Unitarian Universalist Church of Olinda
news of our historic UU church in Ruthven (Kingsville), Ontario

Archived Sermons and Sunday Talks

December 7th, 2015 . by William Baylis

There are often requests for printed copies of select sermons and Sunday talks given at UU Olinda. When the author agrees and makes a copy available, we can post them on this website. These talks are the properties of the authors, and the copies here are meant for personal use only. For any other use, please contact the author for permission. Enjoy!

Services at Olinda by Interim Minister Reverend Frances Dearman, 2016 to 2018:

2016Sept.11: Introductory Sermon
2016Sept.18: UU Bedrock: A Sermon for Church Shoppers
2016Sept.25: Spiritual Discipline: Consider the Colour Blue
2016Oct.9: Thanksgiving: Gratitude for Harvest Home
2016Oct16: Shepherds Practical and Pastoral
2016Oct30: The Case of the Curious Theologian
2016Nov6: Remembrance Day: A Peace Not Past Our Understanding
2016Nov13: Heritage Sunday: Standing within a Living Tradition
2016Nov20: Money Matters: Religion, Values, and Goldfish
2016Dec4: Unplugging the Christmas Machine
2016Dec11: Icelanders and the Larger Hope
2017Jan22: On Rabbie Burns
2017Feb26: Covenant: We agree to walk with one another
2017Mar12: Process Theology: What if the holy were evolving just as we do?
2017Mar19: Shinto and Spring Equinox
2017Apr02: Singing the Body Electric
2017Apr09: Atonement and Icelanders: The day they locked the doors at Gimli
2017June4: Call and Inspiration
2017June18: Fathers’ Day: Lord of the Rings
2017Sept17: Reverence
017Oct8: John Ralston Saul
2017Oct15: UN Sunday
2017Nov5: All Saints, All Souls
2017Nov12Heritage Sunday: Church History
2017Nov19Dietrich-Sullivan Debate of 1921
2017Dec3:Advent: Where Do We Come From?
2017Dec10: Reason and Nature: Murry’s 2007 Reason and Reverence
2017Dec17: Winter Tales
2018Jan28: The Olympian Twelve
2018Feb11: Valentine’s Day

Other Olinda talks

Bill Baylis, 2017Dec31: Time and the Cosmos
Slides for Time and the Cosmos
Rev. Derek Parry, 2017Nov26: De-Constructing Christmas Stories
Rev. Derek Parry, 2017July16:
On Religion
Rev. Stephen Atkinson, 2017May7: The Sunny Hill
Bill Baylis, 2017April23: Science & Religion for UUs
Bill Baylis, 2017Jan01: Looking Back and Forward
Rev. Conrad Dippel, 2016Oct23: The Rise and Fall of the Human Being
Bill Baylis, 2016June12: Flower Communion Background and Meaning
Wilf Innerd, 2016May22: The Promise and the Pitfalls of Idealism
Jane Innerd, 2016May8 “The Evolution of Charles Darwin” Charles Darwin.
Dan Bissonnette, 2016May1: “Creating a Sacred Space: The Healing Gardens Program”  Creating a Sacred Space. The PowerPoint for Dan’s presentation is available here: Creating a Sacred Space The Healing Gardens Program.
Dr. Wilf Innerd, 2016April17: “Nietzsche” NIETZSCHE
Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale, Ph.D. 2016March13: “Working Across Cultures” EMTyndale 03-13-2016
Dr. Bill Baylis 2016March20: “UUs in an Irrational World: Understanding Our Neighbours” UUs in an Irrational World
Charlotte Innerd 2016Mar06: “International Women’s Day” CharlotteInnerd-IWWMarch2016
Dr. Bill Baylis 2016Feb21: “Science and the Search for Truth” Science_SearchforTruth
Rev. Thomas Schade 2016Jan10: “The UU Character: a Path to Spiritual Growth” Schade_Olinda Sermon2016_01_10
Prof. Emeritus Walter (Jake) Soderlund 2016Jan17: Understanding the International “Responsibility to Protect” Soderlund20160117
Rev. Conrad Dippel Sermon 2015Dec6: The Sanctity of Life
Rev. Conrad Dippel Sermon 2015Sept27: From California to Olinda
Alisa McClurg 2013May19:  A Celebration of the Continuation of the Future
Jane Innerd 2013April: Matthew Arnold

The Foundation for Real Happiness

January 17th, 2010 . by bonnie

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion…The Dalai Lama


January 17th, 2010 . by bonnie

Enlightenment is a state of supreme knowledge combined with infinite compassion. It is an understanding of both the relative mode of existence as well as the ultimate mode of existence. Ignorance makes us build our happiness on the misery of others as we focus completely on the needs of our ego, mistaking fleeting

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pleasure and the avoidance of pain for true happiness…Mattheu Ricard paraphrased from his writings in ‘The Quantum and the Lotus’.


