What's Happening September 26 - October 2, 2016

Join us Sunday, October 2 at 10:30 am for Charles and Nancy: Fortitude, Grace and a Bit of Mischief with Rev. Diane Rollert, with music by Sandra Hunt.
This summer, our minister emeritus, Rev. Charles Eddis, celebrated his 90th birthday. Since 1977, he and his wife Nancy have seen our community through times of joy and sorrow with grace,
fortitude and humour. This Sunday we celebrate their ministry as a preview of our six months of celebration of our 175th anniversary (January - June, 2017). We will be joined by several special guests.

On Friday, September 30, and Saturday, October 1, Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner of One Earth Conservation, will be doing a Nurture Nature retreat and workshop at UCM from 7:00 pm on Friday Sept. 30th and 9:00 am to 3:30 pm on Oct. 1. 

After the service, there will be a Divestment Meeting,a congregational information session with representatives of Jarislowsky Fraser, our investment company, on the topic of divesting UCM investments from oil. The Daffodil Sale for the UCM's 175th anniversary will take place from 12-1 pm.

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

Five Aspirations (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 18 September 2016


I don't know if you ever encountered the Rev. J. McRee Elrod. Everyone knew him as Mac. He was one of those legendary Unitarian ministers — I might even say a legendary character — here in Canada. Mac died this past June at the age of 84. 

Mac was born in Georgia, a briar patch kid, he would say. He thanked his mother for not letting his father, a member of the KKK, indoctrinate him as a white southern man. Mac came of age fighting for civil rights, marrying a black woman and being ordained as a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In the 1960s he found his way to Unitarianism and was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister in 1970. Soon after, he began serving churches in Canada. 

Mac and his wife Norma were anti-war activists. They were pioneers in the environmental movement. In the 70s, Mac came out as a gay man and, with time, became an increasingly vocal activist for LGBT rights. He personally paid to finance the Canadian Unitarian Council to act as an intervenor in the 2004 Canadian Supreme Court hearings concerning same-sex marriage. Late in life, Mac was actively working with his son on drug policy reform. 

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What's Happening September 19 - 25, 2016

Join us Sunday, Sept 25 at 10:30 am, for A Purpose-Driven Life UU Style with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau with the Parts in Peace Choir. Tara Bissett will be singing two Broadway songs during the service. Christian evangelist Rick Warren’s book, A Purpose Driven Life, published in 2007, began with the statement: “It’s not about you.” He invited readers to consider what they had been placed on Earth to do, based on his theology. Can we ask the same question but from a Unitarian Universalist perspective?

Other events this week include the Marie-Berthe Dion Issues Action Group meeting at 10:30 on Wednesday, September 21, followed by the Midday Meal with Music at 12:30 pm.

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

Reflections from Our Water Ceremony

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 12 September 2016

This year we interspersed several stories, readings and reflections during the pouring out of water for our water communion to express our many experiences from the summer. Here is one piece from the reflection on Rest and Renewal.

Yesterday morning, I received an email from the father of one of the two Syrian refugee families we are in the process of sponsoring. He began by saying he hoped I had enjoyed my vacation. He then went on to share his anxiety. It has been three months since they had their medical examinations and still no word about when they might be coming to Canada. Conditions, he said, were getting very difficult. He hoped he’d hear from me soon.

Continue reading Reflections from Our Water Ceremony

What's Happening Sept 12 - 18, 2016


Our service on Sunday, September 18 at 10:30 will be Five Aspirations with Rev. Diane Rollert, and music by Maider Martineau and Louise Halperin
This Sunday we consider the Canadian Unitarian Council’s new mission statement and our own congregational mission. Why are we here as an institution? What do we really serve? You may not be a fan of institutional discussions, but we promise to take you to a deeper place that will challenge and inspire you!

The service will be followed by an RE fundraising lunch and open house. Your free will donations that support youth and young adult spiritual and professional development will be welcomed.

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

What's Happening September 5 - 11, 2016

Water communion.jpg

Join us Sunday, Sept 11 at 10:30 am for The Vessel that Holds the Water, our annual homecoming and water communion, with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau.
This is a Sunday when we share all that we have experienced over the summer as we head into the intensity of the fall. It’s a great day to consider the theme of the month: Purpose. If you can, bring a very small container of water to represent a summer experience. 

There will also be a Collage Afternoon from 1-4:30 pm on Sunday, September 11.  

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

What Happening, Summer Services - August, 2016

Sunday, August 7, 10:30 am
Where do UUs draw the line? Self-censorship and Freedom of Speech with Jim Connelly and music by Basil Vandervort-Charbonneau. Censorship, the limitation of freedom of ideas, takes many forms and is imposed by various forms of authority, both legitimate and illegitimate, but there is also self-censorship, whether coerced or voluntary. What are the justifiable bounds of free speech? We Unitarians “inspire and challenge”, but do we challenge enough?

