April 2022 Worship Services

Join us Sundays In Person or Online as we celebrate and worship as a community.

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We as Unitarian Universalists look forward to being with you in person or in spirit on Sunday mornings. We continue to develop our new hybrid spiritual practice of co-creating beloved community together in person and online in the midst of a global pandemic. Here’s further details. We’re finding ways to spiritually prepare and fortify ourselves and to support others in uncertain times. If you need help getting to the online services, please contact board member Eileen McCormack for assistance.

Come to the Sanctuary or join our live online worship service broadcast on the church’s Facebook or YouTube pages on Sunday mornings and be part of the conversation. You can also watch the service live on the UUSM website on the main page (uusm.org). You don’t need to have a Facebook or YouTube account or be logged in to watch on any of the websites. You do have to be logged in to comment and chat with other members of the congregation. The video will also be archived on our YouTube channel and website after the end of the service, so tune in anytime to catch up and worship with your community.

Please join us for a Zoom Coffee Hour Check-In and Conversation after the service, from 11:30 am-12:30 pm. Email zoomcoffee@uusm.org for the Zoom link or find it in our private UU Santa Monica Facebook Group. Ask to join.

After careful consideration of the UUA’s most recent guidance and the practices of our neighboring congregations, our COVID Steering Committee has decided to reopen our historic sanctuary to vaccinated members and friends. Vaccinations, well-fitting masks, and social distancing are still required, but at this time reservations are not.

April 2022 Theme

For April, our theme is Awakening, so we’ll explore it in worship, small group discussion, and personal reflection. Here’s a perspective from the Rev. James Ishmael Ford, who visited our pulpit twice in recent years:

Awakening happens. You don’t earn it. You don’t have to be good. You don’t have to be smart. Awakening just happens. Awakening comes to us in the most unexpected ways, in the most unexpected times. It is a gift. It is always a gift. And it comes to us like being hit by a bus.

There are many, many practices out there that claim to help. And here’s a little secret: too many of them do nothing. The Unitarian Universalist theologian James Luther Adams once wryly noted that “nothing sells like egoism wrapped in idealism.” Much of what passes for spiritual practice is just puffing up the ego, reinforcing and guarding it against any and all assault. And — have no doubt in this matter — a real spiritual practice plays rough with the ego.

The Zen path — the spiritual practice I have embraced — is, in this regard and others, a real spiritual practice. And it is worth pursuing, wholeheartedly. But keep your wits about you, be reasonable. Don’t exaggerate any one experience. And, equally important, don’t diminish it, either. Engage it all with a spirit of invitation….

Sunday, April 3, 2022

The Poetry of Awakening

Rima Snyder, preaching
Natalie Kahn, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:30 am       

With the arrival of spring and April, National Poetry Month, we celebrate poems that bring us to a sense of new awakening and resilience, and remind us of the importance of living in the moment.

Rima Snyder, a poetry aficionado, is a member of our church, member of the choir, and former worship associate. She continues our annual tradition of composing a service devoted to poetry.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Come, Come, Whoever You Are! Stewardship Sunday

Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, preaching
Cassie Winters, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:30 am    

Beloved Community, faith, and generosity are among the traditional themes of the holy month of Ramazan in the Islamic tradition. Join us for this special Stewardship Sunday as we reflect upon this sacred time and our commitments to the vitality and good works of our liberal religious community.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter, Passover, and Ramadan

Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, preaching
Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:30 am 

Easter and Passover are honored in the midst of the holy month of Ramadan this year. Join us as we consider the religious meaning and syncretism of these important Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Pagan holy days.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Our Paradise

Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, preaching
Alison Kendall, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:30 am 

Earth Day arrives and we are reminded the seas are rising and fires are burning in the only paradise we know. This special Earth Day service will celebrate Mother Earth, consider the threats facing our planet home, and remember our place in the interdependent web of all existence.


April Generous Congregation Recipient:

Planned Parenthood  

Our practice here at UUSM is to dedicate half of our non-pledge Sunday offerings to organizations doing work in the world that advances our Unitarian Universalist principles; the other 50% of the offering is used to support the life of our church. This month, half of our Sunday Offering will go to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. Your donations will help Planned Parenthood continue its work in delivering vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide.

Our denomination, the Unitarian Universalist Association, has long promoted rights to reproductive health care. Since 1963 — 10 years before abortions were legal in this country and before most other religious organizations — UUs have supported the rights of women and their freedom to make faithful choices about their bodies and families. Our faith affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person, the right of individual conscience in decision-making, and respect for human life. Building on two decades of statements, the 1987 “Right to Choose” General Resolution was approved by delegates to the General Assembly.

Development and use of the all-ages curriculum Our Whole Lives (OWL) is part of this work, too. And last September, the UUA press office issued this statement on our behalf: “Outraged By Texas Abortion Law, UUs Remain Committed to Reproductive Justice.”

Thank you for your generous support of our beloved community and Planned Parenthood. To give $10 right now, text “$10 GCC” (or another amount) to 844-982-0209. (One-time-only credit card registration required.) Or visit uusm.org/make-a-donation.


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Our service in the world continues.


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