Elora & Fergus Unitarian-Universalists
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Elora & Fergus
Unitarian Church

P.O. Box 3
Fergus, Ontario
Canada N1M 2W7
519-603-2550
info@efuuc.org
Last update:
April 26. 2016

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UUA: Top Stories

2012-2013

Come and join us exploring our diversity on our varied Sunday Services at 10:00 am Victoria Park Centre, 150 Albert St W, Fergus, Ontario.

Most recent and future services listed at the top.

Next Sept 2013 = Pancake breakfast and water ceremony

Sunday June 2, 2013 -

Our Annual Flower Ceremony and Potluck Picnic will be held at Paul & Kelsye's garden  - near Fergus. This celebration will mark the end of our season in a very meaningful and colourful way. 
Gathering at 10:00 a.m. - start of ceremony 10:30 - Bring flowers from your garden or anywhere else that is important for you!
We will give them to the communal vase and then later take a different flower home. >>>>>>> Bring your own plates, cutlery and cups! AND CHAIRS!!!!
Be seeing you there and have a great summer!! 

May 26: Exciting times! Earth strikes back.

Things are changing in society, even with currents going against community building and working together, which is possibly the only way to continue when nature strikes back with climate change, polar ice melting in a more rapid rate than expected. What future is there?  These are exciting times.

May 19: Spirituality & Optimism through Music and Word

"A Picture is worth a thousand words" But is this an absolute truth?
Words have caused elation, deep pain, conquered the world, stir the soul, inspire to explore new horizons whilst music is the language of all nations. Chant, meditate and contemplate the meaning of some words to you and find optimism in the face of fearful events around us.
Service: Janice Ferri & Ellen Papenburg

May 12, 2013: Rev. Fiona Heath Mothers Day

This Sunday will be "wonder"-full!
Join the Rev. Fiona Heath as she explores the need for wonder in our lives. 
"I should ask that… each child in the world be [given] a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.Rachel Carson

May 5, 2013: UUs without Borders: Kenya

At First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, Bruce Schwartzentruber is involved with many groups but his trip to Kenya last August got him the most excited meeting up with UUs in Burundi and Kenya. He’ll never forget the pre-school children in a dusty slum, singing “We are Unitarian children. We have caring hearts, we have open minds and we have helping hands”, all recited with meaningful gestures. Bruce felt this was the essence of our faith being taught to children living in poverty far away from us. UUs are there, making a difference although most are of modest means themselves.
 
Bruce encourages all congregations in southern Ontario, to pursue the dream of partner church relationships with our open-hearted brothers and sisters in Kenya.
 
Address: Bruce Schwartzentruber - Service: Jim Sannes

BACKGROUND INFO:
At First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, Bruce Schwartzentruber initiated a Diversity Working Group and an Aboriginal Awareness Group. These are ministries and missions he is passionate about.

 
But it was his trip to Africa last August that got him the most excited as he met UUs in Burundi and Kenya and visited their many social action projects. He’ll never forget the pre-school children in a dusty slum, singing “We are Unitarian children. We have caring hearts, we have open minds and we have helping hands”, all recited with meaningful gestures. Bruce felt this was the essence of our faith being taught to children living in poverty far away from us. UUs are there, making a difference although most are of modest means themselves.
 
Bruce encourages all congregations in southern Ontario, to pursue the dream of partner church relationships with our open-hearted brothers and sisters in Kenya.
 
Bruce says: "While life is a journey, not a destination, I have a dream, (sorry MLK!) and hope that many others will share it with me."

April 28, 2013: Idle No More - what's it all about?

Idle No More exploded into Canada’s public discourse this winter. First Nations and other indigenous peoples have captured Canadians’ attention like never before.  What happened? What do they want? Where did this come from?

Paul Smith will explore the origins, hopes, challenges, and goals of Idle No More and the swift undercurrent of backlash. The inherent worth and dignity of people, justice, equity, compassion and the right of conscience and democratic process all figure prominently in Idle No More.

