What's Happening October 15 - 21, 2018


Join us on Sunday, October 21 at 10:30 am, for Campfires, Traplines, and Wildflowers by Amber Dawn Bellemare with music by Louise Halperin.
 Amber Dawn Bellemare reflects on her spiritual journey of Truth, Healing and Reconciliation as a documentary filmmaker, a risk taker, and a Unitarian. Don't forget to invite your ancestors!

RE Lunch, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

After the service, the Collage Group, will meets from 1:00 - 5:00 pm in the Garden Room.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening October 8 - 14, 2018


Join us on Sunday, October 14 at 10:30, for Bringing Your Spirit Home
Rev. Diane Rollert and Carol McGregor, Female Chief of the Bear Clan in Kahnawake with music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert.
What are the blessings and burdens of our ancestry? What does it take to find a home for the spirit that helps you to stay grounded, honest and strong? Rev. Diane and others will join our special guest Carol McGregor, Female Chief of the Bear Clan in Kahnawake, in sharing stories and thoughts about our ancestors.

Friday, October 12: Pathway to Membership — Chemin vers l'adhésion Unitarian Church of Montreal, 5.30 p.m. - Dinner and fellowship, 6 - 8:45 p.m. - Learning and activities Childcare upon request.

What's Happening October 1 - 7, 2018


Join us on Sunday, October 7 at 10:30 am, for Gifts from Our Ancestors with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert and special guests, Mélissandre Tremblay-Bourassa, choreographer of contemporary works and dancer of the traditional jig with Alexis Chartrand, musician. 

On this Thanksgiving Sunday, we’ll consider the gifts that we’ve received from our ancestors. The children will stay with us throughout the service. There will be something for everyone, from deep thoughts to fun music and multigenerational interaction. This Sunday also kicks off our annual financial commitment campaign.

Seeking the Sacred in Stories will meet earlier in the week on Tuesday, October 2, at noon. The UCM church office will be closed on Friday, October 5.

Tell Me a Story

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 23 September 2018


I remember once taking a very wet camping trip with our kids. It rained heavily all week. It rained so much that giant mushrooms started to take over our campsite, and we were forced to live under a canopy of blue tarps that we had strung up to protect our tent and our gear. With little to do, I sat with my daughter in our tent for hours, reading one of the Harry Potter books out loud. I don’t remember which book it was, but its magic saved our vacation.

When my kids entered their teen years and decided they were too sophisticated for children’s books, I was still anxiously looking forward to the release of the next book in the Harry Potter series. I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen to Harry and his friends as they grew up, and I needed to know that someday the evil He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (Voldemort) would be vanquished.

You may think I’m weird, but there was a study a few years ago that found that adults make up more than 50% of the readers of young adult novels. These are not adults who are reading to children, but adults who are reading for their own pleasure. I discovered this, and a lot of the information that I’m going to share today, while listening to a program called The Ministry of Ideas, which is part of the Harvard Divinity School Religious Literacy Project. (https://www.ministryofideas.org/) This program was one of the inspirations for choosing to focus on the theme of story this month.

Continue reading Tell Me a Story

The Narrative You Choose

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 16 September 2018

Years ago, when I was just a member of a Unitarian congregation, I was deeply disappointed when my minister decided to ignore the Jewish High Holy Days. As someone who has always held onto my Jewish identity as part of my Unitarian Universalism, this hit me hard. So I wrote him a short note to express my feelings. The poor guy, it was probably the last thing he needed to hear. But he sent me a handwritten card of apology, promising that he would never overlook the High Holy Days again. When I became a minister, I made the same commitment to myself and to the people I serve. 

Yom Kippur is the last day of the High Holy Days. From sundown this Tuesday, to sundown on Wednesday, observant Jews will fast, refraining from both eating and drinking. It’s a time when you settle your accounts with God, as well as the people in your life. You ask for forgiveness as well as offer forgiveness so that you can begin again with love; so that you will be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year.  

Read More

What's happening September 24 - 30, 2018


On Sunday, September 30 at 10:30 am, our worship service will be Stories of Freedom and Dignity with Rev. Diane Rollert and Vera Freud, music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert.
Vera Freud joins Rev. Diane this Sunday to share stories about the right to live and die with dignity. Vera came of age during WWII working for the French resistance. This past summer she spent five days in Toulouse, France, returning to a place of great personal significance, as she offered testimonials about freedom fighters and the Spanish resistance. “It is along the lines of a many splendored freedom, that I wish to express myself,” she says.

Join us for On Aging, Wednesday, September 26, 12:30 - 3:30 pm, for soup and bagels followed by a film based on the book Being Mortal. Rev. Rollert will lead a discussion after the film.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening September 17 - 23, 2018


Join us Sunday, September 23 at 10:30 am for Tell Me a Story with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert.
This Sunday we’ll explore the relationship of faith, Harry Potter and the lure of children’s literature. What is it about stories written for children that still speaks to our grown-up (or growing-up) selves? Instead of asking, “What would Jesus do?”, some adults are asking, “What would Harry do?” Come find out why.

