Sermons are also available from other years: Sermons

Date Sermon Title and Description Preacher/Participant
December 28 365 Days, How Do You Measure a Year? Tracey Erin Smith
December 28 Enlightenment-Endarkenment: Reflections on Gifts of the Light and Gifts of the Dark
All were invited to a Hanukkah potluck dinner following the service
Diane Bosman and Paul Bognar
December 24
(Wednesday)
Sure On This Shining Night Rev. Shawn Newton
December 21 Light in the Darkness
Congregational holiday potluck after evening service
Rev. Shawn Newton
December 14 Of Human Bondage Rev. Shawn Newton
December 7 Paradise Lost & Found Rev. Shawn Newton
November 30 Unplugging the Holiday Machine Rev. Shawn Newton
November 23 The Great Good Place Rev. Shawn Newton
November 16 Honour System Rev. Shawn Newton
November 9 Control Issues Rev. Shawn Newton
November 2 Part I: "Standing in our Choices
Part II: "Transforming the Impasse
Carol Wilson
October 26 The Family of All Souls
Second annual celebration of Diade los Muertos/Day of the Dead. All were invited to bring photographs of those who have died for this poignant service to remember and honour our beloved dead.
Rev. Shawn Newton
October 19 Change the World before the Other Guys Do
We are joined by longserving U.S. diplomat and new executive director of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office for United Nations Sunday.
Bruce Knotts
October 12 Leavened Living
A celebration of Thanksgiving with our annual Bread Communion service. A potluck Thanksgiving Dinner followed the evening service; all were invited to bring a dish to share.
Rev. Shawn Newton
October 5 What Shall We Give the Children? - Read
Our minister and DLRE traded places as Shawn led our children's chapel and Angela addressed the adult congregation
DLRE Angela Klassen
September 28 To Build Temples of the Heart
A celebration of the work and meaning of our Central America Project
Rev. Shawn Newton
September 21 Edifice Complex
The Rededication of Sunderland Hall and Reception of New Members
Rev.Shawn Newton
September 14 Blame It On Our Youth
A free and responsible search for our congregation's "fountain of youth
Rev. Shawn Newton
September 7 Taking the Tide
Intergenerational Ingathering and Water Communion
Rev. Shawn Newton
August 31 Awaken the Ape Within Michael Battenberg
August 24 Service is Our Prayer Rev. Shawn Newton
August 17 The Quest for Truth Is Our Sacrament Rev. Shawn Newton
August 10 Love Is Our Doctrine Rev. Shawn Newton
August 3 To Be Famous, To Be Free Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela, Summer Minister
July 27 On Being Born Again and Again Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela
July 20 Seven Ways of Seeing" - Read Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela
July 13 Life, Liberty, and the (non) Pursuit of Happiness" - Read Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela
July 6 Stranger Territory Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela
June 29 Proudly Riding Pride's Coattails
Our summer minister (and newly-called minister of the Waterloo congregation) began her six weeks with us by leading our annual Pride Day Service.
Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela
June 22 Counting Time
On this bittersweet day, we bade adieu to our longtime Director of Music, Peter Tiefenbach, and celebrated the enduring commitment of our many wonderful volunteers who make Toronto First all that it is.
Rev. Shawn Newton
June 15 A Life at the Improv
A Father's Day reflection on the many wonderful complications of parenting and being parented. This service also included a reception of new members and a Bridging Ceremony for two who were graduating from our youth group into adulthood.
Rev. Shawn Newton
June 8 Sweet, Impossible Blossom
Our annual intergenerational Flower Communion service also included our farewell to our Interim DLRE, Renate Belzing. All were invited to bring flowers to share in this beloved Unitarian spring ritual.
Rev. Shawn Newton
June 1 My Grandmother's God, My Father's God & My God
Rev. James Ishmael Ford explored the use of traditional sacred language by UUs.
Rev. James Ishmael Ford
May 25 A Month of Sundays
Having given 30+ sermons at Toronto First, Shawn offered some reflections, in advance of our AGM: on where we've been, where we're at, and where we might be headed as a congregation.
