Welcome to the Sunday Service podcast of the Kingston Unitarian Fellowship, located in beautiful Kingston, Ontario. For more information about KUF, Unitarian Universalism (UU), and Canadian Unitarianism please check out our websitekuf.ca and our national websitecuc.ca.
As the days lengthen and our steps lighten with the growing daylight, how can we appreciate and honor the beautiful, the wonderful, the awe-inspiring things, large and small, that grace our days? Join Anne Coward as she reflects on how purposely practicing Gratitude can help make us more resilient and how that Resilience can allow us to offer our strength to a world sorely in need of compassion and kindness.
The idea of ‘happiness’ as a goal is a modern myth. Our lives, of course, include moments that are happy and moments that are not, however, making happiness itself a goal becomes a trap. How can we, as a people of faith, unwind this misunderstanding and find a new path that leads us into the bounty of resilience in lives that are sometimes profoundly hard?
World Religion Day just passed and World Interfaith Harmony Week is coming up, but have we truly started down this path? What would it take to get better at the skills we all need to make this a reality?
Last week we reflected on our personal values and set an intention to use them as priorities in the coming year. When we reflect on Unitarian Universalist history what do we see are the values of our faith? And of our congregation?
It is the time of year to pause and reflect on the past year and take our insights and learning into a new year. While ‘resolutions’ are one way to do that, what if we reflected on our personal values and set an intention to use them as priorities in the coming year instead?
The holiday season brings with it joy, celebration, and revelry—and sometimes it’s harder than others. Bring a photo of someone who isn’t here to celebrate with us this year, a memento of years past, or your precious memories. And most of all bring love and compassion for the breadth of experience among this wonderful community’s members—from the newest to those who’ve been at KUF since the beginning, all experiences add value to the whole and contribute to lifting us together.
On this special Sunday we will celebrate KUF’s musical history and the contributions of our long-time volunteer Music Director Phyllis Robbins, who is retiring 31 December. Special musical guests and musical gifts will be partnered with reflections on the gift of music itself in the context of a community making meaning together.
As a community that is seeking wisdom our 3rd source calls us to look to the world’s faith traditions in order to inspire and deepen our capacity for both the ethical and the spiritual in our lives. As we prepare to move into the holiday season, let’s turn our attention to what inspires us to become the best individuals we can be, and lights a fire in us to make the world more peaceful, just, and loving.
Nations, faith communities, and all human systems carry the stories of their pasts whether they pay attention to them or not. It is our stories that shape our understanding of ourselves and lay the walkway to the future. Let us gather for Remembrance Day taking time to honour our stories, and as always to pay attention to these tales for the benefit of tomorrow.
How can we navigate attention, awareness, and consciousness in our listening, speaking, and the building of beloved community? Sylvia Boorstein wrote, “Suppose people everywhere, simultaneously, stopped what they were doing and paid attention for only as long as it took to recognize their shared humanity.” Let’s gather for Sunday Service and spend time working together to become the best we can be, individually and collectively.
The Unitarian Universalist Sixth Principle calls us to come together to work for a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. This United Nations Sunday service will delve into what it means to be a world community in the context of intersectional gender equity. How do people of faith answer the call to defend human dignity and rights?
We belong to the world around us, and to each other, in ways that will take an entire lifetime to fully explore. Our respect for the interdependent web of all existence, and our work to be responsible stewards within it, is one way we manifest our belonging. When have you experienced a sense of belonging? Who is sitting just outside our circle and needs to be welcomed in?
We approach conversations of generosity from many angles within our faith, which can be a difficult topic due to how individuals, generations, cultures, and families are profoundly different. Let’s gather together for an enriching time in the community seeing the bounty of the whole, and the ways we can each give wholeheartedly to this precious network of mutuality.
