The Chalice NOVEMBER 2014

The Chalice
NOVEMBER 2014
A Note from Rev. Linda Thomson
As I spend more time at the Unitarian Fellowship of London, learning more
about you, and meeting more of you, I’m finding my excitement levels building.
Your staff team seems to be very strong. At the Service this past Sunday I had the
opportunity to learn first-hand about your reinvigorated music program and
choir. It is my belief that music is a critical factor in congregational vitality, and
I’m thrilled to be working with such fine musicians as Melanie Cancade and Eric
Charbonneau. Their experience and commitment will be a tremendous asset.
I’ve also met with Lori Turner-Otte and have talked with Patricia Daly, both
seem more than capable of doing their jobs with professionalism and imagination. I look forward to continuing the conversation so I can learn more about
how we can work together.
And of equal, if not greater, importance are the keen and dedicated members of
the congregation. It is always profoundly moving to me when I see people who
could spend their time and energy in any number of ways working on behalf of
their faith community. I know how hard they work and I am both impressed and
grateful. The turnout for the first of the scheduled Future Focus Conversations
was terrific (about 20 people stayed after the service on Oct. 26 th) and the conversation was rich. I heard people share stories about their connections with and
hope for the Fellowship. If you were unable to attend on Sunday, please note
another session is scheduled for Tuesday Nov. 11th from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Light
refreshments will be served. If it appears that more sessions are needed, we will
schedule them.
It will be important in the coming months to continue the conversation so that the
emerging sense of identity and purpose can be more clearly articulated. As I
shared with those who participated on Sunday, “unless a congregation has a
fairly clear understanding of why it exists and how it can help people make
greater sense of their lives it will be hard to plan for the future it hopes to live
into.”
- continued
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A Note from Linda - continued
These conversations are only the first
step in helping people share and listen
to one another, to the end of having a
clearer understanding of, “Why
UFL?”.
All three of these factors are, in my
opinion, important if the congregation
is to adapt and develop so that it can
serve the members, the people that
we’ve not yet met and the larger London community. I know that the cultural imperative to attend church is not
what it was in London 50-60 years
ago, and I know that the context and
assumptions that help inform congregational life are very different than
they were. However, I do believe that
congregations can still be relevant, vital and essential for many people.
Congregations that are thriving have,
and will continue to adapt to the
changing climate while also asking
themselves what the core of their community is. These are big questions.
This is important work. I’m thrilled
that you’ve invited me do engage with
you, as you do it.
In faith and with affection,
Linda
Sunday Worship Schedule 10:45 a.m.
November's theme is Confidence.
November 2
First Sunday Nurturing and Renewal
Pot Luck Brunch
Alison Konrad , Service Leader
November 9 - Conducted by the Social Action Committee. Topic is- “End of Life Discussion- Reflecting on Hospice Care”. Guest
speaker will be Brian Klooster, Spiritual
Care Provider at St. Joseph’s Hospice.
November 16
Multigenerational Service: From the Wisdom
of the Hebrew Scriptures
Lori Otte, Service Leader
November 23
- Rev. Linda Thomson
Be Not Afraid
An exploration of November's theme of
Confidence.
The phrase attributed to Jesus, "Be Not
Afraid" seems like a tall order. We know
there is much to be afraid of, and yet we persist in building lives, families and communities. There are certainly times when confidence seems elusive or an attribute of the
wilfully ignorant. What does it mean to live
confidently, to believe in our personal futures
and that of the Unitarian Fellowship of London when much remains uncertain.
November 30
To Be Announced
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News from RE
Thank you for all the support in the Multi generational Workshops. It is wonderful to see all
age groups working together to discuss and create!
Help! We are still looking for volunteer(s) to help us put together our recently purchased basketball net. We will be staying back a few Sundays to work on this, and will be asking the “day
of” during announcements for mechanically inclined volunteers.
