Life Beyond Binaries

Date: Sunday, November 24, 2019 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton


This Sunday, my sermon will explore what it means to live beyond binaries. With gratitude for our Trans siblings, who offer such powerful lessons about living life beyond set categories, we will consider what this way of being can teach us all about living in a time of increasing polarization. What might it mean to take in the depth of nuance that is so often a part of our living? To shift from “either/or” thinking—thinking that is overly concerned with categorizing people/places/things as “this” or “that”—to embrace a “both/and” way of understanding the world? The choir will sing Jane Perry’s setting of “How Could Anyone?” and our Resident Musicians will offer a beautiful version of “True Colours.”


As a religious community that seeks to honour and celebrate the gift of human sexuality and the wonder of human diversity, we seek to grow in our understanding and acceptance of one another. During the service, Leslie Solomonian and Art Brewer will kick off our efforts to renew and deepen our commitments as a Welcoming Congregation. Below, you will find more information about this initiative, as well as the link to an anonymous survey that will help us understand how the members of our congregation identity in terms of gender, sexual orientation, and family and relationship structures. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.


Finally, I ask you to consider adding your voice to this petition asking Mayor John Tory to declare homelessness an emergency in our city. While City Council took meaningful steps to add significantly to the number of available shelter beds in this year’s budget, it simply hasn’t been enough to address the crisis we are facing in Toronto. In the last month alone, eight (eight!) homeless people have died on the streets of our city. This has to stop. In a city with such prosperity, our failure to care for those with the least is absolutely immoral. If you’re willing and able to do more, I encourage you to phone the mayor’s office, or the office of your councillor, as well. Thank you.


In faith and love,


View the Order of Service.