August 24, 2023

Click here to view The Happenings in full

This Sunday at VUU


"Pseudointellectual Sermon on James Joyce's Ulysses Using No Big Words or Knowledge of Ancient Greek Mythology"

Ken St. John leads our service with Barbara Face as Worship Associate. Katie Seiferth, Director of Music Ministries, Andrew Seiferth and Jenny Pixler lead our music.


This Sunday we will not be "Zooming."  We will stream the service live on YouTube and then open the Zoom room after service for folks to connect and get your feedback.

We continue to problems with Zoom and want to see if moving to YouTube resolves these issues. We haven't decided if this is a permanent change. Thanks in advance for your patience.

Join us on YouTube 10:30 Sunday


  • 8:30a Dalai Lama and Friends
  • 10:30a Children and Youth Faith Formation


PreK - 1st graders: Rainbow Principles with Leo Lionni (includes a story and a craft) 

2nd - 5th graders: Avatar the Last Airbender, UU Values through the lens of the popular kids TV show   

6th-12th graders: 30 Days, watch and discuss the show by Morgan Spurlock (who also did the popular movie Supersize Me) 

Water fun day is coming Sunday, Sept 3. Fall classes start Sunday, Sept 10. 


8:30 am Meditation

9:00 am Discussion  

In person: Board Room

Via Zoom here

To help with Sunday morning hospitality, click here.

VUU Happenings

Love is our doctrine · Service is our prayer · Justice is our calling

See Articles Below For

VUU Updates

New Participants

Joys and Concerns

Fellowship and Social Activities




Music Ministries

Children/Youth Faith Formation

Adult Faith Formation

Caring Ministries

East Valley UU (EVUU) Happenings

Social and Environmental Justice

Sunday Morning Teams



UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association)

Submit to the Happenings

Partner Organizations

UU Justice Arizona

Valley Interfaith Project

Adams Elementary


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Thursday, August 24

  • Board Meeting 5:15p
  • East VUU Social Night 6:30p
  • Facilities Meeting 6:00p

Friday, August 25

  • VUU Singles Dinner 6:30p

Saturday, August 26

  • New Participants Luncheon 11

Sunday, August 27

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Faith Formation 10:30a
  • Sunday Worship Service 10:30a
  • Burrowing OWL Class 12:45p
  • Spotted OWL Class 12:45p

Monday, August 28

  • Finance Audit Committee 12:00p
  • I-HELP Shelter 5:30

Tuesday, August 29

  • STT Meeting Zoom 5:00p
  • Men's Group 7:00p

Wednesday, August 30

  • AlAnon 7:00p

Thursday, August 31

  • Caring Neighbors Zoom 6:30p

Friday, September 1

Saturday, September 2

  • VUU New Part. Class 9:30a

Sunday, September 3

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Water Fun Day 10:30a
  • Sunday Worship Service 10:30a
  • Voices Lifted 12:15p
  • FF Teacher Lunch 12:00p

Click here for the most current calendar, to view locations, contact information details for above events

Save the Date: Celebration of Life for Debbie Dinyes 11/11/2023 2-4 p.m.  

Interested in helping with hospitality and refreshments? Contact Rev. Sarah

Desert Notes from Rev. Sarah

Last week’s New Participant Welcome Luncheon was a festive occasion with good food, good conversation and questions, and a chance to get to know some new participants. These happen quarterly and are followed by a class and invitation for those who are ready to join. Current members and leaders are encouraged to join us and help orient new folks to our community and its opportunities. As always, thanks to Nick Carr, Laura Rohlfing, David Sheh and Jodie Freeman for helping me get set up and welcome folks. We’ll have a New member Recognition on September 10 for anyone who has joined and not been recognized since May.  

Also on September 10 we’ll celebrate our annual ingathering service also known as water communion. This is a time for us to celebrate the many gifts that each of you bring to this community and the many gifts you receive from participating in this community. We’ll celebrate the living water of this congregation which is made up of many drops of water–each of us–and which supports the life of this community.  

