Our Congregation


We're a Welcoming Congregation

We gather for Sunday Services. We enjoy fellowship through lively conversation. We act on our UU principles. We share stories of summer at our annual Fall In Gathering Service. We dance the night away. We nurture our children and tend our garden.

You are welcome at the UFL however old or young you are, wherever you were born and grew up, whomever your ancestors were, and in whatever religious tradition you were raised. You are welcome whatever your gender and whomever you love. You are welcome with whatever abilities and limitations you have. We invite you to bring your whole self and join us in our mission to Challenge the Mind, Nourish the Spirit, and Act in the World.

Our Congregation

Membership

Do you value all that a spiritual community can offer but need the freedom to think for yourself? Do you believe that questions can be as important as answers? If you are looking for a faith that challenges your mind, a community that nourishes your spirit, and you believe that our actions are as important as our beliefs, then you may find your religious home at the UFL.

Several times a year, we offer orientation sessions to acquaint newcomers with Unitarian Universalism and our congregation. We encourage thoughtful discernment through our membership process. New members are welcomed with a simple membership celebration during a Sunday Services. We ask that members affirm the UU principles and agree to our covenant. Members are expected to contribute to the financial health of our congregation.

Enriching the community

We are a self-directed group and we support our congregation through our own efforts. We encourage members to enrich at the UFL by becoming involved.

Our Covenant of Right Relations

In the spirit of our Unitarian Universalist Principles we:

Value a free exchange of ideas,

Honour the responsible expression of all voices,

Listen respectfully with open minds,

Respect diversity of belief and opinion,

And seek to resolve conflict directly and harmonioiusly.

(Covenant is Latin for “come together” and means “a solemn agreement” or “promise from the heart” regarding a course of action between parties. Our covenant is a living dynamic document expressing how we relate to one another within our congregation.)

Our Governance

Welcome!Part of our heritage as Unitarian Universalists is self-governance. Each congregation maintains the power to call and discharge a minister, to set its own priorities, draft and fund a budget, and establish a democratic model of governance.

Our board of trustees sets policy, recommends by-law changes, and acts as the governing body. Our president chairs the board, and each board member has responsibility for different facets of the well-being and operation of the Unitarian Fellowship of London. Any interested members are welcome to attend board meetings as observers.

The planning and coordination of events and programs is in the hands of various individuals, committees, teams, and task forces. Members are encouraged to attend our Annual Congregational Meetings where we vote as a congregation on important issues such as our budget and bylaws.

Our History

In the 1950’s, Christian teachings were a common part of the public school day in Ontario. As one founding member explained, “It all started on a Monday morning” when an elementary school teacher asked one of their children’s classes how many of the students had attended Sunday School. A group of five families decided to find a way to provide an alternative, humanistic equivalent of a religious education for their children.

In 1953 the first five families started meeting in members’ homes. The children met Sunday mornings and the adults in the evenings. In these early days, there was resistance to anything that suggested mainstream religion, such as the use of words like “church”, “congregation”, and “pulpit”.

Within a year, the group was big enough to rent larger space in the community. In 1961 the Unitarian Fellowship of London built its first building on Victoria Street. In 1982 the fellowship hired its first minister. Over time the staff grew to include chaplains, an office manager and a staff member to support the Religious Education Program.

In 1997 the group moved to our current location at 557 Clarke Road. While we honour our humanist roots and a significant number of our members identify as humanist, over time our group has become more diverse and includes people with a variety of belief systems. Together we embrace the Unitarian Universalist principles and work together to create a unique, liberal religious community in the London Area.

Time Line of the Unitarian Fellowship of London

                                       

Unitarian Universalism


Stained glass window with chalice

In Unitarian Universalism, you can bring your whole self, your questions, your doubts, your beliefs and your loving heart.

We see the value in coming together, without one 'right' set of beliefs, and with conviction that history has given us many teachers. We do not ask you to check your personal background and beliefs at the door: we invite you to join with us on a journey that honours a variety of understandings.

Unitarianism and Universalism were, historically, liberal Christian traditions. Unitarianism began in the 16th century and valued religious freedom and thought. Universalism developed in the late 18th century and espoused the idea of a loving god who embraced all people.

