Our Minister: Rev. Vicki Cowan

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Reverend Cowan, or Vicki as she is known around Union, was ordained by the United Church of Canada in 1990, and became Union’s minister in 2000.

Sunday morning service is often the point of entry into a church community. At Union, we can guarantee that no two services will ever be the same and they will never be boring! With the help of a giant screen and beautiful visuals, music provided by either the choir, Spare Parts band or Pierre on the piano, Vicki has a way of interpreting age old scriptures and finding applications for them today.

If public worship is not what you are seeking, Vicki can be your spiritual guide in many other ways. She also animates a book club, offers Zentangling workshops, leads DVD discussion groups, offers individual counselling session, and offers guided & silent meditation, sometimes even by the pond in her backyard.

If you are looking for a church that offers something a little different, then Union just might be the place for you!

Message from the Minister

I attended the conference: World’s Religions after 9/11: Peace through Religion. Deepak Chopra, in preparation for his address to this World Religion conference tweeted the question, “Is religion a solution or a problem for world peace?” He has over 600,000 tweeters and over 200,000 friends on Facebook. He is reaching upwards to a million people with this question.

Is religion a solution or a problem for world peace?

The unanimous response was: problem. Religion is the problem. At the very least, with the younger generation, we have a major branding issue. On wider reflection surrounding the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it appears that religion is being blamed for the attack, not decades of first world foreign policy. Robert Thurman, in his address stated, “9/11 was not a religious event. The attack was an abuse of religion. The answer to the attack was also an abuse of religion.” The core of all the great world religions is about peace, love, compassion and forgiveness. However, when this core message is not taken seriously, when it remains external and doesn’t become internal, it leads to abuse of religion.

If religion remains external moral rules instead of internalized daily practices violence in the name of God all too often occurs.John, my husband and I noticed an unexpected pattern as the day progressed: the conference organizers sought an outcome that contradicted what the keynote speakers.

The organizers presented 3 resolutions that they wanted affirmed by 5 p.m. These top-down resolutions planned to tell the world authorities through the conference religious authority what to do to bring peace. In other words, world religions agreeing together can bring peace if you just do what we tell you. The speakers on the other hand, unanimously endorsed a different model. They said: “You can’t tell someone else what to do: you have to start with yourself. Make peace in your own heart and share it with others.”

Their’s was a bottom up approach while the organizers’ was the old top down approach. What the Dali Lama, Deepok Chopra, Tariq Ramadan and Robert Thurman each said in their own way was, “Peace has to be established in you if it is ever to be sustained outside of you.”

So the old external top down religious authority approach no longer works. We need a personal integrity approach which is then shared with another, one heart at a time. That is one of the reasons why I am offering different forms of meditation this year.

Now, we tend to like things bigger and more dramatic to meet our ego needs. But when peace is only out there and external, any change to the situation can erode the peace. When it is internal, it is grounded in our life and owned in our action. I invited you now to take a deep breath, close your eyes. Feel your feet on the ground. With another breath go inward to the Diving Mystery which is already and always present. Allow the peace of this presence to fill you. Now embrace it. Make it yours. From this peace-filledness open your eyes and with a handshake, pass “The peace of Christ” to your neighbour.

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The Spirit Trainer

spirit_trainerJust as we have trained in school for our careers, just as we are now in training for our bodies, so do we also need guidance and training to get on/continue our spiritual paths. We are body, mind, and spirit. We need to intentionally care for our body, mind, and spirit.

I am a Spirit Trainer. As a Spirit Trainer, I will help you polish the mirror of your inner soul to reflect the Divine light through your life and into the world. This will be done through spiritual practices such as guided meditation, prayer, mindfulness, intentionality, affirmations, journaling, and energy work.

I have 20 years experience of helping people connect with the Divine, individually and in group settings through prayer, meditation, and public worship. I am a Practitioner in NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) and Healing Pathway(Healing Touch). I have degrees in Psychology, Nursing, and Theology and am ordained by the United Church of Canada.

If you have sensed that there is something missing in your life… If you have been searching and have questions like, “What’s it all about?”… If you want encouragement and support to deepen your already existing Spiritual Practises… If you are adventurous and would like to enter onto a Holy Adventure then call me.

Individual sessions will be set at a mutually convenient day and time. The time is now. You are invited to become adventurers with God.

Vicki Talks

Finding God

IMG_0011Each of us finds God in our own way; some through worship, some through music, some through nature, some through prayer, some through giving of themselves, some in relationships with others.

At Union we take the Bible seriously, although not literally, and we see Jesus as a way to come to know God and God’s place in our lives. We try to offer opportunities to find the Spirit in many different ways. Weekly worship services, guided meditation, discussion groups and other sharing activities help us to see the way in our personal and collective spiritual journeys. We gain insight and encouragement from journeying with each other.