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)
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. Follow the CUC Blog on LGBTQ initaitives here: https://www.uua.org/lgbtq/blog
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
The History of the Comox Valley Unitarians
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.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 part time 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.