Past services

September 3, 2017

Religion as Survival Strategy

Michelle Brown with Worship Associate Anna Isaacs – Churches were language sanctuaries for Hungarians who came under Romanian authority in 1920. Even today, seminarians in Transylvania are charged with responsibility for the survival of the Hungarian people.

Michelle Brown, recently returned from a three-month stay in a Unitarian seminary, offers a look at the 21st century reality facing this child of the Reformation.

Michelle Brown is currently a Community Fellow in the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria.

A poet and essayist, she was long-listed in the 2015 PRISM international Creative Non-Fiction Contest, received an honourable mention in the Victoria Authors Association 2016 Flash Fiction Contest, and was recently nominated for the the Grouse Grind Lit Prize for V(ery) Short Forms. Michelle is Cree from the Métis Nation.

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August 27, 2017

Tao-ish:  A little less Rabbit & Eeyore, a little more Pooh Bear

Rev. Melora Lynngood with Worship Associate Susan Layng – How’s your stress level?  What do you do when your life feels too busy, overwhelming, or otherwise laden with reasons to be anxious?

How well do you handle it when plans don’t go the way you want or when people don’t behave the way you wish they would?

Do you get stressed out like Rabbit, or do you, like Eeyore, feel like giving up in gloomy despair?

Drawing from the old classic, The Tao of Pooh and the even older classic, the Tao te Ching, Rev. Melora, our resident Eeyore and occasional Rabbit, explores with us some of the wisdom to be gleaned from Taoism, and how it might help us go with the flow, face what is (even when it’s difficult), and move forward with grace and inner-peace.

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August 20, 2017

Some Time Apart

Rev. Shana Lynngood with Worship Associate Dan Klimke – The summer is often a time when we do things outside of our normal routines.

We get away and take a break. Often when we do so we gain perspective on our “regular” lives.

In her first service back from sabbatical Rev. Shana will reflect on what she gained from this time apart, and also what remained the same or unchanged by this time away from ministry.


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August 13, 2017

“Overcoming The Invisible Lion”…Seeking reality in a world of illusion…

Rev. Mark Lemon with Worship Associate Doug McGinnis – One of the great dilemmas facing those who seek spiritual wisdom is the perennial search for Truth.

The challenge we all face in a culture of fake news and disinformation is discerning the Real. The essential ground for this pursuit is our own consciousness.  By identifying blocks, seeing our programming and extricating ourselves from the cultural matrix in which we live, we create the foundation for living an authentic life.

Rev. Lemon, B.F.A. M.Div., has facilitated hundreds of people over the last twenty plus years in the transformational journey of self realization and becoming.

Ordained in the Anglican Church in 1985, Mark has worked with congregations, young offenders and prison inmates and facilitated retreats and conferences. His passion is the awakening of wisdom and the liberation of consciousness in his private counselling practice.

Schooled in holotropic breath work as taught by Leonard Orr, this process integrates the conscious and unconscious and leads to expanded states of awareness.



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August 6, 2017

Singing our Faith 

This Sunday we will focus on the hymns we love to sing and the readings that inspire us from our grey hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition

Come and sing your faith, or just listen and feel the musical spirit as we sit on the lawn under the willow tree.

Anna Isaacs will lead the congregation in singing familiar Unitarian  favourites. Braden Young will keep us in tune and in time at the piano.

We’re outdoors under the willow tree because of a necessary change in venue because the Sanctuary floor is being re-finished. Outdoors presents a perfect opportunity to sing together.

The Sanctuary floor is being refinished and needs some time to cure before being used again. 

Refreshments will be available. Please bring a lawn chair or blanket / cushion for seating. We invite you to seize this opportunity to enjoy fellowship on our beautiful grounds.

Michelle Brown has been rescheduled to Sunday, Sept. 3, when we will view her beautiful photos taken on her trip to Romania.

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July 30, 2017

Principles and Virtues

Peter Scales with Worship Associate Oliver Belisle –

What does it mean to be virtuous, and how does this goal manifest in our Unitarian Universalist principles? Which of the classical virtues match the UU principles, and which virtues have we abandoned?

Peter Scales joined both of Victoria’s congregations when he moved here from Kingston in 2004. After 21 years as a federal servant he semi-retired to part-time work as a historian, philosopher and old-car tinkerer.

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July 23, 2017


Suresh Basrur with Worship Associate Susan Layng –

Suresh Basrur practises and is a scholar of the Hindu faith.

He participates in inter-faith activities in Victoria and speaks to audiences about Hindu religion, philosophy and practices, having authored many articles on this topic.

Some of us know him as a patron of Child Haven International, which is a charity our church supports.

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July 16, 2017

Stoic Philosophy

Russell McNeil with Worship Associate Larry Boldt – 

Stoicism is a very simple philosophy. Everything in the universe is interconnected as in a web and governed by a universal natural law. Human beings are in this web, so are subject to the same laws as everything else. The human mind or psyche, as the Greeks referred to the soul, is not mysterious or alien – it is a natural power we all har- ness to take action – to do things with our lives. We call this power “reason.” The Stoics were guided by a natu- ral – yet divine – “law,” called Logos that rested firmly on the real laws of nature, or physics. Stoicism requires ab- solute authenticity and brutal honesty.

Russell McNeil has a PhD in Physics from York University. As a graduate student in the 1970s he pioneered a laser radar (LIDAR) technology which in its evolved form has been used to measure properties of the atmosphere from the surface of Mars (NASA “Phoenix” mission, 2010). In 2008 Russell wrote “The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Selections Annotated and Explained” for Skylight Paths. A life-long fitness enthusiast, Russell is certified as a Personal Trainer. Russell is also one of two lay chaplains at First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo.


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July 9, 2017

Understanding Truth, Healing and Reconciliation through a Memorable Journey

Amanda Tarling with  Worship Associate Doug McGinnis – 

Based on a day-long experiential workshop, this is a unique and powerful service in which Amanda will lead us in re-creating an ancient First Nations community and then allow history to unfold around us. Come join us for an extraordinary and moving Sunday Service.

Amanda Tarling is one of the lay leaders of Capital Unitarian Universalist Congregation and no stranger to Victoria Unitarian. Amanda has served many years as a Lay Chaplain and presents workshops for Lay Chaplains at the provincial and national level. An avid hiker and yogini, Amanda is passionate about finding spirituality in the forest. She graduated from McGill University in 1986 and lived in London for 10 years. Amanda is married with two amazing children, including a son with disabilities.

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July 2, 2017

Pride Service: Rainbow Connections

 Arran Liddel and Worship Associate Anna Isaacs –

Like any culture, queer culture changes over time. With these changes, we see ourselves and each other differently, both inside and outside of queer communities. We will share stories and reflections about how evolving queer identities offer a more nuanced understanding of love and  inclusion … and, of course, some fabulous music!

Arran Liddel moved to Victoria last year from Toronto (although he is Scottish) with his partner Gen to be near the ocean and trees. His work has focuses on building community as well as training and facilitation on issues related to healthy relationships, sexuality, conflict resolution and restorative justice/practices. He is currently doing a Masters of Divinity, focusing on earth-based spiritualities, at Cherry Hill Seminary.  

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