When reconciliation is mentioned in the media these days conversation typically revolves around helping non-Indigenous settlers understand the impact that past colonial policies have had on Indigenous Peoples. Very little, if any, attention is given to how colonization is continuing today, the privilege we would need to relinquish to end it, and how we can approach the emotional healing-work required to create meaningful change. In this talk Erin Horvath will share her personal experiences of decolonization over the past 22 years with the hope of helping other settler-Canadians engage in the tough personal work that true reconciliation requires.
Our special guest today is Erin Horvath, the Canadian Unitarian Council’s Social Justice Lead. Erin is a Canadian-settler whose family immigrated from Hungary, Scotland and Switzerland. She has lived in Ontario her entire life, and currently resides in Huntsville, on the traditional territories of the Wasauksing and Shawanaga First Nations and which is covered by the Williams Treaty. Erin has two Indigenous sisters who came to live with her family as a result of the sixties scoop and so, from a young age, her life has been intertwined with these issues. The majority of her adult life has been spent living and working alongside Indigenous peoples within Northwestern Ontario and the Muskoka/Parry Sound on issues including: mental health; addictions; sexual violence; land use planning; education; and community development. In addition to serving as the Social Justice Lead for the CUC she is also the co-founder of New Vision Unlimited, a community development organization that supports people in creating grassroots change.
Our annual ingathering and water ceremony celebrates our formal re-entry into another year of gathering, working, and welcoming work in the community. This Sunday we celebrate where our paths have taken us, and how all of the gathered waters from our individual journeys nourish our roots and help us grow. Please bring a small amount of water from your home, or elsewhere, representing your summer break, and these waters will be combined to become the living waters of a living tradition. This year we will also be formally welcoming back into our beloved community your Minister Emerita, Rev. Kathy Sage.
How does faith formation impact our evolution and connections as a community? Join Rev. Beckett and our shared ministry teams for the second Sunday of our 2019-2020 congregational year for some playful exploration in theory and engagement.
When we participate in community we can choose do so with a stance of hopeful expectation. What does it mean to allow this stance to become an inspiration towards our life together in community? And how can we begin to look at the ‘Why?’ of community through this lens? Join Rev. Beckett and many others for our first service of the 2019-2020 congregational year, and leap with us into this year’s conversations with old and new friends.
Today we close one congregational year and cast our attention forward toward the next. This is a moment for reflecting on all the gifts and joys that community brings into our lives, and we will even have some special guests sharing their gifts with us. After Sunday Service we will gather for food and conversation before heading out to the summer season.
Kingston Unitarian Fellowship is once again planning to participate in the Kingston, ON Community Fair & Pride Parade 2019 next Saturday, 15 June. During this service we will be both lifting up and welcoming diverse voices as we celebrate our aspiration to radical inclusion and love in our world. #KUF #YGKPride #UUFaith (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
You are invited to bring a few of your favourite flowers as we gather in our annual celebration of beauty and community. You will go home with a different flower from the one you brought, and hopefully with a new memory, a new friend in the KUF community, and some new ideas taking root. This year’s service will be multigenerational, with all ages gathering together for service followed by a shared meal. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Have you ever conducted experiments with curiosity? Perhaps an investigation of thoughts, stories, or reactions to specific people? Or specific experiences? The intention here is to infuse hope and play and forgiveness into investigations, so that we can evolve a capacity to be curious even when we find ourselves in hard conversations and the work of making a world offering peace, liberty, and justice for all. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
What does it mean to be a people organized in religiously pluralist communities oriented towards a living free faith? Join Rev. Beckett and the KUF community this morning for a Sunday dedicated to our finding ourselves more and more deeply each year thanks to the benefits of belonging. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
