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

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…

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…

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…

Concept of Faith

Faith is sometimes a difficult concept for Unitarian Universalists. We want to trust only the concrete, the science, the numbers. But Faith is about trusting in yourself, in humanity and in the future. It’s not an easy thing to do and the reality is that sometimes even having faith doesn’t mean that the future you want will come true. But faith isn’t always about everything going your way. It’s about trusting that the work you do now will have an…

Circles and growth

He drew a circle that shut me out—Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.But Love and I had the wit to win:We drew a circle that took him in!Edwin Markham, poet laureate of Oregon from 1923-1931 Gender pronouns notwithstanding, I love this quote. I think it often gets at the heart of why so many communities don’t expand to include those that are different. We draw circles about who is in and who is out. So many communities ask people who…

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…