March 28, 2024

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This Sunday at VUU



Sunday, March 31

“Being a Community of Transformation: A Theology of Easter for the 21st Century” 

This is the end of our UU Holy week extravaganza! In addition to a UU understanding of the Resurrection, we will honor 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. Last day of the formal Stewardship campaign.  

YouTube Link - Sunday Service
Zoom Link - After the Service



Easter activities available

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

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 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

Monday, April 1

  • Communications Team 5p
  • I-HELP Meal 5:30p
  • Scout Pack Meeting 6p

Tuesday, April 2

  • East VUU Women's Group 1p

Wednesday, April 3

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

Thursday, April 4

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

Friday, April 5

  • FLP Brown Bag Lunch 12p

Saturday, April 6

  • Creativity Matters 4p
  • Social Suppers 5p

Sunday, April 7

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Pygmy OWL 8:45a
  • One Hour Choir 9a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • VUU The Vote Kickoff 12p
  • Burrowing OWL 12:45p
  • Burrowing OWL parents 12:45p
  • 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

What is International Trans Day of Visibility? This is a day for trans and non-binary folks to celebrate the fullness of their humanity with the larger communities that surround them–friends and loved ones who honor their identity and protect their humanity. The website for GLAAD says that “while only about 30% of the general American public says they personally know a trans person, that percentage drastically varies when segmented by age. For example, 19% of Americans over 65 claim to know someone trans, while half (50%) of Americans under the age of 30 have a transgender friend or family member. This isn’t surprising when taken into account that about 1 in 5 Gen Z adults identify as LGBTQ, according to Gallup’s 2022 poll.” Recently, we’ve seen a huge amount of legislation and local policies across the country, including in Arizona, targeting LGBTQIA folks, especially trans and non-binary folks.  

Different from Trans Day of Remembrance, which is meant to memorialize trans folks who have been killed or have died by suicide, TDOV (Visibility!) is about joyful celebration, much like PRIDE parades. At a time when “over 400 anti-LGBTQ bills have been filed so far, with over half specifically targeting trans people, particularly youth” we need spaces that will allow “trans people to be seen through authentic, diverse, and accurate stories which reflect the actual lived experiences of trans people; both for themselves and for those people who believe they’ve never met a trans person.” It is March 31 every year, and this year it lands on Easter.  

This is important to me personally because of the many transgender folks I’ve met over time, and because my own household includes someone who identifies this way. It’s important to our future because, as you’ve read, nearly 20% of Gen Z identify as LGBTQIA, and this means that many of them identify with more than one letter in that alphabet soup. As we make room for the diversity of human expression that is connected to both nature/DNA/chemistry and nurture/culture/relationship, we are seeing more and more of us claiming our whole selves and naming the parts we used to keep hidden or unnamed–in fear of violence, losing our belonging to families and communities, and lack of basic resources to meet everyday needs.  

How is it related to Easter? Come hear my sermon on Sunday! It’s the follow up to my Palm Sunday sermon, and it shares with you a UU perspective on resurrection, Jesus, and being a faith community. Perhaps you’ll find your own answer when you ask yourself “who do we say we are?” as UU’s and “who do we say Jesus was and what did he teach us?” What happens when we roll away the stone?

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)

Reading a Work of Art (04/08/24; 2:00 pm)

Learn How to Make Unique Baby Blankets (04/14, 04/28, 12:00-1:00 pm; 5/5/24, 2:00-3:00 pm)

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!


UU the VOTE Volunteer Kickoff! 

Join us April 7, in the VUU sanctuary after the service to kick-off UU the VOTE for the 2024 election!

Let's put our HOPE into action! Our work will help protect democracy and promote progressive causes. 

Bring your Arizona for Abortion Access petition to be notarized (partially or completely filled). Opportunities to continue signature gathering will be presented.

Voter registration, postcard and letter-writing campaigns will be introduced for Get-out-the-Vote and non-partisan efforts. VUU volunteers made a difference in the 2022 election. Let's do it again! Contact Karen Stucke for more information.

-- UU the Vote leadership team

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)

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

Advance purchase tickets: $10

Click here to access the order form and payment link.

$12 tickets available at the door based on availability.


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

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

Click on the photo above to register! Registration closes on March 29th.

Dates: April 12-14, 1 pm Friday - 2 pm Sunday

-Submitted by Janet Nash

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

Joys and Concerns

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.

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.

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 April 18 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 Dictionary of Lost Words" by Pip Williams.

In 1901, the word ‘Bondmaid’ was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it. Set when the women’s suffrage movement was at its height and the Great War loomed, this historical novel reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. It’s a delightful thought-provoking celebration of words, and the power of language to shape the world and our experience of it.

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

-Submitted by Amy Monahan

Singles Lunch Bunch

 WHEN: Friday, April 12th, 11:30 am

WHERE: Wildflower, 6428 McClintock Dr., Tempe (Tempe Square Shopping Center on the SW corner of Guadalupe and McClintock) 

BONUS: After lunch we’ll visit the Turnstyle Consignment Shop and/or Changing Hands Book store, both next door.

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

We’re going to try to start having luncheons the 2nd Friday of every month, so mark your calendars.

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

Immigration Action Team Border Support

Our current supply chain driver schedule is as follows. Asylum shelters also provide food to homeless populations.

Friday morning: picking bread up at a local café and delivering to a shelter as well as homeless outreach.

Saturday morning: picking up from a local grocery store their excess from bakery, deli and specialized produce that would normally be thrown out. This is divided between two different shelters.

Sunday: Homeless outreach picks up from the same grocery store for their needs to distribute to those on the street. 

Our newest donation drive is for handheld small food items. Refugee Aid delivers to a church near the Sassabe Border. At 99 Cents stores one can get fruit cups, applesauce cups, and pudding cups! Leave your donations in the sanctuary foyer.

Thank you to our volunteer drivers and our giving congregation!

We continue our ongoing clothing donation of all seasons specific to men, women and children in sizes small to medium. 

-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

Paz de Cristo

Volunteers needed this month!

Continuing the Tradition… Keeping the Commitment… Living our Principles

April date: Friday, April 12, 4pm - 7pm

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 April. Volunteers gather at the Paz kitchen/dining room from 4 pm to 7 pm 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

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation |