April 4, 2024

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This Sunday at VUU


Sunday, April 7

Competition or Cooperation: Were We Made For Interdependence?

Rev. Sarah and Mary Kate Eckles explore interdependence from nature to nurture. Are we naturally competitive, self-centered beings or are we made to cooperate and act altruistically?

YouTube Link - Sunday Service
Zoom Link - After the Service



  • 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, in the board room, and

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

Desert Notes

VUU Updates

Faith Formation

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


Paz de Cristo


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Thursday, April 4

  • Ukulele Club 6p

Friday, April 5

  • FLP Brown Bag Lunch 12p

Saturday, April 6

  • Creativity Matters 4p
  • Social Suppers 5p

Sunday, April 7

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Pygmy OWL 8:45a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • UU The VOTE Kickoff 12p
  • Burrowing OWL 12:45p
  • Burrowing OWL parents 12:45p
  • Grief Support Group 1p

Monday, April 8

  • Pastoral Care Team 6:30p

Tuesday, April 9

  • East VUU Women's Group 1p
  • Men's Group 7p

Wednesday, April 10

  • DnD Game 5:30p
  • Special Funds 6p

Thursday, April 11

  • East VUU Meeting 6p
  • Ukulele Club 6p

Friday, April 12

  • Singles Lunch 11:30p
  • OWL Training 2p
  • Paz de Cristo Meal Prep 4p

Saturday, April 13

  • OWL Training 9a
  • Prickly Piecers 9a

Sunday, April 14

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Pygmy OWL class 8:45a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • OWL Training 10:30a
  • Immigration Action Team 11:45a
  • Voices Lifted 12:15p
  • Burrowing OWL class 12:45p
  • Parents of Burrowing OWL 12:45p

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

Desert Notes from Rev. Sarah

Desert Notes will return soon!

VUU Updates


2024 FUUNd Last Chance Sale is Open

The Last Chance Sale for the 2024 FUUNd is open. All items are being offered a “buy-it-now” price. Payment must be made at the time of purchase. You can view the items, make your purchase(s), and pay via credit card here.

Here is a list of the April events that you can still get in on.

Healthy Longevity (04/07/24; 1:003:00 pm) In this small group session led by

physician Melanie Cloonan-Schulte, participants will learn the latest research on what to do to stave off chronic illness including dementia. ($75)

Reading a Work of Art (04/08/24; 2:00 pm) Art Educator and ASU Professor

Emeritus Mary E. will guide participants in a fascinating discussion of how experiencing an artwork can be a little like reading a good book. ($25)

Learn How to Make Unique Baby Blankets (04/14, 04/28, 12:001:00 pm; 5/5/24, 2:00-3:00 pm) Learn how to knit by making a beautiful baby blanket in this three-session workshop! No knitting experience is required and all supplies will be provided by instructor Heather M. ($30)

Healthier Living Through Mat Yoga (04/20/24; 11:00 AM Online). Join yoga instructor Noell H. for a relaxing one-hour chair yoga class presented online. ($12)

Empathy Circle with Vagal Toning (4/21/24; 1:00–2:30 PM). Calling all seekers of connection to life! You are invited to circle, and then pair up, and then circle back again as we move from our hearts in vagal toning + empathy buddy practice. Please check the auction website for a full description. ($20)

Event pricing, location, and other details can be found at Auctria.Events/VUUFUUND2024

Email for questions or other assistance.

Don’t miss out on the FUUNd! Get your bids in today!


Sanctuary Transformation Celebration

The Sanctuary Transformation Team recently called our project to a close, and celebrated at the March Congregational Conversation. After five years of work, we celebrated the planning, fundraising, delays, more planning and fundraising, and projects that transformed the beauty, functionality and accessibility of our sanctuary (and put a new roof on the education buildings). If you missed our presentation, please take a look here to see all that was accomplished.

Thank you to the 39 individuals and 143 donors who made this happen!

-Submitted by DeeAnne McClenahan


Please Consider Running for a Position

Last Sunday, my co-chair on the VUU Leadership Development Committee Roz Hawkins addressed the congregation, making a "pitch" for people to consider running for one of the 3 groups which are elected in our congregation: Board of Trustees, Leadership Development Committee, and Special Funds Committee. And she also beautifully described her experience falling in love with VUU as the basis of her commitment to the congregation. I hope Roz's story resonated for you as it did for me!

I'd like to echo Roz's request to consider running for elected office at VUU with my own. Elections provide us the only really reasonable way for all of the congregational community to chose members to represent them in the administration of the congregation. However, the democratic process only works if members of our congregation (maybe you!) are willing to step out of their comfort zone to "share their love" of this beautiful congregational home by running for an elected position.

If you would like to talk more about this, any member of our committee would love to talk to you!  

-Submitted by Dan Schulte- on behalf of the VUU Leadership Development Committee, which besides Roz and Dan includes Teri McGovern-Nintzel, Mary Rothschild, Amanda Schneider, Joel Sannes, and David Sheh.  

UU the VOTE Volunteer Kickoff! 

Join us April 7, in the VUU sanctuary after the service to kick-off UU the VOTE for the 2024 election!

Let's put our HOPE into action! Our work will help protect democracy and promote progressive causes. 

Bring your Arizona for Abortion Access petition to be notarized (partially or completely filled). Opportunities to continue signature gathering will be presented.

Voter registration, postcard and letter-writing campaigns will be introduced for Get-out-the-Vote and non-partisan efforts. VUU volunteers made a difference in the 2022 election. Let's do it again! Contact Karen Stucke for more information.

-- UU the Vote leadership team


New to UU? New to VUU?

Never got around to joining and now you’re thinking about it? 

Start your path to membership, or just learn more about us!

VUU New Participant Class

Saturday, April 20 9:00 am-1:00 pm 

VUU Board Room (Office Building)

RSVP here

New Member Recognition

Sunday Service, May 5

Music Ministries

Earth Day Cabaret Saturday, April 27

Mark your calendars! We will be continuing the theme around Earth Day (think nature-inspired songs – mountains, ocean, rain, etc., songs about animals and any other song that could tie into celebrating and caring for our Earth). If you are interested in singing a song or playing an instrument, please contact Ken St. John or Katie Seiferth. We are looking forward to another great night of music and fun!

  • VUU Voices Choir - Wednesdays 6:00-7:30 pm (childcare available)
  • One Hour Choir - First Sundays 9:00-10:00 am
  • Chalice Ringers - contact Katie Sieferth if you are interested.
  • Drum Circle - contact Katie Sieferth if you are interested.
  • Play with the Band! - contact Katie Sieferth if you are interested.
  • Ukulele Club - Thursdays 6:00 pm
More About Music Ministries here

East VUU Meeting: UU The Vote!

Save the date: Thursday, April 11, 6:00 pm

Join EastVUU and Sandy Whitley on zoom to discuss ways we can bring about a more compassionate world in this critical election year. All are welcome!

Join Zoom Meeting

East VUU Social Night

Save the date: Thursday, April 25, 6:00 pm

Location: Pizzicata, 6210 E. McKellips Rd, Mesa,


All Are Welcome

Environmental Action Team

April 5: FLP Brown Bag Lunch on ZOOM

Can food influence cognition? Are there so-called "brain foods" that may enhance memory or ward off dementia? Food for Life and the Planet (FLP) will discuss how what is on your plate may influence your cognitive ability and how a plant-based diet may figure into all of this.

Date: Friday, April 5

Time: 12 Noon

Zoom Link

Please review the following prior to our meeting to facilitate the discussion:

Video: Foods That Improve Memory Naturally

Article: Foods Linked to Better Brain Power

Article: Maximize Memory Function with a Nutrient-Rich Diet

For Vegans:

Article: Dr. Gregor’s Vitamin B12 Recommendations

Article: Should Vegans Take DHA to Preserve Brain Function

For more information, please contact Denise McLeod or Linda Ruehlman.

-Submitted by Denise McLeod

Environmental Action Team (EAT) Meeting

Date: Monday, April 15 at 6:30pm.

Let's try this again...Join us on Google Meet (not Zoom). 

We'll open with introductions and the request: "Share something about your most memorable Earth Day."

We'll also discuss upcoming plans for UU the VOTE (surely of the utmost importance to many of us), as well as FLP (Food for Life and the Planet), updates on VUU's Solar goals, and our next Environmental Action events.

Bring your ideas. ALL Are Welcome!

-Submitted by Linda Stenholm

Faith Formation

Volunteers Needed for Our Whole Lives Facilitator Training!

Join us April 12-14 to support the OWL Facilitator Training. Ken St. John coordinates meal provision during training. He needs help with planning, prep, setup, and cleanup for Friday dinner and Saturday/Sunday lunches. All costs are covered by the program.

Can you offer hospitality accommodation for out-of-town attendees? No meals or transportation are required. 

Sign up to host or assist with meals here.

Thank you for your support!

Questions? Please contact Ken St. John or Janet Nash.

-Submitted by Janet Nash

Joys and Concerns

Share your Joys and Concerns here.

Fellowship and Social Activities

Memorial Day Camping with UUs at SAWUURA

No fee and no crowds! Our beautiful UU-owned camp property in Northern Arizona, SAWUURA, will be open for UUs and friends of all ages to come and enjoy the mountains for Memorial Day Weekend. SAWUURA is a 100-acre property owned by UUs located in the Sierra Ancha mountains near Young, AZ.

Dates: May 24-27

Families, children, friends all welcome! Camp has water, composting toilets, a group kitchen and ramada. Bring tents, sleeping gear, and your own food. High Clearance Vehicle required

Information & registration available here.