How do we promote a sense of belonging and wholeness amongst ourselves as we live into community together? Join Rev. Beckett for a time engaged in thought, inquiry, and action. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Please join us this morning for our annual recognition of the spring seasonal holidays from the world’s wisdom traditions, and the inspiration provided by Earth Day’s reminder of our interdependence. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Being a member of a community means supporting each other through sickness and in health. When we come together in both challenging times and easy ones we create an opportunity to grow deeper into community. How do we draw upon that power of community in moments of hardship? How can we keep a little light shining on all our paths as we walk together? Join Rev. Beckett as she draws insight from her recent medical journey. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Explore and experience the possibilities of a world where every body from 4 year olds to 90 year olds experience the program of OWL – Our Whole Lives – an honest and comprehensive sexuality education program. Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. (Speaker: Cindy Harvey)
The holiday season brings joys, celebrations, and revelry at times. And some years it’s harder than others. How can community bring comfort? How can we feel both the uplift and the difficulties of this particular holiday season? Bring a photo of someone who isn’t here to celebrate with us this year, a memento of years past, or your memories. Physical objects can be placed on the chalice table before or during service, and let’s all bring our love and compassion for this wonderful community and all its members. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
In early November Rev. Beckett spent 7 gloriously overwhelming days at the 2018 Parliament of the Worlds Religions. Thebulk of the programming, over 1000 programs, were offered on the 5 core days of the event. A few highlights and reflections on core takeaways will be explored, including the power of pluralism in global community. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Our affiliated community minister Rev. Wendy Luella Perkins is also a Canadian singer/songwriter. Her work in Kingston and across Canada includes and celebrates the ministry that is music. How does music play a role in our lives through its connections to our histories and our futures? Come join Rev. Wendy Luella for Sunday Service and find out! (Speaker: Rev. Wendy Luella Perkins)
Just like communities of people, we each individually have a collection of stories from our pasts which can evoke responses from us, and these memories have the ability to both hurt and heal. Through faith, community, and intentional practice we can transform the relationship we have with our stories. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Communities, faiths, and nations all carry the stories of their pasts, and those stories shape not only their understanding of themselves but also their future. Let’s gather together this Remembrance Day in honour of the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, and let’s do it for the benefit of tomorrow. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Join us on this special multigenerational Sunday Service exploring the stories of our ancestors, and wisdom traditions of Samhain, All Souls Day, and the Day of the Dead. Come listen to members of the congregation tell stories about their ancestors, as we deepen our connections to the past, the future, and each other. Feel free to bring a picture or drawing of an ancestor or loved one that has passed away, or a favourite item that is precious to you, to place on the Chalice Table.
As we come upon Halloween, All Souls, and other annual fall holidays we also have a wonderful opportunity to investigate the many masks and disguises we wear. Sometimes they are useful, and sometimes they are even fun. And sometimes they become a trap that prevents us from finding our way home. Come join us for a Sunday Service followed by lively conversation and our monthly shared lunch. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Join us for KUF’s Annual United Nation (UN) Sunday, celebrating the work of the United Nations and our Unitarian Universalist (UU) United Nations Office. The theme of the UU UNO’s work this year is the many aspects of just migration, including the increasing need for the global community to address climate forced migration and climate refugees. How can we as UU’s and as a people of sanctuary respond to this increasing global human need? (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
What does it mean to create belonging and aspire to radical welcome? And how is this related to our call to engage with justice work? Let’s explore an aspect of this topic as we continue to unravel our monthly theme of sanctuary. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
This Thanksgiving weekend let’s talk about how, in the words of Rev. Elea Kemler, “our principles call us to walk each other home.” In an era of loneliness, separation, and division the oasis of community is the place where we will build mechanisms to save us from what lies outside our walls. Through the hard times and the easy a people of sanctuary stand by each other and by the sides of strangers—in our case because our principles guide us to our destination. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
