July 2020 Worship Services

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

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We as Unitarian Universalists look forward to being with you virtually and in spirit on Sunday morning. We continue to develop our new spiritual practice of co-creating beloved community together in the midst of a global pandemic. 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 member Eileen McCormack for assistance.

Join our online Sunday service broadcast on the church’s Facebook page UUSantaMonica on Sunday mornings and join the conversation on Facebook. You can also watch it live here on the UUSM Newsletter site on the main page (news.uusm.org). You don’t need to have a Facebook account or be logged in to watch on Facebook or here. The video will also be available on our YouTube channel shortly after the end of the service so tune in anytime to catch up and worship with your community.

Brothers James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson, authors of words and music for of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Sunday, July 5, 2020

“Lift Every Voice and Sing”

Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, preaching
Abby Arnold, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am online

A Quest for Freedom. Have you chosen a quest for love or a quest for freedom? What is the cost of each path? Today we will talk about what freedom means spiritually, and how your choices have led to greater or less freedom for your spirit.

Lift Every Voice and Sing” – often called “The Black National Anthem” – was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist with the NAACP.  In 1899, it was set to music by his brother, John Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954), American composer, singer, and editor of song collections during the Harlem Renaissance.  The inspiring piece was first performed in public in the Johnsons’ hometown of Jacksonville, FL, as part of a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12, 1900, by a choir of 500 schoolchildren at the segregated Stanton School, where James Weldon Johnson was principal.  Published widely, it is included in our UUA hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, as #149.

The Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins is a consultant to people and organizations in transition. She works with non-profits and faith-based organizations around the country helping them address issues of leadership, communication and cultural competence. Her most recent book is Fish Out of Water, and she is currently collaborating on a book about Gender Identities. She is a member of our UUSM community. www.KikanzaNuriRobins.com

Watch on YouTube

Sunday, July 12, 2020

“Buddhism, Zen, and a Call to Justice”

Rev. James Ishmael Ford, preaching
Dorothy Steinicke, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am online

What does Buddhism and particularly Zen say to people today seeking ways to engage not only the deeper matters of the heart, but the heart of justice?

The Rev. James Ishmael Ford has been a Unitarian Universalist parish minister for 30 years. He is Minister Emeritus of the First Unitarian Church of Providence. In his early retirement he continues to serve, currently as consulting minister for the UU Church in Anaheim. James is also a Zen Buddhist priest, guiding teacher of the Empty Moon Zen sangha, and is the author of several books addressing Zen and Buddhism.

Watch on YouTube

Sunday, July 19, 2020

“The Rainbow Sign”

Rev. KC Slack, preaching
Sue Bickford, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am online

What does our covenantal faith mean for our relationship with the wider world? What is our duty regarding justice? What happens when we fall short of that promise?

We welcome back the Rev. KC Slack, who serves as minister of our neighboring UU Church of the Verdugo Hills, and continues their work as a hospital chaplain, their work as a sex educator, and as an individual spiritual director. In addition, KC is a UU scholartivist (scholar, artist, activist, and spiritual leader). They’re about all multiple everything: bi/pansexual, polyamorous, and pantheistic. Their work blends their mystic UU Pagan faith (don’t worry, they’ll happily tell you too much about it if you ask), ministry, radical politics, heavy theory, joy, art, and living a queerly fabulous life in LA.

Born and raised in small-town North East Ohio, our guest preacher comes from a large extended family and what they will tell you are “very rust belt” roots. The grandchild of factory workers and the child of factory managers, KC received a B.A. in Political Science from Case Western Reserve University. After graduation in 2016 from Starr King School for the Ministry, KC completed a year-long Clinical Pastoral Education residency at a mid-sized hospital in Burbank. KC was highly regarded by their peers and supervisors, as well as by medical and administrative staff throughout the hospital. They brought their broad education in world religions and their knowledge of liberatory theologies to their patients and classmates, and worked within the peer group to help future chaplains better understand how to care for LGBT+ patients.

Watch on YouTube

Sunday, July 26, 2020

“Allies and Advocates”

Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, preaching
Leon Henderson-MacLennan, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am online

As we seek to live into our values for social justice, many with very good intentions often end up saying nothing, or saying the wrong thing, when they are called to lean into a conversation. Today we will talk about what it means to be an ally and an advocate — for an individual and for a cause. We will also talk about what you might say when what you are saying isn’t working.
Watch on YouTube

Generous Congregation Recipient: Westside Food Bank

We come together for more than ourselves.  This month 50% of the offering will be donated to the Westside Food Bank to help them increase distribution to over 70 local social service agencies of emergency food assistance urgently needed to address the widespread unemployment and poverty resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Due to health precautions and social distancing requirements, the best way to help the Westside Food Bank is through financial donations to support bulk food purchases and essential operations.  UUSM has been a longtime donor of volunteer labor and food to the Westside Food Bank, but right now they need our financial support to address the huge disruptions to their operations and the loss of many of their usual sources of support.   Please give generously to help deliver much needed nutritious food to those in our larger community in greatest need during this difficult time.  Thank you for your support.


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Our service in the world continues.

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