November 9, 2023

Click here to view The Happenings in full

This Sunday at VUU



Sunday November 9, 2023

Patriotism and the Republic of Conscience

On this Veteran's Day weekend, we will take a closer look at what patriotism means. Can patriotism extend across national borders? What can we love and be proud of in the United States in 2023? And how does our Unitarian Universalist faith call us express our patriotism?

Join us for a service of both introspection and hope with Rebecca Riggs presenting and Mary Rothschild as Worship Associate. Katie, Jenny, and JC bring the music to worship, alone with the band.

Children start in their classrooms - there will be no story for all ages.

Next Sunday: Cornbread communion!



  • 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
Join the Zoom discussion after service 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

VUU Updates

Joys and Concerns

Faith Formation

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, November 9

  • Caring Neighbors Coord Dinner 5p
  • East VUU Gathering Program 6:30p

Friday, November 10

  • Paz de Cristo Meal Prep 4p

Saturday, November 11

  • Debbie Dinyes Celebration 2p

Sunday, November 12

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Liz Chain celebration 9a
  • Sunday Worship Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes10:30a
  • Middle/High School Hindu Temple visit 10:30a
  • Immigration Action Team 11:45a
  • Voices Lifted 12:15p

Monday, November 13

  • Pastoral Care Team 6:30p

Tuesday, November 14

  • VIP Meeting 4:30
  • STT Meeting 5p
  • Special Funds 6p
  • Men's Group 7p

Wednesday, November 15

  • DnD 5:30
  • Choir Rehearsal 6p
  • Special Funds Meeting 6p
  • VIP Housing Planning 6p

Thursday, November 16

  • East VUU Coordinators 10:30a
  • Finance Team 5:30p
  • Spectrum Circle 6p
  • Worship Associates 6:30p
  • Page Turners 7p

Friday, November 17

Saturday, November 18

Sunday, November 19

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Sunday Worship Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes10:30a
  • VUUjaz coffee 12p
  • Spotted OWL parents12:45p
  • 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 from Rev. Sarah

The UU College of Social Justice, UUJAZ and several AZ UU congregations have been participating in a small planning delegation with Borderlinks this week, and I am happy to have been able to join them.  We are learning together and thinking about what it would look like to lead a delegation of UU’s in February 2024 and in an ongoing way to bring folks to the Borderlands to learn more about the experiences of migrants at our Southern border.  We have listened to stories, traversed the border, learned about organizations doing important work, and had a deeper and embodied encounter with the realities here.  We have also begun to dream about what could be, what might be, and how our congregations will work together to engage the work that is calling us here. It has been important to me to re-invest in my own capacity to lead on these issues and to partner/collaborate with other congregations and organizations.  I look forward to sharing more with all of you and inviting VUU to help create a team of delegates to return and to learn together as well.  

Last week I attended a special meeting at the invitation of VIP and Vice Mayor Matt Orlando to discuss the senior affordable housing development being proposed by Dominium.  The VIP delegation reminded those gathered (there were three from the opposition, three of us, and Dominium, plus City staff and two council members) that we believe that Chandler needs to do their part in identifying and pursuing any and all possible solutions to the housing crisis we are experiencing.  No city in this metro area can afford to assume that others will provide the needed affordable housing solutions.  Next week we will be hosting an event at VUU that will highlight these issues and also report on gains we’ve made working on mental health issues.  Please join us!  November 14 from 6:30-8:00 at VUU.  Barb Quijada has more information on this–please RSVP here.

Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan

VUU Updates

Celebration of Life of

Longtime member, Debbie Dinyes

Please join us this Saturday, November 11 at 2p in the Sanctuary.

Debbie's favorite things included music and joyful congregation of friends and family. Thus we will gather in one of her favorite places to celebrate her life. Please wear vivid colors in honor of Debbie's effervescence!

A reception will follow with light refreshments provided by the family. Please click here to sign up to help setup and clean up for the reception. No food is needed.

Liz Chain

Dalai Lama and Friends is dedicating Sunday, November 12 , 2023 to a Celebration of Life Service for Liz Chain both in the VUU Board Room and online at 9:00a (after the meditation time 8:30-9).

Pat Flahart  480-983-6829 Home phone, leave a message

Save the Dates!

The next weekend Rev. Sam will be with us is January 26-28. Details TBA but count on an event on Saturday and Rev. Sam at the helm of the Sunday service on January 28.

Installation Ceremony

Installation Ceremony Recording

For those of you who missed it, you can still view the installation ceremony for Rev. Sarah on our YouTube channel. Over 180 folks attended, and we received the blessing of other clergy leaders and partner organizations as well. From the shared musical leadership of UUCP choir members joining us with their music director Benjie Messer to the amazing spread of refreshments and colorful decorations organized by Barbara Quijada and an excellent hospitality team with NIck Carr, Janet Cantley, Laura Rohlfing, Joanne Smith and many more we were able to celebrate and honor our commitment to “Improvise Toward a Shared Future” in ministry at VUU. 

Music Ministries

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

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

Contact with any questions.



Rev. Dr. Samantha Wilson has begun VUU work on the Spirituality of Conflict.  She will be our guest speaker. A quote 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

NO SOCIAL NIGHT THIS MONTH: Thanksgiving is November 23, our usual monthly Social Meet-up. We will not meet up, allowing all to spend time on their own pursuits.  

STAY UPDATED: Click here for the EastVUU Facebook group

Partners in Education

This Thursday, Adams hosts a visit of Ellie, the robotic elephant! This is a great opportunity to teach kindness to all living creatures, large and small. This is made possible through collaboration with Denise McLeod who works for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). One of the divisions is TeachKind, a humane education program dedicated to teaching children to be kind to animals. Thank you, Denise!

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.

Post-Service Zoom Sessions Host

We need a few more folks to be trained and set up to host our zoom sessions after service. Thanks to members of the Pastoral Care team and a few others who have stepped up to help us out in this way. We usually have 7-10 folks looking to have some online conversation and connection after service.  Contact Rev. Sarah if you are interested. 

Faith Formation

A Unitarian Universalist Christmas Pageant

Join us on December 10 as the children and youth of Valley UU remind us how and why we celebrate Christmas. In addition to a fabulous story about the true meaning of Christmas we will be conducting a clothing drive during the pageant. 

We will be supporting documented asylum seekers who come to the valley. Please plan to bring new or slightly used outwear for kids and adults:

   All children's sizes - sweat shirts and jackets 

   Adult sizes small, medium & large - jackets

You will want to join us in person - everyone in the sanctuary will receive an "audience participation" bag!

Class schedule for the next 2 months:

  • Nov. 12 - MS & HS classes meet (offsite visit), Pre-K - 5th grade NO class Pageant Rehearsal (assistants assist with pageant.) OWL classes do NOT meet
  • Nov. 19 - MS & HS classes meet, Pre-K - 5th grade NO class  Pageant Rehearsal (assistants assist with pageant.) OWL classes meet
  • Nov. 26 - NO classes, all age game day (assistants join us) OWL classes do NOT meet
  • Dec. 3 - MS & HS classes meet, Pre-K - 5th grade NO class  Pageant Rehearsal (assistants assist with pageant.) OWL classes meet
  • Dec 10 - NO classes, everyone attend Pageant, 10:30 am OWL classes do NOT meet
  • Dec. 17 - ALL classes meet, OWL classes do NOT meet
  • Jan. 7 - Everything is back!! All classes and OWL meet.
  • Jan. 14 - ALL classes meet, OWL classes do NOT meet

Joys and Concerns

Maren Kay Long born Oct. 27

Doug Feisler and Carlin Knight are happily welcoming the newest member of their family: Maren Kay Long, born 10/27/23, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to Dave and Aimee Long, Carlin and Doug's youngest granddaughter. Although this is their first great granddaughter, they already have two wonderful great grandsons, Charlie and Ben. Carlin took daughter Laura to Italy to celebrate major birthdays this year. When they returned to Philadelphia, the icing on the cake was the birth of Maren the day before Carlin returned to Arizona so they all got to meet. What a wonderful blessing!

