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Upcoming Services

 

JOIN US Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m

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 July 5, 2015   “Tea and Tales With Muslim Women.”  

Christa Van Daele and Fauzia Mazhar.  Service Leader:  Margaret Insley. 

Followed by a warm and welcoming expression of tea poured by diverse Muslim women at our own round tables in our coffee area,  this service will introduce Unitarians to Fauzia Mazhar and some of the cofounders of the flourishing Coalition of Muslim Women of KW.  How does the coalition affirm and express the values of democracy, friendship, connection, and dialogue in our community?  Come and hear a story of active community building, leadership training, and spirited action that has been going on among us for five years. 

Fauzia Mazhar is the current chair of the Coalition.  She is also, along with other  women leaders, its founder. Among the many community roles and positions she has played in democratic, leadership training,  and sustained interfaith work, she has recently run for Kitchener City Council.  She has just completed her Masters of Social Work degree.

Christa Van Daele is  a vocational counsellor and educator.  She is keenly interested in stories of identity, and has mentored a number of professional Muslim women in the Coalition as they seek to enter the Canadian regulated professions.

Christa and Fauzia have been friends and colleagues for ten years, celebrating a range of community projects and stories together  as each moves forward in her own life.

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July 12, 2015  “The Question Box Sermon:  Say WHAT?”  
Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela with Service Leader Janis Collins. 

In this annual interactive experiment, YOU pick the topics.  Come with your questions for Rev. Jess and put our time-cherished Unitarian tradition of “freedom of the pulpit” and “freedom of the pew” into action.    

Rev. Jess is the settled minister of the congregation and Janis Collins is the President of GRU’s Board of Trustees. 

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July 19, 2015  “Childhood Heroines.”
Charlotte Innerd with Service Leader Jessica Bayne.  

What impact two very different women, Clara Barton, a Universalist and activist, and Laura Ingalls Wilder, a Libertarian and author, had on the world around them and on myself both as a child and as an adult.    

Charlotte Innerd is a lifelong UU.  She learned about Clara Barton in Sunday School and read the Little House books growing up and continues to study both women.

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July 26, 2015  "Togetherness in Fragmenting Times."  
Melissa Rockenfield with Service Leader Charlotte Innerd and special guests “Music in Common.” 

What is so special about our spiritual community? About any spiritual community? What holds our community together? What holds any community together? What is in it for me? For you?  

Melissa Rockenfield, a UU for 25 years (at GRU for 10), was born Texican-American and recently also became a happy Canadian Citizen.  She currently has one husband, one teenage daughter, one dog, two cats, several chickens and an old farmhouse in Shingletown.

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August 2, 2015  “Learning from Harry Potter.” 
Jack Horman with Service Leader Mag Horman. 
 

Last year Lyn McGinnis and I led a course for some of the kids of our congregation using as our theme J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books as well as the movies based on them.  But what can Unitarians learn from Harry Potter? These books, we discovered, convey powerful lessons about living courageously in a dangerous world, about the deceptiveness of appearances and first impressions, about the usefulness of paying attention to seemingly unimportant details, and about the magic in our everyday world.

Jack Horman does not own an invisibility cloak, nor does he have a marauders' map of Hogwarts. He is a Muggle, and spends most of his time investigating the history of early Christianity.           

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August 9, 2015  “The Diamond Sutra.”
Christopher Moore with Service Leader Janis Collins.

As a student at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, studying for UU ministry,  I have had the opportunity to study sacred texts from around the globe.

Ever since reading Eric Johnson's translation of this classic Buddhist text online, I have been fascinated by its core message. It claims to articulate the very essence of Buddhism itself. But for me, it is a powerful affirmation of what is at the core of my Unitarian Universalist faith.  

Christopher Moore has been a member of First Unitarian Toronto for about nine years. He is a storyteller, a worship leader, sermon presenter, and for the last couple of years, Chris has been a student at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary where he is studying to become a UU minister.

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August 16, 2015  “It's Stuck on the Wall, So It Must Be Important!” 
Janis Collins with Service Leader Charlotte Innerd.  

With the possible exception of our benediction hymn, Carry the Flame, the words of the affirmation we speak together each Sunday are the ones we most often voice together. Does this regular recitation shape our community? Could it change us more? A deeper look may bring a fresh appreciation of this beloved ritual.         

Janis Collins believes that the "good news" of Unitarian Universalism brings hope, healing, and love to those who are searching for it. She's always up for an opportunity to share her excitement about that news.    

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August 23, 2015  “Campfire Songs by Chalice Light.”
Rev. Jess with Jay Moore and Margaret Insley. 

Why are there are some songs we sing only around campfires while others are relegated to ‘hymnals’?   Let’s see if we can sing our way into an answer with the help of the Grand River Guitar Ensemble, led by Song Circle host Jay Moore.       

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August 30, 2015  “Love, Hate and Social Justice.” 
Christopher Moore, UU Ministerial Student, with Service Leader Janis Collins.

In the early 90's a white-supremacist group moved into the area. My friends from the Anti-Racist Action group and I were quickly drawn into the resulting controversy. How we engage our ideological opponents is every bit as important as the why. It is hard to love in the midst of conflict. But it is in those very moments that love and compassion are most important. But what does that look like exactly??

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September 6, 2015  "Radical Theology as a Source of Hope, Not Terror – Humanitarian Religion as Opposed to Ideological Fanaticism." 
Neil Carver with Service Leader Jessica Rodela. 

Bill C-51 addresses “radicalization” as a threat, but is that always the case?   This past winter, Neil enjoyed doing genealogical research and reading the religious philosophy of Don Cuppit. Within his family tree, he discovered a number of ancestors who had adopted political social and religious ideals in conflict with those of the prevailing status quo. Cupitt's “radical theology” advocates a philosophy and humanitarian ethic arising from Judaic-Christian roots, but often deferred by institutional religion and resisted by those whose interests are threatened by those of a free, liberal democratic, and multi-ethnic society.

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September 13, 2015.  Join us for the opening of the new congregational year with our annual Water Communion service.   Bring water representing your summertime and send Rev. Jess up to two digital photos ahead of time for a picture collage. 

 

Welcome to our Congregation!


 Closing the service with a song. Photo by John SmirniosWe are a liberal religious community that draws inspiration from its Judeo-Christian heritage as well as the wisdom of world religions, our direct experience of transcending mystery and wonder, the words and deeds of prophetic women and men, humanist teachings, and the spiritual teachings of Earth-centred traditions. We include believers, doubters, and seekers; those who pray, those who meditate, and those who pour their souls out in song. We pledge to support one another in our individual searches for truth and meaning. Will you join us?

We gather for our regular Sunday services at 10:30 AM. Located in Kitchener, we draw people from all over the Waterloo region. Visitors are warmly welcomed. Please follow us on Facebook to be notified of additional updates. 

On October 12, 2014, two fibre art pieces were installed on the chancel wall. Artist Karen Cummings, a member of the congregation, introduced the pieces.

 


In 2001 our congregation voted to become part of the Welcoming Congregation Program. This is a volunteer program for Unitarian Universalist congregations that want to take intentional steps to become more welcoming and inclusive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. We consider this to be important because of the specifically religious prejudices that have made LGBTQ people unwelcome in so many houses of worship. Please see Rev. Jessica P. Rodela’s powerful sermon on LGBTQ bullying, “When Rainbows Fade.”