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 Ward’s sermons are available for purchase. Monthly publications can be purchased at $10 per hard copy. Electronic copies are currently not available. Please send your payment to the office, or purchase online using the "MAKE A DONATION" link in the upper right-hand corner of this page. E-mail Diego Andres at oos@uusm.org and note which month you would like to purchase. Publications are generated as ordered. 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.

[*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.]

November 10, 2019 - 10:00am
Livin' on a Prayer
Monthly Theme: Attention
Liz Murphy
Prayer is synonymous with religious communities.  But how might we, as UUs of many different beliefs, connect with prayer in our own lives and in our congregations?  Looking to the natural world as our guide, this sermon will investigate how prayer, in its many forms, can be a transformative practice of paying attention in our daily lives.
 
Liz Murphy is the Intern Minister at Throop Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena.
November 3, 2019 - 10:00am
Dia de Los Muertos
Monthly Theme: Attention
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, Vilma Ortiz, Leon Henderson-MacLennan
"Our annual Day of Dead Service is a time to commune with the memories and spirits of our beloved dead. This is a time to celebrate the impact of their lives upon us and to reflect upon what it means to honor death in the cycle of life.  Following this service, we will have a brief service in the Garden of Eternity to remember those memorialized there. All are welcome. Please note Daylight Savings ends this morning.           
 
In Memoria: Garden of Eternity Service
November 3, 2019, 11:30am-12:00pm
 
We will gather in the Garden of Eternity following our Día de Los Muertos service to remember our beloved dead and honor the new names that are being added to this sacred space of our beloved community.  All are welcome to this brief service of reflection and memory.
October 27, 2019 - 10:00am
Through Endless Seasons
Monthly Theme: Belonging
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae

This is UUSM Music Program’s music of remembrance service offering. It will feature British composer Will Todd’s Footprints Choral Suite, as well as other music selections. Footprints was inspired by Mary Stevenson’s poem Footprints in the Sand. Though the original poem has a clear Christian tone, the choral suite draws on the more universal elements of friendship, responsibility, and reaching out, especially in a time of loss and grief.

 

October 20, 2019 - 10:00am
Called to Belong
Monthly Theme: Belonging
Aubrey Sassoon
Are there places you know you just belong? Places you don’t need to explain or qualify your being there, or being with those people. Each of these might feel like a home of sorts, but for many people the very places and people they don’t feel like they belong to can be intrusive and traumatic, leaving a feeling that affects even the places they should feel safest. Come worship the inherent worth and dignity of all, to belong.
October 13, 2019 - 10:00am
Blessing of the Animals
Monthly Theme: Belonging
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae
"Our 7th Unitarian Universalist Principle is: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” This service we will celebrate our animal companions with a special service of blessing as we consider our roles in the interdependent web of life. This will be a multigenerational service and you are invited to bring your animal companions to the service with you this morning.
 
Please bring your pet in the safest way possible -- for them to feel safe as well as for the other animals around them.  If coming to church is not your pet's idea of comfort and reassurance, bring a toy they like to play with and a picture of them so that they can be blessed in the same way they provide a blessing to you." Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae Cassie Winters

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October 6, 2019 - 10:00am
Awakening: The High Holy Days (Sept. 30-Oct.9) Adonai Roi
Monthly Theme: Belonging
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae

Jewish tradition honors the sanctity of this time as the begining of the New Year, the period of judgement, and the Day of Atonement. Join us as we reflect upon the High Holy Days of this tradition and find their relevance to our lives and the world.   

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September 29, 2019
A Boundless Light
Monthly Theme: Expectation
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae
ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 a.m.
 
In studying religion, one discovers a multitude of theologies, doctrines, and dogmas that have profoundly impacted humanity. At times, they’ve been the sources of schisms and bloodshed. At other times, they’ve spread love and justice in the world. This Sunday, we will consider a liberal religious doctrine that stands out as one of the most important and controversial theological doctrines ever articulated.

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September 22, 2019 - 10:00am
Ingathering Water Communion
Monthly Theme: Expectation
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae
One service at 10:00 a.m.  (note:  fall return to two services has been postponed; new date for resumption of fall schedule is TBD) 
 
Enter, Rejoice, and Come In!We gather again in love, as we return to offering two services each Sunday.Bring a small container of water from your travels or from home to mingle in a communion bowl.

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September 15, 2019 - 10:00am
Now What Do I Say?
Monthly Theme: Expectation
Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins
One service at 10:00 a.m.  (note:  fall return to two services has been postponed; new date for resumption of fall schedule is TBD) 
 
The power of personal narrative is that it provides opportunities to bond and create community. Working in community with a diverse group of people means that all present will be in a richer, more fertile environment. How do we do that? Storytelling is a powerful tool for creating empathy, facilitating healing, and inspiring action.  Sometimes before we tell our stories we have to remove foot from mouth, back track, rewind, apologize, or simply take our chins off the floor.  This morning we will start a conversation about how to do that with some grace.
 
 The Rev. Kikanza Nuri Robins is a trans-traditional spiritual leader who works with groups from many faith traditions. She is an author, a consultant to mission driven organizations, and a member of our beloved community.
 
 Dozens of our members are at de Benneville Pines weekend – and holding a service this morning at our mountain camp.

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September 8, 2019 - 10:00am
Embarking on the Journey - Meeting Our New Developmental Minister
Monthly Theme: Expectation
Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae
We are beginning to take our first steps together on a spiritual journey. Developmental ministry invites us into a period of adventure, challenge, contemplation, and discovery. It will require all of us to stretch our imaginations, open our hearts even wider, and do the deep work of creating beloved community together. This Sunday, I hope to share some of my story and my hopes for the exciting path we have embarked upon.
--------------------------------
 
Earlier, the Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae wrote to us:
             
"I am so excited to begin developmental ministry with you. The compelling ministry before us will touch upon the very heart of congregational life. We will explore mission, vision, and the covenants that bind us to each other and to the larger world. We will learn to deepen our relationships, explore matters of the heart and emotional intelligence, practice good communication and setting appropriate boundaries in congregational life, and create spaciousness for an affirmation and celebration of the diversity inherent to our pluralistic spiritual life. We will also work to examine systems and structures of the congregation and continue the important work towards increased financial vitality and sustainability. We will be in deep conversation around these goals and others in the coming months. This is truly a time for a holistic reflection on the essence of beloved community and what is required of each of us to be transformed by liberal religious community.
 
My most recent ministries have been serving congregations in the San Francisco Bay Area and teaching multireligious philosophy and theology at Starr King School for the Ministry – our Unitarian Universalist seminary at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. At Starr King, I also served for many years recruiting and preparing our next generation of Unitarian Universalist ministers and progressive religious leaders. In addition to being a UU minister, I am a practicing Sufi in the lineage of Ibrahim Abdurrahman Farajajé and Moinuddin Chishti. In the larger community, I’ve been especially invested in the Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, Climate Justice, Disability, Refugee and Aslyee, Transgender/Queer and Feminist Liberation movements. Before entering the ministry, I was a social justice activist, educator, nonprofit professional, and community leader.
 We will have a lot of time to learn more from each other and I look forward to ministering with each of you!
 
 With love and gratitude,
 Jeremiah"

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