Welcome!

Greetings from UUEstrie, a liberal spiritual community that first gathered in the village of North Hatley back in 1886, as the First Universalist Church of North Hatley.

Join us Sundays at 10:30am for our weekly service led either by our minister Rev. Carole Martignacco or a guest lecturer.

Latest News

OPEN TO THE SPIRIT ~ A Spiritual Literacy Outreach

“One word, four voices” is a weekly newspaper column by four interfaith clergy. Every Friday we feature one word in the local Sherbrooke Record from a list of over three hundred, with a brief reflection by four different writers. The idea originated a few years back with funding from CUC Sharing Our Faith and Northern Lights grants for community outreach and interfaith collaboration. When a weekly religion column ended in our local paper, Reverend Carole seized the moment and formed a writing team with three clergy colleagues to fill the space. The “word of the week has become a popular topic of conversation at interfaith and social gatherings.

NOW it’s become a book! Published this October 2018 as both softcover and e-book, it is available through Amazon and all major booksellers. Open to the Spirit: The Soul’s Alphabet, Awakening ~ Zeal, is the first edition in what we hope to be a series, drawn from excerpts of over four years of weekly columns in the Sherbrooke Record. Quoting from the introduction, Rev. Martignacco writes: “Our aim: to give voice to the depths and richness of our experience and to promote awareness of the spiritual dimension amidst the news of the day….We hope this book will further widen the circle of sharing.”

Purchase Open to the Spirit on Amazon.ca

STUDENT SUPPERS: “A Taste of Home Away From Home”

As a member of an interfaith coalition of about a dozen area churches who take turns serving free Friday night suppers to area college and university students. Each semester we take our turn and appear at one of the churches in Lennoxville with kettles and slow cookers filled to the brim. UU Estrie has been dubbed “the chili church” for our familiar menu of veggie and meat chili with toppings, corn bread – gluten free and otherwise, crudités and dessert. Each time our team of 10 to 12 volunteers may serve from 40 to 80 very hungry and grateful students. What a gift to sit and share a meal, exchange stories and learn about their studies. We feel so blessed and energized by the connections we make.

SPIRIT CIRCLE – An Opportunity to Go Deeper

At the heart of our faith is a dedication to encourage each other in our spiritual growth and development. With other Canadian congregations, UU Estrie follows a modified version of theme-based ministry, with at least one monthly service on the designated theme. Spirit of Life is a small group that meets for an evening ritual of readings and personal reflection on each month’s worship theme. We meet for two hours, attendance ranges between 6 and 10, and have over several years continue to hone our skills in active listening and mutual support. Our themes this past year have included some profound explorations on Interdependence, Risk, Connection, Sanctuary, Transformation, Listening, Memory and Mystery.

Rev. Brendan Hadash, “The Gospel of Thomas”

Could the gospel of Thomas possibly be the missing Unitarian Universalist book of the bible? To answer this question all we need to do is explain what we believe to be the core of Unitarian Universalism, explain how the whole New Testament came to be written, and then look at the Gospel of Thomas itself – all in 20 minutes or less. “No problem”, says Rev.Brendan.

Brendan served UUEstrie in the 1980s. He enjoys acting and singing in local theatre groups in Northern Vermont, where he lives.

Rendezvous spirituel

A minority (but an active one!) of our members are French-speaking, and we make a practice of including some French in our services. However, we lack easy access to bilingual resources for readings and music. (A bilingual book, Side by side, fulfilling a dream / Vers un rêve à bâtir, si on tissait ensemble, published in 2001 is now out of print.)

So we are undertaking collaborative research to assemble, edit and translate a collection of Unitarian Universalist writings and music in French, and create a 100-page English-French booklet of Unitarian-Universalist readings and songs. Our working title for the book is Rendezvous spirituel.

In addition to substantial volunteer in-kind contributions, we received three small grants to support this project: $924 from the New York State Convention of Universalists (for printing), $1,200 from the West Trust Fund and $1,831 From the Vermont-Quebec Universalist-Unitarian Convention (for other costs). We are very grateful for this help.

A work team comprised of Gabriella Brand, Hélène Cunningham, Reine Gagnon, Rachel Garber, John Mackley and Rev. Carole Martignacco have been meeting regularly and foresee finishing the book in the summer of 2019.

We began by contacting several groups and individuals interested in working internationally to share resources in French. We received a wealth of materials in French, and selected and organized texts to be included in the book.

Some texts are being translated, and others edited as necessary. We have reached the point where we are refining the potential content of the book and beginning the work of obtaining permissions, where applicable, to reprint or translate copyrighted materials. We anticipate completing the editorial, design and publishing phases by the summer of 2019.

– Rachel Garber, secretary of the Rendezvous spirituel work group, 2018-12.

Write for Rights 2018

We wrote 274 letters this December 2nd in support of Amnesty International’s letter-writing campaign to advocate for ten defenders of human rights in ten different countries – Brazil, India, Iran, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, South Africa, Ukraine, United States, and Venezuela. This is the first time that all the cases targeted by Amnesty were women. The letters went to the decision makers who have the power to protect and improve the situations of the defenders, or respond positively to their causes. Participants received drafts of the letters based on information and suggestions supplied by Amnesty. They signed them and added comments if they wished. Then the envelopes were printed, stuffed and
mailed.

On December 8, members and friends had another letter-writing session – this time, writing cards and letters of encouragement to the human rights defenders themselves. All in time to join the avalanche of mail from other Write for Rights groups around the world, an impressive show of support for the defenders, and a strong message that thousands of world citizens are watching, and helping defend the rights of the human rights defenders themselves.

– Rachel Garber, member of CUSJ-Quebec

Dr. Adele Ernstrom, “Dark Memories Haunted Jefferson Davis in Quebec”

“Dark Memories haunted Jefferson Davis in Quebec”, a paper by recently deceased Bishop’s professor Robert MacGregor, will be presented by Dr. Adele Ernstrom on November 25. Prof. MacGregor’s research examines local responses to Jefferson Davis’s presence in Quebec. They range from reports he arrived in Lennoxville in his wife’s clothes, to threats from a Stanstead crowd that he be tarred and feathered as a war criminal. He was held responsible for the abuse of Union captives in Andersonville Prison.

Shedding light on Canadians’ relationship with the American Civil War, the paper will be presented at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of North Hatley, corner of Main and Gagnon, in a service at 10:30 AM to honour the memory of Prof. MacGregor.

François Beausoleil and Michel Dufresne, “Non-violent Communication Training”

Day Two of a two-day workshop in Non-Violent Communication in Stoddard hall with certified trainers Francois Beausoleil and Michel Dufresne. The workshop will be given in English, with questions and comments welcome in French as well. Early Bird cost for the two-day workshop: $200. This is an excellent chance to practise discerning the needs underlying the words of another and to improve our empathy and compassion skills.

Visit https://www.francoisbeausoleil.com/ for registration information