January 18, 2024

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This Sunday at VUU


Sunday, January 21

Camp VUU, Part II

51st Anniversary of Roe v Wade: Kick Off for VUU The Vote work on abortion bill

As our UU the Vote team works with HealthCare Rising, organizer Matthew Yatsayte helps lead a program about the ballot initiative that would create an initiated constitutional amendment securing the right to an abortion in Arizona. Petitions are being circulated to move this initiative forward. Matthew Yatsayte will share about his work with HealthCare Rising and why this issue is important to him. Training for folks who want to join in on this work will follow the program.



  • 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

The Sanctuary is open!

The Sanctuary Transformation Team invites you to attend in person

for this Sunday's "dusty shoe" opening. We can't promise everything is perfect, but it is beautiful, and we'll continue to finish up some little things in the next few weeks. Come, celebrate!

YouTube Link for Sunday Service
Zoom Link for after the service

Sneak Peak at Upcoming Sunday Events

SAVE THE DATE: Jan 26 & 27 Workshops on Restorative Approaches to Conflict

We will have Rev. Dr. Sam Wilson on campus again to work with us on the topics of resolving conflict and restoring relationships. She’ll offer a workshop at VUU on January 26 (1:00-4:00 pm) or January 27 (10:00 am-1:00 pm) for anyone who wants to attend, and she will lead worship on January 28. More details and registration link here! In the meantime, please fill out this survey if you haven’t already. 

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


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Thursday, January 18

  • EastVUU Coordinators 10:30a
  • Finance Committee 5:30p
  • Ukulele Club 6p
  • Worship Associates 6:30p
  • Page Turners Book Club 7p

Friday, January 19

  • Sanctuary Cleanup 9a
  • VUU Honorees Dinner 5:30p

Saturday, January 20

  • New Participants Class 9a
  • Christy Vest Concert 4p

Sunday, January 21

  • Dalai Lama & Friends 8:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • VUUJAZ Coffee Conv. 12p
  • Parent Spotted OWL 12:45p
  • Parent Burrowing OWL 12:45p
  • Spotted OWL Class 12:45p
  • Burrowing OWL Class 12:45p

Monday, January 22

  • I-HELP Dinner Off-Site 5:30p

Tuesday, January 23

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

Wednesday, January 24

  • DnD Game 5:30p
  • Choir Rehearsal 6p
  • CCL & EAT Meeting 6p

Thursday, January 25

  • Board Meeting 5:15p
  • Facilities Committee 6p
  • Ukulele Club 6p
  • East VUU Dinner Out 6:30p
  • Carol Weatherspoon Memorial 7p

Friday, January 26

  • VUU Singles Dinner 6:30p
  • Conflict Resolution Workshop 1p

Saturday, January 27

  • Conflict Resolution Workshop 10a

Sunday, January 28

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • EAT Presentation 12:15p
  • Voices Lifted 12:15p
  • Burrowing OWL Parents 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 from Rev. Sarah

This a link to a podcast from Heather McGhee’s work. It highlights some of the work around abortion and in particular the work of our one of sister congregations, First Unitarian in Dallas and their senior minister Rev. Daniel Kanter, in helping women in Texas get to New Mexico for abortion care. I recommend listening to it before our service Sunday because it is very moving and also speaks to what our future could be if the right to abortion is not preserved here.

Here are some photos from last Sunday's small group discussions.

VUU Updates

We need you TOMORROW

This is our last ask... the Sanctuary Transformation Team is getting the sanctuary ready to open. We need folks to mop floors, put the kitchen back together, build a couple pieces of furniture (IKEA style), reorganize the storage, and generally make sure everything is in place Friday.

Bring tools if you have some (a power drill will help), and an hour or two of time FRIDAY, January 19 between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm. If you're coming after 2, call DeeAnne to be sure you're still needed - (602) 620-8610.

Join us Sunday morning to celebrate the completion of the sanctuary projects! There are a few small things that will still happen, but we're 98% there, and ready to cheer!


FUUNd Auction Kickoff February 4

Many thanks to all of you who donated to the 2024 "Let’s Have FUUNd Together" Auction! We can’t wait for everyone to see our FUUNd-tastic online catalog of dinners, outings, hikes, tasty treats, handmade treasures, workshops, hikes, services, and many more FUUNd items!