Sunday, August 14, 10:30 am
The Art of Meaningful Worship with Chloe Hart and music by Christine Lee
We pride ourselves in the openness and liberty of our faith. However, the gift of choice can also pose the biggest challenge to UUs. How, in a faith where you can be anyone and believe anything, can you define who you are, what you believe and how you practice your beliefs? 

Pride Parade gathering after the service on Sunday, August 14
We'll be gathering to watch the Pride Parade at the statue of Norman Bethune on the corner of Guy and de Maissonneuve at 12:30 pm. If you have questions, please email Katharine Childs at dre@ucmtl.ca.

Sunday, August 21, 10:30 am
Feminism and Intersectionality with Marie-Pier Proulx and music by Christine Lee
From her experiences working in a Montreal women's shelter and other social justice pursuits, Marie-Pier will speak to us this week about what it means to be a feminist in the 21st century. As Unitarian Universalists, we are called to promote the "inherent worth and dignity of all people". How can we support gender equality in our congregation, in our city and in the community at large? This will be an interactive and discussion-based service.

Sunday, August 28, 10:30 am
Sharing in Home and Culture with Holly Flemming and Music by Christine Lee
"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou
I have been hosting international language students for the last 3 years, partially as a way to have income and partially to learn about people and their cultures.  When I was younger the idea of a bed and breakfast appealed to me, welcoming and nurturing travelers along the way, sharing cultures, making their trip a little easier. I have lived in 5 different cities, towns and the people I have met along the way helped me connect to the places I called home.  The recent decision of the Unitarian church to sponsor Syrian families has made me even more aware of  home being a refuge! 

Sunday, September 4, 10:30 am
The Void That Unites with Harvey Shepherd and music by Christine Lee
The headlines these days make it hard not to agree that religion is a source of conflict and bloodshed. John Dourley, a Roman Catholic priest in Ottawa, agrees that it often is. Summarizing what he sees as the views of the late Swiss psychologist on the subject, Dourley, who is also a Jungian analyst, agrees that religion kills. However, Dourley states that religion cannot be eradicated. He also thinks religion could enhance life by contributing to a consciousness that supports human survival, compassion for all humanity and manifestation of the depths of the spirit. We’ll touch on how Dourley thinks consciousness of a mystical void could help reconcile religions with one another and with the radically secular as they too encounter a void.

Reflection on Orlando (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 19 June 2016

Last Sunday, as I was preparing to come to church, I heard the first news reports of a fatal shooting in a nightclub in Orlando FL. At that particular moment, I didn’t know any details. The numbers were still vague.  I made a call, a decision, that I wouldn’t say anything during our service. I hesitated because I still didn’t know enough about what was happening. I also hesitated because, over the years, when I have responded to shootings in the United States, I have been reminded that we are in Canada and these are US problems and concerns. I have been reminded that there are people dying from violence every day in many other places in the world.

I didn’t know early last Sunday morning that this would be a tragedy that would shock the whole world. We’ve gotten numbed by the mass shootings that happen all too frequently in the US. It’s become expected, as something simply accepted as part of daily life there. But by the time I got home Sunday afternoon, the world was reeling with the brutal reality of what had happened at the Pulse nightclub.

Continue reading or listen to Reflection on Orlando

What's Happening June 20 - 26, 2016


Our worship service on Sunday, June 26, at 10:30 am will be I Can See Clearly Now with Roger Haughey and Shoshanna Green. Roger Haughey is a well-loved singer and guitarist in NDG and in our congregation. He and Shoshanna will lead the congregation in a morning of reflection and song as they consider the meaning of perception in song, spoken word and silence.

Following the service, there will be the the Ruth di Giovanni Documentary Fill Series at 12:15 pm. The Unitarian Drum Circle will meet at 4 pm. There will also be Cello, Trombone and Piano Music En Concert at 7:30 pm with Gary Russell, cello, Matthew Hunt Russell, trombone, and Sandra Hunt, piano Boccherini Sonata, jazz pieces by a Russian composer Nicolai Kapustin, Canadian trombone music. Glass of wine included in admission. -  $20 or whatever you can afford!

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

What's Happening June 13 - 19, 2016

Join us Sunday, June 19, 10:30 am for Bonnie and Her 21 Children: A Long-Suffering Father’s View with Rev. Fred Cappuccino with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Jean Séguin, Denis Barsalo, Stuart Edding and Jane Crtichlow
Interspersed with jazz perceptions of fatherhood, the Rev. Fred Cappuccino will read excerpts from his long-awaited and universally acclaimed book, BONNIE AND HER 21 CHILDREN by her long-suffering husband, Fred Cappuccino, JBS* (*Just Barely Surviving). Fred and his wife Bonnie are directors of Child Haven International, which has operated nine homes for 1300 formerly destitute children in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Tibet. There will be an opportunity to purchase Fred's book after the service. 

This is our last Sunday for our Religious Exploration program.

Potluck picnic lunch: Bring food to share for our picnic, and pray for sunny skies so that we
may eat outside.

