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On Sundays once a month since June , St Philip's hosts Tea & Talk for Ukrainian women and children who have been arriving in Vancouver since April 2022. As the children play in the gym, the Ukrainian women, and recently some men, gather in the Fireside Room to talk over coffee, tea and treats. Volunteers, from St Philip's, from the neighbourhood, and from Vancouver Helps Ukrainians, lead the children in crafts and boisterous play in the gym, and serve the women so they are able to chat in the Fireside Room for a couple of hours while the kids play right across the hall.  There is just enough separation, and just enough proximity, for both mothers and children to enjoy their afternoon in total security.  Outreach has funded us enough to cover the refreshments and some crafts.

The women love it, are keen to come back, and new guests join us each month. The photos tell the story.

On Saturday Dec 10th, at a Winter Feast, the families who attend Tea and Talk gathered with other Ukrainian friends and Canadian host volunteers to break bread together in celebration of new friendships. Over 55 people shared a fabulous buffet in the Fireside Room, from pirogies to borscht to beet salad to Bison Stew! Then followed desserts of every kind! Ukrainian guests and children came up to stand in front of the fireplace and sing Christmas songs to us all, including what we know as The Carol of the Bells, which was created by a Ukrainian composer. It was a meaningful, heartfelt evening for everyone.

The next Tea and Talk will be held in February. 

Gatherings will continue if we have volunteers to help host. If you'd like to help with serving refreshments, doing kitchen duty, and/or playing in the gym, contact Debbie Matheson ([email protected]), or speak to Lorne or a warden. We'd love to have you!