What We Do Here

Our Lay Pastors are specially trained and commissioned volunteer members of the congregation who extend the ministry of the congregation by creating a safe space for deep listening and reflection by any member or friend who requests support. Lay Pastors provide a safe space for spiritual discernment and growth, offering compassionate listening and presence.

Our Lay Pastors are Allan Brand, Holly Dennison, Jeanne VanBronkhorst, Michael Stroh, and Sabina Hikel. Among them, they have backgrounds in social work and theology. All five of them have extensive experience and training in pastoral care. They are dedicated and well-equipped to help meet the growing pastoral and spiritual needs of our congregation.

To arrange meetings with Allan, Holly, Jeanne, Michael or Sabina you can contact them directly at their phone numbers listed in the Congregational Directory (available to members) or by email:
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How can I donate to Toronto First when I am not at the service in person?

You can donate by text from your smart phone or over the web using Tithely. The first time you use this service, Tithely will lead you through the process of adding your credit card details.

  • Text “give” (without quotes) to (438) 500-3018. (This is a Montreal-based number that is used only by First.)
     
  • Go to Tithely.com.

What is Tithely?

Tithely is an online service that provides fast,convenient, secure methods for you to donate to registered charitable institutions.

All identifying financial data (credit card or bank account id) is held by Tithely's processor, Stripe, and is compliant with all Canadian banking and privacy laws. Stripe has servers located in Canada for storage and processing Canadian transactions. No identifying financial data is stored on Tithely servers. Tithely is based in California, but supports Canadian currency and many Canadian churches.

So, does this mean that First is asking me to “tithe”?

No. Some religious traditions expect members to “tithe”, or to donate ten percent of their income to their church. Unitarians each determine their own level of generosity. Although we do not tithe, we can still use the technologies of churches that do tithe.

First will never ask you about your financial resources. In addition, we keep donation information as private as possible. Details of your contributions are available only to church staff, executive volunteers and Team Generosity members.

Why are we using Tithely to collect donations?

We know that we can be moved by the spirit of generosity at any time. By setting up an account for First with Tithely, we can offer convenient ways of expressing gratitude, any time and any place, through simple text or phone-based donations. Perhaps you normally give with cash on Sunday but don’t have any with you; perhaps you’re traveling or you’re watching via live-streaming.

Is Tithely now the best route to make any donation to First?

The Tithely service adds options for different situations, especially non-cash, one-time donations. Tithely doesn’t replace other ways of giving and it is not the process we want to use for recurring payments (i.e., automated withdrawals by VISA or debit).

Tithely offers a way to set up recurring donations online; why shouldn’t I use that?

Tithely charges First a small fee every time it processes a payment. We don’t mind the small fee if it supports an increase in occasional donations by being easy and convenient. You can even opt to cover the processing fee when you give that way! But we don’t want to incur ongoing fees for recurring payments. We can assist you to set up recurring payments ourselves. This can be arranged by providing your instructions during the annual Pledge Drive or at any time by contacting our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., in the office.

Tithely sends me a receipt; does this replace the tax receipt I would receive from First?

Tithely sends you a receipt to confirm that your payment was processed. This is not a tax receipt. In February, we will send you a consolidated tax receipt for all donations you have given throughout the year.

Can I cover the cost of the Tithely service when I make my donation?

Yes; thank you! When you setup your Tithely account you can opt to always cover the processing fee or you can make this decision each time you make a donation.

What’s the difference between Tithely and Canada Helps?

Canada Helps is also a great option if you want to donate online, but Canada Helps does not allow you to text a donation.

Where can I get help if I can’t get the Tithely app or Text process working properly?

You can ask a member of First’s Team Generosity for help: Karen Dunk-Green and Mo MacMahon. Contact us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or in person.

ArtShow

Sunderland Hall, our main worship space, is an ideal place for showing artwork. The large skylight and high ceilings enhance the room while the gallery space has its own lighting to allow the works to be shown to their best advantage.

We also have a smaller display area in our library, where art from our members is displayed for up to two months.

The artists who display their work in these spaces often offer some pieces for sale, with a small percentage of the price going to the congregation. Please contact the artist if you are interested in purchasing a work.

Artists interested in exhibiting their work in our Sunderland Hall gallery are invited to contact the Arts Committee chair by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Art in October: Barbara de Beaupré's “Some of my best friends … (are trees)”

Some of my best friends … (are trees)

 

Barbara's lifelong love affair with trees is on display in her second solo exhibition at First Unitarian. She invites the viewer into a veritable arboretum of monoprints, watercolours, mixed media and acrylics.

At the October 8th reception, Barbara will talk about her many influences, her fascination with trees and personal odyssey as an artist after retirement from the financial world.

The exhibit runs to October 29.

 

Library Exhibit for September & October: Cloths and Zentangle-Inspired Art by Sue Berlove

Sue Berlove

 

Sue’s original 6” x 6” pen drawings are adapted from Zentangle, an art form typically done using black ink. Sue has incorporated color, bringing the drawings to life with vibrant colors and imaginative designs.

The 3’ x 5’ floor cloths in the show are intended to add color to any floor and brighten up a room.

The exhibit runs Sept 10-Oct 31.

 

2017 Exhibitions in Sunderland Hall

Month Artist Show Dates Reception
  (12 pm)
Learn More
January Michael Battenberg Jan 8-29 January 2 MichaelBattenberg.com
February Jordan Clarke Feb 5-26 February 5 JordanClarke.ca
March Members and friends of First March 5-26 March 5  
April York Artists Guild April 2-30 April 2 YorkArtistsGuild.ca
May Nancy Bennett May 7-28 May 7 NancyBennett.ca
June Irene Sakata June 4-25 June 5 IreneSakataArts.com
July & August Avenue Road Arts School July 2 - Sept 3   AvenueRoadArtsSchool.com
September Carmel BouzanneSept 10 - Oct 1 Sept 10 CarmelBouzanne.com
October Barbara de Beaupré Oct 8-29 October 8  
November Nick Biagini Nov 5-26 November 5 DigitalConsciousness.com/galleries/NickBiagini
December First Nations Art Dec 3-31 December 3  

 

Last Year’s Shows

The following shows were held in Sunderland Hall in 2016:

Month Artist Learn More
January Palette Expressions Group  
February Clayton King Aboriginal artist WhiteBearArt.com
March Members and Friends of First  
April York Artists' Guild YorkArtistsGuild.ca
May John Visser JohnVisserArt.com
June Susan Farquhar susanfarquhar5.wordpress.com
www.SusanFarquhar.ca
July & August Artists’ Network
September Steve Rose SteveRose.ca
October Shir Libeynu ShirLibeynu.ca
November Jean Galt, Wendy Ounpuu  & Wendy Dines  
December Aboriginal Art  

 

Shows in 2015

The following shows were held in 2015:

Month Artist Learn More
January Michael Battenberg MichaelBattenberg.com
February Judith Donoahue, Carol Harrison  
March Members and Friends of First  
April York Artists' Guild YorkArtistsGuild.ca
May D.D. Gadjanski ddgadjanski.com
June Randall Brown  
July & August 10 Artists from the Don Valley Art Club www.donvalleyartclub.com
September Shir Libeynu Shirlibeynu.ca
October Barbara de Beaupré
November David Connolly  
December Amnesty International: In/visible Scars Amnesty.ca

 

 


     Make your pledge    
 

We are very grateful for the ongoing generosity of members and friends who make financial contributions to support our programs and operations. First Unitarian Toronto is a registered Canadian charity (851846816 RR0001) and issues tax receipts.

There are many convenient ways to make a donation and we invite you to use whichever method or combination of methods best suited to you:

Give using your smartphone

First has an account with a service provider called Tithe.ly to support this method. It is a quick and easy way to make a one-time donation whenever you are inspired to do so. Learn more

Text “give” (without quotes) to (438) 500-3018 and follow the instructions. After completing the setup steps the first time, you’ll be able to text a dollar amount at any time and your donation will be completed in that one simple step.

Ongoing Giving 

If you are ready and able to give regularly to First, you are probably ready and able to participate in what we call Pledging. Our annual Pledge Drive occurs in the fall, when we provide our members and friends with information about this critical process for sustaining our congregation and planning our annual budget.

