UCM Approves the Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Resolution

A message from our minister, Rev Diane Rollert:

I'm so proud of this community! We're taking a big step toward hope. By deciding to sponsor a Syrian refugee family, we're using our imagination to move beyond fear and insularity.

 A lot of work lies ahead. Once we're matched with a family, there will be a lot for us to do and learn. The Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Taskforce will be reaching out to you for help. Sometimes the road ahead will surprise us with its roughness. But we'll be living out our mission to welcome, nurture, inspire, challenge and take meaningful action together.
As the days grow shorter, recent world events can make us feel as if the darkness is growing around us and within us. But as we move toward the Winter Solstice and the holidays of Hanukkah and Christmas, may we give ourselves permission to connect with magic, wonder and imagination.  

In the words of John Lennon, "imagine all the people sharing all the world." Sharing our resources, sharing our hospitality, that's where we begin.
Rev. Diane

What's Happening November 23 - 29, 2015

Curtis Murphy will present Resources for Resilience at 10:30 am, Sunday, November 29 with music by Sandra Hunt and the Parts in Peace Choir.  Curtis is a member of our congregation currently preparing for the Unitarian Universalist ministry. He spent the past year as the intern minister at the First Unitarian Church of Toronto, and is currently living in Hamilton, ON. Curtis will share his own reflections on resilience, and living with dignity in the midst of difficulty.

Other events this week include a Parts In Peace choir rehearsal this Thursday, November 26. On Sunday, November 29th after the service, the Ruth di Giovannin Film Series will be at noon. The RE committee will be meeting at that same time.

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

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That's How the Light Gets In

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert, 15 November 2015


The world changes overnight and every night. Mostly, we don’t notice — until something horrible breaks through in our own backyard or from beyond our borders. I have read that there is less poverty in the world and fewer conflicts and war than ever before in recorded history. A distanced view may confirm that reality, but it isn’t the reality we feel. Especially not today, not since Friday night when a youthful Paris full of light and life came under siege.

Continue reading That's How the Light Gets In

What's Happening November 16 - 22, 2015

Sunday, November 22, is our New Member Sunday. Join us at 10:30 am for To Be a People of Resilience with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Jean Séguin, Denis Barsalo, Stuart Edding and Jane Critchlow
They say that the strongest tree is that one that bends. How do we bend together as a people to become most resilient as we try to build beloved community?  Controversies, conflicts, fires and loss.  There is resilience in our past that is worth remembering. The band has chosen some great songs to accompany us as we stretch, sway and remember together. On this day, we’ll also welcome new members joining the church. There will be a RE fundraising lunch after the service at 11:45 am.

Wednesday, November 18, features our Midday meal with Music at 12:30 pm. The Campus Ministry Dinner and Networking event starts at 5 pm on Saturday, November 21.

The Congregational Budget meeting is at 12 pm on Sunday, November 22nd, and will include a vote on a resolution to begin the process to sponsor a Syrian refugee family.

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

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After the War is Over


I am so grateful to Vera, one of our World War II survivors, for speaking during our Remembrance Day service. She is one of the greatest models of resilience I know. I am amazed to think of her as a 16 year-old girl in 1944 in France, as her father is deported to Auschwitz, and her mother, who was not Jewish, joins the French resistance. Vera once told me that her mother’s survival was a daily miracle. Vera, herself, was sent into hiding at a local college, virtually orphaned by the war. When her school was requisitioned and closed by a division of the third Reich, she became a courier for the local resistance network, thanks to an old racing bicycle. As a happy end, both her parents survived and all four of their great-grand-children were born here in peaceful Canada.

Those who witnessed the war, who still remember, are treasures to us.

Continue reading After the War is Over

What's Happening November 9 - 15, 2015

Join us Sunday, November 15 at 10:30 am for That's How the Light Gets In with Rev. Diane Rollert. Music will be by Sandra Hunt with mystery musical guests.
You know the Leonard Cohen song: There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in. Resilience is all about living with the cracks and finding the light. If we're lucky and our mystery guests arrive, we'll be filled with Diwali light.

Council meets this Wednesday the 11th at 6:30 pm. The SuiSheng Lui Vernissage will take place in the Stairwell Art Galley starting at 5 pm on Thursday, November 11th. The Book Discussion Group meets that same evening at 7 pm. On Friday, the Lesbian/Queer Discussion Group meets at 7:30.The Collage Afternoon will be after the service on Sunday, November 15 from 1 - 4 pm.

BidNite is Saturday, November 14 from 4 - 7:30 pm. Join us for the evening of our major fundraiser with fun, food, music and a huge variety of items to be bid upon.

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

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What's Happening November 2 - 8, 2015

Join us Sunday, November 8 at 10:30 am, for After the War is Over presented by Rev. Diane Rollert with Vera Freud. Music will be by Sandra Hunt, piano, and the Yellow Door Choir, Roxanne Martel, director. On this day of remembrance, we honour our veterans with our Remembrance Day wreath and remember all those whose lives have been touched by war, as we continue to dream of peace. We consider the resilience that’s needed to survive after war is over.