On Wednesday, September 19, the Marie-Berthe Issues Action Group: Letter Writing will meet at 10:30 am followed by the Midday Meal at 12:30 pm and Music for an Afternoon at 1:45 pm. On Friday, September 21 at ~ 12 pm, a Ginkgo Biloba tree will be planted at the Unitarian Church of Montréal as part of an international "Peace Tree" project. 

For more information, go to the This Month page.

Reflections from Our Water Communion 2018

water 2018

On the first Sunday of the fall season, for as long as most of us can remember, we’ve been celebrating a special ceremony we call the water communion. We use the word communion to simply mean “a sharing, a coming together” to affirm all that connects us to each other once again. It’s a tradition that is practiced by many Unitarian Universalist congregations and groups around the world. We come together from different directions, bringing water that we pour into a communal bowl.

Each congregation does the water communion differently. Here at the Unitarian Church of Montreal, we ritually pour water five separate times to symbolize the range of our summer experiences: our times of rest and renewal; our moments of happiness and joy; our grief and loss; the periods of change and transition, and finally, the experiences that remain unnamed.

It’s beautiful to watch as everyone gets up at different times during the ceremony to pour out water, as Sandra Hunt, our director of music, plays music to reflect each mood. Together, we witness an emotional map of our community. From the youngest child to the oldest adult, we see how many of us have been touched by highs, lows and change over the summer.

Here are two reflections from this year’s water communion by Rev. Diane Rollert, our minister, and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert, our new song leader and choir director.

Continue reading or download Reflections from Our Water Communion.

What's Happening September 10 - 16, 2018


Join us Sunday, September 16 at 10:30 am for The Narrative You Choose with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt, Gary Russell on cello, and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert.
Sami Awad, director of the Holy Land Trust in Palestine, says that conflict can begin or end with the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. Do we need to reconsider and choose new narratives? On this Sunday closest to Yom Kippur, the Jewish holy day of atonement, we consider what it means to start the new year with forgiveness for the past and a new narrative for the future. 

The Collage Group will meet from 1:00 - 5:00 pm in the Garden Room after the service.

Communications Specialist at the Unitarian Church of Montreal

We’re seeking a highly skilled and experienced communications specialist to play a central role in attracting visitors and new members to the Unitarian Church of Montreal and to ensure the open and transparent sharing of information between its staff, leadership and membership critical to the overall health of the congregation. We’re looking for someone who has proven experience and competence in working with websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other media, has excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication with strong writing and editorial abilities in English, and the ability to communicate in French, as well as read and evaluate French content and work with French-speaking volunteers. The ability to write and edit French would be an asset.

To apply: Send a cover letter and a current CV (in English or French) to Communications Selection Committee ℅ office@ucmtl.ca, or mail to the Unitarian Church of Montreal, 5035 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal QC H4A 1Y5.

Communication Specialist Job Description (pdf)

What's Happening Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sunday, September 9, 10:30 am
Water Heal My Body, Water Heal My Soul

Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert
Join us for our fall homecoming and annual water communion as we share in the healing power of water and the stories we tell. You’re invited to bring a small container of water from a summer experience —whether from the ocean, a stream or a melted ice cube — to pour together into a shared container of our summer highs, lows, and transitions.

12:00 pm Lunch in honour of Jim Lewis

2:00 pm Celebration of the Life of Jim Lewis
All are invited to attend a service in memory of Jim Lewis, who passed away on 16 June 2018. Jim was a longtime UCM member and husband of Prue Rains. In lieu of a reception following the memorial, a lunch will be provided at noon, after the Sunday morning worship service.

Job Posting: Unitarian Church of Montreal Religious Exploration Assistant

Role Description

• Support and work with our Director of Religious Exploration (DRE) to deliver the Unitarian Church of Montreal’s programing for children and youth.  
• Tasks include: preparing classroom materials; maintaining and organizing classroom spaces and Religious Exploration (RE) areas of the church; leading and animating children’s activities on Sunday mornings; helping the DRE to choose activities and develop our RE program; collaborate with staff and volunteers to participate in multigenerational worship services
• Administrative tasks including: scheduling nursery care workers for Sunday morning and church events; submitting RE staff payroll information bi-monthly to our Church Administrator; submitting and managing staff and volunteer police background checks
• Participate in the life of our RE program in ways which reflect your strengths, abilities, and enthusiasms

For more information, download the RE Assistant pdf

Adjoint.e à l’exploration religieuse à l’Église unitarienne de Montréal
Description de poste: 
• Soutenir et travailler avec notre Directrice de l’exploration religieuse (DRE) pour offrir le programme pour enfants et jeunes à l’Église unitarienne de Montréal.   
• Tâches incluant: préparation des matériaux de classe; entretien et organisation des aires de l’église dédiée à l’exploration religieuse (ER); mener et animer les activités d’enfants les dimanches matins; aider la DRE à choisir les activités et développer notre programme ER; collaborer avec les autres employé.e.s et bénévoles pour participer à nos célébrations pour tous âges  
• Tâches administratives incluant: planification des horaires des travailleur.se.s de garde pour les dimanches matins et pour les évènements à l’église; soumettre deux fois par mois la liste de paie à notre administrateur; soumettre et administrer les vérifications d’antécédents pour les employé.e.s et bénévoles
• Participer à la vie de notre programme d’ER selon vos forces, talents et passions

