News & Announcements

Jul 2020

De Benneville Pines: Help Save our Camp!

Dear UU Friends of de Benneville Pines,
Because of COVID-19, this year’s Santa Monica UU Family Retreat, slated to take place September 18, 19 and 20, is cancelled.  Tie dye on the line2We are sad and disappointed to say that after careful consideration, we have decided that under today’s conditions, Church Camp as we know it would not work very well.
The retreat represents a gathering of people larger than what is considered safe, given social distancing. Room sharing would not be possible for singles, and the food serving protocol would also entail necessary but unwelcome changes, like no self-service salad bar.
Also, as a result of COVID-19, de Benneville Pines is in serious financial trouble, and it is not clear if it will survive. We think about all the joy that we have found at our blessed retreat in the mountains and are motivated to help. One way, if you can afford to do so, is to offer as a donation whatever you would have spent actually going up to Camp.
If you can afford it.
This is a big ask — but a reasonable one. Camp Director Janet James says that if the churches can raise the money that their members would have spent on coming to Camp, then de Benneville will survive.
Here is the fee structure from our registration form:
Find the “Make a Donation” button on the UUSM Church webpage (under What’s New on and you will see two online-donation options, UUSM Online and UUSM Mobile, where you can specify “de Benneville Pines Camp” under Program Support. You can also simply write a check and mail it to 1260 18th St. SM CA 90404.
Camp de Benneville Pines will indeed be closed for the near future, and for that we are sorry. Let’s think now for the long term and sustain the Camp that we love so much.
- The de Benneville Pines Planning Committee
Karl Lisovsky, Amy Brunell, Joyce Holmen, Linda Van Ligten, Chela Metzger, Sunni Pavlovic, Judith Martin-Straw

July Generous Congregation Supports Westside Food Bank

As Los Angeles extends lockdown orders and many non-essential businesses remain closed due to coronavirus, thousands of furloughed and unemployed workers face poverty and food insecurity. Many people are turning to hunger-relief organizations to meet urgent needs, and Westside Food Bank is increasing its distribution to more than 70 local social service agencies, providing emergency food assistance.
UU Santa Monica has a long relationship with Westside Food Bank: volunteering, donating food, providing labor, and raising money. Most UUSM youth and young adults remember trekking over on a Sunday morning to sort food and learn more about hunger in our community. Right now, the most urgent need is cash. According to the website: “As the need for emergency food assistance skyrockets, we need your help to continue buying the truckloads of food required to keep our warehouse stocked.”


Generous Congregation

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.
UUSM’s Generous Congregation supports our church community. And together, we uplift the reach and impact of vital organizations doing work we could not do on our own. This month, half of our Sunday offerings will go to Westside Food Bank. Your support will help keep our vulnerable neighbors food secure. We can make a high volume of nutritious food available for free throughout this crisis.
Please consider supporting the mission of our church, and Westside Food Bank. To give right now, text “$10 GCC” to 844-982-0209. (One-time-only credit card registration required.)