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.

Hard copies of sermons by Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae are available in the church office. Contact office assistant Sibylla Nash at office@uusm.org if you have a request.

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

[*Please Note: if you do not see an audio speaker icon below each of the individual sermons on this page, click the small lock-shaped icon next to the page's URL in your address bar, and in the drop-down menu that pops up, make sure "Flash" is set to "Allow." Then re-load the page, and you should be able to see the audio players. Sorry for any inconvenience - we are working to fix this issue.]

October 25, 2020 - 10:00am
Requiem for Hope: A Tribute (Online Service)
Monthly Theme: Deep Listening
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae
 
2020 has been quite a year. Between the pandemic, fires and climate catastrophes, and the general political landscape, there is no doubt that we have lost many lives.  This year, the choir presents its Requiem to pay tribute to all that is lost and what we have gained. We would like to dedicate this service to our healthcare workers; justice leaders Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Lewis; the countless Black lives that we lost to systemic brutality, to get the discussion of equality on the table, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor among them; lives lost because of COVID-19, to natural disasters. We also honor the souls in our own community that have moved forward from this earth to join the ancestors; we will dedicate new bricks in our beautiful Memorial Garden. May the music offered in this service be meditative, reflective, and healing, ushering us to a more hopeful tomorrow.
October 18, 2020 - 10:00am
Listening with the Heart (Online Service)
Monthly Theme: Deep Listening
Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins
 
Have you ever wished that someone would just stop talking and LISTEN to you?  Have you ever felt you were listening to someone but even though you understood the words, you were missing the meaning?  Sometimes rather than listening with your ears and processing with your brain, you need to listen with your heart and take in the meaning of the message THERE.  Heart Tones.  Heart Songs.  Heart Sounds.  When should you shift from the head to the heart?  How can you use both head and heart?  Approaching the speaker with the appropriate Listening Attitude is the key to listening as a spiritual practice.  Listening with your heart.  Wholly Listening.  Holy Listening.
October 11, 2020 - 10:00am
Keep Turning the Pages (Online Service)
Monthly Theme: Deep Listening
Mylo Way
What do we do when the truth is hard to face and the outcome is frightening? How do we stay in community and get ourselves through the hard truths, together?
 
We welcome to our pulpit Mylo Way, a lifelong UU who has served as a chaplain in congregational, conference, and hospital settings. Mylo studied at Starr King School for the Ministry and is transmasculine genderqueer.
 
 
October 4, 2020 - 10:00am
Blessing of the Animals (Online Service)
Monthly Theme: Deep Listening
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae
 
 
We gather on the Feast of Francis of Assisi — patron saint of animals and the environment in the Christian tradition — to celebrate and digitally bless our non-human animal companions and the natural world.  Our Seventh UU Principle is “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”  And our Six Sources affirm and promote many ways that this world is so much more than just the humans in it.
September 27, 2020 - 10:00am
Yamim Nora’im: The Days of Awe (Online Service)
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have arrived on the cycle of the Hebrew calendar, and we explore this sacred time of taking inventory of our lives and making amends to refresh our souls and renew the world.  Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote seven Principles, which we hold as strong values and moral guides.  We live out these within a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience.
September 20, 2020 - 10:00am
The Masks We Wear (Online Service)
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae
 
As the popular saying goes: “I can’t believe it’s September — it literally feels like it was March just sixteen years ago!”  Developmental ministry in the midst of a pandemic offers many unique challenges and opportunities for congregations.  Join us as we explore developmental ministry in this new context, in the new church year.
September 13, 2020 - 10:00am
Ingathering Water Communion (Intergenerational Online Service)
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae
Join us for our annual ingathering service to celebrate the new church year! Rev. Jeremiah returns to the pulpit and we honor our water communion ceremony this year from the safety of our homes.
 
You are invited to email Jeremiah and Saunder hopes, inspirations, and blessings for the new year — either as a video with water being poured into a bowl or as text to be read during the ceremony.  We need these videos by Tuesday evening (September 8th) to hopefully include them in the service.  Please be sure to record in a quiet and well-lit space with HD (720p) if possible.
September 6, 2020 - 10:00am
Quilting Lessons (Online Service)
Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins
Sometimes in the midst of doing something that has you focused in one direction, you realize that you are learning things that apply to other aspects of your life.  That was the case when I made my first quilt.  I thought I was learning about quilting; I realized later that I was learning about life.  Has that ever happened to you?  We have been in quarantine for six months now.  Some of us have been in our homes the whole time.  Others have ventured out; all have learned new ways of doing things.  And learned new things as we did the mundane.  What have you learned about yourself and about life in the past six months?  As we bring our summer sermon series to a close, come and share with one another lessons you have learned while quilting, or gardening, or …. whatever you have been doing in the past few months.
 
The Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins is a member of our congregation who preaches across the Southland.  When she is not working with churches she is helping other mission-driven organizations — and people — learn and use the lessons that the Universe presents to them.
August 30, 2020 - 10:00am
The Promise in the Desert (Online Service)
Rev. Ranwa Hammamy
 
Some have begun calling 2020 “The Great Reckoning,” a time when the systemic injustices in our society are fully being called in by the promises of our possibility. It is a powerful, scary, tense, creative, and uncertain time in our lives, and we are being invited to listen, tell, and write new stories together. Drawing inspiration from the story of Hajar in the Islamic Traditions, we will explore what it can mean to expand our collective story, believe in the promise of our faith in these times, and deepen our resilience as Unitarian Universalists manifesting justice and love.
 
Rev. Ranwa Hammamy (they/she) serves as the Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California, which supports UUs around the state in their various justice ministries by providing advocacy, education, and witness opportunities to live out our UU values (uujmca.org). Ranwa has previously served as President of DRUUMM (Diverse & Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries), a national organization for UU People of Color. A self-described “UU-Muslim,” Ranwa seeks to serve both living traditions in her ministry, encouraging others both to grow and learn from each other’s gifts. When not working, Ranwa enjoys spending time baking absurd concoctions, singing for liberation, and relaxing with their spouse and five fur babies.
 
 
 
 
August 23, 2020 - 10:00am
What Matters? (Online Service)
Michael Eselun
 
Moving together through these challenging times, we find ourselves, perhaps on a daily basis, reassessing our priorities. We have a lot of questions these days. UCLA Oncology Chaplain and popular guest speaker, Michael Eselun will share reflections on the question, “What Matters?” We look forward to his return to our pulpit.
 
Michael Eselun serves as the chaplain for the Simms/Mann‐UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology. Two-time TED-X speaker, Michael speaks extensively to healthcare professionals, patient populations, and faith communities across the country. He’s also worked as an activist/educator addressing anti-LGBTQ bias in the larger community for over 30 years. Michael was recently inducted into the UCLA-Semel Institute Eudaimonia Society, in recognition of having lived a meaning-driven life. He has four volumes of CDs available for purchase through his website, www.michaeleselun.com.