Previous Services

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"Promises, Promises"

Lay Led Service


"On the Eve"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Christmas Eve is the day before the world changes, the last day before the miracle comes.  Because Jesus was born two thousand years ago, we celebrate Christmas Eve knowing the change that came the following morning.  But for our own time, we cannot know what tomorrow may bring.  Tonight we worship in hope and waiting. 

"Nativity Pageant for Christmas Eve Morning"

Lay-Led Service with Chris Kirchner, Jacki Weber & Bonnie Burroughs


"Jesus as a Leader"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Unitarian Christians regarded Jesus not as a supernatural savior, but as a role model of how an enlightened human person should take care of themselves and the world we share.  As we end our study of leadership and prepare to celebrate Christmas we can ask, “How Would Jesus Lead?” 

"A Leader Inspires"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


To know the good we can do, the joy we can bring, the beauty we can make, and so on is only the beginning. Unless our knowledge connects to our will, our dreams will remain unrealized and our lives and the world will never change. To move from vision to action requires the "kindling power" of passion that great leaders can light within us. 

"A Leader Models"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Unitarian Universalists see the usefulness of Jesus not in a divine sacrifice, but in a human life that we can model. Buddhists, too, revere a human spiritual leader. On the holiday celebrating Buddha's enlightenment (Bodhi Day, December 8), we recognize not what the Buddha achieved for us, but the way great leaders show the greatness we can achieve for ourselves. 

"A Thanksgiving Bread Communion"

Lay Led, Terry Hassman-Paulin and Jackie Davis


Today, we are honoring the age-old practice of sharing bread with those we want to bring into our circle. By breaking bread together, we are celebrating our connection. We are the faith of the open mind, the loving heart, the helping hands. Today we are communing over freshly baked bread.

Several members of our congregation have either baked bread or bought bread for this special service. They’ll be sharing the bread with you during the service.

"Moral Beauty and the Shape of Justice"

Lay Led, Chris Kirchener and Joyce Fidler


Unitarian Universalists know to restore their spirits through poetry. This week’s service allows those attending to bring their favorite poem to share. Come and enjoy the artistry of treasured poets! 

"Leading from the Middle"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Picture a leader and perhaps you see a figure standing at the front of a group. The leader leads, the followers, follow, right? But a leader, too far ahead, can lose touch. Positioned behind the group, the leader could be overlooked. The proper place for the leader is in the midst of the group, drawing in the outliers, listening, encouraging, working together, and looking very much like every other member of the team. 

"Moral Beauty and the Shape of Justice"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


As I begin my 26th year of ordained ministry, I am convinced that the primary work of our faith is to help people make, join, and thrive, in community. Healthy community is the salvation we offer. A leader's responsibility, whether minister or lay leader, is to align the task at hand with that ultimate goal.

"Moral Beauty and the Shape of Justice"

Rev. Jay Atkinson, Minister Emeritus


Over the eighty years of this congregation's history, social justice as a religious vision has taken on an urgency that some of our ancestors dreamed of and others could scarcely have imagined.  We need to understand justice in deep and organic ways, but in our news and opinion media, we mostly hear justice spoken of in shallow and vengeful ways.  As we contemplate our religious commitment to justice, a vision of moral beauty can guide our UU communities toward a future in which life might actually have "the shape of justice."  

"Change and Change Again"

Rev. Jill Bowden, Guest Minister


"Change" in a yes/no world says, "Something was wrong that needs to be different." Alternatively, change is what can be done when new information is available, when there are more possibilities than we once knew. We have choices -- always. What can be done when we set priorities instead of dichotomies? The future is ambiguous, and it is ours. "We are going -- heaven knows how we are going, but we know we will." 

"From Generation to Generation"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


By the sixth or seventh decade of its life, a church enters into a time in which no member of the founding generation is still around. Are we still that church founded in 1943? What does it mean, then, to be a “church”? As Theodore Parker once noted of Christianity itself, some parts of an institution that once seemed necessarily permanent, turn out to be acceptably transient.

"A New Way"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Founded in 1943 as an independent Christian church, by the 1960s our church had become Unitarian, and later Unitarian Universalist. This is a remarkable change that recapitulates in miniature the history of our faith. The physical legacy of who we were (the cross on the balcony of the choir loft) as well as the ability to re-invent ourselves in response to changing times and needs, are part of our spiritual inheritance.