Address: Paul Smith - Service: Ellen Papenburg

April 21, 2013: Advance Health Care Planning & Living Wills

If you become physically or mentally incapable, who will make the decisions for you that reflect your wishes? Rene Alexander will address this important topic and answer your questions.  Take home forms will be available to serve as a record of your decisions and serve as a starting point for conversations with family members and your doctor to ensure that everyone is clear about who will make decisions on your behalf and what your wishes are. It is never too early to do this;  don't let it be too late! You never know what can happen in life...
Rene is a former R.N., midwife, and nurse educator.  She worked in spiritual care for 16 years and retired after spending 9 years as Chaplain at Sunnyside Home in Kitchener.

April 14, 2013: Rev. Fiona Heath: Living Between Earth and Sky

Join UU minister Fiona Heath in exploring how science and spirit help us celebrate the wonder of trees.  In honour of the season, we will share in a maple syrup communion.
Service Rev. Fiona Heath

April 7, 2013: Singing and Contemplation

Music and singing can be a way to insight and contemplation of our existence in the universe and all what happens around us even in the daily nitty gritty of our life. How to make sense and peace with it all as we are respecting the interdependent web of all existence of which we are part. Our seventh principle.
Service Janice Ferri

March 31, 2013: Celebrating Easter in our own ways

As we gather to celebrate Easter, we are reminded that it means so many different things for each of us.  We  nurture our spiritual journey in our own way with our own style.  And yet we come together as a single congregation to share our journey.  No wonder it can get complicated!  But a new season of growing is approaching.  It is what the Easter message is all about.  This service will celebrate what it means to be who we are and who we will grow to be. 

Part of the theme will include looking at Myers-Briggs Temperaments and how they express themselves in a spiritual context--very cool stuff, actually!
Service Dwight Pile

March 24, 2013: Standing in the Light

Through song, meditation, and reflection we will consider the difficulty (and necessity) of self-compassion.  How we can find the quiet centre which helps us care and connect to others?
Fiona Heath became a Unitarian Universalist minister in September 2012.  She lives in Waterloo, Ontario.  You can find out more about her at www.emptychalice.com.
Address Fiona Heath - Service: Ellen Papenburg

March 17, 2013: Come Join the Dance

T.S. Eliot says "Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there
is only the dance." 

We invite you to celebrate the arrival of spring through sacred circle dance and readings.

Mairy Beam and Audrey Fyfe

Sunday March 10, 2013: Hope for Women's Rights

Friday was International Women Day. We have come a long way in the Western world with the status of women but much more has to be improved. Globally it's a far cry from having women's rights in place.
However there is a positive fresh change in the air with young people and especially women taking charge and risking their lives wanting change in their countries where women are still severely opressed, even by law. Whilst being in danger to be severely hurt or even killed, these young women ARE getting quite some world wide attention via the social media. Is there hope?
Leigh Brownhill & Terisa Turner

Sunday March 3, 2013: Starting a Local Food Co-op

"The beginnings of Conestogo River Local Food Cooperative"
Based in Drayton, Martin will talk about what it is like to be involved in the growing local and organic food movement in rural Ontario and the benefits of working collaboratively vs independently,
Martin Tamlyn
Note: this service will be followed by a brief Budget Meeting 2013

Sunday February 24, 2013: Blessing of All Animals

It has been a while that we had a Blessing of the Animals. Not only is this ceremony a mindful session for our animals, appreciating what they mean to us and wishing them well, but it's also a blessing to ourselves while we are thinking of our daily companions and also other animals who provide to us.

Please join us with your loyal non human animal friend. Or to avoid stress bring a photo or drawing. Don't let them escape :-)

Tell their story and let's CELEBRATE!

,,,^..^,,, Meow, woof woof, wheeee, moooo

Sunday February 17: Healing per Empathy

Bill Sutherland will share his collection of experiences with Indiginous healers from all over the world, particularly with the Bushman of the Kalahara desert. Bill would like to explore how we could encorporate some of the very best qualities of human connection and healing into our ailing societies and introduce the deep way of sharing and listening and connecting to each other to promote healing and well being of everyone.  To enter a space where one can feel others' joys and sorrows and the teller can feel supported loved and embraced.
Service Janice Ferri - Address: Bill Sutherland

Sunday February 10: Understanding Spirituality

Anne Treadwell wrote this sermon in response to  a request for sermons on "dealing with life's challenges through spiritual understanding." Janice Ferri selected this as our out-of-the-box service. More details: "Our sense of meaning and connectedness in our lives, which is the closest she can come to describing spirituality, is well worth exploring and does indeed affect how we face whatever life throws at us.  Anne goes on to say that the new spirituality is full of the idea of connectedness--between body and spirit, between earth and humans, this life and previous lives, animals and people, words and actions, dreams and reality.  The fundamental concept underlying it all is that a  transcendent spirit is inherent in all things."
Service Janice Ferri & Chris Nye

Sunday February 3: Solidarity, easy or not?

