Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.
On 16 July 1845, fifteen families came together to establish a new congregation for Unitarians in Toronto. Three buildings, thousands of members, and 175 years later, we are still here, nurturing the seeds of liberal religion planted in Toronto so long ago. As a “community of memory and hope,” we owe a debt of gratitude to the generations who’ve gone before us to create and sustain our congregation. And we bear a sacred obligation to pass on this tradition in meaningful and ever-innovating ways to the generations that are yet to come. On Sunday, we will reflect on our history and imagine our future, as we endeavour to understand the threads of connection and continuity we hold in our hands at this moment in time.
Sunday afternoon I will begin a summer break that will be a mix of study leave and vacation. I am grateful to the Rev. Dr. Stephen Atkinson, who will be preaching for the first three Sundays of July and providing urgent pastoral care, if needed, while Rev. Lynn and I are both away. (Lynn returns for the service on July 19th. I will return on August 10th.) If you need to reach Stephen, you can do so at SummerMinister@nullFirstUnitarianToronto.org.
In this strange season, as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and we negotiate a strange new world, take good care of yourselves and the great web of life that holds us all. Savour the sunlight. (Safely) bask in the gifts of summer. And renew your spirit. That is my hope and prayer for you all.
In faith and love,