The idea of leaning into things when they are hard is intrinsic to any visioning exercise, i.e. if we don’t fail occasionally then perhaps we aren’t really trying hard enough. And there are moments to sit back and allow time, perspective, healing, and more to occur. Join us today for an exploration of the different choices we always have before us, and how all of them are held in our theology. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Our annual ingathering and water ceremony celebrates a return to the source in gratitude for life and for community. Every drop of water is on an amazing journey, just as we are! On this special Sunday we celebrate a community that gives us life, a beloved community where we water each other and together we grow. Please bring a small amount of water from your home or elsewhere representing your summer break; the waters will be combined and together becomes the living waters of our living tradition. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
We all have dreams and visions and hopes, for ourselves and for others. And then there’s what actually happens. Come join us for Sunday Service to explore acknowledging the limitations of what we think is going to happen, and how we can use that as a tool moving forward. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
A Japanese proverb teaches us that, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” How can we use our Unitarian Universalist theology and our Canadian Unitarian Aspirations to create a vision grounded in our theology for us to act on in the world and in our individual lives? Join us at 10:30am for Sunday Service and lively conversations! Or come early and join the choir for rehearsal at 9:30am. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
In meditation there is a teaching of "Fresh Start" within a mindfulness practice. What does it mean to allow this wisdom teaching to become a part of our life together in community? (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
On this day we will close the fellowship year, sharing messages of gratitude to one another for the path we have traversed over this exciting first year together. Following Sunday Service we will gather in the park for a community picnic, make plans to see one another over the summer, and celebrate that we will come together once again on 26 August 2018. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Lay Chaplains honour the Threshold Moments in the lives of the people who seek their services for ceremonies of significance – usually child dedications, weddings and memorials or funerals. Although most people don’t ask in so many words, by marking these occasions they are seeking a blessing on this important moment in their lives. What draws ordinary KUF members to do this extraordinary work? Can you offer your blessing to our Lay Chaplains as they perform this wonderful outreach service?
Engaging with the world can feel alienating at times, and like the world is full of people who are different from our experience of things. Lets engage with courage, and open curiosity, about being welcoming to people of all gender, sexual, and relational orientations as we gear up for Kingston PRIDE. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
In a pluralist faith community we are able to make meaning freely while respecting how we each see the world around us. And we get to come together into a glorious shared ministry and precious community. What are some of the factors at play in this experiment? And how can we boost the immunity of this group of people so that we may weather storms together and survive another day. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
What roll does creativity play in our calling as a people to make the world a better place? The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, our sixth principle, is a great idea around which we can get creative. So let’s play in ideas like these and many more as we begin our exploration of what it means to be a people of creativity. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
The Rev Fred Cappuccino will speak on DEALING WITH DIFFICULT AND IMPOSSIBLE PEOPLE, with help from Massey Lecturer Jennifer Wells, Bernie Sanders, and The Rev. Clarence Jordan of Koinonia Community. (Speaker: Rev. Fred Cappuccino)
The word “wonder,” has, of course, many different though connected meanings. As a noun, it can be a splendid mix of surprise and admiration, or something (or someone!) remarkable and strange. As a verb, wonder speaks to that deep desire to know more, to feel a restless curiosity, about something. It can also be a way to express doubt. And, obviously, to feel amazement. All these definitions are relevant to our relationship with our planet. To celebrate Earth Day, we’ll explore our changing relationship with our beloved “Blue Dot” through the many lenses of wonder. (Speaker: Rev. Shawn Newton)
Rev. Shawn Newton has served as the Senior Minister of the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto since 2007.