With all the actions being taken, first Occupy, now Idle no More and many other events, is it really that easy to stand shoulder to shoulder? What does it really mean to show solidarity and stick our necks out, sometimes against the big stream. Is that social action or actually an act of spirituality without borders?
Speaker and singer: Steve Watson

Sunday Jan 27: A Celebration of the Continuation of the Future

Unitarians didn’t generally believe that the world would end on December 21, 2012, the day that marks the end of The Mayan calendar. But we have apocalyptic worries of our own. What can we do to ensure that these visions don’t become a reality? How can we shape the future that we DO want? 
(Note: In case of Apocalypse, this service will be cancelled).
Service: Alisa McClurg 

Sunday January 20: The Fourth Little Pig

It is said that there are no atheists in the foxholes.  But how about aging-- I mean wisdoming--Unitarians?  Is there a still quiet voice in your ear wondering if there is more than fellowship, compelling speakers, and good works to church?
Service: Dwight Pile 

Sunday January 13: Fire Ceremony & Stone Soup.

IJoin us for the Fire Communion to remember those issues in our lives we would like to resolve or forget. Dissolve them into flames, sharing them with the universe, to be ready to deal with them in Real Life, or forget them. -- Followed by GLUTEN FREE Stone Soup, and Potluck lunch, a communal event.  
Ceremony: Ellen Papenburg - Lunch by all of us.

Sunday Dec 16: Music and Stories in Winter-tyme

Joyful singing, telling and listening of stories and lovely music. Appreciating the time of darkness and light, cold and warmth, sitting by the fire and rolling in the snow making angels. Join us for this last service of 2012.
We gather again on January 13 2013.

Sunday Dec 9: Peter beats Elections Canada

(or... how to live in this modern world with a handicap)

Elections Canada made it very difficult for Rev Peter Hughes in Toronto to vote at his polling station in 2008. With his reduced mobility he ended up going down the steps on his bum. No sympathy from EC as they thought it was purely his problem. He took them to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and Peter won! So now all polling stations are required to be accessible in Canada. There is hope, as even one person can make a difference. Never give up.

Peter, a Unitarian minister from Toronto, will speak about this and his life with his handicap, adapting and travelling around in our modern society and the world removing and encountering obstacles on the way.  Everyone is most welcome.

Sunday Dec 2: Write for Rights - Amnesty Int'l

It's time for the Annual Letter-writing campaign of Amnesty International "Write for Rights", Everyone is welcome, the more the merrier to make sure that Prisoners of Conscience, Human Rights Defenders, individuals and communities at risk are not forgotten. Applying pressure on governments and institutes does help releasing people held in custody, often tortured for just speaking out against injustice and standing up for human rights in their countries.
Being part of this action can be a very powerful, spiritual and moving experience. Over one million letters were written in 2011 by Amnesty International supporters. It is connecting us to those who might have lost any hope and to give that person a little spark in the darkness to hold on to.  One quote says it all: "Without Amnesty I might not be here today" Gabriel Shumba, torture survivor, Zimbabwe
More information: www.amnesty.ca/writeathon/

Sunday Nov 25: Another Atheist's Spiritual Journey cycling through the Provence & Living In the Moment

by Anna Contini and Don Beals
Unitarians Anna Contini and Don Beals went on a two-week cycling tour in France and found this was quite a spiritual experience at times.  France is the most visited country in the world. There is a reason. The French have much to teach us about how to live.
Travelling by bicycle open to the elements and being part of the landscape is a mind-opening experience. On a journey you will meet friends and encounter sceneries you have never seen before. On the go you find that cultures often vary from one area to another and people being very friendly and hospitable. The cycling makes it even more enriching.

Sunday Nov 18: Growing or Not? Stay Put or Move on?

by president Janice Ferri
Facilitating an introduction to an ongoing discussion of our expectations, wishes, Spirtuality vs Practicality, Inspiration vs Persperation, Participation vs Consumerism, Clergy leadership or Lay or other. Perhaps ALL of these are aspects of what congregational life can mean to us and where do we want to go, grow, stay put, or move on in our development. Discussion, meditation and music with interaction are part of this service.

