Themes of Our Lives

Exploring the Themes of Our Lives - Exploration des thématiques

Welcome back to theme-based ministry at the Unitarian Church of Montreal. 2017-18 will be our fourth year exploring monthly themes as we consider what it means to live our Unitarian Universalist values. We hope this year’s themes will prove to be both inspiring and challenging:

September / septembre                  Letting Go / Lâcher prise
October / octobre                           Connection/La connexion
November / novembre                     Humility / L’humilité
December / décembre                     Expectations / Les attentes
January / janvier                              Growth / La croissance
February / février                             Interdependence / L’interdépendance-Canada wide
March / mars                                    Creativity / La créativité
April / avril                                       Curiosity / La curiosité
May / mai                                          Blessing / Le bienfait
June / juin                                         Simplicity / La simplicité


December/decembre 2017 - Expectations/Les attentes

“Expectation” by my dog sighs, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“Expectation” by my dog sighs, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Holiday Expectations

Many years ago, during a winter workshop on “Unplugging the Holiday Machine,” I asked the participants to take some reflective time to draw a picture or write about a favourite holiday memory. One young man took a dark piece of paper and drew the most wonderful winter landscape at night. He told us that his memory had transported him back to a cabin in the woods on a holiday night overlooking a frozen lake.

Peace descended over the room. Everyone seemed to sigh with longing. “That’s the holiday tradition we need. A winter cabin and a quiet night.”

What expectations do you have for this holiday season? When my mother-in-law was alive, there was never any question where the family would gather for the holidays. Christmas was a sacred holiday for her, one that she expected to spend surrounded by her children and grandchildren. We always laughed that both her son and daughter married Jews so there would never be a battle over where everyone would be on Christmas Day.

This year, Christmas will be different for us. We’re about to experience, for the first time, the challenges that many families do. David and I are new grandparents and there’s a whole new Christmas-celebrating other side of the family to consider. I mean, seriously, who gets to see the baby when? Our expectations will definitely need to change. We’ll have to create new traditions. Maybe it’s time to expand our Hanukkah party?

I know that the winter holidays are not an easy time for everyone. The surrounding world can have high expectations for holiday cheer, while you may be carrying sadness and grief or feeling loneliness. If your burdens are heavy, I hope that you can find a way to lighten your load here in our community. May you feel welcome at one of our many winter holiday observances. There’s lots planned, from the quiet and contemplative to the loud and active.

If you feel you need some spiritual or emotional support during this season, please let me know. I’m here for you.

At the end of the season, I’ll be saying goodbye for a few months. I’ll be taking a three-month sabbatical and will return on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. I’ll be travelling to several places this time, attending a ministers’ conference in Florida in January and going to Nepal in February for the gathering of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, where David and I will do some travelling (maybe even some trekking). I’ll also be spending a couple of weeks in Europe (locations yet to be determined) in my role as ambassador to the European UUs. In between, I’ll be spending quiet, contemplative time at home.

Wishing you peace on earth and shining lights,

Rev. Diane Rollert

Download the December packet: Expectations/Les attentes

Year Four Theme Packets

Download the November packet: Humility/L'humilité

Download the October packet: Connection/La connexion

Year One Theme Packets


Download the June packet: Seeking a Life of Beauty

Download the May packet: Seeking a Life of Character

Download the April packet: Seeking a Life of Awakening

Download the March packet: Seeking a Life of Surrender

Download the February packet: Seeking a Life of Love

Download the January packet: Seeking a Life of Hope

Download the December packet: Seeking a Life of Story

Download the November Packet: Seeking a Life of Courage

Download the October packet - Seeking a Life of Awe

Download the September packet - Seeking a Life of Engagement