Sunday, January 25, 2015

"An Aspirant's tale."

Hello everyone, this is Sister Alma! Here is our newest Postulant (Diversity Rains) recounting his experiences shortly before and after his association with the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  

"As I approached my last birthday, I found myself focusing on wanting to re-invent myself upon entering the next decade of my life.  Well, actually it was not focusing on re-inventing myself, but more a desire to get closer to being my true myself.

I thought, 'what better way to do so than to stand forward and become an aspirant of the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.'

I figured out the how, the when, and I thought I figured out the where, of what to do to make this happen.  After looking the Sisters up online I decided that at the Sister’s next business meeting, I would declare my intentions.

Finally, the second Wednesday of the month arrives.  I get off work and hustle to get to the meeting, driving a fair distance into some unknown terrain in the heart of Vancouver, using my trusty google maps to get me there.  Initially, all went well and I found some reasonable parking and it looked like everything was going to plan.  

I thought to myself, "Please google maps lead me to the meeting."  

Well, indeed it did.  Goggle maps led me, and led me, and led me, and every where it led me, I could not find the meeting! I would think I was there, but it would just be an apartment building, and not the meeting.  

After a few attempts and failures I asked a passerby, "where is Qmunity?"  

"About ten blocks that way," they responded.  

I found my way to Bute and Davie.  I looked to the left!  I looked to the right!  I could not find it!

Then I looked to the left and up the street a bit—and behold, a Qmunity sign above the door—the Qmunity library. 

There at last, but an hour late and the door was locked.

Obviously, my aspirancy was not meant to happen at that meeting, so I went around the corner, and gratified myself with sushi, and began to call to find out if the meeting had changed location.

I spoke to Sr Petunia Encarnata, who unfortunately was in Portland and told her of my plight and woes.  

"Not to worry," Petunia told me.  I could become an aspirant at the next business meeting, but in the meantime spread as much joy as possible.

Well the next meeting was a month away.  Can you imagine how much joy you can spread around in a month?  Well, I didn’t at the time.  Lo and behold I found myself engaged in occasions where I had no choice but to spread joy—at work, at play, at events, with people, with animals, and all of creation.  Wow, what an eyeopener.  I was even beginning to feel more filled with joy.

I love to take and share pictures and I found myself determined to be in places such as the “Cool Mom’s” show with Jem ThanksJem and spend some time with the Sisters who were attending and performing in the show.  While talking to Alma, Tora, and Pebbles I learned more about what the Sisters' mission is and I also discovered the joy others find in the pictures I take—and that makes me feel good.

Finally, after another month was over I made it to the Business Meeting well in advance and declared that I was an Aspirant.  It felt good to receive my Aspirant name tag from Sister Petunia.  Let the period of being an Aspirant begin.  This was a commitment to attend two Business Meetings in a row and to join with the Sisters for events they would be attending.

"Oh My God," I thought, "how will I ever be able to work all these things into my already busy work and personal schedule?"  The world is made of good intentions and good intentions can make anything possible.

I began to learn to be myself and attend personal events by my choice, to request days off work to attend events with the Sisters, and to relax and enjoy life.  At work, I suddenly felt more like a member of the team to make things happen and my goal was to spread joy, to acknowledge the contributions of others, and to smile.  You know what? It works and it is a lot less effort than to hold back.

I am leaning that inclusion is a big part of what the Sisters do and I think I like it.

I am also learning that making a difference, is just that, making a difference whether it be small or grandiose!  Sure, grandiose can be great, but often small is much more rewarding!  I have learned this by observing the Sisters in action.

I have been playing Santa Claus at work for the last three weekends.  The look of joy I see on the children’s faces, and often the parent’s faces as well, is the same look of joy I see on the faces of people at groups and events where the Sisters spread joy. I think I can become accustomed to seeing that look constantly.

I look forward to what the next month before the next Business Meeting at which I will hopefully accepted as a Postulant.  I look forward to accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative and releasing joy everywhere.

Oh, I am also beginning to realize that I can take joy in myself in the sense that if I am enjoying myself, I can share that joy with others without worry."

- Postulant Diversity Rains

“Joy, more joy, always joy”

Sister Alma would like to thank Postulant Diversity Rains for submitting his story for the blog. The Vancouver Abbey is nothing without its new members as they remind us of how simple yet sublime our work can be.  

XO Sister Alma

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Just another amazing week in the YVR Sisterhood!

Well friends and supporters, the Vancouver Abbey has had a busy week!  From newspaper cover stories and elevations, to bar ministry and Power point presentations; what didn't we do this week?!

First up, on Wednesday XTRA featured the Vancouver Sisters as their cover feature to mark the 5th Anniversary of Sisters being active in Vancouver.  The article was written by Grace Cameron with photos by Belle Ancell Photography. Read the article here!
Sister Merry Q Contrary, photo by Belle Ancell.

