March 21, 2024

Click here to view The Happenings in full

This Sunday at VUU


Sunday, March 24

Jesus, The Peaceful Revolutionary: A Palm Sunday Reflection.

Led by Rev. Sarah, Joel Sannes.

YouTube Link - Sunday Service
Zoom Link - After the Service


Faith Formation Classes

  • 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 VUU Retreat is right around the corner (April 19-21)!

Deadline to sign up is March 31.

Attend orientation meeting on March 24 from 12:30-1:30 pm in the Sanctuary.

Easter Sunday

Sunday, March 31. “Being A Community of Transformation: A Theology for Transgender Visibility.” Led by Rev. Sarah, guest speaker TBA. 

This service celebrates Transgender Day of Visibility and the many ways that we embody transformation as a community of justice and love–as Jesus might if he/they were leading us today.

*Easter activities for the kids on the Education Side of campus. 

Pancake Breakfast before service, fundraiser for 2024-25 Coming of Age Program. 

Closing of Stewardship campaign.

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

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, March 21

  • Finance Committee 5:30p
  • Ukulele Club 6p
  • Worship Associates 6:30p
  • Page Turners 7p

Friday, March 22

  • Singles Dinner Out 6:45p

Saturday, March 23

Sunday, March 24

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Pygmy OWL 8:45a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • VUUJAZ Coffee Convo 11:45p
  • Voices Lifted 12:15p
  • Prescott Retreat meeting 12:30p
  • Burrowing OWL 12:45p
  • Burrowing OWL parents 12:45p
  • Grief Support Group 1p

Monday, March 25

  • I-HELP Meal 5:30p

Tuesday, March 26

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

Wednesday, March 27

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

Thursday, March 28

  • Board Meeting 5:30p
  • East VUU Social 6p
  • Facilities Committee 6p
  • Ukulele Club 6p
  • Maundy Thursday 7p

Friday, March 29

Saturday, March 30

Sunday, March 31

  • Easter Pancake Breakfast 8a
  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • No Children in Service
  • Children to Easter Party 10:30a
  • 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

Desert Notes will return next week.

VUU Updates


2024 FUUNd Last Chance Sale is Open

The Last Chance Sale for the 2024 FUUNd is open. All items are being offered a “buy-it-now” price. Payment must be made at the time of purchase. You can view the items, make your purchase(s), and pay via credit card here.

Here are a few events coming up quickly. (See the website for additional items.)

Healthy Longevity (04/07/24; 1:00-3:00 pm). In this small group session led by physician Melanie Cloonan-Schulte, participants will learn the latest research on what to do to stave off chronic illness including dementia.

Reading a Work of Art (04/08/24; 2:00 pm). Art Educator and ASU Professor Emeritus Mary E. will guide participants in a fascinating discussion of how experiencing an artwork can be a little like reading a good book.

Learn How to Make Unique Baby Blankets (04/14, 04/28, 12:00-1:00 pm; 5/5/24, 2:00-3:00 pm). Learn how to knit by making a beautiful baby blanket in this three-session workshop! No knitting experience is required and all supplies will be provided by instructor Heather M.

Event pricing, location, and other details can be found at Auctria.Events/VUUFUUND2024

Email for questions or other assistance.

Don’t miss out on the FUUNd! Get your bids in today!


New Patio Benches

Thanks to the crew (Evan, David M, Frank, Linda S, Karen, and Mary Kate) who stayed after the Congregational Conversation to finish assembling the new patio benches for us all to enjoy. Appreciation to the anonymous donor.

-Submitted by Mark Beehler

Maundy Thursday Service

Please join us for an evening Maundy Thursday service on March 28 at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary commemorating our Unitarian Universalist roots with a remembrance of the Last Supper and the first service of communion, a ritual that goes back to the very beginnings of the Christian movement. We will break bread, drink juice, and celebrate the importance of community and the teachings that still stand today to love our neighbors as ourselves and serve each other in faith.

-Submitted by Mary Rothschild

Easter 2024 Pancake Breakfast (a fundraiser for the Coming of Age Heritage trip to Boston)

Sunday, March 31, 8:00-10:00 am in the VUU Sanctuary, seating on the patio.

Advance purchase tickets: $10.

Breakfast includes 2 pancakes, 2 sausage links, chile cheese egg bake, fresh fruit and coffee OR juice. Gluten free and vegan options available. Free mini meal for children 3 and under.

