What's Happening June 5 - 11, 2017

UCM tradition

On Sunday, June 11 at 10:30 am, our worship service will be To Hold Our Traditions Fast — Or Not?  with Rev. Diane Rollert, and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau.
To clap or not to clap, to laugh or not to laugh, to light candles or to celebrate communion, or not, to consider our history from one single perspective or not, these are the questions. This Sunday, as we celebrate the church’s 175th anniversary, we consider ways in which tradition both inspires and challenges us.

Join us for UCM's Annual General meeting on Monday, June 5 at 7:00 pm. Seeking the Sacred in Stories will meet Tuesday, June 6 from 12 - 1:15 pm. 

For more information, go to the This Month page. 

What's Happening May 29 - June 4, 2017

Please note that Claremont will be blocked from 8:30 a m to 12:30 pm for the Tour de l’Île de Montreal, preventing access to the UCM parking lot on Sunday, June 4.

UCM flower communion

Join us on Sunday, June 4 at  10:30 am for The Flower Communion, 95 Years Later with Rev. Diane Rollert, with music by Maider Martineau, Louise Halperin, and the Yellow Door Choir directed by Roxanne Martel. This Sunday we join the Unitarian Church of Prague in celebrating our annual flower communion, created and first celebrated by their founding minister, Rev. Norbert Capek, on June 4, 1922. Please bring a flower to offer to someone else. 

After the service, attend the Teach-In Follow-up Conversation On Race, Diversity and Inclusion with Rev. Diane Rollert and Vincent Mousseau at 12:30 pm. Bring a brown bag lunch. 

Saturday, June 3, 9:00 am-5:00 pm, UCM is hosting an Introduction to Performing Weddings. Come to a daylong workshop to learn about creating these joyous and significant events.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening May 22 - 28, 2017

On Sunday, May 28 at 10:30 am, our service will be The Fire on Simpson Street with Rev. Diane Rollert, and music by Sandra Hunt, Maider Martineau and the Parts in Peace Choir. Thirty years ago, on May 24, 1987, our former building on Simpson and Sherbrooke Street was consumed in a tragic fire. The lives of two firemen were lost and the congregation faced an uncertain future. On this Sunday, we will commemorate this sad event and the journey that moved us forward to become the community we are today. The service will be followed by the May RE community lunch.

The UCM Community Hike on Mount-Royal will leave from UCM at 1 pm by public transit (and/or carpooling if possible) after the Sunday service and the RE community lunch, and walk from Beaver Lake to the cross, and back down again. The total walking time will be about one and a half hours, at a relaxed pace which will be appropriate for children and elders. We will be walking along groomed trails and roads, with a total elevation rise of about 50m over the course of the walk. Please bring your own water bottle and sun coverage, and wear comfortable shoes. The hike will be rescheduled in case of heavy rain or thundershowers.  If you have questions or if you can offer carpool space, please contact Katharine Childs.

What's Happening May 15 - 21, 2017

unitarian church of montreal drums

Join us Sunday, May 21 at 10:30 am, for A Morning of Playful Singing and Percussion with special guest Matt Meyer, and Maider Martineau. Matt is an artist of percussion who works in a variety of styles, including latin-jazz, Brazilian, folk, funk, Hiphop and pop. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and has studied in Cuba, Ghana, and Central America. Matt is also a member of the Tribal Rhythms performing arts company, an organization that uses the theme of the "tribe" to teach children about community building. Matt’s last two visits received rave reviews from the congregation. Don’t miss this opportunity to join him in a playful worship service.

Wednesday, May 17, 10:30 am, the Marie-Berthe Dion Issues Action Group: Letter Writing will meet. The Midday Meal with Music (continuing our 175th anniversary celebration) will be held at 12:30 pm. 
- 11 am - Listen to a recording of the choir from the Simpson St. Church, peruse books written by members of UCM, and view the slideshow of pictures taken over the years.
- 12:30 pm - Nancy and Andrew's wonderful vegetarian food
- 1:45 pm - Music featuring three oboeists from the McGill Schulich School of Music 

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.