Rev. Sarah

Save The Date

On October 28, 2023 Valley UU will celebrate the Installation of Rev. Sarah as our Senior Settled Minister. This event will feature guest religious professionals from our region and other regions in the US and is a chance to highlight the shared ministry between us. We’ll also include representatives from important partnership and community leaders. The ceremony and reception will run from 2 p.m. to 4:30. More information to come! Want to help with hospitality? Contact Barb Q at  

New participants


New Participant Class

Saturday, September 2 9:00 - 1:00


New Participant Class Parts I and II combined

Learn more about Unitarian Universalism and Valley UU, how you can be more involved in this community, and what it means to be a member. Meet others exploring our congregation and faith community and ask questions!

VUU Updates

Introducing Rev. Dr. Samantha Wilson 

Conflict Engagement and Learning Consultant for VUU

Hello, VUU! My name is Rev. Dr. Samantha Wilson (or “Sam”) and I will be serving as your consultant for conflict engagement and restorative practices at VUU this year! 

I’ve been invited by your Board, Minister, and Committee on Shared Ministry, with support from your Special Funds Committee, to accompany you as we explore our personal and congregational relationships to conflict, harm, healing, and accountability. Our work will include Sunday services, a workshop, small group ministry, coaching, and direct facilitation in support of conflict transformation. The heart of our work is building the skills, practices, experiences, and relationships that allow us to do conflict differently – in ways that help us be a people who know how to “harm less, and heal more.” 

This video is an introduction to me and my work, as well as our work together. More information will come to you in September with opportunities to be engaged in this process. I look forward to our time together!

With care, Sam

BSA Youth Program and Alternatives

On Saturday, August 12, VUU hosted a Zoom meeting to discuss the proposal to form a scouting program here at VUU for elementary aged youth and their families. Rev. Sarah, Marci Beaudoin, and Mark Foote provided background on the recommendation to create a BSA unit, and discussed some other programs available. Thank you to Mary Wolf-Francis for moderating, and all who attended.

We invite everyone to listen to the meeting recording here.

The Board will take up this issue at their 8/24/2023 meeting and would like your input. Please email the board here. Thank you to all who already took the time to provide your perspective.  

Mark Foote, VUU Board President

East Valley UU (EVUU)

Social Night

August 24 6:30p

M V Pita

1006 N Power Rd, Mesa

We have a large room, room for all!

Save The Date

Join the EastVUU group as we hear VUU member Evan A reflect on being both a UU and long-term member of 12-Step Recovery. (September 14, 6:30p, Zoom.) More information to follow.

Partners in Education

There are approximately 100 students at Adams that are enrolled in English as a Second Language Program! By law, they are not allowed to be taught in their native language except in special limited "pull out class" time. We are hearing firsthand from our Columbian families what a challenge this is. To address this difficult issue, the superintendent has suggested that PIE create an after-school support program to help with homework. We are in the planning stage of development and need to determine if we have enough volunteers. Please let us know if you or someone you know would be interested in helping with this greatly needed initiative. For more information, contact Perii S ( or Beverly M (

Adult Faith Formation

Beloved Conversations: Within is back for another term of deep learning, community building, and anti-racist spiritual transformation! Our Within programs are structured into two different racially caucused courses, in recognition of the different spiritual needs and learning goals of people with different experiences of race and racism in our world: 

Gathering Our Selves I and Gathering Our Selves II are our programs designed by and for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC+) and Un/Learning for Liberation is our program for white people. 

Both courses will include:

 • Six, bi-weekly, online Lessons, done at your own pace, using videos, music, and readings, accompanied by reflection prompts and suggested conversations with a Critical Friend chosen by the participants;

 • Six bi-weekly small group conversations in a Learning Pod;

 • And three larger, monthly, facilitated Meaning-Making Sessions on Zoom.

