What's Happening February 20 - 26, 2017


Coming up on Sunday, February 26 at 10:30  am, our worship service will be a  “UCM: The Musical” multigenerational service, led by Katharine Childs, Rev. Diane Rollert, with music by Maider Martineau, the Parts in Peace Choir and Sandra Hunt/
Come enjoy and participate in the next installment of our multigenerational community musical. We’ll explore how our UU belief that love is the strongest force in the universe calls us to work for justice for all people. Hear tales from our community’s past, and be inspired by stories of our heroes and the call to love and justice.

After the service the Ruth di Giovanni Documentary Film Series will be held in the Thomas Room at 12:15 pm. 

On This Land (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 12 February 2017


Justice is a powerful, fundamental concept in our lives. But justice is also a wounded word. It’s a word that anyone can claim and distort to fit their own agenda. For the Europeans who arrived on this land hundreds of years ago, justice was claiming something that was not theirs. Consider the Hudson Bay Company selling 3.9 million square kilometers to the government of Canada in 1869. As Thomas King writes, “The problem was that the Hudson’s Bay Company didn’t own the land they sold to the Canadian government, any more that the French owned the land they sold to the Americans. They didn’t even control it. The purchases were no more than paper promises and wishful thinking.”

Yet here we are, nearly 175 years later, living in a world where everything is split up into property claims, where we make money by claiming and selling land. This land of justice is a land built on injustice.

Continue Reading

What's Happening February 13 - 19, 2017

peter boullata

Coming up on Sunday February 19, 10:30 am will be What Love Looks Like with  Rev. Peter Boullata, and music by Maider Martineau and Louise Halperin.
What is the purpose of our liberal religious movement? Why do we gather together in our Unitarian faith communities? Let’s explore these questions and what love’s got to do with it. The Rev. Peter Boullata joins us as part of our 175th anniversary celebrations. He came of age in our congregation as a youth and served as our interim minister in 2005-06, as well as serving the First Parishes of Weston and Lexington MA. He currently serves as consulting minister to the Unitarian  Fellowship of London ON while he pursues a doctoral degree in spiritual care and psychotherapy.

The service will be followed by Tea with the DRE at noon in the DRE's office. Sunday Explorations will meet at 12:15 pm. Wednesday, February 15, there will be a very special Midday Meal in celebration of UCM's 175th anniversary starting at 11:00 am with organ music recorded at the Simpson church. 

For more information about these events, go to the This Month page. 

What's Happening February 6 - 12, 2017


On Sunday, February 12 at 10:30 am, our worship service will be On This Land with Rev. Diane Rollert and Paul Clark of Action Refugiés, and musical guest MJ Tremblay, and Sandra Hunt.
Sharing the abundance of this land, while recognizing that it can never truly be “ours”, has the potential to transform our lives. Paul Clark is the executive director of Action Refugiés, an organization dedicated to helping refugees gain access to justice and resettlement. MJ Tremblay is a Métis musician from the Algonquin nation, as well as an author, composer, photographer, filmmaker, actress and painter. The service will be followed by RE's Love and Justice Valentine's Party. 

The Art and Activism workshop with Vincent Mousseau will be held at 12:30 pm on Sunday the 12th. On Wednesday,September 15, there will be a very special Midday Meal with Music celebrating UCM's 175th anniversary. Please RSVP with Elizabeth, 514-937-4095, if you plan to come and were not there last month. 

For more information about these and other events, check the This Month page.

Vigil Tonight, January 30, in Support of Quebec City Muslims.

I invite you to join me today at 6 p.m. for a vigil in solidarity with the Muslims of Quebec City, at Jean-Talon and Parc Street, Parc Metro Station, Montreal. You are welcome to join me at the Unitarian Church at 5 p.m. to travel together to the vigil via metro. 

My heart is heavy with the terrible shooting in Quebec City last night. A number of years ago, a gunman entered a Unitarian church in the US and killed several worshippers. Those who were there spoke of the trauma of losing the safety and security of the most sacred place in their lives. I cannot imagine the fear and trauma that our Muslim friends and neighbours are now experiencing, especially as we watch hatred overflowing south of our border.

