Archives: Podcast

The Power of Play

(Over the past few months, in response to the pandemic, our weekly worship services moved to online streaming. While we were figuring that out, the podcast fell by the wayside. We’ll be posting the missing sermons over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, you can view services from the last three months in full video on our YouTube channel)

We may be surprised to learn that the child’s right to play is asserted in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Do we underestimate the role that “play” has, not only for kids, but for adults as well?  We’ll explore the power of play and its importance for healthy growing up, creativity, and satisfaction in the project of our lives.

Women and Wisdom: International Women’s Day

The ages-long experience of the Great Mother is the foundation of cultures all over the world: she was nature, she was the earth and she was the unseen dimension of soul or spirit. In the Hebrew Scriptures, wisdom is portrayed as a woman and as the tree of life, representing all women—discerning what goes on in day to day life and as wisdom-carriers of all humanity.  We celebrate International Women’s Day, and with wisdom.

The Lost Generation of the 1790s

Fearing “internal subversion” of the standing order in Great Britain, William Pitt’s government determined to crush domestic opponents by any means necessary; many victims of this campaign were Unitarians—women and men—members of a brilliant generation of imaginative writers and public intellectuals. We find out who these people were, the challenges they faced and what was lost when a government turned on its own citizens.

The Blues: The Story

The type of music we call “the blues” arose from one of the most profound and neglected stories that occurred on this continent. We learn about that story and what makes “the blues” unique and unforgettable: music filled with melancholy, rage, longing, beauty and endurance. (One way to acknowledge Black History Month)

Reflections on Reconciliation

Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada means different things to different people. Is it demonstrating compassion and understanding about the impact of colonialism on Indigenous peoples? Or is it about working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples on issues of justice and equity and developing relationships of respect and trust? Is reconciliation truly possible? What will it take? And what can Unitarians do to work towards reconciliation?

Bruce McIvor and Aline LaFlamme

Why People Hate Religion

Using religion as a moral cover for shoddy thinking and bad behaviour is not new to our age; it’s a complaint thousands of years old. So why bring it up now? It may be worth considering why we’re still ‘religious’ and what we’re religious for. Should anyone care? And speaking of which, where are the “millennials” (and others)?

The Story/Our Story

Spread across continents and centuries, the story of Unitarianism is vast, maddening and thrilling. We explore its main outlines, themes, characters, and issues. All in one worship service? Let’s see what we can do—a story that we can understand, value and carry with us on our journey.

Gift-giving, Art and Regeneration

What is art for?  How do we value it?  Can it be a source of spiritual regeneration?  Inspired by Lewis Hyde’s The Gift, Steven considers how gifts of art (and other things) pass from hand-to-hand and how that act may enliven the work, the artist, and those who receive it.  We take a special look at the art and story of Canadian artist Mary Riter Hamilton.

Letting Go

So often, we struggle for things to stay the same—relationships, jobs, identity; and for good reason—letting go is hard. We cling to what is and often fear the unknown of what may be. As the season of Autumn winds down and Winter approaches, are there things we can learn from Nature and each other about accepting and embracing change?

The Farthest Shore

Ursula LeGuin was one of the literary greats of the 20th century, a wise, radical trailblazer who, across more than 50 books—novels, poetry, translations and criticism—expanded and deepened the boundaries of science fiction and fantasy literature. This sermon is an exploration of one of her greatest works—The Farthest Shore.