Sunday Nov 11: May Peace Prevail

by Rev. Fiona Heath from Grand River Unitarian congregation.
On this day in which we honour those lost to war and violence, we reflect on the sometimes difficult ways in which we can uphold our sixth principle of peace, liberty and justice for all.

Sunday Nov 4: Political Sustainability: UN, UU & Canada

by Tui Torrie from Grand River Unitarian congregation.
 In the tradition of Unitarian congregational polity, we accept the privilege and responsibility of autonomous decision-making. Necessary parts of decisions are shaped by factual information and the integration of world events as they relate to our own, local worlds.  Trouble is - what is relevant ? what might be 'politically sustainable' in this issues-overloaded media-driven chatter ? Let's consider some possibilities.

Sunday Oct 28: Where Passion Leads....
by Ida Fisher from Grand River Unitarian congregation.

Ida, an active Unitarian for more than forty years, will reflect on her ongoing, relentless activities and involvement for the past thirty years with Child Haven International. She has been an intern and volunteer with this wonderful organisation helping out orphans and women, serving overseas and coordinating an annual Fund Raising Dinner in Waterloo. http://www.childhaven.ca/

Sunday Oct 21: how things are going... SO FAR...
by Dwight Pile
Our personal journey through life is a whole and comprehensive sum of all that we strive to achieve: Personal development, relational excellence, spiritual awakening, and the birth of peace within us.  Today will be a time to reflect on how things are going "So Far"

Sunday Oct 14: "Co-ops Build a Better World" 

Mark Ventry will be speaking on what  a co-operative is, brief examples of some co-ops operating in Ontario and Canada, how co-ops build a better world domestically and internationally. We will  talk about this incredible gift that is the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives and how our movement is leveraging that awareness. We will try to take on the tone of our 'co-ops are cool' webpages. http://www.ontario.coop/coops_are_cool/different.html

Sunday Oct 7: "Being Grateful" a Thanksgiving service
Stories, songs and meditation stopping for a moment to think about the things we are grateful for. Bring your own stories and memories of times that made a big difference in your life and which you are still grateful for. This is a multi-generational service.
We start at 10 a.m. at the Victoria Park Centre, 150 Albert St W, Fergus

Sept 30: "Bartok was a Unitarian" by Rev Peter Hughes
A insightful service based partly on a correspondence between Bartok and violinist Steffi Geyer in which he talks about his religious views. And to investigate some of his music and to view how this expressed his world view.  Peter will play some of the Hungarian Peasant songs on the recorder. He would like to make a hymn based upon one chorale-like passage in the concerto.

Sept 23: "Life in the Time of Cancer" by Leigh Brown presented by Terisa Turner
The service is a meditation on being human in a time of planetary health crises and how faith is required by and in fact somehow spurred on by the profound questions of our era. - When the personal experience of cancer's impact on the family intersects with the widely-shared reality of a world epidemic of cancers, nurturing a spiritual outlook has the benefit of giving calm comfort and encouraging perseverance in the face of pain and uncertainty. The very act of walking through cancer and its treatment demands the simultaneous embrace of cold, hard, scientific numbers and the inexplicable spirit which, unseen, nonetheless exists within and around us.

Sept 16: "A Fair Country" by Tom Brown
John Ralston Saul makes some interesting if controversial claims about our Canadian heritage. He says that we are a Metis nation with a culture that is strongly influenced by our First Nations culture. The Canadian elite are probably a little upset to be described as "The Castrati". We should have an interesting morning looking at some of the ideas in the book and discussing their implications.

Sunday Sept 9 - Annual Pancake Breakfast & Water Ceremony
Bring a small sample of water (can be symbolic) from any special place you have been this summer that has been a profound / or pure fun experience to you. Distances do not matter, it could be your own home, garden, city, town.... what does matter is that it is special to YOU.

We hope you briefly would share your memories with us or just pour the water in silence into the bowl. Celebrate and remember those times of serenity, fun, nature, company, adventure, peace, simplicity, complication, meeting people and animals, magical moments of travelling or just staying happily at home... and appreciate touching the strands of our interdependent web of all existence.



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