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

Solidarity – It’s in Your Hands!

March 22nd, 2020 . by Rod Solano-Quesnel

[Download Interactive PDF version of this sermon]

Last week, I spoke about the home cook who offers surprisingly simple approaches to cooking at home. His “shocking” secret was to simply cook in a way that you enjoy, is accessible and practical to you, and tastes good to you and those around you. In making soup, one way to do that is to simply put whatever you have around in water… and boil it. That was the secret… the “shocking” secret.

There are other “shockingly” simple techniques… practices, that can have surprisingly effective results.

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was a 19th century obstetrician who made a peculiar observation at the Viennese hospital that he supervised – in the hospital’s two maternity clinics, there were two drastically different mortality rates for childbed fever.

In the first clinic, medical students often oversaw births after carrying out autopsies on corpses – and it had a mortality rate around 10%, while in the second clinic, midwives would carry out births without any involvement with cadavers – childbed fever fatalities were around 1%.

After accounting for other factors, and finding other corroborating facts, he concluded that some kind of infection was being brought in through the handling of corpses. And since chlorinated lime water helped in eliminating the deathly smell, he suggested washing hands with a solution of chlorinated lime.

Deaths from childbed fever declined to nearly zero.

Dr. Semmelweis found that the most effective solution to saving lives was simple – cleanliness.

He couldn’t explain exactly why… he was still lacking a theoretical explanation – but the data was very clear. And its implementation was effective.

Semmelweis’ observations, explanation, and method, were not easily accepted – despite the hard data that backed it up. The reasons are complicated, and have been attributed to psychological tendencies, as well as social, and political. There may have also been interpersonal disputes between Semmelweis and his colleagues – it’s complicated. However, it is a matter of record that he was often mocked by some of his colleagues, some of whom took offence at the suggestion that they needed to wash their hands, despite their gentlemanly status.

My friends, we’re at a time when we’re faced with several trying weeks, due to a complex health emergency, that is further complicated by economic and political factors.

Along this difficult problem, we’re have been empowered by a deceptively simple solution – handwashing.

And now we have also been asked a similarly simple – yet sometimes more difficult – request: staying away from each other. This is not comfortable for many of us. We are social creatures that thrive on contact with others, our very worship practices are often based on meeting up, and for some of us, isolation may in fact put at risk our livelihoods – or those of people we know. And yet social distancing, along with handwashing are the most powerful tools we have in saving the lives of many of our neighbours, including members of our community.

That outcome is in our hands.

And while social distancing can have many difficult side-effects, the other tool we have – handwashing – requires very little of us beyond water, soap, and some intentionality.

Whatever your life situation allows, handwashing is a disease-fighting superpower that is entirely in your hands.

The power to stop COVID-19 is in your hands.

And it doesn’t stop there. Because handwashing can prevent a whole diversity of diseases – including the common cold and the seasonal flu, as well as other common infections. For many of these, we don’t even need the chlorinated lime solution proposed by Dr. Semmelweis – soap and water does just fine. It is a good practice to have – even during times that feel more normal.

This power is in our hands.

We are being called to use this power – not only for our personal sake – but for the sake of all who surround us… for what touches one affects us all. And even those of us for whom the odds seem favourable have a responsibility of solidarity to all who we may affect – near and far – and who may be much more vulnerable.

My friends, in being mindful to curbing the spread of disease – be it COVID-19 or any other easily transmissible virus – we are acting in solidarity with health providers in Canada and around the world, we are acting in solidarity with other essential personnel, like grocery store, and we are acting in solidarity with the most vulnerable among us.

In Solidarity, so may it be.
Amen

Suggested hymns:

188 Come, Come, Whoever You Are – Sing this twice while washing hands!

134 Our World Is One World

18 What Wondrous Love

1002 Comfort Me


The Shocking Secret (March 15, 2020)

March 21st, 2020 . by Rod Solano-Quesnel

Some recipes invoke a certain degree of orthodoxy, but a home cook affirms that it doesn’t have to be that way.  And whether making a meal, or bringing together a community of faith, following the recipe that works best for you has its advantages.


Current Sunday Services for 2020

March 18th, 2020 . by William Baylis

In-person Services suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Executive Committee of the Board together with the Minister of the church are monitoring advisories on the current coronal virus outbreak. At their meeting after the service on March 15, they elected not to offer in-person worship services for the next few Sundays. They will be replaced by new online materials and, as possible, virtual services using Zoom. For future worship services, the situation will be re-evaluated with the latest medical and societal information then available.

Please check back on this site for updates, and visit canada.ca/coronavirus for more information on the virus.

