February 29, 2024

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This Sunday at VUU


Sunday, March 3, 10:30a

Multi-generational Service: "Stone Soup"

March 3 is a Multi-generational service built around the children's book: "Stone Soup." As part of the service, we will be making (and eating) soup! The kids will be making the soup, led by a team of adult volunteers. 

How can you participate? In the book, everyone in the village brings something to add to the pot, and we will be echoing this with our service. Please sign up to bring some ingredients here. Looking forward to making delicious soup to share!

Led by Marci Beaudoin, Rev. Sarah, Katie Seiferth, and Amanda Schneider. Family Choir will sing.

See details below.



  • 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

"Stone Soup" Multigenerational Service

March 3 is a Multi-generational service built around the children's book: "Stone Soup." Join us for a special Sunday service that celebrates the gifts we each bring to this community, providing nourishing relationships and experiences that help us grow, connect and transform! In addition to bringing ingredients to make soup or eat with our soup, we invite you to bring one or more bowls to donate to VUU so that we can all eat from bowls that are re-usable. Each bowl can be unique–and they don’t need to be fancy. From your own kitchen or a second hand store or somewhere else you’re shopping, find and bring one or more bowls so we can all eat soup together.  

We’ll begin with the story and a ritual, and then some of us will help prepare the meal (especially kids with some adult helpers!) and some of us will choose to be part of some small group conversations led by Valley Interfaith Project leaders that invite us to share stories about what we care about in our wider community, especially what we worry about and how those issues impact us and those we love. Anyone 12 and older can participate in a small group conversation. Some of us will help prepare lunch, set up tables. In January we listened to each other talk about our experiences at VUU. Now, we’re going to take a wider lens and consider where the wider community beyond VUU is experiencing needs and challenges that need our attention and care. 

Other group activities will be available too–we’re still “cooking it up!” Then, we’ll all eat lunch together, so plan to stay (and bring a friend or two!) This service will also be the kickoff of our Stewardship Campaign and we’ll invite you to look at our hopes for the next program year, the resources necessary to achieve these, and ask you to pledge your financial support for these goals. Stone Soup! Everyone has something to contribute, and every contribution makes a difference. 

Together, we create community…and this is sacred work.

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, February 29

  • Ukulele Group 6p

Friday, March 1

Saturday, March 2

  • New Participants Lunch 11a
  • Creativity Matters 4p
  • Social Suppers 5p

Sunday, March 3

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Pygmy OWL class 8:45a
  • 1-Hour Choir 9a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • EAT Presentation 11:45a
  • Voices Lifted 12:15p
  • Burrowing OWL Parents 12:45p
  • Burrowing OWL Class 12:45p
  • Grief Support Group 1p

Monday, March 4

  • Communications Team 5p
  • FUUNd After-Event Sale 12p
  • IHelp Shelter 5:30p

Tuesday, March 5

  • East VUU Women's Group 1p

Wednesday, March 6

  • DnD Game 5:30p
  • Choir Rehearsal 6p
  • Policy Group 6:30p

Thursday, March 7

  • Ukulele Club 6p
  • Spirit of Life Reading Cirlce 7p

Friday, March 8

  • Paz de Cristo Meal Prep 4p
  • Food for Life & the Planet 12p

Saturday, March 9

Sunday, March 10

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • Immigration Action Team 11:45a
  • UU The Vote 12p
  • Voices Lifted 12:15p
  • 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

Intergenerational Sunday: Stone Soup!

Join us This Sunday for a special service that celebrates the gifts we each bring to this community, providing nourishing relationships and experiences that help us grow, connect and transform! On Sunday we invite you to:

  1. Bring an item for the soup and a bowl or more.
  2. Listen to a story and participate in a ritual.
  3. Prepare the meal and set the tables, OR
  4. Join a small group conversation led by Valley Interfaith Project leaders.
  5. Create art together.

This service will also be the kickoff of our Stewardship Campaign, and we’ll invite you to look at our hopes for the next program year, the resources necessary to achieve these, and ask you to pledge your financial support for these goals. 

Stone Soup! Everyone has something to contribute, and every contribution makes a difference. Together, we create community…and this is sacred work.   

VUU Updates


FUUNd After-Event Sale

Yesterday (February 28) all unpaid balances for 2024 FUUNd auction purchases were automatically charged to the winning bidders’ credit cards. Statements were emailed to all winning bidders, and receipts went out to all donors last week. If you are having trouble locating yours, please email fuundtogether@vuu.org.

