October 5, 2023

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This Sunday at VUU



Sunday, October 8, 2023

"Finding the Good in the Fog: The power of silver linings, which are ever present"

Presented by artist Nik Ridley with Worship Associates Noell Hyman and Ken St. John. Music provided by Noell Hyman and Christy Vest.



  • 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.

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 5

  • Spirit of Life Reading Circle 7p

Friday, October 6

  • FLP Lunch 12p

Saturday, October 7

Sunday, October 8

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Faith Formation Game Day 10:30a
  • Sunday Worship Service 10:30a
  • Immigration Action Team 11:45a
  • Voices Lifted 12:15p
  • Family Get Together 12p

Monday, October 9

  • Pastoral Care Team 6:30p

Tuesday, October 10

  • Men's Group 7p

Wednesday, October 11

  • Choir Rehearsal 5:30p
  • Special Funds Meeting 6p

Thursday, October 12

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

Friday, October 13

  • Paz de Cristo Meal Prep 4p

Saturday, October 14

  • Vocal & Piano Concert 4:30p

Sunday, October 15

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Faith Formation 10:30a
  • 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

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

UUA - Denominational Affairs

Coming Back Together

Coming back together can be a joyful, exciting, and hectic time in Unitarian Universalism. Across our Association, we are continuing to shift out of more restful modes and into a more planful mode in order to welcome returning friends, newcomers, and the wider community into our faith tradition. While this is an annual period of return, there is also much newness and challenge, and it can help to extend the grace and support to each other that we often need ourselves to show up at our best in commitment and community.

The current newsletter summarizes some of the resources offered by the UUA to support congregations in this time; please read it here.

VUU Updates

MInisterial Installation

On October 28 from 2-3:30 we will celebrate the installation of your senior minister, Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan, as the settled minister here at VUUwith a Festive Southwestern Reception. We'd love your help making the event extra special. Please sign up here and contact Laura Rohlfing with questions 480-249-6287.

Bob Hardy Memorial

The family of Bob Hardy is planning a memorial get together on Friday, October 12 in rooms 1 & 2. Details in next week’s Happenings.

Camp de Beneville Pines

Registration for UU Senior High Winter Camp is now open!  

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


Adult Deans: Patti Buck & Mary Carter Vail

Youth Deans: Lilly Astudillo & Cady Cole

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!

Here's how our Youth Deans describe this year's theme:

 "Life after high school can be a daunting thing to think about, even for the most courageous individuals. Letting go of childhood and heading into the unknown terrain of adulthood is often a confusing experience that many highschoolers can relate to. Camp Carry UUn will provide a safe and welcoming space for campers to talk about the future with other people their age, preparing for important moments in life as we welcome in the new year together! 

 At camp, a wide range of both educational and enjoyable activities will be offered for all campers to learn how to stay present in the moment, accept the past, let go of irrational fears, and prepare for the future. There will also be many opportunities to talk with young adults and adult staff, who may have advice or insight regarding growing up and adulthood! We hope to remind our campers that no matter what, Life goes UUn! 

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 :)

Register Here
Joys and Concerns

I wonder how many of you know how close at hand the Caring Neighbors are for you in any time of need? In 2021/22, my family had some serious health crises going on. Caring for our grown son full time kept me at home most of the time, and I was mired in grief, worry and sadness. I didn’t think life would ever be the same. I couldn’t get out much and I had no energy to try. I reached out to my caring neighbor contact just for someone to talk to a little, and to ask for prayers... from that point on I received weekly phone calls to check in on me. I also received calls from pastoral care, and Rev. Wooden called me weekly for quite some time. 


I was always asked what I needed. A ride somewhere? Someone to pick up groceries? Melissa Bush gave me concrete resources, numbers to call when I was thinking I was needing home health care help.  I can’t begin to say how much these calls kept a little bit of light on inside my heart - just knowing someone cared and was there to just listen a little (I often did not want to talk much at all, but I loved hearing a voice asking me how I was doing.) 


I promised myself if and when things got better, I would pay it forward, and now I am a Caring Neighbors coordinator for my zipcode. Do NOT hesitate to reach out, even if you don’t know what it is you need! You can obtain a ride to a doctors office, a meal train, or just a listening ear, when you need it. Resources are there for you at VUU! 

It takes a village, and I am so grateful for ours.

Madeline Kasian

Music Ministries

1-Hour Family Choir AND Kids Choir - Starts Nov. 5

Have you wanted to sing in choir but mid week rehearsals don’t work for you? Join the 1-Hour Family Choir. We’ll learn an easy song or two 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 with Christy Vest, both from 9am -10 am. If you would like more information, please contact Katie Seiferth at MusicDirector@vuu.org.

Fall Music Details here

Mark Your Calendars

Chiliokie is our annual chili cook off and karaoke event hosted by Katie and the Music Team. We will gather October 21 in the Sanctuary for a fun night of food and music. More details coming soon.

Earth Day Cabaret is our annual cabaret that highlights our talented and diverse musicians within VUU. Desserts, music, dancing and celebrating our beloved Earth will happen April 27 in the Sanctuary. More details coming soon.

VUUsica Concert Series

Christy Vest, our beloved piano accompanist is offering a vocal and piano concert that is interactive and performative. Come to the Sanctuary, Saturday, Oct. 14 from 4:30-5:45 for an afternoon of live music. Tickets are $20.

Voices Lifted Singing Group

VUU's Voices Lifted Singing Group sings in hospice settings, nursing homes, assisted living, and for ill or injured members of VUU and their families.

