The Chalice – May 2023

News From The Board

Now is the time for all good men* to come to the aid of the party.

Can’t remember where I’ve heard that saying before. But it came to mind when thinking about the current “mini-crisis” the UFL is facing.

First, we need to think about all the good things that have happened and are continuing at the UFL, such as our well-attended Sunday services, cheerful and friendly gatherings over coffee, lunch get-togethers, our long-running and stimulating book club, the wonderful work being done by Lori, Patricia, and our many volunteers, children’s’ RE programs back in operation after the pandemic, fabulous social events like our recent trivia night, and many other fulfilling and positive goings-on.

Too many clubs, associations and even businesses around town are having to reduce activities, cut back or do without as a by-product of the pandemic. But we will succeed if we focus on what’s going well, step forward to do what we can, and continue to welcome new members.

Aside from helping to meet social and nutritional needs, we are succeeding in terms of Challenging the Mind, with thought-provoking meetings, as part of the greater Unitarian Universalist movement.

We’re doing fine financially, thanks to generous pledges, donations and weekly contributions. We have a long and secure track record of serving our members, friends and the London community for almost 70 years. So as we plan our upcoming summer services and prepare for our annual meeting, let’s look at the little things we can tweak to make things better.


I referred to a “mini crisis”, but it’s not to alarm everyone. The main issues concern burnout of existing volunteers who have served wonderfully for many years, combined with term limits ending for Board members and committee heads. Why not adjust course so we can continue on, make a few necessary changes, and do more with less? We can discuss the most sensible and logical ways to go ahead; the Board and other UFL leaders have started discussions and will suggest some reasonable changes. Let’s see what happens in May and June. I’d like “the party” to continue, and I know you do too.

More later, from Brian Keith (Board President)

*An important footnote: Perceptive UU readers will have noted the sexist nature of this statement, so I’ll point it out in case you missed it (!). My articles are never written as sermons, but as discussion pieces, intended to stimulate thought or gentle argument.

Two hands reach towards each other to help

From the Director of Congregational Life

Our past month was incredible and there are some future celebrations in the works. We have a new website to be launched soon. We have had 5 new members sign the membership book and a ceremony is to follow in June. Each person has already offered to donate or have donated time to the UFL. PFLAG is having a barbecue for themselves and us following the service on the 11th of June as a thank-you for our space. As well, you will have just heard about the planned Rhubarb festival on June 10th and we are starting to prepare for Pride celebrations.

Last month we had a successful Trivia night which will likely be repeated. If you missed it this time please plan for it next time because it was so much fun. I honestly have never seen the London group laughing as much as they did that evening.

Also, last month we had Dan and Mary Lou Smoke lead a service for us which was incredible. I want to encourage all of you to go on the website that Dan mentioned called .  Here is an example:

Indigenous Medicine Man Thomas Yellowtail

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – May 6

“We must remember that the heart of our religion is alive and that each person has the ability within to awaken and walk in a sacred manner.”

— Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

“The Native Spirituality is full of life. When we seek it we become alive. Even if we have gone astray and have conducted ourselves in a bad way, we can look within and have a new awakening to life. Maybe we have drunk too much alcohol; maybe we have cheated on our spouse; maybe we have done things that make us feel guilty and ashamed. If we look outside ourselves, we will not find life; if we look inside, we will find life. Anytime we choose to change our lives, we only need to look inside. How do we do this? Take some sage and light it, close your eyes and say to the Great Spirit, I’m tired, I need your help. Please help me change.

Great Spirit, I know you exist inside of myself. Let me awaken to your teachings.”

You can sign up to have the daily meditations come to your inbox. I think they are excellent and mostly seem to coincide with our UU faith and remind us of the importance of the natural world.

I may have found a way to graduate from seminary by next spring or summer barring anything unforeseen (those of you who know me well may be laughing because the unforeseen happens a lot to me). If I am fastidious and work at my studies this is attainable.

As always please feel free to contact me should I be able to assist in any way.
519-859-1640 or

Care Team Contact for May 2023

Linda Lincoln


Sunday Services

Implicit Bias: It’s what your brain does, not who you are.

Worship Leader: Laura-Beth Falter

The CUC dismantling racism study group, recommended including education on unconscious bias in congregations as one of many strategies to promote racial justice in our communities. We will examine the difference between explicit and implicit bias and discuss ways of avoiding implicit bias within ourselves and our institutions.

07 May
10:45 am - 11:45 am
Unitarian Fellowship of London
557 Clarke Road,London, ON N5V 2E1

Speaking Truth to Power

Worship Leader: Bill Ratcliffe

Speaking truth to power can be complicated and at the same time simple. Speaking truth to power has become more complicated as individuals and corporations blatantly lie to raise money either through advertisements or fundraising and to provoke violence.

Still an individual can simply speak truth to power. When someone uses the word woke as a universal pejorative, without being able to define it, say "ouch". State that one positive meaning of universal is the "oneness of humanity".

Go light on assumptions. Reflect on a source of information and then confirm, confirm, confirm. Become accustomed to paradox and uncertainty. Dare to be Unitarian Universalist.


  • What is your perspective on the concept of speaking truth to power.
  • For you, where does responsibility lie for speaking truth to power?
  • How can individual UUs strive to improve speaking truth to power?
  • How can UU Congregations strive to improve speaking truth to power?

Join Us In Person

Meet us at our physical location at 557 Clarke Road in London Ontario.

Or Join Via Zoom

Connect via zoom
Meeting ID: 856 6457 9696
Passcode: 752712

14 May
10:45 am
Unitarian Fellowship of London
557 Clarke Road,London, ON N5V 2E1
Andrew Gough and his dog

Guest Speaker: Andy Gough

Service Leader: Lori Turner-Otte

Andy Gough will discuss his diagnosis of PTSD and his companion dog Riggs. He started a non-profit called Veterans and Everyday Heroes, to raise money to place service dogs with veterans and first responders. (Trigger Warning. The dog will be at the service so if you have fears please zoom.)

28 May
10:45 am - 11:45 am
Unitarian Fellowship of London
557 Clarke Road,London, ON N5V 2E1
No event found!

Upcoming Events

Indian food on a table

UFL Men’s Lunch Group – May

We meet on the second Monday of the month at the Aroma of India Restaurant at 590 Dundas (the old Harvey’s west of Adelaide). A reservation is made each month so please email Tom Orchard if you plan to attend. Contact Tom or Bill Ratcliffe, if you have any questions. Hope to see you at the next lunch.
15 May
1:00 pm
Edgar and Joe’s at the Goodwill Downtown
255 Horton St

UFL Book Club – May

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

16 May
2:00 pm

National UU Service: Bringing Promises to Life

In-person at Ottawa’s Algonquin College Theatre, Roberts C. Gillett Student Commons. All are welcome to join us at our Sunday worship service, which will be live-streamed on Zoom at NationalWorshipMay16 (closed captioned), CUC’s YouTube Channel We will gather from across the nation to celebrate what has brought us to this moment in making manifest […]
21 May
10:30 am
No event found!