Events under 'Sunday Services'

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Events under 'Sunday Services'
Friday, December 06, 2019

Event Name

Date

Surprised by Joy

Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.

Consider your life –
who you love, and why,
how blessed you are to be here, resting,
under a shower of birdsong,
or what strange, bright luck it is to be the owner,
for a few years, of this beating heart,
these wondering eyes, these ears
into which the kingfisher spills her small chuckle
as she dips across the water.

“Summer Sabbath” - Kathleen McTigue
from Shine and Shadow

This Sunday, we will celebrate the earth’s bounty in our annual Thanksgiving Harvest Communion, with apple cider and fresh-baked bread (along with a gluten-free option). My sermon will explore the connections between gratitude and joy. Joanne Chapin will sing Sarah McLachlan’s “Ordinary Miracles”. Lynn and the Resident Musicians will sing Bruce Cockburn’s “Joy will find a way”. Following the service, we will take part in a dessert potluck, upstairs in Workman Hall. All in all, it will be a wonderful day to honour both the ordinary and extraordinary gifts of life.

May this Thanksgiving, in whatever ways you celebrate, provide you opportunities to connect with gratitude and with joy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

In faith and love,
Shawn

View the Order of Service.

Sunday, October 07, 2018 10:30 am - 11:30 am
This event does not repeat

Peace and Quiet

The chalice will be lit, ambient music will be played, opening words will be offered, and there will be a lengthy and deep shared silence during which you may simply be. The service will end after almost an hour with closing words and the extinguishing of the chalice.

Sunday, October 07, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
This event does not repeat

The Examined Life: Who am I?

Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.

This Sunday, we launch a new seven-week series called The Examined Life. Whether or not we agree with Socrates’ idea that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” looking at our lives with a curious eye can be deeply rewarding. Indeed, it may be the path to awakening!

Our examination need not be harsh or judgmental, but it may offer opportunities to reframe our attitudes, make new choices, or simply affirm the unique people that we are. Lynn and I invite you to join us for these seven Sundays of loving self-examination from many angles—and we encourage you to invite a friend!

The titles for this series are:
October 14 – Who am I?
October 21 – Where am I going?
October 28 – Where did I come from? (Day of the Dead)
November 4 – Why me?
November 11 – When, if not now? (Remembrance Sunday)
November 18 – What have I done?
November 25 – How, then, shall I live?

This week, I’ll begin the series with a look at the self. To know ourselves, to gain a sense of where we’re headed, to understand what life is asking of us all starts with a deep appreciation for who each of us is as a person. But in our increasingly interdependent world, amid rapid technological change, what does it mean to be person?

Finally, earlier this week, in staff meeting, the senior members of our staff team reaffirmed our covenant with one another—a tradition that we have now carried for ten years. In the preamble to our covenant, we state that we seek the congregation’s assistance in living out this set of promises. So, I am enclosing it here, in hopes that you’ll take some time to read and reflect on how we strive to be with one another—and how you can assist us in carrying forward these principles in all aspects of congregational life.

See you on Sunday.

In faith and love,
Shawn

View the Order of Service.

Sunday, October 14, 2018 10:30 am - 11:30 am
This event does not repeat

Peace and Quiet

The chalice will be lit, ambient music will be played, opening words will be offered, and there will be a lengthy and deep shared silence during which you may simply be. The service will end after almost an hour with closing words and the extinguishing of the chalice.

Sunday, October 14, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
This event does not repeat

The Examined Life: Where am I going?

Sermon by Rev. Lynn Harrison.

It’s a question we ask ourselves countless times during our lives: Where am I going? Sometimes we have a pretty good idea—until something changes to revise our maps and change our direction. How we respond to these changes can make all the difference in how we experience our lives and how we contribute to the world around us.

On Sunday, October 21st, we continue our series “The Examined Life” as we consider both the journey outward and the journey inward—both of which are key to a life of meaning. We’ll also learn about the important work being done by the UU-UNO: the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office.

As our Examined Life series continues, here’s what’s coming up next:

  • October 28 – Where did I come from? (Day of the Dead)
  • November 4 – Why me?
  • November 11 – When, if not now? (Remembrance Sunday)
  • November 18 – What have I done?
  • November 25 – How, then, shall I live?
  • Wherever you’re headed on your life’s journey, I hope you’ll join us on Sunday.

    With love and gratitude,
    Lynn

    View the Order of Service.

    Sunday, October 21, 2018 10:30 am - 11:30 am
    This event does not repeat

    Peace and Quiet

    The chalice will be lit, ambient music will be played, opening words will be offered, and there will be a lengthy and deep shared silence during which you may simply be. The service will end after almost an hour with closing words and the extinguishing of the chalice.

    Sunday, October 21, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    This event does not repeat

    The Examined Life: Where did I come from?

    Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.

    When we examine our life (or for that matter, our culture, or our congregation), we quickly discover that we are shaped by forces that came before us. This Sunday, we honour our ancestors in our annual Day of the Dead service, as we take up the invitation to dig deeper toward the roots of our own story.

    The service will begin with the building of our Altar of Remembrance. All are welcome to bring forward photographs or mementos of loved ones who are now gone to place on the altar. As always, we will lift up the names of those in our lives who have died but remain close to our hearts.

    Our series on The Examined Life will continue over the coming weeks with the following services:

  • November 4 – Why me?
  • November 11 – When, if not now? (Remembrance Sunday)
  • November 18 – What have I done?
  • November 25 – How, then, shall I live?
  • In faith and love,
    Shawn

    View the Order of Service.

    Sunday, October 28, 2018 10:30 am - 11:30 am
    This event does not repeat

    Peace and Quiet

    The chalice will be lit, ambient music will be played, opening words will be offered, and there will be a lengthy and deep shared silence during which you may simply be. The service will end after almost an hour with closing words and the extinguishing of the chalice.

    Sunday, October 28, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    This event does not repeat

    The Examined Life: Why me?

    Sermon by Rev. Lynn Harrison.

    Often felt as a lament, this question can also be turned around, to point toward positive ways of looking at our lives. When we ask "why me?" we might find ourselves reflecting on our unique callings in the world and how we can serve others. No matter what our misfortune or good fortune, we all have opportunities to use our lives in ways that serve life.

    Then on Sunday afternoon, at 3:00 p.m., we’ll welcome Christopher Wulff into the Unitarian Universalist ministry in an ordination service open to all. Four generations of the Wulff family are beloved within this congregation, and everyone in the First Unitarian community is invited to this joyous occasion followed by a reception afterward. (Potluck finger food offerings are welcome!)

    As well, at both services on Sunday, we’ll hear beautiful music from our resident musicians and choir, and the new art exhibit “Memories” by Michael Myers will be displayed in our sanctuary. Do remember that this is “fall back” weekend, when we turn our clocks back one hour on Saturday evening.

    Join us for an entire Sunday of reflection and celebration at First!
    Rev. Lynn

    View the Order of Service.

    Sunday, November 04, 2018 10:30 am - 11:30 am
    This event does not repeat

    Peace and Quiet

    The chalice will be lit, ambient music will be played, opening words will be offered, and there will be a lengthy and deep shared silence during which you may simply be. The service will end after almost an hour with closing words and the extinguishing of the chalice.

    Sunday, November 04, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    This event does not repeat

    The Examined Life: If Not Now, When?

    Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.

    This year, November 11th falls on a Sunday. During our service this weekend, we will honour Remembrance Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with special music and readings, and by keeping silence together at 11am. We will reflect on the enduring and sometimes complicated meanings of this day. In my sermon, I will invite us to consider our part in being peacemakers for our time.

    In whatever ways you choose to mark this significant milestone over the coming days, may it be a moment to deepen your resolve to bring more peace into your corner of the world.

    In faith and love,
    Shawn

    View the Order of Service.

    Sunday, November 11, 2018 10:30 am - 11:30 am
    This event does not repeat

    Peace and Quiet

    The chalice will be lit, ambient music will be played, opening words will be offered, and there will be a lengthy and deep shared silence during which you may simply be. The service will end after almost an hour with closing words and the extinguishing of the chalice.

    Sunday, November 11, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    This event does not repeat

    The Examined Life: What have I done?

    Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.

    We live in truly bewildering times. Earlier generations have felt this way, too, though, arguably, the stakes have never been quite so high. Modern life calls to us with the promise of countless, encouraging innovations at the same time it confronts us with the peril of a number of daunting crises—so many of which are of our own making. In this context we are continually asked to consider what we have done, and what we will do. To be alive is to face an endless array of choices. On Sunday, we’ll look at the choices we make, both individually and as a community.

    This week, we will also say a significant farewell. After ten years of dedicated service as our pianist, Lisa Iwasaki's final service with us will be this coming Sunday. Lisa has been considering making a change for a while. The Executive Committee and Worship team, in discussion with Lisa, agreed that leaving now honours her needs and also gives us time to make new arrangements as we move into the holiday season with its added demands. We are deeply grateful to Lisa for her tireless commitment and for sharing her gifts with us in such wonderful ways. She will be missed. We will send her forward on Sunday with our best wishes!

    Next week, Lynn will bring our “Examined Life” series to an end. For the month of December, our series is entitled: “Still.” We envision this upcoming series, at a busy time of year, as an invitation to slow down and reconnect with that which sustains us.

    In faith and love,
    Shawn

    View the Order of Service.

    Sunday, November 18, 2018 10:30 am - 11:30 am
    This event does not repeat

    Peace and Quiet

    The chalice will be lit, ambient music will be played, opening words will be offered, and there will be a lengthy and deep shared silence during which you may simply be. The service will end after almost an hour with closing words and the extinguishing of the chalice.

    Sunday, November 18, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    This event does not repeat

    The Examined Life: How then shall I live?

    Sermon by Rev. Lynn Harrison.

