Category Archives: Brian’s Blog

Thank you.


This column is about stuff we don’t always notice or remember to appreciate. Specifically, I am thinking about things that get done behind our backs. A lot of that kind of work goes on around our church. In January we were asked on short notice to hold a memorial service for Joanne Olafson, a longtime member. When I added a request for volunteer help to the service announcement letter, about six people replied quickly and about a dozen showed up to […]

Snows came, went, came, rinse, repeat, came once more…


Well, the snows came early…then left…then came…then left…then came once more. Then Christmas hit the stores, in some places before Hallowe’en – a pet peeve of mine and my eldest daughter. One of the pop radio stations switched to its Christmas music playlist just after Remembrance Day. Sigh. I love Christmas as much as the next person, maybe more. But I kinda like Christmas to be, well Christmas. I mean it should be a special season. I have always felt […]

Come, Come Whoever You Are


On October 20, my three daughters and I went to the Draggin’ Youth Hallowe’en Show at the church. We hadn’t been for a while, so it was nice to go back. It was the best attended of these events in the two years they have been running and a terrific night. Perhaps you don’t know much about drag shows. They are performances where individuals dress up (often extravagantly) and take to the stage lip-syncing to some popular song. Most often the performers portray characters […]

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 […]

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, […]