Feb-11-2018: Beacon Retrospective

Rev. Debra Thorne and Beacon Members

Today we celebrate Beacon’s 35th Anniversary by remembering Beacon iniatives that changed lives across the world and across the years. Stories from a transformational experience in the youth group; to the Bed and Breakfast program that started the Building Fund; from the homelessness initiative that started the POCO Food Bank; and more recently the Refugee Settlement program that is uniting families and two distinct cultures. This is a moment to celebrate the power of a community to connect, inspire and transform our lives.

Feb-4-2018: As Individuals in an Interrelated World

As Individuals in an Interrelated World
Lay Chaplain: Marilyn Medén

Marilyn Medén looks to the future: The end of war? An interrelated world? Sure. Let’s start with ourselves. Try things out. Practise peace. Let peace begin with us! “When people act for selfless ends, there is vast augmentation of their individual capacities. Something wonderful, something momentous happens. An irresistible force begins to move, which, though we may not see it, is going to change our world.” —Eknath Easwaraen, Spiritual Leader.

Jan-28-2018: A Quiet Risk: Living an Undivided Life

Special Guests: Kimiko Karpoff and Rachel Yordy
Service Leader: Janet Pivnick

Showing up as ourselves, daring to live authentically, aligning our public selves with our inner life are risks that the soul takes moment by moment, without fanfare or notice. Circle of Trust approaches, based on the work of Parker Palmer, provide an opportunity to be in community to support each other in the difficult work of listening and acting upon one’s soul call.
Janet is joined by Kimiko Karpoff and Rachel Yordy, all of whom have experience with Circle of Trust approaches, to share principles and practices of this powerful work.

Jan-14-2018: When All of Life is a Risk

Note: Volume of recording increases at 1 minute 42 seconds. Apologies for the poor sound quality of this recording.

Special Guests: Fazineh Keita & Ava Vanderstarren

Fazineh Keita grew up in Sierra Leone during the country’s civil war. As a former child soldier, Fazineh is using his experience to bring awareness to the realities of war. Since graduating from the Vancouver Film School, Fazineh has used his skills to tell stories, educate youth and to help people find healing through art. He and Ava created ‘Innocence Lost Foundation’, a project to rehabilitate former child soldiers in Sierra Leone.

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.