New Vision Notes Fri Mar 12 2021

Fri Mar 12 2021

1. This Sunday, March 14 we will hold our first Affirming PIE Day. PIE = Public. Intentional. Explicit. These are the standards we hold ourselves and our welcome to as an affirming and inclusive community. March 14 is a chance to serve some pie and roll out the PIE by celebrating the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit people in faith communities and beyond across Canada.

2. For those who might be wondering where The United Church of Canada’s “PIE Day” comes from: a) “Pi” Day is the totally irrational creation of the mathematics community that noticed that March 14 could be construed numerically as 3.14 (March= 3rd month); b) 3.14 is a mathematical short hand for “pi” – shorthand because pi is an “irrational number” — the quotient of a division that cannot be expressed as a common fraction, and its decimal equivalent never settles into a permanently repeating pattern; c) because the solid scientific evidence that individual sexual orientation and gender identity belie human categorization, “irrational” is a good way to characterize these elements of human diversity; d) “Pi” is also a mathematical constant – another metaphor to describe the reality of gender identity and sexual orientation in humans (and other species); e) “PIE” as an acronym captures ingredients successful Affirming ministry in the UCC aspires to: public, intentional, explicit; and finally f) tell me who in the United Church does not like pie of one kind or another?

3. For this PIE Day, our theme is “What’s in your PIE?” We will be using the photo of recipe card included in these notes to share thoughts about this during our virtual worship gathering this Sunday!

4. We planned to have our first PIE Day worship gathering last year, but it fell on the first Sunday of the pandemic lockdown. It took us a couple of weeks to migrate to this virtual platform using Zoom. As a result, we missed PIE Day last year.

5. One could also say that viruses have an element of the irrational and constant to them, and so this anniversary of the COVID-19 virus pandemic seems like something to mark with PIE too.

6. PIE is useful for a lot of things, including the effective response seen across Canadian society to the pandemic, as well as revealing the yawning gaps between rich and poor, settler and first nation, and racialized and white divisions of our populace (see how pi is calculated – the division of circumference of a circle by its radius).

7. A couple of Sundays ago I drew attention to the presence of a Black Sunday School in a United Church Hamilton tradition of recognizing best attended and largest growing Sunday Schools through the first half of the last century. I mentioned in wondering out loud if anyone might research that as part of the development of our intercultural relationship currency design project, that the UCC has awarded an Embracing the Spirit grant to a national United Church program of intercultural research. Six young racialized scholars have recently been awarded funds from this grant. To learn more about them and their projects, follow this UCC link.

8. Even though Hamilton has moved into the Province of Ontario’s “red zone” the New Vision Church Council prefers at this time that New Vision not participate in potentially virus-spreading activities in the community. Hamilton residents are being given clear warnings by our Public Health Board that faster spreading variants of the coronavirus are now occurring here. I am sad to say this means that New Vision folks without access to Zoom will have to wait for a while more to participate in person at 24 Main W in our Zoom worship gathering on Sundays. I know those gathering on Zoom keenly miss those who have been gathering in person. I am looking forward to the day we can meet again in person.

9. New Vision Virtual Worship is experiential, participatory, image-rich and collective, just like worship in person at New Vision! Join us on Sunday mornings 10:30 am week to week during the Covid-19 emergency by clicking here. If you want to put the link someplace easy to find each week, here it is: Please share it with others and invite them to a “different” kind of time on Zoom from the usual.

10. You can also call in to the gathering on the telephone toll free. Call 1 855 703 8985, then, when prompted, input the Meeting ID 782 292 511 followed by the # sign. Ignore the prompts for Participant ID and Password. You are in when the recorded voice says, “You are in the meeting.” If you can only connect by video on your computer with no audio, you can use the phone connection for audio and the computer connection for visual.

11. For updates on New Vision plans in the post Covid-19 emergency recovery, please visit

Hope to see you Sunday – again, or for the first time ~

Rev Ian