What's Happening January 22 - 28, 2018

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Our worship service on Sunday, January 28 at 10:30 am, will be How I Became Unitarian with Carole TenBrink and music by Sandra Hunt It was a long, winding road that brought me to the Simpon St. Unitarian Church when Leonard Mason was there. Born into a strict Calvinist Dutch Reformed tradition, I took to the road as soon as I could, passing many way stations along the way, e.g. Catholicism, Buddhism, Paganism, etc. until I got to Simpson St. Now I mix it up quite a bit...into a savory witch's stew!

After the service, the Ruth di Giovanni Film Series will be showing Countdown to Zero starting at 12:00 pm. There will be a Gathering of the RE Community at 12:30 pm. The Collage Afternoon will meet from 1:00 - 4:30 pm.

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

The Pain of Growing (Audio Available)

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Reflection by Danielle Webber, 14 January 2018

While preparing for this service I watched a TED talks video entitled Why Comfort will ruin your life by Bill Eckstrom, a leadership coach based out of University of Nevada.

Eckstrom describes research that he did on the science of discomfort and growth. After being fired from a job where he had become comfortable and secure in upper management Eckstrom began discerning how discomfort can challenge us to grow or to shrink. His research finds that there are four environments that promote or hinder growth – what he calls growth rings, that run into each other, and overlap one another. The first environment is called stagnation – obviously not much is happening here, people are required to follow certain steps, have certain permissions, and have a consistent repetition in their lives. The last environment is Chaos – and yet again obviously no growth happens here, because there is zero possibility of input or predictability. There is no room for growth because there is no control of outcomes.

Continue reading or listen to The Pains of Growing

What's Happening January 15 - 21, 2018

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Join us on Sunday, January 21 at 10:30 am, The Growth of Humanity, with Danielle Webber and music by Louise Halperin and Maider Martineau.
hu-man-i-ty ((h)yooˈmanədē
- Compassionate, sympathetic, or generous: the quality or state of being human
- The totality of human beings: the human race.
With the two very different definitions of humanity, what does it mean to explore the growth of humanity? And what really is the difference? We will be looking at how our personal and spiritual growth is different from the growth of human beings and the human race – trying to understand the pros and cons of how the growth of humans has affected humans.

January RE Lunch, 12:00 pm, Phoenix Hall
Our January RE community lunch will follow the service. The lunch is offered as a gift to the community, for which there is no cost. Your additions of nut-free desserts are always appreciated, and we will be collecting contributions to support youth and young adults traveling for spiritual and professional development.

Growing the Space Between

Reflection by Danielle Webber, 7 January 2018

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I have been doing theological reflections for much of my life. Although, of course, I would not have called it that. But ever since I was little I have been reflecting on the world, pondering the meaning of things. Trying to decide how people interacted, and why they interacted they way they did, and making connections. Growing up Unitarian Universalist, and being raised by Unitarian Universalists meant that I was always pondering, always questioning and searching for truth. I learned about the Seven Principles, probably before I turned seven. And I was always asked to connect our faith’s principles to everyday reasoning. My parents expected that I would use the principles as a tool when making decisions and I have now relied on this practice for many years. This soon became habit for me. To look for deeper meaning in everything around me. Whether it was for a school assignment, or listening to a music album I would look for more, I would seek deeper understanding. Reminiscing on a conversation I had with my best friend, struggling to remain considerate through my divorce or trying to determine how I was going to move across the country. Every aspect of my life required greater decision making, required that I look to my faith, and the ideals that I proclaimed were important to me. Although I would not have known I was doing it, I have been reflecting on theological concepts since I was a pre-teen.

Continue reading Growing the Space Between

Rev. Diane Rollert's Sabbatical

This winter, from January 1 to March 31, our minister, Rev. Diane Rollert, will be on sabbatical. Sabbatical is a time for our ministers to recharge their batteries and for our congregations to discover new ways of being. This is a time of growth for everyone.

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We’re pleased to announce that Danielle Webber will be our sabbatical minister during the time that Rev. Diane is away. A lifelong Unitarian Universalist, Danielle has had much experience serving as an intern minister at the Calgary UU Congregation and at Toronto First UU, and as the summer minister at Toronto First. She serves on the Canadian Unitarian Council board and has also worked on the team that developed a new Truth and Reconciliation curriculum for the CUC.