The After-Event Sale for the 2024 FUUNd opens on Monday, March 4 at noon and will remain open throughout the year. All items will be offered a “buy-it-now” price based on the highest winning bid for that item. Payment must be made at the time of purchase. You can view the items, make your purchase(s), and pay via credit card at Auctria.Events/VUUFUUND2024, which is the same website you used during the actual FUUNd auction.

Limited seats are available, and several events are coming up quickly, so don’t delay! Items will remain open until sold or until one week prior to the date of the event, whichever happens first. Questions can be emailed to fuundtogether@vuu.org.

Below is a list of the events/items with space available that are coming up in March and April. Please see the auction website for complete details. These are all terrific events!!!

Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs (March 23; 2:00 PM)

South Mountain Petroglyph Hikes and Brunch (April 6; 9:00 AM)

Healthy Longevity (April 7; 1:00 - 3:00 PM)

Reading a Work of Art (April 8; 2:00 PM)

Learn How to Make Unique Baby Blankets (April 14, 12:00 - 1:00 PM; April 28, 12:00 - 1:00 PM; May 5, 2:00-3:00 PM)

Healthier Living Through Mat Yoga (April 20; 11:00 AM Online)

Empathy Circle with Vagal Toning (April 21; 1:00 - 2:30 PM)

Ken and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance (Complete tune-up for your bicycle)


VUU Coffee Hour Sign up

Please sign up to assist with the Coffee Hour. It is people like you that make this part of Sunday service possible. We are always happy to welcome and train new volunteers. This is a great way to meet new people!

Snacks are provided by congregation members. You may bring something to share, but it is not required. Please review the available slots and click on the button to sign up. 

Questions? Please contact Laura Rohlfing at larohlfing@gmail.com or 480-249-6287. 


Finance Update

To provide regular updates to the congregation, the Finance Team will publish a monthly update in the Happenings.

Excerpt from January Financial Analyst Report: “January was the seventh month of our fiscal year. Our gross income year to date is $387,000, $18,5000 under budget. Contributions are short by $9,800, and rental income was shy of projections by $8,200. This revenue includes the “one-time income” of $75,600 we carried from prior years and the Recovery Fund. Total expenses are over budget by only $500, with various categories making up for property being over by $19,507 (new AC needs). While January is typically a good revenue month, the closure of the sanctuary and lack of an operating campaign brought our income up short by $15,000 in January alone. The completion of the projects should bode well for future rental income. In net income, we are $18,000 behind budget year to date.” Link to full report here

Please send any questions to finance@vuu.org


New to UU? New to VUU?

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

Start your path to membership!

VUU Welcome Luncheon

Saturday, March 2 11:00 am-1:00 pm 

Sanctuary Rooms 1&2 (Education side of campus)

RSVP here

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

UU Pacific Southwest Service Area Assembly

Registration is OPEN!

 Join us to share what's going on in your congregation and enjoy meaningful keynote topics, an assortment of workshops, youth con activities, music, worship, meals and more!

More information is available here.

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!

1-Hour Choir (Adults and Kids)

March 3, 9:00-10:00 am

Join the 1-Hour Choir and learn an easy song or two on the Sunday morning we perform. All ages are invited. Adults will meet in the sanctuary, and the kids will meet in the flex room. Both adults and kids will then lead music in the service. Contact Katie Seiferth for more.

More About Music Ministries here

Music Ministries has so many fun opportunities for all ages and experience levels, happening weekly and monthly. Please email Katie Seifert at MusicDirector@vuu.org with any music-related questions or requests.


EastVUU Program Discussion

Save the date: Thursday, March 14, Zoom program discussion, 6:00 pm

"Interdependence"--UU Principle and Value. What do you value more--independence or interdependence? Is your well-being due mostly to your actions or the actions of others? How does perspective mature as we age? Let's discuss! All welcome!

Join Zoom Meeting

Save the Date: East VUU Social Night

Thursday, March 28, 6:00 pm

Details to Follow

Food for Life and the Planet (FLP)

Processed Foods: How Did We Get Here?

Please join us to discuss an extraordinary book about how food manufacturers manipulate us and our children to eat foods that result in significant health and obesity issues. They’ve got us hooked—to our own detriment. (Warning: After the meeting, you may be motivated to run out to the grocery store to buy your first bunch of kale!!)