February 24th, 2009 . by bonnie

“There is a Reality which is Indivisible, One, Alone, the Source and Being of all; not a thing, nor even a mind, but pure Spirit or clear Consciousness; and we are That and nothing but That, for That is our true Nature; and the only way to find It is to look steadily within, where are to be found utmost peace, unfading joy, and eternal life itself.” — Douglas Harding



“The philosophy of Nonduality, or as it is called in India, Advaita-Vedanta, says that there is just One Spirit in the Universe, and that everything, living or inanimate is an inseparable and indivisible part of this One Spirit. Nonduality further says that it is only illusion, caused by the mind and the play of the senses, which makes us regard the world and everything in it as objective and separate from us.”–Tim Gerchmez

On Religious Tolerance

February 21st, 2009 . by bonnie

“The need of the moment is not one religion, but mutual respect and tolerance of the devotees of the different religions.

Mahatma Ghandi

The Golden Rule

January 31st, 2009 . by bonnie

“Desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.”

Baha’i Faith – Gleanings 66

“This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.”

Brahman – Mahabharata 5:1517

“Hurt not others in ways that you would find hurtful.”

Buddhist – Udana-Varga 5:18

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Christian – Matthew 7:12

“Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others what you would not have done unto you.”

Confucian – Analects 15:23

“No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”

Islamic – Sunnah

“What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man.

That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.”

Jewish -Talmud, Shabbat 31a

A little story but a big truth for living

January 31st, 2009 . by bonnie

The professor began his class by holding up a glass of water water in his hand. He held it up for all to see and then asked the students:

“How much do you think this glass weighs?”



…”125gms”, the students answered.

“We don’t know for sure unless we weigh it,” said the professor, “but, my real question is: What would happen if I held this glass up like this for a few minutes?”

“Nothing” …the students said.

“Ok, what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?” the professor

“Your arm would begin to ache” said one of the student

“You’re right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?”

“Your arm could go numb, you might have severe muscle stress, paralysis and
will have to go to hospital for sure!”… ventured another student.

All the students laughed.

“Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?”
asked the professor.

“No” … was the answer.

“Well, then what caused the arm to ache and the severe muscle stress?”

The students were puzzled.

“Okay. Tell me what should I do now to come out of the pain?” asked professor again.

“Put the glass down!!” said all the students in chorus

“Exactly!” said the professor. 


Life’s problems are something like this.

Hold them for a few minutes in your mind and they seem okay.
Hold of them for a long time and they begin to ache.
Hold them even longer and they begin to paralyze you. 
You feel weak and incapable of doing anything!

While it’s important to think about the challenges in your life, it is even more important to remember to put them down every now and again.

Nithya Shanti

The Power of Appreciation

January 25th, 2009 . by bonnie

The longest journey in the world is the sacred pilgrimage from the head to the heart.

I have been meeting several people the last few days. When people meet me and discover that I have lived as a monk in the past the conversation often takes a philosophical twist. One of my favorite ways to shift the discussion from the head to the heart is to invite people to say five things they love and appreciate about their partner.

It amazing how the energy in the room instantly changes. I ask people to look their partner directly in the eyes and tell them what they like and love in them. The receiver is asked to acknowledge each statement by saying “And so it is!” to receive the love!

Strangely enough I find that the longer couples have been together the harder it usually is for them to say 5 things they appreciate in their partner! Its a wonderful way to connect people with love.

Here is a powerful story on how appreciation can transform:

The lifestyle of the Babemba tribe in South Africa was featured a number of years ago in a TV documentary on Apartheid. Within that community, antisocial or criminal behavior is rare.

However, when it does occur, the Babemba have an interesting and beautifully creative way of dealing with it…

If a member of the tribe acts irresponsibly, he or she is placed at the center of the village. Work stops, and every man, woman and child in the village gathers around the accused in a large circle.

Then, one at a time, each individual, including the children, call out all the good things the person in the center of the ring has done previously. Each person in the village recalls the specific good things the person in the centre of the circle has

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done in his/her lifetime. All the positive attributes and the kind acts are recited carefully and at length. No one is permitted to exaggerate or be facetious.

The ceremony often lasts for many days and doesn’t stop until everyone has said every possible positive comment he or she can muster about the transgressor. Not one word of criticism concerning the accused’s irresponsible, antisocial deed is permitted.

At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe. Proof of the success of this creative response to wrongdoing seems evident in the fact that these ceremonies are quite rare.

This is an actual application of the spiritual teaching:

“Love me most, when I deserve it least!”

Let us all learn from the outstanding example of this tribe. Imagine what the world would be like if we used the power of appreciation in our families, schools, workplaces and communities!

Let us start today…appreciating in great detail the goodness in others!

Nithya Shanti

With permission from the author

The Gold Within

January 14th, 2009 . by bonnie

Eventually we grow weary of seeking treasures outside
ourselves and we begin to look within. There we discover
that the gold we sought, we already are.

Alan Cohen


January 11th, 2009 . by bonnie

“God grant me the courage not

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to give up what I think is right, even though I think it is hopeless.”

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

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