Click here to access the order form and payment link.

Lost and Found

The pictured items are currently being stored in the VUU kitchen. PLEASE claim your possessions as soon as possible. I generally donate all unclaimed items on a monthly basis. 

-Submitted by Laura Rohlfing


New to UU? New to VUU?

Never got around to joining and now you’re thinking about it? 

Start your path to membership, or just learn more about us!

VUU New Participant Class

Saturday, April 20 9:00 am-1:00 pm 

VUU Board Room (Office Building)

RSVP here

New Member Recognition

Sunday Service, May 5

Music Ministries

Earth Day Cabaret Saturday, April 27

Mark your calendars! 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!

  • VUU Voices Choir - Wednesdays 6:00-7:30 pm (childcare available)
  • One Hour Choir - 9:00-10:00 am 1st Sundays - Next One Hour Choir April 7 (no kids choir)
  • Chalice Ringers - contact Katie Sieferth if you are interested.
  • Drum Circle - contact Katie Sieferth if you are interested.
  • Play with the Band! - contact Katie Sieferth if you are interested.
  • Ukulele Club - Wednesdays 6:00 pm
More About Music Ministries here

East VUU Social Night

Thursday, March 28, 6:00 pm NEW TIME

Joe's Farm Grill, 3000 E Ray Rd. Gilbert

All Welcome.

UU The Vote!

Save the date: April 11, 6:00 pm

Join EastVUU on zoom to discuss ways we can bring about a more compassionate world in this critical election year. All are welcome!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 739 743 734

Environmental Action Team

April 5: FLP Brown Bag Lunch on ZOOM

Can food influence cognition? Are there so-called "brain foods" that may enhance memory or ward off dementia? We’ll discuss how what is on your plate may influence your cognitive ability and how a plant-based diet may figure into all of this.

Date: Friday, April 5

Time: 12 Noon

Zoom Link

Please review the following prior to our meeting to facilitate the discussion:

Video: Foods That Improve Memory Naturally

Article: Foods Linked to Better Brain Power

Article: Maximize Memory Function with a Nutrient-Rich Diet

For Vegans:

Article: Dr. Gregor’s Vitamin B12 Recommendations

Article: Should Vegans Take DHA to Preserve Brain Function

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

-Submitted by Denise McLeod

Faith Formation

Volunteers Needed for Our Whole Lives Facilitator Training!

Join us April 12-14 to support the OWL Facilitator Training. Ken St. John coordinates meal provision during training. He needs help with planning, prep, setup, and cleanup for Friday dinner and Saturday/Sunday lunches. All costs are covered by the program.

Can you offer hospitality accommodation for out-of-town attendees? No meals or transportation are required. 

Sign up to host or assist with meals here.

Thank you for your support!

Questions? Please contact Ken St. John or Janet Nash.

-Submitted by Janet Nash

If you are interested, please contact Marci Beaudoin by March 29.

-Submitted by Janet Nash

Joys and Concerns

Celebration of Life

Our dear friend and VUU member, Rachel Smith, passed away peacefully on March 12. For so many of us, Rachel was our exemplar of courage and steadfast perseverance. This year, she published a book, "The Art of Living with Huntington's Disease," inspiring us all to make the best of what life brings. Rachel was engaged in living fully to the end. She was excited to vote in the current primary election, closing out a lifetime of activism that took her from participating in sit-ins in the 60's through volunteering in every Democratic campaign cycle through 2016, and carrying signs in women's marches in her wheelchair. Rachel was an amazing mom, grandmother and sister. We will miss her loyal friendship.

Please join us at her Celebration of Life on Friday, May 17, 1:00 pm, at VUU.

-Submitted by Perii Skolnick

Share your Joys and Concerns here.

Fellowship and Social Activities

2024 Valley Unitarian Universalist Retreat in Prescott, AZ

Join us for fun in the pines. Space is still available!

A chance to get to know friends and members of Valley UU AND a weekend in the Pines - Who could ask for more? Fellowship, campfires and s'mores, volunteer run activities/crafts, optional camp run activities for an additional fee.

Attend the orientation meeting, Sunday, March 24 from 12:30-1:30 pm in the sanctuary. Topics to address: Activity planning, waivers to sign, cabin/room assignments.

Location: Camp Friendly Pines -133 acres in the Ponderosa Pine forest. Click here to see a list of accommodations and amenities.