 May we be together in solidarity against hatred, racism and Islamophobia. 

With hope that love will guide us through these trying times, 

Rev. Diane

Chers amis et chères amies, 

Je vous invite à me rejoindre aujourd’hui à 18 h pour une vigile de solidarité avec les musulmans/es de Québec, métro Parc à Montréal. Je vous invite à me rencontrer à l'Église Unitairienne à 17 h pour voyager à la vigile ensemble. 

Mon cœur est lourd à cause de la terrible fusillade de Québec hier soir. Il ya un certain nombre d'années, un tireur est entré dans une église unitarienne aux États-Unis et il a tué plusieurs fidèles. Ceux qui étaient là ont parlé du traumatisme de perdre la sûreté et la sécurité du lieu le plus sacré dans leurs vies. Je ne peux pas imaginer la peur et le traumatisme que nos amis/es et voisins/es musulmans/es vivent actuellement, d'autant plus que nous voyons la haine déborder au sud de notre frontière. 

J'espère que vous pouvez me joindre demain en solidarité contre la haine, le racisme et l'islamophobie. 

Avec l'espoir que l'amour nous guidera à travers ces temps difficiles, 


What Happening January 30 - February 5


Looking for a way to survive the February cold? Join us for a Soulful Spin evening worship service at 7 pm on Friday, February 3, with Rev Diane Rollert and Maider Martineau. Avez-vous besoin d’aide pour survivre le froid de février ? Venez vous joindre à nous vendredi le 3 février  de 19 h à 20 h pour « Soulful Spin ». 


On Sunday, February 5, join us at 10:30 am for Love, Justice and Radical Inclusion, New Member Sunday with Rev. Diane Rollert, and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau
As Canadian Unitarian Universalists, we envision a world in which our interdependence calls us to love and justice. We strive to be radically inclusive. In these times of growing critiques of  political correctness and the politics of identity, our minister reflects on the meaning of these words and how we can actually put them into practice.

Other activities this week include Chant to Greet the Day on Friday, February 3 at 7:30 am.  The Winter Drop-In is starting this coming Friday from 10 am - 12 pm. This intergenerational space is being created for members and friends of the church to drop in for warm company. Tea, coffee, and hot chocolate will be available. All ages welcome! 

For more information, check out the This Month page. 

What's Happening January 23 - 29, 2017

Coming up this Sunday, January 29 at 10:30 am, our worship service will be Songs and Stories of Resistance with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Maider Martineau, the Parts in Peace Choir and Sandra Hunt. We are living in rapidly changing times, where hatred, racism, violence, and destruction of ou beautiful planet seem destined to overwhelm the future. Songs of resistance and the stories of those who have had the courage to resist injustice can lift our spirits and inspire us to take meaningful action in the world.


What's Happening January 16 - 22

carole martignacco

Join us on Sunday, January 22 at 10:30 am, for Ministry is an Affair with Rev. Carole Martignacco and music by Maider Martineau and Louise Halperin. The first in a series of return visits by ministers who have served our congregation, Rev. Carole Martignacco joins us to share her reflections on the Unitarian Church of Montreal. Rev. Martignacco's relationship to the church goes back to 1996 when she did her student internship under the supervision of Rev. Charles Eddis. Over the years, she has also served as our summer minister and as our sabbatical minister. She currently serves the congregation of UU Estrie in North Hatley.

After the service, the Ruth di Giovanni Documentary Film Series will present Defying the Nazis - The Sharps War at 12:15 pm. The first part of the two-part Double Doodle Workshop (BidSunday offering) is scheduled from 12:30-4:00 pm

For more information about these events, go to This Month.

Ring Out, Wild Bells (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 8 January 2017

After the US election, I was looking for something to read — some sort of distraction from my obsessive watching and reading of the daily news. I’ve always enjoyed the work of science fiction writer Robert Sawyer. After all, he’s a Canadian author who tends to promote a hopeful, positive view of the future of humanity. So I picked up his latest book, Quantum Night, just published this past year, thinking this would be exactly the escape I needed from reality.

If you know Robert Sawyer, you know he does a lot of scientific research and likes to grapple with big, existential questions. He’s not the most poetic writer, but what he lacks in style he makes up in imagination. In Quantum Night, he explores a creative relationship between psychology and quantum physics as he considers the existence of evil and the nature of consciousness.

