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

Enough

“When is enough, enough?” This question ran through my mind when in a business meeting in my 30’s, when the president of the company complained that a competitor was charging more than we were. And yet we were quite profitable, we did good work helping people, and we were respected (they were not). I asked the question to the president, and he looked annoyed and never answered. One of the challenges with capitalism, as Eric N. recently reminded me, is…

Transformation

Butterflies have always intrigued me. I mean, they start out as a caterpillar, a weird long bug with a bunch of stubby legs that eats leaves, and then transform into this winged creature with only six long legs that drinks nectar. In fact, caterpillars get put in a kind of blender that jumbles them all up and has them coming out differently. That can’t be painless or easy. It’s not hard to find the human equivalents, let’s be honest. Who…

Justice and Equity

In “Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith,” the Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is elected and declares the emergence of the first Galactic Empire. Palpatine is elected by the galactic senate and given absolute power to deal with what people assume is a threat to the Republic, but don’t realize that Palpatine is actually a Sith Lord (bad guy) and created the threat. Senator Amidala, who is mourning the death of her beloved Republic, whispers horrified, “So this is how liberty…

Liberating Love

Love can sometimes be really annoying. It’s often inconvenient; it’s often very difficult; it can ask us to change or do something that is terrifying; and it can be exhausting. But when we let it in – when we take a deep breath and let it fill our hearts – it can be energizing and exciting, giving us strength, purpose and hope. I’m thinking about all the love we’ve had for our Ukrainian guests as a good example. When we…

Mystery

I love mysteries! Actually, I love solving mysteries. I even bought a mystery advent calendar. I love word puzzles and anything that makes me problem solve. But the biggest mysteries of all are people. I love it when people surprise me! We are all mysteries to one another. Part of our purpose in life (I think) is to try and solve each other’s mysteries: to get to know one another beyond our preconceived notions and ideas about one another. People…

Generosity

Generosity, it is said, comes in many different forms. We say each Sunday that we are grateful for the time, treasure and talent of everyone – the generosity of everyone, really. But is it just time, treasure and talent? I heard recently from a colleague that she was so impressed with our generosity toward our new Music Director. She had been so impressed that after loving Beth for so long, that we have been so open and embracing of Jakob.…

Heritage and Legacy

Beth Syverson, our former Director of Music Ministries, left quite a heritage and legacy at this church from her 22 years with us. She started as our accompanist, growing into the Music Director, then Choir Director positions and then finally the Director of Music Ministries. She told me once that she didn’t “get” Unitarian Universalism until she went to her first yearly conference of UU Music Directors and Musicians. There her colleagues taught her to connect the music with the…

Delight!

Delight is a word I often use in describing how I feel when someone does something wonderful for someone else. The word comes from the Latin, “delectare” meaning “to charm.” I feel delight when I see this congregation reaching out and helping one another. I feel delight when I find the perfect match for my foster puppies. I feel delight when someone takes the time to give kudos where they are due. I feel delight when I see our RE…

Love is Love

You all know how excited I get when we talk about “love.” For me, it’s the way I experience the holy and how I see it act in the world. And of course, different cultures around the world often note that there are different kinds of love and have different words for it. The most common are words coined by the Catholic church: Philia, Eros, and Agape. Philia is meant to express the type of love between friends or from…

Mantra

Welcome to the new year! Each year, people around the globe find a spurt of motivation to make a new year’s resolution – to diet, get in shape, expand their mind, see family more – the list goes on and on. We try year after year to change and grow. I think it’s a rather beautiful tradition even if it tends to fade away within a few weeks. It’s so wonderfully human to try! Recently I was talking to one…

Wonder

There is a lovely story I read recently about the history of the Christmas tree. Christmas trees were brought over to the US by German immigrants, but they were made famous by Harriet Martineau, a writer and abolitionist, who had been invited to the family of Rev. Charles Follen, a Unitarian, to stay with them over Christmas. Charles and his wife had secretly brought a tree into the house (usually Christmas trees were outside) unbeknownst to their three young children…

Change

There are some forms of change that come easy for me. For example, I’ve probably lived in 50-60 different places in my life; I’m used to moving around and while I don’t always enjoy the journey, I always enjoy the destination. I haven’t yet found a place that I don’t like. And I love to learn – you all know I’ve always got some new hobby on my plate, and I try to make the services diverse and intellectually stimulating…