January 2020 Services – Theme: Possibility

January 5 New Year Resolutions and Possibilities
We start the New Year certain of what it is that we need to be doing to improve ourselves and our lives. Have you made your New Year Resolutions? What might happen if we instead resolve to be alert to possibilities?
Service leader: Lynn Nugent
Worship Arts Facilitator: Mary-Anna Louise Kovar
Music: Jane Perry

January 12 A New Decade, New Possibilities

Calgary Unitarians serve as a place to nurture relationships, encourage personal growth and to collectively work for a just and sustainable world. As we enter the next decade what are our hopes?

Worship Arts Facilitators: Rev Debra Faulk and Marcia Epstein

Music: Music Director Jane Perry with UUphonia and accompanist Eileen Kosasih

January 19 This Is Me: Kesha

A “Spirituality of” service selected by Holly Noelle. While Kesha’s name may be new to some, many will have heard her songs – This Is Me, for example from the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman (about Unitarian P. T. Barnum). A service sure to inspire.

Presenter: Holly Noelle

Worship Arts Facilitator: Rev Debra Faulk

Music: Music Director Jane Perry


January 26 Is Beloved Community Possible?

Dr. Martin Luther King popularized the notion  of the “Beloved Community.” King envisioned the Beloved Community as a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings. Is it possible? How do we create and engage such a possibility?

Facilitators: Rev Debra Faulk, Mary-Anna Louise Kovar and Leslie Robinson

Music: Music Director Jane Perry with UUphonia and accompanist Eileen Kosasih



Debra’s Deliberations

A New Year brings new hopes, new aspirations, new possibilities and resolutions/goals. Let me share a few of my goals/hopes: deeper sense of connection, clarity of purpose, renewed hope, and engagement with the common good.

Deeper connection is something we all strive for consciously and unconsciously. The longing for connection is a human quality; we are relational beings. The opportunity for connection at UCC presents itself in  many ways. The programs, the services, the volunteer opportunities all offer this possibility.

A newer person in our midst commented on how open and welcoming this community is. This is a great testament to the culture of hospitality and inclusiveness we have.

The idea of being radically inclusive calls us to address issues of accessibility and diversity.  This spring I am enrolled in an intensive program for religious professionals to take “their knowledge and skills to the next level to support congregations in becoming fully inclusive and affirming of trans/non-binary people. Going far beyond a “Trans 101,” the course provides a deeply intersectional understanding of trans identity, experience, and spirituality; explores the role of culture in trans exclusion; and provides tools for faith-grounded culture shift that moves the margins to the center.” I am sure this knowledge will be integrated into services and possible adult programming.

This spring will see a plan for engaging AIM (Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry) with the purpose “to guide congregations to better welcome, embrace, integrate, and support people with disabilities and their families in our communities. … guides all to deepen their understanding of disability as an aspect of the human experience, and counteract society’s stereotypes of disability. AIM encourages Unitarian Universalists to get involved in dismantling society’s prejudices and barriers (Ableism).”

We can grow and deepen ourselves and this community with intention and invitation.

Collaboration and engagement with the common good reflects the attitude of social consciousness. It is foundational to who we are as a faith community. It impels acts of justice and kindness. The first gathering to reboot our Social Justice efforts resulted in clarity about the value of collaboration with others working for the common good. This will be clarified further at the Reboot gathering on January 5th (see page 3).

There are now ten people who have taken the basic training with Calgary Alliance of the Common Good learning tools for community organizing and leadership development. This is also about collaboration and relationship building.

I start the new year with anticipation of the possibility of deeper more inclusive relationships and welcome  collaboration for the common good.  I’ll leave you with these thoughts from my dear friend and colleague Rev Bob Janis Dillon:

The world needs a few people
who are honest, even to the point of accepting their imperfection;
the world needs a few people who are brave enough to risk
individual comfort for the sake of a larger love,
the world needs a few people who honor their own pain
as well as their ability to somehow transform pain into compassion,
the world needs a few people who step into the unknown
carrying enough love to make things interesting.
The world needs a few people who are ready to come alive.
The sign-up sheets are not on any wall
but wait eternally within the human heart.

Namaste, Debra



Happy New Year from the Calgary Unitarian Membership Team!

Happy New Date for your new calendar. We will offer our Introduction to Unitarian Universalism Course on Saturday, March 28, between 9:30 and 12:30 noon. We invite any newcomers or people who visit our website to attend. The course covers some history and information about our values. We also want to meet the searchers. Together we can explore and answer questions about our faith community. More details about course registration coming soon.

