What's Happening April 25 - May 1, 2016


Join us Sunday, May 1 at 10:30 am for Is Faith Still a Wounded Word? with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau. Eight years ago, we had a year-long conversation about wounded words — the religious words that have wounded us or have been wounded or co-opted by others. When Rev. Diane surveyed the congregation in 2008, faith emerged as the number one word that challenged the community most. So how do we feel about faith today? What does faith mean to you? Share your thoughts in advance of the service by sending them to dianerollert@ucmtl.ca. On this day, we’ll also celebrate our staff in honour of May Day, International Workers Day.

The service will be followed by an RE Fundraising Lunch at 12 pm. Sunday Explorations with Rev. Diane and Margot Hovey-Ritter will meet at 12:15 pm. The Partners in Peace Multimedia Presentation and Potluck will be held from 4:30- 7:30 pm. 

Read about more events this week on the This Month page. 

Partners for Peace: A Multimedia Presentation and Potluck

Sunday May 1, 4:30–7:30 pm

p for p

In November 2015, a Compassionate Listening delegation of 19 people from Canada and Britain traveled to different locations in Israel and Palestine with the goal of “Listening to the Peacemakers”. Four Montreal women, Tali Goodfriend, Sharon Gubbay, Joy Howse and Deena Roskies were part of the delegation. They look forward to sharing some of their experiences and impressions as well as a series of compelling first-person narratives told in the voices of those they listened to. RSVP to Leanore Lieblein, 514-489-5651, Deena Roskies, 514-483-5763, or Caroline Jondahl, 514-485-3920, and let us know if you plan to bring a vegetarian salad, main dish or dessert.

A Ministry of People and Passages (Audio Available)

Lay Chaplaincy Sunday, April 17, 2016
Introduction by Rev. Diane Rollert

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Lay Chaplaincy is a program that is unique to the Unitarian Universalist movement in Canada. It was developed as an outreach program to support our ministers who were unable to meet the growing demand for interfaith or secular but meaningful weddings, memorial services, celebrations of life and child dedications (that’s our version of what you might call a baptism or a naming ceremony). Our lay chaplains serve for 3 to 6 years after receiving training from the Canadian Unitarian Council. In French, we call them célébrants laïcs.

Continue reading Rev Rollert's introduction and reflections by lay chaplains Carole Jondahl, Normand Gosselin, and Shoshanna Green on the Sermons page. 

What's Happening April 18 - 24, 2016


Join us Sunday, April 24 at 10:30 am for Circling Together: Celebrating the Web of Life, An Earth Day Multigenerational Service with Katharine Childs, Rev. Diane Rollert, the children and others, music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau with the Parts in Peace Choir.
A special Sunday to celebrate the beauty of the Earth and our relationship to the land. When we lose sight of our connection to the web of life, we can act in ways that make the earth more vulnerable. When we accept the challenge of protecting and defending our precious world, we bring ourselves closer to each other and to the great web of existence. 

Wednesday, April 20, the Marthe-Dion Issues action group will meet for letter writing at 10:30 am. The Midday Meal will be held the same day at 12:30 pm. The Ruth Giovanni film series will follow the Sunday service at 12:15 and the Unitarian Drum Circle will be held at 4 pm.

For more information about events this week go to the This Month page. 

The Strength of Vulnerability/La force dans la vulnérabilité (Audio Available)

Reflections by Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana and Rev Diane Rollert, 10 April 2016
Audio available here.

La force dans la vulnérabilité par Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana

Dans ma vie, j’ai expérimenté plusieurs fois la vulnérabilité.  La vulnérabilité des autres mais dans laquelle j’ai été impliqué, et ma propre vulnérabilité qui est progressivement entrain de transformer ma vie.

Pendant plusieurs années, j’ai travaillé avec des communautés rurales constituées essentiellement des rapatriés ou des retournés (refugiés qui revenaient au Burundi après plusieurs années d’exil). Telelcharger et lire La Force dans la vulnérabilité 

The Strength of Vulnerability by Rev. Diane Rollert

Thank you, Rev. Fulgence for being willing to share your own experiences of vulnerability. It takes courage to tell your story, to have lived through so much, to have traveled in the dark of night to flee your home, your people, your country. Sometimes when you and I talk, (and you, David and I spend a lot of time talking), I find myself tearing up. It is hard for me to imagine what it is like to have to leave everything behind. Then I have these moments when I see myself standing in your shoes, and the sadness and the weight of your loss wells up in me. Download and continue to read The Strength of Vulnerability

UCM Supports Trans Kids Everywhere

This morning  (Sunday, April 10) the entire Montreal congregation posed for this photo as a message to trans kids everywhere that you are loved and welcomed by this faith community. We gathered together as we sang "I've got strength like a mountain," from the last verse of "I've Got Peace Like a River.

What's Happening April 11 - 17, 2016

Coming up on Sunday, April 17 at 10:30, will be A Ministry of People and Passages with Lay Chaplains Shoshanna Green, Normand Gosselin and Caroline Jondahl with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Louise Halperin and Maider Martineau
We live in a society that often overlooks the value of rites of passage. Marriage has long been in decline in Quebec, and often families have no idea what to do when a loved one dies. Yet marking milestones — birth, marriage, death, and the many celebrations in between — can bring us to a place of great tenderness, commitment, or closure, helping us to make real meaning in our lives. Join us as we reflect on the counter-cultural practice of walking together in these milestone moments of vulnerability.

After the service, the Collage Afternoon is scheduled to meet from 1 - 4:30 pm. On Friday, April 15 at 7:30 pm, there will be a BidNite meeting for people who want to see our time-honoured tradition continue.

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

Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana Will Join Us Sunday, April 10

This Sunday, April 10 at 10:30 a.m., Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana, founding minister of the Unitarian Church of Burundi, will join me in reflecting on the theme of vulnerability. 

Rev. Fulgence was forced to flee his home in the capital city of Bujumbura in February when his life was threatened by government forces. He is currently living with me and my husband David as he waits for acceptance of his petition for asylum in Canada. Over the past two months, we’ve spent many hours sharing thoughts about life, loss and ministry. Recently, we realized that we’ve really been talking about vulnerability — from the personal to the global, and the physical to the emotional. 

He helped  found the Unitarian Church of Bujumbura where he has served as its minister for the past 12 years. In addition to serving his church, Rev. Fulgence was working as a project director for an international NGO in Burundi. His congregation continues to meet, even as many of its members have been forced to flee. His wife and son are currently in asylum in the US. They hope to be reunited soon.

What's Happening April 4 - 10, 2016

Join us Sunday, April 10, at 10:30 am for The Strength of Vulnerability with Rev. Diane Rollert, music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau. We’re often told we have to be tough if we want to be respected. Yet as researcher Brené Brown writes, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” Considering that machismo may be one of the most destructive forces known to humanity, could vulnerability save us from ourselves?

Empty Bowls at UCM will be held following the service. Soup and bread will be available for everyone attending. The Social and Environmental Concerns Committee will be meeting at 12:15 pm.  

Later in the week, the Workshop on Intercultural Sensitivity will be held Tuesday, April 5, 6:30-8:30 pm. Pathway to Membership will be Friday, April 8, at 7:30 pm for anyone wanting to explore Unitarian Universalism and membership at the UCM. 

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

Disciples, Deliberators and Dreamers (Audio Available)

I appreciate the challenge of holidays like Easter that are emotionally and spiritually charged. These are the moments when we have to face our own internal struggles: Which words of the hymn do we choose to sing? “Lo, the earth awakes again” or “Jesus Christ has risen today”? At least the “hallelujahs” stay the same.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Easter if I didn’t begin with the tradition of telling this classic story: 

 A visitor drives into town on Easter morning. The first church he passes has a sign in front that says "Christ is Victorious over Death: He is Risen!" Then he passes the Unitarian Church with its own sign announcing the theme of the day: “Upsy-Daisy!” 

Continue reading or listen to Disciples, Deliberators and Dreamers

What's Happening March 28 - April 3, 2016

Join us on Sunday, April 3, at 10:30 am for It Takes Courage with Akiko Asano with Rev. Nicoline Guerrier and Carlene Gardner, music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau. A reprise of a popular offering from last summer, exploring how courage, vulnerability, and a dedicated network of allies and advocates impact the lives of people in the trans* community. Akiko Asano is co-founder and president of Gender Creative Kids Canada. Rev. Nicoline Guerrier serves the First UU Church of Winnipeg as interim minister.

Following the service, Sunday Explorations will meet at 12:15 pm with Rev. Diane Rollert and Margo Hovey-Ritter in the Thomas room to explore this month’s theme of vulnerability. The session is open to everyone, and is especially recommended for newcomers and those who would like to experience what it’s like to be part of an Exploration Group.

