Our Fellowship is in search for a Consulting Minister

First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo

Ministerial Search

The First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo (FUFON) is looking for a consulting minister to lead us into the future.  We are located on beautiful Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada in a region with a population of 167,062.  As an affordable harbor town, Nanaimo offers residents the west coast lifestyle with breathtaking scenery, outdoor recreational activities, a vibrant arts scene, and a burgeoning local food culture.

About Us

Our Fellowship began in 1960 and met twice per month for over forty years.  That changed in 2004 when the Fellowship purchased a building in Nanaimo, hired its first professional minister, and began weekly Sunday Services.  Currently, we have 70 members and 30 individuals who identify as friends and average 51 adults and 8 children for Sunday Services.  We are an older congregation, mostly female and mostly married.

Recent Initiatives

We became a “Welcoming Congregation” in 2016 and participate with a large contingent in Nanaimo’s Pride Parade and festival.  Last church year, we initiated the Messy UU Church, a family-oriented Friday evening program, which has helped our congregation attract younger families to our Sunday program.

Six years ago, the Fellowship changed its governance model.  Previously, there were two boards; one for the Unitarian Foundation of Nanaimo, which owns and operates the building, and one for the Fellowship.  The new model has only one board that operates more like a policy board with the committees of the Fellowship reporting to it.  Recently, all Fellowship committees have reviewed and revised their mandates and a Covenant of Right Relations was developed and approved by the congregation.  Last year, we updated our bylaws.

Over the past three years, we have been upgrading our building with new bathrooms and an expansion of our children’s RE classrooms.  Currently, we are remodeling our kitchen.

The Ministerial Search Committee surveyed friends and members to identify the desired qualities and priorities for the next minister in addition to identifying aspirations for the future.  The results form the basis for the following desired future and anticipated challenges reported by our congregation.

Desired Future

Our greatest desire is to grow the Fellowship especially by attracting more families and young adults and, ultimately, to become a pastoral size congregation.  We hope this would also help increase pledges in turn supporting a greater engagement for the minister and improvements to our facilities for additional programming and other activities related to a vibrant Fellowship life.  We envision becoming a more visible presence in the broader community, province, and nation; improving our governance practices to align with our UU principles and further refining our processes to ensure right relations with all; and coming together to identify a vision for our role with the Unitarian Weather Shelter (Nanaimo’s only low-barrier shelter, which we operate out of our building’s basement).

The Minister We Are Looking For

  • We seek someone who can help us achieve our desired future! That means our ideal minister will be growth-oriented, forward thinking, and charismatic.  We desire sermons that inspire and challenge us intellectually and are followed by warm interactions as we invest time and energy in getting to know each other.  Our survey respondents identified three duties as most important for our next minister:  (1) Sunday Sermons; (2) Building Community Within the Fellowship; and (3) Expansion of Membership and Vitality.  When asked how the minister should prioritize ministerial responsibilities, these same themes appear with the number one priority being Spiritual Leadership; the second, Congregational Growth and Leadership; and the third, Facilitation.
  • While we want to be entranced by your sermons, struck by your warmth and charm, and delighted with your ability to attract new folks to our doors, it is only fair that we share with you challenges you may face with our congregation. After all, we are a mature and gifted group.  And, while we express desire for change, we will still want to keep many of our long-standing traditions.  Change may be hard for us at times.  You, as our spiritual leader, will need to engage us in creating that future even as you guide us.  Survey respondents suggested that you, as our minister, will need to be comfortable with a shared leadership role and competent and experienced in managing conflict in constructive ways.  We seek a leader who will walk side-by-side with us on our journey and is willing to go all in.
  • If this sounds like a good fit for you, we would love to speak with you. Interested candidates can reach the Search Committee by emailing the Committee Chair at goodmanvi@gmail.com.
  • Additional congregational survey information is available upon request and more information about FUFON is available on UUA’s Settlement System.



Recent Fundraising events a great success!

Our newly created Fundraising task force has outdone itself. First a highly successful bake sale of Christmas goodies contributed by members and then the first ever Bottle drive! Stay tuned for more creative ideas from this enthusiastic group!

Bravo! Thank you fellow FUFONITES for making our Holiday Bake Sale such a huge success!


Thank you fellow FUFONITES for making our Holiday Bake Sale

such a huge success!

We cleared a record-breaking $660! A huge thank you to those who baked, brought, and bought the delicious array of wonderful holiday foods!

Thank you again for all your support to help us raise funds toward the building maintenance costs and ministerial expenses of our Fellowship.

Your Fellowship Fund Raising Team:

Julie, Anita, Lois, Tony, Val, Suzanne, Hugh, Diane and Anne

Job Opportunity at FUFON


 Applications Now Being Accepted for Part-time Assistant to the Children’s Religious Education program with the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo to start January 1, 2016.

As a Unitarian Fellowship, we share a commitment to peace, freedom and environmental responsibility as well as to social, civil and economic justice for all. Our mission statement is: The First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo creates spiritual connection and brings compassion, discovery, and social justice to life. Unitarian religious perspectives are characterized by a balance of reason and belief, intellect and intuition, a commitment to spiritual and ethical values, and a celebration of life. We are an inclusive congregation.


The most desirable candidate for this position loves and understands children; wants to work with children; and has had some successful experience working with children. Good organizational and interpersonal skills are required. A Criminal Record Check will be required for the successful applicant.


Under the general supervision of the Children’s Religious Education Coordinator, the Assistant is responsible for attendance on Sunday mornings to assist with the delivery of a program planned by the Facilitator. In keeping with our Unitarian Universalist principles and sources, the program should include a variety of stimulating, challenging and creative activities that “enrich the spiritual, social, and intellectual lives” of children who attend our services.

Applications for this position will be received until November 16. Please include your contact information, relevant experience, three references, and a letter stating why you think you would be suited for this position, given its responsibilities. We will inform you before we contact references provided.

Please send your application by email to minister@ufon.ca, attention: Rev. Samaya Oakley, Developmental Minister. Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

October 8, 2015

Potato Bar and Games – January 16th

Members of the Social Interaction Network (affectionately known as SINners) will provide yummy baked potatoes along with a variety of toppings. FUFONers are invited to bring salads and desserts. Wine and other beverages will be served as usual. (Potatoes are surprisingly healthy with magnesium, niacin, vitamin C and potassium). We’ll make them extra tasty with toppings!

After that, have fun with games. Bring your favourite game to share!

Doors open at 5:30. Dinner at 6 pm. (This replaces the customary Spaghetti Night).

potato mouseThere is no limit to your imagination!