-1984 ¬ Rev. Jack Kent, a retired Unitarian Universalist minister, preached one service each month (which increased to two with visiting ministers/speakers the other services). Children’s religious education program established. Donalda Regehr became our first Lay Chaplain to officiate at rites of passage such as weddings, memorials and child dedication ceremonies.
1994 ¬ We engaged Debra Faulk, DRE of 1st Unitarian Church in Victoria as a facilitator. Debra gave one service a month and spent the weekend working with board and committees on congregational development. Our services took on a more intergenerational nature. The new format attracted families with young children and expanded our Young People’s Religious Exploration Program.
2002 ¬ Invited to hold services at Comox United Church. Discussions and votes were held in both congregations with the result that we began holding 4pm services there in September. We’ve been meeting there ever since. In 2010?, we moved from being renters to having a covenant agreement with Comox United Church to share their premises and contribute towards the costs of the facilities (offering joint programs from time to time).
2003 ¬ Welcoming Congregation ¬ After an education process and a congregational vote we affirm and promote the full participation of persons in all our activities and endeavours, including membership, programming, hiring practices, and the calling of religious professionals, without regard to gender, gender expression, and affectional or sexual orientation¬¬¬we also recognize that being welcoming includes whatever your age, cultural background, income level or physical ability.
2005-2011 ¬ Hired Carla Arnold as Fellowship Coordinator, which two years later became the Coordinator of Volunteers. Norm Reynolds later held the position until 2011.
Fall 2011 The Early Bird Sing project started, offering family¬friendly singing for 20 minutes prior to the service, as an experiment to draw young families, with Kazimea Sokil as its director.
2012 ¬ Present Mission Statement was adopted for a year’s trial. Starting in October, the Board contracted a quarter¬time minister, Rev. Meg Roberts (who had previously served congregations in Edmonton, Montreal, and Calgary). She continues as our consulting minister, visiting one weekend each month to do the service, meet with leaders, and facilitate adult programs.
2014 ¬ Present After 3 years’ success with the Early Bird Sing program, and increasing congregational confidence in singing in other parts of the service. The Board hired Kazimea Sokil as the Fellowship’s first part¬time Music Director in the fall 2014. As of Sept. weekly services have been offered. Amanda Ridgway become the Director of Spiritual Exploration for Children and Youth, and is rejuvenating the program with active, engaging programs.
2015 ¬ In the spring, Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship and the Comox United Church co- hosted a community conversation about the missing and murdered Aboriginal women; this was part of the preparation for the installation of ‘Walking With Our Sisters’ hosted by the K’omoks First Nations in the summer. Many people from both congregations volunteered in support of that installation which has been travelling around North America to bring greater awareness.