February 2023 Worship Services

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.

COVID Update January 2023: 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 people attending Sunday 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 also 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: Loving Yourself Enough

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

Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, preaching; Karen Hsu Patterson, Worship Associate. How can you love your neighbor if you don't love yourself? Self love is not selfishness, it is honoring who you are and the gift of life that is yours. Join us to reflect on how we might arrange our lives to love ourselves more often.

Sunday Worship: Maha Shivaratri – The Yoga of Union

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

Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching; Chela Metzger, Worship Associate. Commonly depicted as the Supreme Yogi wandering in the Himalayas with long dreads, the ashes of the cremation grounds covering his body, and wearing tiger skins, Shiva is one of the oldest expressions of divinity in the world. In honor of this holiday, we will explore a synthesis of the diverse practices of yoga that can be utilized to follow the ancient path of the Yogin.

Sunday Worship: Spiritual Rebirth

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

Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching; Amy Brunell, Worship Associate. We are about half way through our first church year emerging from the global pandemic. This has been a year of rebuilding and rebirth and we still need your support, skills, talent, leadership, participation, and love to continue to grow and thrive as a beloved community. Come learn about the many opportunities to get involved in this year of spiritual rebirth.

Sunday Worship: Wake Up and Dream

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

Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly,” writes Langston Hughes. What are your dreams? What are our common dreams? Let’s consider waking up to our dreams this morning so we may truly soar. Please join us to for a Special Meeting of the Congregation following the service to consider adoption of the bylaws drafted by the Bylaws Refresh Task Force and endorsed by the Board.

February Generous Congregation Recipient: Santa Monica Area Interfaith Council

SaMo Interfaith CouncilOur 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 the Santa Monica Area Interfaith Council.

The Council’s mission is to create a collaborative environment among peoples of all faiths in this region, through education, community activities, and interfaith dialogue, that will foster peace and justice for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religious affiliation or belief, or other communities, and result in a better and safer life for all. The group’s current leadership includes Rev. Jeremiah (Co-VP) alongside Jen Philbin (Co-VP), First Presbyterian Church; Kathleen Benjamin (President), Agape International; Rabbi Shira Friedlin (Co-VP), Santa Monica Synagogue; and the Rev. Janet Gollery McKeithen (President Emerita), Church at Ocean Park. The group collaborates on an Annual MLK Interfaith Breakfast, an Annual Interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Day, and protests and rallies such as the latest “Reproductive Justice is Life” Rally to counter the “Right to Life” Rally on the Santa Monica Pier.

Thank you for your generous support of our beloved community, and the Santa Monica Area Interfaith Council. 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/donate.


February 2023 Theme: Love

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

If you judge people, you have no time to love them. If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive. ~ Mother Teresa

Know that love is a vulnerability but not a weakness. Love is the volunteer in you that raises its hand and steps forward without needing to be rewarded. Love is a currency that functions in reverse, because the only way to be wealthy with it is to give more of it away. ~ Shane Koyczan

One of the best guides to how to be self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others. There was a time when I felt lousy about my over-forty body, saw myself as too fat, too this, or too that. Yet I fantasized about finding a lover who would give me the gift of being loved as I am. It is silly, isn’t it, that I would dream of someone else offering to me the acceptance and affirmation I was withholding from myself. This was a moment when the maxim “You can never love anybody if you are unable to love yourself” made clear sense. And I add, “Do not expect to receive the love from someone else you do not give yourself. ~ Bell Hooks

Our main job, both as a Universalist community and as individual persons is to remember love, whenever we can, whenever it is available to be remembered or experienced. And to remind one another when we have forgotten. We remind each other not by a logical argument, but by being love. By embodying and manifesting love, by grounding our actions, our choices, our words in that bedrock of love that underlays and supports everything, that is deeper than the suffering and struggle of this moment. ~ Rev. Darcey Laine

Heartbreak is an essential part of what it means to be human. We all try so desperately to shield ourselves from it. But there it is. Bound up with our love. Bound up with those moments when we feel cut off from that love. In fact, we can predict that heartbreak will visit all of us. What we cannot predict is what we will choose to do with our heartbreak. ~ emilie boggis, from Choose Love on Substack

I want you to know that you are loved beyond your wildest imaginings by the spirit of creation. Every bit of you is holy—even the embarrassing parts, even the thoughts you wouldn’t tell your best friend. God is in your every cell, calling you to live a loving, joyful, boisterous life. To go easier on yourself. To accept that you are a blessing. To spread the word that there is no original sin, that we are all glorious gifts to a world that desperately needs us. ~ Rev. Kate Landis, an excerpt from Stubborn Grace: Faith, Mental Illness, and Demanding a Blessing

There are days I drop words of comfort [and love] on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself. ~ Brian Andreas

I didn’t climb the tree because I [was] angry at the corporations and the government. I climbed the tree because when I fell in love with the redwoods, I fell in love with the world. My feeling of “connection” is what drives me, instead of my anger and feeling of being disconnected. ~ Julia “Butterfly” Hill, on her 738-day vigil to protect redwoods from logging


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Our service in the world continues.