We ask members and friends to indicate ( i.e., “pledge”) an amount they are committed to giving over the course of the coming year. This stated financial commitment from each member, paid periodically, allows us to plan staffing and programs knowing there will be sufficient funds. The amount is up to you; we invite you to give at a level that fits your circumstances and your values.

You can create a pledge and set up annual or recurring giving at any time, using one of the following methods:

  • By completing a confidential, online pledging form.
  • If you prefer to use a paper form, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • By providing your banking information to the congregation’s Bookkeeper Daniel Grzymisch.

We understand that circumstances can change and pledges can't always be fulfilled. We ask that you simply advise our Bookkeeper if you must make a change to your pledge so we can adjust our cash flow expectations accordingly.  If you give regularly (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually), you will priovide us with a predictable income.

  • Give by Pre-authorized Debit

  • Give by VISA (one time or recurring)

  • Give by Post-dated Cheques

  • Give by Securities Transfer:

    Donations of publicly traded securities create a tax break for the donor. You can do that by completing and submitting a Stock Transfer Form.

    Giving stock directly to First may be more prudent than selling stock and giving cash. Here’s why:
    • Say that 10 years ago you bought shares in a corporation for $15,000. Now that stock has a market value of $20,000 and you want to give $20,000 to First. If you sold the stock, you would pay taxes on the capital gain of $5,000 ($20,000 [the sale price]) minus $15,000 [the price you paid]). That might be $1,000 or more, reducing what you would have available to give.
    • If you give the stock directly to First, you don’t pay capital gains tax. First would receive the full $20,000 in stock; you would claim a donation of $20,000 on your taxes. Please contact your financial advisor to confirm the best arrangements for you.
    • Remember that you get a tax advantage only if there is a capital gain. If the shares have lost value, it is probably more advantageous to you to sell the shares, take a capital loss, and donate the cash. A gift of mutual funds might also be exempt from a capital gains tax. Again, please confirm the best course of action with your financial advisor.
  • Give by Estate Planning

    Planned Giving is a way to express your support for First after you are gone. Read more about how to make your wishes known and select the most suitable way for you to plan this type of gift.

Deciding How Much to Give

We invite you to make a decision that suits your circumstances and your values. As points of reference, we suggest you consider First’s annual operating budget and the recommended Unitarian Universalist practice: many UU congregations recommend 3% of pre-tax annual household income as a meaningful personal commitment. First is a completely self-funded community with an annual operating budget of approximately $600,000:

How First Raises Money

 

First’s operating budget supports our mission to Seek Freely, Connect Authentically, and Serve Passionately. The following pie chart represents our spending from an outcomes perspective. Each slice of the pie includes the direct costs of the outcomes and services listed, plus a share of the indirect costs of our overall infrastructure (i.e. staff, insurance, equipment, etc.) All of our outcomes are also greatly enriched by the many uncharted hours of effort and talent provided by volunteers:

Spending our Money

Pause your mouse pointer over sections of this chart to see what that spending pays for,
or click on the chart to learn more:

Pledging as a Percentage of Income

The following chart provides a range of possible pledge levels based on different incomes and different choices about portion of income dedicated to the congregation. Many Unitarian Universalist congregations recommend 3% of pre-tax household income as a meaningful benchmark for many congregants::

Pledging as a % of Income

In the Library, now usually on the fourth Sunday of each month, from 12:15 to 1:30 one or two facilitators initiate our discussion of a selected topic by each presenting a 20 minute review of a relevant book from our collection, followed by questions and discussion open to all.

Sample topics are Unitarian history, defining the sacred, peace and social justice, interfaith dialogue, feminist perspectives, mysticism, science and religion.

If you’ve ever wished to explore faith matters further by reading, why not drop in on that book review circle. You’re not expected to read the book beforehand (though perhaps you will want to afterwards).

Please cast your mind ahead to the themes for our next season:

  • January – Creation
  • February – Love & Justice
  • March– Simplicity
  • April – Resistance
  • May – Compassion

If you wish to suggest a topic, or a book you’d like to review, please contact the coordinator by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Past Book Talks: (Some reviewers’ names are linked to the texts of their talks.)

