February 8, 2024

Click here to view The Happenings in full

This Sunday at VUU


Sunday, February 11, 10:30a

“African American Leaders in Unitarian Universalism”

Join us as we weave historical and contemporary voices together. 

with Beverly McCormick, Noell Hyman, and Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan. 



  • 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

YouTube Link for Sunday Service
Zoom Link for after the service

VUU Happenings

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

See Articles Below For

Desert Notes

UUA Updates

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


Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram


Thursday, February 8

  • EastVUU Program 6p
  • Ukuele Group 6p

Friday, February 9

  • FLP Brown Bag Lunch 12p
  • Paz de Cristo Meal Prep 4p

Saturday, February 10

Sunday, February 11

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Pygmy OWL class 8:45a
  • FUUNd 10a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • Immigration Team 11:45a
  • Voices Lifted 12:15p
  • Burrowing OWL Parents 12:45p
  • Burrowing OWL Class 12:45p
  • Grief Support Group 1p
  • Singles Party 4:30p

Monday, February 12

  • VIP Core Team Meeting 9a
  • Pastoral Care Team 6:30p

Tuesday, February 13

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

Wednesday, February 14

  • Choir Rehearsal 6p
  • Special Funds 6p

Thursday, February 15

  • East VUU Coordinators 10:30a
  • Finance Committee 5:30p
  • Ukulele Club 6p
  • Worship Associate 6:30p
  • Page Turners 7p

Friday, February 16

  • Anti-Racism Movie 6:30p

Saturday, February 17

Sunday, February 18

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • FUUNd Last Day 10a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • VUUJAZ 12p
  • Grief Support Group 1p

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

Desert Notes from Rev. Sarah

UU Black History and Leadership 

I wanted to share with you material from and about some of my contemporary colleagues in Unitarian Universalist ministry. If you’re new to UU, or have been focused very locally, you may not know about these amazing women and the work they’ve been doing. I am inspired regularly by their work. Hopefully, you will be, too!

This article in UU World by Rev. Viola Abbit

This short video by Rev. Connie Simon

…Rev. Sarah

Side with Love's Annual 30 Days of Love Campaign

Check out the latest inspirations from our Side with Love leaders!

Black History Month

Don’t forget to read UU World! Here’s some material related to Black History Month and Unitarian Universalism you should check out. And here’s the most recent edition of the UU World. Do you want to receive a printed copy of UU World? Let our office Administrator, Todd Sirrine know!

UUA Updates

Article II Updates

Many of you may have been reading or wondering about the issues regarding Article II of the Unitarian Universalist Association Bylaws; some of you may be unaware of the changes that will be voted on at the June UUA General Assembly, requiring a two-thirds vote from congregational representatives to pass. The results have implications for UU congregations and our denomination. Here's a link to the process and the final proposed revisions of Article II. This is a link to a “teach in," critical of the proposed changes done by the UU congregation of Hartford: Article II Teach In. And another opposed to the changes from Save the Seven Principles. You can find lots more discussion of Article II and all else going on with the UUA by googling the UUA, Article II, the Fifth Principle Project, and the Seven Principles online. Educate yourself and make up your own mind. This is important!

-Submitted by Anne Schneider

I’d like to share this sermon link Who Cares About Article II?, from my colleague and friend, Rev. Lisa Bovee Kemper at Unitarian Universalist Community of Charlotte. Lisa gives a lens of the developmental, theological, and practical implications of the Article II changes being proposed. 

-Submitted by Rev. Sarah

VUU Updates


The FUUNd Auction is open for bidding!!!

Click here or scan the QR Code below to register, browse the auction catalog, and place your winning bids!

Bids so far total more than $6,000! Join the FUUNd!

Don’t miss your chance to bid on over 80 events, custom-made items, services, and tasty treats being offered by VUU members and friends this year. Plan your 2024 calendar, make new friends, and nurture your mind, body and spirit while you support this amazing congregation. Need help or have a question? Email the Auction Team.

Bidding closes at 2:00 pm on Sunday, February 18.


SRP District Board Elections

The VUU Solar Team would like you to know that SRP District Board elections are coming up. Eligible voters are land owners living in an SRP district (they need not use SRP services). You must request a ballot (if not already on the SRP permanent list) by mail or online on or before March 22, 2024. Voting will occur March 6 – April 1. Early ballots may be mailed or dropped at various locations.

To request a ballot or read more about the elections, click here.

