What's Happening May 8 - 14, 2017

Unitiarian church of Montreal play glitter

Join us the Sunday May 14 at 10:30, for Spirit Jam: A Sunday to Play with Rev. Diane Rollert and others and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau. Replenish your spiritual and emotional reserves by engaging in play. We’ll come together as a whole community to begin our service, and then break off into smaller groups to explore creative, meditative, or other kinds of spiritual practices. Our Spirit Jam will give you the chance to respond to what you need: to be energized, calm down, or be creative. Remember, play is good for us all. Experts on the social effects of play say that people who engage in purely enjoyable and purposeless activities tend to be less violent, more empathic and trusting, and more adaptable to life’s challenges. It’s Mother’s Day, so bring your mom, or favourite mom-like person in your life.

The Creative Play Group will meet Friday Morning, May 12 at 10:00 am. Sunday, May 14, the Collage Afternoon will meet at 1 pm. The Cyclofemme Family Bicycle ride will depart from UCM at 1 pm.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening May 1 - 7, 2017


Our service on Sunday, May 7 at 10:30 am will be Race, Diversity and Inclusion:
Teach-in Sunday Worship service
designed by Rev. Diane Rollert and Yvette Salinas, with music by Jean Séguinfollowed by a workshop led by Vincent Mousseau, 12:30-3:30 pm, childcare provided.
What does it take to create a community that is diverse, inclusive and safe for everyone? This Sunday, we are joining nearly 500 Unitarian Universalist congregations across the continent as we shift from business as usual to look deeply into our own challenges and shortcomings in accepting and valuing diversity in Canada, Montreal and our congregation. Please don't stay home! Come to open your mind and your heart.

Sacred Stories will take place on Tuesday May 2 at 12:15 pm.  The Creative Play Group will meet on Friday at 10:00 am. 

For more information, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening April 24 - April 30

Unitarian church of Montreal Tilling Rocky Ground

Join us Sunday, April 30 at 10:30 am, for Tilling Rocky Ground to Cultivate Compassion
with Rev. Meg Roberts, Rev. Diane Rollert and music by the combined choirs of Toronto Neighbourhood UU Congregation, Lakeshore UU Congregation, and UCM’s Parts in Peace, led by Suzanne Maziarz, Kerry-Anne Kutz, Maider Martineau and Sandra Hunt
Fourteen years ago, Rev. Meg Roberts served as sabbatical replacement minister for six months while Rev. Ray Drennan was away. She writes, “During that time together, seeds were sown for cultivating compassion: towards those who are dear to me, towards those I find difficult, and towards myself. It can be the rocks we hit which show us our depths and create fertile soil for compassion.” 

Also on Sunday following the service, SECC will sponsor an NDG Food Depot fundraising lunch at 11:30 am. The Gardening Group will be leading Spring Clean-Up Day at 12:30 pm. At 1:00 pm, the Open Needlework Group will meet. 

 April 29-30, Choral Weekend
Our choral weekend planned for Saturday April 29 and 30 features three events open to the congregation and general public, culminating with joyous choral singing at the Sunday morning service! I will be accompanying Maider Martineau and Parts in Peace, Kerry-Anne Kutz and her Lakeshore Community Choir and Susanne Maziarz with the Spirit Choir from Neighbourhood Unitarian Church.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

Easter Sunday - The Golden Rule of Compassion (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 16 April 2017

The other day I ran into a neighbour as we were both walking our dogs. “You know,” she said, “I’ve been thinking about you and Jesus. I’ve been wondering what you were going to say this Easter Sunday.” She looked at me almost beseechingly and said, “I can’t read the news anymore!”

I tell her that I’ve been feeling the same way. Lately I’ve been wishing I could be Rip Van Winkle. I’d like to lie down in some soft grassy place up on the mountain, fall asleep and wake up twenty years from now. Just let the time pass and hope that the world is in a better state when I awake.

My neighbour says to me, “Who cares if Jesus ever lived. It’s the message that matters.” Then she puts into words what I’ve been struggling with lately. She says, “I don’t have hope. You can’t have hope now. All we have is our goodness, and goodness is strength.”