Date Topic Talks
October 1, 2017 Promise/Covenant
  • Peter Hughes on Walking Together by Conrad Wright
  • Gillian Burton on Turning Point: Essays on a New Unitarian Universalism edited by Frederic Muir
May 28, 2017 Compassion
  • Gillian Burton on The Force of Kindness: Change Your Life with Love and Compassion by Sharon Salzberg
April 23, 2017 Resistance
  • Claude Marchand on Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
March 26, 2017 Simplicity
  • Lynn Hughes on The Simple Life: Plain Living and High Thinking in America Culture by David Shi
  • Danielle Webber on Everyday Spiritual Practice: Simple Pathways for Enriching Your Life by Scott W. Alexander
February 19, 2017 Love and Justice
  • Nancy Lee on In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation edited by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail
  • Bill Belfontaine on The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu
January 22, 2017 Creation
  • Fred Lautenschlaeger on Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone
  • Ruth Tait on The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
December 4, 2016 Expectation
  • Lynn Hughes on Christ for Unitarian Universalists by Scotty McLennan
  • Gerta Moray on Mystical Landscapes exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario
November 6, 2016 Blessing
  • Lorraine Wilson on Blessings: Prayers and Declarations for a Heartful Life by Julia Cameron
  • Herb Wright on The Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenaar
October 2, 2016 Letting Go
  • Judy Magney on Learning To Fall - The Blessings of an Imperfect Life by by Philip Simmons
  • Terri Palmer onThe Waste Makers by Vance Packard
September 11, 2016 Invitation
  • Peter Hughes on introductions to UUism
May 1, 2016 Tradition
  • Lynn Hughes on Thoreau as Spiritual Guide and Emerson as Spiritual Guide by Barry Andrews
  • Carol Damioli on the essay Western Secularity by Charles Taylor in Rethinking Secularism, edited by Craig Calhoun et al
April 3, 2016 Revelation
  • Michael Battenberg on The Search for Meaning: A Short History by Dennis Ford
  • Peter Hughes on Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation by Elaine Pagels
March 6, 2016 Renewal
  • Ellen Campbell on The Selma Awakening by Mark Morrison-Reid
  • Lorraine Wilson on Our Grandchildren Redesigned: Life in the Engineered Society of the Future by Paulette Regan
February 7, 2016 Reconciliation
  • Jeanne VanBronkhorst on her new book Dreams at the End of Life
  • Lee Doran on Unsettling the Settler Within by Paulette Regan
January 10, 2016 Resilience
  • Claude Marchand on An Joseph Anton: A Memoir (2013) by Salmon Rushdie
  • Lee Doran on Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (2011)
December 6, 2015 Wonder
  • Stephanie Gannon on An Altar in the World (2010) by Barbara Brown Taylor
  • Gerta Moray on Walden by David Henry Thoreau
November 1, 2015 Integrity
  • Beth Guthrie on The Deserter's Tale by war resister Josh Key (with the help of Lawrence Hill)
  • Gilbert Salgado on The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King (2012)
October 18, 2015 Grace
  • Tanya Cothran on Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness And Making Miracles by Marianne Williamson
  • Claude Marchand on Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
September 13 2015 Promise
  • Lynn Hughes on A House for Hope by John Buehrens and Rebecca Ann Parker in Rethinking Secularism, edited by Craig Calhoun et al
  • Peter Hughes on Walking Together by Conrad Wright
May 3, 2015 Story/Stories
  • Fred Lautenschlaeger on Aesop's Fables
  • Claude Marchand on The Truth About Stories (2003) by Thomas King
April 12, 2015 Sustainability
  • Doug Campbell on The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality (2011) by Richard Heinberg
  • Peter Brydon on This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
March 1, 2015 Freedom
  • Tanya Cothran on The Spirit and Forms of Freedom in On Being Human Religiously by James Luther Adams
February 8, 2015 Evolution
  • Curtis Murphy on Revolutionaries: Unlocking the Cultural and Spiritual Potential of Science's Greatest Idea by Carter Phipps
  • Michael Battenbergon The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (1992, repr 2005) by Jared Diamond
January 11, 2015 Character
