April 20, 2020

The Call To Earth Community

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Nanaimo, April 19th, 2020

Thank you so much for welcoming me to your service today.  It is a privilege to be here with the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo.

First I want to acknowledge how disruptive this is for all of us, and how many people are afraid and hurting.  My heart goes out to all those who are suffering in these days of crisis that appear to be stretching out into a new normal.  

I don’t know how you are reacting after a month of isolation.  My fridge is full, yet still, I feel the disorientation.  I can’t find my focus.  I’m not sure what I should be doing.  I seem to need time to think.

So I go walking every day (a new routine for me) and tree bathing when I can.  Everyone I talk to is deriving spiritual inspiration from trees and water, from nature.  It is as if you breathe in spirit along with the wonderful oxygen the trees produce.  Breathe in spirit, breathe out peace. (Thank you Leah...

December 21, 2019

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

to all our friends and family in 2019

Life has developed into a pleasant routine at Pacific Gardens in Nanaimo.  The social glue has been growing in our community with many good

shared meals and fun events for us to get to know each other better.  It feels like everyone here is a good fit, we are all working together and friendships are growing.  I volunteer at the shelter once a week and do lots of cooking with the many pot lucks both here and at the Unitarian Fellowship and the extra community meals.  Ron is proud of the compost system he has worked on for a year that has delivered so far a yard and a half of PG Premium soil and another couple of yards of medium grade soil.  He’s also to be found everywhere in the community doing odd jobs for many residents and for the community as a whole.  Finally, he has the workshop somewhat organized and cleaned up. 

He also serves on the Board of the Fellowship, the Board of the Shelte...

November 12, 2019

Dear Premier Horgan,

I was very disappointed to hear a news report a couple of weeks ago that I can’t get out of my mind.  So I decided to write to you about it.

The news item states that your government is taking $25 million dollars from the Skawahlook First Nation youth employment project, and directing it instead to displaced forestry workers.

First, I completely understand that displaced forestry workers have to be given adjustment programs just as oil workers do in Alberta.  We are in a time of major transition and it is happening rather fast.  We have to support Canadians to be able to make those adjustments.

Nevertheless, we both know that $25 million is not a lot of money in today’s world.  It is peanuts to provide employment for First Nations at risk youth who want to find ways to become part of the modern economy.  What a white supremacy, colonialist attitude to think we can take such programs away from First Nations Youth to support settlers from another area.  Instead we n...

October 9, 2019

So Sorry to lose my friend Maxine, artist and human being extraordinaire.  She lived independently almost to the end.  Sadly, she died of stroke before she was ready to go.   A big thanks to the Nanaimo hospital who took such good care of her in the last few months before she died.  I miss her very much.

December 31, 2018

Dear Family and Friends;

So glad to be in touch with you again.  For some reason I have been postponing writing to you this year. What to say? Is Santa coming tonight? Will Jesus bring us renewal and hope?

Ron and I have a good life and no complaints about our health.  Community life at Pacific Gardens has welcomed many new people since summer and they are all wonderful people.  The community is growing together in vision of what we want our lives to be like.  We have 9 children living here and will soon have 10 – a real bonus from my perspective.

I had a show of my flowers in a downtown gallery in May and participated in the Art Walk in November so I am becoming known as one of many artists in Nanaimo. 

This is a rich artistic community with several theatre companies and a rich variety of music at our concert hall.  There is never any shortage of opportunities for entertainment.  I may decide to serve, next year, on the board of the Nanaimo Arts Council. 

Ron serve...

December 6, 2018

Just participated in the Nanaimo Art Walk.  What a wonderful experience and a great introduction to the Nanaimo Art Community and to the art loving public.  I was hosted by Dione and Renee at the Stitcher's Muse at 90 Commercial Ave.  What a beautiful store they have, a haven for stitcher's and sewers where you can find any took or material you are looking for.  They opened up their front windows for me so that I could really show my work.

We had about 160 visitors on Saturday and another hundred on Sunday.  It was wonderful to watch all the different reactions to my work, and to engage in conversation about art and life with those that were interested.  Almost every piece received special attention from one viewer or another - although there were definitely a few that were the most popular.  

I was also able to steal away  and see what everyone else was doing thanks to the amazing support I had from friends at Pacific Gardens.  Thanks to Judith and Lee and...

October 20, 2018

As a Unitarian Universalist I am called work toward religious principles that affirm and promote the worth and dignity of every person; make the world more just, equitable, democratic and peaceful.   To do this I have personally attended, or organized many educational events to learn about different voting systems, their benefits and disadvantages.

Today while I was out knocking on doors I met a man who had given up on our system.  He refuses to vote because it makes no difference.  I am concerned about the voter apathy which I believe is encouraged by our First-Past-the-Post, Winner-take-all voting system. I am concerned about the centralization of power in the hands of unaccountable leaders who do not have to answer to as high as 60% of the electorate.

I am concerned about the growing inequality and the growing poverty in my country. I am shocked at the lack of action on reconciliation with our First Peoples and on the lack of action on climate change. Everyt...