May 2023 Worship Services

dozens of lavender blossoms along a wall beneath leafy branches

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 May 2023: The congregation’s Pandemic Policies and Protocols were adopted specifically in response to the pandemic. So given that the state of emergency has been lifted, they are no longer in effect. 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. For those with a handicap parking tag, several spaces are also available onsite, via the alley west of 18th St., as well at 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: Creative Spirit

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

What is the connection between art and spirituality? Join us as we explore this month's theme of creativity. Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching; Johnny Canales, Worship Associate.

Sunday Worship: Women’s Liberation and Flower Communion

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

The liberal religious tradition catalyzed women's liberation. What makes our spiritual heritage different from other religious movements in this regard? Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching; Sue Bickford, Worship Associate.

Sunday Worship: The Mother of Invention

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

Making something beautiful and functional often requires that we color outside of the lines. Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, preaching; Patrick Meighan, Worship Associate.

Event Series Sunday Worship

Sunday Worship: Crafting a Daily Practice

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

What might it be like to craft a daily spiritual practice to welcome more centeredness, inspiration, equanimity, clarity, and love into your life? Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae, preaching; John Canales, Worship Associate



May Generous Congregation Recipient:
Planned Parenthood  

Our practice here at UUSM is to dedicate half of our non-pledge Sunday offerings 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, half of our Sunday Offering will go to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. Your donations will help Planned Parenthood continue its work in delivering vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide.

Our denomination, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), has long promoted rights to reproductive health care. Since 1963 — 10 years before abortions were legal in this country and before most other religious organizations — UUs have supported the rights of women and their freedom to make faithful choices about their bodies and families. Our faith affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person, the right of individual conscience in decision-making, and respect for human life. Building on two decades of statements, the 1987 “Right to Choose” General Resolution was approved by delegates to the General Assembly. The 2022 General Assembly adopted an Action of Immediate Witness, “We Do Not Consent: Taking Action to Ensure Access to Abortion.” This matter remains an urgent concern.

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


May 2023 Theme: Creativity

There are so many ways to be creative! Here’s a small bouquet of ways to approach creativity at this time, in this place, in our community. We’ll explore in our worship, small groups, and personal reflection this month’s theme, The Path of Creativity. 

A creative life is any life where somebody consistently follows their curiosity more than their fear. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

But our mosaic making tells another story too, one that is often more difficult to see… One that lies not in the beautiful and broken bits and pieces but in the grout… Grout happens in board meetings and committee meetings and endless emails and slow-moving institutions. It is in weekly potlucks shared by neighbors, a ride to church, and coffee in the social hall after worship… ~ The Grout, Rev. Marcus Hartlief

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. ~ Ray Bradbury

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. ~ Anais Nin

We have a mythology that tells us creativity is selfish. We are tutored to believe that artists are self-centered, but I think that as we experience our creativity, we experience a sense of expansion that is in fact the opposite of selfish. ~ Julia Cameron

Cultural messages tell women that making art and having children are incompatible pursuits. But science suggests that women may become more creative after having kids. ~ Erica Hayasaki

One of the primary reasons we get tripped up when it comes to creativity has to do with fear and judgment.  We may have had an elementary school teacher that told us dogs do not look like pigs, and penguins are not fire hydrants with wings, a high school English teacher who told us our writing metaphors were stale and well worn, or a camp director who said we couldn’t act our way out of our lamest lie… Well to that i say: hogwash!… ~ Fireflies and Genius, Rev. Kaaren Anderson

The heart of human identity is the capacity and desire for birthing. To be is to become creative and bring forth the beautiful. ~ John O’Donohue

Because our religious tradition is grounded in innovation, we could say we are a people of creativity… However, we can’t simply cling to that definition unless we understand more deeply what it demands of us… ~ Nurturing Creativity, Rev. Jonalu Johnstone


UUSM flaming chalice, round logo

Our service in the world continues.