About Us

We are brave, curious, and compassionate. We are thinkers and organizers, leaders and doers. We are diverse in faith, ethnicity, ability, history, and spirituality; but aligned in our desire to welcome all and make a difference for the good. We have a long track record of standing on the side of love, justice, and peace.

The UU Santa Monica Covenant

Love is the doctrine of this church.
The quest of truth is its sacrament,
And service is its prayer.
To dwell together in peace;
To seek knowledge in freedom;
To serve humankind in fellowship;
Thus do we covenant with each other.

Our covenant is the thread that binds Unitarian Universalism, UU Santa Monica, and the individual groups and members of our congregation together. It is the promises we make to one another and the ways we commit to walk together.

Our Core Beliefs

Unitarian universalism is guided by principles that affirm the worth and dignity of every person and encourage an individual search for truth and meaning. We honor the wonder of existence and believe that we are all connected to each other and to the interdependent web of life. 

Seven Principles that Guide Us

As a congregation affiliated with the national Unitarian Universalist Association, we affirm the seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience.

  • 1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • 2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
  • 3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.
  • 4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
  • 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
  • 6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
  • 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
  • Unlike many other denominations, Unitarian Universalism is congregational. Our power is not derived from a greater entity; rather, we are a loose association of congregations across the country. We — in each UU congregation — have the right to choose and ordain our own clergy. We democratically elect our own officers, who guide our congregational life and management. There are no synods, bishops, or other persons empowered elsewhere with authority over our congregation.
  • This independence also means that we receive no outside financial support. UU Santa Monica is 100% self-supporting through pledges of financial support from community members (what we call Stewardship), special fundraising initiatives, and income from rentals. To fuel a more vibrant community, and the work we do in the world, visit the Donate page.
  • We come together, as a faith, at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly each year. The congregations, collectively, refine our common goals of equity in our dealings and in society, and our free and responsible search for truth and meaning. One of the few obligations is mutual support in times of disaster, such as earthquake, pestilence, civil unrest, flood, or fire.

So... what is our mission?

Our mission is to build a congregational home that provides opportunities for spiritual and personal growth in an interactive and intergenerational community. We are welcoming and inclusive, and we assume an active responsibility for our community and the world.

    By its nature, a Vision Statement both guides our present efforts and is aspirational. We strive and plan every day...
  • To provide a welcoming center for all people who pursue an ongoing quest for understanding, personal growth, and ethical living; and to provide a religious center for worship, meditation, celebration, and fellowship;
  • To create and nurture a community where the search for truth is free and unhindered; where the dignity, worth, and rights of every individual are revered; 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 is acknowledged;
  • To provide for the religious growth and development of children and youth; to guide and support them in their search for understanding, insight, and inspiration; and to welcome them into the life of the church;
  • To participate in a broader fellowship concerned with social justice, peace, and a responsible relationship with the environment; so that we may create a better world for all life today and all life tomorrow.

 History of UU Santa Monica

The Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica was originally known as All Souls Unitarian Church of Santa Monica when in 1927 the Rev. Lawrence Hayward began hosting services at his home. The nascent congregation purchased land at 18th and Arizona, and dedicated our beautiful sanctuary, designed by architect John Byers, in 1930. During the hard times of the Great Depression, the Women’s Alliance served as the backbone of the church. Then in the Post-War boom, the Sunday school program and the congregation grew substantially.

Settled Ministers of Uu Santa Monica

A Time of Recommitment

UU Santa Monica has entered an extended period of Developmental Ministry, a type of transitional ministry that propels us forward between long-term, settled ministers. First under the guidance of the Rev. Greg Ward, and now with the Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, we are recommitting to our shared principles and reenvisioning our shared work, with an immediate focus on addressing white supremacy. Today we acknowledge that the land we inhabit was once known as Tovaangar. It was the home of the Gabrielino/Tongva people, the stewards of this land before we came to live and worship here.

Currently, Rev. Kalendae and the congregation’s elected Board of Directors are emphasizing leadership development both in worship and in governance. This develops the skills and gifts of lay leaders who will carry us into the future, and strengthens personal connection during Sunday services.

COVID has affected us all.

UUSM’s liberal ministry during COVID remains vital. Church life and connection enrich our days apart, with groups meeting via Zoom and streaming of worship made possible (and wonderful) by Music Director Saunder Choi. A groundswell of wholehearted pastoral care and leadership presages our coming together in-person again.