April Spirit of Life Reading Circle is Canceled

Dear Friends, Anne, Rebecca and I have decided to cancel Spirit of Life Reading Circle for April, but we are adding a June meeting this year. Our May meeting will be on Thursday, May 9 at 7:00 pm, and our June meeting will be Thursday, June 6 at 7:00 pm.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting in May, as our April meeting is canceled.

-Submitted by Mary Rothschild

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 April 18 at 7:00 pm. We will meet at the home of Johnnie Godfrey in Tempe (near Baseline Rd. and the 101).  The book is "The Dictionary of Lost Words" by Pip Williams.

In 1901, the word ‘Bondmaid’ was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it. Set when the women’s suffrage movement was at its height and the Great War loomed, this historical novel reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. It’s a delightful thought-provoking celebration of words, and the power of language to shape the world and our experience of it.

For the meeting address or questions, please contact Johnnie Godfrey at (480) 231-8381, or email Amy Monahan.

-Submitted by Amy Monahan

Singles Lunch Bunch

WHEN: Friday, April 12, 11:30 am

WHERE: Wildflower, 6428 McClintock Dr., Tempe (Tempe Square Shopping Center on the SW corner of Guadalupe and McClintock) 

BONUS: After lunch we’ll visit the Turnstyle Consignment Shop and/or Changing Hands Book store, both next door.

RSVP to Claudette by phone or text 973-768-6047. (Text STRONGLY preferred. Not all the emails have been getting to me.) But if you must, RSVP to claudettewassil@hotmail.com

We’re going to try to start having luncheons the 2nd Friday of every month, so mark your calendars.

-Submitted by Claudette Wassil

Giving / Volunteering

April Donation of the Month: Canned Beans and Tuna

Please support our focus charity, Paz de Cristo, by bringing in a donation of canned tuna or beans at any time during the month of April. If possible, we ask that the cans have pull-tab lids to make them easier to open. Drop your donation in the designated container in the foyer of the sanctuary. 

Consider a tax credit donation to Paz de Cristo. Each day, more individuals are counting on Paz De Cristo to support them while they are experiencing homelessness. With ever-increasing housing, gas, and food costs in Arizona, your support can help ensure that our neighbors don’t have to worry about how to meet their basic needs while they journey out of homelessness.

-Submitted by Megan Kimball

Paz de Cristo Volunteers Needed This Month

Continuing the Tradition… Keeping the Commitment… Living our Principles

April date: Friday, April 12, 4:00-7:00 pm

Location: 424 W Broadway Rd, Mesa, AZ

Families welcome!

Please join us as we keep VUU’s 34-year tradition of serving the evening meal to Paz de Cristo guests on the second Friday of April. Volunteers gather at the Paz kitchen/dining room from 4:00-7:00 pm to prepare then serve the evening meal. Additional tasks include cleanup of dishes, sweeping and mopping of floors. If you are joining us for the first time, don’t worry, Paz staff and experienced VUU volunteers make the work easy and fun, and the evening goes fast.

Seventeen volunteers are needed for the evening and can range in age from 12 on up. Volunteers must be able to stand and participate in all tasks during the entire evening. Have questions? Contact Joanne at 602-620-3100.

Click here for the sign up link

-Submitted by Joanne McGrath

Immigration Action Team Border Support: Collecting Donations

Humanitarian Crisis at Sassabe: Refugee Aid delivers needed supplies to a border church to be distributed. 99 Cent Stores have low prices! No water bottles, too bulky to transport. Small cups ONLY: Applesauce, fruit, jello or puddings. Squeeze packets: vegetable or fruit.

Ongoing Clothing Donations: Cleaning out closets? Please bag up your donations and bring them to the sanctuary. Babies, toddlers and children all sizes. Men and women adult and teen sizes, small and medium. All seasons accepted. 

-Submitted by Sharon Kopina

Partners in Education (PIE)

Art Supplies Needed! Please bring art supplies including opened or used materials to services. We will collect them at our table, outside of the Sanctuary. They need paints, brushes, markers, whiteboard markers, oil pastels, and any other creative materials. If you don't have any, please consider making a special monetary donation to get these kiddos through the end of the year. We have volunteers providing art projects to the lower grades. If anyone is interested in participating, please contact Perii Skolnick.

Tax Season is Upon Us! Please consider contributing to Adams Elementary EAC. You may deduct up to $200 individually or $400 jointly from the taxes you owe Arizona. This is your opportunity to direct your tax payment to a program that is aligned with our VUU values! Here is an ECA Form that you can include with your donation. This can be done any time by April 15, up until your day of filing. You may then subtract your donation from the taxes you owe Arizona! For more information, contact Perii Skolnick

-Submitted by Perii Skolnick

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation | vuu.org