October 19, 2023

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This Sunday at VUU


Sunday, October 22, 2023

“Inside Ted Lasso: Team over Talent or The Gospel According to Ted Lasso”

Rev. Sarah and Joel Sannes share nuggets of wisdom from this much loved show. You don’t have to have seen it to enjoy this service! From such sage advice as: “Just listen to your gut, and on the way down to your gut, check in with your heart. Between those two things, they’ll let you know what’s what” to his philosophy as a coach: "For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It's about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field." Rev. Sarah will share what the show and its characters have taught her about being a leader and a minister while building community and serving a congregation.  



  • Preschool (3/4 yr olds)
  • Kind/1st Grade
  • 2nd/3rd Grade
  • 4th/5th Grade
  • Middle School (6-8th)
  • High School (9-12th)

Haven't registered yet this year? Use this link 

See 2023-2024 Curriculum Here


8:30 am Meditation

9:00 am Discussion  

In person: Board Room

Via Zoom here

Join Us on YouTube 10:30 Sunday

To help with Sunday morning hospitality, click here.

After the Service

Join us for a Congregational Conversation and the Leadership Development Committee's Interest Fair from 12:00-1:30 in the sanctuary and on Zoom, including:

  • Committee on Shared Ministry - Special Care Congregations by Robert Latham, adapted for VUU
  • State of the UUnion - Board Report
  • Leadership Development Committee - Interest Fair

There will be child care and lunch opportunities available.

For committees and groups wishing to table on the patio before and after service, the LDC will assist with setup and breakdown of tables and provide sign-up sheets for your group. Please consider participating, and contact Roz Hawkins 480.209.3957 with questions.

Next Sunday October 29 - Sneak Peak!

“Celebrating Samhain: Letting Go So We Can Grow

A pagan celebration. We return to an all ages ritual celebrating the pagan holiday that Halloween is derived from, Samhain. Contact Lisa Bonine or Rev. Sarah if you want to help lead or set up. We will include a child/baby dedication for any families who wish to participate as part of the ritual. Please contact Rev. Sarah if you want your child(ren) to be included.

We invite you to bring any of the following for online and in person worship:

  • Pictures or memorabilia of ancestors and people who have died in your circle of loved ones (biological or spiritual ancestors) to build a special Ofrenda/altar with Jacqui, who is sharing her cultural practice
  • Make cards for ancestors – to add to Ofrenda
  • Natural objects for the altar (gourds, pumpkins, pine cones, rocks, flowers, herb clippings, etc.)
  • Drum(s) or hand held percussion instrument 
  • A seasonal snack to share (fruit, baked goods, cut veggies, cider, etc.)
  • Costumes (not too scary for our littles, please!) Celtic costumes were more oriented toward the natural world – furs and feathers, and some of us may dress as a goddess associated with the different directions/elements.  
  • A ritual to “Let go and Grow” with seeds and dissolving paper!
  • For online folks, a home altar made of natural elements, words of wisdom, and pictures of ancestors

This will be an eclectic introduction to what pagan, earth based ritual is like. It is followed by activities, eating yummy foods, drumming, decorating rocks with runes symbols, walking the labyrinth, chanting/singing, dancing and HAVING fUUn! There are no faith formation classes this Sunday, please bring your whole family to our mini-festival!

VUU Happenings

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

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VUU Updates

Joys and Concerns

Fellowship and Social Activities




Music Ministries

Children/Youth Faith Formation

Adult Faith Formation

Caring Ministries

Social and Environmental Justice

Sunday Morning Teams



UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association)

Submit to the Happenings

Prior Weeks' Newsletters

Partner Organizations

UU Justice Arizona

Valley Interfaith Project

Adams Elementary


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Thursday, October 19

  • EVUU Coordinators 10:30a
  • VIP Meeting 12:30p
  • Spectrum Connection Circle 6p
  • Worship Associates 6:30p
  • Page Turners Book Club 7p