Read more about Danielle Weber. 

What's Happening January 8 - 14, 2017

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Our worship service on Sunday, January 14 at 10:30 am,will be The Pains of Growing with Danielle Webber and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau. What is growth without a little pain? This week we will be exploring one of the challenging sides of growing: when change is upon us and growth is inevitable, how do we manage to move through it gracefully? When we have learned an uncomfortable truth, or something has caused us to see our imperfections, can we overcome the challenges of change, stretch our way through the growing pains, and find solace on the other side? Or will the pains keep us back?

There will be a Social and Environmental Concerns Committee Meeting (SECC) at 12:15 pm following the service. Earlier in the week, Sacred Stories will meet on Tuesday, January 9, at noon. The Issues Action Letter Writing Group meets on Wednesday, January 10 at 10:30 am, followed by the Midday Meal at 12:30 pm. Music in the Afternoon starts at 1:45 pm. The Council will meet at 6:30 pm that evening, 

For more information, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening January 1 - 7, 2018

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On Sunday, January 7 at 10:30 am, our worship service will be Growing the Space Between with Danielle Webber and music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau.

Meet the Sabbatical Minister, Danielle Webber, as she introduces herself to the congregation, while discussing her journey into and through ministry, and pieces of her theological understandings. In this monthly theme of growth, let us learn about one another and delve into a new relationship, with room for growth in many different ways!

What's Happening December 25 - 31, 2017

Christmas Dinner - Monday, December 25, 5:30 pm
All are invited to our annual Christmas dinner. Please RSVP for the meal by contacting Melani Litwack at 514-574-6253, melani_l@yahoo.com. If you can, bring sweets to share. The rest of the meal is provided.

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Join us on Sunday, December 31 at 10:30 am for our worship service, Expectations for the New Year: Fire Communion, with Rev. Diane Rollert, and music by Maider Martineau and Louise Halperin. Join Rev. Diane (on her last Sunday before her three-month sabbatical), along with Maider, for a Sunday of facing our expectations for the New Year. We’ll share in our annual fire communion. Adults and children of all ages are invited to join us for a magical morning as we watch last year's worries go up in smoke.

What's Happening December 18 - 24, 2017

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On Wednesday, December 20, the Marie-Berthe Dion Letter Writing group will meet at at 10:30 am, and the Midday Meal will be held at 12:30 pm, with Music in the Afternoon following at 1:45 pm.

Thursday, December 21
7:00 pm—Christmas Carol Choir Rehearsal, led by Maider Martineau

If you’d like to join the Parts in Peace choir in singing carols on Christmas Eve, come join us for this fun rehearsal. We’ll also practice a few songs for the Solstice service.

8:00 pm—Solstice d’hiver - Winter Solstice Celebration
Rev. Diane Rollert, with music by Maider Martineau and Louise Halperin
Nous vous invitons à nous rejoindre pour une célébration du Solstice d’hiver. On the longest night of the year, come celebrate a service in the round with songs, readings, and the lighting of candles to welcome the returning of the sun.

Sunday, December 24
10:30 am
—Worship Service
Lessons and Carols Unitarian Style
Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau

We’ll sing songs of the season and share a time of reflection together.

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5:30 pm—Veille de Noël - Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Une célébration bilingue/ A bilingual celebration.
Rev. Diane Rollert with musicians Sandra Hunt, Maider Martineau, Gary Russell, Margo Ellis and many others. We’ll sing the classic carols, read the Christmas Gospel, all with an open Unitarian Universalist spirit that is welcoming to everyone looking to rejoice in the beauty of holiday light, and fellowship. Everyone is invited for cookies and cider immediately following the service.  
Nous chanterons les chants traditionnels et nous partagerons l’esprit des Fêtes dans un contexte universaliste, qui accueille les gens désirant vivre la joie de Noël dans la splendeur de la lumière du moment et la fraternité. Après la célébration, nous servirons des biscuits et du cidre.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

What's happening December 11 - 17

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Join us Sunday,  December 17 at 10:30 am, for A Service for All Ages: The Latke That Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Hanukkah Celebration with Rev. Diane Rollert and Katharine Childs, and music by Maider Martineau and the Parts in Peace Choir, Sandra Hunt, and Louise Halperin.
This year, our multigenerational celebration falls during the middle of Hanukkah, a time to share in a message of freedom, miracles and light. Bring your thirst for wonder and magic, as well as an empty stomach for our annual holiday luncheon at 11:30 am, featuring potato pancakes (latkes!) and other delights. At 1 pm, there will be a gathering , Surviving the Holiday Malaise, with Rev. Diane Rollert. 

