Impossible Possibilities

Reinhold Niebuhr, one of the preeminent theologians of the 20th century, is best remembered for describing the ethics of Jesus as an “impossible possibility.” Apparent impossibilities really are possible, he maintained, “and lead to new actualities in given moments of history,” but each new actuality is only “an approximation of the ideal.” We long for a fairer world, the good society, a cooperative commonwealth – whatever we may call it – but that world always seems beyond our reach. So it’s easy to succumb to despair and give up, but if we embrace the idea of impossible possibilities, we might learn to accept that the ideal is always coming into being, even if it never quite arrives as we imagined it.

There will be a New Member Recognition Ceremony during the service, and a SunServ table and display after the service, if you are curious as to how the Sunday Services Team puts together our weekly services.

Sermon Video

Order of Service

Centering Thought

“The impossible talked of is less impossible from the moment words are laid to it.”

― Storm Jameson


A Candle for Peace, by Lois Brownsey and Marti Lunn Lantz, sung by the First UU Church Choir, directed by Joseph Nguyen


Jill Moats

Gathering Hymn

#221 Light One Candle

Chalice Lighting

by Frances Esziar, read by Jill Moats

Opening Words

Come Into This Place, by Margaret Weis, read by Jill Moats


Love Is the Spirit, music written by PJ Buchan

Story Wisdom

Beautiful Hands by Lawton B. Evans, told by Rev. Stefan Jonasson

Sing and Rejoice

Singing the children to RE

New Member Recognition

led by Rev. Stefan Jonasson, Claire Nimmagadda (board president) and Ann LeDuc (community coordinator)


Meditation on Letting Go, by Carol Allman-Morton, read by Jill Moats

Sharing and Caring

Andre Vanderstoep

Pastoral Hymn

#223 Rock of Ages, Let Our Song

Share the Plate Partner

Rita Chahal


The River of Community, by John Saxon, read by Jill Moats

Our Share the Plate Partner for December is Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba (MDAM). It is a self-help organization dedicated to providing support, education and advocacy for those living with mental health illnesses through peer support and other services.

The offering will be gratefully received, both right now, and continuing when our stream ends. To donate via e-transfer/Interac use; in the note, you MUST include your name and whether your donation is for the Sunday offering or your pledge. You can also send a cheque by mail to the church at First UU Church of Winnipeg, 603 Wellington Cr. Winnipeg, MB R3M 0A7

To see these options later, click here:

Offertory Music

Third Gymnopédie, by Eric Satie, performed by Daniel Clark


from Optimism, Pessimism, and Religious Faith by Reinhold Niebuhr, read by Rev. Stefan Jonasson


Hanukkah’s Child by Linda Swears, sung by the First UU Church Choir, directed by Joseph Nguyen

Note: We will begin recording the sermon following the Anthem, with apologies for the interruption of the voice of Zoom.


Impossible Possibilities, by Rev Stefan Jonasson

Closing Hymn

#354 We Laugh, We Cry


Jill Moats

Closing Words

from The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, read by Jill Moats

Chalice Extinguishing

Carry the Flame

Transition for Breakout Rooms

Arthur Burstow (Zoom only)


Gratitude to all who helped make this service happen:

  • Leader: Rev Stefan Jonasson
  • Coordinator: Jill Moats
  • Pastoral Care Coordinator: Andre Vanderstoep
  • Music Director: Joseph Nguyen
  • Accompanist: Daniel Clark
  • Religious Education: Ana Gabriela Castaneda Aguilera, CLRE (coordinator), Paulina Hernandez (childcare provider), Emily Muller, Debby Lake
  • Tech Team: Arthur Burstow, Simer Kaur, Ashlyn Noble, Christina Swindells-Nader
  • Music for Affirmation: Composed by P.J. Buchan
  • Ushers: Krishna Nimmagadda, Norm Cobb, Jim Gardiner, and others
  • Greeter: Paula Keirstead
  • Set Up/Maintenance: Michael Thiessen
  • Hospitality: Shar Lynn, Adina Lyon, Cheryl Simmonds, and others
  • Chalice Sculptor: Jo’Anne Kelly
  • Chalice Logo Designer: Nancy Gilbert
  • Website Support: Karin Carlson
  • Communicator Editor: Marjorie Doyle
  • All-Church Email Bulletin: Lorie Battershilll

To contact SunServ (Sunday Services Team), please email

Want to help setting up on Sunday mornings? Please contact Norm Cobb or Jim Gardiner.

Please refrain from taking photographs and making recordings during and after the service without the express permission of all people involved. Also, please turn off electronic devices during the service. Thank you.