Friday, October 20

Saturday, October 21

Sunday, October 22

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Faith Formation 10:30a
  • Sunday Worship Service 10:30a
  • Congregational Conversation 12p
  • Voices Lifted 12:15p
  • Spotted OWL Parents 12:45p
  • Burrowing OWL Parents 12:45p
  • Spotted OWL Class 12:45p
  • Burrowing OWL Class 12:45p

Monday, October 23

  • I-HELP Shelter 5:30p

Tuesday, October 24

  • Men's Group 7p

Wednesday, October 25

  • Choir Rehearsal 6p
  • CCL & EAT Meeting 6p

Thursday, October 26

  • Board Meeting 5:15p
  • Facilities Committee 6p
  • East VUU Gathering 6:30p

Friday, October 27

  • Singles Dinner Out 6:30p

Saturday, October 28

  • VIP Mental Health Training 9a
  • Rev. Sarah Installation 2p

Sunday, October 29

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

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

Desert Notes

Protect your health!  Friends, we’ve had a number of people report to us that they have come down with COVID 19 in the last three weeks.  Wearing a mask on Sundays and social distancing are things you can do to protect yourself and others.  If you have what seem like mild cold symptoms, please test before coming to public spaces and wear a mask until you can test.  In addition to COVID, flu and RSV are beginning to circulate and often have similar symptoms.  For some of us these are more likely to create ongoing health challenges or exacerbate health challenges you may already be facing.  In addition to masking, the vaccinations are available for all three and can help shorten/lessen the impact of these.  No guarantee you won’t get them, though!

Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan

VUU Updates

Celebration of Life for Debbie Dynes

Hello family and friends,

I've spoken individually to some folks about the date and details for my mom's upcoming service, but if I've managed to miss you, my apologies.

The service will be held on Saturday, November 11 at 2:00pm at VUU. Here is a link to the flyer with more information.

Please let us know if you are planning to attend so we have an idea of the numbers and can plan accordingly for refreshments and other details to make the service as special as possible for everyone. And feel free to share this link with others; all are welcome!  

We are working on a way to provide a recording afterwards for those who aren't able to attend - notes on that are in the flyer as well.

Thank you all for being her champions, her people, and a huge support for our family.

submitted by Jessica Haberle


Rev Sarah’s VUU Installation and Celebration

Saturday, Oct 28th 2:30pm Service

Reception to follow

It's not too late to RSVP for this event! Email admin@vuu.org to RSVP.

We are planning a festive reception immediately following Rev. Sarah's Installation as VUU's Senior Minister. She has requested a Southwestern menu, and we need lots of help from the members and friends of VUU to help make the celebration extra special.

To sign up to assist, follow this link. Many thanks to all who have already signed up to help. Slots that still need filling are beverage set up, clean up after the party, your favorite appetizers (homemade or purchased), and taquitos. Don't be shy--YOU can help make the celebration memorable! 

Please review ALL available slots and click on as many buttons as you want to sign up. For help negotiating the Sign Up page, just give one of us a call.

Thank You! Janet Cantley, Barb Quijada, Laura Rohlfing, JoAnne Smith

Special Funds Update (Funds Still Available)

The Special Funds Committee would like to announce the two most recent grants given for special projects at VUU. In September we awarded $238.00 to VUU’s I-Help team (contact person Laura Rohlfing) to pay for more reusable dinnerware. In October we awarded $324.29 to VUU’s Usher Committee (contact person Frank Quijada) to pay for a cordless vacuum cleaner to help clean up the sanctuary after

Sunday services.

We still have approximately $3,600 available for grants through the end of June 2024. If you have a project that needs funding that has not been included in VUU’s regular operating budget, please consider sending a proposal to the Special Funds Committee. Guidelines for writing grant proposals to Special Funds are available at this link. For more information, contact the Special Funds Committee (Rick Hinrichs, Chair) at specialfunds@vuu.org.

October is LGBTQ+ History Month

LGBTQ+ History Month is an annual month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. It was founded in 1994 by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson.  Learn more here.

