Water, Wine, Loaves and Fishes: An Easter Service (Full Audio Available)

Sunday, April 21st, 2019
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Rev. Diane Rollert, with music by Sandra Hunt, Gary Russell, the Phoenix Community Choir, led by Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert and guests

According to the gospel, Jesus transformed water into wine and multiplied a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish into enough food to feed thousands. These were among the many miracle stories that made our Unitarian ancestors wary as they chose to celebrate the religion “of” Jesus rather than a religion “about” Jesus. In this Easter and Passover season, find out what we can each reclaim from these challenging and powerful stories of transformation.

Easter Communion:
For the past 176 years, this congregation has observed communion at least twice a year. It is a tradition that was so important to past generations that it was written into our By-Laws to be observed on the Sunday closest to All Souls Day and on Easter Sunday. Today we celebrate a simple bread and wine communion to honour our roots.

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Transforming Milestones

Sunday, April 14th, 2019
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Rev. Diane Rollert and Normand Gosselin, with music by Sandra Hunt

Life is a spiral journey as well as a series of starts and stops. At each crossroad, we can choose to transform what greets us or allow ourselves to be transformed. Listen to this Sunday’s service for our annual lay chaplaincy service as we explore how milestones can surprise us as much as they change us.

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Butterflies & Bees: A Spring Multigenerational Service (Full Audio Available)

Sunday, April 7th, 2019
- Katharine Childs & the Religious Exploration Community, with music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert

As Nature breaks forth into its spring glory, come and celebrate the reawakening of plants, animals and bugs all around us!  During this all-ages service we'll explore transformations inside us (like butterflies) and around us (like bees), and how we can honour our place in the interdependent web of all life.

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Closing Words (Full Audio Available)

March 31st, 2019
- Special guest Moe Clark, with music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert

On this Sunday, we were pleased to welcome a very special guest to close out our month’s exploration of reconciliation. Moe Clark is a multidisciplinary Métis artist, spoken word poet, educator, artistic producer, public speaker and activist. She creates poetic song and sonic landscapes of layered voice through looping pedal. In 2013 she directed the 10th Annual Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Montreal, the first bilingual edition of the six-day national slam festival, which highlighted Indigenous languages and the art of poetic translation. As a community arts educator, Moe facilitates writing, spoken word performance and looping pedal workshops in high schools, communities and with Indigenous youth.

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The Word from Wet'suwet'en (Full Audio Available)

March 24th, 2019
- Special guest, Marlene Hale with Rev. Diane Rollert, with music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert

Wet’suwet’en chief, organizer and activist, Marlene Hale will share a film and provide an update from the developing situation in the Wet’suwet’en Nation, where Coastal GasLink/Transcanada is proposing a 670-kilometer fracked gas pipeline. All five clans of the Wet’suwet’en have unanimously opposed all pipeline proposals and are asking us to stand in witness to their land rights.

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Kahnawake and Reconciliation (Full Audio Available)

March 17th, 2019
- Special guests Carole McGregor and Wahiakeron with Rev. Diane Rollert, with music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert

How deep is the river that divides Montreal and the First Nations reserve of Kahnawake? This Sunday we share in conversation with two respected leaders of Kanien’kehá-ka. Carole McGregor is the Female Chief of the Bear Clan of Kanawake. Wahiakeron/George Gilbert is an elder, teacher, actor and consultant in the Mohawk language including for films such as Hochelaga: Lands of the Souls.

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In Memory of the Women (Text Available)

March 10th, 2019
- Special guest Marie-Josée Tremblay with Rev. Diane Rollert, with additional music by Lillias Lippert and the Phoenix Community Choir directed by Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert

On Sunday, March 10th, our recording system failed. It was a beautiful service held on a stormy day. Here are a few excerpts. We’ve also included links to two of the songs Marie-Josée Tremblay sang as part of the service.

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From Holes to Whole (Audio Not Available)

March 3rd, 2019
- Rev. Diane Rollert and Katharine Childs, with music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert

To reconcile means to make things happen so that we can coexist in harmony. On this multigenerational Sunday, as we prepare to welcome many Indigenous guests in the coming weeks, we’ll consider what reconciliation means in very interpersonal terms and in broader social terms. Where are the holes in our lives that need to be make whole in order to find understanding, compromise or restoration? 

