March 14, 2024

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This Sunday at VUU


Sunday March 17, 10:30 am

We're Going to Graceland: A Meditation on Universalism

Led by Mary Rothschild and Mary Kate Eckles. 

Followed by Sanctuary Transformation Team celebration and Congregational Conversation.  

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


Join the Board for a Congregational Conversation

to learn and discuss what's going on at VUU.

Help us celebrate the finished transformation of the sanctuary

and thank the legions of you that supported this five-year odyssey!

Sundays in March

Sunday, March 24: “Jesus, The Peaceful Revolutionary: A Palm Sunday Reflection.” Led by Rev. Sarah, Joel Sannes.

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 14

  • East VUU Program 6p
  • Ukulele Club 6p

Friday, March 15

Saturday, March 16

Sunday, March 17

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • Congregational Convo 12p
  • Grief Support Group 1p

Monday, March 18

  • VIP Core Team 9a
  • I-HELP Shelter 5:30p
  • EAT Meeting 6:30p

Tuesday, March 19

  • East VUU Women's Group 1p
  • STT Meeting 6p
  • LDC Meeting 6p

Wednesday, March 20

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

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 12:30
  • 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

I am on a needed study leave break, enjoying books and sunsets!

-Rev. Sarah

VUU Updates


2024 FUUNd Last Chance Sale is Open

The Last Chance Sale for the 2024 FUUNd opened on Monday, March 4. All items are being 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, the same website you used during the actual FUUNd auction.

Here are a few events coming up quickly.

Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs (03/23/24; 2:00 PM). Join Mary R. a delightful afternoon at her home where you will learn to create amazing Easter eggs by cutting up silk ties!

South Mountain Petroglyph Hikes and Brunch (04/06/24; 9:00 AM). Spend a glorious Saturday morning outdoors enjoying South Mountain and your choice of two hikes, followed by brunch at Anne S.’s beautiful South Mountain home.

Healthy Longevity (04/07/24; 1:00 - 3:00 PM). In this small group session led by physician Melanie C-S, 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.

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!


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

Important Reminders to our 300 Roommates…

Friends, if you chair a committee, lead an activity or group here on our campus please, please, please remember to do these things EVERY time you plan to meet:

  1. Contact our office to make sure your event, meeting or activity is in the VUU calendar and that information is accurate
  2. Request space for every date you plan to meet–through Todd, our office administrator. Even if the space you want is a “common area” like the patio or the Sanctuary, because multiple groups use these, we need you to request the space–it may already be full. If it is, we’ll help you find something else.  
  3. Make sure you hear back where you’ve been scheduled. Don’t assume the space you want is available.  
  4. Check the calendar before you make requests–you can sometimes tell if space is tight or being used already.
  5. Make sure you’ve cleaned up and closed up as needed (door locked, lights off, etc.)

Please don’t take items from one space and move them to another one without checking with the office first or decide to move your activity to another space because it seems available. Sometimes chairs or tables or rooms have a planned use you may not be aware of (or belong to someone in particular), and changes to cleanliness or set up may impact someone else. Please don’t get rid of an item unless it belongs to your committee, program or activity. If you’re not sure of the provenance of an item, please check with staff before giving it away, throwing it away or otherwise removing it from campus. 

As a courtesy to our staff, please remember that there are many moving parts to how our campus is used and managed, and we are in communication everyday with many people. We want to accommodate all of you whenever possible. We also rent our facility to other organizations and people, which helps us fund our budget. Some of these folks also store items in our shared spaces and need to be able to find and use them when they are here.  

Thanks in advance for your help in maintaining systems that help us minimize the ways we can sometimes “bump into each other” as we go about the business of being a community!


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 6-7:30p (childcare available)
  • One Hour Choir - 9-10am 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 6p
More About Music Ministries here

EastVUU Program Discussion

Thursday, March 14, Zoom program discussion, 6:00 pm [NEW TIME]

"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

Meeting ID 739 743 734

East VUU Social Night

Thursday, March 28, 6:00 pm

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

Environmental Action Team

Environmental Action Team (EAT) Meeting

Monday, March 18 at 6:30 pm

Join us on Google Meet (not Zoom). We'll open with, "What was your most memorable Earth Day like?"

We'll also discuss upcoming plans for UU the Vote (surely of the utmost importance to many of us), as well as FLP (Food for Life and the Planet), updates on VUU's Solar goals, and our next Environmental Action events.

Bring your ideas. ALL Are Welcome!

-Submitted by Linda Stenholm

Faith Formation

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

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.

Camp Friendly Pines -133 acres in the Ponderosa Pine forest.

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,  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 at (480) 231-8381 or email:

-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

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

Border Support

Humanitarian Crisis at Sassabe: Thank you so much for donations that go directly to the border! 

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

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. Contact Perii Skolnic, for more information. 

TAX SEASON IS HERE! 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 |