Newsletter for July, 2018

Jul 2018
News & Announcements: 











UUSM members marched at the Los Angeles Pride Parade on June 10 in West Hollywood. Photo by Janet Goodwin.





The August 2018 issue of the UUSM Newsletter will be published on July 30. Deadline for that issue is Sunday, July 15 at noon. Please submit announcements to Submit articles to

UUSM Church Camp September 14-16

Come for a Summer September Weekend in the Mountains and share in church community. Enjoy fellowship and food, games and music, hiking, meditation, yoga, workshops and relaxed conversation amidst the great pines, firs, and oaks– all while breathing clean air at 7000 feet. Church camp is located just beyond Angeles Oaks on Highway 38. Arrive Friday afternoon or evening, locate your cabin, relax and check out the schedule of weekend activities. On Saturday, attend workshops, hike, play cards or games, swim, or just hang out with friends. Sing-along during the cocktail hour or at the talent show after supper. On Sunday morning, join worship service under the trees. There will be good food all weekend long and children get to play together. It’s an easy-going time for the whole family!
Sign up after services in Forbes Hall or online here.
Email Camp Registrars Karl Lisovsky or Chela Metzger for more information.

Second Sunday Supper (SSS) Hosting Schedule

“Good food, great community, and lots of conversation. It doesn’t get much better than that!” said one member about Second Sunday Supper. Since this is an important community event that many of us consider a highlight of the month, we are asking each church committee or group to participate by hosting one or more supper. The draft schedule for the next six months is in the right column.
Start talking with your chairpersons and group members about the supper you will be hosting. Think about whether you will have a theme, and who will take on which job. Ideally, at least 10 people would be involved in putting the supper together, as many hands make light work.
Host groups take care of set-up, clean-up, and bringing entrees. Typically, guests bring side dishes, salads, desserts, and drinks, and to make the event low-waste guests are encouraged to bring their own reusable tableware and cutlery.
Members of the organizing team – Alan Brunell, Beth Rendeiro, Karl Lisovsky, Kim Miller, and Linda van Ligten – are here to support you in all ways, including publicity, on the night itself, or in any other way. The draft schedule for the rest of 2018 is below. Please contact us if you have questions or need help.
Thank you all so much for bringing this gift to our beloved UU community.










If you are interested in joining the hiking group, please contact Steve Young.. UU hikers Greg Wood, Roberta Frye, Sylvia Young, Haygo Salibian, and Bill Blake next to Franklin Canyon Lake on June hike. (photo by Steve Young)


Faith in Action News: 

Homeless Street Care Project

On Sunday, June 3, church members and friends (including children) came together and assembled 100 care packages for homeless people in our area. Each care package (drawstring bag) was filled with more than 25 useful and essential items, such as blankets, socks, towels, underwear, and an assortment of toiletries. To assemble the bags, people formed an assembly line and moved seamlessly to efficiently fill the bags. Afterward, a truck was loaded, and on the following Monday, the supplies were delivered to two homeless centers.
Our appreciations go to Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services and church member Cassie Winters, and to The People Concern (formerly OPCC) for accepting and distributing the bags. We also thank members, friends, and children who volunteered their time to assemble the bags. Finally, our heartfelt gratitude goes to people who contributed a monetary gift and/or who took the time to collect and bring care items for this project.
Adults and children assemble bags for our neighbors who are homeless. We are grateful that the weather was kind while we assembled them!
Church members Roberta Frye, Cathie Gentile, and Audrey Lyness traveled to Sacramento to participate as “moral witnesses” in conjunction with members of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) as part of California’s Poor People’s Campaign (PPC). The PPC is a national call for moral revival in response to the new and unsettling force distorting the narrative in our current society. Several hundred people from northern to southern California, including UUs from Orange County, San Diego and Davis, marched and sang with organizers. The Reverend Eddie Anderson from McCarty Memorial Church in Los Angeles is co-chair of California’s PPC. The National PPC is led by the Revs. Dr. William Barber and Liz Theoharis. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Poor People’s March on Washington, D.C. This year’s campaign began on Monday, May 14 in over 20 states and will conclude Monday, June 18. A national gathering will take place in Washington D.C. on June 23.

July 1 Craft Fair to Benefit Faith In Action

UUSM’s annual Faith in Action Benefit Craft Fair will be held on Sunday, July 1 at 11 am, after the 10 am service. Come and purchase craft items made by church members, including artwork, knitted goods, and food items to support our work for peace, liberty, and justice for all in the world community.

UU Santa Monica’s “Black Lives Matter” Banner Defaced

The banner on the outside wall facing south on Arizona Avenue was vandalized on May 30. The top portion containing the words “Black Lives Matter” had been cut off and was missing. We note that this act of vandalism occurred the night after two high-profile events:
• Starbucks closed its stores for anti-racism training, and
• Roseanne Barr’s TV show was cancelled by ABC Network after the titular star’s racist online tirade.
Although we don’t know the motive for the destructive act that brought down our banner, we do know that a great many of our sibling UU congregations have had similar banners defaced or destroyed in a shorter span of time. While we have probably fared better than the national average, we are reminded why our congregation voted overwhelmingly two years ago to make this outward display of our values permanent. We will restore the banner as soon as possible.
James Witker


RE News: 

Religious Education for People of All Ages

Did you know that I do not just work with children here at UUSM? I am the Director of Lifespan Religious Exploration which means that I work with adults as well.
What is it?
Exploration is a vital part of our adult lives as Unitarian Universalists. Adult Religious Exploration is about transformation – of the individual, our UUSM community, and the larger society. By learning, discovering new perspectives, and working towards deeper understanding of ourselves, one another, and our world we become part of a greater whole working for peace and justice.
Who does it?
The Director of Religious Exploration works with the Adult RE Committee. We meet every month and communicate through email. We also have facilitators that we work with and support. Meetings are held in Forbes Hall each first Friday of the month at 7 pm.
What do we do?
We seek to offer programs which demonstrate a compassionate, respectful, and insightful environment where each of us can openly and honestly explore what is true for us; where each of us is respected; where spiritual emotional and intellectual growth are stimulated and encouraged; where the process is open and democratic; where our interdependence with all life on earth is recognized and honored; and where the transforming power of love and respect is acknowledged.
Our programs and offerings represent one or more of our seven core exploration areas:
• Unitarian Universalism
• Jewish and Christian Heritage
• World Religions
• Personal and Spiritual Growth
• Spiritual Practice
• Peace and Justice
• The Interdependent Web
If you are interested in facilitating your own class or discussion group related to one or more of these core areas, please email to get an application. Once filled out, the Adult Programs Subcommittee will review it and, if approved, work with you to schedule and promote your program.
Wherever your interest leads you, we welcome you and encourage you to join us in another exciting year of personal and spiritual exploration at UU Santa Monica.
Kathleen Hogue

Summer Adult RE Offering, One-Time Workshop:
Finding Right Relationship with Your Inner Critic

Saturday, August 11, 1 pm to 4 pm. Location: to be determined. Contacts: Beverly Shoenberger and Norman Richey,
We often blame and shame ourselves in ways that we would never openly do to someone else. We can be so used to self-doubt and self-criticism that it seems like the truth, or that we deserve it. Maybe we believe that the inner critic is what keeps us “in line” and safe from being shamed by others. Maybe we think we need the critical voice to stay motivated. Maybe negativity has become familiar and “is just the way it is.”
In this introduction, we will be looking directly at our Inner Critic and learning to discriminate it from our deepest inner truth. Taking this workshop could be a first step in turning these judgmental voices into allies.
Imagine the light that could come into our community and the world, if we could live more fully, without being held back by self-criticism or self-doubt.

Summer Adult RE Offering, One-Time Workshop: Emergence, a Creative Universe, and You

Tuesday, July 24, 7 pm to 9 pm. Location: to be determined.
Contact: James Witker
(Please note: this presentation and discussion is adapted from an AAHS Freethinker Forum held in April, and offered again by request.)
EMERGENCE (Emergent Properties) is a cross-disciplinary idea in science, philosophy, and art dealing with complex systems arising from -- and having properties not merely defined by -- their simpler component parts. Some examples include snowflakes, fractals, galaxies, and life itself.
Whether by blind chance, the whims of quantum spacetime, the Multiverse, or something more deeply mysterious about the nature of Reality, we live in a universe whose internal dynamics are geared toward the development of complex structures -- otherwise we wouldn’t be here at all! Mathematical Cosmologist Brian Swimme says: “This is the greatest discovery of the scientific enterprise: You take hydrogen gas, and you leave it alone, and it turns into rosebushes, giraffes, and humans.” (
Where does God fit in? For most of human history, people have seen a divine hand or some kind of animating intelligence behind the workings of our world and its creative properties. But the steady march of science has revealed a universe obedient to fixed natural laws and chaotically governed by chance. These days, most atheists will say that there is no reliable evidence for anything in or beyond the cosmos that can be called “God.” Meanwhile, newer movements in religion and spirituality, such as Pantheism, Panentheism and some Religious Naturalists, have sought to re-define God as something akin to nature itself, or the inherent creativity within it.
Join us for an exploration of Emergence in a humanistic frame. We will try to understand this concept better, ask some questions to get at what is still mysterious, and appreciate the awesomeness of Nature’s self-organizing dynamics.