Continue reading The Golden Rule of Compassion

What's Happening April 17 - 23, 2017

unitarian church of montreal multigen

On Sunday, April 23 at 10:30 am, the service will be Join with the Earth and with Each Other,
a “UCM: The Musical” multigenerational service with Katharine Childs, Rev. Diane Rollert, and many others, with music by Sandra Hunt. Celebrate 175 years of care and compassion for the Earth and for each other with the next chapter of our community history musical. Honour Earth Day and our congregation's journey of compassionate activism in song and story during this creative worship for all ages.

The April RE community lunch will follow the service, as well as the Ruth di Giovanni Documentary Film Series at 12:15 pm. The film will be The Precious and Imperiled Ecosystems of Montréal Island. On Wednesday,April 19 at 10:30 am, the Marie-Berthe Dion Issues Action Group will meet at 10:30 am for letter writing followed by the Midday Meal at 12:30 pm and music at 1:30 pm.

What's Happening April 10 - 16, 2017

Unitarian Church of Montreal Easter 2017

Coming up on Sunday, April 16 at 10:30 am, The Golden Rule of Compassion: An Easter Sunday Service followed by an optional communion at 11:45 am.
Rev. Diane Rollert, with music by Sandra Hunt and the Basque group Sasi Ardiak with Maider  Martineau, Vianney Desplantes and Jokin Irungaray on the trikitixa, alboka, euphonium and percussion.
Karen Armstrong writes that “Compassion…asks us to look into our own hearts, discover what gives us pain, and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else.” To live by the Golden Rule, to follow the compassionate example of Jesus that inspired our forebears, is no easy task. Can we truly love our neighbours and our enemies and do no harm? This is a Sunday of commitment to compassion that can uplift us even as it challenges us.

UCM seder 2017

UCM's Passover Seder will be Friday, April 14, 5:30 pm in Phoenix Hall
Join on  for a ritual meal that retells the story of the Jewish Exodus. Within our community, there are quite a few of us (our minister included) who grew up celebrating Passover. Every year, we share this cherished holiday with the whole community. We laugh, we sing, we share blessings and eat a traditional meal. As we go, we tell the story. Suggested donation $10 (there’s a lot of food!), children $5, families $25. We are also looking for volunteers to help with preparations (and clean up!) .Childcare available. If you can, bring wine and/or a dessert (kosher for Passover please) to share. RSVP and questions: Melani Litwack, melani_l@yahoo.com, 514-775-2043.

What's Happening April 3 - 9, 2017

April 7 compassion

Join us on Sunday, April 9 at 10:30 am, for Compassion in Many Voices from Arts to Islam with Rev. Diane Rollert, Shaheen Ashraf, Samuel Dalpé and Caite Clark, and music by Sandra Hunt, Maider Martineau and special guest Vianney Desplantes.
There is so much to say about compassion. This Sunday we hear from a variety of people about the meaning of compassion in their lives.
Sacred Stories will meet with Rev. Rollert at noon on Tuesday, April 4. Chant to Greet the Day gathers at 7:30 am on Friday, April 7.  The Creative Play Group will also meet on Friday at 10 am. 

For more information, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening March 27 - April 2

compassion tree

Join us on April 2 at 10:30 am for The Gift of Compassion with Curtis Murphy, and music by Maider Martineau, Louise Halperin and Jean Séguin
Living a compassionate life is easier said than done. Why is that? Is it because compassion is a complicated thing? Does it go against our nature? Maybe, but the instinct for compassion is also deeply rooted in each of us. How can we draw it out? What are the habits we've learned that may be in the way?

The Parts in Peace choir has its weekly rehearsal Thursday, April 30, at 7 pm. The CUSJ Regional Chapter will meet on Sunday, April 2,  1-3 pm.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening March 20 - March 26, 2017


Our upcoming worship service on March 26 at 10:30 am will be In All Honesty: Rites of Passage with Normand Gosselin, Shoshanna Green and Rev. Diane Rollert, and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau with the Parts in Peace choir. On this Sunday, we recognize the work of our lay chaplains and the intricacies of responding to the milestones of love and loss in our lives. 

At 12:15 pm, Sunday, March 26,  the Ruth di Giovanni Documentary Film Series will present Migrant Dreams, a powerful documentary that exposes the under-told story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

March 15, 2017

Due to the snow storm, the church will be closed and the Midday Meal has been cancelled.
L'église sera fermée aujourd'hui à cause de la tempête et le "Midday Meal" est annulé.

