Gratefully Whole

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rolllert,  11 October 2015


This past week, our monthly short story group (Seeking the Sacred in Stories) read this haunting story by Ursula K. LeGuin called “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas". It’s an allegorical tale, which is to say that it kind of reads like an ancient Greek myth or a classic fairy tale — the kind of real fairy tale that gives children nightmares. It begins with vivid imagery of a bold and glorious society preparing for the great Festival of Summer, its most beautiful youth riding horses to a race. Bells ring, children laugh, banners flutter in the wind. The people of Omelas are a happy people. They have no king, no slaves. They use no swords. They live without advertisements or stock exchanges. They have no secret police or bombs. These are people who have much to be thankful for.

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What's Happening October 12 - 18, 2015

Join on us Sunday, October 18, 10:30 am for Coming to Quebec/Coming to Canada with Johana Salas, Ahmad II Ribelle and others. Members of the congregation share reflections on what it means to maintain personal integrity when leaving home and family behind to integrate into a new country and culture.

The UCM Council will be meeting Wednesday, October 14 at 6:30 pm. Sunday, October 18 at 1 pm, the Collage Group will meet. The Drum Circle meets later in the day at 4 pm.

For more information about these and other events, continue reading below.

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A Pocketful of Integrity (Audio Available)

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert, 4 October 2015


Each possession you possess
Helps your spirits to soar
That's what's soothing about excess
Never settle for something less

Something's better than nothing, yes
But nothing's better than more, more, more

“More”.  Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics. Madonna sang it.  (You just heard Tara Bissett sing it.) It comes from the movie, Dick Tracy.)

The funny thing is, studies show that, past a certain point, money does not buy happiness.  It just buys envy, greed and an insatiable appetite for more, more, more — a hole that can never be filled.  They also say that when it comes to intimate relationships, money may be the biggest source of stress.  More than sex.  More than family.  More than parenting.  So it seems strange that when we talk about wholeness in our lives, especially here in church, we rarely talk about our relationship to money.

Continue reading or listen to A Pocketful of Integrity

What's Happening October 5 - 11, 2015

Join us on Sunday, October 11 at 10:30 am for Gratefully Whole led by Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Louise Halperin. Heading into the final stretch of the federal election season, can we find integrity in the choices we make? Is there room for gratitude for what lies ahead?

Sacred Stories will meet on Tuesday, October 6 at noon. The Lesbian Discussion Group meets Friday, October 9 at 7:30 pm. On Sunday October 11, the Religious Discussion group and the Social and Environmental Concerns groups both meet at noon. 

For more information about these and other events, continue reading below.

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Don't Take Care, Take Risk (Audio Available)

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert, 27 September 2015

We often say to each other, “Take Care.” But Curtis Murphy, one of our UU student ministers, once challenged us to consider what it would be like if we encouraged each other to not always play it safe, but to send each other off with the blessing “Take Risk” rather than saying “Take Care”.

So today, I invite you to risk letting yourself feel a bit uncomfortable, and to see what surprising insights might unfold for you as a result as we look at risk from three perspectives: personal, spiritual and global.  With each perspective, I’ll share some thoughts and then invite you to share with each other.

Continue reading or listen to Don't Take Care, Take Risk

What's Happening September 28 - October 4, 2015

This coming Sunday, October 4 at 10:30 am, our Sunday service will be A Pocketful of Integrity with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt. Mention money as a topic for a service and many people are bound to stay home. But what does it take to be in healthy relationship with the very thing that controls our lives, whether we like it or not, have it or not? How do we maintain our integrity in this most elemental way?

On Saturday, Oct 3, join us for the Campus Ministry Welcome Dinner starting at 5:00 pm. After the Sunday service, there will be a fundraising lunch for RE. An Introduction to Exploration Groups will follow at 12:30 pm for anyone who wants to get a taste of what our theme-based monthly groups are like.

For more information about these and other events, continue reading below.

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The Risk of a Clean Slate (Audio Available)

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert, 20 September 2015


The Unitarians of the 19th century laid down a strong foundation for us.  Our very first principle, the inherent worth and dignity of every person, comes directly from their interpretation of Christian teachings grounded in Jewish teachings. They believed, beyond a doubt, that every human being had the capacity for goodness.  Ralph Waldo Emerson called it the capacity for “greatness.”  In a lecture delivered in 1868.

