July 2019 Worship Services

In June we said farewell to three of this community’s leaders, and in August we will welcome our new Developmental Minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, and our new Director of Religious Exploration, Cleo Anderson. This Summer, members of our Worship Associates team – and two invited guests – have prepared fascinating services for us.

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

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

“The Journey to Community Starts from Within”


Leonard Cachola, preaching
James Witker, Worship Associate

Each and every one of us has a story to tell about how we became Unitarian Universalists. While our spiritual journeys may be different, the end result is we are here at UUSM.

Choir member and former Board member Leonard Cachola, author of the memoir Cancer, Death, God, and Love, will talk about how telling the stories of our individual pasts can help move us to a future together in beloved community.


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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Flaming Chalice kite
A Flaming Chalice kite flying at Santa Monica Beach. Photo by Cassie Winte“The Center of the Universe”


James Witker, preaching
Dorothy Steinicke, Worship Associate

Many of us have come to Unitarian Universalism seeking elusive truth and meaning in a tumultuous, troubled world. We may find that there is a New Story of the world emerging from incredible scientific discoveries, one that challenges traditional understandings and shakes some religious foundations. But rather than appearing bleak and meaningless, the human place in the universe that we can now see actually has profound spiritual meaning and implications for humanity’s greatest challenges.

A leader of our Faith In Action and AAHS groups and a board member of the UU Humanist Association, James Witker works as a producer and editor in film, TV, and documentaries.

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

“Woke Up with My Mind Staying on Freedom”


Abby Arnold, preaching
Sue Bickford, Worship Associate

Black churches in the segregated South were the safe, community-owned cradles of the civil rights movement. I’ll talk about my recent pilgrimage with 50 other people, mostly Unitarian Universalists, to some of these churches, and the veterans of the movement we met along the way.

Our former Newsletter Editor and now a member of our Board of Directors, Abby Arnold works as a grant writer and policy consultant for nonprofit organizations.


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Sunday, July 28, 2019

“Liberation through Surrender”

Drawing by Stefanie Etzbach-Dale.


Rev. Stefanie Etzbach-Dale, preaching
Kikanza Nuri-Robins, Worship Associate

While perseverance (not giving up on ourselves and each other) is clearly the call of these times, knowing when and what to surrender in the process can make all the difference in our individual and collective liberation.

The Rev. Stefanie Etzbach-Dale returns to this pulpit, where she was ordained in 2005, as affiliated UU Church of Palo Alto Community Minister. After serving various congregations in the Pacific Southwest District and Pacific Central District, she is currently building a private and small group practice (TendingSpirit.com) as a Spiritual Director: fostering Spiritual Courage in a Disruptive World. She believes this involves deep reverence for the complexity of the human experience and the imperative of personal and societal transformation. As an artist and student of esoteric studies, Rev. Stefanie strives to weave holy curiosity, expressive arts, humor, reverence, magic, and inspiration into all that she does.




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Our service in the world continues.




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