August 2022 Worship Services

Ambiguity theme

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


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 president Eileen McCormack.

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 ( 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. Contact the Zoom Coffee Hour folks 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 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.

August 2022 Theme

This month our theme is Ambiguity, which may feel like the opposite of certainty. The words we use and the way we gather them into sentences can clarify our meaning or create communication problems; cultural context or nonverbal cues might have a role in making things better or worse. Anxiety, confusion, distrust, or anger may arise in someone faced with not having enough information but needing to take action or make a decision. It takes practice to learn to deal with ambiguity: considering options, learning to act without knowing all the details, taking some risks, communicating, and embracing change. Kazuya Akagi writes, “With risk, a decision has clear-cut goals and the outcomes are left to chance. With ambiguity, the problem to be solved is not even known.” That sounds like life during a worldwide pandemic. So let’s lean into our community and explore Ambiguity in worship, small group discussion, and personal reflection this month.

FeetSunday, August 7, 2022

Feet on the Ground

Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, preaching
Robbert Schalekamp, Worship Associate


How do you put your UU values into practice? How can you use what you believe to make decisions about what you should and should not do? Voting. Problem Solving. Parenting. Relationships. Today we will talk about personal ethics — aligning values with behavior.

TruthSunday, August 14, 2022

Truth Tellers and Pot Stirrers

Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, preaching
Jo An Peters, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:30 am    

When you think you have to choose between telling the truth and being kind, what do you do? Is lying ever acceptable behavior or preferred to telling the truth? This Sunday we will explore many of the ambiguities around telling the truth.

OurSunday, August 21, 2022

Our Democracy and Bylaws

Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, preaching
Charles Haskell, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:30 am 

Our congregation is a democratic institution, and how we practice democracy as a beloved community is defined by our bylaws, covenants, and liberal religious values. Our Bylaws Refresh Task Force worked diligently to draft proposed bylaws for consideration at the next Special Meeting of the Congregation. Come learn more about this important developmental ministry work and our liberal religious commitment to democracy.

WaterSunday, August 28, 2022

Ingathering and Water Communion

Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, preaching
Cassie Winters, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:30 am 

Join us for our annual homecoming service when we commune with water and offer libations with our hopes and dreams for the new church year. You may bring water from your summer travels or sacred spaces to share in this annual ceremony. Let us find life and refreshment together in this special service of ingathering and the inauguration of a new church year.

August Generous Congregation Recipient: Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

DidiOur practice here at UUSM is to dedicate half of our non-pledge Sunday Offering 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 Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. This local nonprofit has been serving those most in need and least able to pay for more than 75 years. They provide high-quality mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention services to children, teens, and adults throughout Los Angeles. The new Dial 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline just went nationwide; Didi Hirsch is part of this national program and offers bilingual (English/Spanish) counseling 24/7 and 365 days a year.

Thank you for your generous support of our beloved community and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. To give $10 right now, text “$10 GCC” (or another amount) to 844-982-0209. (One-time-only credit card registration required.) Or visit



Our service in the world continues.