Please plan to join us for the Auction Kickoff right after the service on February 4. FUUNd Committee members will be there to help you register and show you how to bid online. Auction items will also be displayed on the patio for those who prefer to browse a “hard copy” of the catalog. AND… THERE WILL BE CAKE!


New Participant Class and Spring Schedule

This Saturday, January 20 from 9:00 am-12:30 pm we will host a new participant class for anyone who is new-ish to VUU and wants to learn more about Unitarian Universalism and Valley UU, as well as about the process to become a member (not required!) If you are available to join us please RSVP via this link. Other dates for this spring include:

February 4

New Member Recognition, Sunday Service

March 2

New Participant Welcome Luncheon, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, Classroom 1&2

RSVP for Mar 2 here. 

April 2

New Participant Class, 9:00 am- 1:00 pm, VUU Board Room

RSVP for Apr 2 here.

May 5

New Member Recognition, Sunday Service

June 1

New Participant Welcome Luncheon, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, Classroom 1&2

RSVP for Jun 1 here.

Memorial for Carol Weatherspoon

You are invited to join the family of Carol Weatherspoon on January 25, 7:00 pm in rooms 1 and 2 in the Faith Formation building at VUU for a memorial gathering to share memories of this amazing woman. She was a member for several years until 2018 when health issues made it wise for her to return to Florida where her family could provide the care and support she needed. She passed away January 18, 2023.

Carol is best remembered for organizing coffee hour after Sunday Services and the meal on Mondays for our homeless I-HELP guests.

It will be an informal gathering with light refreshments. You are welcome to bring a snack if sharing.

-Submitted by JoAnne Smith

Music Ministries

VUUsica Concert Series – Christy Vest on January 20

Christy Vest, our beloved piano accompanist, is offering a vocal and piano concert that is interactive and performative. Come to the Sanctuary on Saturday, January 20 from 4:00-5:00ish pm for an afternoon of live music. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids 18 and under. Possible childcare for younger kids - reach out to Katie if needing childcare at MusicDirector@vuu.org.

You can purchase tickets online by clicking our online giving link. Once you click the link, simply check the Music Program under "give to Operating" and indicate how many tickets you purchased in the notes, indicating it’s for Christy Vest. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the day of the show starting at 3:30 pm when the doors open.

The VUU Voices Choir Wednesdays, 6:00-7:30 pm

Rehearsals are on Wednesdays in the Sanctuary from 6:00-7:30 pm. To see the 2023-2024 schedule please click here. To access sheet music and vocal tracks for songs we are working on, please click here.

No 1-Hour Choirs (Adults and Kids) in January

Have you and/or your child 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. The adults will meet in the Sanctuary and the kids will meet in the Flex room, in the Sanctuary both from 9:00-10:00 am. Both the adults and the kids will then lead music in the service, with the kids singing before they go to their classes.

A rehearsal and performance are held every first Sunday of the month, skipping January. Next is February 4. Contact Katie for more information or with any questions: MusicDirector@vuu.org.


Social Night “Dinner Out”

January 25, 6:30 pm

Nando’s Mexican Cafe 

6715 E McDowell Rd 

Mesa, AZ 85215

Come one, come all! Join EastVUU folks for a night out at Nandos! Thursday, January 25 at 6:30 pm. Please note that the planned time change will not occur until our next meeting, February 8.

Save the date: Zoom Meeting. Thursday, February 8, 6:00 pm. NEW TIME!!!!

In recognition of Black History Month, Beverly McCormick and Doug Nintzel will guide us through a lively discussion. Details to follow. All are welcome!!!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 739 743 734

Partners in Education: Urgent Special Request

Adams Elementary School's Tiger Store has run out of incentive rewards for good behavior!!! This is an important element, in supporting the positive behavioral program at Adams. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to make a difference in these kids' lives!!! Cash donations made out to Partners In Education can be sent to VUU. Contact Perii Skolnick (sperii1@gmail.com) for more detailed information about this program.

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! The ECA Form that you include with your donation is available hereThis can be done any time during the year, up until your day of filing. You may then subtract your donation off the taxes you owe Arizona! For more information, contact Perii Skolnick (sperii1@gmail.com). 

Faith Formation

Grief Support Group

VUU Pastoral Care is organizing a Grief Support Group beginning Sunday, February 11 that will run for 8 weeks on Sundays from 1:00-2:30 pm in the VUU Board Room. This group is for anyone experiencing grief related to any type of loss who would like the opportunity to support and be supported by others also facing grief. The group will be held in person, with simultaneous virtual access for those who cannot attend in person.

This is planned as a covenant grounded support and discussion group (not a grief education program) facilitated by Lay Pastoral Care Team members Melissa Bush and Dan Schulte. For this type of group, participation will be limited to 12 members maximum. Those who sign up for the group are asked to commit to the entire 8 weeks. Depending on interest, we may consider running a second group later in the year.

If you are interested in signing up for the group, please contact Melissa Bush (melbear77@msn.com) and if you have questions you can contact either Dan (dlschulte@msn.com) or Melissa.

-Submitted by Daniel Schulte

Camp de Beneville Pines

SuperHero Academy camp is for grades K through 6 and their families

2024 UU Elementary Family Winter Camp

February 17 - 19


Together we'll harness the forces of confidence, character, and creativity to discover the superpowers hidden inside us all. Winter camp is the perfect way to spend quality time with the family, as well as allow children the opportunity for personal growth and foster independence.




Registration opened January 13 for three highly anticipated camps! These camps sell out fast so be sure to register early. Click the below to learn more.

Rainbow Family 4/5-4/7

UU Women's Retreat 5/3-5/5

Yoga & Whole Living 5/17-5/19

Joys and Concerns

Share your Joys and Concerns here.

Voices Lifted

Voices Lifted is a small group of women singers that can provide vocal music at bedside to calm, heal, or uplift. If you or a family member needs comfort at home, in hospital, or in hospice care, please contact Lynn DeMuth via the Pastoral Care team at pastoralcare@vuu.org.

Fellowship and Social Activities

The Page Turners' 2024 Book Selection Party

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 January 18 at 7:00 pm. We will meet at the home of Amy & Pat Monahan in Chandler (near 101 & Ray Rd).

If you have suggestions for books for the group to read in 2024, please come with 3 book suggestions. Be prepared to give a very brief introduction to each book. We will vote on the 3 options and select 1 for next year. Please keep in mind the following:

  • Books should be readily available at the public library. So please don't suggest books that came out in the last year that will have long wait lists at the library.
  • Books should be of moderate length. They can be biography, fiction, or non-fiction.

For the meeting address, please email agmonahan@gmail.com.

-Submitted by Amy Monahan

Ukulele Club Started January 4

We have an Ukulele Club at VUU! Join us on Thursday nights at 6:00 pm in Classroom #5. Any level is welcome to join us. It will be a round robin format where you can volunteer to share/play what you've been working on. (No more than 3 min).  We will also play some songs together. Please text uke group at (602) 884-0827 if you are interested. Please bring your uke, small percussion etc.

-Submitted by Maria Wildflower

Singles Events Coming Up

Dinner Out

WHEN: Friday, January 26 at 6:30 pm

WHERE: Perfect Pear Bistro, 9845 S Priest Drive, Tempe (at the back of Tempe Crossing Mall on the corner of Ray and Priest), (480) 247-3410. 

RSVP to claudettewassil@hotmail.com or contact Claudette by phone or text (973) 768-6047. (Text preferred.) 



Sunday, February 11, 4:30 pm

Super Bowl Party at Gloria's

-Submitted by Jodi Freeman

Giving / Volunteering


Our January meal will feature one of our guests' favorite dishes: Lasagna.

PLEASE NOTE: This meal will be served OFF-SITE!!!

We will provide meal service at the following location:

Chandler United Methodist Church

450 E. Chandler Heights Rd.

Chandler AZ 85249

Sign up here. I will send a follow up email to all meal service volunteers with further details as they become available.

-Submitted by Laura Rohlfing

Immigration Action Team

Border Support

Order free tickets to receive the Zoom link for this event on January 18.

-Submitted by Sharon Kopina

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation | vuu.org