In Italian “to give birth” is “dare alla luce,” literally “to give to the light.” This lovely turn of phrase captures the wonder and awe that can be inspired by the emergence of something new, whether the arrival of a new life or a piece of artwork or an idea that flows out of you in the form of a poem. And there is just as frequently a moment before this emergence of breaking, ending, or of things falling apart. Lets hold both sides of this coin together, just as we hold and care for each other, and explore what it means to be a people of emergence. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
This year Easter and Passover arrive in the same weekend, and with them the celebrations of renewal, changing seasons, the hope of the coming season of growth, and the potential in the coming harvest. Author Robert Walsh wrote: “Maybe the ancients were right. Maybe the spring comes because we bid it to come in our celebrations. Maybe it is the telling and the retelling of the stories that enable us to see that hope still lives and that we can carry it forward.” Join KUF’s Sunday Service to bid the arrival of a springtime of the spirit as we begin to see small signs that spring has arrived rising up from the rich soil beneath us. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Creating a community of all ages is a wonderful goal, but it isn’t always easy to navigate generational differences. How can we become as welcoming and inclusive as we aspire to be? What are young adults looking for in Unitarian Universalist communities, and are they finding it? For that matter, what are ALL the generations looking for, and are they finding it? Rev. Beckett Coppola will be joined by Asha Philar, who will share insights from research and work with congregations over the past year. Asha will also share reflections from Unitarian Universalist young adults across Canada to get us started with answering these big questions here at KUF. (Speaker: Asha Philar)
Images of Justitia, justice anthropomorphized as a woman, sometimes hold a scale, or a sword, or a book of laws, and sometimes wear a blindfold – ultimately an ideal in an image of seeking to offer an impartial balance and harmonious relationship to all. And maybe, just maybe, we can use this idea of balance as a trampoline off which we can be launched together into the next step of our growing. There are many hard conversations to have, and let us reflect also on how relishing the world around us is what gives us the desire to grow together! How our love of all of human experience gives rise to our covenant to affirm and promote our goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Looking for signposts pointing us to peace and calm is not all that balance is about, and it’s also not just about finding the space to catch our breath. Finding our center and our groundedness might be a good start, but then what do we do? How do we turn this into a place where we can move away from being generally overworked, overly-busy, and over-committed? (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
There is a balance to be sought in dialogue between oneself and the other when engaging in the practice of dialogue. Technically a dialogue between two adherent in one faith community would be called ‘intra-religious.’ However, in Unitarian Universalism, where we aspire to be covenantal without a prescripted credo, we are usually engaging in an inter-religious dialogue anytime we converse with each other. Lets explore what this all means, and how it impacts our sense of belonging in this unique faith home. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
One of the benefits of this faith community is the capacity to encourage us to growth in the moments when we are reaching out, and the moments when we are reaching in. In her book Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection author and Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzburg writes, “The combination of realizing our distinctiveness along with our unity is seeing interdependence.” Let’s explore the idea of mindful connections, within and without, as we go more deeply into this months theme. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
In life we can choose to both assume good intent in others and work towards it in ourselves. Our best intentions can lead to a situation where we hurt or offend and a sincere apology can restore trust and provide opportunities to grow together. These are the teachable moments of life, no matter what our age or position. Our theology as Canadian UU's calls us to this intentional growth, and to allow it to shape how we respond and take action as a community. Join us today as we share how one such teachable moment at KUF brought people together and how this example can be used to increase our capacity as a community to take meaningful action as a result! (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
We’ve been talking about our connections to one another for a few weeks, including some explorations of the why and the how. The next step is to take a moment to see what comes next as we aspire to deepen personal and interpersonal connections. How does the call of interdependence that is core to our shared free faith inspire us make light the work of community? What does it look like for each of us to lean in some days, and lean out others? See you Sunday at 10:30am! (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Each of our congregations is autonomous and self-governing, yet they together form the Canadian Unitarian Council. What is it that we do together that we can not do alone? And why does it matter that we are not alone in this business of being Unitarian Universalists in Canada? (Speaker: Rev. Linda Thomson)
Through the 3rd principle we covenant to affirm and promote the acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. So let’s create an intention to skillfully be in community, and beyond that in our day to day lives, by together choosing to begin again when a promise is broken. (Speaker: Rev. Beckett Coppola)
Welcome to the Sunday Service podcast of the Kingston Unitarian Fellowship, located in southeast Ontario. Unitarian universalism is a progressive free faith grounded in the promises of community, and inspired by how we hold our shared faith’s principles and sources.
For more information about Canadian Unitarianism, please go to our website, kuf.ca, and our national website, cuc.ca.
Please feel free to check back each month for additional episodes, and if you are able to contribute financially to this community-supported enterprise, we would deeply appreciate your generosity in any amount.