He writes:
“There is a prize which we are all aiming at, and the more power and goodness we have, so much more the energy of that aim.  Every human being has a right to it, and in the pursuit we do not stand in each other’s way…” You might call it “completeness”, he says, but he prefers to call it “greatness”:  “It is the fulfillment of a natural tendency in each [person].

Continue reading or listen to The Risk of a Clean Slate

What's Happening September 21 -27, 2015

Join us this Sunday, September 27 at 10:30 am for Don’t Take Care, Take Risk with Rev. Diane Rollert, and music by Sandra Hunt. We can have some pretty inaccurate notions about what is dangerous and what is safe.  When it comes to understanding risk, our emotions can either lead us to be too cautions or too foolish. But what if we told each other “take risk” instead of “take care”?  This Sunday morning, we’ll actually take a few risks together as we explore the rational, emotional and spiritual side of boldly (but wisely!) taking more risks.

The Social and Environmental Concerns Committee is starting a documentary film series this fall in honour of our Ruth di Giovanni. Sunday, September 27th at noon, the first film in the Ruth di Giovanni Documentaries Film Series will be Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. It is a ground-breaking feature length environmental documentary. 

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BidNite 2015 - Aloha Hawaii

Saturday, November 14, 4-7:30 pm in Phoenix Hall - Join us for the UCM’s annual fundraising auction when sounds of the ukulele will fill Phoenix Hall. Good fun and good food will surround the evening’s offering of Fixed-Price Items, Silent-Auction Opportunities, Live-Auction Temptations and new this year “Pick-a-Prize Raffle” – all offered by UCM members and friends. Your entry fee of $5 entitles you to hors d’oeuvres, dinner and our own unique brand of humour and entertainment. The Greater Goods will be playing that evening.  (No entry fee for children and volunteers.) Free childcare will be provided.

For more information and to fill out an online offer form, click here.

Riding the Rapids (Audio Available)

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert, 14 June 2015

Since we’re focusing on the theme of risk this month, I started out thinking that I would do something courageous to prepare for this Sunday — you know, do something that I’ve never done before.  I had this big plan that I would ride the rapids of the Saint Lawrence River here in Montreal.  There’s a company in Lachine that will take you out on rafts right into the heart of the rapids for a couple of hours.  When I asked members of my family if they wanted to join me, they were all shocked.  You?  You want to ride the rapids?  And really, I had every intention of going, but I never did find the time.

Continue reading or listen to Riding the Rapids

What's Happening September 14 - 20, 2015

Join us Sunday, September 20 at 10:30 am with Rev. Diane Rollert for The Risk of the Clean Slate with music by Sandra Hunt and Gary Russell. In the Jewish tradition, this is the time of the High Holy Days when the New Year has begun and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, lies only a few days ahead. It is a time to let go of the wrongs of the past year; to ask and to offer forgiveness. This Sunday we consider what risks need to be taken to wipe the slate clean so that we can be truly open to change and transformation in our lives.

RE registration is starting with registration available online. Don't forget to sign your online registration form at the registration table in the lobby. Paper registration forms are available from Katharine or Yvette on September 13th, or from the registration table on September 20th, 27th, or October 4th.

Wednesday, September 16, will see the Marie-Berthe Dion Issues Action Group - Letter Writing group meet at 10:30 am and the Midday Meal with Music at 12:30 pm. The Unitarian Drum Circle meets Sunday the 20th from 4- 6 pm.

For more information about these and other events, continue reading below.

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What's Happening September 7 - 13, 2015

Join us Sunday, September 13 at 10:30 am, when Rev. Diane Rollert will present Riding the Rapids: Homecoming Sunday with music by Sandra Hunt, Margo Ellis,  and the Parts in Peace Choir. Join us for our water communion and homecoming gathering after the summer months, as we symbolically pour out our separate summer experiences of joy, sorrow, renewal and transition into a unified affirmation of community.  Bring a small container of water from a significant summer experience.

During the month of September, half of the unidentified cash in the collection baskets will be forwarded to Action Communiterre. The rest of the unidentified cash will go to the Operating
Funds of the Church.

September kicks in with lots of activities this week. There is a Vernissage for a Group Art Exhibit on Thursday, September 10 from 5-7 pm. The Book Discussion Group meets that same day from 7 - 9 pm. On Friday the 11th, the Lesbian Discussion Group meets at 7:30 pm. On Sunday the 13th, SECC will meet at 12:15 pm and the new Religious Discussion Group will meet for an organizational meeting after the service.

