Blogs

Blogs

Sabbatical

By the time you’re reading this, I will be on my sabbatical, which will continue until March 13. I am grateful to the Board, Rev. Sian, and all of you for allowing me this time to rest and revive myself from these difficult few years. You will be well taken care of, with Steve Morihiro, Barbara Morihiro, and Sarah Hunter managing the music for worship and for choir while I’m away. If you have any questions or suggestions about music,…

A Year Like No Other

In February we approved the construction of a new sanctuary, in late May we added back onsite Sunday services. These were both very good things. Of course, the construction is taking longer than we’d hoped and we still need to monitor our activities for COVID safety. 2021 was certainly a year like no other, and I for one am grateful we now have a new one. I am looking forward to this year and what it may bring. As I sat in Daniels Hall…

Intentional Learning

I’ve always thought that everyone should go to seminary. I learned so much there – learning how to listen and better communication skills; learning to see different points of view and being aware of my power; learning how to builds bridges; and learning, most of all, how to connect to the Holy that resides within and around me. But then, one day, it occurred to me that going to church is pretty much like going to seminary! If you are…

January Sanctuary Update

January 2022 kicks off the start of a milestone year at OCUUC as we begin deconstruction of the two-story Suite 4 and construction of the new sanctuary where Suite 4 once stood. Hooray! The question Nancy Loughrey and I are asked most often is “when will the deconstruction and construction activity begin on site?” And the answer we provide is the same–when we receive our building permit. Once that happens, the process will move full speed ahead toward a dedication…

Take Time for Yourself

I have a mixed feelings about December. I love the community, shared rituals, seeing family and friends, and reconnecting with the legacies provided by them. I dislike the busyness, the obligation to buy “meaningful and welcome” presents, and the stress of getting “it” all done. Even though I am no longer engaged for pay, it is still daunting. This season, I wish all the things I love to each of you. We should all be so blessed. I give you…

Music for the Holidays

It’s that time of year when the holidays bunch up like homework assignments when your teacher realizes they have more content to get through than there are weeks left in the semester. If you missed it (or if you want to watch it again), here is our annual appearance in the NMIIC Thanksgiving Interfaith Music Celebration from November 21. I produced the event again this year, and it was such a pleasure to work with musicians from so many different…

Truth Telling

Throughout November, we all shared in the theme of Holding History. In our Religious Education program, that involved a lot of “truthful telling” and honesty about some painful parts of our nation’s past. These truths can be very difficult for adults to share with children and youth, and doing so in a developmentally appropriate way can be a challenge. Nevertheless, my goal for our program is to push forward boldly, past our own hang ups as adults, and be honest…

Holiday Joy

December can be a busy month for ministers. Not only do we have additional services like Christmas Eve and the Winter Solstice Singing Ritual, but there is all the normal planning around Christmas that goes on. I admit, I tend to get a little humbug and hunker down, resenting the need to shop, to hit the malls and post office. Until two years ago. Before the pandemic hit, Rev. Judy, when she was our Director of Religious Education, asked me…

December Sanctuary Update

The sanctuary committee met with the architect, domusstudio, on November 10 on Zoom to discuss project status and information requested by the City of Costa Mesa for approval of the Development Review Plan. Committee members who worked on the original new sanctuary plan back in 2013 were able to access important documents from that project including the shared parking agreement with Piecemakers and Torelli Real Estate. Additionally we contacted Dig Alert to verify that the location of the existing underground…

Musical Cultural Appropriation

What do Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, Mozart’s Turkish March, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Song of India all have in common? They are all good examples of a composer “borrowing” a different culture’s musical themes (or one’s concept of another culture’s musical themes). I played these pieces for the Prelude of our service about Cultural Appropriation. In the case of Mozart’s Turkish March, he evokes the sound of the Turkish Janissary (military) bands, which was a very popular custom at the time. Even though…