  • Daniel Deller on The Soul’s Code by James Hilman
  • Peter Hughes on Character from Emerson’s Essays, Second Series (1844)
December 14, 2015 Embodiment
  • Ben Robins on Body, Spirit and Democracy by Don Hanlon Johnson
  • Gerta Moray on Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing (2013) by Lynn Segal
November 2, 2014 Vulnerability
October 5, 2014 Awakening
  • Lorraine Wilson on Awakening by Surya Das
  • Avril Siddle on For Joshua by Richard Wagamese
September 7, 2014 Kinship
  • Peter Hughes on Universalism: A Family Religion from the Journal of UU History
  • Lynn Hughes on Marmee and Louisa by Eve LaPlante
June 1, 2014 Play
  • Louise Joseph on Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart by Kornfield & Feldman
May 4, 2014 Honesty
  • Doug Campbell on The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life by Austin Dacey
  • Daniel Deller on Days of Destruction by Chris Hedges
April 6, 2014 Wonder
March 2, 2014 Knowing
  • Doug Campbell on How the Idea of Religious Toleration Came to the West by Perez Zagorin
  • Peter Hughes on Three Prophets of Religious Liberalism: Channing-Emerson-Parker by Conrad Wright.
February 2, 2014 Passion
January 5, 2014 Discipline
  • Tanya Cothran on Simply Pray by Eric Walker Wikstrom.
  • Meghan Edmonds on Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor.
November 3, 2013 Courage
  • Michael Battenberg on The Courage To Be by Paul Tillich.
  • Gillian Burton on A Year to Live (1998) by Steven Levine.
October 6, 2013 Purpose
  • Ted Wood on A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2006) by Eckhart Tolle.
  • Gerta Moray on The Prophethood of All Believers (1985) by James Luther Adams.
September 9, 2013 Listening
  • Janice Tait on Ego, hunger and aggression (1969) by Nahlah Ayed.
  • Faye Perkins on Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup.
June 9, 2013 Perspectives on the Middle East
  • Claude Marchand on A Thousand Farewells by Nahlah Ayed, and The World As It Is by Chris Hedges.
May 5, 2013 Outstanding Unitarian Women
  • Lynn Hughes on The Lives of Margaret Fuller: A Biography by John Matteson.
  • Gerta Moray on Daughter of Boston: The Extraordinary Diary of a Nineteenth-Century Woman by Caroline Healey Dall.
April 28, 2013 Confronting Death
  • Wanda Morris on Death with Dignity: The Case for Legalizing Physician-Assisted Dying and Euthanasia by Robert Orfali.
  • Jeanne VanBronkhorst on Dying Well: Peace and Possibilities at the End of Life by Ira Byock.
April 7, 2013 Life Strategies
  • Stan Yack on The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
  • Margaret Rao on Navigating the Coming Chaos: A Handbook for Inner Transition by Carolyn Baker.
March 3, 2013 Meditation and the Brain
  • Lorraine Wilson on The Mind's Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
  • Gillian Burton on Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves by Sharon Begley.
February 3, 2013 Powers of the Unconscious
  • Mary Armstrong discusses her book Trauma Therapist, A Memoir of Healing and Transformation.
  • Gillian Bramwell on Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behaviour by Leonard Mlodivnow.
January 6, 2013 Anthropology of Religion
  • Michael Battenberg on Religion Explained by Pascal Boyer.
  • Jack Dodds on In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion by Scott Atran.
December 2, 2012 The Basis of Morality
  • Fred Lautenschlager on The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt.
  • Doug Campbell on Can We Be Good Without God? by Rob Buckman.
November 4, 2012 The Historic Jesus
  • Peter Hughes on Did Jesus Exist? by Bart Ehrman.
  • Eleanor Johnston on The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity by Cynthia Bourgeault.
June 3, 2012 Liberal Religion Before Alain De Botton
  • Peter Hughes on A People’s History of Unitarian Universalism by John Buehrens.
  • Doug Campbell on God's Dog: Conversations With Coyote by Webster Kitchell.
May 6, 2012 Between Hope and Dismay
  • Claude Marchand on The Better Angels of Our Nature by Stephen Pinker.
  • Doug Campbell on Time for Outrage by Stephane Hessel.
April 1, 2012 Spiritual Journeys
  • Lorraine Wilson on My Spiritual Journey by Dalai Lama.
  • Diane Wagner on My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor.
March 11, 2012 Religion, Philosophy and Neuroscience