Have you been considering becoming a member? We remind you to pick up an application form at the Welcome Table or to fill out the application online .  Rev Debra and our committee members are always willing to answer questions you have about becoming a member.

We send thank you notes to all the helpers with the Cookie Sharing during the Christmas holidays. You helped bring the wonderful joy of being remembered as part of our community.

The last note is a thank you to members and friends who filled out the media consent form that concerns use of your photo image in any of Calgary Unitarian public media. We need to know how each adult in our congregation feels about the use of their photos, so if you have not yet done so, please fill out the media consent form now on our website  or use one of the pink forms on the way into our sanctuary.

Your Membership Team: Barbara Lane, Duff Bond, Mary Jane Hussey, Margaret McCrae, Kenzie Love



Social Justice Reboot

Social justice has long been a cornerstone of Unitarian Universalism. With the world becoming ever more complicated, the need for our attention does nothing but grow.How should our congregation act? Should we become more focused on fewer issues? Should we be an umbrella to individual actions? Whatever we do, the need to give our Social Justice Team a reboot is the first step.

After the service on January 5, from 12:30 – 3:30, anyone interested in Social Justice issues and how our community acts on these issues, is invited to a Potluck Wine & Appetizer Workshop. An outside facilitator will be there to guide our discussion. Childcare available on request. Register by emailing Michael at, calling 587-225-2116.


Calgary Alliance for the Common Good

CACG members with a focus on the environment and climate change are meeting with Calgary Climate Hub members in Wickenden Hall on Tuesday, January 7, 7 to 9 pm.

The purpose of the meeting is to organize how the Alliance and the Climate Hub will work together to address issues of climate change and the environment.

As CACG members, Calgary Unitarians are welcome to attend the meeting to participate in work that is being done across the city on climate and environment issues and discuss how to engage other congregations in the work.RVSP to Susan Stratton 403-869-1212.


Shavings from the Board

As we come out of the holiday season and get back into our routines I want to offer a couple of reminders. Nominations for the Panabaker Award are due on January 7th. If you have thoughts of nominating someone do it soon. Also, a reminder to watch your e-news for the Right Relations questions. Your answers to these questions will guide the team in developing the Right Relations Covenant. Details for submitting your responses will accompany the questions.

If you attended the December Congregational Meeting you know that the board is experimenting with doing more of our meetings using Zoom. Calgary Unitarians have a Zoom account and any of our teams/committees can use it to make getting together easier. It can be particularly useful if weather is not conducive to traveling, if home commitments make it difficult to attend and when time is in short supply.  It is also has ecological impact if you consider the transportation savings. The Board has used it in the past to ‘Zoom in’ board members who were out of town (as a result it is rare that anyone misses the meeting) and we are expanding our use. I encourage you to try it.

Mary-Anna Louise Kovar

President, Board of Trustees


Panabaker Award – Nominations Needed!

In January 2020 Calgary Unitarians will present an award to someone in the congregation to honour that person for extraordinary services provided to benefit the Church community. In order to do this we need your nominations. You will find the guidelines for nominations on our website under Our Governance and Documents – Congregational Awards.

If you are wondering if a person you are considering has already received the award check the lists (Panabaker Award and Extraordinary Service award) at the end of the Congregational Award page. The 2017 recipients were Jane Ebbern and Brandis Purcell. No nominations were received last year.

Nominations may be e-mailed to or placed in the President’s mailbox in the Church Office. Nominations must be received on or before January 7, 2020 to be considered. The award will be presented at a Souper Sunday Lunch in January or February; date dependent on availability of recipient.



Marie Collins for her welcoming smile and her endless devotion to looking after the wee children.

Barbara Lane for her quiet, gentle, loving way, of welcoming people.

Sheila Ward for her fantastic MC work at the cabaret.

Conrad – who makes us coffee – every single week.

Donna Ontonio for taking care of and organizing our kitchen. For being the keeper of the shawls. For making sure there are Caring Card & Contribution envelopes behind every seat in the sanctuary. For all the ‘unseen’ things we do not see her doing.

Jane Ebbern for sharing her creative, energetic self – in so very many ways; especially the Christmas cakes.

Eric Leavitt for all that he does …. quietly.

Rev. Debra – for being there 24/7

Jane Perry and ALL of her musical groups.

Sheila for her boundless enthusiasm (and the terrific Winter Showcase!)

Martha the magician- our incredible office administrator.


Thank You Co-Op Card Supporters!

 With your help, this program raised more than $7,600 for the church in 2019!! Happy New Year, and let’s see if we can top that in 2020! At NO extra cost to you and easy to use, Co-op cards can be used for groceries, gas or to stock up your liquor cabinet.