For more information about these and other events, continue reading below.

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Final Summer Worship Service

Sunday, September 6, 10:30 - Final Summer Worship Service
Holly Fleming
Grateful Living, reflections from Brother David Steindl- Rast
Gratefullness is "the inner gesture of giving meaning to our life by receiving life as a gift"! I had the privilege of experiencing this first hand while working for a woman who worked with Brother David and indirectly with Her question to me was, don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive.


Thank you to Chloe Hart and Ivy O’Reilly for their creative, innovative, and energetic leadership of our summer services this year!

Summer Services and Office Hours 2015

Summer Services, organized by Ivy O'Reilly and Chloe Hart, will run July 5 to September 7. Expect thought-provoking discussions and seasonal fun! The first service (Sunday, July 5) will address the expectations we hold of summer. How can our spiritual practices help us towards our goals and protect us if we don't reach them.

Upcoming summer services are listed here for each week.

The office will be on summer hours July 2 to 17 and August 10 to September 4 inclusive. Monday to Thursday: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm and Friday:10:00 am - Noon
The office will be closed: July 20 re-opening August 10
The phone will be monitored at least once a day by a volunteer during the times when the office is closed.

What's Happening June 22 - 28, 2015

Join us Sunday, June 28 at 10:30 am, for The Artist’s Way presented by Rev. Diane Rollert with music by the Greater Goods.  An artist can spend hours observing one beautiful image before committing to the creation of a work of art.  A musician can spend hours contemplating the resonance of one chord.  What can we observe and create together that will launch us into the beauty of summer? Everyone is invited to a potluck “picnic” after the service.  If the weather is nice, we’ll set up tables outside.  If you can, please bring food to share.  The more the merrier.

Wednesday, June 24, the church office will be closed for La Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste/ The Feast of St. John the Baptist.

Carmina Choir will be rehearsing Tuesday, June 23 at 7:30 pm. For those of you who have not participated in the Unitarian Drum Circle led by Ann Beer, consider participating this coming Sunday, June 28 from 4 -6 pm.

For more information about these and other events, continue reading below.

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The Darker Side of Beauty (Audio Available)

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert, 14 June 2015
(Click Read More on the sermon page for access to the audio files)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we know better than that.  Beauty is only skin deep, but we easily forget that — or maybe wonder what it really means.  Beauty is too often confused with glamour but, if we are honest, we are often mesmerized by all that glitters.  “What does it mean to seek a life of beauty?” That’s the question of this month.  Of course, we’re not talking about living a life of physical, vain beauty.  But how can we spend a month contemplating beauty without confronting its darker side?

Continue reading The Darker Side of Beauty

What's Happening June 15 - 21, 2015

The Sunday service, June 21 at 10:30 am, will be The Power of Words presented by Mark Abley. Music will be provided by Sandra Hunt and family (Gary, Vanessa and Matthew Russell). In this service, poet and journalist Mark Abley will explore the capacity of language to heal, to inspire, and to hurt. Why do certain words have such extraordinary power over us? Do we take language too seriously -- or not seriously enough?

Mid-month activities for this week include the Letter-Writing Marie-Berthe Dion Issues Action Group meeting on Wednesday at 10:30 am. The Midday meal with music is scheduled this Wednesday at 12:30pm. Trevor Juhl will be doing a presentation on his trip to the Philippines this Sunday after the Sunday service at 12:30 pm.

For more information about these and other events, continue reading below.

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New Director of Religious Education

We are delighted to announce that Katharine Childs will be our new Director of Religious Education. We are thrilled that we will be moving from strength to strength as Caroline Balderston Parry retires at the end of this month and Katharine officially begins on August 17.

Katharine comes to us with many wonderful skills. She is comfortably bilingual, speaking and writing in both English and French, and she has spent years working in non-profit administration, training employees, and recruiting and coordinating volunteers. She has been a director of church summer camp programs, has training in theatre, and has worked with children in theatre. She has been an active member of our community, volunteering in the RE program and in worship, providing support for congregational gatherings, and setting up a knitting ministry. She was recently trained in the Our Whole Lives UU human sexuality program for children and youth.

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