"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.

VUU’s Food for Life and The Planet Committee Announces VUU FLP Share!

FLP is launching an email initiative for members to share information relevant to FLP’s mission. You’ll be invited to post articles related to plant-based diets including health updates, legislation, environmental impact, sustainable farming, food waste, and, of course, recipes, veggie hacks, and new products.

If you are interested, please send an email to Denise McLeod. I will add you to the list and send you a notice that you've been added to the group. You'll be able to access the email address to post your information through "Google Groups." 

Food for Life and the Planet Mission:

Recognizing the consequences of our food choices, we provide a platform for personal, local, national and global initiatives that promote a compassionate, healthy and sustainable approach to eating.

-Submitted by Denise McLeod

Faith Formation

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 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.

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets? A novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived.

For the meeting address or questions, please contact Johnnie at (480) 231-8381 or email: agmonahan@gmail.com.

-Submitted by Amy Monahan

Giving / Volunteering

UU The Vote

Stir up some good trouble on March 10 in the Flex Room after services. UU The Vote will be kicking off our volunteer teams and events for abortion access, voter registration and voter turn-out. Pick your part in this election year today!

-Submitted by Mary Kate Eckles

Valley Interfaith Project

There is SO MUCH happening at VIP, and your VUU VIP Core Team is at the center of the work!

  • Leadership Training—We are collaborating with the VUU Leadership Development Committee (LDC) to enhance our 1:1 Relationship Meeting skills
  • Raising funds to help VIP expand it’s outreach, especially to be able to hire a second paid organizer
  • Meeting with Mesa City Manager to discuss Affordable Housing and the Mesa General Plan
  • Organizing support for Sonoran Landings, the proposed 55+ affordable housing development in Chandler; meeting with Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers and Chandler City Councilmembers.
  • Testifying at the AZ Legislature in favor of the YES! in God’s Backyard (YIGBY) bill, HB 2815 to support churches that want to build affordable housing on their property.
  • Encouraging AZ State Administration and Legislature to extend and expand state LIHTC funding for affordable housing.

  • And most exciting, we are helping facilitate VIP style HOUSE MEETINGS during this Sunday’s “Stone Soup” service, building relationships and listening to your concerns about life in the Valley in 2024. See you there!!

VIP Core Team Members are Barb Quijada, Kathy Melamed, David Melamed, Linda Stenholm, Bill Elliot, Mary Kate Eckles, Nancy Egly, Nancy Wittenberg, and Amanda Schneider.

-Submitted by Barb Quijada


March Donation of the Month – Vegetable Oil (any type)

Please support our focus charity, Paz de Cristo, by bringing in a donation of vegetable oil (any type) during the month of March. It can be any type of cooking oil, such as canola oil, olive oil, safflower oil, corn oil, etc. They always seem to be running out. Drop your donation in the designated container in the foyer of the sanctuary. As always, thank you for your generosity!

-Submitted by Megan Kimball

Paz de Cristo

Volunteers needed this month!

Continuing the Tradition… Keeping the Commitment… Living our Principles

March date: 2nd Friday, March 8, 4:00 - 7:00 pm

Location: 424 W Broadway Rd, Mesa, AZ

Click here for the sign up link

Families welcome!

Please join us as we keep VUU’s 34-year tradition of serving the evening meal to Paz de Cristo guests on the second Friday of March 3/8/24. Volunteers gather at the Paz kitchen/dining room from 4 pm to 7pm to prepare then serve the evening meal. Additional tasks include cleanup of dishes, sweeping and mopping of floors. If you are joining us for the first time, don’t worry, Paz staff and experienced VUU volunteers make the work easy and fun, and the evening goes fast. Seventeen volunteers are needed for the evening and can range in age from 12 on up. Volunteers must be able to stand and participate in all tasks during the entire evening. Have questions? Contact Joanne at 602-620-3100. Please sign up for this rewarding experience at www.vuu.org/paz.

-Submitted by Joanne McGrath

Border Support

You did hear about Sasabe! Thank you so much for the initial donations coming in that will go directly to the border! VUU volunteers are ready to get these to the next link in the food supply chain every Sunday you donate.  

99 Cent Stores have great prices as used quickly so expiration date not a problem. 

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? Your donations have reached into the TON category! Used up quickly at area Asylum Seeker Shelters, so remember to 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

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation | vuu.org