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A note from Rev. Shawn: Glacial Erratic

I was recently asked the oh-so telling question: “If you were a rock, what kind of rock would you be?”  Having taken geology in university, I immediately began comparing myself to the qualities of obsidian and granite and limestone, wondering just how I stacked up. In the end, it was less a question about what I am made of and more about where I’d been. 

My answer was that I am a Glacial Erratic. Those are the boulders that end up a long way from home, slowly transported by the plodding pace of a glacier and then dropped as a stranger in a strange land as the melting glacier recedes. (That’s how the United State’s much-hyped Plymouth Rock settled on the sandy shores of Massachusetts Bay some twenty thousand years ago, even though its lithology reveals it started out somewhere between Boston and Quebec.)

Like most Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists, I started out in another religious tradition and explored a few others along the way for good measure. Today, swept far away from where I first began, I’m grateful for the marvellous mix that is our theological home. Yet, the journey is far from over—for ours is a faith that is “ever moving, ever still.” 

It is this idea that is at the heart of one of the creeds by which I live my life: “Nothing is settled. Everything matters!” By these words, I’m reminded that we can build a world better than the one we know. So, as I settle in at UCV, I delight in the knowledge that we can make a difference, even if it requires that we be a little erratic along the way!

I look forward to seeing where time takes us, together.

In faith and love,


November Sunday services at UCV

November 5th – Rev. Anne Barker: “Three Lessons that Changed My Mind”

On the 5th, we will welcome to our pulpit Rev. Anne Barker, the Congregational Life Lead for the BC and Western Regions of the Canadian Unitarian Council. In gratitude for the wisdom and gifts of others, Rev. Anne will bring a 2nd Source reflection. She’ll share three lessons that surprised her with their transformative power …changing her mind, as well as her life.

A ceremony to dedicate a new heritage plaque in the courtyard will follow the service, at 12:15pm. Rev. Shawn and Rev. Steven Epperson will take part in the ritual with members of the Building & Grounds Committee. All are welcome.

November 12th – Rev. Shawn Gauthier: “War Is Hell”

This weekend, we mark Remembrance Day with new and jarring reminders of war’s utter brutality. Rev. Shawn will reflect on the moral injuries of war and the rarely-heeded call of peace.

November 19th” – Rev. Shawn Newton: “The Alchemy of a Sunday Morning”

A not-insignificant part of a minister’s working week is dedicated to what happens on Sunday mornings. This week, Rev. Shawn will pull back the curtain to reflect on the craft of preaching and the art of worship, because what we do together on Sundays is very much a shared endeavour.

November 26th – Paul Prescod: “Can we remain fully Human in the Age of Spiritual Machines?”

Scientists and leading capitalists have declared that they can foresee the near-term end of a project that they have been working on since 1956: the creation of digital beings that are as intellectually flexible as humans: Artificial Intelligence. Whether they succeed or fall short, some form of “Homo Digitalis” is on the horizon. What are the implications for us, the Homo Sapiens? What, especially, of those of us who hold reverence for humanity and nature as not just a preference, but as a sacred devotion.