  • Gill Bramwell on Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality by Patricia S. Churchland.
  • Ted Wood on Why God Won't Go Away, Brain Science & The Biology of Belief by Andrew Newberg, Eugene D'Aquili and Vince Rause.
February 5, 2012 Reflections in Captivity by Social Activists
  • Elizabeth Guthrie on Captivity: 118 Days in Iraq and the Struggle for a World Without War by James Loney.
  • Janet Hall on Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle by Ingrid Betancourt.
January 8, 2012 Unitarians on the Political Path
  • Carl Baar on Stephen Fritchman: The American Unitarians and Communism: A History with Documents by Charles Eddis.
  • Margaret Vandenbrouke on The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.
December 4, 2011 Unitarian Insights From Science
  • Fred Lautenschlaeger on his new publication The God Deception - Our Sun shines Light on the Path Towards Peace among Abrahamic Religions.
  • Gerta Moray on Emerson: The Mind on Fire by Robert D. Richardson Jr.
November 6, 2011 Our Histories
  • Lynn Hughes on Guarding Sacred Embers: Reflections on Canadian Unitarian and Universalist History [published in 2011 by the Canadian Unitarian and Universalist Historical Society].
  • Janice Tait on Invisible Influence: Claiming Canadian Unitarian and Universalist Women's History ed. Jean Pfleiderer, Heather Fraser Fawcett, and Kathy S. Sage
June 5, 2011 Spiritual Autobiography
  • Lynn Hughes on The Confessions of St. Augustine by Patricia S. Churchland.
  • Gerta Moray on Hundreds and Thousands: the Journals of Emily Carr.
May 1, 2011 National Memory and Social Justice
  • Ronnie Rusk on Long Shadows by Erna Paris by Patricia S. Churchland.
    This book explores how countries manipulate their history, confront painful episodes in their past and try to resolve a sense of guilt and responsibility by bringing about justice.
  • Alan Brand on I Shall Not Hate by Dr. Izeldeed Abuelaish.
    This book argues for implementing tolerance as an alternative to trying to invent justice.
April 3, 2011 Myth and Insight
  • Janice Tait on Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts by Wendy Doninger O’Flaherty .
    This book examines conceptions of the relationship between women and men as expressed in the animal symbols and sexual metaphors of Hindu mythology.
  • Lorraine Wilson on The Sh'ma and Its Blessings by Dr. Izeldeed. Abuelaish, an intriguing look at 2.000 years of insight and commentary on the oldest and best known Jewish prayer.
March 6, 2011 Ethics in a Secular Age
  • Fred Lautenschlaeger on The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris.
  • Sarah Sackville McLauchlan on The End of Ethics in a Technological Society by Lawrence E. Schmidt.
January 9, 2011 Economics and Social Justice
  • Camla Draven on Economics for Everyone by Jim Stanford.
  • Peter Brydon on Empires of Food: Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations by Evan D.G. Fraser and Andrew Rimas.
June 13, 2010 Buddhist Perspectives
  • Chris Moore on How To Know Yourself by the Dalai Lama.
  • Peter Brydon on Empires of Food: Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations by Evan D.G. Fraser and Andrew Rimas.
May 2, 2010 Feminism
  • Janice Tait on ReVisions: Seeing Torah Through a Feminist Lens by Rabbi Elise Goldstein.
  • Kate Chung on Raging Grannies
April 11, 2010 Environment and Global Social Issues
  • Claude Marchand on Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester Brown.
March 7, 2010 Unitarians and Reformation History
  • Marvin Anderson on Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe by Benjamin J. Kaplan.
  • Peter Hughes previews his forthcoming book Declaratio: A Revelation of Jesus Christ Son of God by Matteo Gribaldi (previously attributed to Michael Servetus).
February 7, 2010 Meditation and the Brain
  • Lorraine Wilson on My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging by Rachel Naomi Remen.
January 10, 2010 Is There Moral Progress?
  • Doug Campbell on Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History by Erna Paris, a book that confronts the 20th century's worst tragedies.
  • Larry Wulff on In Between: Memoir of an Integration Baby by Mark Morrison-Reed.
December 6, 2009 Liberal Islam
  • Lynn Hughes on on a book of essays on Muslim liberals.