Rev. Shawn Newton
May 18 What's Love Got To Do With It?
A Personal Journey to Green Action" Judy advanced our congregation's conversation about living our commitment to the Interdependent Web.
Judy Vellend
May 11 We Need One Another
Teaming up with the Pastoral Care Team, Shawn offered a call to strengthen the bonds of community by caring for one another "for better or for worse... in sickness and in heath".
Rev. Shawn Newton
May 4 On Babies & Bath Water
With some 90% of Unitarians coming from other faith traditions (or none), a timely sermon on owning our religious past as a crucial step in our development as happy, healthy Unitarians
Rev. Shawn Newton
April 27 Messages from the Animal Kingdom - Read
Animals, too, have a stake in the fate of the earth. Ilene continued her creative exploration of the UU seventh principle
Ilene Cummings
April 20 It's Not Easy Being Green
An Earth Day celebration examining eco-spirituality versus ego-spirituality. (Hint: one is sustainable, the other is not.)
Rev. Shawn Newton
April 13 Beauty Contest
In a world where so much competes for our attention, true beauty is too often missed. This morning, we "praised the sublime" with the 50 voices of the All Souls Unitarian Youth Choir from Tulsa, Oklahoma
Rev. Shawn Newton
April 6 The Unitarian Genome Project
A look at our liberal theological DNA as we celebrate our Partner Church in Budapest with a Hungarian guest choir - and strudel to follow at Coffee Hour
Rev. Shawn Newton
March 30 Do We Know How to Work Together?
As in historical practice, 8 Ontario UU ministers and congregations will exchange pulpits, sharing the same topic and readings. Rev. Urbanski of First UU Congregation of Waterloo, filled our pulpit, while Shawn preached at Don Heights
Rev. Felicia Urbanski
March 23 Being the Resurrection" - Read
A celebration of the many meanings of Easter
Rev. Shawn Newton
March 16 Shopping for a Messiah
When the palms are laid down and the guy passes by on the ass, do we cheer, jeer, or stop our ears? A bystanders' guide to Palm Sunday
Rev. Peter Hughes
March 9 Natural Burial - Read
Have you thought about your final resting place? Natural burials allow people to rest in nature as part of the interconnected web of all existence
Janet McCausland
March 2 Are We There, Yet?
Reflections on the status and achievements of women on the eve of the 99th celebration of International Women's Day
Rev. Shawn Newton
February 24 Only the Lonely
Thoughts on how to leverage the loneliness that sometimes touches our lives.
Rev. Shawn Newton
February 17 Simultaneous, Yet Different: The Prism of Our Faith
As Unitarians, we are of one faith, but many beliefs. Under one roof, we worship together. Let's celebrate our infinite ways of being human.
Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela
February 10 Punctuated Equilibrium - Read
On this "Evolution Sunday" we celebrated the ever-unfolding ways our faith is shaped by science.
Rev. Shawn Newton
February 3 Mercury in Retrograde
I've never met Murphy, but am well acquainted with Murphy's Law, "if something can go wrong, it will." I wonder how Murphy would reconcile the false romanticism often accompanying religion when faced with disappointment? This morning we took a light-hearted look at life's less than golden moments and explore the Unitarian alternatives.
Rev. Roger Peltier, Minister of the UU Church of Sarasota, Florida
February 3 A celebration and Service of Installation of the Reverend Shawn Newton as 23rd minister of Toronto First, with reception  
January 27 Worthship
Rev. Shawn Newton and the Worship Leader Team/ A worship service on the meaning and art of Unitarian worship
Rev. Shawn Newton
January 20 Beware of Safety
The harder we try to keep ourselves safe, the more freedom and independence we stand to lose
Norma McPhee
January 13 Lay Chaplains: Reaffirmation, Rededication and Tales from the Road
Our Lay Chaplains were reaffirmed by the congregation and rededicated themselves to their ministry, sharing with us some of their experiences over the last year.
 
January 6 The Fire of Commitment
Intergenerational service of reflection, ritual, and recommitment to our highest values
Rev. Shawn Newton