This was the sermon created for the Canadian Unitarian Universalist Association (CUUWA) 2021 International Women’s Day Service.

Backdrop:  Pandemic year; mass femicide event in Nova Scotia; videoed murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis; critical learning moments.  

Critical questions:  Where does the “authority” for policing originate? Why do all of the systemic ism’s persist so tenaciously?

Theological question: Can persons of faith be a part of dismantling “ism’s” effectively without understanding historical complicity of religious authority with structural oppression?

Methodology question: Are there “hot topics” that present challenges in exploring racial justice with many white Canadians?  Some “hot topics”: “that’s a USA problem”; we were the “receiving” end of the Underground Railroad, we didn’t have plantations of slaves.” And, beliefs such as: “I didn’t learn about issues of indigenous concerns when I was in school, everything is better now, let’s just get on with it.”    

Is it possible to create an “opening” for a new understanding of how the “now” invisible tendrils of structure set in motion in the 1400’s keep the moral authority/governmental authority of oppression in place?  In Canada, the US, the Caribbean, Central and South America?

Caution: alert… violence depicted.  White privilege assumes looking away

Limitation:  this is not the “whole history” Focus on a deeper understanding and narrative of the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ and see if that adds, subtracts, and changes your understanding of “history”.

Follow-up:  The IWD service is available for use in congregations, study groups, and individual exploration.  Packets with “links for further exploration for each of the 4 D’s are being developed.

Text created by Rev. Kathy Sage, (she/her) retired Unitarian Universalist minister who engaged the Art/Animation and collaboration of Ilara Stefaniuk-Gaudet (They/Them), Director of Religious Education Westwood Unitarian Congregation, Edmonton.  When showing this video in worship and educational settings please consider additional compensation for their work: www.patreon.com/ilara11

Watch the four in this order  (about 20 minutes total)


Dreaming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwyrlmbu3V8

Demystifying: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vasDm220LLk

Decolonizing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gu3B149e-Io

Devoting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg6IWPttZRk


For more information about how to use the 2021 CUUWA International Women’s Day service which featured Dreaming, Demystifying, Decolonizing, Devoting, see this page.