Welcome

We are a community of people sharing our spiritual life journeys.  Visitors are welcome to join us any Sunday.

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Webside Pulpit

Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?
      ~ Carl Sagan 

 

Our Vision Statement

Don Heights is a resilient, welcoming community of diverse individuals, promoting love, reason and freedom in religion, fostering lifelong spiritual growth and acting for social justice and the environment

Approved at a Congregational Meeting, October 4, 2009

CUC Member

Don Heights is a member of the Canadian Unitarian Council, our national organization, which provides support for Unitarians across Canada.

www.cuc.ca

Subscribe to the Canadian Unitarian eNews (CUCmonthly e-newsletter)

Education

The 4th Unitarian Universalist principle states that “We affirm and promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” In this statement is found the essence of our liberal faith tradition. We are each responsible for engaging in the quest to deepen our understanding of what is meaningful and true to us personally as well as communally. This is a dynamic and lifelong process, enhanced by having like-valued people to accompany us on the journey.

 

Adult Education

Adult Education Program Fall/Winter 2011-2012
Worth & Dignity (Safe Church) Policy

 

Adult Program for Autumn 2011

This will be a busy year at Don Heights with Adult Programs to suit all tastes. Most events won’t begin until October, but here are a few programs that you may want to mark in your calendar:

 

Multifaith Spiritual Dialogue Circle on the first Monday of each month, beginning in October.

 

Book Group, meeting on the third Sunday of each month. On October 16 we will discuss The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.

 

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, based on the book by Karen Armstrong, on the evenings of October 13, 20, and 27.

 

Wine, Women, and Spirituality which meets on the last Friday of each month at 7:15 p.m. in members’ homes.

 

The Do Be Do Group on the morning of the last Tuesday of each month where we deal with general Don Heights cleanup and organization. The next one is September 27 at 10:30 am.

 

Dinners for Eight which provide a chance to get to know Don Heighters better. The first one will be on November 19.

 

Meditation will be held before the Sunday Services on October16, 23, November 13, 27, and December 11. There will be a meeting after the Sunday service on November 13 to plan Adult Programs for the coming months. Everyone is welcome

 

Don Heights Book Group
October 16, 2011 – The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver – This book contains two very distinct parts. One features a vibrant Mexican landscape of the 1930’s with the colorful personalities of Diego Rivera, Frieda Kahlo, and Leon Trotsky. The other centers on a man who had lived with Rivera, and who afterwards led a reclusive existence in small-town America and battled with the House Un-American Activities Committee. This is Kingsolver’s first novel in nine years and it won the Orange Prize for Fiction last year. This British prize recognizes female fiction writers around the world. If you look on the Internet you can find a wonderful reading list of past winners and books shortlisted for this prize.

 

November 20, 2011 – Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks – Based on an actual event in 1665-1666, Brooks recreates a year in the life of a remote British village decimated by the bubonic plague. When the plague arrives in the community, the vicar announces it as a scourge sent by God; obeying his command, the villagers voluntarily seal themselves off from the rest of the world. As deaths mount, grief and superstition evoke mob violence against "witches," and cults of self-flagellation and devil worship. The book will give us much to discuss about the relationship between religion and ethical behavior.

 

January 15, 2012 – Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese - Starting with the birth of twin boys to a nursing nun in a small hospital in Ethiopia, this brilliant novel follows the life of the boys as they are separated, become doctors, and eventually meet. The author, a doctor, weaves the practice of medicine into the book and reviewers comment that you won’t be able to put it down.

 

February 19, 2012 – The January issue of The Walrus magazine – Here’s your opportunity to read this excellent Canadian general interest magazine which publishes articles on Canadian and international affairs, along with fiction and poetry by Canadian writers. It was launched in 2003 as an attempt to create a Canadian equivalent to American magazines such as Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly or The New Yorker. The magazine is committed to publishing the best work by the best writers from Canada and elsewhere on a wide range of topics for readers who are curious about the world. The magazine founder, David Berlin, chose the title because the walrus is a Canadian native, is curmudgeonly but clever, bulky but agile, and no one ignores a walrus.

 

March 18, 2012 – The Secret River by Kate Grenville - An Australian bestseller this is an eye-opening tale of the settlement of New South Wales by a population of exiled British criminals. A delicate coexistence with the native population dissolves into violence, and Grenville presents the settler–aboriginal conflict with equanimity and understanding.

 

April 15, 2012 – The Uncommon Reader AND The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett - The Uncommon Reader is a very funny novella in which Queen Elizabeth II wanders into a mobile library van in pursuit of her runaway corgis and comes to know an avid reader who educates her in the joys of reading. In The Clothes They Stood Up In the staid Ransomes return from the opera to find their Regent’s Park flat stripped bare--right down to the toiletpaper roll. Free of all their earthly belongings, the couple faces a perplexing question: Who are they without the things they’ve spent a lifetime accumulating? Suddenly a world of unlimited, frightening possibility opens up before them. Some have called this a near perfect little book.

 

May 27, 2012 – Little Bee by Chris Cleave - Cleave's skillful writing slowly, but relentlessly brings us to the central event of this book – a horrible thing that happened on a beach in Nigeria. We learn about a 4-year old boy who thinks he's Batman, his mother Sarah, his anguished father, and Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee. Little Bee's plight overlays a rich and disturbing subtext of broader issues such as the unfathomable abyss between first and third world countries, the dark politics of oil, and the labyrinthine plight of refugees.

 

 

Children’s Religious Exploration
(RE) Program

The moral and ethical lives of children are a natural part of their growth and development.

The goal of the Religious Exploration (RE) program at Don Heights is to introduce children to UU principles, ethics and moral discernment and to create a family oriented religious community. Don Heights' RE mission is to develop a multigenerational community which is devoted to action for social and environmental justice, to development of ethical discernment, and to exploration of spiritual development.

The program is a cooperative volunteer venture. We are fortunate to have primary teachers who work with volunteer assistants. This ensures that there are always two adults within the RE, one who is responsible for teaching and one who is assisting with crafts, issues, washroom breaks, etc.

Here is an overview of the curriculum we are using with our youngest participants:

 

CURRICULA
Age Curriculum Title Theme and Description Goals for Participants
Preschool to Kindergarten (ages 1-5) Unitarian Universalist Alphabet

This curriculum introduces UUism through stories. It develops awareness in children of their UU congregation as a good place to be.

Lesson are arranged by the first letter, A to Z, of each topic, which usually deals with a famous UU individual.

Each lesson can stand alone.

· To learn that church is a safe, supportive place

· To begin to learn about the UU Principles, in the form of Affirmations

· To begin to develop a UU identity through an introduction to UU history and heritage

 

Grade 1 to Grade 3

(ages 6-8)

Dr. Seuss and Unitarian Universalists

This curriculum introduces UUism through stories, activities and sometimes songs. Each story is based on an affirmation, e.g. 'We take care of the universe'.

Each lesson focuses on one or more affirmations.

Each lesson can stand alone.

· To learn that church is a safe, supportive place

· To begin to learn about the UU Principles, in the form of Affirmations