Minister's Blog

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In Appreciation: Donna Mae Pitluck (1928-2019)

October 8, 2019

Donna Mae Pitluck, a beloved member of UUCSC for 52 years, died on Sunday, October 6, 2019. She will be sorely missed.  Donna Mae was 91 years old. Please join us for "Celebration of Life" on Saturday, November 2 at 11:00 AM in the UUCSC Sanctuary. Professionally, Donna Mae was Head Librarian at Los Angeles Mission College from 1975 to 1994. ...

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Whose Are You? Where Do You Belong?

October 3, 2019

This is a loaded topic! There are so many layers of belonging: to our families, our communities, our religious traditions. Belonging to society at large - if we're different, will we be accepted, so we can belong? And most importantly, what about belonging to ourselves? How at home within ourselves do we feel, so we can be our best, our ...

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Stories of Memory Loss

September 19, 2019

I'm very glad to have our Music Director Nancy Holland as a guest blogger this week: When I chose to perform Alzheimer’s Stories by Robert Cohen, (because I found the music and lyrics so moving)  I had no idea how personally significant it would be for many of our choir members.   This Sunday, three choir members will speak about their ...

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Making Out During the Debate

September 13, 2019

I'm hanging out with my buddy Denise, watching the Democratic candidate debate that she recorded earlier. I haven't had network TV at home for around five years, so this is the best way I can watch it. But man, it's hard to watch! All the tough issues . . . laying the truth bare to illustrate the extent of the ...

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Water: The Paradox of Life

September 5, 2019

The best spiritual book about water I know is called "The Secret Knowledge of Water" by Craig Childs (please let me know if you know of others). It's all about finding water in the hottest, most dangerous deserts in the US. I love this line in the Introduction: "There are two easy ways to die in the desert: thirst or ...

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I Love Labor Day

August 29, 2019

This is one of those holidays that bleed together in secular and spiritual ways. First the secular. Americans identify heavily with their vocations - be that paid or unpaid, we love to work. We love the meaning behind "a labor of love." It's also the substance of life, in our bodies, our minds, our day to day waking existence: what ...

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Back to Church!

August 22, 2019

Now that the kids are all back in school, it's also time to come back to church each Sunday, and start blogging again! This is the time of year we get a lot of newcomers checking us out, so I try to offer some context to what Unitarian Universalism is all about. This Sunday, I'm excited to be talking about ...

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“An Interesting and Awkward Situation”

May 9, 2019

Those are the words of Pasadena mayor Terry Tornek, as he made remarks at the 46th Annual Pasadena Mayor's Prayer Breakfast this morning.  Normally the event is held the same day as National Prayer Day, which was last Thursday.  Due to a conflict, they held it today, and the interesting and awkward situation was that the Muslims couldn't join in ...

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Cinco de Mayo: What’s to Celebrate?

May 3, 2019

Is Cinco de Mayo some kind of Mexican Independence Day, like the 4th of July?  Nope.  In Mexico it's called the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, and celebrated in just parts of Mexico in honor of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III.  The Mexicans were considered the underdogs in this battle - they ...

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Use the Force!

April 26, 2019

It's ironic that as much as I love Star Wars (I'm not a total SW kook, but I'll never turn down re-watching any of the films), I don't like space much.  While I'm aware there are results of space research that benefit life on Earth (like my Tempur-Pedic mattress!), I subscribe to the ideology that we should be focusing more ...

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Holy Week or Holy Hell?

April 19, 2019

The theme of Holy Week 2019, I'm sorry to say, appears to be fire. We know that Notre Dame burned Monday night (you'd have to be living in a cave to not have heard), but did you know that a mosque in Jerusalem burned the same night?  The damage is much worse to the former, but it has not gone ...

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Tech Series Continues!

April 11, 2019

I'm looking forward to hearing incoming UUCSC Board President Jon Bassinger-Flores' contribution to exploring the digital age's effect on us with his sermon this Sunday, "Technology Toward Wholeness."  Last Sunday I delineated my personal wariness of social media and especially my concerns about how it affects the life skills (such as in-person conversation and eye contact) of young people, our ...

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