December 2022 Worship Services

UUSM Worship Wonder

Join us in-person and online on Sundays at 10:30 am. All are welcome! We as Unitarian Universalists look forward to being with you. 

Update: We are trying to keep our members and visitors as safe as possible while following new recommended information and guidelines. Vaccinations are required and masks are strongly recommended while attending services or events inside the Sanctuary, Forbes Hall, or the cottage. If you or someone in your household are not feeling well or have tested positive for COVID, please stay home; you can still join us via our Facebook or YouTube live-stream worship. Thank you for helping us keep our congregation safe. Safety Policy

Parking at the UCLA parking structure at 1311 16th St. is available to UUSM attending services. The entrance is from 16th St. between Santa Monica Blvd. and Arizona Ave., on the SE corner of Arizona and 16th; ask the attendant for a UUSM parking permit. For those with a handicap parking tag, several spaces are available onsite, via the alley west of 18th St.

Worship Online:  We live-stream our service from the sanctuary. Join us on YouTube, or join us on Facebook where the video is pinned to the top of the page starting at 10:20 am. You don’t need to have a Facebook or YouTube account or be logged in to watch the service. You do have to be logged in to comment and chat with other members of the congregation. 

Explore past services on our Sermons page, available 24/7. Tune in anytime to catch up and worship with your community. We encourage you to light a chalice or candle at home, mediate, and sing along.

Sunday Worship: I Wonder as I Wander

Sanctuary 1260 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA, United States

What do our wonderings say about who we are and what is important to us? Are only looking for answers? Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, preaching; Sue Bickford, Worship Associate

Sunday Worship: Our Liberal Religious Values

Sanctuary 1260 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA, United States

Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching, Robbert Schalekamp, Worship Associate. Join us as we explore the values that bind us together as Unitarian Universalists.

Sunday Worship: Winter Festivals of Light

Sanctuary 1260 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA, United States

Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching, JoAn Peters, Worship Associate. Let us explore ancient festivals of light as celebrated with sacred stories from many traditions.

Saturday: Holy Starlight: a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Sanctuary 1260 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA, United States

Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae & Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, Ministers; Amy Brunell, Worship Associate. Join us for a special Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, followed by refreshments and fellowship.

Sunday: December 25th Gathering

Sanctuary 1260 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA, United States

Although there will be no usual Church Service, we will be open Sunday, December 25th from 10:30 - 11:30 am for anyone who wants to be at church on this day.

Images from Christmases past, by Carol Ring.

Save the Date: Sunday, January 1, 10:30 am

Michael Eselun

On New Year’s Day, we’re delighted to welcome back to our pulpit Michael Eselun, whose topic is, Face the Music and Dance.” Church member, popular guest speaker, and UCLA oncology chaplain, he will explore the dance we do between acceptance and self-compassion. If we reach for acceptance of our circumstances as a pathway to inner peace, what part does self-compassion play? Sue Bickford will be the Worship Associate. 


December Generous Congregation Recipient: UNICEF

Our practice here at UUSM is to dedicate half of our non-pledge Sunday offerings to to support the life of our church and the other 50% to organizations doing work in the world that advances our Unitarian Universalist principles. This month we’ll share our Sunday Offering with UNICEF, also known as the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Let’s not take for granted the significance of UNICEF! Guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. This worldwide organization strives to establish children’s rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behavior towards children – insisting that the survival, protection, and development of children are universal imperatives integral to human progress. Here’s more about UNICEF’s vital work.

On December 24, the Offering will go to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund. 

Thank you for your generous support of our beloved community, UNICEF, and the Minister’s Discretionary Fund. To give $10 right now, text “$10 GCC” (or another amount) to 844-982-0209. (One-time-only credit card registration required.) Or visit


December 2022 Theme: The Path of Wonder

We’ll explore in our worship, small groups, and personal reflection this month’s theme, the Path of Wonder.

♦ Let me keep company always with those who say “Look!” and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads…  ~ Mary Oliver: Mysteries, Yes

♦ Forfeit your sense of awe, let your conceit diminish your ability to revere, and the universe becomes a marketplace for you.  ~ Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

♦ There must be always remaining in every [person’s] life some place for the singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathlessly beautiful and by an inherent prerogative, throwing all the rest of life into a new and creative relatedness, something that gathers up in itself all the freshets of experience from drab and commonplace areas of living and glows in one bright light of penetrating beauty and meaning—then passes. The commonplace is shot through with new glory; old burdens become lighter, deep and ancient wounds lose much of their old, old hurting. A crown is placed over our heads that for the rest of our lives we are trying to grow tall enough to wear. Despite all the crassness of life, despite all the hardness of life, despite all of the harsh discords of life, life is saved by the singing of angels.  ~ Howard Thurman: The Inward Journey

♦ I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ask. And that in wondering bout the big things and asking bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, the more I love.  ~ Alice Walker: The Color Purple

♦ God does not die on the day we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.  ~ Dag Hammarskjold: Markings

♦ Let there be a season / when holiness is heard and / The splendor of living is revealed… / We are not alone. / In the universe there moves a Wild One / whose gestures alter earth’s axis / toward love…  ~ Rebecca Parker: Winter Solstice


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Our service in the world continues.