Sermons

This is a full list of sermons presented at UUCCSM since mid-1999. Links to sermon texts are included when made available by their authors. Audio recordings are also available for most sermons presented after September, 2007 by our staff ministers and others directly affiliated with our church (just click the speaker icon next to each sermon where it's available). Audio from guest speakers is posted only when we have their permission to share it.

Rev. Greg’s sermons are now available for purchase in the Front office and on Sundays, in Forbes Hall. The cost to produce this publication is $5. In order to continue publication, we ask for a donation that will cover - or go beyond - production costs. Any revenue raised beyond cost will go to the Ministerial discretionary fund which is used to assist members and friends in their time of need (such as shelter, food, utilities, medical, etc.)

"Leaving Room for Hope: Sermons for Uncertain Times," a book of Minister Emerita Judith Meyer's sermons, is available here.

January 14, 2018
A Test of Tolerance
Rev. Greg Ward

Diversity is coming.  Indeed, it's already here.  But are we ready?  Because of technology we can now be instantly aware of new cultures, exposed to them and be immersed in them in ways that were impossible only 30 years ago.  How do we know we're ready?  Are we prepared to consider diversity as a burden instead of a threat?  This sermon will test our readiness.

January 7, 2018
Getting a New Start
Rev. Greg Ward

What does it mean to have a new start?  Is it possible in a new beginning to retain our hard won experience and wisdom, but let go of the naivete or innocence... Can we let go of our jadedness or cynicism and without cutting out parts of the world we've known?  This is a sermon about the kinds of things you think about in the turnstile while waiting for your new life.

December 31, 2017 - 11:00am
All These Words mean Happy Kwanzaa (one service at 11 a.m.)
Gregory C. Carrow-Boyd, UU Aspirant
Kwanzaa was created in 1966 to offer Black Americans an alternative to the consumerism (and lack of capital returning to Black communities) found at Christmas. Research for the holiday was partially provided by our Unitarian Universalist Association through a fund created to support Black Empowerment. Join Gregory C. Carrow-Boyd for a lively musical dialogue on the meaning of Kwanzaa in Unitarian Universalism and its significance to Black Unitarian Universalists.
 
December 24, 2017 - 6:00pm
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service (6 & 8 p.m.)
Rev. Greg Ward
UUSM welcomes all as we gather for candlelight services on Christmas Eve. At 6:00 pm, Music Director Dr. Zanaida Robles will conduct the adult choir.
 
Minister Greg Ward will deliver a message evoking the spirit of the season at these moving services of candlelight and song. 
 
Our traditional candlelight services will be led by our minister, Rev. Greg Ward, and the adult choir is led by Music Director Dr. Zanaida Robles. There will be stories, carols and music to draw us deeper into the truest meaning behind the original journey to Bethlehem. This moving service culminates in a candlelit singing of “Silent Night.”
 
Parking is provided at the UCLA structure for this special evening.
 
December 24, 2017 - 4:00pm
Christmas Pageant (4 p.m.)
Rev. Greg Ward

.Our Holiday pageant “Would You Like to Hold the Baby?” will take place at our 4pm Christmas Eve service this year. 

 
The pageant will showcase all the characters you know and love including the Friendly Beasts! 
Join us for a Christmas Nativity pageant in word and song by Joyce Poley and Frank Henning. 
This is the timeless story of Mary and Joseph, the Kings and the Shepherds, with the addition of a new character - a young stable girl. As Mary invites the girl to hold her Baby, so we are invited to embrace the deepest meaning Christmas holds for each one of us. 
 
Parking is provided at the UCLA structure for this special family friendly event!
 
Director of Religious Education Kathleen Hogue invites families to this informal and fun afternoon service.  Children will rejoice with beautiful holiday music, including a sing-along of old favorites.
 
December 24, 2017
The Straight Skinny on the Fat Man in Red (two services at 9 & 11 a.m.)
Rev. Greg Ward
“You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why…” Sometimes when we review all the things we know about Santa – and even about Christmas in general – which have slipped into the annual traditional Christmas package, we might do well to wonder where these stories came from? The person we celebrate as ‘Santa’ draws upon a historic figure. But how much of what we celebrate is fact? And does something need to be fact to be true?
 
December 20, 2017 - 7:00pm
Winter Solstice Service (7:00 p.m.)
Rima Snyder
Join church members and friends for a contemplative gathering to celebrate the longest night of the year. Readings, meditation, music, and candle lighting will help us honor the dark, welcome the return of light and prepare us for the year to come.
 
UUSM welcomes the public to delight in the spirit of the season, offering seven Winter Holiday Services celebrated in our historic sanctuary at 18th and Arizona. FREE and open to the public. 
 
Please note: parking is available at the UCLA strcuture for this event.
Also: this event is a potluck! We kindly ask those of you ringin food to arrive by 6:45pm, thanks so much.
 
December 17, 2017
Holiday Wars
Rev. Greg Ward

Every year just before Christmas religious conservatives announce there is a 'War on Christmas!' Christmas, they claim, is being dishonored and shortchanged because it isn't allowed to reign supreme over other religious holidays. But there is something we all lose in this holiday hoopla. This is an open letter to Fake News agencies and all who lay claim to Christmas as the dominant culture.

December 10, 2017 - 5:00pm
Heart and Soul: A Contemplative Worship Service (5:00 p.m.)
Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, Joyce Holmen, and Karen Hsu Patterson
Heart and Soul services are led by Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, Joyce Holmen, and Karen Hsu Patterson. With singing and instrumental music, poetry, statements and questions, silence and sharing, we’ll explore monthly worship themes.
Sunday, December 10 – What Does It Mean to be A COMMUNITY OF HOPE?
December 10, 2017
Why the Right Get It Wrong and the Left Just Don't Get It
Rev. Greg Ward
"The world has gotten too big and too complex for a divided people to manage.  The line that runs between Red and Blue, Have and Have Not have polarized us and paralyzed us from needed change.  It has been spiritual and ethical courage that has called forth the moral and courageous conversations around war, poverty, racism, healthcare and the environment.  So where is that conversation?