Dear friends, When I was a young woman, just barely 19 years old, I read the novel My Name is Asher Lev by American author, painter, and rabbi Chaim Potok. About living in one thread of traditional Jewish life, it described events and history far different from my own. And yet, the book had an enormous impact on my own living. It is a story exploring identity and how we become our own selves within the pulls of desire, inclination, and expectations. It is the story that introduced me to a guiding principle: that to be whole, we need to be able to exercise our heads, our hearts, and our hands. We should develop our intellect and reason. We should cultivate our feelings and perceptions. We should foster our bodies and honor the work that only bodies can produce. We are not only brains. We are not only emotions. We are not only labor. We are all of these, and life calls us to cultivate all these means of becoming ourselves in the unique ways possible for each of us.
My first career as an English professor emphasized the work of my brain. My second career as a minister enabled me to lean into the learning made possible by compassion and the effort to empathy. And in the transition from Minnesota to New York and Ontario, I am making more space for the work of my hands. This one is harder for me to embrace, the emphasis on what my body can do. And, I made a bowl in a wet felting workshop on Monday. I'm not that good at arts and crafts. But I give you a picture here, so that you might begin to know something about me. What will you share with me, so that I might get to know you better?
Blessings and warm wishes, Rev. Rita
During the month of September, Rita plans to be at the Congregation Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Appointments are encouraged.
Meet our new Interim Minister!
Rev. Dr. Rita Capezzi is an American citizen, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, having moved to Buffalo, New York in 1994 when she was hired as an English professor at Canisius University. After a long and happy career involving teaching, administration, advising, and immersion-learning travel, Rita answered a call to Unitarian Universalist ministry, attending Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, Illinois 2015-2018 and serving the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mankato, Minnesota 2018-2023. She was ordained in 2018 and reached Full Fellowship with the UUA in 2022.
Rita has been married to her spouse, Jeff Lowry, for 42 years and has two children, a son (33) who lives with his partner in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a daughter (29) who lives with her partner in Buffalo. The family includes six cats across the three households. They all enjoy camping, hiking, and cooking together. Both Rita and Jeff have extended family in the Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania area. They are pleased to return to Buffalo and are busy closing on a house and making a home with many close friends nearby. Rita is thrilled to be serving UCM in this interim time of reflection, transition, and possibility.
Counter-Protest - Mississauga City Hall
As UUs we covenant to affirm and promote promote our 8 Principles; starting with the inherent worth and dignity of every person and individual. When human rights are being challenged, UUs show up and speak up. The CUC called on Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith and conscience to show love and welcome to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in the face of hatred and attend a counter-protest in their community, on September 20. Anti-2SLGBTQIA+ activists organized rallies at legislatures, city halls, and school board offices across the country under the "1 Million March 4 Children" banner. While they claim to be in support of parental rights, this is explicitly anti-2SLGBTQIA+.
Our call to action is to contact politicians, in particular school trustees/MPs, to express your support for gender-affirming policies and inclusive education, and your opposition to policies that would forcibly out trans youth. It is vital that 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals are celebrated and loved in our congregations and in our communities.
Wendy Shusterman & Charmaine Ferworn
Celebrating a Life Event?
We have an exciting new section in our Shining Chalice. All are invited to let our Office Administrator Tisa know if you are celebrating a life event you would like to share with everyone. This could include but not limited to - birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, school graduations, and births. Details, such as age, are entirely up to you to include.
Send submissions to Tisa at email@example.com. Let's all share in our joy!
Festive Fair is November 11 - Mark Your Calendars!
It's the first day of Fall, and UCM is gearing up for the Festive Fair 2023, our biggest event of the year! We will have Sign-up tables at the side where you can participate in whatever part of the Festive Fair that appeals to you. There are seven sign-up sheets to choose from: 1. Cozy Cafe prep: making sandwiches, soups and treats beforehand. 2. Cozy Cafe staff: selling tickets, taking orders and serving coffee and tea, and set-up and clean-up. 3. Bake Table prep: baking breads, cookies, muffins, holiday treats beforehand. 4. Bake Table staff: packaging treats on Fri. evening, selling goods on Sat. 5. Silent Auction prep: Visiting businesses to gather gift certificates and products. Or offering an unused item from your home or service. 6. Silent Auction staff: supervising the SA tables and following up at the end. 7. Reception and Tickets: Greeting at the door, selling tickets, giving ticket stubs for door prizes, offering free masks.
So many UCM folks participate each year because it's a fun event - Join In!
We are hoping to be able to continue presenting Sunday services on Zoom, but we have lost a number of our Zoom operators. Several people have stepped up to try to learn the setup, but there are a lot of moving parts, so we hope that you will be patient as we work out the kinks.
