Themes

Rev. Wayne Walder: The Invitation

by Reverend Wayne Walder It is flattering to be invited to a special event or a special place. We feel that someone wants us. Maybe it is a dinner invitation and we will have a nice meal with others of like mind. Maybe it is a party or get-together where we will connect with others….

Our Music: On Inviting Musicians to Neighbourhood

by Susanne Maziarz, Music Director at Neighbourhood I invite musicians to Neighbourhood regularly. And I love to. I am proud of our congregation. It is a special, warm place for musicians to share their gifts. Musicians by trade are asked to open themselves up and be made vulnerable to their audience. The supporting, loving, and…

Families Growing Together: Our Whole Lives (OWL) Program

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning This past summer, several people from our congregation were trained as Our Whole Lives (OWL) facilitators, a program that teaches children and youth about healthy bodies, relationships and sexuality. This program is a holistic approach to understanding our bodies and our relationships in a healthy environment. This is…

The Invitation: Spiritual Questions and Practices

Could you invite someone to get to know you? Or can you ask someone if they are willing to let you know who they are? It is not hard; you can invite them for a coffee. “A real conversation always includes an invitation”.   Have you ever felt “invited” to nature? Has there been a…

The Invitation: Inspirational Quotations

“A real conversation always contains an invitation. You are inviting another person to reveal herself or himself to you, to tell you who they are or what they want.” – David Whyte “As a vulnerability researcher, the greatest barrier I see is our low tolerance for vulnerability. We’re almost afraid to be happy. We feel…

The Invitation: Internet and Movie Resources

INTERNET: Inviting Mara to Tea by Tara Brach, 55 min Mara is the god of selfishness, greed, anger, fear, doubt and shame. Each time he appeared to Buddha, Buddha would invite him to Tea until both became transformed. http://tinyurl.com/yakadso6 The Invitation – a poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer Oriah is first and foremost a story-teller,…

Rev. Wayne Walder: Boldness

by Reverend Wayne Walder I don’t think that boldness is a common Unitarian Universalist characteristic. We see ourselves as quiet and thoughtful, reflective and measured, reasonable and respectful. Boldness doesn’t fit with many of these attributes. We worry that boldness will be full of ego, wanting to be first and needing to be seen, so…

Our Music: Love And Beauty In The Face Of Hate

by Susanne Maziarz, Music Director at Neighbourhood Over five years ago, I heard about Threshold Choirs at the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (UUMN) conference. A seed had been planted and now the Comfort Choir is in our fifth year singing at the Michael Garron (formerly Toronto East General) Hospital. Thinking of how music can both…

Boldness: Inspirational Quotations

“I am Shawnee! I am a warrior! My forefathers were warriors. From them I took only my birth into this world. From my tribe I take nothing. I am the maker of my own destiny! And of that I might make the destiny of my red people, of our nation, as great as I conceive…

Boldness: Internet and Movie Resources

INTERNET: A tale of mental illness – from the inside by Elyn Saks, 15 min, on Ted Talks Elyn Saks, a a mental health law scholar, asks bold questions about how society treats people with mental illness. http://www.ted.com/speakers/elyn_saks MOVIES: Ghandi (1982) with Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Candice Bergen Winner of 8 Oscars. Again and Again,…

Rev. Wayne Walder: Introspection

by Reverend Wayne Walder I believe our memory is not large enough to hold our insights. What I mean is that our memory does not have the capacity to hold the sometimes overwhelming aspects of our insights and the self awareness that comes from them. This presents a problem. For example, the beauty of something…

Our Music: Make Time To Listen To Music

by Susanne Maziarz, Music Director at Neighbourhood I used to listen to music a lot. Daily. When I was in school, I was so turned on by all of the new kinds of music and new sounds that I was hearing that sitting and listening to music in my headphones without any other distractions was…

Families Growing Together: Written Words

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning This year, I had a unique experience of letting go of some major life events. It was a long process that involved many turns and steps backward, but eventually I made it to where I am today. One of the most influential things I did to help myself…

Introspection: Inspirational Quotations

“Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all.” – Rollo May “Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung “A man is what he thinks all day long.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson “The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you,…

Introspection: Internet and Movie Resources

INTERNET: Mission to India by George Lombardi, 16 min, on The Moth A must-listen! A most outrageous, funny and self-aware story about saving Mother Teresa. http://tinyurl.com/yc5bpnns MOVIES: Slumdog Millionaire   (2008) with Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla Academy Award for Best Picture. A Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is…

Rev. Wayne Walder: Practice

by Reverend Wayne Walder Don’t do it that way! It would be better if you did it … this way! If you aren’t growing, you are dying! Don’t you know any better? I could have written several admonitions to do things better, faster or smarter. I bet you know a few. They all pretend to…