If your loved one was an active member or was related to an active member of the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara,
please contact Joanie Bear, our Facility & Events Coordinator, for member pricing and other member benefits.

Our staff would like to convey our sympathies to you on the passing of your loved one. This can be a difficult time for family or friends. We provide the following information with the hope that it will answer any logistical questions you have about arranging a service, so that you may focus on more important things.

Facility Fees
The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara can provide you and your family with up to 5 hours at our facility. Depending on your specific needs, our facility fees vary.

  • If your service will be held only in our Sanctuary, the fee is $600. (3 hours)
  • If you’re planning a reception without a formal service in our Sanctuary, the use of Parish Hall, Parish Courtyard, and our Kitchen rents for $1500. (4 hours)
  • If you’d like to use all of the above rooms, the fee is $2,000. (5 hours)

All of the above fees also include the services of our USSB event assistant, but they do not include the services of our minister. The time periods include time for setup, the service, and cleanup.

Planning a Memorial Service
Service planning is the responsibility of the family and officiates. If the family would like the assistance of a USSB minister, she/he can provide a pivotal role for structuring, organizing, and facilitating the memorial service.

Ushers are the responsibility of the family.

Sound Technician
A sound technician for the service is provided by the Unitarian Society event staff. They will oversee the microphones and sound system in both the sanctuary and Parish Hall.

Picture Slideshows
Picture slideshows (usually on PowerPoint) can be projected on the large drop down screen in Parish Hall. You will need to bring your own laptop; USSB event staff can help with setup. Please arrange a time to test equipment compatibility with the Facility & Events Coordinator several days before the day of the memorial, if possible, in case adaptors or updates are needed.

Music for the service is to be arranged by the family. The sound system in Parish Hall is capable of playing music on mp3 players (including iPods), CDs, and laptops. Please have your playlist organized and ready before the day of the service.

Unitarian Society musicians are available upon request and by private financial arrangement. Use of our sanctuary’s Steinway piano is by special arrangement and requires a fee of $100.

Memorial Brochure
A printed memorial program is the responsibility of the family. Unitarian Society staff will provide samples upon request.

The obituary is the responsibility of the family. Unitarian Society staff will arrange for email and newsletter announcements for active or recent USSB members.

Memorial Flowers
Memorial flowers are the responsibility of the family, unless other arrangements are made. Saturday memorials will need to make arrangements with the Facility & Events Coordinator if the family wishes to leave flowers behind for our Sunday worship service. Delivery time for flowers should be arranged by the florist with Unitarian Society office.

To arrange flower deliveries, please contact the USSB office manager at (805) 965-4583 x224; or email ussb@ussb.org.

Memorial Reception
Memorial receptions are typically held in Parish Hall (seating for 110) and/or in the adjacent Parish Courtyard with (seating for up to 200). Family is responsible for providing for the following:

  • Paper goods
  • Tablecloths
  • Food and drinks
  • All serving platters, dinnerware, cups, utensils, etc.
  • Cleanup of all food, drinks, and kitchen

Food and Drinks
Food and drinks must be arranged by the family. The refrigerator, freezer, and oven are available for storing or warming food and must be cleaned after use. Punch bowls, wine, or containers filled with ice for beverages may only be set up and served outside in the Parish Hall Courtyard.

Caterers may set up for the memorial service only within the four-hour time frame of your reservation. If you would like to rent our facility for additional time, that can be arranged without Facility & Events Coordinator.

Complimentary Coffee & Tea Service
Complimentary coffee and tea for up to 150 guests is provided by the Unitarian Society Event staff. This includes:

  • Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee
  • Tea, sugar, stir sticks (please provide your own cream)
  • Pitchers of water

Setting Up, Taking Down, and Recruiting a Cleaning Crew
Family is responsible for arranging for the setting up and taking down of tables and chairs inside Parish Hall. If you want to set up tables and chairs outside in Parish Courtyard, please see “Outdoor Setups” below. In addition, the family is responsible for arranging and preparing food, cleaning the kitchen after use, and washing any dishes.

Please plan ahead to make arrangements with family and friends to ensure the cleanup process runs smoothly. If you would prefer to hire a cleaning company, please contact the Facility & Events Coordinator for recommendations.

Tables & Chairs
As part of your memorial event the Unitarian Society provides:

  • 8 six-foot-long banquet tables
  • 100 chairs (indoor use only) Please note: indoor tables and chairs must be set up and taken down by family and friends
  • 2 medium-sized octagonal wood tables
  • 3 large rectangular wood tables

We do not provide tablecloths, and we request that all of these tables should be covered.

Outdoor Setups
If you want to have tables and chairs outdoors, please contact the Facility & Events Coordinator, as there are extra fees for an outdoor setup. If you rent outdoor tables and chairs from USSB, our staff will set them up and put them away for you.

If the family prefers a different setup for the memorial reception please contact the USSB Facility & Events Coordinator.

Questions or Reservations
If you have any other questions, or would like to reserve a date for a memorial service, please email our Facility & Events Coordinator, Joanie Bear, or call her at (805) 965-4583 x 223.

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