January 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 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: Face the Music and Dance

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

Church member, popular guest speaker, and UCLA oncology chaplain, Michael Eselun will explore the dance we do between acceptance and self-compassion. Sue Bickford will be our worship associate.

Sunday Worship: Why Worship?

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

Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching; Amy Brunell, Worship Associate. Sunday morning worship is the heart of our Unitarian Universalist spiritual life. Join us as we explore why we worship.

Sunday Worship: Internal Gyroscopes

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

Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, preaching; Cassie Winters, Worship Associate. How do you know you are doing the right thing? This morning we will talk about how you might refine and calibrate your mechanisms for complicated decision-making.

Sunday Worship: Our First Principle: Extravagant Tenderness

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

Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching. This Sunday we dive deep into the First Unitarian Universalist Principle, the inherent worth and dignity of every person, as we explore the work of Fr. Greg Boyle and Homeboy Industries.

Sunday Worship: Sacred Space

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

Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching; JoAn Peters, Worship Associate. What makes a space sacred to you? Join us this morning as we explore sacred space and what it means to create it and hold it as special in our lives.



Homeboy Industries logoJanuary Generous Congregation Recipient: Homeboy Industries


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 Homeboy Industries.

Perhaps you’ve purchased some Homeboy chips, salsa, or bread at a farmer’s market — or visited Homegirl Cafe in LA? And did you hear Father Boyle when we invited him to give the 2011 Ernie Pipes Lecture?

paper coffee cup with image of Homegirl cafe & cateringHomeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community. Founded in 1988, they offer a continuum of free services and programs, including social enterprises that serve as job-training sites, like bakeries, cafes, catering, and a variety of branded merchandise marts. Learn more about this amazing nonprofit.

Thank you for your generous support of our beloved community, and Homeboy Industries. 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.


January 2023 Theme: Finding Our Center

We’ll explore in our worship, small groups, and personal reflection this month’s theme, Finding Our Center. 

•  For this we stand / One human family / Evolving tapestry spun of a single strand; / Of earth and water born this harvest of diversity, / One flame of life bright within us, / For this we stand. ~ Jim Scott, The Jim Scott Songbook

•  Where were you when you heard that ancient / voice, and did Yes get born right then / and did you weep? … / and how, in that moment, / did you mark it?… / Tell us, please, all you can about that voice…  ~ Nancy Shaffer, poem “Calling” 

•  There is something inside you that knows when you’re in the center — that knows when you’re on the beam or off the beam. ~ Joseph Campbell 

•  Our chalice also invites us to play, although with ideas rather than with marshmallows. The flame encourages us to explore who we are, who our neighbors are, and where we are on our spiritual journeys…” ~ Melanie Davis 

•  This is my prayer: please let the center hold. / The center is what holds our faith together.  …  / Let the center be strong. / And let the center of this living tradition move with the times. / Let the center of our living tradition LEAD the times. / May the strength of the center strengthen us as we seek, / As we embody compassion / Work for equity / Demand justice for all. ~ Rev. Joe Cherry, “Let the center hold” 

•  With each step through the labyrinth, silently affirm: “Be still and know that I am Love… ~ Rev. Emilie Boggis, “Labyrinth” 

•  There is a fire at the center of each of us.  A fire that, if nourished, brings light and warmth into our lives. Every other person also has a fire at their center.  Our actions in this world can nourish the fire of others.  Or, depending on our choices, our actions can dampen, even extinguish those fires.  … This week, may you nourish and encourage the fire at the center of others, and may you be nourished and encouraged in your center. ~ Rev. Jone Johnson Lewis, “The Fire at the Center”


UUSM flaming chalice, round logo

Our service in the world continues.