In January, the day to order the cards is one week later than usual: We will take orders on or before (we love advance orders!) January 12, and cards will be available for the following Sunday, January 19.

You can place your cheque or e-transfer pledge in the church office, see us at the Co-op table in Wickenden on January 12th, or simply email your e-transfer pledge to: stating the amount of your order, type of card (regular or liquor) and the denomination ($ value) of the cards you want. Don’t forget to follow-up your pledge with the actual e-transfer! Email

Questions? Contact us at


UpBeat News with Jane Perry

Meet our newest staff member and our new resident choir!

New staff member! We’re very excited that pianist Eileen Kosasih has accepted our invitation to become UUphonia’s very first regular rehearsal pianist. Eileen holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance, and a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting. She is also a very fine pianist; many of us heard Eileen at a Sunday service in November when she was our substitute service musician. Thanks to all of the folks who donated money to help us hire a choir accompanist — we appreciate your generosity!

New resident choir! Our church building is already home to many fine community choirs and ensembles, including One Voice Chorus, Vocal Latitudes, the BarberEllas, and Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players. Starting in January, we will welcome The Sonabelles, an eight-voice a cappella soprano/alto ensemble that specializes in vocal jazz. The Sonabelles will rehearse in Room 1 on Tuesday evenings. A warm welcome to The Sonabelles!

Concerts in January!

One Voice Chorus presents “Transformation”, a history of Calgary’s transgender community.  Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 7:30pm at the New Central Library (800 3 Street SE.) One Voice Chorus has commissioned Calgary Gay History Project’s Kevin Allen to do original research into this underrepresented part of Calgary’s history. In this concert, Kevin will relay the story and OVC will provide musical interludes. The choir’s November concert about the 1969 Stonewall riot sold out, so make sure you get your tickets soon!  Advance tickets are available online at

An Afternoon of Chamber Music, featuring cellist Tom Mirhady as soloist and as a member of the Springbank Trio with Laurie Syer (violin) and Jamie Syer (piano.) Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 2:30pm in Panabaker Hall. Info: Tickets are $25 regular, $20 senior/student, with a pay-what-you-can option at the door and free admission for those under the age of 14.  Advance tickets:

And coming up in March…

Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players continues its 50th anniversary season with “Florilegia Re-Animated”, featuring String Theory Music Collective and visual artist Jennifer Wanner.  Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 7:30pm at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church.

One Voice Chorus presents “Dinner With OVC”, this year featuring the cuisine of India and a Bollywood dance troupe that appeared in the 2008 film “Slumdog Millionaire”! Saturday, March 7, 2020 from 6:00pm at Calgary Unitarians.

Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Grades 10/12

Youth Sleepover and Activities for Grades 7/9


Self-Worth * Sexual Health * Responsibility * Justice and Inclusivity


The complete program is over two weekends

Cost is $125 and includes meals, accommodation and out of city transportation!


Calgary: February 14 – February 17
Edmonton: February 28 – March 3 

For Grades 10 – 12 Participants are guided by trained facilitators through an engaging curriculum that addresses topics like examining values, gender expression, sexual orientation, relationship skills, social media and the internet, bullying, consent education and more. Our program also includes a Parent Orientation and has ongoing support and updates for parents, so that everyone is comfortable continuing the conversation.

For Grades 7 – 9 Meet other UU Youth, have fun, and learn practical skills to de-stress!

To Register email:

Phone: 403-404-1361

Want to support our program? To financially sponsor a youth to attend please contact DRE Sheila MacMaster at

Environmental Film Nights

The Unitarian Green Sanctuary Committee and the Permaculture Calgary Guild invite you to mark your calendars for these upcoming offerings in our annual series of environmental films:

January 17 – Sustainable

A vital investigation of the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the agricultural issues we face — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use — to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. Sustainable is a film about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations. Tickets available here.

February 21 – The Silver Branch


2018 Winner of the International Spectrum Audience Award at HotDocs, North America’s biggest documentary film festival, The Silver Branch is a philosophical vision-poem about one man’s journey through life which underpins a search to reconnect with nature and culture as primary sources from which we learn a deeper understanding of ourselves and our surroundings. An uplifting and emotional celebration of people and place, which captures the delicacy of the natural world; the heart and soul of a farmer-poet, Patrick McCormack; and the ancient rural spirit of Ireland which stands behind him. Tickets available here.

