An Invitation from our Minister

Rev. Ron Phares

Rev. Ron Phares

Welcome to North Shore Unitarian Church!  

Our faith has so much to offer you. We believe in the Unity of All Creation with Love at its Heart. And we believe in you. We believe that whoever you are, wherever you come from, whomever you love, and whatever your beliefs – you are welcome here.

North Shore Unitarian Church is a place where Atheists and Christians, Buddhists and Mystics, Jews and Sufis, all of the above and none of the above can worship, learn, grow and work together to build a better world.

We come together to build community that nurtures our spirits and takes a stand for love and justice.  Our tradition, Unitarian Universalism, has historic roots but a fresh approach to religion and spirituality. It acknowledges that each of us is on our own journey, but also reminds us that we need one another along the way. 

People often come here longing for a community to support them in living their deepest values. Our congregation includes people of all ages and of many different backgrounds. We celebrate with one another in times of joy, and hold one another in times of sorrow. We seek to learn and grow together, enriching our own lives, and we work to bless the world with our acts of service. Sometimes people come in pain or confusion, looking for answers. How do I offer my children a moral foundation in these complex times? How do I cope with the challenges the world has thrown at me? Why do I feel empty even when things seem like they are going well? What is life calling me to be or do?

Our religious tradition invites us to live these questions, supporting one another through all that life brings us.

It has been said of Unitarians that we do not have to “think alike to love alike.” When we gather in this religious community, we can bring our whole selves, and from that wholeness do our part to help heal the world.

The best way to get to know us is to come to a Sunday service. Then come again. You may find a home here as so many have. I hope you do.

I look forward to meeting you!

Sunday Services

Sunday services are held weekly at 10:30 a.m. (Our summer schedule may be different — so check our Upcoming Sunday Services page for details). Our services involve music (both performed pieces and hymns that we sing together), storytelling, lighting candles of care and public witness, and a message from a Minister or another speaker on the monthly theme.

Programs for children 4-12 are offered during the service and free childcare is available during the service for children 3 and under.

Sunday services usually last about an hour or a little more. A social hour follows the service, at which members and guests enjoy coffee, tea and snacks — and often a light lunch with homemade soup — together.

For a description of Upcoming Sunday Services →


Here we play, sing, create and celebrate together.
Here we welcome children and youth of all abilities to enter into a religious community where everyone is encouraged to be a life-long learner.
Here we know that all are valued for the unique gifts they bring into the world.

We offer programs for children and youth of all ages. On Sunday morning children are always welcome to participate in the adult service with their parents, or to attend a class with their peers. Often there is a story near the beginning of the service followed by a moment to sing the children to their classes. Nursery care for infants and toddlers is provided all morning, from 9:30am-12:30pm. Older youth, Grade 8 and up, meet on Sunday evenings—but there are usually a few around in the morning, helping things go smoothly by making coffee. Learn more about our programs through the links below.


We gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia in support of our Children's Education Program and our Youth Program

Children’s Program

Our Religious Exploration program for children is experiential and interactive. Its purpose is to expose children to Unitarian values and to encourage commitment to community, social justice, tolerance and respect for religious diversity.  Through stories, arts and crafts, role-play, games and music, children learn about world religions, concepts of God and spirituality, social responsibility and cooperative decision-making.  They are given the opportunity to express and question their developing beliefs. While recognizing that religious education is primarily the responsibility of parents, we offer an exciting program that will enrich children’s religious growth and learning.  To learn more about the Children’s Program, please review our Children's Program Booklet.

We believe in a hands-on approach.

For example, our middle-schoolers visit nearby churches, temples, mosques and sweat lodges to personally and respectfully observe how others worship.

We don’t just talk about religion with our children. Almost all of our youngsters are involved in community service projects, and at various times of the year they are directly involved in Sunday services

What do Unitarian Universalists teach their children?

We teach them about many religions and wisdom traditions, in particular the Principles and Sources from which Unitarian Universalists draw their inspiration.

We give them a strong foundation in religion so they can make good decisions about the role it should play in their lives. For example, we teach them:

  • About the stories that have been told for centuries by indigenous peoples.
  • About those who found (and still find) comfort, guidance, and spirituality while communing with nature.
  • About Jesus – about how he challenged established leaders and ideas, and spent time ministering among society’s outcasts and needy.
  • About the other major religions of the world, including the beliefs of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians and Sikhs.

We explain the history of our own religion—how Unitarianism is a 450-year-old branch of the Protestant Reformation, how Universalism teaches that salvation is not tied to a particular denomination or belief.

We warn our children about the lure of modern cults and, at the same time, point out to them the irony that most religions originated with disaffected minorities.

aN OPEN spiritual community

North Shore Unitarian is a welcoming and lively community. We gather to nurture depth, meaning and purpose in our lives. We draw understanding about our world and inner selves from many teachings and resources rather than one set of religious doctrines.

We welcome you to attend a 10:30 a.m. Sunday Service where you can meet our full community. We love visitors and are happy to answer questions you may have. Services normally involve music, an inspiring message, positive meditation, and warm conversation. 

Questions? For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions page, email us at, or phone us at 604-926-1621.

“In North Shore Unitarian Church, I have found an open-minded, inclusive, and also an intellectually challenging environment. The “big questions” are explored and discussed from different perspectives. It’s a caring and fun place for my children to belong, and to learn about spirituality and religion. It’s a place for my husband and me to grow together and be supported in cultivating a spiritual practice.”
— Jen Ritchie


We are a Welcoming Congregation

The term “Welcoming Congregation” has a special meaning in our congregational life. It means that our church has engaged in community conversations and education and voted together to be active and intentional about welcoming people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Our History of Support

Unitarian Universalism is very supportive of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender (BGLT) people and their families. We first took a stand to include people of a wide range of sexual orientation in 1970. We believe that our first principle, respecting “the inherent worth and dignity of every person,” applies equally to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.  Unitarian Universalism is one of the few religions that has ordained openly Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender people for decades.

In addition to welcoming BGLT people into our religious community, we also work to protect the civil and legal rights of BGLT people and families across the country. Unitarian Universalists have been at the forefront of the same-sex marriage debates, advocating for the right for each person to marry the partner of his or her choice.

“… the liberal religious tradition is affirmed every time another congregation commits itself to being a human place that affirms, welcomes and celebrates the presence of bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender persons.”
— Rev Keith Kron