Reminders to Parents
Coffee Time: We ask that children from the Junior program and First Friends be picked up by
12:15. If you lose track of time, we can bring them out to you. The RE Committee is comfortable with the Seniors moving between the sanctuary and the back without supervision. If your
Junior leaves to attend coffee time, we would ask that they stay with you from then on. It is difficult from a safety perspective to keep track of the younger children moving between spaces.
We will also be asking that the children play in the rooms at the back, not in the large space or
the junior classroom. We plan to have some Senior youth members help with the younger children until 12:15. Thanks so much for your cooperation.
Multigenerational Service: We would appreciate it if you would encourage and monitor your
child's participation. Only those under the age of six will be cared for at the back for safety reasons. Older children will need to remain in the Sanctuary. We will try our best to keep them
occupied and engaged.
Our November plans
Nov 2 - Craft and Halloween Theme - Original Kids Theatre Outing to see Jamie Kaill 2pm.
Nov 9 - Lesson 5
Nov 16 - Multigenerational
Nov 23 - Lesson 6
Nov 30 - Guest - Mark Konrad on Social Justice.
Curriculum
Multigenerational: The program content comes from the UUA Tapestry of Faith MultiGenerational Program: “Wisdom From the Hebrew Scriptures” and specifically looks at the
wisdom we can glean from these ancient stories and how they fit with UU values.
First Friends working from the UU curriculum “Me and My World”
Junior group (grades 2-6)will be using the Tapestry of Faith - Faithful Journeys program.
Seniors(grades 6 and up) have started work on “Becoming Me”, using the UUA “Coming of
Age Handbook’.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns as they arise. I can be
reached at my gmail account: [email protected]
Lori Turner-Otte
RE Coordinator
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From the Treasurer
Special Congregational Meeting for the Budget, November 9: A Special Congregational Meeting for the Budget has been scheduled for Sunday, November 9,
2014, after the service. A revised budget for May 1, 2014, to April 30, 2015, will
be presented by Lorna Dean, Treasurer, and voted on by Members of the congregation. A copy of the draft budget was distributed to Members and Friends by
email, and mailed to Members without email, on October 20, 2014.
Snow Shoveling and Plowing: The UFL will have a contract with Fosole Services this winter which will cover snow plowing for the parking lot and shoveling
the area by the front door, and the sidewalk to the side door.
However, since Fosole will do this sometime prior to 7 AM, if it continues to
snow, there may still be snow to be shoveled by volunteers on Sunday AM.
Therefore, if you arrive early, and are physically able to do so, please clear the
area by the front door and/or sprinkle ice-melt granules, as necessary.
Financial Report: The September 2014 Financial Report shows that the UFL
Operating Budget has a deficit of $10,817 after subtracting income and expenses
not related to the Operating Budget. The deficit is expected to decrease during
the fiscal year, especially after the mortgage is paid off in December 2014. The
September Financial Report is posted on the bulletin board.
Space Requirements Task Force: The Space Requirements Task Force report
was submitted to the Board for the October 28 Board meeting. The Board
adopted the recommendations in the report, which were:
 That the UFL remain in the current building at 557 Clarke Road.
 That the UFL take steps to reduce the volunteer effort necessary to maintain
the current building.
 That the UFL use advertising to raise its profile in the community.
- continued
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From the Treasurer - continued
Copies of the report (37 pp. including Appendices) may be requested from Lorna
Dean at [email protected] or 519-641-4277.
Registered Charity Status: Recently, several members reviewed Marlene
Koehler’s paper, Protecting a Faith Organization’s Charitable Status. Eileen
Howay and Mark Konrad of the Social Action Committee, and Lorna Dean,
Treasurer, met to discuss the issues in it. A document, Recommendations to the
Board on Donations to Other Organizations, Donations to our Partner Church,
and Political Activities, was prepared by Lorna Dean, Treasurer, and submitted to
the Board at the October 28, 2014, meeting. A more formal Policy and Procedures document on these issues will be prepared in due course.