On Tuesday, December 12 at 6:30 pm, a meeting will be held to look at sponsorship to help an Aboriginal family in transition. 

For more information, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening December 4 - 10, 2017

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Join us on Sunday, December 10 at 10:30 am, for What it Means to Come of Age with the youth from the Coming of Age program and Rev. Diane Rollert, Danielle Webber (Sabbatical Minister), and Katharine Childs. The music will be by Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau. Join the youth, young adults, and mentors of the Coming of Age group as we share some of our explorations of what leadership, worship, and Unitarian Universalism means to us, and what expectations we have for ourselves and our community as we continue to grow together. This Sunday, we’ll also meet Danielle Webber, who will be our sabbatical minister while Rev. Diane is away January 1 - March 31. An RE lunch will take place after the service. 

Also, on Sunday, December 10, SECC is sponsoring Human Right Letter Writing at 11:30 pm, followed by their monthly meeting at 12:15 pm.  The Collage Afternoon takes place from 1:00 - 4:30 pm. 

Earlier in the week, a Pathway to Membership Meeting will be hold at 5:30 on Friday, December 8.  An Introduction to Performing Funerals and Memorial Services will take place on Saturday, December 9, at 9:30 am.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

Our Most Humble Moments

Reflections by Rev. Diane Rollert and Rev. Lynn Harrison. 26 November 2017

Part I: Rev. Lynn Harrison

When Diane suggested the sermon title of “Our Most Humble Moments” to me, I thought it was a great idea!

It sounded so human and down-to-earth…I loved it. That is, until I started thinking about it, and realized that I’d have to share a story about being humbled…coming to terms with my own flaws or imperfections. Suddenly I was a little less keen on the idea.

Mind you, I am preaching this morning at a congregation other than my own…so, I feel a little more free in sharing with you some of my less-than-stellar moments.  

We all have them of course. Things we’ve said that we wish we could take back… Choices we made that we soon regretted. Over time, if we’re lucky, those moments contribute to our deepening sense of what it means to be human. They help us develop compassion, as we watch other people also learn lessons the hard way. Most of all, they teach us that “inherent worth” is not about never making mistakes. It’s about extending love to ourselves and others, even when—or especially when—we do make mistakes.

So…here’s the story of one of my most humble moments.  

Continue reading Our Most Humble Moments

What's Happening November 27 - December 3, 2017

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Join us on Sunday, December 3, for Managing Expectations: Seeking the Spiritual and Avoiding Religion with Marc Boucher and Rev. Diane Rollert, music by Sandra Hunt and special guests the Yellow Door Choir, directed by Roxanne Martel
Marc Boucher grew up in Montreal, the son of a Francophone Catholic father and an Anglophone Protestant mother. “Religion was always a contentious issue in my home,” he says. This Sunday, he’ll share his voyage of changing expectations as he found his way from the Buddha to Yogi Yogananda to a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Phoenix, AZ, and back home again.

12:00 pm—Celebration brunch in honour of the Al Mohammad family
Join us as well to celebrate the one--year anniversary of the arrival of the Al Mohammad family from Syria. A special brunch will be provided after the service.

Lynn Harrison and Noah Zacharin In Concert - Saturday, November 26

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7:30 pm -$20 at the door  
Two outstanding songwriters on stage in Montreal for one night only, in a rare fundraising concert for UCM! Noah Zacharin has been called “a stunning guitarist” (Holger Petersen, CBC), “a wonderful songwriter and performer” (Paul Mills, Borealis Records) and “a poet, a songwriter, a singer we have been waiting for” (Penny Lang). Lynn Harrison is a beloved and sought-after voice in the Toronto acoustic scene, as well as ordained UU minister (First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto) with award-winning songs that "reach into the depths of the heart for buried treasure" (Toronto Star). Noah is now producing Lynn's 6th CD for an anticipated release in Summer, 2018. Together their songwriting, musicianship and on-stage presence is inspirational and not-to-be-missed. Join us for this wonderful fundraiser for UCM!

