Solemnity & Play (December)

Video – Solstices Explained

As we celebrate the approaching Winter Solstice, here is a playful explanation of their origin – along with appreciation of the beauty they offer to our planet!

Story Book – This is a Serious Book

Contributed by Andrea Young

A solemnly playful story for all ages!


December is a time full of festivals and holidays. These are opportunities to contemplate the passing of time, to consider our place in the world, and to spend with people dear to us – weighty matters that go to the heart of who we are!

These are solemn questions, balanced by the playfulness that go with them – we take these occasions seriously… and we have fun with them, finding joy as we seek deeper understanding.

Outside of Sundays, we can Take the Theme Home with these resources, as we share this search together.
–Rev. Rod

Article – The Importance of Play (The Atlantic)

The Atlantic makes its case for Play:

Video – More Than Fun (TED Talk)

And, if you prefer to watch, here’s Stuart Brown giving a serious talk about Play.

Comic – Play-by-Play (XKCD)

Ever wonder what the game of baseball looks like to an outsider?  Here’s one take on it:


Theme for November – Healing the Spirit

Film – My Life as a Dog

Contributed by Pat Lucey

An endearing tale of a 12-year-old boy who seeks healing as he copes with challenges in his life.  Available through the Ottawa Public Library, via Kanopy streaming:

Featured Author – Dr. Paula Reeves

Contributed by Nancy Rubenstein

Want to find out more about “the heart’s intelligence”?  You can explore the wisdom of Dr. Paula Reeves in her site:

Poem – Last Night As I Was Sleeping

Contributed by Lorna Erickson-Fraser

Article – Canada’s Impossible Acknowledgement – The New Yorker

An outside perspective on the value – and challenges – around land acknowledgements in Canada:

Article – The Invisible Workload that Drags Women Down – Time

Exposing one way in which invisible workloads affect genders differently:


Feeding Our Awareness – Menu

As we move into our theme of Healing the Spirit in November, we have a full course of resources to feed our awareness on our ongoing conversations on racial justice and anti-oppression, which are central to our prophetic role at the Fellowship.

To help us be well-fed for our Teach-in on White Supremacy on November 5, here is a menu of short, digestible resources.  This is a full buffet of different media, including a generous helping of Canadian content!  Help yourself to single servings, or try out the entire menu!


Appetizer: a sweetly accessible analogy of Tallness and Privilege (3-minute Read) explaining privilege with a palatable dash of humour.

Side-dish: a spicy video explaining that nebulous term – Intersectionality – with a feminist flavour (4-minute Watch).  It is seasoned for a younger palate, but will intrigue the more adventurous gourmands.


Canadian Combo: Looking for a Canadian experience?  Try out this sampler by Robyn Maynard, offering a powerful blend of Black Lives’ Experience in Canada (8-Minute Read)

And by our chefs from CBC Radio, you can savour this interview of Dr Nell Irvin Painter (33-Minute Listen)

Take-out Option: In a hurry?  Take it to go!  This Article of the Interview with Dr Nell Irvin Painter (3-minute Read) will give you a taste of her main points.


Prix Fixe: A specialty of the House – our own Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed has a rich overview on The History of Black Lives in the UU Tradition (40-Minute Read – UUA Article), adapted from his Minns Lecture earlier this year.

For a fuller experience, you can also watch the Original Lecture – simply click on the link and choose the option for Minns Lecture 1.  You can pick-and-choose to watch the Lecture Only (54-minute Watch) or get add on the works, with the Full Video (1h47m Watch), including the Q&A session at the end.


Dessert: Still curious?  Top up your awareness feed with this Confection (15-Minute Read) by Lori Lakin Hutcherson.

Bon appétit!


Theme for June: Spirit of Summer 2


(Photo: Rodrigo Emilio Solano-Quesnel, Ottawa 2017)

Article – Ikebana: An Ancient Art of Complex Simplicity

This article tells one student’s story of learning the paradoxical beauty of Ikebana flower arranging.

Video – How It’s Made – Fireworks

The bouquets of fire we often see around summer holidays have a story of their own – here’s part of it!

Featured Unitarian – Rev. Wendy Luella Perkins

The Beauty Blessing we sang at our Flower Communion is one of the many originals by Rev. Wendy Luella Perkins, a community minister in Kingston, Ontario.

You can see some of her work here:


Theme for June: Spirit of Summer 1 – Rev. Dr. Heather Fraser Fawcett

Meditation – By C. J. Stevens

Green things growing are a sacrament.
The tiny flower in this stray plant
Is just as catching to the soul or mind
As the roses that proud in the corner stand,
And green things growing have a stubbornness.
They say to winter, to drought, to time, to us,
Wait until summer, until next year. Wait.

Featured Storyteller – Jon J. Muth


Story – Zen Tales – Jon J. Muth – 9780439634304

Featured Artist – Claude Monet

A history of Monet’s Village:

Monet’s Art:

Summer Music!

Those Lazy Crazy-Hazy-Days of Summer – Nat King Cole


When the Night Hears My Song – Bedouin Soundclash


In and English Country Garden – Jimmie Rodgers

Interview – Joanna Macy

Joanna Macy — A Wild Love for the World


Meditation – By Eric Williams

Let us bless the Earth,
And all that is steady and firm.
Let us bless the Sky,
And all that is open and filled with light.
Let us bless their union,
Holy and without ceasing.
Let us bless their children,
The bounty of field and forest,
Stones, plants, animals, and all living things.
May the gifts of the Earth and Sky
Strengthen, refresh, nourish, and heal the peoples of the Earth.