Dates: Friday, April 19 (check in 2 pm) - Sunday, April 21 (check out 11 am) [You will miss the service at VUU, not to worry, Rev. Sarah will help us have a special outdoor worship.]

Cost: $159 per person (includes 5 meals). Cabins sleep 6-10, in twin sized bunk beds, bring your own bedding and towels. Extra fees: 1) $25 for families to have a cabin to themselves 2) some camp run activities: axe throwing, ropes course, giant swing, archery, & climbing wall.

Use this form to register and access the link to pay your deposit. Deadline to register and pay your balance: March 31, 2024.


If you can't join us but are interested in contributing to a scholarship fund for the retreat, use this online giving link, mention "Retreat Scholarship" in notes,  and choose VUU Prescott Retreat (under "other funds").

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 March 21 at 7:00 pm. We will meet at the home of Johnnie Godfrey in Tempe (near Baseline Rd. and the 101).  The book is "The Midnight Library" by Matt Haig.

For the meeting address or questions, please contact Johnnie Godfrey at (480) 231-8381, or email Amy Monahan.

-Submitted by Amy Monahan

Singles Dinner Out

Friday, March 22, 6:45 pm

Location: Pier 54

5394 S Lakeshore Drive, Tempe


The weather will be perfect for their outdoor tables. Located in the beautiful Lakes neighborhood of Tempe, Pier 54 is an outdoor only lakeside-restaurant/bar that offers a great food selection, a unique view over the lake, and a relaxed atmosphere. There will be live music. Make your reservation early! They will only seat 8 people max and the reservation spots fill up fast, so we can’t add another table. Note the different time this month. It was already sold out for 6:30.

RSVP to this email or contact Claudette by phone or text 973-768-6047

-Submitted by Claudette Wassil

Giving / Volunteering

Next Steps for VIP

Thanks to Rev. Sarah for this interview giving VUU’s VIP Core Team Leader, Barb Quijada, a chance to explain how VIP works and why VUU’s membership in VIP is so important.

Issues of concern that came out of more than one House Meeting small group during the March 3 VUU Sunday Service included: 

  • Mental Health
  • Housing Insecurity
  • Loneliness & Isolation
  • Aging
  • Lack of Diversity and Inclusiveness

We will be working with VUU’s Pastoral Care, Caring Neighbors, and Leadership Development Committees to determine next steps to help address these concerns. We encourage anyone who would like to work with us to contact Barb Quijada or any Core Team member. 

-Submitted by Barb Quijada

March 25 I-HELP

Monday, March 25, 5:15-7:30 pm

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we will be serving corned beef with all the trimmings! Sign Up to bring an item here.

Food donations may be dropped off at the VUU sanctuary between 5:15-5:30 pm. Please bring all food "ready to serve," and clearly label any reusable containers for return. If you prefer to bring your non-perishable or cold donations on Sunday, please leave a note in the comment section. For questions or special arrangements, please contact Laura Rohlfing.

We at I-HELP are very thankful for your generosity!

-Submitted by Laura Rohlfing

Immigration Action Team Border Support

Humanitarian Crisis at Sassabe

Every red dot is an asylum seekers’ death mark. In 1994, Border Patrol began deterrence policies that created conditions forcing migrants to cross illegally instead of just processing them at ports. 

Aid delivers much-needed supplies to a border church to be distributed.  

99 Cent Stores have low prices! No water bottles, too bulky to transport. Small cups: ONLY Applesauce, fruit, jello or puddings. Squeeze packets: vegetable or fruit.

Ongoing Clothing Donations: Cleaning out closets? Please bag up your donations and bring them to the sanctuary. Babies, toddlers and children all sizes. Men and women adult and teen sizes, small and medium. All seasons accepted

-Submitted by Sharon Kopina

Partners in Education (PIE)

Art Supplies Needed! Please bring art supplies including opened or used materials to services. We will collect them at our table, outside of the Sanctuary. They need paints, brushes, markers, whiteboard markers, oil pastels, and any other creative materials. If you don't have any, please consider making a special monetary donation to get these kiddos through the end of the year.

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! Here is an ECA Form that you can include with your donation. This can be done any time by April 15, up until your day of filing. You may then subtract your donation from the taxes you owe Arizona! For more information, contact Perii Skolnick

-Submitted by Perii Skolnick

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation |