Gifts can be tricky. To decide on what to give someone special, or being aware when something special has been given to us, can be a spiritual practice in itself.
Rodrigo Solano‑Quesnel is the Intern Minister at the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. He has a Master of Divinity from the Montreal School of Theology and a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University in Ottawa. He has served in worship and governance at the Montreal and Ottawa congregations.
This is the season of anticipation as we prepare for the winter holidays, holidays which mix delight with dread. How can we get through the next few weeks with grace? Can our Unitarian tradition help us enjoy the best of the season?
Fiona Heath became a UU minister in September 2012. Last year she was the Intern Minister at First Toronto and stayed on as their Summer Minister. She lives in Waterloo with her partner and son.
Dr. Maria Montessori said, "Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future." She was a remarkable woman who made huge contributions to early childhood education. "The Montessori Method" is in use in all parts of the world, and is especially well suited to enhancing growth and development of infants, toddlers and young children. We will discuss the life of Maria Montessori and her theories of learning and methods of teaching.
Peter Lauricella was born in Boston, MA and spent most of his life in greater Boston. He taught Kindergarten in the public schools for several years, where he used his woodworking skills to design and develop many learning materials consistent with Montessori's theories. Now a permanent Canadian resident, he and his wife, Marilyn, have lived in Port Perry for almost 4 years.
Have you felt inspired lately? We all have times of inspriation - and less inspriation - in our lives, our work, and our faith journeys and communities. Where are you at now? How do we cultivate inspriation in our lives when it is harder to find? How do we share inspiration when it flows freely?
Carly Gaylor served as intern minister at UUCD in 2009-2010. She is communiity minister at the Welcome Inn Community Centre in Hamilton. To maintain balance (and sometimes inspiration) in her life, she enjoys running, soccer, playing guitar, and recently took up ultimate frisbee.
We will explore what “living interfaith” looks like in 2012, and how we can embrace the diversity of this growing movement.
Rev. Michelle Singh is an Interfaith Minister, born in Trinidad & Tobago and raised by Catholic and Sikh parents. Michelle co-founded a monthly Spiritual Dialogue Circle which is designed to bring people from different traditions together. The Circle is hosted at Don Heights Unitarian Congregation in Toronto.
On this Remembrance Day, as well as honouring our fallen military heroes, we will pay tribute to ordinary people who have felt the need to sacrifice their lives for others. What are the reasons behind these ultimate sacrifices? Is there anything or anyone that you would consider dying for?
Rev. Cheryl Jack is minister emerita of the UUCD. She lives in Beaverton with Andris and new family member, Domino the Shih Tzu. Life in small town Ontario agrees with her and she finds plenty to keep her busy including participation in the work of “Big Sisters of Durham Region”.
This presentation will offer a very brief look at three components related to the 'stuff' that we all carry -- social location, shadow, and family systems and how each relate to congregational life and our own personal lives. This positive message will provide some new perspectives that will enhance our own personal journeys and the life and health of this beloved community. Ric will likely use one of the components mentioned in this service as a springboard for his next topic here in the early part of 2013.
Ric Jones is a Candidate for Unitarian Universalist ministry. He received his Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, Illinois in May 2012. Currently, Ric serves as a member of the national (USA) Board of Directors and Canadian Representative for the Basal Cell Carcinoma Nevus Syndrome Life Support Network based in Ohio. He has been tasked to establish a similar organization here in Canada. Ric has also been attending several training sessions as foundational to the development of his own business of ministry to organizations and congregations focused on transformational change, stress management and how family of origin impacts the person and the organization.
Samhain literally means "Summer's End", and it marks the end of the harvest. Her congregation, an international Neopagan Druidry organization, celebrates eight High Days a year and additional rituals, participates in charity events, hosts classes, and meets for fellowship and support.
Lisa Wasilkowsky Malik has served as Senior Druid of Dancing Lights Grove, ADF for three years. She has been a member of Ár nDraíocht Féin since 2004, and currently also serves as the Canada East Regional Druid. She has an Honours B.A. in Celtic Studies and Religion from the University of Toronto. She has completed the ADF Dedicant Path and now seeks entry to the Clergy Training Program, is a flametender for the goddess Brighid, and loves the Earth Mother. She is married, has a cat, and works as a library technician.
Anna tells stories that touch the heart and tickle the funny bone. She has shared her talks with listeners in schools, libraries, community gatherings and festivals in Toronto, Ottawa and St. Marys.
Anna Kerz is one of the coordinators of 1001 Friday Nights of Storytelling, the longest running storytelling event in the world. She was also one of the founders of the StoryJam Program which is designed to help young people learn and tell their own tales. When she’s not telling stories, Anna is writing. To date she is the author of three award-winning books for middle grade readers.
Anne’s sermon is inspired from her personal experience of growing up in a fundamentalist home. Writers such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins argue that some forms of religion violate the rights of children by indoctrinating them into a particular religious faith and depriving them of the opportunity to make their own free inquiry later in life. Anne shares her story of growing up in a fundamentalist religion, eventually leaving it and the impact it had on her faith and family ties.
Anne Bokma is a member of First Unitarian Church of Hamilton, Ontario. She is a member of the board of her church as well as a board member of Unicamp. An award winning freelance writer and editor, Anne writes for many of Canada's major magazines, including Canadian Living, Homemakers, More, Today's Parent, Chatelaine and MoneySense. She traces her writing career back to age 11, when her parents presented her with a portable Olivetti manual typewriter for her birthday. She's been pounding at a keyboard ever since. Anne is the mother of two teenage daughters and is married to Jeff Mahoney, a columnist at the Hamilton Spectator.
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