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The African-American Spiritual (Full Audio & Text Available)

February 24th, 2019
- Special guest: Floydd Ricketts, with Rev. Diane Rollert and music by Floydd Ricketts and Sandra Hunt

We are pleased to welcome Floydd Ricketts for our service on this Sunday to share his passion and extensive knowledge of the African American Spiritual. Floydd is a conductor, coach and doctoral student at McGill’s Schulich School of Music. Most recently, he was the musical director and arranger for Choir Boy at the Centaur Theatre. His research focuses on the African-American Spiritual, it’s origins from West Africa, across the Middle Passage, and into North America; the evolution of the art form from monophonic hymns to intricate modern arrangements; and how to perform Spirituals well and within an informed and conscientious purview while diminishing the risk of offence or cultural appropriation.

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Inquiry and Preconception (Audio Available)

February 17th, 2019
- Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert & Lillias Lippert & the Parts in Peace Choir

Let’s be honest. We often begin with preconceptions and judge before we’ve even had time to ask the questions. How do we shift our patterns and embrace new ways of thinking? This is a Sunday of true confessions from our minister as she considers her own approach to inquiry.

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The Religious Experience (Audio Available)

February 10th, 2019
- Special guest: Rev. Fred Cappuccino, with music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert
 

The classic Religious Experience was that of St Paul on the road to Damascus. Paul immediately stopped persecuting Christians, and became one himself. Many religious people have devoted their lives to seeking a religious experience. One fellow named Mert inquired of (Methodist) Bishop Quayle, "Bishop, How can I have an experience of God?" The bishop said, "Well, Mert, Go into a deep forest…." The Rev. Fred Cappuccino finishes this story in his guest appearance at our Sunday Worship Service.

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Grow your Mind - Ask a Question! (Full Text Available)

February 3rd, 2019
- Chloe Hart, Camellia Jahanshahi, with music by Sandra Hunt and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert

Our Unitarian ancestor Sophia Lyon Fahs encouraged children to ask questions and for the community around them to follow their curiosity and help them learn, tending the seeds of kindness, justice, and spirituality within them.  On this all-ages Sunday we explore the wisdom of asking questions and how we can all grow the garden of our minds.

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Before Birth and After Death (Text Available)

January 27th, 2019
- Rev. Diane Rollert

I clearly remember the moment when it hit me. I must have been 10 or 11 years old, in school, being introduced to the basics of chemistry. I was sitting at my desk, finding myself mesmerized by that most intriguing visual representation of all reality, the periodic table of elements.

What a revelation to learn that each element had its own weight and properties, and that, alone and when joined with other elements, they formed molecules that became the substance of everything we experience. It was a complete shift in my thinking as a child, from seeing the world as it appeared, to considering a deeper truth, that everything was so much more complicated than you could ever imagine.

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Voices of Mystery (Audio Available)

January 20th, 2019
- Rev. Diane Rollert with music by Brooke Dufton, soprano, Geneviève Jalbert and Eleuthera Diconca-Lippert

In every relationship there remains an element of mystery. Each of us perceives the world differently, and we can never fully know the other. Yet what beauty there can be in trying! On this interactive Sunday, we make room for many voices to be heard as we share thoughts about our understandings of the mysteries of faith.

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The Tranquil Star (Audio Available)

January 13th, 2019
The Tranquil Star: Reflection on a Story by Primo Levi

You have come with stardust in your hair, with the rush of planets in your blood, your heart beating out the seasons of eternity, with a shining in your eyes like the sunlight.”

 These are the words I’ve been using to begin a child dedication for years. I don’t know where the words come from. They were passed on to me, like a gift out of time, from someone who got them from someone else, who got them from someone else. There is something so powerful that happens as you hold a child in your arms, surrounded by their parents and family and the whole community, and you speak those words.  

“You have come with stardust in your hair, with the rush of planets in your blood, your heart beating out the seasons of eternity, with a shining in your eyes like the sunlight.”

Perhaps that’s as close as we get to a foundational story in this tradition. “We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden,” as Joni Mitchell once sang.

This is the mystery of who we are. We are atoms, molecules, that were once the stuff of stars. We are this amazing something that comes to life — and we still don’t know how or why. Our existence, itself, is a mystery.

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