Blogs

Blogs

Hungry for Live Music

I hope that you are as hungry for live music as I am! Our August will be filled with three live musical experiences for our OCUUC family. Please mark your calendars and plan to come out for three fun evenings! Have you heard Spencer LaJoye’s “Plowshare Prayer” yet? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhOZv5i7CHY) It was going around the UU circles on social media for a while, plus we sang it at church a few weeks ago. Well, Spencer LaJoye is going to be on…

We are Awesome

May completed our onsite Ukrainian Refugee program. Everyone who is not with their sponsor has moved to a dormitory in Los Angeles, and our two-story building is almost empty again. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who donated items, made meals and grocery runs, did onsite stays, drove, and made it all happen. I have been so impressed by all the volunteer response and compassion. We are awesome! The Annual Meeting is upon us. I hope…

A Blessing for Everything

Years ago, I read a book called “The Carmina Gaedelica.” It’s a collection of Celtic Christian prayers, enchantments and blessings from the 19th Century from the Outer Hebrides of the Scottish Isles, a place that had preserved much of its original pagan roots. When you read the prayers and poems (and, yes, spells/enchantments!) you can tell they are unique immediately; they were all once from the druidic/pagan tradition. When Christianity came along, they just added in Jesus and Mary. What…

Enter, Rejoice and Come In

Orange Coast Choir is humming along now that we’re singing back in Daniels Hall. I’m so grateful to Steve Morihiro, Barbara Morihiro, and Sarah Hunter who kept the choir going in creative ways while I was away on my sabbatical. Now that we’re back in full swing, we are adding choir members, working on more challenging material, and improving our technique every week. It’s so much more rewarding to sing together in one room than to sing on Zoom and…

Welcome Back!

It’s so good to be back! On Easter Sunday, April 17th, we welcomed our PreK-7th graders back to our church campus. For some of them, it was their first time in our buildings at all! It was joyful and a little overwhelming to be back in the beginning of the Sunday service with everyone. I got very emotional seeing my own children in the service and interacting with the larger community for the first time in more than two years.…

Volunteerism

April has been a busy and exciting month! I am so proud of all of us! We had a great kickoff to our Pledge Drive, welcomed six new members, had a staffed table at the local Earth Day celebration to promote our Environmental Film Festival, and we created and implemented an amazing program to support Ukrainian Refugees. Whew! Since I was most involved with the Ukrainian Refugee Program, I particularly want to call out all the volunteers who have made…

Beauty in People

I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a really cool gift: I sense the beauty in people. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they do, just about everyone has this inner spark of beauty. You can call it a soul if you like. I’m sure it’s connected to empathy and compassion, but it’s something I’ve been aware of since I was probably a teenager. Often I can tell that this inner beauty in them is covered up by…

May Sanctuary Update

The New Sanctuary Construction Committee continues to focus its efforts on work with our architect to provide additional materials requested by the new City of Costa Mesa planner. It has been a long and frustrating process that has recently culminated in contacts with experienced Assistant Director of Development Services Scott Drapkin to discuss concerns in hopes of expediting the review process. Once review of the materials is completed by the planner, the project will finally move closer toward the City…

Goodbye to Estancia Park

I have wonderful news to share! All our Sunday morning religious education pro-grams will be returning on-site to our OCUUC classrooms on Sunday, April 17th! It has been two years since our younger children have met on campus, and it will be wonderful to be back. A survey of our religious education parents and teachers showed that everyone is ready to return, and Easter Sunday felt like a very auspicious day to make it happen. We will have an egg…

Back from Sabbatical

Thank you, congregation and Board, for allowing me to have my 10-week sabbatical. It was rich in self-discovery, renewal, and relaxation. I am happy to be back, making music live in Daniels Hall again + on Zoom for rehearsals and Sunday services. While I was on my sabbatical, I attended seven other Sunday (Zoom) services from all different faith traditions. I “went” to a Hindu temple, a giant Jewish synagogue, a black church in LA, a new age non-denominational church,…

Waking Up!

About 20 years ago, I was going through a rather stressful time. And every morning my alarm would go off and jar me awake with its insistent noise. After all an “alarm” is meant to raise your anxiety level, almost to the point of panic, so that you get out of bed. I decided that this was not a good way to start my day, so now I have an alarm that wakes me up with a light that slowly…

Survey Results

Dealing with our policies on COVID 19 have been a significant part of my efforts this month (year!), so the updates are my President’s article! Thank you to the 87 of you who completed the survey on our COVID policies. Your feedback is really helpful in making these tough decisions. If you are interested, the results are here. The Task Force feels 87 is a great response rate and represents us well. We have decided to make a few tweaks…