Blooming Perceptions (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 5 June 2016

This month we’re talking about perception. In a sense, we’re thinking about thinking. Science defines perception as the result of how our senses are able to take in what we experience, and how our brains process that information to produce a thought or an idea. Different parts of our brains are perceiving colour, light, sound, smell, and touch. We are taking in millions of points of data to let us know that this thing in front of me is a flower. 

Just stop for a moment and consider everything your brain is trying to process right now. How is it that you are able to perceive what is happening in this one moment? It’s truly miraculous.

Continue reading or listen to Blooming Perceptions

What's Happening June 6 - June 12, 2016

Coming up on Sunday, June 12 at 10:30 am will be The Living Tradition: Perceptions From The Basement with the UCM Youth, Trevor Juhl, Alex Connelly, Hannah and Matthias Lee Poy, with Phoebe Warren, Carlene Gardner and Rev. Diane Rollert, and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau.
Come and explore our church’s “Upstairs/Downstairs” as the youth and bridging young adults of the UCM bring their perceptions from their RE meeting spaces in our church basement to the Sanctuary upstairs for a special youth-led Sunday service. The service will be followed by an RE fundraising lunch. 

UCM's Annual General Meeting will be held on June 6 at 7 pm. There will be a Spring Fling on Friday, June 10 from 5:30 to 9 pm. 

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

What's Happening May 30 - June 5, 2016

Join us Sunday, June 5 at 10:30 am for Blooming Perceptions: Flower Communion and New Member Sunday with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau.
There are the ways we perceive and take in the world through our senses, and then there are the ways we think we understand and are understood by the world. As we share in our annual flower communion and welcome new members, we’ll take this day to consider how coming together in community can shift our perceptions of everything.

The Midday Meal with Music has been moved to Wednesday, June 1 at 12:30 pm. At 1:30 pm, the music will be performed by Emily Felice, Pianist, and friends. 

What's Happening, May 23 - May 29, 2016

Coming up on May 29th at 10:30 our Sunday service will be Speed Faithing with
Rev. Diane Rollert and music by the Greater Goods, Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau.
In their book, A Chosen Faith, first published in 1998, ministers Forest Church and John Beuhrens described Unitarian Universalism as a faith we choose rather than inherit. So, how do you live a chosen faith? This Sunday, we’ll search for answers as we share in an interactive activity called Speed-faithing. Mystery, risk, inspiration and even some fun are guaranteed as we spin the wheel to ask each other about our values, fears, hopes, passions, and more.

What's Happening May 16 - 22, 2016

Coming up on Sunday, May 22 at 10: 30 am will be The Subtle Confidence of Faith with the Rev. Dr. Stan Sears
Rev Sears will be exploring the subtle way in which faith functions in our lives, drawing on Buddhist, as well as Unitarian Universalist teachings. The Rev. Dr. Stan Sears has been serving the Auburn UU Society for eight years. He has also served congregations in British Columbia, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and California. 

The Midday Meal with Music starts at 12:30 pm on Wednesday, May 18, preceded by the Letter Writing group at 10:30 am. Sunday, May 22 will also feature the Ruth di Giovanni Documentary Film Series starting at 12:15 pm after the service. The UCM Drum Circle will meet at 4-6 pm that same afternoon. 

Images of Mothers and Other Acts of Faith

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 8 May 2016

If our TV were working this week, I would have shown you two videos. The first is one of those classic, saccharine videos that people often post on Facebook or send out in e-mails to annoyingly interrupt your day — and of course you get hooked and find yourself saying aloud, “Oh how cute!”

This particular video shows a beagle that has recently given birth to her own puppies in an animal shelter. For some unknown reason, this adorable dog has decided to foster a litter of abandoned kittens as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IulFwMdvgYc She lovingly picks the kittens up by the scruffs of their necks to set them beside her own offspring. She is the perfect mother, whose love expands out beyond her own; the great self-sacrificing, nurturing image of holy motherhood.

Continue reading Images of Mothers and Other Acts of Faith

What's Happening May 9 - 15, 2016


Join us Sunday, May 15 at 10:30 am  for Célébration Interreligieuse sur la lumière/ An Interfaith Celebration of Light, L’amour de Dieu, l’amour du prochain/Love of God, Love of the Other, Programme bilingue/Bilingual service. Rev. Diane Rollert, Pascale Frémond, Maider Martineau with interfaith guests and choirs We welcome an interfaith gathering to celebrate the closing of UNESCO’s declaration of the past year as the international year of light. This service is hosted by Religions pour la paix and the Unitarian Church of Montreal as the culmination of the interfaith conference, Love of God, Love of the Other (“Le congrès sur la lumière: l’amour de Dieux, l’amour du prochain”), May 13-15, 2016. For more information about the conference: Congrès sur la Lumière dans les traditions religieuses et spirituelles, 13-15 mai 2016.

RE will sponsor a fundraising lunch at 12:30 pm after the service. The Collage Group will meet from 1-4:30 pm that same Sunday. The UCM Council will meet on Wednesday, May 11 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm..

For more information, visit the This Month page.