Date Speaker Title Musician(s)
Apr. 5 Rev. Rod ESQ PUBLIC SERVICE CANCELLED! Wuthering –  – when expectations suddenly change, a new way of thinking about the future can emerge. Baylis-Stone Trio
Apr. 12 Rev. Rod ESQ We Have the Technology! –  since before the internet, the telephone and telegraph allowed fast communication over vast distances.  Even post mail can bring people together around the world.  Whether lo- or hi-tech, connection prevails. Virtual Service with Zoom
Apr. 19 Bill Baylis The Overview Effect –  a profound experience often reported when Earth is seen from space. Virtual Service with Zoom
Apr. 26 Rev. Rod ESQ Essential –  the tricky question of what meets our most basic needs leads to the deeper question of what those needs are. Virtual Service with Zoom
May 3 Rev. Rod ESQ Hold –  In times of uncertainty, it is difficult to stay still… and yet, the wisdom of practices such as meditation is that we can sometimes do a whole lot
when we do less.
Virtual Service with Zoom
May 10 Rev. Rod ESQ The Time to Plant a Tree –  – Today, we benefit from the fruits of seeds that were planted before us – by parents, ancestors, founders. This opens much room for reflection… and opens up
the question – what can we plant today?
Virtual Service with Zoom
May 17 Rev. Norm Horofker Cross-Canada Sunday Service –  The host congregation for our national Conference, the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax, presents a live worship service for all of us across Canada. It spans several time zones, and we’ll be able to join at 12:30PM our time (Eastern). Join us on Zoom. Virtual Service with Zoom at 12:30 PM
May 24 Rev. Rod ESQ The Special Time –   Different times in history have been remembered by memorable names… sometimes, they only tell part of the story – other times, they tell many stories at once.
Virtual Service with Zoom
May 31 Neil Buhne Today’s Interconnected World –   discussing what is currently shared in the world in many ways – using examples from Asia and linking those to experience from Canada and elsewhere..
Virtual Service with Zoom
June 7 Rev. Rod ESQ For Your Service –  Our Church has always existed upon the foundation of shared service.  This tradition of mutual ministry continues into new spaces, as we recognize that each contribution is vital in upholding our interwoven web. Virtual Service with Zoom
June 14 Rev. Rod ESQ Parallel Timelines –  
Sometimes the reality we live in looks different than the one we had in mind.  The space in between these realities can bring about a range of emotions, and how we bridge the two can help us be better together in space and time.
Virtual Service with Zoom
June 21 Rev. Rod ESQ Thank You for the Music (Flower Ceremony) –  The value of beauty, wherever it may be, and however it may appear, includes the power to offer comfort, gratitude, and inspiration.  Rather than a frivolous frill, an appreciation for the beauty around us can be the key to a more deeply meaningful life.  We can celebrate this power in our yearly Flower Ceremony.  (Send pictures of flowers by June 15, to share at our service!)
Virtual Service with Zoom
June 28 Daniel Blaikie, MP for Elmwood-Transcona, MB Annual Howard Pawley service: The transformative Impact of the Coronavirus –   a Canadian Perspective on Desirable Socio-Economic Changes
Virtual Service with Zoom
July 26 24 tba TBA- Virtual Service with Zoom

September 2019 Newsletter

September 7th, 2019 . by William Baylis

Click here and enjoy!


Walter Sinclair (1933-2019)

August 8th, 2019 . by William Baylis

Dear friend and lifelong supporter of the UU Church of Olinda, Walter Sinclair died peacefully on Monday, August 5, 2019. Please visit the website
https://wheatleyfuneralhome.ca/tribute/details/15454/Walter-Sinclair/obituary.html#tribute-start for his obituary and details on visitation and funeral arrangements.


March 2019 Newsletter

March 5th, 2019 . by William Baylis

Click here and enjoy!


Sunday Services for February 2019

January 30th, 2019 . by William Baylis
Date Speaker Title Musician(s)
Feb. 3 Rev. Rosalind Mariconda Patterns in our primary relationships: awareness, practices and shifts. Toni Janik
Feb. 10 Rev. Rod Emilio Solano-Quesnel How to be Right. A secret to infallibility lies in recognizing when we’re fallible. Baylis Combo
Feb. 17 Rev. Rod Emilio Solano-Quesnel How to be Wrong. Being right can sometimes be overrated, especially when there are better ways to be wrong. Lorie Lyons
Feb. 24 Teajai Travis, Community artist, activist and historian. Born Enslaved: A Freedom Story.Explores the life of Richard Travis, who was born in Virginia (1745). Baylis Combo
Mar. 6 Rev. Rod Emilio Solano-Quesnel Successful Failures. Some of the most exciting accomplishments can come from a new understanding of our goals. Toni Janik

Discussion of CUC Motions

January 11th, 2019 . by William Baylis

CUC AGM May 11, 2019

4 or 5 motions will be considered at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Unitarian Council in May, and our two delegates can vote on them. In order to give direction to our delegates, we will hold a short discussion session following the service on Sunday, February 17. Please review the motions and come to the discussion to advise our delegates how we would like them to vote!
Download and read the CUC Motions for 2019 AGM


Sunday Services for December 2018

November 20th, 2018 . by William Baylis
Date Speaker Title Musician(s)
Dec. 2 Rev. Rod Emilio Solano-Quesnel Adventure Expectation is one way to peek into the future… and to glimpse into our present Lorie Lyons
Dec. 9 Rev. Rod Emilio Solano-Quesnel Glimpse Finding the occasional glimpse of the future that can be is another way to be prophetic  Toni Janik
Dec. 16 Greg Wiens The Bridge, the Leamington Youth Resource Centre: from Concept to Reality  Baylis-Stone Trio
Dec. 23 Rev. Rod Emilio Solano-Quesnel In The Flesh Embodying the spirit of hope involves looking for it in unexpected places  Lorie Lyons
Dec. 24 Rev.  Rod Emilio Solano-Quesnel The Most Beautiful Baby in the World A 5 PM Christmas Eve service to celebrate the power that a child can have The Baylis gang
Dec. 30 Helen Moore Open mike: reflecting on 2018, anticipating 2019. Audience participation invited. Bobbye & Bill Baylis
Jan. 6 Rev. Rod Emilio Solano-Quesnel Epiphany Lorie Lyons

 


November 2018 Newsletter

October 25th, 2018 . by William Baylis

Click here and enjoy!


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