Developing a Membership Team

If you have been interested in helping develop a membership team to assist in leading new member classes and luncheons or plan activities and programs to deepen our connections, please send me an email so I can include you in a meeting to get started. minister@vuu.org Please put “Membership” in the subject line.

Music Ministries

CANCELED: Chiliokie 

Due to low interest and to minimize the spread of COVID, Chiliokie is canceled for Saturday, October 21 but will be rescheduled for a later date. Chiliokie is our annual chili cook off and karaoke event hosted by Katie and the Music Team. More details coming soon.

The VUU Voices Choir has resumed rehearsal

Rehearsals resumed last week and are scheduled on Wednesdays in the Sanctuary from 6-7:30 pm. Please email Katie at MusicDirector@vuu.org with any questions.

The 1-Hour Intergenerational Choir AND Kids Choir - starts Nov. 5

Have you wanted to sing in a choir, but mid-week rehearsals don’t work for you? Join the 1-Hour Choir. We’ll learn an easy song or two on the Sunday morning we perform. This allows for flexibility - you do not have to be committed week to week. All ages are invited, children and adults. A rehearsal and performance are held every first Sunday of the month starting in November. That’s November 5 and December 3 for the fall season. Free childcare is provided in the nursery. The adults will meet in the Sanctuary and the kids will meet in the Flex room in the Sanctuary both from 9am -10 am. If you would like more information, please contact Katie Seiferth at MusicDirector@vuu.org.

The Chalice Ringers - Bell Choir

If you or someone you know has an interest in directing our bell choir the Chalice Ringers, please contact Katie Seiferth at MusicDirector@vuu.org


SOCIAL NIGHT: October 26 - 6:30pm

GOING AWAY PARTY for Bonnie, in absentia as she had to return to Florida this same day and Margaret, who will be leaving us in November to move back East to be closer to family. We will miss them but cheer them on in their new homes!  

We will meet in the Pima Room at Apache Wells, 2223 N 56 St, Mesa, thanks to Peggy, who lives in the neighborhood. We have met there in the past. Our room is in the back building next to the big room. Signs will be posted. Bring a dish to pass, tableware and drink.  ALWAYS A FUN NIGHT as games will also be played. All are welcome.

STAY UPDATED: Click here for the EastVUU Facebook group

Save the Date - November 9 - Monthly Meeting, 6:30PM

Rev. Dr. Samantha Wilson has begun work with VUU on the Spirituality of Conflict.  

She will be our guest speaker. We leave here with a quote from her on her approach: 


"This is not about fixing a specific thing, or getting ‘rid’ of conflict. The hope is that there is a deeper capacity for engaging conflict in ways that are generative – conflicts grow us and deepen us rather than stop us. This is about tending our congregational culture.”  - Rev. Sam

Join Zoom Meeting


Help Wanted

The Happenings Team

Your Happenings Team compiles the news and calendar each week to make sure you receive all the information you need every Thursday at noon. Most of the work is done on Wednesdays, and each team member takes the lead every second or third week (about three hours), while the others pitch in to edit (30-60 minutes) on their off weeks. To join the team or find out more, contact The Happenings Team here.

SprUUce Up the Library

Hey booklover, would you like to help organize the library? Sign up BY CLICKING HERE and join us to catalog, label, and shelf books in the library on Saturday, October 21st, at 9am. There is limited space, so sign up soon. Treats and coffee provided! Submitted by the Facilities Committee, Mikaela Young, chair

Fellowship and Social Activities

Singles Dinner Out

Date: Friday, October 27 at 6:30pm

Location: Aunt Chiladas, 2019 W Baseline Rd, Tempe (just west of the I10 on the south side) 602-431-6470 

The weather will be perfect for their outdoor tables. Costumes are encouraged for this Halloween weekend occasion. 