Contact musicdirector@vuu.org if interested in joining or having Voices Lifted sing for a loved one.


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 and Margaret. More into to follow.

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.)

Adult Faith Formation

Spirit of Life Reading Circle

Anne Schneider, Rebecca Riggs, and Mary Rothschild are delighted to begin a new year of Spirit of Life Reading Circle on Zoom! Our first meeting will be on October 5th at 7:00 pm. Contact Mary Rothschild to be added to the SOL mailing list to receive the readings and Zoom link.

Pastoral Care Room Update

Pastoral Care Room renovation

The Pastoral Care Room has been updated! The Lay Pastoral Care Associates are proud to announce that the transformation of our room at the south end of the sanctuary is fully complete!

Many thanks to all who helped make this a reality: Special Funds Committee, Aesthetics Committee, Janice Pittsley (for her artwork inspired by our youth), and VUU Office Staff. A special shout out to Carl and Sue Anderson for preparing the room, patching/repairing dry wall, and painting the entire room!

Please stop by after service when an LPC associate is free to give you a tour. The room is now a comfortable and calming space where you can come to share your concerns and receive a listening ear.

~Melissa Bush, co-chair LPCA

Help Wanted

Professional Photo Shoot

Calling all strong people: We need your help after service on October 8 to move, stack and hide chairs and then on Monday we'll gather at one to move them back after the photo shoot. We will also need some volunteers to help move some furniture in other rooms. This should take about 2-3 hours. Please let Tricia Amato know if you are available to help, or if you need additional information.

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.

Facilities Committee

Are you a doer who likes fixing things? Or maybe organizing? Do you want to get involved around campus? Join the Facilities Committee! We work with staff to keep our buildings and grounds up and running and looking good. Email facilities@vuu.org for more information! Mikaela Young, Facilities Chair

Environmental Action Team

Food for Life and the Planet

Many scientists have come to support the idea that animals can feel a range of emotions and feelings such as pleasure, pain, joy and fear. Some say animals even experience complex emotions such as grief and empathy! How do you feel about this? Have you witnessed these emotions in companion species you have lived with, cared for and loved?

Bring your lunch and join us as we explore animal sentience and how our opinions affect our behaviors and biases.

Lunch with FLP

Date:   Friday, October 6

Time:   12 Noon

ZOOM Link here 

Please explore this material prior to the meeting to facilitate our discussion:

Article: What is Sentience?

Video: Animal Sentience: A New Era of Understanding

Video: Grief and Love in the Animal Kingdom

There is a lot of really cool information about this topic including info by specific species: elephants, chickens, pigs, octopuses, etc. Please contact us if you would like additional info to explore. Particularly fun with kids!

Winners of the FLP "I Love the Earth" Book Drawing*:

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Junette Brockman

Free The Animals by Ingrid Newkirk

Linda Fitzgerald

How Not to Die by Michael Greger, M.D.

Barbara Sorauf

The Friendly Vegan Cookbook by Toni Okamoto & Michelle Cehn

Kat Karpinen

I Can Cook Vegan by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Ruth Graham

*Winners were chosen from all entries by a non-VUU-related adult (aka Denise's maintenance guy!)

Denise McLeod and Linda Ruehlman

Finance Team

Finance Training: VUU Style

It has been customary to offer this training most every year; the pandemic disrupted everything; And we are back!


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.

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.

Agenda: Introductions, Committee Charter and Volunteer Positions, How to read VUU's Profit and Loss Statement, How to Read our Balance Sheet, All About the General Ledger, Intro to VUU Budget Process, Policies for Accounts, Check Signers, and Money Control, Questions?

Fellowship and Social Activities

Faith Formation Poolside Get Together

Sunday, Oct 8th

Hamilton Aquatic Center

3838 S Arizona Ave, Chandler.

12 pm - 5 pm closing - Come when you can!

You can bring food and drink - check out the rules here *Pool Rules*. No flotation devices or mermaid tails/monofins allowed, 6 pack sized coolers only. No need to sign up - just show up!

Fees (credit cards accepted) 2-17 yrs  $1 / Adult  $2.25 / Seniors (55yrs) $1.25

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

Paz de Cristo Monthly Donation

Please support our focus charity, Paz de Cristo, by bringing in a donation of stuffing and cranberries so that those in need will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving. Please drop off your donation in the bin in the foyer. Thanks for your support!

Immigration Action Teams

Join us this Sunday October 8 after services in the sanctuary to hear updates on our families and look forward to how we can best we’ve immigrants in our community.

There are lots of ways you can get involved - fulfilling a one-time need, planning a short-term action, or participating in one of our ongoing programs. Please come!

Border Support


Shelf stable milk (in boxes), Baby food, Large jugs of fruit juice (real juice)

Click to read: MIGRANT DEATHS ON THE DESERT - Alvaro Enciso leaned over a map spread on the hood of an SUV, somewhere outside the Southern Arizona ghost town of Ruby, in search of an unmarked road where an unidentified migrant’s remains were discovered in June. The 78-year-old artist and his crew of volunteers were seeking the exact place the man died in order to mark it with a yellow cross, part of Enciso’s long-running art installation project called “Donde Mueren Los Sueños” — Where Dreams Die.

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

UU Justice Arizona Network

The Future of Us Fundraiser for UUJAZ

Join Rev. Sarah and hear Rev. Julián Jamaica Soto speak about our future, read their poetry, and launch their new book inspired by the desert. Want to carpool out there from VUU? Contact Rev. Sarah at minister@vuu.org.

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