Dec-3-2017: Give Peace a Chance?

Give Peace a Chance?
Rev. Debra Thorne

From their hotel bed in Montreal in 1969 John and Yoko sang ‘Give Peace a Chance’ and it became the worldwide anthem for a peace movement. Do we still yearn for peace or have we become habituated to the violence around us? Are we prepared to embrace the challenge of our time—to hold peace in our hearts without closing ourselves off from the violence of the world?

Nov-26-2017: The Reason You Walk

The Reason You Walk
Vrindy Spencer, Judith McLean, and Al Sather

On November 26th three Beacon speakers, Vrindy Spencer, Judith McLean, and Al Sather, will use the title of Wab Kinew’s book The Reason You Walk, to explore what is important in their lives, what gets them up in the morning, and what keeps them going.

Nov-19-2017: God has no religion

God Has No Religion
Rev. Debra Thorne

When we ask ultimate questions we get open ended answers. Being naturally curious, human beings continue to want to know the meaning of everything, which has led to an explosion of scientific disciplines like astrophysics and molecular biology. We know so much and so little. How has the evolution of scientific knowledge impacted the meaning of God? How has religion responded to the need to evolve?

Nov-12-2017: Remembering Risks Taken

Remembering Risks Taken
Rev. Debra Thorne

In 1939, Waitstill and Martha Sharp, a Unitarian minister and his wife, agreed to live their principles by leaving their children behind with their congregation in Massachusetts and setting out to the front lines of World War II, to help save the lives of political dissidents and Jewish refugees. This is a remarkable story of a Unitarian couple’s courageous work to rescue hundreds of people endangered by the Nazi occupation of Europe.

Nov-5-2017: First Nations and Pipelines

Karl Perrin and Holly Arntzen
Europeans colonized this land. Elsewhere (e.g. India, Kenya) the colonizers vacated. But not here. As First Nations claim rights, and Canada says it supports their “free, prior, and informed consent” before corporate colonization is permitted, we must ask, “How did we get here?” and perhaps, “Are we colonizers, colonized, or both?”

Oct-29-2017: Generous Spirit

Generous Spirit
Rev. Debra Thorne

Every religion upholds the practice of giving as a spiritual act. Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed all offered teachings on giving as a spiritual practice. What do we as North Americans understand about the spiritual depth of giving? There are many different world views on giving—some that we are familiar with and others that are unfamiliar and may challenge our thinking about our identity and the meaning of community.

Oct-8-2017: Mentoring: a Generosity of Knowledge

Rev. Debra Thorne
Without the generosity of those who share their experience and knowledge, our lives would be an endless repetition of discovery—with little growth, depth or progress. Unitarians are lifelong learners but are we mentors to the next generation? Are we generous with our knowledge? Are we stingy when it comes to sharing our wisdom? The mentor relationship is marked by interdependence, humbleness and respect.

Oct-1-2017: Generous Listening, Courageous Dialogue

Janet Pivnick, Tyler Vittie, Audrey Taylor

Through the decision to celebrate Canada 150+, Vancouver signalled an intention to make reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples a priority. The CUC has, similarly, made a commitment to embark on a path of reconciliation within congregations. What is reconciliation? Why is it receiving so much attention? Where does it fit in our lives? Today, we will listen (via video) to the perspectives of Chief Robert Joseph, Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada, and hear from facilitators of Beacon’s upcoming exploration of the CUC’s Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Reflection Guide.

Sep-17-2017: Belonging Begins Here

Rev. Debra Thorne

When our home is unsafe, when our country is unsafe, when our bodies are unsafe, who do we turn to and how do we find a place to belong? Canada is filled with amazing people who have made brave choices in desperate times and who have found a safe harbour in Canada. From all over the world people look to Canada as a place to belong.

Sep-10-2017: Return Again

Return Again to the Place We Belong: A Water Ceremony
Rev. Debra Thorne

The seasonal wheel turns, summer moves into autumn and we return to Beacon from the many shores, coastlines and pools of summer travel. Each year we reconnect our community in September through the symbol of water, a symbol of travel, or the spirit, and of diversity and strength. Please bring with you a little water that represents the spiritual journey you have been on through the summer.