 -Submitted by DeeAnne McClenahan

New Congregation Intern

Some of you may know me, but for those of you who don’t, my name is Adah Beehler, and I am the new and first congregation intern. I am a senior in college getting a degree in Philosophy and Religion and am excited to get some real-world experience within a religious community. I plan on continuing my education and getting a Master's in Divinity after my Bachelor's. I have been attending VUU with my family for many years and absolutely love the community. I have another church that I own and operate called Sun Meadow Temple which is geared towards those of the Pagan faiths, although anyone is welcome. I love to read, study history, and enjoy a wide range of other subjects from politics to zombies. Please feel free to come and say hello or ask me questions on Sunday or at other events.


New Participant Spring Schedule

March 2

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

RSVP for Mar 2 here. 

April 20

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

RSVP for Apr 20 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.

If you are interested in getting involved with the Membership Committee please attend our online meeting on February 13 from 5:00-6:00 pm. Sign up here.

Music Ministries

Mark your calendars for Earth Day CabaretSaturday, April 27. 

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!

The VUU Voices ChoirWednesdays, 6:00-7:30 pm

Do you enjoy singing a variety of genres in 3-4 part music in a choir? Or are you looking for connection with fellow VUUers and love music? Join The VUU Voices Choir – all skill levels are welcomed. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays in the Sanctuary from 6:00-7:30 pm. For free childcare, please contact Katie Seiferth.

To see the 2023-2024 rehearsal and performance schedule please click here

To access sheet music and vocal tracks for songs we are working on, please click here.

1-Hour Choirs (Adults and Kids) – March 3

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 Sanctuary's Flex room, 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, Contact Katie Seiferth for more.

The Chalice Ringers – Interested in ringing?

If you or someone you know has an interest in playing bells in our bell choir, The Chalice Ringers, please contact Katie Seiferth. I have a director and now need to collect anyone who is interested in participating. Yay!

Interested in Leading the Drum Circle?

Do you or someone you know, have interest in helping Katie lead the drum circle? If so, please contact Katie Seiferth

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.

Ukulele Club

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.

Please email Katie Seifert at MusicDirector@vuu.org with any music-related questions or requests.


EVUU Meeting - Racism: What is it costing YOU?

Zoom Meeting

Thursday, February 8, 6:00 pm NEW TIME!

Join us for a discussion about the harms of racism to all of us and what we can do to help the healing. Beverly McCormick and Doug Nintzel team up to lead us for Black History Month.

Note: We are moving up the start time to 6:00 pm for all EastVUU Thursday meetups.

 All are welcome!!!

Join Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 739 743 734

Save the Date: EastVUU Social Night

Garlic breadsticks? Join the EastVUU group for Italian dinner!

Thursday, February 22, 6:00 pm

Olive Garden

6201 E. Southern Ave, Mesa

Partners In Education: Tax Credit Donation

We did it!!!! We raised $350 to replenish the Adams' Tiger Store with all kinds of fun widgets and fidgets!!! Thank you for your generous donations. This is an important part of their positive behavior 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! Attached is the ECA Form that you include with your donation. This can be done any time prior to April 15, and prior to filing your tax return. If you have AZ tax liability, you can receive full credit for your donation.

For more information, contact Perii Skolnick.

Food for Life and the Planet (FLP)

FLP Events

FLP Brown Bag Lunch on ZOOM

We’ll watch and discuss the Netflix-produced series "You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment," a documentary of a scientific experiment in which 22 sets of identical twins followed different diets to determine the impact of the foods on their health. There are a lot of interesting findings, one of which is that we have more control over our health than we realize.

Date:   Friday, February 9

Time:  12 Noon


Heads Up About March ZOOM

One of the takeaways from "You Are What You Eat" is the way our foods have changed since WWII. With that in mind, we’d like to discuss an extraordinary book about how big business food companies have manipulated what we eat, resulting in significant health issues. TV dinners and Pop-Tarts, anyone? We wanted to give you plenty of time to read it so that we can have our usual lively discussion!

"Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us" by Michael Moss

Date: Friday, March 8

Time:  12 Noon



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

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, and if you have questions you can contact either Dan or Melissa Schulte.

-Submitted by Daniel Schulte

Return of the Prescott Retreat!

We are excited to announce the grand reopening of our All Ages Congregation-Wide Retreat in Prescott! This is an opportunity to get away, make new connections, have some fun, and learn new things. If you are interested in joining us for this memorable experience please fill out this interest form.

Joys and Concerns

Share your Joys and Concerns here.