Sacred Stories meets on Tuesday, November 3 at 12 pm. There will be Congregational Budget Review Meeting at 12 pm on Sunday following the service. Later in the afternoon at 2:30 pm, Sandra Hunt and Kerry-Anne Kutz, will be presenting the Music for Winter Thoughts Concert.

Also, printed copies of the BidNite catalog of offers will be available on Nov. 8 with an electronic version sent out in advance. Most items will be available for pre-sale bidding on Sunday, Nov. 8. Raffle tickets will be on sale that day as well.

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No One Leaves Home Unless...

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert, 25 October 2015


My friends, where do I start? There’s so much that I know you know already.  All month, we’ve been exploring the meaning of integrity in our lives. So much of that is personal, right?  As C.S. Lewis said, “Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.” How do we live with integrity as Unitarian Universalists, when it’s just us out there in the world, when we’ve left this sanctuary and return to the little things that keep us from seeing the big picture? 

Continue reading or listen to No One Leaves Home Unless...

What's Happening October 26 - November 1, 2015

Join us this Sunday, Nov 1 at 10:30 am for Resilience from the Ancestors with Rev. Diane Rollert. The music will be by Sandra Hunt, piano, and Geneviève Demers, soprano. On this All Souls Sunday we'll honour the harvest and those in our lives now gone, by sharing in our annual bread communion and lighting candles of memory. If you'd like, please bring a picture of an important loved one who has died, and perhaps inspired resilience in your life, to add to our All Souls altar. UCM'ers of all ages are invited to wear their costumes and participate in the All Souls Costume Parade during the service.

The UCM Halloween Social takes place on Friday, Oct 30 at 5:30 pm. In addition to the service on Sunday, RE will sponsor a fundraising lunch at noon. There will also be a Sunday Explorations meeting from 12 - 1:30 pm with Rev. Diane Rollert and Margot Hovey-Ritter for those who want to learn more about exploration groups.

Don't forget to set your clocks back for the end of Daylight Savings time .Sunday, Nov. 1 is also the date for our monthly collection for the NDG Food Depot. Contributions are placed in the basket in front of the sanctuary.

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

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2016 Financial Commitment

It’s that time of year when we ask you to make a financial pledge to support the UCM community. This year, our goal is to collect everyone's pledge by November 8, then we'll set our budget for the year.  

Rather than procrastinating, submit your pledge today.  Use this link to submit your form:
www.ucmtl.ca/2016-pledge-form/  It's fast and painless! Or use the attached form, or pickup a form in the church foyer, or we’ll mail one to you.

Lately, Prue Rains, our stewardship chair, has been sharing some thought-provoking ways to consider giving. She's said it all better than we possibly could, so here are her Sunday Stewardship Moments for your reading pleasure.  All we want to add is that we really love this community and the amazing things it does for our lives and the lives of others. 

Click on Read More to view the 2016 initiatives.

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A Notice and Resolution about Refugee Sponsorship

Many people in the UCM community have made clear that they would like for us to sponsor a refugee family from the Syrian conflict, and to do this as quickly as possible.
A core team has formed, led by Marlean Martin, along with John Inder and David Rollert, to research what is involved and to propose a course of action. After attending an information session offered by Action Réfugiés Montréal (ARM) and other research, we are convinced that sponsoring a refugee family is something our community can do right now.
This is a big commitment, yet the risks are limited. Under the programs we would use, our legal and financial responsibility would be limited to one year (though of course our human commitment would most likely continue), and the cost is manageable, between $20,000 and $40,000, depending on the family. Because the family we would help would include women, Rev. Diane has agreed to underwrite part of the effort with the Cordner Fund, which is earmarked to help women in difficulty at the discretion of the minister. This enables us to get started on the process as soon as we receive congregational approval.   

To read the resolution, click on Read More

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What's Happening October 19 - 25, 2015

Join us on UN Sunday, October, 25 at 10:30 am for No One Leaves Home Unless… with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt and the Parts in Peace Choir. In her poem, No One Leaves Home, Warsan Shire writes: “no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark/you only run for the border/when you see the whole city running as well.”  On this Sunday closest to the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, we consider the growing refugee crisis in the world and how we can, with integrity, take action as a community.

On Wednesday October 21, the Marie-Berthe Dion Issues Action Letter Writing Group meets at 10:30 am, followed by the Midday Meal with Music at 12:30 pm. There will be a Pathway to Membership meeting on Friday, October 23 at 5:30 for dinner and fellowship. Conviction, the second film in the Ruth di Giovanni Documentaries Film Series, will be presented Sunday, October 25 at 12 pm.

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

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Gratefully Whole (Audio Available)

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.

Continue reading or listen to Gratefully Whole

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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