Our program runs two full terms of unique programming- Fall and Spring- so if you have already taken one term, join us again for a whole new experience of ongoing learning and deepening! Scholarships are available by emailing us at Learn more and register through August 31st at 


VUUJAZ, VUU’s public policy advocacy group, held its monthly “coffee conversation” last Sunday and shared updates and discussion on a number of topics including the possible showing of the documentary “I,Too”, the Earth Day celebration Oct 1 at VUU, solar energy for VUU update, legislative news, VIP work on affordable housing, and other issues. Next meeting is third Sunday in September after the service.  Contact to be added to the email list.  

Help Wanted

VUU Tech Booth Wants YoUU!

We need volunteers for the Tech Booth on Sundays for services, for post service events, and for other events scheduled in the sanctuary.  Let us know you’re interested by filling out this form.  Ryan Langlois, our new tech lead, will get you started.  We really need someone to be the zoom host after service.  If you are willing to open the zoom room as service is ending and greet folks, please let us know by emailing & 

Environmental Action Team (EAT)

VUU is celebrating Earth Day... in the Fall!

Sunday, October 1

In the sanctuary after the morning service

As we leave behind an extreme summer and move into a season of life-sustaining temperatures and regeneration, let’s celebrate what we love about the Earth.

Please participate in these events:

  • Add your unique message to the “I Love the Earth” banner.
  • Visit Environmental Action Team tables on the patio to learn about actions that can make a difference in our future.
  • Share your ideas, actions and solutions for creating a cleaner and safer environment for all.
  • Attend a talk on solar energy at 12:30pm in the sanctuary.

Finger food and drinks provided!

Your Support Helps NonProfits Save on Power

With the SRP Solar for Nonprofits™ program, just $3 a month helps cover the cost of installing solar-covered parking canopies at Valley nonprofits. These local organizations can put the money saved on energy costs back into the community.

VUU is applying to SRP for a solar grant, and we encourage everyone to share in supporting the program valley-wide. Learn more here

Fellowship and Social Activities

Singles Dinner Out

WHEN: FRIDAY, August 25, at 6:30p 

WHERE: Hodori Korean Restaurant 1

116 S Dobson Rd, Mesa (Dobson Square, 480-668-7979) 

RSVP to or contact Claudette by phone or text at 973-768-6047 

Labor Day Weekend Camping with UUs at SAWUURA

September 2 - 4

No fee and no crowds! 

Camp has water, pit toilets, a group kitchen & ramada 

High clearance vehicle required.

Families, children, friends all welcome! 

More info and registration instructions here.

SAWUURA is a 100-acre property owned by UUs located in the Sierra Ancha mountains near Young, AZ. 

The Page Turners' Book Club

The Page Turners Book Club is open to all members, visitors, and friends of VUU who enjoy reading and discussing a variety of books. The next meeting is September 21 at 7:00 PM. The book is Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr.

Volunteering and Giving

August 28 I-HELP Meal

We are doing a nacho bar this month. Please bring ready-to-serve items to the VUU sanctuary between 5:00-5:30 pm. You may also bring labeled non perishable or cold items to the sanctuary kitchen on Sunday. Please read all instructions carefully. Feel free to contact me at or 480-249-6287 with any questions or comments. Thank you for your generosity!

Sign up here.

Submitted by Laura R, I-HELP Coordinator

Paz de Cristo

Continuing the Tradition… Keeping the Commitment… Living our Principles

September date: 2nd Friday, September 8th, 4pm - 7pm

Location: 424 W Broadway Rd, Mesa, AZ

Volunteers gather at the Paz kitchen/dining room from 4 pm to 7 pm to prepare then serve the evening meal. 

Click here for the sign up link

UPDATE: Affordable 55+ Housing in Chandler. The 20+ VUU Members & Friends who attended last Sunday’s forum gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to supporting VIP organizing in support of an affordable housing development in south Chandler. Other VIP member congregations in Chandler are having similar conversations.

