Sian's Shenanigans

Sian's Shenanigans

Reverend Sian Wiltshire, Minister

By all means reach out and say hello! I can be reached by email, revsian@ocuuc.org, or by church phone at (714) 556-2882 (x302). Mondays are my day off, but I’m generally at the church during normal business hours T-Th and happy to meet with people at a time that is convenient to both of us during other times of the week.

~Rev. Sian

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…

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…

Making History

We are in the middle of making history right now. OK, so we are always in the middle of making history, but it just feels so “present” to me right now (no pun intended). It feels that way because I have no idea what the future holds, which is a very unsettling feeling. Everything seems up in the air: what does the future hold for our children when it comes to the environment? After the pandemic, what is the future…

Cultivation of Relationships

As we celebrate the cultivation of relationships this month, it is my great pleasure to let you all know about two wonderful new relationships for this congregation: Affiliated Ministers! Affiliated ministers are different from called ministers (like me). They are not interns, they are board approved, and generally they are not paid for the covenantal work they offer. They are ministers who would like to affiliate with a congregation for a variety of reasons. Rev. Judy (who you all know)…

Word Play

My father used to say “I don’t have a sense of humor.” This wasn’t actually true, though I think he said it as he wasn’t someone who told jokes much or did practical jokes. He was a pretty serious, but gentle man. But there was one form of humor he loved: Puns. He called them “punishment.” Groan I remember once when I was studying Latin and Roman History in college, I told him about some of Caesar’s military campaigns in…

Storytelling

People have told me over the years that I’m a good storyteller. I’m flattered, but sometimes I chuckle to myself – because actually we are all good storytellers. We tell stories all the time and often we aren’t even aware of it. We tell ourselves stories about who we are – or are not. “I’m bad at math” or “I’m clumsy.” We also tell stories about other people, often things we don’t know for sure. We read into what they…

Becoming an Adult

When I was in my 20s and 30s I kept waiting to feel like an adult. I couldn’t wait to “grow up.” I think I thought it meant that I would be feel “perfect” and do all the right things, make all the right choices. I would be wise, compassionate and never fail anyone (including myself). I thought it might happen when I became a manager in my career at the time – I had authority! But I didn’t feel…

Commitment

Tom Loughrey, one of the fabulous “patriarchs” (and I say that with admiration) of this congregation, once told me that 30+ years ago, he and his wife Nancy sat down to decide what commitments they were going to make in their lives – for themselves, their children and to better their community. I’m sure they had a lot of different option – clubs to join, nonprofits to support, etc. But together, they decided that they would make a commitment to…
Group of people locking arms while looking at view from mountain

Beloved Community

When I, eight years ago, began my search for my first congregation to serve as a called minister, I was looking for one that wanted to be a beloved community. I wasn’t looking for perfection (no such thing), but rather, I was looking for a community that wanted to create it (something that is never ending). A congregation that knew that healthy boundaries were important, that also knew that mistakes happen; a congregation that trusted in its leadership and knew…

Grow Your Imagination

As many of you know, I’ve been learning how to paint and draw these last three years. And one thing I’ve learned is that there are skills… and then there is imagination. And the two don’t always go together. Which is frustrating as an artist. You can have a great imagination and think of wonderful ideas, but if you don’t have the skills, you cannot execute your vision. And vice versa. You can have great skills, but if you lack…

The Solstice-Christmas Season

As many of you know, I love the Solstice-Christmas season. I love the messages of love, hope and family. What I don’t love is the commercialism, the sense of frantic and frenetic giving with all its politics and worries. It seems like the messages get drowned out amid the hustle and bustle. But this year with the pandemic we have a golden opportunity to approach this season with perhaps more mindfulness than usual. Because the normal round of parties, gift…

Strengthening Your Mind, Body and Spirit

Did you know that there is a difference between “healing” and “curing?” Curing implies that whatever was bothering you—an ache, a pain, an illness, or a heartache—is gone. But healing is different. Healing is about not allowing the ache, pain, illness or heartache to rule your life. It’s about strengthening your mind, body and spirit when a cure isn’t possible and it allows you to live in peace, despite the issue. We’ve all seen it happen—or know stories. The person…