RSVP to cactuswren48@outlook.com or contact Claudette by phone or text 973-768-6047 

The Page Turners' Book Club

We are open to all members, visitors and friends. Save the date - October 19 at 7pm. Our book will be The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz. This novel tells the story of Brick, Ellie, and their daughter Samantha beginning in 1950’s Ohio. It illuminates the issues facing working-class families and their communities, as it chronicles the evolution of women's lives in America. It also explores how much people know about each other and pretend not to, and the secrets that explode lives.

We will meet at the home of Johnnie Godfrey in Tempe (near Baseline Rd. and the 101). For the meeting address or questions, please contact Johnnie at 480-231-8381 or email: agmonahan@gmail.com.

Volunteering and Giving

Mexico Service Trip

Are you interested in a Multi-generational (12 yrs and up) service experience in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico? Use this form to let us know you are interested. One form per family.

Prior to the pandemic, Marci facilitated biennial service trips in Agua Prieta, MX with Rancho Feliz. We worked to build basic housing in the barrio, visited children in an orphanage, connected with migrants at the migrant center, and felt awe at the border wall. 

We have reserved March 18-21 with Rancho Feliz Volunteer Exchange program.

Adult participant drivers will be needed. We will gather at VUU at 8 am on Monday, March 18th and caravan to the border in Douglas. A Rancho Feliz employee will meet us in Douglas and lead our cars through the border. Thursday, March 21 we will leave Agua Prieta after lunch to drive back to VUU.


  • Valid passport (or passport card), expiration date no sooner than 6 months from return date.
  • Minimum age: 14 years old (12 -13 yr olds with a parent)
  • Cost: TBD (based on pricing from Rancho Feliz), pricing covers housing and meals, building supplies, and cost of items we will bring as donations.
  • Drivers need a valid drivers license, auto insurance AND Mexican auto insurance. We will reimburse for the Mexican auto insurance and gas.

Faith Formation Scholarship money is available, based on need.

If you are interested - and/or want more information as we get it - complete this form.

Border Support

October Supplies Needed: Place in Refugee Aid Bin: Shelf stable milk (in boxes), Baby food, Large jugs of fruit juice (real juice)

We have new driver volunteers joining us! By doing so, any one of us only has to sign up for one early morning Saturday a month. We could use a few more as back up. You can contact Sharon by text at 602-668-7397 for more info.

Saturday starting in November Borderland Produce opens their East Valley market at 8am. Our drivers are there by 7:30am to get their vehicle in line. For a donation of $15 volunteers at the market load in the vehicle 70# of produce/fruit. We deliver to Pastor Angel's Asylum Seeker Shelter, about a 20 minute drive away. Someone is there to unload our vehicle. This is about a 2 hour commitment.

In November, Produce drivers will be offered an additional opportunity to deliver on Saturday to Pastor Angel. We arrive a 9am at a retail grocery store (in the same area as Produce Run) to their receiving dock where they will bring us a cart of items from specialty produce, deli and bakery. We do load our own vehicle but it's quite manageable with no heavy items. This about a 3 hour commitment. If drivers cannot do this second pick up, someone else can fill that slot.

We have now added ANOTHER food pickup from the East Valley on FRIDAYS! A well known retail coffee shop/cafe allows us to come in and pick up all artisan bread not sold the day before but edible. Because it does not have preservatives the bread must be used or frozen. We will deliver this new Bread Run to Pastor Angel AND Pastor Martha's shelters! We can also, if three bags are donated, take one of those bags to a Homeless advocate for their outreach program. They are HUGE bags! We have a dedicated driver volunteer but could use a back up here on this day as well for 8am pickup.

UU Justice Arizona Network

The Future of Us Fundraiser for UUJAZ

On Friday, October 20 at 1:00pm, a virtual fundraiser will be held for UUJAZ with UU poet and faith leader Rev. Julian Jamaica Soto called "The Future of Us." 

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, and Julián's ongoing ministry.

Ticket sales remain open until the event day, however register early to reserve your copy of their book, as printing is limited.

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation | vuu.org