What's Happening Sunday, September 2, 2018

Join us for Exploring Exploration Groups with Holly Fleming and music by Sandra Hunt. Childcare is not available. 
I have been involved in groups for as long as I can remember, starting with being the second oldest of seven children. The only difference with the groups I have since become part is that everyone takes turns sharing without comment and interruption and we enjoy the silence in between. Coming from a large family who still all talk at the same time, this process is invaluable. I have tried to do this at family dinners but to no avail. It's not that we don't care about what everyone has to say, it's that we're all so happy to be together and enthusiastically want to share  about our lives. At times, I go home knowing there was so much I missed. 

This coming September the "Exploration groups" will start up again. I have been a participant and these days, co-facilitator of a group and I can truly say it is  a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning once a month. No matter what the subject is, I learn so much from the topic, from others and myself. I add to my "reservoir" and always come away with more questions and an appreciation for the diverse ways in which we interpret and perceive people, places, ideas, beliefs and things. Come on an Explorations journey with us on Sunday, September 2 and participate as much or as little as you feel compelled and are comfortable. There is as much power in silence, listening and observation!

What's Happening August 26, 2018

This Sunday will be Poetry Sunday! with various speakers and music by Louise Halperin. Childcare will be available. 
 Friends and members of our community are invited to submit poems that have touched them, or works of their own writing. You may read them yourselves or request to have them read for you. Join us in the exploration of our 2nd source: "Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love." If you're interested in participating, please send Chloe Hart an email at hartchloe4@gmail.com.  

What's Happening Sunday, August 19, 2018

The service on August 19 at 10:30 am will be Little by Little and Lemon with speakers Daniel Hickie and Holly Fleming and music by Basil Vandervort-Charbonneau. Childcare will be available.

The motivation to change and act with integrity and renew and grow my heart usually hits Daniel in waves. While he is riding that wave, gosh, he feel so motivated. But soon enough the motivation slides away; and, mostly the change he has achieved is unrecognizable. That was until Daniel's partner and he learned that they are going to have their first child this fall (which, while growing in the uterus, they are calling Lemon). With that shift in their lives, Daniel is exploring progress little by little instead. And gosh, he just feels so motivated by it.

When Holly was in college, she read a book which talked about a community where everyone parented everyone’s children, that way parent’s didn’t project unmet needs and expectations on their children, freeing children to come at life in their own unique ways. She loved that idea and though she has never had biological children, she has “mothered” children in different ways. The way Holly will talk about alternative parenting today is in her role as hosting international students in my home over the last 10 years. To date she has shared her home with men and women from India, Spain, Colombia, Switzerland, Brazil, Zimbabwe, France, China, Mexico, Japan and Chile. It has and continues to be such a privilege to welcome and nurture young people on their academic, cultural and social journey as they leave home (often her home is their first big trip abroad) and navigate this wonderful city while staying in her home!

What's Happening Sunday, August 12, 2018

Join us for Teaching How to Fish: Moving Beyond Charity in the Non-Profit and Spiritual World with Marlo Turner Ritchie and music by Basil Vandervort-Charbonneau. Childcare will be available.
The Unitarian Church of Montreal and the Canadian Unitarian Council have a long history of working with non-profits. What does it mean to move beyond charity? When is charitable work part of the problem and not the solution? This reflection will give some examples of successful partnerships that have resulted in meaningful and mission-driven impacts in our communities, while giving some historical context to the creation of the “action communautaire autonome” movement in Quebec.

What's Happening Sunday, August 5, 2018

Join us for ComUUnity: Being U in UU with Akiko Asano and Abram Friedland and music by
Basil Vandervort-Charbonneau.
Child care will be available.

Abram's reflection, The People Movers, will be about the long - suffering members of cultures who move societies forward, not for their own greatness, but for the betterment of everyone. One of those people is an inspiration to him.

Akiko reflects on how shifting our paradigms (models or patterns) can empower us and bring out the “you” in your community. She shares her personal journey through various communities trying to find herself only to discover that she was never lost.

What's Happening Sunday, July 29, 2018

Join us for Doing the Dishes with Anastasia Dudley and musician Basil Vandervort-Charbonneau.
Childcare is not available this Sunday.
A reflection on the labour of justice work, in which Anastasia attempts to articulate what she’s working towards as a staff member at Midnight Kitchen, a community kitchen attempting to act as a working alternative to the capitalist food systems which have made sustenance a luxury. She’ll be looking at what, exactly, constitutes change. What kind of people are making it? And who feeds them?