  • Gerta Moray onWestern Muslims and the Future of Islam by Tariq Ramadan.
November 6, 2009 Science and Soul
  • Gill Bramwell onThe Constant Fire: Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate by Adam Frank.
  • Lorraine Wilson onThe Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O'Leary.
October 4, 2009 Faith and Service
  • June Sanderson on a biography of Lotta Hitschmanova.
  • Eryl Court on a biography of Lester Pearson.
May 3, 2009 The Anthropology of Religion
  • Chiara Catterwell on the University of Toronto’s current course offering on this interesting topic.
April 5, 2009 Social Action – Heeding the Call
  • Kate Chung on Off Our Rockers – and into Trouble: The Story of the Raging Grannies by Alison Acke and Betty Brightwell.
  • Steve Watson on Hope and Despair: My Struggle to Free My Husband, Maher Arar by Mario Monia Mazigh.
March 1, 2009 The Challenge Of Atheism – Some Recent Replies
  • Gerta Moray on I Don’t Believe in Atheists (2008) by Chris Hedges.
  • Doug Campbell on Dawkins' GOD: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life by Alister E. McGrath.
February 1, 2009 What Does the Environment Want?
  • Janice Tait on The Revenge of Gaia by James Lovelock.
  • John Cummings on Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning by George Monbiot. [Recent books like An Inconvenient Truth explain what we're doing to cause global warming and the catastrophes it will soon cause. Heat is devoted entirely to answering the question “What do we do to stop it?”]
January 4, 2009 Spirituality and Healing
  • Lorraine Wilson on Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal by Rachel Naomi Remen.
  • Gillian Burton on When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult by Pema Chodron.
December 7, 2008 The Art of Union with Reality – A Discussion of Mysticism
  • Lynn Hughes on Practical Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill.
  • Ronnie Rusk on Daoism, A Beginner’s Guide by James Miller.
November 2, 2008 Scientific Hypotheses on Religion
  • Michael Battenberg on Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason and Religion by Stuart Kauffman [Kauffman is a complexity theorist out of Calgary who is interested in the evolution of complex systems].
  • Gill Bramwellon The God Gene: How Faith Is Hardwired Into Our Genes by Dean H. Hamer.
October 6, 2008 Discovering Unitarian History
  • Peter Hughes, editor of the new online Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography, talks about this publication.
  • Gerta Moray on Unitarians in Canada by Philip Hewett (2nd ed. 1995).
May 4, 2008 Claims of Justice and the Environment
  • Margaret Rao on Blessed Unrest, How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming by Paul Hawken.
April 6, 2008 What Does Buddhism Offer Unitarians?
  • Janice Tait on Buddha by Karen Armstrong.
  • Lorraine Wilson on Embracing the Beloved: Relationship as a Path of Awakening by Stephen and Ondrea Levine.
February 10, 2008 The Challenge Of Non-Violence and Pacifism
  • Lynn Gordon Hughes on Christian Non-Resistance (1846) by Adin Ballou. [Adin Ballou was a 19th century Unitarian whose writings inspired Tolstoy and Gandhi.]
  • Gerta Moray on on Angela Gordon and Tobias T. Gibson, “The Fist of Pacifism,” from Justice and Violence: Political Violence and Cultural Transformation, edited by Allan Eickelmann et al.
January 6, 2008 Problems with ‘God’
  • Rod McLeod on God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens.
  • Sue McLeod on Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris.
December 9, 2007 Meeting Other Faiths
  • Doug Campbell on Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banaras by Diana Eck.
  • Ellen Campbell on The World's Religions by Huston Smith.
November 4, 2007 The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women
  • Gilliam Bramwell on The Feminine Face of God: The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women by S. R. Anderson & P. Hopkins.
  • Niki de Villiers on The Politics of Women’s Spirituality by Charlene Spretnak.
October 7, 2007 Why Read Unitarian History?
  • Gerta Moray on For Faith and Freedom: A Short History of Unitarianism by Charles A. Howe.
  • Marcia Bell on a book on USA Unitarians/Transcendentalists.

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