Welcome! From Our Minister

Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela

In an old cartoon strip by Walt Kelly, Pogo exclaims: “We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunities!” That, to me, is an exclamation of the faith and hope, the probability and the possibilities of Unitarian Universalism.

Why come to church at all? And why visit this congregation?

I don’t have an answer for you.

In fact, if you come here looking for answers, you will be disappointed. But I can promise you lots of intriguing and useful questions, and worthy companions along the way of your own search for truth and meaning.

On this website you’ll find newsletters, information, and a selection of texts from our Sunday services so you can get a taste of what this community is all about – but to really find out who we are, I hope you will consent to come be among us on a Sunday morning, for meditation, for a lecture or a class or a social event. I trust you will find us warm and welcoming.

I can be reached for questions or appointments at minister@grandriverunitarian.ca or through the church office at 519-742-0432.  

But what is Unitarian Universalism?

Unitarian Universalism celebrates the infinite varieties of our experience. Our first principle calls us to “affirm and promote the worth and dignity of all persons.” To that end, we are bound, not by a common creed, but by a covenant of how we will be together, pledged to walk with one another along our singular spiritual paths, not in spite of, but because of our differences. Spiritual growth hinges on the realization of our unique individual expression and reaction to our connection to community. We each express our place in the world simultaneously, yet differently. The Unitarian faith is like a prism. A prism is an unremarkable triangle of solid glass, but when aimed at light, it refracts the ordinary glare of a day, breaking what looks like a continuous singular beam into an ordered series of colors. Turn on a light, and a room is illuminated all at once; we know light travels, but it feels simultaneous; we know the differentiation exists in the spectrum, but light itself appears unified. Our awareness of light’s properties -- of its being simultaneous yet different -- is an insight poised at the periphery of our senses. Likewise, Unitarian Universalists are of one faith, but many beliefs. Under one roof, we gather together – pagan and protestant, agnostic and atheist, Buddhist and Jew, Humanist and humorist, the Christian and the curious. Only by refracting our own stories and beliefs through the prism of one another’s experiences can we begin to weave meaning of our own tapestry of joy and sorrow, triumph and traumas. That full spectrum is vital to our spiritual robustness.

In covenant, we travel along in a rainbow’s treasured wake ––knowing that even when the rainbow fades, the covenant it represents remains indelibly printed in the sky of our souls. And its many colors remind us when we sigh, cry, pray, laugh, or sing –we are all, always creating new ways of being human.

Come experience the joy and challenge of Unitarian Universalism as seen through the prism of Grand River Unitarian Congregation.

See you Sunday! Rev. Jess.