March 27 – The Need to Grow

With only 60 years of farmable soil left on Earth, “The Need To GROW” offers an intimate look into the hearts of activists and innovators in the food movement: an 8-year-old girl challenges the ethics of a beloved organization; a renegade farmer struggles to keep his land as he revolutionizes resource efficient agriculture; and an accomplished visionary inventor faces catastrophe in the midst of developing a game-changing technology. “The Need to GROW” delivers alarming evidence on the importance of healthy soil — revealing not only the potential of localized food production working with nature, but our opportunity as individuals to help regenerate our planet’s dying soils and participate in the restoration of the Earth. Tickets available here.


All films will be shown at Calgary Unitarians – 1703 First St. NW

Doors open 6:30, coffee and edibles at 6:40, films at 7:00, discussion to follow.

Admission is free. Donations are accepted to cover costs.

Bring a dessert or appetizer to share.


What Does It Mean to Be A People of Possibility?

Click here to open this month’s Reflections resource.

Ensure the Future – Leave a Legacy

Each Sunday we offer the opportunity for you to express your generosity and appreciation for this community in a concrete way by taking the morning’s offering. Half of the unidentified amount goes to a like-minded organization we wish to support. January’s recipient is Flaming Chalice International. This community and the work we do is fully sustained by contributions, building rentals, fundraising and our Endowment Trust Fund.

I’d like to draw your attention to our Endowment Trust Fund; ETF for short. This fund was set up in 1981 to foster the long-term sustainabilityCalgary Unitarians. 5% of the average monthly fund balance is transferred to this congregation’s operating budget each year and it is a significant contribution – around $23,000 in our current budget.

Like many of you, I pledge monthly support to Calgary Unitarians for their annual expenses, but I also donate to the ETF to support the long-term viability of my beloved community here. Sadly, my more recent ETF donations lately have been in memory of members passing, but I have also donated in the past to honour special occasions like wedding anniversaries, etc.

I have also left a bequest to the Endowment Trust Fund in my will because I want to ensure a future for Calgary Unitarians long after I am gone.I ask that you also consider doing the same. Your bequest will help ensure that there is financial support for decades to come. No bequest is too small, and all would be very appreciated. And while one doesn’t know how much will be left in the kitty when one goes, (who does?), one can stipulate a small percentage of the estate. After all, my husband doesn’t need 100% of the estate – a small percentage to Calgary Unitarians is very doable for me.  I would be glad to discuss with you some of the various ways a bequest can be done – and this can be done without rewriting your will – just add a simple codicil as I have done that amends your will.

I invite you to consider joining me in leaving a gift for future Unitarians by putting a bequest to our Endowment Trust fund in your will. Thank you.

~Jane Ebbern

Wills and Bequests Workshop

Calgary Unitarians Endowment Trust Fund Committee will host a Wills and Bequests workshop on Sunday, January 19 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm. The speaker will be Geraldine Hampton, who is a specialist in estate law. All are invited to attend. The workshop will be of particular interest to all those considering leaving a bequest in their wills to the Calgary Unitarians or to its Endowment Trust Fund.

Time and Talent Auction 2020

What Time or Talent Can You Donate?

It’s time to start thinking about our winter 2020 silent auction – what time or talent can you donate?

The annual Time and Talent Auction is a fundraiser for our community that invites members to share what they have with others in the community through a silent auction. Last year, there were fantastic art lessons, beautiful handmade objects, delicious meals, adventurous outings, and many other great opportunities.

What can you offer for the winter 2020 silent auction? You most likely have a service or talent you have not considered, but that would be valued by someone else. What about donating chess or bridge lessons, or a learn to knit session? What about delicious baked goods (and maybe even the recipe)? Or dog, house, or babysitting services? Giving your time and talent is a reward in itself – but this year, anyone who donates their time or talent by January 26 will be entered in a draw for a $100 Co-op gift card!

Blank Bidding Sheets are available in Wickenden on the bulletin board and on the Calgary Unitarians’ website. Just complete the upper section and put in the auction mailbox in the church office.

Bidding in this year’s auction will be held on two consecutive Sundays: February 2, and February 9.

You can also bid by email, at the addresses below.

Questions, ideas, donations, or interested in volunteering with the auction?

Talk to Lisa Hurrle or Jeb Gaudet or email them: /

January Pub Night

When: January 8 from: 7:00-9:30pm

Where: Kensington Pub 207 10A St. NW

Pub Night is a night of great conversation and fellowship at one of Calgary’s most iconic pubs. The menu is very inclusive with gluten free and vegetarian options. Pub Nights are held on the first Wednesday of every month

Make it a New Year’s resolution to go pubbing with your Calgary Unitarian community!

Be Part of the Wayside Pulpit Team

Do you love our wayside pulpit and eagerly look to see what the message is each month? Are you one of those who were initially attracted to Calgary Unitarians by the thoughtful messages on the east side of our building? If so, come join our Wayside Pulpit team. Jeb Gaudet is stepping down this June as head of our pulpit team with our sincere thanks.

