The Chalice – June 2023

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From our Director of Congregational Life

Scattered News:

  • Our website is live. Thanks so much to Jennifer Sadler for spearheading this Check it out
  • We are hoping to have a new member service on June 18th – 5 people have signed up
  • Thanks to Marlene and Dan for putting up our orange t shirt and red dress for indigenous history month
  • We will be closed two Sundays in the summer – for the July and August long weekends – otherwise services will be presented weekly in an evensong format
  • We are hoping to have a 70th Anniversary Celebration BBQ around the beginning of September.
  • Pride weekend is shaping up and PFLAGG will be coordinating a service with us the week before the parade and booth.  There will be a sign up sheet at the back for volunteers to work the booth. It is a fun activity,  talking to people about the UFL. There are lots of bulletin boards and pamphlets, so it is ok to be a new UU.

And as if it were not busy enough with the above, I am taking another course this summer – 15 weeks pumped into 8 –  so it is intense. I hope to be ready for ordination by next summer if all goes well. 

Adult and Childrens RE will be ready to take off in September and the Membership, Outreach and Communications(MOC) team will soon be taking over social media so look for some positive changes.

As always please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Lori Turner-Otte

Two women standing in front of a rhubarb patch. The younger one has a hammer and is driving a plant support into the ground. The other is smiling for the camera, wearing a colorful baseball cap
Ann and Laura working in the garden in front of our giant rhubarb patch.

From Social Justice

June is INDIGENOUS HISTORY MONTH. Our 8th principle calls us to affirm and promote “individual and communal action that accountably dismantles racism and systemic barriers to full inclusion within ourselves and our institutions”. June is a good month for us to reflect on what progress we are making. In support of this, we may want to watch the 12 films available on GEM on Indigenous Life in Canada 

Or, for avid readers, here are 30 books recommended by indigenous author Michelle Good: TVO also has many articles and videos on indigenous issues.

Or watch Indigenous Day Live on June 17th on APTN:  .

For some local ideas, you may wish to visit:

Charities supporting Indigenous Communities:

Also, see these Indigenous Events in Ontario throughout the year:  .

On Membership

We are please to report that 5 people have recently joined our community as members. We thought it might be a good time to remind everyone about the rewards and responsibilities of being a member of the Unitarian Fellowship of London.  

What are the rewards of membership?

Members have many opportunities to share their talents and find their passion while connecting with others in the day-to-day activities of the UFL. In our smaller congregation, members can deepen relationships and truly impact our community and those in the world around us.

Members can hold leadership positions at the UFL and vote at congregational meetings about our budget, our by-laws and the decisions that affect our fellowship. 

Members also can receive rites of passage (e.g., wedding ceremonies, child dedications, and memorial services). While others can receive these services from our chaplain for a fee, members receive these at no cost.

 What are the requirements of Membership?

The UFL is an entirely self-supporting organization. Members are required to make a named, monetary donation to the UFL each year. Each member determines what they give. Most choose to make an annual pledge to help our Board plan our budget for the year. Donations are tax deductible.

How does someone become a Member?

Our membership team offers sessions for people interested in membership, in a group or individually. To become a member, you will need to sign our membership book, affirm the eight Unitarian Universalist principles and agree to follow our Congregational Covenant of Right Relations. We celebrate new members with a simple ceremony during a Sunday Service.

Voting Rights and Remaining a Member

Did you know that in order to vote at a UFL congregational meeting a member must have joined (and made a named financial contribution) at least three weeks before the Annual Congregational meeting? Also, in order to vote, all members need to have made a named financial donation within the current or previous fiscal year.  

If a member has not given for two consecutive church years (May 1 to April 30), their membership is in jeopardy. (We realize that people may have reasons for this and membership can easily be re-instated.) Please feel free to reach out to the UFL office if you have concerns about your membership status.   

 

Worship Theme: Blessings

 

This poem by Rebecca Parker is particularly relevant to this month’s theme which is  “Blessings.”  Submitted by Judith Warren

Choose to Bless The World by Rebecca Ann Parker

Your gifts—whatever you discover them to be—can be used to bless or curse the world.

The mind’s power, the strength of the hands, the reaches of the heart,
the gift of speaking, listening, imagining, seeing, waiting

Any of these can serve to feed the hungry,
bind up wounds, welcome the stranger, praise what is sacred, do the work of justice
or offer love.

Any of these can draw down the prison door, hoard bread, abandon the poor, obscure what is holy, comply with injustice
or withhold love.

You must answer this question:
What will you do with your gifts?

Choose to bless the world.

The choice to bless the world is more than an act of will, a moving forward into the world with the intention to do good.

It is an act of recognition, a confession of surprise, a grateful acknowledgment
that in the midst of a broken world unspeakable beauty, grace and mystery abide.

There is an embrace of kindness that encompasses all life, even yours.

And while there is injustice, anesthetization, or evil there moves a holy disturbance,
a benevolent rage, a revolutionary love, protesting, urging, insisting that which is sacred will not be defiled.

Those who bless the world live their life as a gesture of thanks for this beauty and this rage.

The choice to bless the world can take you into solitude to search for the sources
of power and grace; native wisdom, healing, and liberation.

More, the choice will draw you into community, the endeavor shared, the heritage passed on, the companionship of struggle, the importance of keeping faith, the life of ritual and praise, the comfort of human friendship, the company of earth the chorus of life welcoming you.

None of us alone can save the world.
Together—that is another possibility, waiting.

Mental & Physical Health Resources

Suzanah is a friend of the fellowship. In service, she recently mentioned several therapy centers available in London.

From Suzanah:

These are short term counseling services that are geared to income and use a sliding scale with it being free or low cost to the client. They start with an interview of what you want from counselling, mental health diagnoses, and other issues that you are seeking treatment for. With timing these services can be jumped between to keep counseling as consistent as possible.

  • DAYA  – Uses a mix of experienced counsellors and persons finishing their degrees. There is a 6 to 8 month waiting list for their services. After services are completed there’s a 6 month period before you can reapply
  • Community Counseling Services of London – Here you will be treated by supervised interns finishing their degree and need their final clinic hours. They have a 2.5 month waiting list and you can receive treatment for up to 16 months before needing to reapply.
  • Family Services Thames Valley – Uses experienced counsellors. On average they give 8 sessions in their short term counselling services. There is a 6 to 8 month waiting list for their services. After services are completed there’s a 6 month period before you can reapply.
  • Healthcare at Home – This place offered short term physio and occupational therapies that were OHIP covered. Occupational therapy works that can help rehabbing brain injuries, executive functioning like issues with house chores and physical tasks, or getting in and out of bath tubs, help getting paratransit etc. They’re therapists for doing physical things whereas psychologists help with the mental side. They also assigned me both a occupationaltherapist to help figuring out strategies to do chores and a physiotherapist to deal with chronic pain (2-4 sessions).
  • Health.gov Program – Last is for new injuries and OHIP covered Physiotherapy for new injuries. It covers 8 sessions for people over 65, under 18, on Ontario Works, and ODSP. It requires a doctor’s referral.

Any questions please feel free to ask. There’s one thing to have the resources and another to understand how they work.

– Suzanah

2023 UU Pride Celebrations

The Pride Celebrations Committee (PCC), Reid Howard, Ann Klinck, Dilyn Muzzerall, Bill Ratcliffe, Karen Rhebergen, Lori Turner-Otte have begun to plan the 2023 UU Pride Celebrations for the week of July 13-23.  Plan to share the joy with fellow Unitarian Universalists and the general public, some of who are UU, but do not know yet.

Reflect on the following quotes for a reason to participate in UU Pride Celebrations.  “Equality is the soul of liberty.  There is, in fact not liberty without it.” (Frances Wright)  “The devastating repercussions of hate-filled language manifest in very real ways for today’s LGBTQ youth.” (Cheyenne Jackson)  “We are gay and straight together, And we are singing, singing for our lives. We are gay and straight together, And we are singing, singing for our lives.” (from hymn #170, We are a Gentle Angry People by Holly Near, in Singing the Living Tradition hymnal“When you reduce life to black and white, you never see rainbows.” (Anonymous)

This year there will be two hybrid Pride Worship Services.  There will be a fulsome Pride Service on Sunday, July 16 with a briefer Service on Sunday, July 23.  Times and details are to follow.  Expect joyful additions to these Services.

The traditional UU Pride booth at the Annual 3 Day Outdoor Festival returns to Victoria Park, Friday, July 21 – Sunday, July 23.  Informational materials. children’s crafts and candy handouts will be features of this year’s UU Pride booth.  Be a part of this major outreach activity for our Unitarian Universalist Congregation.  Experience the joy of connecting with other LGBTQ+ supporters.  Contact Bill Ratcliffe, wjratcliffe68@gmail.com, tel. 519-471-7500 about volunteering or  sign up for a shift in the booth, on the signup sheet on Sundays.

Sunday, July 23 from 12:00 pm., the Pride Parade will start at the Western Fair District. Plan to be a part of this longstanding tradition for our Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Catch the Pride spirit.  Contact Bill Ratcliffe, wjratcliffe68@gmail.com, tel. 519-471-7500 about marching or sign up as a Pride Parade marcher, on the signup sheet on Sundays.

In closing, Joy is in the details.  The biggest takeaway from exploring  Pride  is to allow people to self-identity without assuming that you know.  Let’s  continue to strive for this aspiration.   As Maya Angelou suggests,  “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” 

Bill Ratcliffe,

Chair,

Pride Celebrations Committee

Sunday Services

The Purpose of Poetry

The service on June 4th is in collaboration with the Unitarian Fellowship of Sarnia and Port Huron.

Sure, religion and poetry are nice and all, but what are they for? And what might one have to do with the other? Our speaker, The Rev. Dr. Lynn Ungar, is both a UU minister and a poet.

Note: The service will begin at 11 o'clock instead of 10:45.

There will be a different zoom link which will be posted when available.

04 Jun
11:00 am
Unitarian Fellowship of London
557 Clarke Road,London, ON N5V 2E1
No event found!

Upcoming Events

Lay Chaplains Chat (CUC, Online)

The National Lay Chaplaincy Committee recognizes that many of our Lay Chaplains are working in isolation and many have asked for ways to stay connected throughout the year. We are offering the opportunity to do that through our new Lay Chaplains Chat series. We invite all Lay Chaplains, new and seasoned, (as well as LC Committee members and those considering Lay Chaplaincy) to a recurring  Lay Chaplains Chat event hosted on line via Zoom.
05 Jun
7:30 pm
Online
Rhubarb Fest - Rhubarb Cafe, Plant Sale, Bake Sale, Book Sale, Vendors, White Elephant Sale

Rhubarb Fest

Are you looking to have some family fun, connect with the community and eat some delicious rhubarb treats? Come to our Rhubarb-Fest. There will be a Rhubarb Cafe, bake sale, book sale, white elephant sale and vendors!

Rhubarb-fest will be at the UFL Meeting House at 557 Clarke Road. There will be lots of parking available and the hall is accessible by bus!

We hope to see you there!

10 Jun
10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Unitarian Fellowship of London
557 Clarke Road,London, ON N5V 2E1
People writing things down in noteboooks

Annual Congregational Meeting

The Annual Congregational Meeting will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2023 beginning at 10:00 a.m.  This will be a hybrid meeting, both in-person at the UFL church, 557 Clarke Road, and via zoom.  The zoom link for this meeting will be emailed closer to the date.
17 Jun
10:00 am
Unitarian Fellowship of London
557 Clarke Road,London, ON N5V 2E1
book

UFL Book Club – June

The UFL Book Club has been around for 35 or 36 years, half of the UFL’s existence. Our book for April is ‘Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times’ by Azar Nafisi. The April date is Tuesday, April 18 at 2 p.m. over zoom. If you are interested in joining our book club please contact Alice Wehlau, the coordinator of the book club. Alice’s contact information is below. We hope to hear from you

20 Jun
2:00 pm
Zoom
Online
No event found!