Beloved Community

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 how to love one another; a congregation that wanted to take some risks and knew that risk was an important factor in becoming a beloved community. And I knew immediately when I met the committee that I had found you.

This congregation took some risks in the move here; it has become more open and diverse in membership and has wrested with transphobia and white supremacy culture. We are rightly known as a welcoming, affirming and open church. We have gentle but firm policies around unhealthy behaviors and our leaders care deeply for everyone and this community. We are constantly learning and growing.

Now we have another choice to make: to build a new sanctuary or not. It’s an exciting and risky venture. I know we all want to make it happen, but it can be anxiety producing. The Board leadership is confident in our future, as I am. And why so confident? Because of all the reasons I mention above: We are not perfect, but we don’t have to be; we make mistakes, but we know how to love one another; we know how to take some calculated risks that it is needed in order to become something more. We are indeed a beloved community and I am proud to serve you all!

With Love,

Rev. Sian

Rev. Sian Wiltshire is Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church's minister. Please feel free to reach out and say hello! She can be reached by email,, or by church phone at (714) 556-2882 (x302).