What's Happening July 17 - 23, 2017


Sunday, July 23
Let Go with LEGO - Construction of Self Through the Deconstruction of Gender and Sexuality

Akiko Asano, a multidisciplinary artist and professional, shares her journey of self discovery while raising a transgender youth.  A journey where we go beyond the binary of gender and of sexuality to discovering the spectrum that exists within our community and the world around us. The music will be by Basil Valdervort-Charbonneau.

What's Happening July 10 - 16, 2017

center UCM

Join us on Sunday, July 16, for our worship service at 10:30 am, Can the Centre Hold?
In a political climate fraught with challenges such as the leadership in the United States, global warming, nuclear warfare, the refugee crisis and growing income inequality, many of us may feel that we are living with an anvil over our heads. How can we stay informed and aware of the obstacles our society is facing without submerging ourselves in fear and anxiety? To where do we look for strength and hope? Beginning his reflection from the point of view of a school teacher, Abram Friedland will offer us as explanation on the nature of war. Charles Eddis will offer his insights into the major challenges our world faces today and how we may move through these troubling times together.

Collage Afternoon will also be held on July 16 after the service from 1:00 - 4:30 pm in the Garden Room.  This is an opportunity for creative play and self-exploration using collage. We work quietly at our own pace. Materials are provided, but feel free to bring your own. No experience necessary. Please confirm your presence by contacting Avis Anderson or Janet Clancy, ucmcollage@gmail.com. Childcare is provided upon request.

What's Happening July 9, 2017

lavendar sunset UCM

The service on Sunday, July 9 at 10:30 am, will be Finding Our Place in the World Through Beauty and Compassion. Community artist Brenda Cleary explores the humanitarian and deeper existential significance of learning to tune into beauty in our environment, ourselves and one another. In the words of Dostoyevsky "beauty will save the world". Arguably creating beauty is what we must do to our world to make our place within it. Join us to explore ways in which aesthetics open our hearts through the doors of our senses and help us make sense of it all. The music will be performed by Louise Halperin. 

After the service, join Derdre McCay from 1:30-3:30 pm at Westmount park (weather permitting). The group will meet at the front door of the library for free Drop-in Art Classes: Drawing and Painting Enjoy an afternoon outside in nature trying something new! Member of the congregation and art teacher, Deirdre McCay, is offering free outdoor art classes for the first three Sundays of July. This course will be a chance to explore either drawing or colour media (watercolour, oil pastel, etc.) with guided instruction as needed (more info).

What's Happening June 26 - July 2, 2017


Join us for our worship service on Sunday, July 2 at 10:30 am, What Holds It All Together? Qu'est-ce qui maintient le tout ensemble?, led by John Inder with music by The Westmount Chamber Music Workshop and Basil Vandervort-Charbonneau
We live in a multi-national, polyethnic country. Many of us have come from other places, or our parents have. We have various gender identities that are more or less salient throughout the day. We come from various religious traditions. On top of all this variety, Unitarian-Universalists have no creed and welcome people from all faiths. Celebrating diversity is what we pride ourselves about, and it is a worthy project.
So what is on the other side of the coin? What is the unifying force? Are we all some kind of hybrid? Is that good, or not? How are we to find an authentic identity amidst the diversity? With no single myth to reference, are we losing our sense of self, our roots, our direction?
Talk of Dialogical Self Theory began in the 1992 due to the Dutch psychologist Hubert Hermans. Extending some insights of the psychologist William James and others, this approach may be a way to authentic self-discovery in a postmodern age. It also looks a lot like a traditional Melanesian world view.

What's Happening June 19 - 25, 2017

UCM mystery

Join us on Sunday, June 25 at 10:30 am, for
A Tradition of Mystery with special guest Milton Dawes, additional music by Sandra Hunt.
Musician, creative thinker, writer, seminar-workshop leader, Trustee and Ambassador at Large of the Institute of General Semantics, Milton Dawes takes an innovative approach to the teaching of general semantics. He often uses music: he will play parts of a song and analyze it in small steps to illustrate how we can use the calculus to increase our own awareness. He draws on a wide range of skills and experiences from his diverse interests to enliven his work. http://miltondawes.com/about/

To Hold Our Traditions Fast — Or Not? (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 11 June 2017

To clap or not to clap, that is the question. 

Many years ago, it wasn’t unusual for the congregation to clap after each piece of music, breaking the flow of worship. A lot of people began to feel that the clapping took away from their feeling of being in worship and moved things more into a performance. So, in 1999, when two of our members went to an organ concert in Davis, California, a solution was conceived.

The couple noticed a man in the pew in front of them who did not clap. “Instead he used one or a combination of hand actions. Sometimes he held both hands vertical, palm out, in front of himself and rotated them out and back in rapidly several times – this action, he said when questioned after the concert, is the International Sign Language for the Deaf sign for applause. 

Continue to read or listen to To Hold Our Traditions Fast - Or Not?

The Flower Communion 95 Years Later (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 6 June 2017

This month we are exploring the theme of tradition. Now and then, over the years, I encounter someone who asks me why we Unitarians — who have liberated ourselves from the chains of rigid dogma — why would we celebrate traditions of any kind? “Do you do anything the same way from week to week or year to year?” they ask. “Do you even have worship services?”

Over the years, I’ve encountered a few people who argue that Unitarians should have no traditions, but that’s a pretty hard and rare line. Personally, I cherish our freedom of thought and the way we invite each other to responsibly search for our own truth and meaning and sense of the sacred. But I also love tradition, and I believe we humans need traditions to help us make sense of our lives.

Continue reading The Flower Communion 95 Years Later

What's Happening June 12 - 18, 2017

UCM tenderness

On Sunday, June 18 at 10:30 am, the worship service will be A Tradition of Tenderness led by
Rev. Diane Rollert, with music by Maider Martineau and Jean Séguin.
On this day that is traditionally known as “Fathers’ Day,” who are the tender fathers or male-spirited figures in your life? This is a service to lift up and celebrate the need for tenderness in a world that can seem increasingly macho and harsh. Bring a favourite object or photo to share of your tender role model. If you have a story to share, send it to Rev. Diane.

The service will be followed by  the UCM Church Picnic at 12 pm in Phoenix Hall and the garden.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

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.