Fellowship and Social Activities

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 February 15 at 7:00 pm.

The book is The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.

For the meeting details, watch this space.

-Submitted by Amy Monahan

Singles Super Bowl Party

WHEN: Sunday, February 11 at 4:30 pm

WHERE: At the home of Gloria (2227 W Ironwood Drive, Chandler, 716-819-7622).

Everyone is asked to bring snacks or desserts and any alcoholic beverages they wish to consume. Water and soda will be provided and we’ll be ordering pizza. Please let me know what you plan to bring so I can attempt to balance it.

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

-Submitted by Jodi Freeman

Kitchen Lost and Found

These items have been in the kitchen since Rev. Sarah's October installation. Please claim your items or they WILL be donated!

-Submitted by Laura Rohlfing

Giving / Volunteering

Immigration Action Meeting

Join us on Sunday February 11 after Services in the Flex Room for our regular monthly meeting with a quick update on the VUU Immigration Actions including Family Updates, Clothing and Food distributions, and some financing and planning business.

Anti-Racism Action:

Free Movie "Stamped from the Beginning"

Friday, February 16 at 6:30 pm

in the Sanctuary

Look Up! Answer Rev Sarah's call to "Look Up" from her inspiring Sunday sermon and explore Black History with an investigation of the bases of today's racism. This movie is based on the National Book Award winner and NYT best seller and has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes...so it's GOOD!

A perfect companion to Beverly and Doug's February 8 zoom discussion on how racism impacts all of our lives. Let's join together and be the "standing stone" we sing about and learn "...what we don't know we don't know."

Valley Interfaith Project Training

VUU’s VIP Core Team members Barb Quijada, Kathy and David Melamed, Nancy Egly, Bill Elliott, Linda Stenholm, Mary Kate Eckles, and Amanda Schneider will be participating in an In-Person Relational Meetings Training on Monday, February 12 from 9:00-10:30 am in the VUU Board Room. We believe this training, facilitated by VIP organizer Sami Mericle, will help us become stronger, more connected leaders in VIP, at VUU, and in the wider community.

If you are interested in gaining skills for building strong community relationships within the VUU congregation and beyond, please join us! For more information or to RSVP so that we know how many to plan for, email Barb Quijada.

-Submitted by Barb Quijada


Paz de Cristo February Donation of the Month – Pasta (any type)

Please support our focus charity, Paz de Cristo, by bringing in a donation of pasta (any type) at any time during the month of February. Drop your donation in the designated container in the foyer of the sanctuary. With your help, we can do our part to stock the shelves at Paz de Cristo and make sure they don’t run out of this popular staple.

-Submitted by Megan Kimball

A Big I-HELP Thank you!

Many thanks to all who participated in the January 22nd I-HELP meal service. The challenge of an offsite meal service was met with willingness and creativity on everyone's part. A special thanks to our volunteer servers: Nancy Landeryou, Jodi Cicirello, and Deb Lusk. You did not let a rainy night stop you from your I-HELP service!

Our host site, Chandler United Methodist, couldn't have been more welcoming and gracious. I was extremely impressed with their level of organization and number of volunteers. It is wonderful to have such dependable and capable partners in this effort.

Our next VUU sponsored I-HELP meal will be on Monday February 26. We will be back on site for this meal, thank goodness! I'm thinking about hearty soups as a main course. Any other suggestions?


Laura Rohlfing, VUU I-HELP Coordinator

AZCEND Eggs Benefit Breakfast

VUU supports the work of AZCEND via their IHELP program which houses folks in our sanctuary once or twice a week. Because of this relationship, I have been serving on their Board.

Would you like to join me at an upcoming breakfast to celebrate the lives they are changing and the difference they are making? The breakfast is complimentary. We really want people to come and find out more about the impact AZCEND is making in our community, and I would love it if you could come. The event is Thursday, February 15 at the Gilbert Community Center (130 N Oak St., Gilbert, AZ 85233). Check-in begins at 7:30 am, and the program runs from 8:00–9:00 am. Let me know if you're coming! We can sit together. You can register online here.

Submitted by Rev. Sarah


VUUJAZ is seeking new leadership

Valley UU Arizona is seeking new leadership! If you are interested of being part of this lay-led leadership group /team please contact Anne Schneider. VUUJAZ serves as one of our congregation’s Public policy advocacy groups with a focus on state-level policy. The group meets one a month to share information on social justice initiatives and opportunities.  Contact Anne at (602) 828-2279 for more information. 

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation | vuu.org