When Words Get in the Way

“The vocabulary of a religious faith once seemed dead to me,” writes Kathleen Norris, who conceded that, even after returning to church, “I’d run into barriers, words that seemed like mental roadblocks.” This is familiar territory for many of us. Sacred words may scare us, and religious jargon even offend us – or perhaps do nothing for us at all. Why do we react to some religious words the way we do? How do we express the ineffable without them? Is religious vocabulary dead or just sleeping?

Service Coordinator: Norm Cobb

Sermon Video


Order of Service

Centering Thought

“Words are power, essentially the power of creation. By my words, I both discover and create who I am.”

– Frederick Buechner

Centering Music

Original Rags by Scott Joplin, performed by Daniel Clark


Norm Cobb

Gathering Hymn

#360 Here We Have Gathered

Chalice Lighting

We Gather This Hour by Christine Robinson, read by Norm Cobb

Opening Words

A House of Worship adapted by Robert F Kaufmann, read by Norm Cobb


Love Is the Spirit, music written by PJ Buchan

Story Wisdom

The Late Bloomer, a tale from Mexico, told by Rev Stefan Jonasson

Sing and Rejoice

sung as children and youth go downstairs for Religious Exploration


The Body is Humankind by Norman Cousins, read by Norm Cobb

Joys and Sorrows

Andre Vanderstoep

Pastoral Hymn

#128 For All That Is Our Life (sung seated)


led by Norm Cobb

Our Share the Plate Partner for February is the West Central Women’s Resource Centre. West Central Women’s Resource Centre empowers women, and their community, to move from where they are to where they want to be, by providing responsive programming, facilitating knowledge sharing and connection, and contributing to culture shift and policy transformation.

The offering will be gratefully received, both right now, and continuing when our stream ends. To donate via e-transfer/Interac use office@uuwinnipeg.mb.ca; 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: https://uuwinnipeg.mb.ca/stewardship/give/

Offertory Music

Gavotte from Holberg Suite by Edvard Grieg, performed by Daniel Clark


The Vocabulary of Religious Faith by Kathleen Norris, read by Rev. Stefan Jonasson


#1064 Blue Boat Home

Note: We will begin recording the sermon following the anthem, with apologies for the interruption by the Zoom announcement of recording.


When Words Get In The Way, by Rev. Stefan Jonasson

Closing Hymn

#1052 The Oneness of Everything


Norm Cobb

Closing Words

Finding Space by Marjorie Leaming, read by Norm Cobb

Chalice Extinguishing

Carry the Flame

Transition for Breakout Rooms

Arthur Burstow or Simer Kaur (Zoom only)


Gratitude to all who helped make this service happen:

  • Leader: Rev. Stefan Jonasson
  • Coordinator: Norm Cobb
  • Music Director: Joseph Nguyen
  • Accompanist: Daniel Clark
  • Religious Education: Ana Gabriela Castaneda Aguilera, CLRE (coordinator), Paulina Hernandez (childcare provider), Debby Lake, Rob Malo
  • Pastoral Care: Andre Vanderstoep (Coordinator)
  • Tech Team: Arthur Burstow, Simer Kaur, Ashlyn Noble, Christina Swindells-Nader
  • Hymn Lyrics Coordinator: Debby Lake
  • Music for Affirmation: Composed by P.J. Buchan
  • Ushers: Krishna Nimmagadda, Norm Cobb, Jim Gardiner, and others
  • Greeter: Paula Keirstead, Ann LeDuc
  • Set Up/Maintenance: Michael Thiessen, Jim Gardiner, Norm Cobb, others
  • 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 worship@uuwinnipeg.mb.ca

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.

Topics: ,