Past Services

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Degrees of Freedom

Is free will truly free? How capable are we of exercising true freedom? An exploration of choice and predetermination, and the places where our decisions can make a difference in the way we shape our lives. Speaker: Bryan Gick Bryan Gick is a member of our congregation. Professor and Head of the UBC Linguistics Department, a Senior Scientist at Yale’s Haskins Laboratories, and a recently named Guggenheim Fellow. Author of over 100 published articles and author/editor of several books, including The Oneida Creation Story, Gick’s research spans fields from neuroscience to philosophy, pediatrics to electrical engineering, with the goal of understanding how human bodies and brains create spoken communication. Pianist: Elaine Joe   Listen

(Bryan Gick bio)

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Foolish Wisdom: Tricksters, Unitarians, and the Sacred Messiness of Change

Certainty is comforting. When things are certain, we know what to expect, how to react. And then, of course, life happens. Tricksters are boundary-crossers, game changers, the epitome of unexpectedness. What can they teach us about making mistakes, getting dirty, and the sacred role of laughter in our creative spiritual work? Speaker: Leonie Armstrong Pianist: Eric Wyness

(Leonie Armstrong bio)

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Elizabeth Gaskell: Unitarian Novelist in Industrial Manchester

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) was a widely popular mid-Victorian novelist who was also a strong Unitarian. She lived most of her adult life in Manchester, cradle of the industrial revolution and notorious battle-ground between unions and mill-owners. Her two novels set in Manchester, Mary Barton and North and South, (click for free e-book) are unique in Victorian fiction in depicting the workers with absolute equality, in showing how they practice mutual aid, and in letting her working-class characters make strong arguments for the right of unions to strike. She was convinced that social problems can be resolved through dialogue based on equality. Speaker: Mason Harris Pianist: Nicola Hamilton Read the Sermon:  ElizabethGaskell_MasonHarris_July2017 Listen: More on Elizabeth Gaskell You might enjoy listening to the BBC In Our Time podcast on North and South. The Vancouver Public Library has the DVDs Cranford. People of all ages loved the Library Lion story.