October 12, 2023

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This Sunday at VUU


Sunday, October 15, 2023

"National Coming Out Day"

This Sunday we will celebrate National Coming Out Day with ten LGBTQ+/Queer members of our VUU congregation leading the entire service with Bobbi Ryals as Worship Leader. Come hear four compelling coming out stories from members of our community and join us in a Coming Out Celebration. 



  • 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.

Next Sunday, October 22, Sneak Peak ...

It's the Pride Parade in Phoenix!

Rev. Sarah will be in the pulpit, with Ken St. John as Worship Association and Katie, Andrew, the Choir, Christy and Jenny on music.

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. See next week's Happenings for details.

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.

VUU Happenings

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

See Articles Below For

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 12

  • Finance Team 5p
  • Finance Training 5:30p
  • East VUU Gathering 6:30p

Friday, October 13

  • Paz de Cristo Meal Prep 4p
  • Bob Hardy Memorial gathering 5p

Saturday, October 14

  • Spirituality of Conflict 1p

Sunday, October 15

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Faith Formation10:30a
  • Sunday Worship Service 10:30a
  • VUUJAZ Coffee Conversation 12p
  • Spotted OWL Parents 12:45p
  • Burrowing OWL Parents 12:45p
  • Spotted OWL Class 12:45p
  • Burrowing OWL Class 12:45p

Monday, October 16

  • I-HELP Shelter 5:30p
  • VUU Scouting 6p

Tuesday, October 17

  • EVUU Women's Group 1p
  • I-HELP Shelter 5:30p
  • STT Meeting 6p
  • LDC Meeting 6p
  • Men's Group 7p

Wednesday, October 18

  • Choir Rehearsal 5:30p
  • DnD Games 5:30p

Thursday, October 19

  • EVUU Coordinators 10:30a
  • 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
  • Voices Lifted 12:15
  • Congregational Conversation 12p
  • 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

This Tuesday I worked with the family of Jamila and Damian Pulliam to create a memorial and celebration of life service for Jamila’s sister. Samira, who died last week after a short but fierce fight with cancer.  Together with VUU volunteers and paid assistants we hosted an amazing, inspiring ritual and community gathering that held nearly 300 family and friends of Samira.  It was an opportunity to share our space and serve a member family with love.  Ryan was able to livestream the service, and it has been viewed by hundreds of people.  The room included people of many different faith backgrounds from Muslim to different versions of Christian to UU.  Our space and our faith community are uniquely positioned to be able to host diverse communities because we have few religious symbols and we already have practice creating pluralistic worship that is open and welcoming.  I am grateful for the opportunity to open our doors in this way and hope we will have more such opportunities coming our way.  

We are working on better promotional materials for renting our buildings, and to this end Tricia Amato has taken some professional photos of several spaces and is working on a digital design that highlights what we have to offer.  Todd and I have been working on the processes for renting these spaces and also managing them.  I hope this will be one way we can grow our financial resources.  

But there’s something more important in this story, and it's the people who showed up to create a welcoming space and the people who now know we exist that might never have known otherwise.  It’s the family that was held with love and commitment by members and friends at a time when community was needed more than anything else.  VUU will have a future not just because we committed funds and resources to support its ministries, but because we made commitments to each other to show up when life’s inevitable storms started brewing.  VUU will have a future because we made sure the doors were open when others needed a place to mourn, to celebrate, to learn, to worship and gather in all the ways that humans gather.  Our property is just one of the containers for the ministries we engage to make the world a better place.  We don’t give money and time to the container, but rather to the ministries held within.  For this reason, I am willing to mop and stack chairs and lead services alike–because our shared ministry needs a container, and all of us can do this work together.

Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan

VUU Updates


Rev Sarah’s VUU Installation and Celebration

Saturday, Oct 28th 2:30 Service

Reception to follow

We are planning a festive reception immediately following Rev. Sarah's Installation as VUU's Senior Minister on October 28th. She has requested a Southwestern menu, and we need lots of help from the members and friends VUU to help make the celebration extra special.

To sign up to bring guacamole, salsa, chips, taquitos / flautas or empanadas or your own special SW Appetizer follow this link. For help negotiating the Sign Up page, just give one of us a call.

There are also slots set up/clean up, and kitchen assistance. Please review ALL available slots and click on as many buttons as you want to sign up.

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

Bob Hardy Memorial

Bob Hardy's daughters, Janine and Lisa, invite you to a light, informal, reception on Friday October 13 from 5:00-7:00 PM in the Board Room. They would like to see some of Dad's friends and thank them for the love and support they offered him over the years. If you have questions or wish to contact us Janine's number is 804.761.1651 and her email is janinewhoward@aol.com. We hope to see you Friday!

October is LGBTQ+ History Month

LGBT 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.

Membership Team Developing

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.

Camp de Beneville Pines

Registration for UU Senior High Winter Camp is now open!  

Wednesday, 12/27/2023 - Monday, 1/1/2024


Youth currently in 9th-12th grade are welcome and welcomed back to join us this winter at Camp Carry UUn. Campers will spend five nights/six days playing games and laughing with friends, both old and new! During camp, youth will have the opportunity to connect with one another during small group discussions and workshops, fun group events like our s’mores making party by the cozy lodge fire, the talent filled variety show, the always entertaining youth auction, and the festive New Year’s Eve dance!

Campers can learn and unwind together during the many bonding opportunities camp offers! As usual for winter camp up in the mountains, prepare for snow, hot chocolate, and building snowpeople! We hope to see you there :)

Adult Deans: Patti Buck & Mary Carter Vail

Youth Deans: Lilly Astudillo & Cady Cole

Register Here
Music Ministries

Due to low interest and to minimize the spread of COVID, the following events are canceled and will be rescheduled for a later date:


CANCELED: VUUsica Concert Series, Christy Vest - Oct. 14

Christy Vest's concert is canceled for Saturday, Oct. 14 and will be rescheduled for the new year. Christy Vest, our beloved piano accompanist will offer a vocal and piano concert that is interactive and performative. More details coming soon.


CANCELED: Chiliokie 

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 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 Nov. 5, and Dec. 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


TONIGHT: Thursday 10/12 6:30pm - Reflections on Healing

What has been your experience with Grief? What has helped you recover? Join the EastVUU group for a panel discussion and breakout groups on ZOOM.

Sign in # 408915517, Password: 293512

SAVE THE DATE:  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. 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

Art Masterpiece Volunteers Needed

This year’s training sessions will begin later this month. There will be 2 days/2 hour training sessions that prepare you well for the presentations. The actual program is from Jan to May, 2 times a month. It’s a lot of fun and very satisfying. For more information contact Perii Skolnick (sperii1@gmail.com.)

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

Finance Team

Finance Training: VUU Style


The goal of this is to help anyone at VUU more easily read our financial reports. After all, if you want know what an organization is up to, first follow the money! We've schedule 90 minutes of training, hosted by the Finance committee.

Food will be provided.

TONIGHT! October 12

5:00 - 5:30 - Finance Team Meeting

5:30 - 7:00 - Finance Training for all

Feel free to come early if you want to listen in to the Finance meeting, which starts at 5:00.


If you are interested, please contact Anne Schneider.

Fellowship and Social Activities

The Page Turners' Book Club

We are open to all members, visitors and friends. Save the date - October 19 at 7p. Our book will be The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz.

Details to come.

VUU Scouts

The VUU Scouting group has begun meeting. Thanks to all the adults who pitched in to make our first meeting a great success! The kids had fun and learned a little about first aid (Thanks for leading this Katie Hurstwicker!) For more information or to enroll an elementary aged child in the VUU Scouting group contact Scouting@vuu.org

Volunteering and Giving

Affordable Housing in Mesa

Do you know someone who has struggled to find an affordable place to live? Had

to move because they couldn’t keep up with rent increases? Dealt with onerous

apartment fees and regulations? Been unable to find even a modest home to buy?

VIP has been hearing these stories for years, and we’re ready to take action. RSVP here for an assembly on Wednesday, October 18, at 6:30pm at St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Mesa to tell our elected officials that they need to address the housing affordability crisis. We need a good turnout to prove this is an issue that matters to voters, so spread the word!

Affordable Housing in Mesa

Wednesday, October 18, 6:30 pm

St Matthew United Methodist Church

2450 W Baseline Rd, Mesa

Affordable and safe housing is increasingly unavailable for working families in Mesa. VIP has head from members of our congregations and we have met with leaders and developers in the city. We believe that the right political decisions can improve the housing situation in Mesa. We call on members of our congregations to join together to confront the issue of affordable workforce housing. We invite Mesa elected leaders to hear our stories and support our request for: 1) Affordable housing for new developments at Mesa’s Site 17 and at the former Fiesta Mall; 2) Affordable housing as a goal in the revised Mesa General Plan; and 3) Increased city funding for legal assistance regarding tenant rights issues such as eviction.

I-Help Dinner

You are invited to sign up for our October 23 IHELP Dinner. We're serving chili and cornbread. Please click on the link here to view the online sign up sheet.

Border Support

OCTOBER SUPPLIES NEEDED: Place in Refugee Aid Bin: Shelf stable milk (in boxes), Baby food, Large jugs of fruit juice (real juice)

Kino Border Initiative / Iniciativa Kino para la Frontera  Contact your Representatives and Senators to get this bill on the floor and pass it. Allowing Asylum Seekers to work sooner than current 6-8 month wait speeds up the process of self-sufficiency and fills the MANY openings for Essential Workers.

What is H.R. 1325?

H.R. 1325, otherwise known as the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act, is a bipartisan bill intended to allow asylum-seekers to seek employment Opportunities while in the process of seeking asylum. Three key benefits for the general American public if the bill passes:

  • The bill immediately reduces the waiting time for work permits to be processed (right now a person cannot apply until they have been in the US for 6 months). That means that our brothers and sisters on the move have a path toward self-sufficiency more quickly.
  • Access to legal employment also decreases the vulnerability of asylum seekers to trafficking and exploitation.
  • Authorization to work also allows asylum seekers to cover their legal costs.

HELP us feed the survivors of the harsh desert by volunteering once a month Saturday just 2-3 hours and $15 donation for 70# produce/vegetable you will deliver to a local Latino Asylum Seeker Shelter. Contact Sharon Kopina by text 602-668-7397 for more info.

UU Justice Arizona Network

The Future of Us Fundraiser for UUJAZ

Next Tuesday, October 17 at 5:30, our siblings in faith at UUCP are hosting a fundraiser for UUJAZ with UU poet and faith leader Rev. Julian Jamaica Soto called "The Future of Us."  I am attending with my mom, and I would love to see many of you join us!  (Let me know if you want to carpool from VUU.)

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 days, however register early to reserve your copy of their book, as printing is limited uujaz.org/register

Register here for the event in Phoenix

Date: Tuesday, October 17th

Time: 5:30pm doors | 6:00 start time

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix

4027 E Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation | vuu.org