Elora & Fergus Unitarian-Universalists
Welcome > Sunday Services > 2009-2010
Elora & Fergus
Unitarian Church

P.O. Box 3
Fergus, Ontario
Canada N1M 2W7
Last update:
April 26. 2016

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SUNDAY SERVICES - most recent at the top

Sunday, May 16, 2010 @10:00 AM

Music is inextricably linked with the human body and spirit. Our greatest joys and sorrows are accompanied by and played out in music. From physics we know that we respond to simple quantifiable harmonic ratios. Our hearts respond to music in inexpressable and unquantifiable ways. Singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Guy Stefan and guitarist Don Beals will explore this through music performance and discussion.

Sunday, April 18, 2010 - Rites of Passage - Lay Chaplaincy Sunday

A Celebration - Lay chaplains conduct Rites of Passage, like child dedications, memorial ceremonies, funerals, coming of age, saging and croning, pet memorial services, and are officially licensed to conduct weddings in Ontario.  Jill and Ellen will tell about their experiences and the meaning of it all. Followed by the New Member Ceremony.

Service Jill Davey and Ellen Papenburg -

New Member Ceremony: Chris Nye, Membership Chair.

Sunday, April 11, 2010 - Nature Worship

People are returning to the original religion.  Nature worship is once
again becoming a powerful spiritual movement as we reconnect with the
earth. Movies like Avatar embody this new spiritual force. As the
planet becomes more threatened by human activities perhaps a spiritual
reconnection is what will save us.
Service: Don Beals

Sunday, April 4, 2010 - Easter: Truth and Meaning

Easter Sunday - Unitarians have a diverse look on the Easter story, for some it's real and for others it's a myth, yet, it can be meaningful for all. We will explore and celebrate Easter together on this very summerlike day (according to the forecast) Congregants, please bring Easter snacks and finger food.
Service: Ellen Papenburg and Jim Sannes

Sunday, March 28, 2010 -- Becoming WELCOMING

This Service will conclude the Welcoming series of Sunday Services we have followed to seek certification from the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) as a Welcoming Congregation, affirming that we welcome and celebrate the participation and membership of persons regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Our guest speaker from Toronto, Art Brewer, chair of the CUC's Gender and Sexual Diversity Monitoring Group will talk about current good and bad news stories for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.
Address: Art Brewer - Service Leader: Jim Sannes

Sunday, March 21, 2010 -Daring to live with Gaia

Linda Reith, Sunday services committee chair and past president of the Unitarian Congregation of Guelph, will  be joining us to speak about this topic. It is a great challenge to be fully alive in this time of tremendous climate change and demand for urgent action. Many prefer business as usual rather than risking engagement. However, if we can recognize that engagement includes laughter, creativity and community, it is much more possible, even irresistible.

Address: Linda Reith - Service Leader Ellen Papenburg

March 14, 2010 - March Power of the Word
Faith, Love and Works are mentioned in scriptures as three important aspects in our lives. Love is often quoted as the most important one.

Yet, Faith/Spirituality and Love are supported by Works. Faith, Spirituality and Love would be well-meant but hollow without true action.
This Sunday we will explore what power the written word can have on violence wielding authorities, and what we can do to make it better for at least three people in this world. Amnesty International has three situations for us to act upon right away. This is about real people and You and I can make a difference to just write a  couple of letters. That.. is the power of the word. Not swords, guns, bombs, but a pen, and paper...
Address: Amnesty International - Service Leaders Jim & Ellen

March 7, 2010 - Copenhagen Part 2: Wither the Weather?

On October 24, people in 181 countries took part in the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet's history. At over 5200 events around the world, people rallied to call for strong action and bold leadership on the climate crisis in anticipation of next month's Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. With so much conflicting information over this temperamental debate, what is the science is saying about the situation both globally and here in Canada, what does the science /not/ yet know, and how should we respond? Moreover, what are the spiritual dimensions as Unitarians that can help guide our reaction?
Address: Alisa McClurg - Service leader: Jim Sannes

February 28, 2010 - System Change Not Climate Change: A Report from Copenhagen

At the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen in December 2009, a large number of popular organizations converged and agreed to work over the next year to try to stop the production of oil, coal and gas. In contrast the governments failed to come to any kind of agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions. What can citizens do to promote the kinds of fundamental changes that runaway climate change demands? This talk centres on two UU principles: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; and respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Address: Terisa Turner - Service leaders: Leigh Brownhill