Over time, these liberal religious ideas spread, evolved, morphed and merged into what is modern day Unitarian Universalism. Over time, our shared Principles that support “the free and responsible search for truth and meaning” have led us to embrace diverse teaching from Eastern and Western religions and philosophies.

Unitarian Universalists believe more than one thing. We think for ourselves, and reflect together, about the important and BIG questions:

We come together, with shared values, as expressed in our seven Principles to grow and learn together. We come together in worship services, in religious exploration programs, in our search for truth and meaning and the world we dream of. We invite you to visit us, to learn more about us, and to join with us in the journey.

If you want to learn more about Unitarian Universalism, please explore the links at the bottom of this page.

Our Unitarian Universalist Principles



As a member congregation of the Canadian Unitarian Council, we covenant to affirm and promote the following principles:





Our Unitarian Universalist Sources

Stained glass window with chalice

We believe wisdom comes from may sources. Worshipping in our congregation you may hear a reading or perspective shared from any one of these sources from which our living tradition is drawn:





For more information on Unitarian Universalism the following links will assist you:

Canadian Unitarian Council - our Canadian Association

Unitarian Universalist Association [UUA] - our North American Association



Back to Top

Our Programs


“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

- William Butler Yeats -


Children’s Religious Exploration

Unitarian Universalist Religious Education is not about giving children all the answers. Rather, it is about helping children develop the integrity and independent thinking that will help them live compassionately in our diverse society. Our Children’s Religious Exploration Program is offered Sundays from September to June. Childcare is available in the summer.

The program is staffed by a Coordinator and a regular childcare provider, and run with the help of our wonderful volunteer committee and teachers. The safety of our children is important and all of the people working directly with our children are required to have vulnerable person screening police checks.

Our program is based on curricula from the Unitarian Universalist Association and other sources that reflect our principles, which are stated here in children's language:



Sundays in Religious Exploration

On most Sundays children accompany their parents or guardians to the main Sunday Service at 10:45 am for the first ten to 15 minutes. Children participate in the opening words, chalice lighting, candles of joy and concern and the first hymn. During the Time for All Ages children participate in a brief story, lesson, or activity.

After the Time for All Ages, children attend Religious Exploration activities for approximately 45 minutes. Children are served a nut free nutritious snack. Supervision is available during coffee hour.

Children’s Religious Exploration Activities

First Friends (ages 0-6)

Our childcare provider supervises our youngest children in our bright and spacious First Friends room or outdoors in our Children’s Garden. The program includes, stories, crafts, and free play.

Sunday Religious Exploration Classes (ages 6-16)

Our Sunday program includes a variety of activities including age-grouped classes exploring a selected UU curriculum and whole group activities such as social justice activities, special events, or field trips.

As children enter their teen years, they are encouraged to follow a program balanced between discussion, worship, leadership, social gatherings, and social action initiatives. They will have an active role in the decision making of their program throughout the year.

kids activities

Learn more about Religious Exploration:



Adult Religious Exploration

The continued exploration of personal and religious values is encouraged through group and individual study.

Chalice Groups are small groups of ten or fewer UFLers who commit to meet once a month, fall to spring. Group members get to know each other more personally during the small group experience, and practice deep listening as folks express their ideas and feelings on discussion topics. Each Chalice Group may choose to do projects to help the UFL and/or the larger London community.

From time to time we offer programs for adult members and interested people from the community. Examples of past course offerings include: UU 101, Building Your Own Theology, UU Bible Study and a Healing Arts series. Check here for current programs.

Back to Top

Our Faith in Action


“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.”

- Khalil Gibran -



As Unitarian Universalists we are dedicated to living our faith and are active in social justice. Our Social Action Committee meets regularly throughout the year. Regular activities and events include:



Back to Top

Our People


Reverend Peter Boullata, Minister
Reverend Peter Boullata

Rev. Peter Boullata serves the UFL as part time minister. He is available in the UFL building most Tuesday evenings from 5:30 - 9:30 pm. Please call the UFL (519-451-0424) or email rev.peter.boullata@gmail.com if you would like to arrange a time to meet with him.

Lori Turner-Otte, Director of Children’s Religious Exploration
Lori Turner-Otte

If you have any questions about our Children’s program, please feel free to contact Lori at 519-859-1640 or at lorisotte@gmail.com

Patricia Daly, Office Manager
(519) 451-0424
ufl@execulink.com
Office Hours
Monday & Wednesday 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Thursday 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon

Board of Directors 2016-2017

President: Ann Klinck
Vice President & Congregational Health Trustee: Judith Warren
Past President: Karen Kidd
Treasurer & Stewardship Trustee: Bob Harrington
Living Tradition Trustee: Eileen Howay
Secretary: vacant

Board Members

Lay Chaplains Christine McKinlay and Joyce Orchard

Christine McKinlay Joyce Orchard

Ceremonies and Lay Chaplaincy


Services we offer

Weddings

Marriage Confirmations

Baby Blessings

Child dedications

Coming of Age Celebrations

Housewarmings

Earth-based or Nature-oriented Services

Memorial Services

Ceremonies to celebrate other Rites of Passage

Milestone Ceremonies

Our Lay Chaplains :

Our lay chaplains perform rites of passage for non-members and for non-Unitarians. Our lay chaplains are neither ministers nor counselors but are members of the Unitarian Fellowship of London. They are approved and registered by the Canadian Unitarian Council and are provincially licensed. Our lay chaplains recognize that different people have different needs and preferences and will work with you to create a meaningful ceremony at the place of your choice. They will recognize and honour your beliefs and wishes. They will meet with you ahead of time and help you to plan a ceremony or ritual that meets with your expectations.

People often choose a Unitarian lay chaplain to officiate their ceremonies when their values and beliefs no longer fit with traditional religious perspectives. For example, many same-sex couples, interfaith couples, and previously divorced couples choose us to help them celebrate their weddings.



Ceremony Fees:

There are fees for the ceremonies conducted. These are discussed in advance with the lay chaplain. The current fee for services is $350.00, with the exception of baby blessings, child dedications and coming of age ceremonies which are $150.00 each.



Your Place or Ours?



The Unitarian Fellowship of London has a large and beautiful sanctuary and smaller suitable spaces depending upon the number of guests expected. We also have fully equipped kitchens. These spaces can be rented separately and must be booked well in advance to ensure availability.

Christine McKinleyChristine McKinlay is a Lay Chaplain with the Unitarian Fellowship of London. She has completed all required training and is licensed by the Province of Ontario to officiate wedding ceremonies and trained in other rites of passage. She is a flexible and resourceful wedding officiant. From your first contact, you will find her easy to communicate with, professional and conscientious. She will offer you a great variety of suggestions and choice for the different parts of the ceremony. She is happy to help you craft the service that you have always dreamed of. The ceremony you have in mind may be anything from elegant and traditional to lighthearted and casual. She will make sure that it suits your personal style, values, family traditions and spirituality. You can contact Christine directly at E: christine@liferituals.ca T: 519-475-6953

joyceJoyce has been a member of the Unitarian Fellowship of London for over 40 years and has been chosen by its members to serve as a Lay Chaplain. She has completed the required training and has been licensed by the Province of Ontario to perform lay chaplaincy services. She looks forward to helping people design the kind of service that suits their needs. As a retired teacher, she has empathy and skills to provide a dignified and meaningful ceremony. E: tomjoyorchard@gmail.com T: 519-455-9309

Click here to go to our Lay Chaplaincy web page.






The Unitarian Fellowship of London

We are a Unitarian Universalist Congregation. We are a pluralistic religious community of free-thinkers who value diversity, equality and intellectual curiosity. We gather together to challenge the mind, nourish the spirit and act in the world. As individuals and families we congregate to search for truth and meaning, and celebrate both the awe and mystery in our lives. Social justice, environmental and democratic principles, peace and compassion, are integral to our liberal religious community. We welcome fellow seekers on our journey! You are welcome to attend a Unitarian Fellowship of London Sunday service in the near future to get a sense of our religious perspective.

Back to Top