Sian's Shenanigans (Page 4)

Sian's Shenanigans (Page 4)

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

Dreaming Big Dreams

What will you do with your one wild and precious life? ~ Mary Oliver Our congregation is in the middle of dreaming big dreams! What will we do with this one wild and precious church? What a fun question to ponder. There is such wonderful energy on Sunday mornings – our “pews” are packed with so many new people coming to join us. It’s very exciting and we have the wonderful problem of trying to figure out how to accommodate…

Conversations About Our Future

As many of you are aware, your President, Don Martin, and I have started a series of conversations to look at our future, in particular the future of our church campus. Not only are we busting at the seams on Sunday morning, but we also don’t want to rest on our laurels. We’ve accomplished a lot together the last few years! In January we just did some dreaming – what might we do to address the increase of attendance? How…

Looking Forward

As many of you know, I’ll be going on a short sabbatical this coming summer, June through August. I thought I’d give you an update. First know that the Committee on Ministry is working with me to make sure the church functions smoothly while I’m gone. We’ve started planning the services for the summer and Rev. Lee Marie Sanchez will be coming to preach 3-4 times. We know she is a church favorite! There are other wonderful, creative services we…

Peace

December always reminds me of Jesus because of Christmas, but it doesn’t remind me of Peace (our theme of worship this month). Peace always seems such an elusive thing this time of year what with hectic schedules and family gatherings. And now it feels even more so since the election. It’s hard not to get discouraged. But then I think of that Jesus guy again. No, not the one he got made in to – not the one about sin…

Gratitude

November always invokes for me the theme of gratitude with Thanksgiving in the midst of it. And I love that we have a national holiday dedicated to this spiritual practice. Take a moment, if you can, to think about all the ways you are grateful… Go ahead. I’ll wait. Sometimes it seems a bit trite to say the words – “I’m grateful for my health” or “I’m grateful for my family,” or my friends, etc. But I think it’s really…

Unity and Diversity

Have you ever noticed that the greatest gift a person has is also often their biggest challenge? For example, I know people who have the most generous hearts (their gift), but they often give more than they are truly able (their challenge). And so can start to feel resentful, or get burnt out, or people can take advantage of their generous spirit. The same thing goes for communities. Our greatest gift as Unitarian Universalists is our theological diversity. So much…

Vocation

September 11th is our Water Ceremony, which marks for most Unitarian Universalists as the beginning of the church year. This ceremony was developed a long time ago as a way for the church to come back together after a summer hiatus. People would tell about what they did for the summer and reconnect. But gone are the days when the church takes a summer hiatus. And people realized that after a while, the ceremony became a kind of “bragging rights”…

Pride

A few months ago I got an email from another minister in the area named Bobbi Becker. I didn’t know her at all, but she had heard of me and wanted to invite me to a meeting she was organizing of local clergy around GLBTQ issues. You see, she herself was gay and had moved here to Orange County, with her wife and daughter. She had been rather nervous about moving here since Orange County had a horrible reputation in…

Mercy

A friend of mine from Chicago recently was approached by a homeless person who asked my friend if he would buy him a one-day CTA Pass. The homeless person said he was a vet and was struggling with VA red tape. The pass was $10 and my friend paid it. But he’s been wondering… was he just tricked? Did this person just “con” my friend? These questions really struck me as I sometimes ask myself the same thing. I want…

Freedom

I once read a book called “Games Criminals Play” by Bud Allen and Diana Bosta. It was published 35 years ago, but its truths ring today. In the book, Allen and Bosta posited that freedom is intrinsic to human nature; that when we try to bottle it up – or cage it – people will always try to break free. They were talking in particular about our penal system that forces persons into cages and that consciously and unconsciously those…

Redemption

Have you ever done something you regret? I think we all have. Maybe it’s something we said, or didn’t say; maybe it was the way we treated someone long ago, or just last week; maybe it was something illegal, or just morally wrong. We’ve all had those moments. What do we do with them? How do we live with them? Redemption isn’t a word you hear a lot in Unitarian Universalist circles and I think it’s too bad. It’s a…

Authority

Recently, I used the “speech to text” feature on my phone to send a friend a text. I said into the phone something about “UUism.” My iPhone translated “UUism” to: “your your wisdom.” It made me laugh. But then it also made me think. Is UUism all about “your wisdom?” In other words, are we our own authorities? Our six sources list all kinds of “authorities” or sources of wisdom. The very first one is “Direct experience of that transcending…