Wednesday evening at the Sister's General Business meeting we had two elevations and bared witness to the rising of Novice Sister Festivus (Fes-tee-vus) Illuminata and Postulant Diversity Rains. A full house was on hand to be a part of the ceremony! What a large group!!

Almost everyone.
Revered Mother Alma Bitches and Mistress of Novices Petunia Encarnata

On Friday afternoon, Sister Sweet Cherribum gave a presentation about the Sisters to the attendees of the LOUD Foundation!  After a brief history of the Sisters around the world and a recap of the Vancouver Abbey's history Sister Sweet presented a $1,000 cheque to be put towards a Scholarship fund in Memoriam of Jim Deva; one of the Abbey's Saints who recently passed.  This must have been a huge moment for Sister Sweet as she has been a recipient of a LOUD Scholarship in the past and has been quoted saying, "receiving the scholarship helped to change her life."

Sister Sweet Cherribum with Carl Meadows from the Foundation of Hope.

Sister Sweet with members of the LOUD Foundation.

Novice Sister Lois Price and Novice Sister Festivus Illuminata.

Friday night, wasting no time at all, Novice Sister Festivus Illuminata and Postulant Diversity Rains went our for some bar ministry with Sister Petunia and Novice Sister Lois Price and Aspirant Anthony!  From the sounds of it, the new members had an amazing time and transformative experience being out in face.  
Aspirant Anthony.

Postulant Diversity Rains and Novice Sister Lois Price.

The Girls giving XTRA some love!  

This weekend marked the beginning of a new program for the Vancouver Abbey.  While in the past we have always done our best to prepare our new members for life as a Fully Professed member (FPM) of the Sisters, the current FPMs felt we could do better.  With our Abbey members growing like weeds and new members showing up almost every month we decided to take a more direct approach and offer classes focusing on what we believe to be the most important things we want budding nuns to take with them on their journeys. In response to our need, Sister Petunia has created an official schedule of monthly seminars (Novice Teas) taught by FPMs to enhance the experience of newer members (and seasoned ones as well).  

Saturday afternoon, hosted by Sister Petunia, the majority of our membership got together and spoke about "Conflict Resolution."  The discussion was led by our own Paladin Bamm Bamm who throughout his professional life has obtained vast experience facilitating on this very topic. Sometimes, like bio-families, members of our Abbey have disagreements and it is crucial for the survival of our group to handle matters respectfully and with care.  Future workshops aim to focus on the following: event planning, make-up training, self-defence, and assertiveness to name a few.

As well as hosting a great workshop, Sister Petunia also led the group in creating some "magic fairy dust" made from various special ingredients gifted to the Abbey from our Grandmother Sister Merry Peter.  After its creation, the dust was collected into vials and distributed between the members for future blessings! Watch out Vancouver, the Sisters are now armed with magic glitter!   

Again, the Vancouver Sisters can't thank you enough for all of your support over the past five years and we can't wait to celebrate with you at our Official Anniversary Event on Tuesday, February 24th at the Junction on Davie!  More details to come on that!

Sister Alma Bitches
Reverend Mother
Abbey of the Long Cedar Canoe Society

Friday, January 16, 2015

We're turning 5!

February 14, 2010 is the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's fifth anniversary.  Read Xtra's article on our fifth anniversary here  and we hope you'll join us for Unveiled Photo Show on February 24th at Junction.

Sr. Merry Q. Contrary

Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 In Review: @yvrsisters

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the YVR Sisters! We had an amazing year with a lot of growth!  Watch out 2015 we're coming for you!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

How Exciting! Some of the Vancouver Sisters got the opportunity to sing some Christmas carols with international recording star Bif Naked for the Holiday Grocery participants! The Vancouver Sisters were also very pleased to be able to grant $1,000 to the grocery fund this year and now look forward to being a part of such a wonderful annual community event. 

Two Sundays ago Novice Sister Visa Dekline successfully completed her Novice Project by holding a "White Christmas" Singalong at Heaven's Door at 1216 Bute.  Warm coats were collected in lieu of cash donations and Sisters Alma Bitches and Tora Wholes, as well as Paladin pebbles dropped them off at The Gathering Place. Well done Visa!

This past Sunday, Sister Alma Bitches hosted a screening of "Female Trouble" by John Waters at the Heritage Grill in New WestMinster.  The screening took place after the weekly drag extravaganza, "The Drag Show," starring Miz Adrien and friends.  Sister Tora and Alma excelled during their performances by being in extreme poor taste in honour of the "Prince of Puke" and "the filthiest Person alive."

Next up, catch the Sisters carolling at the Rio Theatre for the SHOWGURLZ Christmas Special starring some of Vancouver's top drag talent!  Carlotta Gurl! Jaylene Tyme! Valynne Vile! Just Call Her Heather! Jane Smoker! and of course the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence!

What fun will the New Year bring?! Stay Tuned.  xo Sister Alma