What can YOU do now?

  • Regularly check the weekly VUU Happenings newsletter for VIP updates and calls to participate.
  • Attend the next VIP Housing Team meeting. Meet members of other congregations engaged in the effort to increase affordable housing in Maricopa County. Monday, Sept 18, 6:30 (location TBD).
  • Join VUU’s VIP Housing Team to help organize VUU’s support.
  • Commit to showing up at VIP Actions to support affordable housing.

Email Barb Quijada for more information and / or to join the team.

Immigration Action Team

Our month long "Visual Reminder" has been successful in clothing donations for asylum seeker shelters! We look forward to continued donations of summer clothing for men/women S/M and children size 4 and up.

A BIG thank you to everyone able to donate summer clothing for the Asylum Seeker Shelters! Our table will be set up this last Sunday in August for donations! After, there is a bin in the sanctuary marked for these shelters. As a specific need arises we are notified by Refugee Aid and will post that need. 

Helping our Colombian Immigrant Friends 


As a way to earn some extra money, one of our families is offering to make us Salchipapas, the popular South American street food. Salchipapas are cheesy potatoes topped with your choice of traditional accompaniments such as sausage and chicken, sausage and beef, or just vegetables and served with corn and sauces.

They brought a sample of Salchipapas for us to check out after services Sunday August 20 and took 20 orders for delivery this Sunday. There will be a Colombian Cafe set up in the sanctuary to enjoy your meal. 

You can place an order on Sunday August 27 and have it delivered to the Cafe to eat on Sunday September 3.   A donation of $20 is requested per plate.

Plan to help this enterprising family earn some extra money and enjoy yourself eating the food they are proud to share with us by having your post service meal in the Colombian Cafe.

submitted by Beatriz Arias Cisneros

News From UUJAZ

The Future of Us - Fundraiser for UUJAZ

Tuesday, October 17th - Phoenix 5:30pm

Friday, October 20th - Virtual event - 1 pm

Hear Rev. Julián Jamaica Soto speak about our future, read their poetry, and launch their new book inspired by the desert. 

Rev. Julián Jamaica Soto is a Unitarian Universalist minister, and activist for racial, trans/queer, and disability justice. They wrote "Spilling the Light: Meditations on Hope and Resilience" in 2019, which quickly became a favorite source for chalice lightings, meditations, poems, and prayers for UUs across the world, and is heading towards its 5th printing. Rev. Soto has served on the Journey Towards Wholeness Transformation Team, the Presidential Search Committee, the Creative Council at enfleshed, and as Interim Senior Associate for Justice Education at the UU College of Social Justice. They have worked in parish ministry, interim ministry, and hospital chaplaincy with veterans, and their public theology practice has truly made them a "Minister's Minister," beloved by religious professionals. Soto lives in the Pacific Northwest, and seeks to serve the mission and values of Unitarian Universalism, along with the healing of the world.

This fundraiser supports the work of Unitarian Universalist Justice Arizona (UUJAZ), engaging UUs in Arizona in social change, putting our values into action.

Register by September 15th to reserve your copy of their book at

Sex Ed for Young(ish) Adults: Millennials + Gen Z

Weekly on Sundays, starting September 10th

4:00-5:30 pm, Virtually on Zoom

Join us for Sex Ed for Young(ish) Adults, where we explore relationships, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality, together with other Millennials + Gen Z.

Week One: Young Adults and Sexuality

Week Two: Mind and Body

Week Three: Sexual Pleasure

Week Four: Keeping Your Body Healthy

Week Five: Exploring Gender

Week Six: Sexual Orientation

Week Seven: Communication 

Weeks Eight and Nine: Relationships, Love and Commitment

Week Ten: Boundaries and Boundary Violations

Week Eleven: Family Matters

Week Twelve: Sexual Fantasy and Variation

Week Thirteen: Advocacy and Education

Week Fourteen: Closing

Sign-up at

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation |