Weekly View
Sun. 17 Dec, 2017 - Sat. 23 Dec, 2017

Sun. 17 Dec, 2017

Presence in the Mystery (Sun. 17 Dec, 2017 10:30 am - 11:30 am)

Sermon by Rev. Wayne Walder.

This Sunday, we welcome to our pulpit Rev. Wayne Walder, the founding minister of Toronto’s Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Many will recall that Wayne was a member of First Unitarian before beginning seminary and launching Neighbourhod, with some assistance from our congregation, almost twenty years ago.

Over the past year, leaders from our two congregations have been in conversation about how we might strengthen the ties between us, especially as each of us is in discernment about our future real estate options. We have committed to more regular exchanges with each other, so that our congregations may come to know each other better. While Wayne and I are leading this coming Sunday’s service at First, Rev. Lynn Harrison will be preaching at Neighbourhood. In February, I’ll lead a service with Wayne at Neighbourhood, while Lynn preaches at First. Such “pulpit exchanges” have been a feature in our tradition going back to the 17th century, allowing our congregations to hear the insights and wisdom of different members of our clergy. I am excited for us to return to this practice.

Of his sermon on Sunday, and mindful of our theme of Presence for the month of December, Wayne wrote: “It is difficult to be ‘present’ when family and holidays are near. Maybe even more difficult to find our presence in the mystery of the season.” In this service, we will also light our Advent Wreath, our Yule Log, and our Menorah, with help from the kids. Our Resident Musicians will sing Scott Reimner’s “Solstice Carol” as the Introit, and the choir will sing “Veni Sancte Spiritus” by Zanaida Robles as the Anthem.

Finally, between now and New Year’s Day, there are eight worship services on offer at First to help you journey through this season:

  • For those seeking the “quiet centre,” our contemplative Peace & Quiet services continue at 7:00 pm on Sunday evenings (with the exception of Christmas Eve).
  • On Thursday, the 21st, we will gather at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm for our candlelight Winter Solstice Vespers (the two services are identical), which will include Celtic harp music, my homily about seeing the beauty all around us, and the invitation to journey through the vast spiral of evergreens that will be at the centre of this service in the round.
  • On Christmas Eve morning, I’ll be preaching about the spiritual lessons we can take from Santa Claus, while we share in some of the more secular music of the season. That evening, our Candelight Christmas Eve Service will be held at 7:00 pm, with glorious music from the choir. Lynn will offer the sermon, and I will lead the candlelighting.
  • On New Year’s Eve morning, we will mark the transition from this year to the next with our annual Fire Communion Service, as we let go of what we need to relinquish to 2017 and embrace what we most hope to carry with us into 2018. That evening, at 7:00 pm, Lynn will lead the last Peace & Quiet service of the year—a perfect and thoughtful way to welcome the new year.

Please feel free to being family and friends to any of these services.

In whatever ways you celebrate, may this season fill you with light, with hope, and with joy!

In faith and love,
Shawn

View the Order of Service.

Winter Potluck Lunch (Sun. 17 Dec, 2017 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm)

Please bring your favourite dish to share or a small donation in lieu of food.

Come early if you can help set up. Stay late if you can help clean up. Extra help is always appreciated.

In Workman Hall after the service.

Issues & Ideas invites you to a Tea Ceremony (Sun. 17 Dec, 2017 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm)

Bring your dessert to the library, right after the potluck lunch, for our gathering on the theme of Presence.

Lynn Hughes will review The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius by Kristine Barnett, and Sorlie Madox will present The Enjoyment of Tea by Sen Genshitsu. (Sen Genshitsu is a tea master, a Zen monk, the retired head of his school, and the book is about his reflections on his life, beginning with his training as a kamikaze pilot in WWII.)

Sorlie and Helen Kong will perform a tea ceremony for us.

Peace & Quiet (Sun. 17 Dec, 2017 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm)

Sunday evening in Sunderland Hall join us for a contemplative worship service.

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.

Come join us - claim a time for peace and quiet.

Mon. 18 Dec, 2017

There are no events on this day.

Tue. 19 Dec, 2017

We Agnostics (AA) (Tue. 19 Dec, 2017 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm)

We Agnostics is a program like Alcoholics Anonynmous in which participants are not asked to believe in anything except that recovery is possible. See WeAgnostics.com for more information.

Wed. 20 Dec, 2017

Amnesty International (Wed. 20 Dec, 2017 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm)

You are invited to Amnesty Group 142's seasonal potluck and greeting card action in Shaw Hall.

We will share finger foods and write greeting cards to prisoners and human rights defenders.

All are welcome to join this festive occasion.

Thu. 21 Dec, 2017

"Twinkle, Twinkle" (6 pm) (Thu. 21 Dec, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm)

Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton, at a Solstice Vespers service.

"Twinkle, Twinkle" (8 pm) (Thu. 21 Dec, 2017 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm)

Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton, at a Solstice Vespers service.

Fri. 22 Dec, 2017

There are no events on this day.

Sat. 23 Dec, 2017

There are no events on this day.

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