Continue reading or listen to Ring Out, Wild Bells!

What's Happening January 9 - 15, 2017

175th banner

Join us Sunday, January 15 at 10:30 am, for Bring, O Past, Your Honour: 175 Years of Liberal Religion in Montreal with Rev. Diane Rollert and Team 175, and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau. The Unitarian Church of Montreal was founded in 1842, braving the extreme conditions of 19th century life in Montreal, surviving a cholera epidemic, the Rebellion of 1837, and rising above social criticism and attack. We became the first liberal church in Canada, standing in a long tradition of resistance to orthodoxy and intolerance. Today we launch our celebration of our 175th anniversary. The service will be followed by an RE Fundraising lunch.

Sunday afternoon, from 12:15-1:30 pm, Sunday Explorations is scheduled along with the Collage Afternoon from 1-4:30 pm. Earlier in the week, the Midday Meal with Music will be held on Wednesday, Jan 11 at 12:30. The Council Meeting will be later that day at 6:30 pm. On Friday, January 13, the Pathway to Membership meeting will be held from 5-8:30 pm.

For more information about these events, go to the This Month page. 

What's Happening January 3 - 8, 2017

2017 fire

Join us Sunday, January 8 at 10:30 am, for Ring Out Wild Bells: A Fire Communion Service with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt. If you don't have resistance in an electrical circuit, the current travels too fast and the wire catches fire. As we celebrate our annual fire communion and let the burdens of 2016 go up in smoke, we'll consider the resistances we need in the circuit of life to make sure we don't overreact or burnout.

On Tuesday, January 3, Seeking the Sacred in Stories facilitated by Rev. Diane Rollert, will meet at 12:30 pm. Chant to Greet the Day will meet on Friday, January 6, 7:30 am. 

For more information about these events, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening December 21 - January 1, 2017


Wednesday, December 21, 7:00 pm
Solstice d’hiver - Winter Solstice Celebration

Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Louise Halperin and Margo Ellis. On the longest night of the year, come celebrate a service in the round with songs, readings, and the lighting of candles to welcome the returning of the sun. 

Earlier on Wednesday, the Midday Meal with music will begin at 12:30 pm with music by Matthew Hunt Russell, trombone and Sandra Hunt, piano. 


Saturday, December 24, 5:30 pm
Veille de Noël - Christmas Eve Candlelight Service - 
Une célébration bilingue. A bilingual celebration. Rev. Diane Rollert with musicians Sandra Hunt, Maider Martineau, Gary Russell, Margo Ellis.
A classic UU Christmas service to rejoice in the beauty of holiday light and fellowship. This is also the first night of Chanukah when we’ll light our menorah. Everyone is invited for cookies and cider immediately following the service. 

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Sunday, December 25, 4:00 pm
Christmas and Chanukah Chez Nous

Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Maider Martineau, Sandra Hunt and Louise Halperin. We’ve shifted our regular service time to the afternoon to celebrate Christmas and the second night of Chanukah together. We’ll sing songs of the season and share a time of reflection together. After the service, all are invited to our annual Christmas dinner.


Sunday, January 1, 2017, 4:00 pm
Resistance in the New Year: Music and Reflection

Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Sandra Hunt
A reflective News Year’s Day afternoon service. What were you resisting in 2016 that you’d like to welcome into the new year? Where do you need to stand in resistance during 2017?


What's Happening December 12 - 18, 2016


Join us this Sunday, December 18, at 10:30 am for Christmas on Simpson Street.
Katharine Childs, Rev. Diane Rollert and many others
Music by Sandra Hunt, Maider Martineau and the Parts in Peace Choir
Bask in the spirit of Christmas with a joyful celebration of Christmases past!  Drawing on many of the Christmas traditions of our congregation’s time spent worshiping in the church on Simpson Street, our multigenerational service will be a delight for children, elders, and everyone in between! Come and enjoy traditional Christmas music and carol singing, and the first part of our 175th Anniversary celebration as we remember these festive times! Our traditional tourtière and potluck lunch will follow the service.