"In the Beginning"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


The founding of an institution is a unique time in its history when it has no history.  Where does creation come from?  Do we create “Ex Nihilo” (from nothing) as Christian doctrine holds God created the universe, or, as the text in Genesis reads, do we create by giving shape to something that was “formless and empty” but already existed in some way before we acted on it? Special Guest: Anthony Concepcion.

"Make it NUU"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Around the year 1800 something new happened in American religion: the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association officially separated from their parent denominations. Over the next two centuries the two tranquil streams of our faith meandered through landscapes of Transcendentalism, The Free Religious Association, "liberal" religion, the social gospel, humanism, and more, until, in 1961 we met and merged into the Unitarian Universalist Association.  

"Give Me That Old Time Religion"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Our annual Ingathering service calls us back to community. After we have followed our individual paths of rest and exploration over the summer, we’re called back to the common work of our church. We have intentions for our year, but we also recognize the openness of the future, the mystery, the surprise mixed with hope, the grace with which we expect the unexpected.

"Tolerance and Brunch"

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Our annual Ingathering service calls us back to community. After we have followed our individual paths of rest and exploration over the summer, we’re called back to the common work of our church. We have intentions for our year, but we also recognize the openness of the future, the mystery, the surprise mixed with hope, the grace with which we expect the unexpected.


Clicket Sloat, Bonnie Burroughs, Joyce Fidler, Chris Long and the Lay-Led Worship Team


The ongoing WGA SAG/AFTRA strike has deeply affected our community.  Four members of UUCSC will share their reflections on the strike and its impact on their lives and livelihoods. 

The Heat is On

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


When it’s hot outside I feel like doing nothing. But igniting an internal flame gets us going; at least that’s the metaphor. Rest is an important part of renewing energy, but when it’s time for action, how do we turn on the power? What lights your fire?


Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Before the race begins there are three things to do, or is it four? Is it “Ready, Set, Go?” Or is it “One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, four to go?” In any case, whether it’s the first step, or the final step before “Go!”, getting “ready” is a necessary step. We know where we’re going, so what will help our going be successful?

What's the Plan?

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


As we gear up for the new church year (starting September 10) let’s think about what we’re hoping to do, when, and who. Today we kick off our volunteer drive called, “Find Your Place.” As we call into being the coming church year, listen for the piece of the vision that calls to you and decide how you will offer your gifts of time, talent, or leadership.

Jim Scott

Jim Scott


Jim mixes songs and stories in a message of peace and reconciliation for a wounded world and our struggling society.  Acknowledging the anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki we celebrate the pursuit of nothing short of real peace. Amid wars, cataclysmic weather events, and an economic collapse, long-term visions of sustainability have lately been obscured if not abandoned. In this season of optimism and renewal of spirit for the work we have before us, our charge is nothing less than a job of healing -- the earth and ourselves.

Imagine a Church

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


A special service that will get us out of our seats to take a look at our church building and grounds. Take a silent, guided, meditative walk around our facility, call it “stations of the chalice.” At each stop we’ll invite you to pause for a prayer or blessing and make some notes about what you see, how you feel, and what you’d like to see and feel. What does our building and grounds say about us, and our faith? What stories do we wish our building would tell?

Out of Here

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


There’s an old saying that wherever you go, there you are. But I find that’s not entirely true. Out of my ordinary setting, I discover a different version of myself. Sure, I’m still me, but that hidden self, that forgotten self, that undiscovered self that I only uncover when I’m somewhere I don’t usually go, has gifts to give that I’ll never know if I don’t, now and then, get away.

Ain’t Doing Nothin’

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


In the rhythm of the church, it's the months between the end of one church year in June and the beginning of the next year in September when we can practice the spiritual state of stillness. Call it vacation, or taking a break, or just laziness, let's try to not try, to not do, but for a little while, simply be.

An Accidental Pilgrim

Rev. Rayna Hamre


The word “pilgrimage” can describe a journey that is religious, spiritual, or secular, a movement that creates a change within our deepest selves. Join Rev. Rayna for an exploration of what it means to be a pilgrim in different traditions of the past and present, with a look into the future. She will share her own journey as an accidental pilgrim.

Practicing Kindness in an Uncharitable Age

Joshua Irving Gershick


“Love thy neighbor as thyself,” also referred to as the Golden Rule, is a central tenet in all faith traditions, a core principle that fosters connection to each other and to the Divine. But in our un-listening age of trolldom and reactivity, how do we even begin to see B’tzelim Elohim, the image of G-d, in each other? Queer playwright/author Joshua Irving Gershick suggests it may all start with “Hello.”

Joshua Irving Gershick’s work illuminates the lives of LGBTQI Americans who’ve been hidden from history. His books include Gay Old Girls, a Lambda Literary Award finalist and winner of the ForeWord Book of the Year Award for Best LGBT Nonfiction; and Secret Service: Untold Stories of Lesbians in the Military, also winner of the ForeWord Book of the Year Award for Best LGBT Nonfiction. His plays include Dear ONE: Love & Longing in Mid-Century Queer America and Bluebonnet Court, winner of the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Los Angeles Theatre. He is writer/director of the film Door Prize, winner of the Alfred C. Kinsey Award, honoring film that furthers understanding of gender or sexuality.

Thanks for Everything

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


A look back at the church year just completed. Special thanks is appropriate for the experiences of growth and learning and all the people who contributed to our success. General thanks is appropriate, as always, for all that is our lives.

Please bring a flower (or two) to help in the celebration of “Flower Communion,” which will be part of this worship service.

RE Sunday

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Providing religious education for children is as important now as it has ever been. But today’s social reality creates new challenges for churches and for families that old models of “Sunday School” cannot meet. Rather than re-stating old answers, now is the time to re-ask the question, “What are we hoping to do for our children and our church community and our society?” and then, being clear on the purpose, invent new strategies to meet the goal. We will welcome new members during the worship service.

Open Your Ears to the Song

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


For our annual celebration of our music program, we remind ourselves that making music with a choir, or a band, isn’t just about the sounds that you produce, but also about listening closely to what others are doing. In our work as a congregation, too, we need to develop the skill of listening, balance, adjusting, accommodating, stepping back so others can have the spotlight, as well as contributing our own gifts.

No Gift is Too Small

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


On the day we honor those Americans who have given the ultimate sacrifice, I want us to also consider all the ways that people contribute to good causes, according to their interests, resources and abilities. Judging some for not doing enough turns away allies. There are many ways to be involved.

Spiritual Report Cards

Chaplain Michael Eselun


How many of us live our lives as if there will be a report card at the end of the term? What would constitute an “A” in your book, spiritually speaking? And does it matter? Oncology chaplain and popular guest speaker, Michael Eselun will explore these questions.

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 4 volumes of CD’s available for purchase—contact Michael through his website–

Human Lives Before Ideology

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Social change begins with a sense of righteousness. We know what’s wrong with the world and we’re sure we know how to fix it. That gives us a sense of conviction, which is powerful, but opens activists to a kind of prideful certainty that can lead to error. We need to listen to dissenting voices, and watch as circumstances shift, and stay connected to the real lives of the real people we’re trying to help.

Begin at the End

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Too much of our activism is “re-activism.” We’re responding with sorrow or outrage to the latest incident. That sort of public emotional catharsis has its place, but we should be working proactively, too. We need to set our own vision, map out our strategy, and recognize that big goals require sustained effort.

Everybody In

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Successful social change movements build strong and wide coalitions. In building coalitions it’s important to our goal as narrowly as possible so we don’t end up excluding potential allies based on disagreement over an issue not actually relevant to our shared goal. 

Earth Day Is Every Day

Pam Geller and the Lay Worship Committee


you are invited to a bit-out-of-the-ordinary service. The elements that feed your spirit remain, but during the “sermon time,” we will be sojourning in groups through four table stations. For the families on Zoom, you will be traveling via a slide presenting a photo of the table, and a list of the principal points the table speaker will be presenting. To Zoomers: If you’re able, please plan to attend in person so that you can have the full hands-on experience. The service is designed to help each of us to adopt better and better habits that lighten our footprint on the natural environment. It is Pam’s inspiration that better and better habits grow out of a spiritual connection to Mother Earth. 

It’s All in Who You Know

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Social change begins with relationship-building. Reach out. Keep reaching out. Really listen. “Break not the circle of enabling love... ’till it includes, embraces all the living.” 

Unfinished Business

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels,


Jesus died just as his ministry reached its most powerful point. Easter celebrates the miracle that Jesus lives again and the story continues. But a few weeks after his resurrection, Jesus ascends to Heaven, with the work of inaugurating the Kingdom of God still un nished. For those of us who won’t see the nal winning of our most long-sought goals, perhaps Easter has a different kind of message than we usually think.

Turning Points

A Lay-Led Service with Jackie Davis, Damian Conrad-Davis, and Dave Palley


As we move through life’s journey, we encounter “turning points” that cause us to change direction–both literally and guratively. Sometimes we recognize these moments as they are happening. At other times, it takes us years to realize we are transitioning.

Making Peace

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Google “spirituality” and you’ll get images of quiet prayer, serene meditation, or a blissed-out moment of disconnection. We think of spirituality as “your moment of Zen” (which has nothing to do with Zen). Of course spirituality is much more than peace and quiet, but it’s not wrong to crave a life of peace and quiet, too.

Livin’ on a Prayer

Rev. 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 service will investigate how prayer, in its many forms, can be a transformative practice of paying attention in our daily lives.

The Ability to Achieve Purpose

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Because we think of power as “power over” power can be seen as a negative for Unitarian Universalists. But power in itself is neutral. Dr. King said, “power is the ability to achieve purpose, power is the ability to effect change, and we need power.” Accruing power to make lives better places us on the side of the divine.

Laughing with the Buddha, and Others

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Why is religion so serious? Ultimately, shouldn’t we be having fun? Jesus is usually portrayed as a sorrowful or suffering character, but he has happy moments. You’ve probably seen an image of a fat and happy Buddha. I want a religion that calls us to joy.

Stewardship Sunday

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


In our UU churches, organized under congregational polity, we support our institution by giving from our individual resources. We recognize our church as something larger than ourselves, which we love and to which we owe our allegiance and loyalty. This corresponds, in a small way, to the religious expression of piety, asceticism, or “Islam” (submission to the will of God).

Loving Yourself Enough

Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins


How can you love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself? Self-love is not sel shness. It is honoring who you are and the gift of life that is yours. Consider what might change if you loved yourself enough to say, “Ouch, No!” or “Stop” when it was appropriate. Re ect on the things that make your heart smile. How might you arrange your life so that your heart smiled more often? Do you love yourself enough to make that happen?

The Deeper Mind

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


With a smart phone at hand, and a powerful search engine, we have banished the anxiety of not knowing. Now we can know any particular thing we care to know, yet knowledge of all things is still beyond our ability. But would even complete knowledge satisfy, or do we really long for a different kind of knowing?

The Face of God

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Theology has much to say about the attributes of God, omnipotence, omniscience, love, justice, and so on, but what about the appearance of God? In the Christian scripture we’re told, “No man hath seen God at any time” (John 1:18). Yet in Genesis, Jacob says, “I have seen God face to face” (Genesis 32:30). When I think about the divine countenance I think of ultimate beauty, or rather, when I’m in the presence of great beauty: art, music, poetry, beautiful people, nature, I feel I am catching a glimpse of something divine.

Something Larger Than Myself

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


The rst step of a spiritual life is recognizing that there exists something larger than myself, something which contains and supports me, but is more than me, perhaps even more valuable than me alone. When that larger thing needs our defense, we face the question of sacrafice. What are we willing to give, so the larger thing might flourish?

The Right Rules

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Communities, large and small, thrive when they are ordered according to helpful, and respected rules. Drive on the right side of the road. Stop when the light is red. We bristle under oppressive laws. But the answer isn’t no rules, but the right rules.

The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King

Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels


Martin Luther King wasn’t just “Dr. King.” He was a seminary-educated, ordained, Christian minister. His vision for Black Americans was a religious vision. Though religion has become popularly associated only with conservative politics, religion’s ability to connect moral principles with ultimate visions remains a powerful asset for social change.

Radical Hope in Revelatory Times

Pastor Joshua Berg, guest minister


This time in history feels very precarious. Not only are there many unknowns as always but, especially in this country, we seem to be hovering at the edge of a precipice, at risk of falling into an abyss. What are the pathways and strategies to regain our balance and move away from the cliff toward a desired collective future? History and our ancestors teach us pride and resilience. We must use those lessons to create possibilities, meaning, and purpose in order to exercise radical hope as the New Year is revealed to us.

The Fire Ceremony

New Years' Day worship service


Janus is the mythological god with two faces–one facing back and one facing forward. This New Year’s Day lay-led FIRE COMMUNION service calls on the dual power of the flames to both burn away and forge a way forward. As the service progresses, each of us are invited to recast the hurts, worries, and regrets of 2022 as lessons, and then they are fed to the fire. The service also gives us an opportunity to forge a powerful vision for our 2023, and inspire the fire to send our wishes upward.