February 21, 2010 - Joint Feast Service with Bahai group
Again our two groups will get together to share our diversity and beliefs with each other. We enjoy thought provoking topics and already have shared many religious and scientific viewpoints. Religion can be a deep feeling of emotion but it can also be an intellectual experience of thought, all the pieces make a whole.
Service leaders: Kerry Boyle & Lisa Sutherland

February 14, 2010 - Food and Spirituality
Exploring the connection between spirituality and food. Fr James Profit, executive director of Ignatius Centre of Guelph, is the founder of the Ecology Project and a Jesuit priest trained in agriculture (B.S. Agr), rural sociology and theology. He leads retreats and workshops on everything from agriculture to climate change to the greening of the spiritual excercises of St. Ignatius to groups in Canada, the US, the Caribean and Europe.
Address Fr James Profit - Service Leader Ineke Booy

February 7, 2010 - Struggling to be an ecovillage.

Trying to live out the 1st and 7th UU principle in an intentional community

Tales from living in an intentional community that is struggling to be an ecovillage. 
A group of singles and families, from a wide variety of backgrounds, gathered to build an ecovillage and biodynamic farm on 190 acres they purchased in the Town of Caledon, northwest of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
For information on the community, see www.wholevillage.org.
Address Mairy Beam - Service Leader Ellen Papenburg

January 31, 2010     "Rainbow Chorus Concert"
The Rainbow Chorus of Waterloo-Wellington, from Guelph, will be singing for our congregation. The Chorus is a charitable, non-profit organization of amateur non-auditioned choral singers. They join together in song and celebrate the diversity of their community. Their members (gay, lesbian, bi, trans and straight) come from small towns throughout South Western Ontario.

The Rainbow Chorus just had their 15th Anniversary concert, " A Celebration in Song" on the 23rd of January. For our service they will sing a selection of chorus favourites and their repertoire spans many genres. For more information check their website http://www.rainbowchorus.ca/  Service Leader: Leigh Brownhill

January 24, 2010     "Before You Die".

John Barker, a retired clergy person whose church conducted 70 funerals in his last year of ministry, will be speaking about the preparations one makes that ease the grief of those who are left. Included will be information about the Memorial Society, its work, and future directions in death care.

Service leader: Ellen Papenburg

January 17th, 2010 - Close Encounters with World Religions

In Steven Spielberg's movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind , Richard Dreyfus' character, Roy Neary, experiences a profound and transforming encounter with "the other." Using the movie as a springboard, he relates the story of one person's profound and transforming experiences through a lifetime of encounters with the multi-coloured wisdom of the religions of the world. Gleaned from these experiences are shared insights available to all who passionately pursue religious diversity from the simply intellectual to the intimately experiential. 
Speaker: J.W.Windland - Service Leader: Chris Nye

January 10, 2010   Fire Ceremony and Stone Soup.
To start the New Year we will have a Fire Communion to remember in our hearts those issues in our lives we would like to resolve or forget, and will symbolically  dissolve them into flames sharing them with the universe, to ready us dealing with those issues in Real Life or accept them. Followed by Stone Soup, a communal event.  - Service Leader and ceremony: Ellen Papenburg

Sunday December 20, 2009 - "A Wonderful Christmas Service"
Our talented, published friend Bruce Iserman from Walkerton read his latest, original Christmas Story for all ages and we spread the word to our extended families and friends, who filled the sanctuary. Heather shared her fine musicianship on the piano and mastery of the classic christmas classics with Don, guitar and we sang some Carols as well.

December 13th, 2009 "The Soothing Dark"
This is the season of darkness and we tend to look and long for the Light, forgetting that the Dark has its own merits we could embrace if we would stop a moment in the rush of the season, and let the stillness and comforting quiet into our hearts. It's at the root of all existence, the universe, our lives.. it all started with darkness and to return to it can give us peace.
Address Ellen Papenburg - Service Leader Jill Davey

Dec 6th, 2009 - "Climate Change Experience, my trip to the Arctic, "
Sarah Hennekens will speak about her experiences on her travels to the arctic and what she has seen there that are indicators for climate change.Address Sarah Hennekens - Service Leader Julie Corey

November 29th, 2009
- Critic for the Status of Women
Guest Speaker Irene Mathyssen, MP London-Fanshawe, is talking about her role as Critic for the Status of Women. "Opposition Party Critics are responsible for presenting party policies in a given area and commenting on those of the Government." In other words she is keeping an eye on what is happening and keeping all consistent with the vision of  her party. Lately there was a situation that a female MP was called a "bitch" by male MPs and nothing was done about it by the Speaker of the House. You can be sure Irene spoke up.
Service Leader Ellen Papenburg

November 22nd - Zak's Singing Crystal Bowls

Zak Martin-Kilgour has been a musician and student of spirituality, holistic health and metaphysics for over 9 years.
Using crystal bowls, voice, cymbals and Tibetan bowls, he creates an atmosphere of ambient sounds that relax the body's autonomic nervous system allowing deeper states of brainwave activity and relaxation. -- You are welcome to bring a blanket and cushion if you prefer lying or sitting on the floor. Chairs are provided.

