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. 

Is Faith Still a Wounded Word? (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 1 May 2016


Today marks almost exactly ten years that this congregation voted to call me to become its 11th settled minister. (The date was April 30, 2006, to be precise.) It was an act of faith on your part to call me as your minister, just as it was an act of faith on my part to come here as a new minister to a new community and new country. I wouldn’t call it act of trust, because to trust someone is to get to know them over time and to learn just how far they are able to support you or be honest with you. I call this an act of faith, because we were walking out onto a tightrope together, taking risks to be in relationship without any preparation or practice. We hardly knew each other. We simply had to hope that with time we’d learn how to balance and support each other. 

Listen to or continue reading Is Faith Still a Wounded Word?  

What's Happening May 2 - 8, 2016


Coming up this Sunday, May 8 at 10:30 am: Images of Mothers and Other Acts of Faith with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau
Idealized images of motherhood are at the core of many religious traditions, but do these ideals match our own reality? It takes an act of faith to be in deep relationship with someone who depends on you, whether you are a parent, a caregiver or a mentor. Nature and nurture are always at play, and we don’t always get it right.

Come after school for a quiet co-op homework help period (4-5:30 pm) in the Garden Room for Mellow Mondays on May 2, and stay for dinner at 5:30 pm. Sacred Stories will meet Tuesday at 12:15 pm with Rev. Rollert. The sold out Fundraising Dinner in Support of Syrian Refugee Families takes place at 6 pm in Phoenix Hall. No tickets are available at the door.  

For more information, go to the This Month page. 

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

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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.