What's Happening February 1 - 7, 2016

Join us Sunday, February 7 at  10:30 am for Locating Ourselves in the Reconciliation Story with Rev. Diane Rollert, Margot Hovey-Ritter, and Mike Spence. Music will be by special guest MJ Tremblay, with Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau. A preparatory Sunday to explore our individual places in the narrative of reconciliation. Mike Spence, our building manager and member of the Cree Nation, will share his own story. Folksinger and drummer MJ Tremblay will share her music from the perspective of her Métis experience. Margot and Rev. Diane will lead us through some exercises to get us thinking about where and how we find ourselves in the story.

Later in the week, there is a Young Adult Mixer & Potluck taking place on Friday, February 6 at 6 pm. There will also be a congregational meeting at 12 pm following the service for an update on the status of our refugee sponsorship project. We will discuss the possibility of sponsoring a second, smaller family. 

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

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Fleshly, Fleshy Spirituality: A BidNite Sermon (Audio Available)

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert, 24 January 2016

Congratulations to Shoshanna Green, winner of the Bidnite sermon topic raffle. After many years of buying raffle tickets, her persistence finally paid off.

When Shoshanna first asked me to preach about fleshly, fleshy spirituality, we both wondered, given our monthly themes, where the topic would fit. Somehow, we agreed that this month’s theme of laughter was our best bet. Fleshly, fleshy spirituality, laughter.  Well, you know what came into my head… After all, where do religion and spirituality seem to struggle more than when it comes to dealing with sexuality?

“No, no, no,” Shoshanna said to me. “I’m thinking about our bodies and the challenge to live a truly embodied spirituality. Sexuality is just one aspect of the bigger picture.”

Continue Reading or listen to Fleshly, Fleshy Spirituality: a Bidnite Sermon

What's Happening January 25 -31, 2016

The worship service on Sunday, January 31 will be The Healing Power of Laughter with
special guest, Melissa Holland, Director of Dr. Clown with music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau. The trained clown artists of Dr. Clown bring comic relief and healing to children in the hospital and elders in nursing homes. Melissa Holland, one of the organization’s founding members joins us to tell her story and the story of her organization, Jovia Foundation.

Besides our weekly scheduled Play Group and Parts in Peace rehearsal, Yellow Door choir will put on two nights of concerts on January 29 and 30. Students of Gary Russell and Sandra Hunt will be performing on Sunday, January 31 at 4:30 for a free recital.

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

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Laughing at Ourselves: UU Humour and Other Confessions (Audio Available)

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert, Susan Gray, and Philippe Chevalier

As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning, so…

What does the KKK do when they find out that a Unitarian family has moved into their neighbourhood?

They burn a question mark on their lawn.


Many years ago, a former neighbour of ours, a fellow UU in Massachusetts named Stoney Ballard, started collecting all the UU jokes he could find on the Internet. Now he has a large online repository of just about every good, bad and ugly UU joke ever told. Google “UU jokes” and you’ll find Stoney.

Continue reading Laughing at Ourselves: UU Humour and Other Confessions

What's Happening January 17 - 24, 2016

Our service on Sunday, January 24 at 10:30 am, will be Fleshly, Fleshy Spirituality: A Bidnite Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Louise Halperin and Maider Martineau. To everything there is a season: a time to laugh, a time to cry, and a time to blush. Modern humour laughs at the body and sex a lot. Why is it that we we are so uncomfortable with ourselves? "What would it mean to see the body not as something to be transcended as we attain spirituality, but as something transcendent in itself?” That’s the assignment our minister must face this Sunday, upon request of Shoshanna Green, winner of last year’s Bidnite sermon topic raffle.

The third week of the month is always a busy one. This Wednesday the 20th, the Letter Writing Group meets at 10:30 am, followed by the Midday Meal with Music starting at 12:30 pm. The UCM Winter Social will be Friday the 22nd at 5:30 pm and promises to be a lot of fun! The Ruth Giovanni Film series will be at noon on Sunday the 24th. Later that afternoon, the UCM Drum Circle will meet from 4 - 6 pm.

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

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I Don't Get It! Quoi?!! (Audio Available)

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert, 10 January 2016

Humour is a very personal thing. What makes me laugh, may not make you laugh. When we have funny stories to tell, how often do we have to say, “You had to be there”? I would love to tell you the story of the time my mother arranged for our whole family to live on these ridiculous cement bottomed houseboats for a week in the Florida Keys, and how we wreaked havoc everywhere we floated and crashed. Ask anyone in my family about my grandmother saying “I’ve seen red birds!” during the trip and they’ll roll on the floor laughing. But, well, you had to be there…

Continue reading or listen to to I Don'tGet It! Quoi?!!

What's Happening January 11 - 17, 2016

Join us Sunday, January 17 at 10:30 am for Laughing at Ourselves: UU Humour and Other Confessions with Rev. Diane Rollert, Philippe Chevalier, Susan Gray and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau. We Unitarians have long been on the receiving end of many a joke, and we often love to tell our own self-deprecating jokes about our questioning faith. This morning, we’ll experience several stand-up comic routines that will ask us to consider the depth and power of what makes us laugh at ourselves. In times of trial, sometimes laughter is the only way through.

Other events this week include the Council meeting on Wednesday, January 13 at 6:30 pm, a Stairwell Art Gallery Vernissage for Annie-Lou Chester on Thursday, January 14 at 5 pm, and a Vegan Dinner on Saturday, January 16 starting at 4:30 pm. In addition to the service on Sunday, there will be a Collage Afternoon and le Groupe de réflexion both starting at 1 pm.

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

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The Laughing Fire: Fire Communion (Audio Only)

Sermon by Rev. Diane Rollert with Krin Haglund, 3 January 2016

Audio available here

During the month of January, we’ll be exploring “Laughter”, a theme that’s a lot more complex than you might think. This Sunday we shared in our annual fire communion and started the New Year right by letting go and starting fresh. Adults and children of all ages were invited to join us for a magical morning as we watched last year’s worries go up in smoke

What's Happening January 4 - 10, 2016

Join us for Quoi ?!! I Don’t Get It! with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt at 10:30 am, Sunday, January 10. Humour has an incredibly cultural context. You can master another language, and still not get the jokes. Cultural humour can define who we are as separate from others. It challenges us to build bridges where the language of laughter can be universal.

Sacred Stories meets on Tuesday, January 5 with Rev Diane. The Book Discussion Group will meet on Thursday, January 7 at 7 pm. The Lesbian/Queer Social Discussion Group will meet at 7:30 pm on Friday, January 8. The Social and Environmental Concerns Committee will meet at noon following the service on January 10.

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

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What's Happening January 3, 2016

Worship Service - The Laughing Fire: Fire Communion, 10:30 am
Rev. Diane Rollert
Music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau with special guest Susanne Maziarz
During the month of January, we’ll be exploring “Laughter”, a theme that’s a lot more complex than you might think. This is the Sunday we share in our annual fire communion. Start the New Year right by letting go and starting fresh.  Adults and children of all ages are invited to join us for a magical morning as we watch last year’s worries go up in smoke.

Sunday Explorations with Rev. Diane Rollert and Margot Hovey-Ritter, 12:15 to 1:30 pm, Thomas Room
Other than January, this group meets the first Sunday of every month to introduce the month’s theme.   Based on our Exploration Group model of respectful listening,  these sessions are open to everyone and are highly recommended for new comers and those who’d like to experience our approach to going deeper together spiritually.

The UCM church office is closed until January 4, 2016.

Introducing Our New Song and Choir Leader: Maider Martineau

We are thrilled that Maider Martineau is joining our musical team as song and choir leader. She comes to us with a wealth of musical experience in vocal technique, conducting choirs and vocal workshops in classical, popular and Basque and Quebecois traditional song. She is completing a Masters in Music at the Université de Laval, training in instrumental education, song, Quebecois accordion, jazz piano and percussion.

Originally from Pays-Basque, Maider also holds a degree from L’Institute Supérieur des Arts de Toulouse, France, where she studied song, the Basque accordion and alboka (a single reed instrument), and won awards for music composition. She says that she developed her passion for singing while growing up in the Basque culture where singing is a regular part of life. “At dinner, everyone sings!”

Introducing Our New Administrator, Julie Golick

I am so pleased to introduce to you the newest member of our staff team. Julie Golick will be replacing our retiring administrator, Verna Litwack, beginning January 4, 2016. Julie brings to us excellent skills in administration, new technology, and organization.  

