My Heart is Heavy…

A reflection from Rev. Shawn Newton, First Unitarian Congregation of Torontoheart-candles

My heart is heavy beyond belief today. I am sad. I am angry. I am worried about what the results of this election now mean for the world. But I know I’m not alone in my despair. And that gives me hope.

On this hard, sobering night, I find solace in knowing our collective heartbreak (on both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border and beyond) points to a deep yearning for a better world—a world beyond the fear and hate-filled rhetoric of the American election. We who hold a very different vision for the world must renew our commitment to make that vision real as we deepen in our commitment to the work of justice and peace. We may not feel quite ready to do this tomorrow; that’s understandable. But tomorrow is not too soon.

May these enduring words of Jack Layton guide us tonight and through the days to come: “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

Take heart, friends, for we are not alone.

Stay tuned for further conversations with CUC staff and UUs about acting with love and justice. ‘Like’ the CUC FaceBook page at to stay up-to-date.

Chalice Lighting Reading for November

This global chalice lighting reading for November is shared by the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists:

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 1: tao-te-ching

English Translation:

The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao;
The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.
The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin of all particular things.
Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.
Yet mystery and manifestations arise from the same source.
This source is called Mystery.
Mystery within Mystery,
The gateway to all understanding.

Chinese Translation:

老子: 「道德經」: 第一章

Filipino Translation:

Ang daang maipagsasabi ay hindi ang panlabas na Daan.
Ang pangalang maibibigay ay hindi ang wagas na Pangalan.

Ang di matatagurian ay wagas na tunay.

Ang pagpapangalan ay simulain ng lahat ng mga natatanging bagay.

Ligtas sa pagnanasa, matatamo ang hiwaga.

Nakapulupot sa pagnanasa, matatamo lamang ay mga tanda.

Ngunit ang hiwaga at ang mga tanda ay nagmumula sa iisang pinagmulan.

Ang tawag sa pinagmulan ay Hiwaga.

Hiwaga sa loob ng Hiwaga.

Ang pasukan ng lahat ng pagunawa.


German Translation:

Das All-Eine, das benannt werden kann, ist nicht das ewige All-Eine.
Auch Namen können ihm nicht gerecht werden.
Das Unnennbare ist das ewig Wirkliche.
Das Benennen ist der Ursprung aller Missverständnisse.
Bist du frei von Wünschen, erahnst du das Geheimnis.
Bist du gefangen in Wünschen, siehst du nur seine Ausdrucksformen.
Jedoch entspringen das Geheimnis und seine Ausdrucksformen
derselben Quelle.
Diese Quelle wird das große Geheimnis genannt.
Das Geheimnis inmitten des noch tieferen Geheimnisses
ist der Weg zu allem Verstehen.

Chapter 1, Tao Te Ching, written by Lao-tzu
Modified from a translation by S. Mitchell
Unitarian Universalists Hong Kong (

Thank you to our translators: Adam Hargrove (Chinese), Rev. Tet Gallardo (Filipino), and (Frey Bednarski-Stelling (German)

Political Activity Defined

Political activity is defined, under CRA guidelines, when a charity:

  1. explicitly communicates a call to political action (that is, encourages the public to contact an elected representative or public official and urges them to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country)
  2. explicitly communicates to the public that the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country should be retained (if the retention of the law, policy or decision is being reconsidered by a government), opposed, or changed
  3. explicitly indicates in its materials (whether internal or external) that the intention of the activity is to incite, or organize to put pressure on, an elected representative or public official to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country (Canada Revenue Agency Policy Statement – Political Activities)

Chalice Lighting Words

Chalice by John Cooley

From the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, in three languages


As surely as we belong to the universe, we belong together.

We gather here to move beyond our isolated selves as we connect and reconnect with others.

It is good to be together, for it is in our connections with each other that we come to to know ourselves more fully, and in that way to be more at home here on Earth, more open to the gifts each day brings.

We light this chalice, symbol of our heritage of freedom in the search for truth, to encourage us once again to stay on this path of connectedness and openness.

(From Margaret Keip, adapted)


Tan cierto como que pertenecemos al universo, pertenecemos el uno al otro.

Nos hemos reunido aquí para ir más allá de nuestro ser aislados mientras nos conectamos y volver a conectar con los demás.

Es bueno estar juntos, porque es en nuestras conexiones entre sí que llegamos a conocernos más plenamente, y de esa manera ser más en casa aquí en la Tierra, más abierta a los regalos que trae cada día.

(From Margaret Keip, adapted)

Encendemos este cáliz, símbolo de nuestra herencia de libertad en la búsqueda de la verdad, para animarnos una vez más para mantenernos en este camino de conexión y apertura.

(From Margaret Keip, adapted)


So sicher,  wie wir zum Universum gehören, gehören wir zueinander.

Wir kommen zusammen, um uns jenseits unserer Vereinzelung immer wieder neu mit anderen zu verbinden.

Es tut gut, beieinander zu sein, denn durch die Begegnung miteinander lernen wir auch uns selbst besser kennen, können uns auf diese Weise auf der Erde heimischer fühlen und uns für die Gaben, die jeder Tag uns schenkt, besser öffnen.

Wir entzünden diesen Flammenkelch, ein Symbol unseres freiheitlichen Erbes bei der Suche nach Wahrheit, um uns von neuem zu ermutigen, auf diesem Weg der Verbundenheit und Offenheit zu bleiben.

(From Margaret Keip, adapted)

Thank you to our translators: Frey Bednarski-Stelling (German) and Jorge Espinel (Spanish)

Wednesday Words

I Say It Touches Us by Marni P. Harmony from the book “Becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood”

I say that it touches us that our blood is
sea water and our tears are salt, that the
seed of our bodies is scarcely different
from the same cells in a seaweed,
and that the stuff of our bones is like the coral.

I say that the tide rolls in on us, whether
we like it or not, and the sands of time
keep running their intended course.

I say we have to go down into the wave’s trough
to find ourselves, and then ride her swell
until we can see beyond ourselves into
our neighbour’s eye.

I say that we shall never leave the harbour
if we do not hoist the sail.

I say that we have got to walk the waves
as well as solid ground.

I say that anyone who goes without
consciousness of this will remain
chained to a rusty anchor.

May the journey find us worthy. Amen.

Wednesday Words is a series of meditative readings posted by CUC staff. These featured words are a special reflection for our coastal friends, and those us of that long to be by the ocean. Photo: Wreck Beach, Vancouver; photo credit: Asha Philar