What's Happening March 13 - 19, 2017


Coming up on Sunday, March 19 at 10:30 am our worship service will be On Vulnerability and Autonomy with Rev. Wies Houweling, with Rev. Dr. Paul Rasor and Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Sandra Hunt. We may have more control of our lives, at the beginning and at the end, than we used to, but that does not make us less vulnerable. What does make us honestly less vulnerable?  Friends and songs may make us stronger, but are we born to be autonomous or are we made to love each other? 

On Wednesday, March 15, theMarie-Berthe Dion Issues Action Group: Letter Writing groups meets at 10:30 am followed by the Midday Meal with Music at 12:30 pm. At 1:45 pm, pianist Jessie Plessie will be performing a Bach Prelude and Fugue and Beethoven's massive, legendary Sonata, Op. 106.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

Whatever Happened to Honesty? (Audio Available)


Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 5 March 2016

My father was a musician. In the 1960s, he designed a music program for the Chicago public school system. He took the soprano recorder — the woodwind flute-like instrument used in Baroque and Renaissance music — and he had it mass-produced in durable plastic. The sound was surprisingly clear and beautiful. He then wrote a teacher’s guide, the Olenick Method, using musical excerpts from Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and the like. He was on a crusade to expose children to real music. 

Back in those days, most schools would introduce students to the flutophone as their first musical instrument. It was this screeching flute-like thing.  We’d all learn how to play ear-splitting renditions of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. It was awful.  But Dad had us playing the William Tell Overture on the descant recorder, and it sounded like music. Mention the flutophone in my house and my father would shout out, “A total piece of crap!”

Continue reading Whatever Happened to Honesty?

What's Happening March 6 - 12, 2017


Join  us for our worship service on Sunday, March 12  at 10:30 am, Lineage and Honouring the Generations with special guest Jane Rabinowitz, Executive Director of USC Canada amd music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau.
Lineage and respect for the generations has played a strong part in Jane Rabinowitz’s personal work and in her work as the executive director of USC Canada (formerly known as the Unitarian Service Committee), an organization focused on building resilience through ecological agriculture. Lineage is a strong theme in the USC’s “Seeds of Survival” program as well as in the life of the organization’s formidable founder, Lotta Hitschmanova (1909-1990). 

Earlier in the week, Seeking the Sacred in Stories will meet at 12 pm on Tuesday, March 7. The Council will meet on Wednesday, March 8 at 6:30 pm. Sunday, March 12, SECC and Sunday Explorations will both meet at 12:15 pm. The Collage Afternoon will start a 1 pm. Wednesday, March 15, the Marie-Berthe Dion Issues Action Group: Letter Writing will meet at 10:30 am before the Midday Meal, which starts at 12:30 pm. Music at Midday will begin at 1:45 pm.

For more information about the details of these event, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening February 27 - March 5, 2017


Our worship service on Sunday, March 5 at 10:30 am, will be Whatever Happened to Honesty? with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Maider Martineau
Does being honest mean telling the truth or sharing how we feel? The free and responsible search for truth and meaning literally holds the centre of our seven UU principles, yet there are many ways that we can get lost along the way. In these days, when rational, objective truth seems to be under attack, we’ll take an honest look at honesty. On this Sunday, we’ll also take time to honour International Women’s Day.

After the service, there will be a Congregational Financial Review meeting at 12:!5 pm. This meeting will review UCM's 2016 financial report with our accounting firm, Oligny Salvati Inc. A motion will be presented for a congregational vote to decide whether to instruct Jarislowsky-Fraser, our investment company, to divest our investments currently in fossil fuels. Voting members are asked to please attend.

What's Happening February 20 - 26, 2017


Coming up on Sunday, February 26 at 10:30  am, our worship service will be a  “UCM: The Musical” multigenerational service, led by Katharine Childs, Rev. Diane Rollert, with music by Maider Martineau, the Parts in Peace Choir and Sandra Hunt.
Come enjoy and participate in the next installment of our multigenerational community musical. We’ll explore how our UU belief that love is the strongest force in the universe calls us to work for justice for all people. Hear tales from our community’s past, and be inspired by stories of our heroes and the call to love and justice.

After the service the Ruth di Giovanni Documentary Film Series will be held in the Thomas Room at 12:15 pm. 

