One of the key parts of our church community is our time togther outside of worship. Like many United Churches, we often come together over food, picnics, social gatherings, and other events that serve to augment and strengthen our worship times.
Coffee and Conversation meets every Tuesday at 10:00am. We are excited to be back together in person, at the Comox Golf Course, while observing all the appropriate guidelines, of course: properly socially distanced, with no more than six to a table. This gathering is always a fine opportunity for fellowship. Everyone is welcome!
Questions: please contact Cameron Cairncross [email protected]
The KNITTING GROUP meets weekly. We are a supportive community of people who love to craft items. We knit, crochet and quilt items to sell or give away. We have made items for Healthy Babies, the Care-a-Van, and prayer shawls for those in need or as gifts. In February, we had fun wrapping the front posts in yarn "graffiti", to welcome Wayne and Carol Hughes and to celebrate the Have a Hearts production!
Multi-Media Products: baby items, dryer balls, felted purses, underwater coral reefs, crocheted water balloons - the variety is endless! And no yarn is too tangled for the group to tackle together!
We WELCOME all. If you just need a place to chat, come and join us. We would also be eager to help anyone keen to learn how to knit or crochet. See the events weekly calendar on the events page for information on meeting times.
Next week, for the first time since Covid started, we will be meeting in the church - in our old room in the basement! Of course, there will be new protocols in place. Bev and Julie met last week to draw up the following safety plan:
User Group Safely Plan for meeting at Comox United Church
Group name: Comox United Church Knitting Group
Meeting day, time and room:
Mondays 1:30 – 3:30 Room L1
Entrance used: Lower Level
Washroom used: L8West
1) The group will have a greeter at entrance to meeting who will confirm the health of attendees and make sure each member sanitizes their hands upon entrance. This person will also insure that people keep their distance as they wait to enter the building and enter one at a time. Greeter for the first meeting will be Bev Agur. Thereafter there will be a duty roster and members of the group will sign up.
2) The group facilitator/leader will maintain a log of ALL who attended - this will be done for each meeting and records will be kept for one month. Recorder for the first meeting is Julie Whitman. Thereafter members will sign up on the duty roster.
3) A group member will ensure the social distance rule is followed. Bev Agur for the first meeting. Thereafter members will sign up on the duty roster.
4) A group member will sanitize ALL touch services including any tables and chairs that have been used before exiting the room. The group will provide their own sanitizing equipment. Group member will do own sanitizing under the direction of the person who signs up for this task.
5) The group will make sure all members know that if anyone uses the washroom they must wipe down all surfaces touched by their hands with the wipes provided by the church.
6) The group will set up chairs/tables in a circle formation so that all group members are at least six feet apart.
For more information, please contact Bev Agur by email at [email protected]
The Super Singles is for single people at Comox United Church to share a Potluck supper together once a month. We enjoy rousing conversations and are also supportive of each other on our individual life journeys. We meet the 2nd Friday of the month. Since Covid began, we have been meeting in Pioneer Park, with each person bringing his/her own lawn chair and dinner. Next month, for the first time in many months, we will be meeting in the church hall. For more information, please contact Ruth Gibson at [email protected] .
The Walking Group meets on the last Sunday of the month for a walk of about an hour. The group has explored a variety of trails throughout the Comox Valley and always welcomes new walkers. Check the "Events" tab for information on current walks.
Comox United Church Men's Shed
Men's sheds or community sheds are non-profit local organizations that provide a space for craftwork and social interaction. The movement originated in Australia as a way to improve the health and well-being of older men. There are over 900 sheds located across Australia, with thousands of active members. Men's sheds can be found also in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the United States of America, Canada, Finland, New Zealand and Greece.
The slogan for men's sheds is “Shoulder To Shoulder”, shortened from “Men don't talk face to face, they talk shoulder to shoulder”, adopted after the 2008 Australian Men's Shed Association conference.
The users of men's sheds are sometimes known as “shedders”. In 2014, Professor Barry Golding coined the term “shedagogy” to describe “a distinctive, new way of acknowledging, describing and addressing the way some men prefer to learn informally in shed-like spaces mainly with other men.” Sheds as a venue for mentoring other men and Inter-generational mentoring is a growing outcome. Academics are using men's sheds as a research venue and research partner in exploring men's health and social needs.
By 2015, men's sheds were also active in a number of other countries, mainly based throughout Europe and South Asia. This included over fifty men's sheds in New Zealand and over two hundred in Ireland. At the end of 2019, there were over 500 men's sheds across the UK. The United States has set up a national association, the US Men's Sheds Association. In Canada, the Men's Shed Association is a peer-run group that aims to build relationships between Canadian sheds, help new ones get started, and raise awareness about the friendly, inclusive, and creative spaces that sheds can offer. In a shed, men get together for activities like woodworking projects, cooking, bike repairs, music, and yelling at the television during the playoffs (when they happen!).
Doug Mackie founded the first Canadian shed in 2011 in Winnipeg. Doug recognized that many men in his community had both time on their hands and a tendency to suffer from isolation, loneliness, and depression. This was especially true after they retired, as many men tie big parts of their identities to their careers. Since starting Men Sheds Manitoba, Doug has helped men come together, stay productive, and contribute to the community— all of which are keys to good overall health. There are about 20 sheds in Canada. Above all, men's sheds are what we make them.
Sheds are: A gathering place with purpose for men
*Usually involving a work space for those who don’t have one or have to give theirs up.
*A place to change the world. Definitely.
*A helping hand. You bet.
So far, at Comox United Church, where the Men’s Shed began to meet in spring 2019, the Shed has converted room L6 (lower level) that used to be used for Youth Activities, then fell into disuse and became a storage unit, into a warm and friendly place: fresh paint, new cupboards, a lovely workbench (thanks, Mike Stewart!), tools, chairs and the all-important coffee facilities.
We have (until the advent of Covid-19) met at least weekly to finish the conversion of the room and to work on some initial projects for other folk. A sign, advertising an All Candidates meeting in our sanctuary was completed in the Shed, for example. We have created little signs that give us some 'ownership' to the space: one sign says, simply: “The Shed” and another sign has incorporated a simple piece of childhood art from some unknown child and framed it for viewing. We have assisted folk with the clearing out of the sub-basement, done church yard work and built a small fence at the back of the church property. We scraped years of moss from a small sidewalk just outside the shed. We cleaned the carpet surface: it looks great! In Covid-19 times, we have met several times online (until the weather improved!) and a few times we have met in socially-distanced spaces in the church parking lot, the Comox Marina Park and a member's driveway.
As a way of brainstorming about possible directions, a few of us participated in an excellent men's weekend at the Bethlehem Retreat Centre in Nanaimo. More recently, some of our shed guys have been assisting another man with yard work, interspersed with coffee and conversation. Already, we have deepened relationships and created a safe space for us to gather and grow.
We are the men's shed: we invite other men to consider 'coming on over' and becoming shedders with us! Come and build with us!
The men, Comox U.C. Men's Shed!
Submitted by Scott Agur