We are looking for others to lend a hand here. The position takes from 1-5 hours a month depending on whether a new sign must be created or not – and this workload can easily be shared among a number of people. The team decides a wayside pulpit message each month by email discussion considering the theme and also the stock of existing pulpit messages. The east side of our building is very visible to 16 Avenue traffic and this wayside pulpit is part of making ourselves more visible in the Calgary community. Come help keep the tradition going; become our next Pulpiteer!

Contact Jeb Gaudet for more information:

Lay Chaplains Corner

When I was a new member of the Lay Chaplains Committee, I asked if it would be useful for me to attend the Basic Training provided by the Canadian Unitarian Council for those interested in becoming Lay Chaplains. I was told it would be helpful background for a committee member. When I attended the workshop, I found it very educational.

Attending the workshop and listening to the discussions about creating ceremonies that meet the needs and wishes of the participants, gave me great insight into how it feels to create a sacred ceremony. It also gave me a sense of what it feels like to have the opportunity to stand behind the pulpit

I remember that weekend often when I attend the Lay Chaplains’ committee meetings and listen to their reports. It gives me great insight as we plan for the future. I highly recommend anyone interested in becoming a Lay Chaplain, or in the workings of the Lay Chaplains committee, attend the Basic Training provided by the Canadian Unitarian Council.

~Joan Riches

Theme Based Ministry

Each month our Sunday services hold the focus of an overarching topic / theme, such as integrity, compassion, or joy. The presenters approach each month’s theme in a variety of ways, all with the intention of taking us deeper.

The themes are presented for contemplation on Sunday mornings and in the monthly Reflections publication This material provides an opportunity for personal exploration of the theme with spiritual practices, questions, reading and other resources.  The other component of Theme Based Ministry are the small discussion groups, Theme Based Listening Circles (TLCs).


Theme Based Listening Circles (TLCs)

TLCs are facilitated small groups of up to 10 people. They meet at various times toward the end of each month to reflect together on the theme of the month.

These groups offer the opportunity for deepening relationships, self-awareness, enhancing listening skills, personal growth and spiritual development.  You can register for a group on the website. For further information contact

Current Groups meet:

4th Thursday of the month 12:00 – 2:00

4th  Sunday of the month 12:00 – 2:00

We Need Your Help:

Volunteer Sign Up Made Easy!

Have you ever wondered how things run so smoothly on Sunday mornings? The coffee is always on, the warm welcome you receive upon arrival, things are all set up and ready to go, and the ushers handing you the order of service and show you to a seat. It’s all managed and run by volunteers, people just like you! If you haven’t had the opportunity to volunteer, would like to do so, or wish to do more, please visit our volunteer sign up page at or you can talk to one of us on Sunday.


Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click on one of the links below to see our SignUp.
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on

Coffee Prep or Cleanup



Service Setup

We’ll be happy and excited to see your name beside a job for any of the Sundays this year!

Eric Leavitt, Barbara Lane and Donna Ontonio

How to Reach Our Staff


Rev Debra Faulk

403 702-6486

Director of Religious Exploration / Youth Program Coordinator     Sheila MacMaster


Music Director

Jane Perry



Martha Mantikoski


Monday – Wednesday & Friday 9am to Noon

Office closed Thursdays

Publishing the Quest

The Quest is published 11 times per year. Submissions of articles, photographs, and event announcements are encouraged.

If you have questions about the Quest, please email:

The Quest Deadline is the 15th of every month except for July.


The ENEWS is published via email once a week on Wednesday. Material for the ENEWS must be submitted by Tuesday midnight. If you would like to the receive the ENEWS, please email

Booking Rooms

As our facility gets busier it is important that if rooms are needed they are booked in advance. Space can be reserved either by filling out the online booking form or by contacting the Administrator at 403-276-2436 or via email at

Lay Chaplains:
Lynn Nugent and Mary-Anna Louise Kovar

Our Lay Chaplains are trained to perform rites of passage, such as weddings, funerals/memorial services, child dedications, etc. They are available to provide such services for a fee to the wider community. (Services for Calgary Unitarians members are provided by the minister.) Our lay chaplains can be contacted by calling 403-276-2436 or via email:

The Caring Team

The Caring Team provides support to the members, friends, and families of the congregation. If life has you stressed because of illness, hospitalization, moving, we can help. If you have something to be celebrated, such as a graduation, marriage or new child, we are there with you. We are all part of the Caring Team! Need support, have a concern, or want to be of service? Contact