August 2020 Worship Services

Join us each Sunday ONLINE as we celebrate and worship as a community.

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We as Unitarian Universalists look forward to being with you virtually and in spirit on Sunday morning. We continue to develop our new spiritual practice of co-creating beloved community together in the midst of a global pandemic. 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.

Join our online Sunday service broadcast on the church’s Facebook page UUSantaMonica on Sunday mornings and join the conversation on Facebook. You can also watch it live here on the UUSM Newsletter site on the main page ( You don’t need to have a Facebook account or be logged in to watch on Facebook or here. The video will also be available on our YouTube channel shortly after the end of the service so tune in anytime to catch up and worship with your community.


Sunday, August 2, 2020

“Just Feel”

Rev. Liz Murphy, preaching
Cassie Winters, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am online

During this moment in our lives and in our world, so many things have been simplified — our schedules, our routines, our plans. Yet, the realities of these changes and movements are anything but simple. We are overloaded with content, programs, questions, anxieties. This Sunday, we will “just feel” together. We will take a moment to open ourselves up to the many emotions springing up for us in this moment. Let us reconnect with our bodies and our spirits, individually and as a church community.

Liz Murphy is a recent graduate of the Claremont School of Theology and is a candidate for ministry with the Unitarian Universalist Association. She’s currently the intern minister at Throop Unitarian Universalist Church. She previously worked as a chaplain intern at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and as the Interfaith Programs Assistant at the University of Southern California’s Office of Religious Life. Originally from Pittsburgh, she moved to Los Angeles in 2017 with her wife, Hilary. You can contact Liz at

Watch on YouTube


Sunday, August 9, 2020

“The Poetry of Grace”

Rima Snyder, preaching
Kikanza Nuri-Robins, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am online

Rima SnyderGrace means different things to different people. We will explore poems that depict grace as a diving blessing, an inner state of being or a guide for how to live. What does being in a state of grace mean? How does this relate to daily life?

Rima Snyder has been a member of UUSM since 2006. She is a member of the choir and a former worship associate. In the past she has served on the Music Committee, the Nominating Committee, and the Hunger Task Force. She loves poetry and will be doing a small group ministry group in the fall on poetry as a spiritual practice.

Watch on YouTube

Sunday, August 16, 2020

“Great Expectations”

Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, preaching
Abby Arnold, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am online

If you don’t expect anything then you won’t be disappointed. But you might be surprised. Under promise; over deliver. If you don’t want, you won’t get. Managing expectations is an important life skill. How can it be a spiritual practice?

The Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins is a consultant to people and organizations in transition. She works with non-profits and faith-based organizations around the country helping them address issues of leadership, communication, and cultural competence. Her most recent book is “Fish Out of Water” and she is currently collaborating on a book about gender identities. She is a member of our UUSM community.

Watch on YouTube

Sunday, August 23, 2020

“What Matters?”

Michael Eselun, preaching
Cassie Winters, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am online

Moving together through these challenging times, we find ourselves, perhaps on a daily basis, reassessing our priorities. We have a lot of questions these days. UCLA Oncology Chaplain and popular guest speaker, Michael Eselun will share reflections on the question, “What Matters?” We look forward to his return to our pulpit.

Michael Eselun serves as the chaplain for the Simms/Mann‐UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology. Two-time TED-X speaker, Michael speaks extensively to healthcare professionals, patient populations, and faith communities across the country. He’s also worked as an activist/educator addressing anti-LGBTQ bias in the larger community for over 30 years. Michael was recently inducted into the UCLA-Semel Institute Eudaimonia Society, in recognition of having lived a meaning-driven life. He has four volumes of CDs available for purchase through his website,

Watch on YouTube

Sunday, August 30, 2020    (updated on August 21)

“The Promise in the Desert”

Rev. Ranwa Hammamy, preaching
Leon Henderson-MacLennan, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am online

Some have begun calling 2020 “The Great Reckoning,” a time when the systemic injustices in our society are fully being called in by the promises of our possibility. It is a powerful, scary, tense, creative, and uncertain time in our lives, and we are being invited to listen, tell, and write new stories together. Drawing inspiration from the story of Hajar in the Islamic Traditions, we will explore what it can mean to expand our collective story, believe in the promise of our faith in these times, and deepen our resilience as Unitarian Universalists manifesting justice and love.

Rev. Ranwa Hammamy (they/she) serves as the Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California, which supports UUs around the state in their various justice ministries by providing advocacy, education, and witness opportunities to live out our UU values ( Ranwa has previously served as President of DRUUMM (Diverse & Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries), a national organization for UU People of Color. A self-described “UU-Muslim,” Ranwa seeks to serve both living traditions in her ministry, encouraging others both to grow and learn from each other’s gifts. When not working, Ranwa enjoys spending time baking absurd concoctions, singing for liberation, and relaxing with their spouse and five fur babies.

Watch on YouTube

Generous Congregation Recipient: Camp de Benneville Pines

We come together for more than ourselves. This month 50% of the offering will be donated to the Camp de Benneville Pines. We can help our beloved camp in the San Bernardino Mountains escape financial disaster. Because of COVID-19, this year’s Santa Monica UU Family Retreat, slated to take place September 18 to 20, is cancelled, which makes us sad. And because months of such programs had to be cancelled, the camp itself is in trouble. Any dollars will help, but we have “a big ask”: If you can afford to do so, please “register” by donating the amount that you would send if you were going to enjoy a weekend there in the forest with friends old and new. Read more. Thank you for supporting our camp’s future.


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