And please, send us some feedback (to firstname.lastname@example.org) to let us know if you enjoy the services on Zoom or YouTube and would like them to continue.
Introducing DAYMAKER Coffee
We will be serving DAYMAKER coffee at the after service coffee hour. Daymaker Coffee Roasters is a local craft roaster with three commitments: 1. Provide a fantastic cup of coffee 2. Protect the environment through use of biodegradable packaging and other initiatives 3. Support local programing for those with Down’s Syndrome with a contribution of 3.2% of sales.
As coordinator of the After Service refreshments, I would love to hear your feedback about the coffee. This Sunday’s roast will be Clear Blue Morning Blend.
Looking for a fun volunteer experience at UCM? Each week, two volunteers from the congregation prepare and serve the post service refreshments. I am currently seeking more volunteers for this role. When there is a full roster of volunteers the time commitment is once every six weeks, staying between 45 minutes to an hour after service. We would love to have you join us.
Friendly Greeters Needed!
I am looking for friendly individuals or family groups to be greeters for Sunday services. If you are interested in volunteering at UCM, this would be a great place to start.
Sunday mornings not your thing? Greeters are also needed for other events at UCM throughout the year.
Volunteer as Junior Youth Advisor or Youth Advisor
Do you enjoy having thoughtful discussions and learning about others in your community? If so, this is the role for you.
Commitment - One spiritual exploration discussion per month, alongside another advisor, for an hour - Availability either Friday evening around 6, Saturday afternoon around 2, or Sunday after the Time for All Ages
Required - Comfort with Zoom - Current Vulnerable Sector Check
For more details or to indicate interest, please contact Caitlyn at FLC@uucm.ca.
Our Whole Lives (OWL) Grades 4-6
Our Whole Lives is a progressive, comprehensive lifespan sexuality education program based on the principles of self-worth, sexual health, responsibility, justice, and inclusivity. OWL helps people of all ages make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behaviour and affirms parents and caregivers as their children’s primary sexuality educators. The program provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics in six subject areas:
Society & culture
In Fall 2023 (September-October), the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga is looking to run Grades 4-6 (elementary school) curricula. The facilitators will be Pamela Smith-Loeters and Caitlyn Seale, Family Life Coordinator. Times will be determined by attendees’ availability.
If you are interested in learning more about the OWL program or have a child in grades 4-6/ages 9-12, please reach out to Caitlyn at FLC@uucm.ca.
Our.new.Interim Minister, the Rev. Rita Capezzi, will NEVER solicit gift cards from you through email. Please be mindful of scam emails with addresses similar to hers. And she would never text you to ask. Those scams are circulating, too.
Special Events Checklist Effective June 1st, 2023
The.Board.is pleased to announce that effective June 1st, there is a new special events checklist to use.
Please submit this form at least four weeks before any specials event being planned at UCM. This will help ensure that there will be enough time for the appropriate Committees to support your event, and therefore, for things to go smoothly. We are asking that requests for floats and cheques prepared for guest speakers be made at least three weeks in advance (not a few days before an event - this is not enough time).
Copies are available through Committee Chairs, and hard copies are in the mail room as well.
Thanks! Brenda Poole
In.the.spirit of healing and growing, we would like to highlight the Safe Steps policy created by the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga. If you feel like you need to speak to anyone about situations that have happened, the Safe Steps policy can point you in the right direction.
The Reverend Mark Mosher DeWolfe Sermons
We.have.created a collection of webpages on our UCM website featuring The Reverend Mark Moshe DeWolfe sermons. This is such a wonderful opportunity to showcase his sermons as many Unitarians all through Canada and the States admire him. You will be able to listen, read and see some annotated or handwritten sermons in PDFs. We have approximately 50 sermons to upload so come back and check frequently. Enjoy! Please visit www.uucm.ca/mark-dewolfe-sermons/ Brigitte Twomey
Please indicate whether these funds are for the current year or next year’s Operating Budget or for some other purpose. Thank you for your generosity.
Has Your Contact Info Changed?
Have you moved recently? Changed your email address or phone number? Please remember to let Tisa in the UCM office know so that we can keep such information current: email@example.com
Youtube livestreaming of the Sunday Service
If.you.have.trouble logging onto Zoom, you can watch the service on our youtube channel. To view a livestream you must subscribe to our UCM channel. The livestream begins around 10:25am and ends with the benediction. It is available for a short time on Sunday and then is removed. Clips from Rev. Fiona's reflections and prerecorded videos will be uploaded later in the week.
Don't forget to watch past services on the channel (every view helps our profile!) and send links to friends who might need this life sustaining community.