Registered Charity Information Return: The UFL’s Registered Charity Information Return, for the year ending April 30, 2014, was prepared by Rod Geer,
C.A., and submitted to Canada Revenue on October 29, 2014.
GST/HST Rebate: The UFL received a GST/HST rebate of $2,389.98 for the
fiscal year 2013-14. This represents about 70% of the GST/HST that we paid for
supplies and services.
Lorna Dean, Treasurer
[email protected] or 519-641-4277
Don’t Forget
Turn Your
Clock Back
One Hour
Care Team Contact
For November
Linda Lincoln
Daylight Saving Time Ends
November 2
519-472-2296
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UFL Services Auction
Saturday, November 22, 2014, 5:00 pm
___________________________________________________
Plans for the Services Auction are well underway. On Saturday, November 22,
the doors will open for check-in and a reception at 5:00 pm; a chilli dinner with
lots of toppings will be served at 5:45 pm, and the auction will start at 6:45 pm.
Forms for submitting your service to be auctioned are available on Sundays.
There was also a form attached to the weekly email. Please submit your form
promptly, so that Eileen Howay can begin to prepare the slide show of items to be
auctioned. The deadline for accepting forms is Sunday, November 16.
Our Services Auction exemplifies that fairness works. Regardless of the amount
donated, whether it be $25 or $500, everyone receives the same $600 Unibucks
and is able to bid on all the services offered. The services range from baked
goods, handyman services, special meals in homes, babysitting, discussions,
wills, massages, and often a weekend at a cottage.
This event is both a fundraiser and a community-building event. Throughout the
year, members and friends meet each other when services are claimed.
Members will be calling everyone to confirm attendance and check on food allergies or whether you will be bringing a child who needs childcare during the auction. Lori Turner-Otte will be providing childcare, but we need to know how
many children are expected.
Contact the convenor, Celeste Lemire, at [email protected] or 519-4334003, if you have any questions about the Services Auction.
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News from UFL Social Action Committee
As many of you know, one of the thrusts of the Social Action Committee is giving
support to the local organization Life*Spin, which advocates for low-income
London residents. For the last few years we have participated in their Christmas
Sponsorship Program whereby we took on 12 families; members/friends chose a
child’s name and purchased gifts for them. It sounded simple but entailed a lot of
work on the part of the Social Action Committee. So this year we are changing
things- for those who feel committed and are financially able to do so, they can
contact Life*Spin and agree to sponsor a family. They would be given details
about the family such as a wish-list, clothing sizes, etc. Then the sponsoring person would purchase the gifts and take them to Life*Spin.
So here are the needed details- Life*Spin, 866A Dundas St. E (at Ontario St
across from Western Fair Grounds); 519-438-8676;
email- [email protected];
Contact them after Nov. 1; a charitable tax receipt is issued in February if
the original receipts are handed in.
ANOTHER WAY TO GIVE SUPPORT TO LIFE*SPIN
Life*Spin is having their second annual CHOCOLATE SUNDAY, Sunday,
Nov. 16, at the Marconi Club, south on Clarke Rd, 12:30-4:30PM
CHOCOLATE TREASURES & PLEASURES- it features a dessert buffet,
chocolate fountain, children’s activities, live entertainment, works of dozens of
artisans for one’s shopping, a silent auction, door prizes- it is a FUN event and
another way of giving support to Life*Spin
admission- $15.00 per person or $35.00 for a family
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Some Impressions of Unitarian Universalists
By Goldwin Emerson
(Introduction: While all of the talks presented by our members are thoughtful and
relevant, Goldie Emerson's contribution was especially timely in view of this period of change and our efforts to grow the membership. Enjoy! - Karen Kidd,
President)
Years ago, that is, in the early 1960’s, I had my first encounter with Unitarians. I
immediately found them to be intelligent, usually well-educated, and thoughtful. I
found it refreshing that one could discuss almost any topic with fellow Unitarians
and even when opinions differed from my own, we could expect to remain just as
close in our friendships as though we never had any disagreements at all. This
was partly because Unitarians did not subscribe to the old adage that was given to
me by my parents. They used to tell me that it was a bad idea to ever discuss issues of religion or politics. But, to Unitarians, these two topics, plus many more,
were always open topics for lively and informative discussions. They helped to
make life more complete and interesting.
