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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...

April 16, 2018

I am thrilled to show my flowers at the Blessings Studio Gallery at #4, 85 Commercial Street, Nanaimo BC.  My show will continue for the month of May.  I warmly invite you to drop in and see my work.  This is what Crystal Desharnais says about my work:

Blessings Studio is proud to present the Solo Art Exhibit featuring art by,

Fine Artist, Frances Deverell

Frances uses art to connect to her to inner self and with spirit. Seeking connection with the wonders of nature, the miracle of life, and with beauty. Believing we need this vision of wholeness and harmony with the earth and with life to sustain us on the justice journey.

Please join us for the opening, May 5th from 7pm to 9:30 pm.

December 17, 2017

 Here it is, Christmas at Pacific Gardens in Nanaimo.  Sorry it has taken me so long to touch base with many of you -- both family and friends.  How different our life has been this year and how much change and disruption we have experienced.  This is the Aviva choir giving us a concert in our common dining hall.  But that is the end of our year.  Let's start at the beginning.  We started in September to downsize our stuff to be able to make the move to Pacific Gardens.  I had to get rid of 11 file drawers of paper and ended up deciding to priorize and scan a great deal.  And of course we had to find a home for everything we couldn't take.  In the meantime Ron was the logistics coordinator for the fall fair and I continued my work with the Capital Region Interfaith Council, The CUC Criminal Justice monitoring group, the CUSJ Board and so on. 

 We were lucky that our visits to Buffalo coincided with a visit from Tennessee by Ron's brothe...

July 6, 2016

2016 07 05

Dear Editor, National Post

The article in your paper on Unitarianism expresses a deep ignorance of the true nature of religion.  While many religions, especially most versions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, do profess belief in a supreme being, many others do not make this the centre of their beliefs (including some of the oldest religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism.)  The root of the word religion is, according to the Oxford dictionary,“obscure.”  The Rev. Phillip Hewett suggests, “The most plausible root is the Latin religare, which means to bind together and to me suggests wholeness, not only within the community, but within the individual and in our connection to all that is.“

People who share similar values come together to worship, (reflect on and celebrate what has true value in life),  celebrate together life’s great passages and events (births, weddings, memorial service, significant events), and support one another to live an ethical life a...