Zak Martin-Kilgour - Service Leader Catharina Walhout

November 15th - More Inclusive Language
Sticks and stones may break your bones but names and words can sometimes hurt too. As well as silence, which also can cause harm.
We will explore reclaiming language for inclusion and healing.
Speaker Leigh Brownhill - Service Leader Ellen Papenburg

November 8th Remembering those who struggled for Social Justice

Many people have dedicated their lives to make our society a better place. This does not always mean people sacrificed their lives in war. But people would endanger their normal existence by speaking up and going against all odds. We now have a better social justice system thanks to them.
Speaker Steve Watson - Service Leader Ellen Papenburg

November 1, 2009 - Afghanistan and the Pipeline Connection
A rarely told story about Afghanistan plans for a natural gas pipeline to link Central and South Asia via Kandahar. With maps, quotes and humour, John and Millie will share their journey from the Kingston Unitarian Fellowship's current affairs group to a press conference on Parliament Hill. Their work has appeared as banner headlines in the Globe and Mail and in Toronto Star
Speakers & Service Leaders John Foster and Millie Morton from Kingston

October 25th - What is Precious in our Lives and why?
An exploration of meaningful, spiritual and precious moments, people, pets, places, memories in our lives, with meditation, music and sharing
Speaker Ellen Papenburg

October 18th - Joint Feast Service with Bahai group
HARMONY is a good choice as we are trying to live harmoniously with each other. The harmony topic can be acceptance and understanding and also striking harmony by listening and sharing thoughts. We enjoy thought provoking topics and already have shared many religious and scientific thoughts. Religion can be a deep feeling of emotion but it can also be an intellectual experience of thought, all the pieces make a whole.

October 11th - Remembering June - Michael Gilbertson was married to June Gilbertson for 40 years before her untimely death on July 25 at the age of 63. June was a dynamic leader and a much loved speaker at many Unitarian Universalist congregations. Michael will speak on his continuing search for the meaning of June's life and death.
Speaker Mike Gilbertson - Service leader Catharina Walhout.

October 4th - Food choices in a Green world.

Our spiritual and physical connection with our world encourages us to look at the resulting series of options to get in tune with peaceful and environmental choices of food. Local buying, preparing more vegetarian meals, connecting to other beings gives us opportunity to shift from one comfort zone into another, promoting wellness of ourselves and the interdependent web..
Speaker Dr Mary Jo Calarco

September 27th - "Why PRIDE?"
Our Unitarian congregations strive to become Welcoming Congregations for the LGBT community, but the process can be frustrated by misunderstandings. Why celebrate "pride" when there are so many other social action causes confronting us?
Speaker Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela from First Unitarian Waterloo Congregation
(Soup served for Empty Bowls)

September 20th - The Quarry and water in SW Ontario
Possibly the largest limestone quarry of North America is going to be established less than 3 km next to Unicamp. Basically waters in SW Ontario are in danger as it will drain the headwaters of many rivers who have their origin in this area. The Grand River, Wasaga, Saugeen would all be affected. The North Dufferin Agricultural Community Taskforce (NDACT) will provide a speaker.
Service leader Unicamp Taskforce member Ellen Papenburg

Longer description:

The QUARRY and WATER in SW Ontario

Water is very important to us all. We celebrate water with a spiritual communion at the start of our new season. Spirituality cannot be sustained without putting it to action.

So we have invited the NDACT (North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce to speak to us about an extremely important issue regarding our water supply.

The Highland Companies are proposing to dig a 200 foot deep excavation
near the source of our water for a limestone quarry which will ultimately be more
than 2400 acres.

This is the area of the headwaters for our Grand River! and also headwaters for many other rivers, like the Saugeen.

We will be devoting our full service to an examination of the potential consequences by the proposed quarry next Sunday at 10am.

The Public is invited!

Jim Sannes, Sunday Services Chair

September 13th Pancake Breakfast - Water Communion
Please join us for our first Sunday of the season, the annual Pancake Breakfast and Water Communion to share water of our special, meaningful, places that are of spiritual or emotional value to you. This can be from your summer camp, from a cruise, from the North Pole or just your favorite back yard. Welcome Back!

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