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.

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

September 25, 2016
Beginning Again
Monthly Theme: Covenant
Rev. Rebecca Benefiel Bijur
We'll welcome back our choir and (we hope!) launch our RE programs for the coming year.
 

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September 18, 2016
When E'er You Make a Promise (Santa Monica)
Monthly Theme: Covenant
Rev. Kikanza J. Nuri Robins
Our congregant and board member, the Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, is an organization development consultant.
Ordained by the Presbyterian Church, she is a transtraditional minister who serves pastors, congregations and
spiritual organizations, including metaphysical, atheist, and the national UUA offices. She has studied UU history and culture at Starr King School for Ministry and helped design our Heart and Soul evening services.
 
Note that while Rev. Nuri-Robins will be preaching in Santa Monica, this is also our church weekend at Camp de Beneville Pines...and there will be a Worship in the Pines service there, led by Camp Dean Jacki Weber.
 

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September 11, 2016
Memory and Hope
Monthly Theme: Covenant
Rev. Rebecca Benefiel Bijur
As religious scholar and theologian Walter Bruggemann counseled on September 12, 2001, in the wake of this act of terrorism, four things were required: that the people might grieve, that the people might be comforted, that the people might confront cosmic evil, and that the people might demand social analysis. Fifteen years later, have we yet done what is required of us to come to terms with September 11?
 

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September 4, 2016
Bread & Roses: a Buddhist Meditation for Labor Day
Monthly Theme: Covenant
Rev. James Ford
Our visiting minister, Reverend James Ishmael Ford is a Zen Buddhist priest who has also served as a Unitarian Universalist minister for twenty-five years. Today he will reflect on what Buddhism might bring to our liberal religious concerns for a more just and equitable world.
 
Rev. Ford is the minister-emeritus of the First Unitarian Church of Providence, in Rhode Island. He was recently invited to affiliate as community minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach, where he and his spouse are members. Reverend James is also a Zen Buddhist priest, and the guiding teacher at the Blue Cliff Zen Sangha, which meets at the Long Beach church. He is the author or co-author of several UU pamphlets, for several years an online columnist for the UU World, and is the author of several books, the most recent "If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life."
 

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August 28, 2016
Never Give Up
Monthly Theme: Surrender
Rev. Rebecca Benefiel Bijur

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced" ~ James Balwin

 

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August 21, 2016
Ingathering
Monthly Theme: Surrender
Rev. Rebecca Benefiel Bijur & Dr. Zanaida Robles
SUMMER SCHEDULE ENDS - REGULAR SCHEDULE BEGINS - TWO SERVICES AT 9 AM AND 11 AM
 
Please join us for a joyful gathering-in and a return to two services at 9am and 11am. In this experimental year, we are trying out realigning the church year with the calendars of many local schools, including the Santa Monica-Malibu School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District. We’ll introduce our new director of music, Dr. Zanaida Robles, at both services and launch the beginning of our Religious Education programs for the church year. 
 
[Note: No audio recording is available for this service.]
 
August 14, 2016
Music and Poetry - The Language of Spirit
Monthly Theme: Surrender
Rima Snyder

SUMMER SCHEDULE CONTINUES - ONE SERVICE AT 10 A.M. 

Join us for a special summer poetry service, with musical settings by Elizabeth Alexander performed by cellist Lynn Angebranndt, singer Jyvonne Haskin and pianist Daniel Gledhill. Rima Snyder will speak about the relationship between music and poetry, and how both can inform a spiritual practice.
 

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August 7, 2016
Countering the Theology of Hate and Radicalism
Monthly Theme: Surrender
Ani Zonneveld
SUMMER SCHEDULE CONTINUES - ONE SERVICE AT 10 AM

Ani Zonneveld, founder and president of Muslims for Progressive Values, speaker
 
 Muslims for Progressive Values is a faith-based international grassroots organization advocating for an inclusive and egalitarian expression of Islam.
 
A Muslim since her birth in Malaysia, Ani is an unconventional bridge-builder as she speaks-sings her message of social justice and peace from a progressive Muslim woman’s perspective. A singer/songwriter/producer, Ani is the first woman to release an English Islamic pop album in the U.S.

 

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July 31, 2016
Native Vision: The Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples
Monthly Theme: Vision
Rev. Hannah Petrie
This sermon will delve into the worldviews and spirituality of native peoples, specifically Native Americans and the Aborigines of Australia, drawing heavily on the classic, "Mutant Message Down Under" by Marlo Morgan.  We find in these worldviews universal truths of interconnectedness, gratitude, and faith in abundance. 
 
The Rev. Hannah Petrie, a life-long UU, was affirmed and ordained at North Shore Unitarian Church in Deerfield, IL.  She graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry in its centennial year 2004, and has served UU congregations in Texas, Michigan, Florida, and most recently, Pasadena, CA. 
 
Note:  Please mark your calendars - August 21 will be our Ingathering Services at 9am and 11am! In this experimental year, we are trying out re-aligning the church year with the calendars of many local schools, including the Santa Monica-Malibu School District and Los Angeles Unified School District, which begin well before Labor Day. This will give us an “early” Ingathering service on August 21, when kids are going back to school, and also allow us, especially our families with kids, to get into our rhythm of two services for a few weeks before our annual all-church weekend at De Benneville Pines on Sept 16-18.
 

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July 24, 2016
Heart Land: Where Faiths Connect
Monthly Theme: Vision
Rev. Rebecca Benefiel Bijur and GA Attendees
The theme for General Assembly 2016 in Columbus, Ohio, is “Heart Land: Where Faiths Connect.” Join Rev. Rebecca and our GA attendees as they bring home what they have learned and experienced at the largest annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists in the world.
 
[Note:  No audio recording is available for this service.]