    Over the past six Sundays, we’ve considered what it means to live “the examined life.” Reflecting on our identities, our roots, our regrets and our hopes, we’ve gone on quite a journey of self-examination together. Where has it led us?

    On Sunday, November 25th, we ask ourselves “How, then, shall I live?” with new self-awareness, in light of the world’s needs and our unique callings. Each of us will answer this question differently (and at different times during our lives)…but exploring it together can not only bring us closer as a community, but also help us deepen in our personal journeys of spiritual growth.

    With the help of many wisdom voices, we’ll look in the mirror (not for the last time!), affirm the inherent beauty and meaning of every life, and be inspired by favourite songs sung by the First Unitarian choir.

    Join us on Sunday, as together we seek to live in peace, love and grace.

    Lynn

    View the Order of Service.

    Sunday, November 25, 2018 10:30 am - 11:30 am
    This event does not repeat

    Peace and Quiet

    The chalice will be lit, ambient music will be played, opening words will be offered, and there will be a lengthy and deep shared silence during which you may simply be. The service will end after almost an hour with closing words and the extinguishing of the chalice.

    Sunday, November 25, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    This event does not repeat

    Still: Find a Stillness

    Sermon by Rev. Lynn Harrison.

    This Sunday, we begin a new worship series entitled “Still,” designed to help us find deeper peace during what can be, for many, a busy holiday season.

    We’ll begin our service in a new way: in silence! Entering the sanctuary, we’ll enjoy a few minutes of quiet reflection before the service begins. Then we’ll be guided and inspired by beautiful music from the First Unitarian choir and resident musicians, as well as calming wisdom from many sources, including Pico Iyer's "The Art of Stillness."

    Also, as we look ahead to December 6th, we’ll mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women during this Sunday’s service…and we’ll begin the annual Season of Lights that brings together people of many religious traditions at this time of year.

    Pico Iyer writes, “In an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.” We invite you to find a stillness, in community with us, this coming Sunday.

    In peace,
    Lynn

     

    Please Enter in Quiet

    For the "Still" series of worship services during the month of December, we'll enter the sanctuary in silence, and enjoy a few minutes of quiet reflection before our service begins. Feel free to meet and greet your friends in Workman Hall or the narthex beforehand. We hope you enjoy these times of quiet during the holiday season.

     

    View the Order of Service.

    Sunday, December 02, 2018 10:30 am - 11:30 am
    This event does not repeat

    Peace and Quiet

    The chalice will be lit, ambient music will be played, opening words will be offered, and there will be a lengthy and deep shared silence during which you may simply be. The service will end after almost an hour with closing words and the extinguishing of the chalice.

    Sunday, December 02, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    This event does not repeat

    Still: Hold a Stillness

    Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton & Tracey Erin Smith.

    This Sunday, I’m delighted to welcome one of my dearest friends to join me in our pulpit. In place of the sermon, Tracey Erin Smithand I will engage in a discussion about peacemaking, building on her recent work with the Compassionate Listening Projectin Israel and Palestine. As we move deeper into our December series of services on Stillness, our conversation will explore the role that stilling ourselves can play in transforming conflict and cultivating peace in ourselves and in our world. This Sunday we will honour Human Rights Day by lifting up the work of Amnesty International, and we’ll celebrate Chanukah, with the help of our Jewish friends, by kindling of the lights of our menorah.

    Many of you may recall Tracey’s previous visits to our pulpit or will be familiar with her work as the Artistic Director of Soulo Theatre. (She was the instigator and co-collaborator in creating “The Clergy Project,” the show I’ve been a part of in recent years with Rabbi Elyse Goldstein and Father Daniel Brereton.) Though Tracey abandoned her plans to become a rabbi long ago, the truth is that she does incredible ministry in our city and beyond through the powerful vehicle of theatre. One of the things I most admire about Tracey is her passion for hearing people’s stories, even when, or, more accurately, especially when she doesn’t share the same values or outlook. Her open-heartedness astounds and inspires me, so I look forward to having her share her wisdom with us on Sunday.

    I should add that Tracey and I are also in the beginning stages of creating a podcast series together. So, our time in the pulpit on Sunday will be a bit of an experiment to see if our routinely animated conversations over breakfast or dinner have meaning for a larger audience!

    Wishing you stillness in this hectic season,
    Shawn

     

    Please Enter in Quiet

    For the "Still" series of worship services during the month of December, we'll enter the sanctuary in silence, and enjoy a few minutes of quiet reflection before our service begins. Feel free to meet and greet your friends in Workman Hall or the narthex beforehand. We hope you enjoy these times of quiet during the holiday season.

    View the Order of Service.

    Sunday, December 09, 2018 10:30 am - 11:30 am
    This event does not repeat

    Peace and Quiet

    The chalice will be lit, ambient music will be played, opening words will be offered, and there will be a lengthy and deep shared silence during which you may simply be. The service will end after almost an hour with closing words and the extinguishing of the chalice.

    Sunday, December 09, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    This event does not repeat