On This Land (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 12 February 2017


Justice is a powerful, fundamental concept in our lives. But justice is also a wounded word. It’s a word that anyone can claim and distort to fit their own agenda. For the Europeans who arrived on this land hundreds of years ago, justice was claiming something that was not theirs. Consider the Hudson Bay Company selling 3.9 million square kilometers to the government of Canada in 1869. As Thomas King writes, “The problem was that the Hudson’s Bay Company didn’t own the land they sold to the Canadian government, any more that the French owned the land they sold to the Americans. They didn’t even control it. The purchases were no more than paper promises and wishful thinking.”

Yet here we are, nearly 175 years later, living in a world where everything is split up into property claims, where we make money by claiming and selling land. This land of justice is a land built on injustice.

Continue Reading

What's Happening February 13 - 19, 2017

peter boullata

Coming up on Sunday February 19, 10:30 am will be What Love Looks Like with  Rev. Peter Boullata, and music by Maider Martineau and Louise Halperin.
What is the purpose of our liberal religious movement? Why do we gather together in our Unitarian faith communities? Let’s explore these questions and what love’s got to do with it. The Rev. Peter Boullata joins us as part of our 175th anniversary celebrations. He came of age in our congregation as a youth and served as our interim minister in 2005-06, as well as serving the First Parishes of Weston and Lexington MA. He currently serves as consulting minister to the Unitarian  Fellowship of London ON while he pursues a doctoral degree in spiritual care and psychotherapy.

The service will be followed by Tea with the DRE at noon in the DRE's office. Sunday Explorations will meet at 12:15 pm. Wednesday, February 15, there will be a very special Midday Meal in celebration of UCM's 175th anniversary starting at 11:00 am with organ music recorded at the Simpson church. 

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

What's Happening February 6 - 12, 2017


On Sunday, February 12 at 10:30 am, our worship service will be On This Land with Rev. Diane Rollert and Paul Clark of Action Refugiés, and musical guest MJ Tremblay, and Sandra Hunt.
Sharing the abundance of this land, while recognizing that it can never truly be “ours”, has the potential to transform our lives. Paul Clark is the executive director of Action Refugiés, an organization dedicated to helping refugees gain access to justice and resettlement. MJ Tremblay is a Métis musician from the Algonquin nation, as well as an author, composer, photographer, filmmaker, actress and painter. The service will be followed by RE's Love and Justice Valentine's Party. 

The Art and Activism workshop with Vincent Mousseau will be held at 12:30 pm on Sunday the 12th. On Wednesday,September 15, there will be a very special Midday Meal with Music celebrating UCM's 175th anniversary. Please RSVP with Elizabeth, 514-937-4095, if you plan to come and were not there last month. 

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

Vigil Tonight, January 30, in Support of Quebec City Muslims.

I invite you to join me today at 6 p.m. for a vigil in solidarity with the Muslims of Quebec City, at Jean-Talon and Parc Street, Parc Metro Station, Montreal. You are welcome to join me at the Unitarian Church at 5 p.m. to travel together to the vigil via metro. 

My heart is heavy with the terrible shooting in Quebec City last night. A number of years ago, a gunman entered a Unitarian church in the US and killed several worshippers. Those who were there spoke of the trauma of losing the safety and security of the most sacred place in their lives. I cannot imagine the fear and trauma that our Muslim friends and neighbours are now experiencing, especially as we watch hatred overflowing south of our border.

 May we be together in solidarity against hatred, racism and Islamophobia. 

With hope that love will guide us through these trying times, 

Rev. Diane

Chers amis et chères amies, 

Je vous invite à me rejoindre aujourd’hui à 18 h pour une vigile de solidarité avec les musulmans/es de Québec, métro Parc à Montréal. Je vous invite à me rencontrer à l'Église Unitairienne à 17 h pour voyager à la vigile ensemble. 

Mon cœur est lourd à cause de la terrible fusillade de Québec hier soir. Il ya un certain nombre d'années, un tireur est entré dans une église unitarienne aux États-Unis et il a tué plusieurs fidèles. Ceux qui étaient là ont parlé du traumatisme de perdre la sûreté et la sécurité du lieu le plus sacré dans leurs vies. Je ne peux pas imaginer la peur et le traumatisme que nos amis/es et voisins/es musulmans/es vivent actuellement, d'autant plus que nous voyons la haine déborder au sud de notre frontière. 

J'espère que vous pouvez me joindre demain en solidarité contre la haine, le racisme et l'islamophobie. 

Avec l'espoir que l'amour nous guidera à travers ces temps difficiles,