March 2024 Worship Services

3 pupas (chrysalis) & a monarch butterfly

March’s Ministry Theme is Transformation

Join us in-person and online on Sundays at 10:30 am. All are welcome! We as Unitarian Universalists in Santa Monica look forward to being with you.

COVID Update May 2023: The congregation’s Pandemic Policies and Protocols were adopted specifically in response to the pandemic. Given that the state of emergency has been lifted, they are no longer in effect. Masks are optional, but always acceptable and welcome. If you or someone in your household is 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. 

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 to place on your dashboard. For those with a handicap parking tag, several spaces are also available onsite, via the alley west of 18th St., as well as in the UCLA structure.

Worship Online:  We livestream our service from the sanctuary. Join us by clicking the WATCH NOW button above where the video is live every week beginning at 10:20 am, or watch on YouTube or Facebook. You don’t need to have a YouTube or Facebook 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: Shivaratri: The Radiance Within the Darkness

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

Join us in-person or online to celebrate the Hindu festival of Shivaratri (the Night of Shiva), as we contemplate this "Auspicious One," who shines beyond the limitations of human thought, structure, and prejudice, inviting us to search for the Divine in the darkness of the unknown. Each church year, we select one special teacher to lead worship, who helps us to widen our multireligious embrace, and/or to deepen our commitments to anti-racism/anti-oppression. The Rev. Dr. Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati is our 2023-2024 Honored Guest Teacher. Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati is a sannyasi (monk), pujari (priest), writer, and teacher living and serving at Kali Mandir in Laguna Beach. We are thrilled to have "Swami B" with us this year. 
Rev. Dr. Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati, Guest Speaker.
Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae and Chela Metzger, Worship Associates.

Event Series Sunday Worship

Sunday Worship: The Luminous Quran

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

The Islamic Holy Month of Ramazan arrives with the setting of the Sun this evening. Muslims all around the globe will begin the spiritual exercise of reading the entire Quran over the next lunar month. Join us in-person or online as we introduce and explore this luminous scripture in preparation for the arrival of the Queen of Months.

Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching.
Karen Hsu Patterson, Worship Associate.

Event Series Sunday Worship

Sunday Worship: Communion: the Transformative Power of Breaking Bread

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

At the heart of Christianity is the call to share a meal with one another and to invite ourselves to be transformed by the experience of Oneness that follows. Join us in-person and online as we explore the roots of Communion and the practice of breaking bread as a path to wholeness and liberation.
Rev. Amelia Mu'mina Marie, preaching.
Sue Bickford, Worship Associate.

Event Series Sunday Worship

Sunday Worship: At the Threshold of Change

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

All journeys into liminal space begin somewhere. Most at a threshold. Acknowledging a threshold is an important step in transformation. In this talk, Chris will detail what skills, knowledge, and wisdom can be drawn upon as we embark on journeys of transformation. Join us for worship in-person and online.
Dr. Chris Hoff, Guest Speaker
Chela Metzger, Worship Associate

Event Series Sunday Worship

Sunday Worship: Easter Celebration

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

Who is Jesus of Nazareth? For two millennia scholars, theologians, religious leaders, and the faithful in many different religious traditions have struggled to answer this question. Let us listen to his own words in the light of our own tradition and come to our own conclusions this Easter morning. Join us in-person or online.
Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching.
Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, Worship Associate.


March Generous Congregation Recipient: Planned Parenthood

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 Planned Parenthood.

Founded in 1916 by feminist activists Margaret Sanger, her sister Fania Mindell, and Ethel Byrne, this nonprofit organization continues to make a difference in people’s lives around the world. Their mission is to ensure all people have access to the care and resources they need to make informed decisions about their bodies, their lives, and their futures. 

Planned Parenthood’s expert health care professionals are dedicated to providing high-quality, compassionate, and affordable care through a national network of nearly 600 health centers. These local community affiliates provide preventative care, including birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and screenings for cervical and other cancers.

Planned Parenthood is also a respected leader in sex education, delivering medically accurate, culturally responsive programs, resources, and online tools to help people make informed choices about their sexuality and relationships.

From the Supreme Court to statehouses nationwide, the rights of people to control their own bodies is under attack. Planned Parenthood is leading the fight to protect and restore access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion. Your donations will help Planned Parenthood stand up for patients and protect our rights.

Thank you for your generous support of our beloved community and Planned Parenthood. To give $10 right now, text “$10 GCC” (or another amount) to 844-982-0209. (One-time-only credit card registration required.) Or visit

March 2024 Theme: Transformation

Our Soul Matters theme invites us to consider Transformation in our world, our communities, and our lives.


How will we be renewed in this moment? How will we be changed by this hour? How will we be transformed through this gathering of beloved community? Come, you longing, thirsty souls!… ~ Arlen Goff, Thresholds, full piece


We remember backwards a little and sometimes forwards, but mostly we think in the ebbing circles a rock makes on the water. ~ Marge Piercy


On Transforming the World Together

Two people can keep each other / sane, can give support, conviction… / Three people are a delegation… / A dozen make a demonstration. / A hundred fill a hall. / A thousand have solidarity… / it starts when you say We / and know who you mean, / and each day you mean one more. ~ Marge Piercy’s poem, The Low Road


A boy and his father were walking along a road when they came across a large stone. “Do you think if I use all of my strength, I can move this rock?” the child asked. His father answered, “If you use all of your strength, I am sure you can do it.” The boy began to push the rock. Exerting himself as much as he could, he pushed and pushed. The rock did not move. Discouraged, he said to his father, “You were wrong. I can’t do it.” His father put his arm around the boy’s shoulder and said, “No son. You didn’t use all your strength – you didn’t ask me to help.” ~ Rabbi David Wolf


To be free…You must know, not that you / can do whatever you want… You / must know instead, that inside you are entire / Universes [and]… you must fight for the entire / Universes inside of everyone else… ~ Rev. Theresa I. Soto’s Reflection, To The People Who Have Mistaken Freedom For Liberation, found in Spilling the Light, a UUA meditation manual & Soul Matters “Common Shelf” Book


On the Transformation Called Easter

May we join with the miracle that is Easter time, and enter into life with hope and love. Let us resurrect with spring, let us resurrect with the spirit and enter into renewed life as we gather into our time of worship together this Easter morning. ~ Rev. Elizabeth M Strong, Call to Worship on Easter; full piece


At last, we are here. After a long winter, we can say enthusiastically and without second thought, alleluia! Alleluia, spring is here in all her glory. New life begins, the earth and its creatures are resurrected from their dens of hibernation and dark slumber. Spring is here, long live spring, long live the rebirthing of life into new and creative forms. Long live majestic love that calls us out of our shells, out of our tombs… ~ Rev. Jeanne Lloyd, Easter Blessing and Opening, full piece


Thank you for the breezes of change, clearing our heads and bringing fresh ideas. May they cleanse our minds of the oppressions and isms that divide us. Thank you for the flame of hope, the heat of righteous anger, the warmth of compassion, and the fire of commitment. May they bubble the cauldrons of transformation… ~ Rev. Lyn Cox, Prayer of Co-Creation, full piece


On Resisting Transformation and Not Being Changed

Let difficulty transform you. And it will. In my experience, we just need help learning how not to run away. ~ Pema Chodron


Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit… People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


At the wake of the old way. We are attendants at the wake of the old way, and each of us—through our actions, our thoughts, our work and relationships—is midwifing a new world into existence… and when we come to our days with this awareness, when we fully wake up to this tremendous privilege, when we sense the oak in the acorn of our beings, then we will have the energy to move mountains and shift the tides. [With this as our charge, may we travel into our world renewed. Amen.] ~ Jan Phillips



awaits us

down deep inside

where tomorrow bursts forth.


~ adrienne maree brown, Liberation Awaits

UUSM flaming chalice, round logo

Our service in the world continues.