Whenever my former pre-Unitarian friends felt that they knew me well enough,
they might venture to ask, “What religion are you Goldie?” When I would say
that I was either Unitarian or Unitarian-Universalist, they responded with a kind
of nonplused look that was meant to cover up the fact that they had never heard of
Unitarians, or else what they had heard was not particularly complimentary. A
few, even ventured to say, “Oh, Unitarian. Well that’s the religion where it doesn’t
really matter what you believe.”
Discussion for 5 minutes
I am ashamed to say, that I wasn’t very good at first in trying to explain what I
ought have said then. I ought to have said, that to Unitarians, everything important matters. It matters what we do with our lives, how we treat our fellow human
beings, how we learn to solve our disagreements with open and sincere discussions of the issues at hand. It matters that we come to better understand the
- continued …..
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Some Impressions of Unitarian Universalists - continued
customs and religious beliefs of those around us. It matters how we treat the environment, and how we relate to those of different ethnic backgrounds and different
social and cultural customs from our own. It matters that we have to work hard to
respect the dignity and worth of individuals, and in particular, to respect those
whose upbringing and traditions differ from ours. It matters how we raise our
children and teach them to avoid bullying other children. It matters that we teach
our children and ourselves to have a high regard for preserving and conserving
our environment. It matters that we learn to solve our differences throughout the
world with peaceful approaches rather than through military might. It matters that
we care about equality and fairness in society. It matters that we seek politicians
who care about justice, truth and democratic procedures. It matters that we look
for and create social policies and occupations that are fair and just and equitable
to our fellow Canadians. It matters that we provide sound educational systems for
life skills and jobs and equality for females as well as for males.
When I suggest that everything matters to Unitarians I am exaggerating a little. To
most Unitarian Universalists, it doesn’t matter very much whether a lot of media
time and printers’ ink is spent on informing the world that Justin Bieber has just
had another tattoo put on his left or his right arm or elsewhere. It doesn’t matter
too much what was the nature of the latest police citation Justin received for a
particular form of his belligerent behavior. It doesn’t matter how much the dress
cost that the best female actress wore to receive her Oscar at the latest academy
awards ceremony. In the light of eternity, it doesn’t matter whether or not the Toronto Maple Leafs were not part of the final NHL hockey playoffs for 2014. But,
to Unitarians, issues of caring for our fellow humans and improving the world,
does matter, and I hope that will continue to be our priority in this Fellowship into
the future.
- continued ...
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Some Impressions of Unitarian Universalists - continued
If we are looking for an easy religion, where thinking doesn’t matter, then we can
find many religions that have lots of dogma and doctrine and rules to tell us what
to do and what to think or not to think at all. But Unitarian Universalists religion
is not one of those religions. What we have to offer is a principled religion which
requires personal reasoning and strength of character. It requires effort. A good
example of principled reasoning is offered in our very first of seven important
principles. That is, we ought to respect the worth and dignity of every individual.
This is a very demanding principle. We know that some individuals aren’t very
nice. Some will steal from you or lie to you. Some will be violent against you and
a few under certain circumstances will even commit murder. So what does it
mean to respect the worth and dignity of every individual. Well, some Unitarians
have thought about this and some have even decided to overlook the importance
of our first principle.