What's Happening November 20 - 26, 2017

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Join us Sunday, November 26 at 10:30 am, for our worship service, Our Most Humble Moments with Rev. Diane Rollert and special guests Rev. Lynn Harrison and Noah Zacharin with Sandra Hunt and Maider Martineau.
No matter how far we’ve come, we’re always reminded of how far we have yet to go, as individuals and as a religious movement. Join Rev. Diane Rollert and Rev. Lynn Harrison as they explore mentorship and humility in ministry and social justice work. In addition to being the Minister of Community Engagement at First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, Rev. Lynn Harrison is a sought-after voice in the Toronto acoustic scene. 
After the service, the Congregational Budget Meeting will take place at 12:00 pm to approve the 2018 UCM budget. Please plan to attend since a quorum of the membership is needed. Also, SECC will sponsor the Ruth di Giovanni Documentary Film Series from 12:00 to 2:30 pm. The film will be Where to Invade Next.

For more information, go to the This Month page.

The Humble Leader (Audio Available)

Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 12 November  2017

Less than two weeks ago, I was standing before the monument to the Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge, just outside the city of Arras, France. It’s a place beyond words. The monument stands in the middle of 250 acres of open land. Two soaring towers of beautiful gleaming golden-white marble represent the ten thousand English and French Canadian lives lost during the battle at Vimy Ridge, waged between April 9th and 12th, 1917.  The towers are so tall that you get vertigo looking up at them.

Continue reading The Humble Leader

Monday, November 20: An Evening with Robyn Maynard, 7 - 9 pm

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The Unitarian Church of Montreal is pleased to announce that Robyn Maynard will present a talk on her recently released book, Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present, on Monday, November 20, 7:00-9:00 pm. An engaging speaker, Robyn Maynard is a Black feminist who has spent years documenting racist and gender-based state violence. She has spent the better part of the decade doing front line harm-reduction outreach work in Montreal.

What's Happening November 13 - 19, 2017

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On Sunday, November 19 at 10:30 am, our worship service will be The Humble Act of Co-Creation by Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Sandra Hunt, Maider Martineau and the Parts in Peace choir, and special guests, Evie Mark and Paujungie Nutaraaluk, Inuit throat singers. It takes both humility and courage to collaborate and co-create with others. Join us for a Sunday of humbly attempting to create something new together through word, silence and song.

The service will be followed by the November RE lunch and the pre-budget meeting to review the 2018 UCM budget. On Wednesday, November 15, the Marie-Berthe Issues Action Group will meet at 10:30 am. At 12:30 pm, the Midday meal will be served followed by Music in the Afternoon at 1:45 pm. 

For more information, go to the This Month page.

What's Happening November 6 - 12, 2017

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On Sunday, November 15 at 10:30 am, our worship service will be The Humble Leader: Remembrance Day Service with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Maider Martineau and Louise Halperin.
Lao-Tzu once said that if you avoid putting yourself before others you can become a great leader among the people. What does it mean to lead humbly rather than with hubris and pride? On this Remembrance Day Sunday, we take time to remember those who have served in wartime and those whose lives have been impacted by war, as we consider the power of humble leadership to lead us to a place of peace.

Sacred Stories will meet on Tuesday, November 7, at noon. There will be a Council meeting at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, November 8, to decide the 2018 recipients of sharing our weekly collection throughout the year. 

What's Happening October 30 - November 5, 2017

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Our worship service on Sunday, November 5 at 10:30 am, will be The Sacred Teaching of Humility: All Souls Sunday by Rev. Diane Rollert with Elders Jean Stevenson and Delbert Sampson and music by Sandra Hunt. On this Sunday, we’ll share in our traditional All Souls bread communion, as well as light candles for all the souls we have lost in our lives. We will be joined by spiritual teachers Elder Jean Stevenson of the Muskego Cree Nation and Elder Delbert Sampson, who is Shuswap from the Adams Lake Band in British Columbia.

Sunday, November 5 - Deadline to submit your pledge
Thanks to everyone that submits their pledge by this date.