Julie has worked as administrator with a number of non-profit organizations, including Fertility Matters Canada, as well as having worked for McGilll University as a curriculum administrator, and as an editor and writing tutor. She has a Masters of Arts in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto and a BA with Great Distinction from Concordia University. She is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism which focuses on the recreation of life and culture in the Middle Ages.  

Julie and Verna have been working together during the last weeks of December (before the holidays) and will spend some days together in early January to ensure a smooth transition.  Starting January 4, you can meet Julie in her office from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Rev. Diane

What's Happening December 21, 2015 - January 3, 2016

Thursday, December 24 at 5:30 pm/17:30 fo Veille de Noël - Christmas Eve Candlelight Service- Une célébration bilingue. 
A bilingual celebration with Rev. Diane Rollert, musicians Sandra Hunt, Gary Russell, Michael Cartile, Kerry-Anne Kutz, Margo Ellis, and members of the Parts in Peace and Lakeshore Community choirs. We sing the classic carols, read the Christmas Gospel, all with an open Unitarian Universalist spirit that is welcoming to everyone looking to rejoice in the beauty of holiday light, and fellowship. Everyone is invited for cookies and cider immediately following the service.
Nous chantons les chants traditionnels et nous partageons l’esprit des Fêtes dans un contexte universaliste, qui accueille les gens désirant vivre la joie de Noël dans la splendeur de la lumière du moment et la fraternité.  Après la célébration, nous servirons des biscuits et du cidre.

The UCM church office will be closed December 25 - January 4, 2016.

For more information about other events and services coming up, continue reading below.

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I've Got the Holiday Blues (Audio Available)

Acabris !  Acabras ! Acabram !
Fais-nous voyager par dessus les montagnes !

C’est la chasse-galerie qui vole, passant par dessus les villages, les forêts, les rivières, laissant derrière une traînée d’étincelles. C’est une nuit superbe avec la lune dans son plein, illuminant le firmament comme un beau soleil du midi. C’est la chasse-galerie …

Canot d’écorce qui vole, qui vole,
Canot d’écorce qui va voler !

Maybe you know this Quebecois tale of the chasse-galerie, the story of a flying canoe that takes off from snowy fields up in the frozen North. On New Year’s Eve, just as midnight is about to strike, eight loggers working far, far from home, make a deal with the devil. The chasse-galerie will fly them back to their village at lightening speed to spend one night with their sweethearts, avec leurs blondes.

Continue reading or listen to I've Got the Holiday Blues

What's Happening December 14 - 20, 2015

Our Winter Solstice Celebration Multigenerational Worship Service, will be Sunday, December 20 at 10:30 am. Join us for Deck the Halls! A Yuletide Celebration of the Winter Solstice with Katharine Childs and the children, and Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Sandra Hunt and the Parts in Peace Choir. As Sunday once again falls close to the Winter Solstice, we celebrate the coming return of the sun with song and story, not to mention our annual Twelve Days of Christmas sing-a-long. Calling all partridges and calling birds. The service will be followed by the Holiday Potluck at 11:45 am.  Bring a salad, dessert or something simple to share if you can! Everyone is welcome.

On Tuesday, Rev. Rollert will lead A Time for Healing/Un moment propice à la guérison at 7 pm/19:00. A gathering for those in need of healing in this season.

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

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What's Happening December 7 - 13, 2015

Join us Sunday, December 13 at 10:30 am for I’ve Got the Holiday Blues with Rev. Diane Rollert
and music by Jean Séguin, Denis Barsalo, Stuart Edding and Jane Critchlow. Whether you’re feeling stressed by holiday preparations, worried about the world, or find that this season is hard to face, come join us to lift the blues and imagine a new approach to the holidays. We’ll also light our menorah for the last days of Hanukkah. (Hanukkah begins the evening of December 6 and ends on December 14.) 

A second candidate for the song/choir leader position will lead us in song early in the service. There will also be an open choir rehearsal at 12:15 pm. If you love to sing (whether you are experienced or not), we encourage you to stay for the rehearsal to participate and provide feedback.

In addition this week, the Book Discussion Group will meet on Thursday, Dec 10 at 5:30 pm. Friday the 11th, the Lesbian/Queer Social Discussion Group meets at 7:30 pm. SECC will meet Sunday, at 12:pm.

The UCM church office will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

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

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