What's Happening March 21 - 27, 2016


Join us on Easter Sunday, March 27 at 10:30 am for Disciples, Deliberators and Dreamers presented by Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Sandra Hunt, Maider Martineau, and the Parts in Peace Choir. It can take a lot of thought to choose to follow a leader, or it can be done in a moment of inspiration or abandon. Are you an instant disciple, or someone who deliberates but never moves? Do you follow your own dreams or those of someone else? There’s so much in the news to give us pause in this season as we consider the Easter story and the choices we make to follow, to lead, or to stand aside. The service is followed by an optional communion at 11:45 am.

For information about other events during this week, please go to the This Month page. 

Donations Needed

The Unitarian Church of Montreal (UCM) is sponsoring a refugee family of 9 from Syria. Please join us in welcoming and supporting them as they build a new home among us. 

Please bring your donations this March to UCM between Monday and Thursday during the hours listed below. Items can also be left on Sundays. The items needed are listed in their various categories. Gift cards from Walmart, Canadian Tire, Dollarama, Ikea, and others will also be accepted.

Gifts in Kind Committee

Thank you!


Discipline Will Make You Free (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 13 March 2016

Though you’ve broken your vows a thousand times, come, yet again, come. —Rumi

Close your eyes for a moment and listen: “Discipline.” 

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear that word Discipline? 

Do you want to rebel? Do you see a stern parent, a demanding teacher, or a demanding God forcing you in a direction you don't want to go? Do you feel that aching regret that you don't have enough self-discipline to accomplish the things that you've always wished you could? Do you wish you had the discipline to spend the 10,000 hours it would take to master your craft, your art, your music, your sport, your dreams?

Continue reading Discipline Will Make You Free

What's Happening March 14 - 20, 2016

Rev. Carole Martignacco, will join us Sunday, March 20th at 10:30 am, for Discipline is Remembering What We Want, with music by Sandra Hunt, and Deidre McCay on sitar.Discipline is a way of shaping life so that it becomes a vehicle for making meaning. Our habits and actions serve our highest values.

The service will be followed by a fundraising lunch sponsored by RE. There will be a congregational meeting at 12:30 pm to discuss the 2015 financials. The Ruth di Giovanni Documentary Film Series will meet at 12:15 pm. The Collage group will meet later that same day from 1-4:30 pm. Other activities this week include the Midday Meal with Music held earlier in the week on Wednesday, March 20 at 12:30 pm. 

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

Read More

What's Happening March 7 - 13, 2016

Join us Sunday, March 13, at 10:30 am for Discipline Will Make You Free with Rev. Diane Rollert, music by Louise Halperin, Maider Martineau. A meditation on the many aspects of discipline in our lives, Rev. Rollert will be joined by special guests Zoubida Duff and Rachid Djouaher from L’Association Internationale Soufie Alawiya who are members of the Alawi Sufi order here in Montreal.

After school activities start with Mellow Mondays, March 4 at 4 pm. The Stairwell Art Gallery's vernissage of Deirdre McCay's and her student's artwork will be Thursday, March 10, 5-7 pm. The Sunday service on March 13 will be followed by the Sunday Explorations group, the Young Adult Group Lunch Meetup, and a meeting of the Social and Environmental Concerns Committee (SECC). 

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

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What's Happening February 29 - March 6, 2016

Photo by Kate Hayter Photograph

Photo by Kate Hayter Photograph

Join us Sunday, March 6 at 10:30 am for The Artist's Way: The Gifts and Challenges of Artistic Discipline presented by Chloe Hart, with music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau. Back by popular demand from this summer, Chloe Hart, dancer, artist, summer worship coordinator, and member of our religious education team, will dance and reflect on the challenges she has faced in living up to the demands of artistic discipline.

Syrian Refugee Roundtable
Tuesday, March 1, 7 pm, Sanctuary
Moderated by Rev. Diane Rollert and members of the Refugee Task Force

Several guests who have immigrated from Syria will speak about their experiences of coming to Quebec. A question and answer period will follow. This is the second in a series of events as we prepare to sponsor two Syrian refugee families. Everyone is welcome.

Other activities this week include Seeking the Sacred in Stories, facilitated by Rev. Diane on Tuesday March 1 at 12 pm. For more information, see the This Month page.