Roots Hold Me Close (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 4 December 2016

“Roots hold me close, wings set me free.”

                —from the hymn Spirit of Life by Carolyn McDade

It’s been quite a week. On Monday morning we went to the airport to welcome Omar, Salwa, and their seven children. What an amazing journey it has been for them and for us. They arrived saying, “We’re ready. Help us to get started in our new life.” And that’s what we’ve been doing: 

Finding an apartment, painting and furnishing it, gathering winter clothes — and then suddenly rain gear at the last moment— we were so busy looking for snow boots, we didn’t even think about rain gear! Then there was shopping for the first groceries, putting together maps of the neighbourhood, waiting forever for the wifi installation that still hasn’t happened, setting up and going to appointments with the school board, going to Service Canada for Social Insurance Numbers, setting up appointments for health cards and medical exams, making arrangements for French immersion courses, trying to figure out college equivalencies, trying to figure out the financial benefits that Canada and Quebec offer, scheduling translators, and the list goes on. 

Continue reading or listen to Roots Hold Me Close

What's Happening December 5 - 11, 2016


The 10:30 am service on Sunday, December 11 will be Rooted in Language with Mark Abley, John Paxman, Philippe Chevalier and Kirstin McKeown with music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau.
No matter where we come from, no matter where we choose to live, our lives are shaped by words. This week we will explore some of the ways in which language inspires us, guides us, and holds us in place. A friendly warning: poems may be spoken.

Other activities this week include Seeking the Sacred in Stories facilitated by Rev. Diane Rollert on Tuesday, December 6 at 12:15 pm and the Book Club on Wednesday, December 7 at 5 pm. On Sunday, December 11, Sunday Explorations will meet at 12:15 after the service and the Collage Afternoon will take place at 1 pm. 

Saturday, December 10 at 7 pm, join us for a BidSunday concert with UCM choir director Maider Martineau's duo Toka TaNoka. Tickets will be available at the door. 

For more information about these events, go to the This Month page. 

What's Happening November 28 - December 4, 2016

Click to enlarge.

On Friday, December 2, join us for Soulful Spin, an evening service from 7-8 pm with Rev. Diane Rollert accompanied by music from Maider Martineau. We'll spin our "speed-faithing" wheel to share thoughts about faith, life and values, and we’ll light candles and sing. The doors open at 6 pm. Bring a brown-bag dinner and share a meal. 


On Sunday, December 4 at 10:30 am, join us for Roots Hold Me Close, led by Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Cobb's Cats. As we reflect on the meaning of “rootedness” this month, we explore what it means to be rooted in the dark of winter and in the seasons. Cobb’s Cats will bring us winter music for reflection and to lift our spirits. RE will have a fundraising lunch right after the service. There also be Human Rights Letter Writing (Amnesty International) starting at 11:30 that Sunday. 

At noon, there will be a Congregational Meeting to approve the 2017 UCM budget. A quorum is needed. Please plan to be there!

For more information about these and other events, go to the This Month page.

Treasured Moments (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 20 November 2016


Listen more often to things than to beings,
‘tis the ancestor’s breath when the fire’s voice is heard,
‘tis the ancestor’s breath in the voice of the waters…

              Words adapted from a poem by Birago Diop
               from the song “Breaths” by Ysaye Barnwell

Birago Diop was a poet and storyteller from Senegal. His poem, Souffles, or Breaths, draws from something beautiful that is found in many of the spiritual traditions of Africa: Things have power because they have been touched and experienced by the ancestors. 

Listen to or read more here.

What's Happening November 21 - 27, 2016


Join us Sunday, November 27 at 10:30 for Listening to the Past with Curtis Murphy with music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau.
Being free of regret is usually seen as a virtue, proof that we are not dwelling in the past. But is that the only way to understand regret? Poet Robert Frost once said "I have hope for the future, and even for the past." This Sunday we'll explore the practice of listening to the past in a hopeful, healing, and reverent way.

The Ruth di Giovanni film series will also take place on Sunday at 12:00 pm, as well as the Unitarian Drum Circle from 4-6 pm. The Being Mortal group will meet from 1:30-3 pm, Tuesday, November 22. 

For more information about these events, go to the This Month page.