I think it means that every individual, no matter how mean and unfair and stupid
and uninformed they may be, are after all, fellow human beings. They are part of
humanity. Some have been programmed by life’s experiences to be altruistic and
kind, but some have been trained to be violent, and egotistical and lacking in social graces. We do not know exactly why people turn out as they do, but intelligence, social and cultural experiences, supportive families, and hardship and luck,
both good and bad, probably shape our lives to be as we are. I am not saying here
that murderers ought to run freely among us. I think some people for their own
welfare and that of others in society need to be controlled for their own protection
and for the protection of their fellow human beings. Until we learn more about
how to help our worst citizens, some will have to be incarcerated and held in prisons or be subjected to other confinements and controls.
But they are our fellow citizens. They are human. We do not need to execute them
nor do we need to torture them or stone them to death or amputate their hands as a
- continued ...
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Some Impressions of Unitarian Universalists - continued
punishment. Just as the successes of our best citizens are partly due to the successes and freedoms in our society, the converse is also true. The failures of our
worst citizens are partly due to the short comings and the failures and the freedoms of choice in of our society.
In any case, I am pleased that we have challenging principles that are thoughtful
and which help keep us together. I am pleased that as Unitarian Universalists we
remain open to a wide variety of opinions and religious outlooks and interpretations. I liked to hear some of our ministers welcome all who come to visit us and
to express their opinions openly provided they are also able to welcome the opinions of those with whom they think differently. Because we as Unitarians are
relatively few in number, our feelings of support and caring for each other and
tolerance for our fellow Unitarians is valuable and even crucial to our future and
to the continued existence of a meaningful religion. I, and members of my family,
have often benefited by the support and kindness of my fellow Unitarians and we
do so even to this present day. We are grateful for this Unitarian Fellowship of
London and what it has to offer. With the hard work and support of our Board,
our past Ministers, and our membership, may it continue live long into the future.
The messages and principles of Unitarian Universalists that have been promoted
by Unitarians for many years are more important than ever in this present age of
human development.
Unitarian/Universalists have been leaders in religious development. We have led
religions in acceptance of gender equality, environmental protection, sexual persuasions, peaceful and democratic procedures, women clergy, child welfare and
religious principles rather than religious dogma and doctrine. We can be justly
proud to be Unitarian/Universalists.
Thanks for being good listeners this morning.
(This topic was first presented by Goldie to the UFL community at Sunday Worship Service on September 28, 2014.)
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The Unitarian Fellowship of
London
To Contact Your Minister
Rev. Linda Thomson will be available
in the UFL building most Tuesday evenings from 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. (519-4510424)
At other times she can be reached by:
Email - [email protected]
or
Telephone Home office - 1-905-332-3851
Cell - 1-905-515-6517
Please try her email first before telephoning.
557 Clarke Road, London, ON, N5V 2E1
Minister: The Reverend Linda Thomson
Sunday Services 10:45am
The Board
President…………………... …. Karen Kidd
Vice President & Congregational Health
Trustee ……………………..Bob Harrington
Past President ………………….. Carol Cott
Treasurer & Stewardship
Trustee ………………………….Lorna Dean
Living Tradition Trustee……. …. …...Vacant
Secretary…..…………………….Ann Klinck
Youth Rep………... ………………. Vacant
Lay Chaplains
Edna Anderson and Joyce Orchard
Coordinator Children’s Religious
Exploration
Humanist Association
Lori Turner-Otte
Bob Ripley, well-known former
United Church minister in London revealed recently in his column in the
London Free Press that he no longer
believes in God.
He will be speaking at the Wolf Performance Hall, Central Library, on Life
Beyond Belief: A Preacher's Deconversion, Wednesday, November 12,
7 to 8 pm.
Parking tickets can be stamped at the
Central Library for a 2-hour waiver of
parking fees.
The Chalice
Office Manager
Patricia Daly
Pianists
Melanie Cancade, Eric Charbonneau
Contact us…
Telephone (519) 451-0424
Email [email protected]
www.unitarianfellowshipoflondon.org
Office Hours
Monday & Wednesday 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon
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