Author Archives: Brian Kiely

At Canada Day Breakfast…

Every so often I attend the Canada Day breakfast at the Leg – the one provided by the Muslim community. And if I stay long enough, I enjoy the swearing in ceremony of new Canadian citizens. If you have never been, they process down to the outdoor amphitheatre from the Leg, some wearing the national dress of their birth countries, a colourful festival that ranges from kilts to jalabiyas. A few years ago we brought our newly arrived Syrian refugee […]

UCE Vision Statement

“UCE Vision Statement” a sermon By Rev. Brian J. Kiely September 16, 2018 Unitarian Church of Edmonton In the last two services I have spoken about the basics of our faith tradition, about the things that define us, without limiting or restricting us.  There are the seven Principles to help us as we wrestle with challenging issues, six Sources that describe the traditions and philosophies that inspire us and support us. Those are held in common in all of our […]

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How Did We Get Here?

“How did we get here?” a sermon on the Sources  Rev. Brian J. Kiely September 9, 2018, Unitarian Church of Edmonton Sometimes I am asked why we have six sources in addition to the seven Principles. In one way, they are the second part of the answer to the question, “Just what is a Unitarian anyway?” The Principles lay out our path for living well. But the Sources add another texture.  In the tradition of theological debate, it’s not enough […]

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Ingathering- Our Principles

“Ingathering – Our Principles” a sermon by Rev. Brian J. Kiely  Unitarian Church of Edmonton September 2, 2018 I begin with a quotation from liberal theologian Anthony Padovano: Being human is the most difficult and the most religious of all our undertakings, for being human means accepting the sacredness and fragility of one’s own life.  It means living every moment with tragedy at hand and grace close by.  Being human means forever trying to settle oneself into the unsettling situations […]

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On track for the new church year

Getting back on track for the new church year, DRE Will Adair, Administrator Janet Polkovsky and I met for our first staff meeting of the year. It was good and productive. It was a chance to discuss plans and concerns as we look ahead. Here are a few takeaways: * We are creating a new Parent’s Council to support our church school program. The idea is to invite all parents to participate in setting the direction for the program in […]

21st year serving UCE

I ask you to indulge me for a moment as I ponder the end of my 21st year serving this congregation. And no, I am not leaving anytime soon. 21 years is a long time, especially for a Unitarian minister. Many careers aren’t even that long, for this is a field that burns some people out. Most parish ministries average 7 or 8 years. Perhaps conflict grows underground and finally erupts, perhaps ministers and congregations simply grow tired of each […]

Change and Transformation

Change and Transformation Speaking of change and transformation – April’s theme – it’s been quite a six week whirlwind for our family. We put our house on the market on January 29, and sold it the same day. As I write this (March 20th) I am looking forward with the usual mix of emotions towards moving house tomorrow.  We have had our new home for about 10 days and with the help of many hands have done some renovating and painting…along with […]

What does it mean to be a Unitarian Universalist?  What does it mean to be part of UCE?

Well, those questions are likely to be answered differently by each person who claims the titles. Many of us arrive at this church for the first time a little wary of religious stereotypes we have encountered. We wonder if we will fit in with the people we meet.  We wonder if we will like what we hear in the services.  We wonder if the theology will make us feel confined or uncomfortable. For some, coming to church is about crossing […]

There was a talking circle debrief…

On January 14th as part of this series on First Nations Spirituality, our Social Justice team arranged for a Kairos Blanket Exercise. This was an ‘embodied exercise’ meaning we moved around in a very simple role play designed to help us not only think, but to feel as well. We moved around the carpet of blankets representing Canada in the role of Fist Nations people. We experienced ‘our’ lands being taken away, slowly at first and then more rapidly. I saw […]

Everyone has a responsibility

I am very much looking forward to the New Year and the two month long theme delving into the lessons of First Nations Spirituality. Since the Truth and Reconciliation Report was released in 2015, the challenge has been to weave the recommendations into the social fabric of this nation. The federal government has to do some things, the provincial governments has to do some things. Great. But the real fact is that more and more First Nations people live in our cities, […]