March 2022 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 online/in spirit on Sunday morning. We continue to develop our new hybrid 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 live online Sunday service broadcast on the church’s Facebook or YouTube pages on Sunday mornings and join the conversation. You can also watch the service live on the UUSM website on the main page ( You don’t need to have a Facebook or YouTube account or be logged in to watch on any of the websites. You do have to be logged in to comment and chat with other members of the congregation. The video will also be archived on our YouTube channel and website after the end of the service, so tune in anytime to catch up and worship with your community.

Please join us for a Zoom Coffee Hour Check-In and Conversation after the service, from 11:30 am-12:30 pm. Email for the Zoom link or find it in our private UU Santa Monica Facebook Group. Ask to join.

After careful consideration of the UUA’s most recent guidance and the practices of our neighboring congregations, our COVID Steering Committee has decided to reopen our historic sanctuary to vaccinated members and friends. Vaccinations, well-fitting masks, and social distancing are still required, but at this time reservations are not.

Renewing Faith
March 2022 Theme

For March, our theme is Renewing Faith, so we’ll explore it in worship, small group discussion, and personal reflection. We’ll consider how UUs employ covenanting to renew our faith. When we make an agreement on how we are going to be together, we call that a covenant. We trust and hope that our actions will be governed by the promises we make in our covenants. It’s all a way of celebrating how our faith reminds us, “It is our promises that make us feel safe, connected and strong.” Lines in a covenant may include mutual respect, attentive listening, using appreciations and not put downs, and choosing to pass when called upon to speak. Over time, it’s important to revisit a covenant to see if it still reflects the promises we want to make to each other or if we need to update our agreement.

Reflecting on the faithful expectation of the Unitarian Universalism that is yet to be, the Rev. Natalie Fenimore notes, “Shirley Chisholm was asked why she, a Black woman, was running for president: ‘You don’t have a chance. Why are you doing that?’ And she said, ‘Because I am in love with the America that does not yet exist,’ and that’s how Unitarian Universalism is also. I’m in love with the Unitarian Universalism that does not yet exist. But I have to hold both the love for that thing and the love for the reality. It does not yet exist. It will probably not exist in my lifetime. I don’t think it will in that of my children, but I can’t deny my love for it. You know, wanting to be there in that struggle. That’s why I’m fighting.” And we have sung together from our hymnal the Rev. Mary Grigolia’s, “I know this rose will open. I know my fear will burn away. I know my soul will unfurl its wings.”

Sunday, March 6, 2022

“The Faith of Julian of Norwich

The Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, preaching
Chela Metzger, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:30 am       

In the late 14th Century, Julian of Norwich experienced 16 mystical visions that she documented in a book that is believed to be the first written by a woman in the English language. “Revelations of Divine Love” is considered a masterpiece in Christian theology that was all but lost until modern times. Join us as we explore the life and visions of this great feminist and proto-Universalist religious leader. She, too, lived in a time of plague and found herself compelled to offer a hopeful message to society that is as relevant now as it was then.

Thích Nhất Hạnh, a leading voice in Buddhist ecology, is planting a Bodhi tree in Mussoorie, in the Indian Himalayas in 2008. © Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

“A Lotus in Bloom”

The Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, preaching
Kikanza Nuri-Robins, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:30 am    

Thích Nhất Hạnh — the simple Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist monk and peace activist — has inspired the spiritual lives of countless people of all faith traditions. In January, he departed from our mortal coil and we offer this service in honor of his profound life and teachings. We hope you will join us for this special service.       Daylight Savings Time begins




Sunday, March 20, 2022

“How Rare, How Lovely, This Fellowship”

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels, preaching
Sue Bickford, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:30 am 

The most important value for a religious community is the community. As a faith community, our fellowship is at the ground of all we receive for ourselves and offer to the larger world. When we begin to move other programs to the center of our shared identity, we begin to lose our unique purpose and strength.

We’re welcome back to our pulpit the Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels, who is a Unitarian Universalist minister working in the Los Angeles area. Growing up in Santa Monica, he received a Masters of Divinity from the Claremont School of Theology in 1998 and was ordained and fellowshipped with the Unitarian Universalist Association later that year. During his 24 years in the ministry, he has served UU congregations in La Crescenta, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, and Long Beach. Currently, he serves the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kern County in Bakersfield, CA. He lives with his husband in downtown Los Angeles.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Conversations about the Mystery”

The Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, preaching
Charles Haskell, Worship Associate

ONE SERVICE AT 10:30 am 

How do you describe your Faith? Is it enough to say, “I’m a UU?” Or do you need to specify the kind of Unitarian Universalist you are, citing perhaps, the religion or faith or belief system that informs your appreciation of Unitarian Universalism. During this season of polemic speech in our country, it becomes harder to share what you believe without becoming defensive or feeling you need to justify your position. This morning we will talk about how one can talk about the Mystery that some call God, and the energy that shapes other beliefs, in ways that are inclusive — calling people in to share their ideas, rather than calling them out or pushing them away.


March Generous Congregation Recipient: International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Our practice here at UUSM is to dedicate half of our non-pledge Sunday offerings to organizations doing work in the world that advances our Unitarian Universalist principles; the other 50% of the offering is used to support the life of our church. This month, half of our Sunday Offering will go to the International Rescue Committee (IRC). As Russia invades Ukraine and civilians seek safety, the IRC is preparing to rush critical aid to displaced families.

Poland is preparing to receive as many as one million refugees from Ukraine, the IRC is working to scale up the support they provide to its government and local nonprofits to address the crisis and help meet the basic needs of people fleeing the conflict. Your help will support the IRC as they continue to assist people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by humanitarian crises.

To give $10 right now, text “$10 GCC” (or another amount) to 844-982-0209. (One-time-only credit card registration required.) Or visit


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Our service in the world continues.

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