Recent updates from your Transition Leadership Team

What keeps you engaged at UFP?

In last Sunday’s service on UFP history, with our Minister Emerita Anne Orfald, breakout rooms created rich conversations and meaningful sharing about what engages us and keeps us coming. The main themes include Community, Sunday Services, Music Programming, Social Justice, Values and Personal Development.

The Questions Asked

  • Describe experiences that engaged you in the past and what keeps you coming to UFP now?
  • Describe in what way core UFP values have impacted you and how they continue to do so.

Community

  • Caring heart centred community
  • Community support
  • A spiritual intentional community of seekers
  • The people – kindness, acceptance, connectedness, expressions of love
  • Intergenerational connections
  • Safe to explore and have difficult conversations
  • Acceptance of diverse opinions
  • Listening to each other 
  • A sense of belonging
  • Fun and laughter
  • Friendship
  • Potlucks and coffee hour

Sunday Services

  • Meaningful services
  • A particular Christmas Eve service
  • Rituals, mystery and story telling
  • Youth led services
  • Minister led services
  • Shared ministry, co-leadership
  • On-line availability of services
  • Challenges my thinking and inspiring change 
  • Joys and Concerns
  • Guest speakers
  • Day of the Dead
  • Reading and quotes from great writers 

Music

  • Choral singing, guest musicians 
  • Diversity of music
  • Singing in a choir

Programming

  • RE programming for kids and youth – spiritual home for children
  • Covenant and Connection Groups
  • Connecting with nature 
  • Blue Horse Cafe
  • Adult RE programmes

Social Justice

  • Making a progressive difference in the world
  • Refugee settlement commitment
  • Environmental Awareness
  • Indigenous allies 
  • Equality of women
  • Welcoming Community for 2SLGBTQ
  • Anti racism work
  • Recycling 

Values

  • Interdependent web of life
  • No doctrine
  • Inherent value of all
  • Principles, not specific beliefs
  • Personal values fit
  • Equality in community
  • Belief that all living things are equal
  • Female leadership
  • Freedom to form our own beliefs

Personal Development

  • Finding and developing own voice
  • Leadership opportunities 

On Belonging…

By Leigh Symonds, for the Transition Leadership Team

person in red sweater holding babys hand

What are you longing for?

This question was asked last Sunday by Rev. Beckett Coppola of Kingston Unitarian Fellowship. She noted that the word ‘belong’ is really an intensification of longing, the ‘be’ in English serving to deepen, to intensify the meaning of the root ‘to long for.’ Some of our most precious words contain this prefix ‘be’: beyond, between, becoming, beloved…

Our theme this month is Belonging. In this time of transition — in our Fellowship as well as our wider community and the world — it is well worth asking: what are you longing for? What completes you? What do you need to feel or to do or to be in order to belong?

In this time of transition — in our Fellowship as well as our wider community and the world — it is well worth asking: what are you longing for?

Belonging is one of the most important feelings to nourish in our lives. It is what nurtures us. It is what heals us. It is what holds us in our darknesses and what allows us to leap further or dare more greatly because we know there are hands to catch us when we fall.

It is a complex emotion, encompassing our need for both stability and constancy. It allows us to come home at the end of the day and feel welcome, and it assures us of love, as well as the ecstasy of standing on a cliff edge with our arms outstretched to the wind knowing that we belong and are a part of all creation.

It is an emotion that is not only defined by what we need or want but also, and most importantly, what we give to others. To belong is to be connected with, a part of something other than ourselves: a family, a religious community, a workplace, a sports team, a reading group or a forest. In that community, the self becomes a part of a larger chorus of singers whose voices together create magic beyond that which is singularly beautiful.

What makes you resonate? What makes you want to sing in your heart and your soul? What harmony are you wanting to bring to our Beloved Community? In this lifelong endeavour of becoming something other than we were, belonging is the essential chalice where growth can be kindled and nourished and fed.

Belonging is a chalice where growth can be kindled and nourished and fed.

This week, we are offering the first of a series of Community Conversations to explore who we are, what we need and where we want to grow. Join us on Sunday afternoon in person (Sept 11, 4pm-6pm), or online Tuesday evening (Sept 13, 6:30pm-8:30pm) to explore what we are longing for, what we have lost and, most especially, what we are grateful for. The Tuesday Zoom link is: https://tinyurl.com/CommConversationsUFP

Past Transition Leadership Team Notes

Our Chrysalis Year

Dear wonderful friends, This year will be a big year of transition for the Fellowship. Perhaps we could call it our chrysalis year? I’m sure there are other ways to think of it but in this season of monarchs, that’s where my mind goes. I always find courage in the monarch, with its biological willingness…