Welcome Alex Rose!

Gabe and Sophie Penata are overjoyed to share the news of their daughter’s birth! Alexandra Rose was born October 23 at 6:11 pm, weighing 6lbs 9oz. They are all home now, very happy and healthy, and appreciate the many meals VUU members and friends have brought to them!

To congratulate the new parents:

Sophie: 831-440-6621


Gabe: 949-510-0330


To help provide meals to Sophie and Gabe:

Fellowship and Social Activities

Singles Mid-Month Luncheon

Friday, November 10th at 11:30a

Panera Bread1825 E Guadalupe, Tempe

RSVP to Gloria by text at 716.819.7622  

Singles Dinner out

Friday, November 24 (yes, the day after Thanksgiving!) at 6:30p

Perfect Pear Bistro 9845 S Priest Dr Tempe

RSVP to Claudette by email or text 973.768.6047

Singles Holiday Party

Save the date - December 16, 5:30p

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 November 16 at 7:00 PM. The book is The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. More information to come.

Volunteering and Giving

VIP Assembly in Chandler

Tuesday, November 14, 6:30 PM

In the VUU Sanctuary

Join Valley Interfaith Project leaders, clergy, and members of VIP congregations from across Maricopa County to support affordable housing for seniors and veterans in Chandler and hear updates on suicide prevention in Chandler Unified School District.

We will share stories and discuss solutions with local elected officials.

RSVP here

Questions? Contact Barb Quijada, VUU Liaison to VIP.

Immigration Action Team

Are you interested in Caring Neighbors, Fellowship and Connection Circles? Then come to the Immigration Action Team (IAT) meeting after services Sunday and join as other VUU'ers help our immigrant families learn to live in a new land!

Are you fascinated by Finance and Special Funds? Then come assist IAT in helping families survive in an harsh economy by giving them support balanced with teaching them to become self-sufficient.

Interested in Social Justice? Learn first hand from the experiences of those crossing our borders for asylum and trying to thrive in a system that is stacked against them. Hear how our laws are penalizing asylum seekers and making it virtually impossible for them to succeed.

Interested in Environment Action and food for the planet? See how the IAT is redistributing food to those who need it from grocery stores and produce suppliers that would otherwise go to waste.

Looking for Community Outreach and Faith Formation? Then join the IAT at Refugee Aid distributing clothing and necessities to those in immediate need.

Love "Partners in Education"? Explore opportunities to enrich the lives of our families' children who by a stroke of fortune attend our adopted school, Adams Elementary. Provide English lessons to their eager-to-learn parents.

If you want all that VUU has to offer in one convenient stop, then join the Immigration Action Team for our monthly in-person meeting on Sunday November 12 after the service in the Sanctuary.

Enjoy the intersectionality of every VUU Committee and Team in one easy place!

Border Support

Asylum Seekers often travel into winter condition states with no protection but what Refugee Aid can supply by your and others' donations.

November/December Supplies needed: Place in Refugee Aid Bin in Sanctuary.

Lightly used or new winter clothing, especially sweatshirts, sweaters and coats for men and women (Sizes S/M/L) and children to teens (all sizes). We also accept all seasonal clothing.


Job Announcement

Unitarian Universalist Justice Arizona (UUJAZ) is excited to announce that we are currently searching for a new Co-Director of Finance + Operations and a Co-Director of Programming and Partnerships. We welcome all applications and invite you to apply to one or both of these positions. Our organization's mission is to engage Unitarian Universalists in justice-making through strengthening congregational social justice ministries, connecting UU activists and congregations across the state, partnering with like-minded justice organizations, and empowering UUs to work for socially-just public policy. View the full job descriptions by clicking on the images below. Resumes and/or questions should be directed to

Application Link: 

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation |