March 7, 2024

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This Sunday at VUU


Sunday, March 10, 10:30a

Feminism/Womanism Acts of Liberation: 21st Century Underground Railroad

Rev. Sarah is preaching in honor of International Women's History Month and Harriet Tubman Day.

Mary Kate Eckles joins as Worship Associate and the VUU Voices, Christy and the band perform music.

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

Sundays in March

Sunday March 10:Acts of Liberation: 21st Century Underground RailRoad” Rev. Sarah and Mary Kate Eckles explore the crossroads of third wave feminism, womanism and liberation. What is our 21st century version of an underground railroad? They are joined by the VUU Voices choir and the VUU Band.  

Sunday March 17: “We're Going to Graceland: A Meditation on Universalism” led by Mary Rothschild and Mary Kate Eckles. Followed by STT celebration and Congregational Conversations.  

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

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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)

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Prior Weeks' Newsletters

Partner Organizations

UU Justice Arizona

Valley Interfaith Project

Adams Elementary


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Thursday, March 7

  • Ukulele Club 6p
  • Spirit of Life Reading Circle 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
  • VUU The Vote 12p
  • Voices Lifted 12:15p
  • Grief Support Group 1p

Monday, March 11

  • Pastoral Care Team 6:30

Tuesday, March 12

  • East VUU Women's Group 1p

Wednesday, March 13

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

Thursday, March 14

  • East VUU Gathering 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
  • VUUJAZ Coffee Convo 11:45p
  • 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

As I prepare for some time off with my family followed by some retreat time with colleagues, I am also in the midst of many busy preparations.  I am officiating a wedding and a baby blessing this month, blessing a house, participating in an ordination, and hopefully publishing an opinion editorial with two Valley Interfaith Project (VIP) colleagues on the “YIGBY” housing bill.  In addition, I am counting down the days that I have a daughter in college (graduation in May!) and how long we have with her before she travels to serve in the Peace Corps.  

This month we look at the value of transformation.  Many of us have experienced personal transformation–which I like to think of as more than just change–it’s life altering change, the kind that opens new doors, ideas, and possibilities. Transformation alters reality, and it can be discombobulating, scary, uncomfortable, ecstatic and exhausting.  In my life I’ve experienced a few transformations.  Getting married and getting divorced; leaving a job that I’ve been at for a long time (11 years, 6 years); moving to a new state (I’ve lived in 6), becoming a mom, and becoming a minister, organizing for political change (to name a few).  Although there was a piece of those changes that was visible, most of what was happening was happening inside of me.  Inside, I was experiencing grief, fear, excitement and yearning, curiosity, affirmation…a wide range of feelings!  I found new strengths, let go of ideas that didn’t serve me anymore, and made space for new experiences.  

Transformation can also be experienced by a family, a group, or a community. The words in our proposed new language for Article II in the UUA bylaws say:  “We adapt to the changing world. We covenant to collectively transform and grow spiritually and ethically. Openness to change is fundamental to our Unitarian and Universalist heritages, never complete and never perfect.”  When we commit to transformation as a community, we agree to share this growth and the insights that come with it.  It also means we will grieve together, be scared together, and let go of old ideas together and embrace new possibilities together.  It also means we will witness each other’s changes, and in witnessing we will affirm with love the new self that is emerging. Collective transformation requires us to simultaneously tend to our own needs and to make space for the needs of others, and sometimes these are in tension with one another.  This month I hope you’ll lean into the tension and ask yourself what is being transformed in and around you.  Can you be a midwife for what is being birthed? Rev. angel Kyodo Williams says:  “There is something dying in our society, in our culture, and there’s something dying in us individually. And what is dying, I think, is the willingness to be in denial. And that is extraordinary. It’s always been happening, and when it happens in enough of us, in a short enough period of time at the same time, then you have a tipping point, and the culture begins to shift…”  Here’s to the shift! 

–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!


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!

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 Heather Monk or 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 6-7:30p (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

East VUU Social Night

Thursday, March 28, 6:00 pm

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

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

Spirit of Life Reading Circle

March 7, 7p

We are reading a piece from the Washington Post by Anne LaMott, a piece from the Huffington Post by Margaret Manning, and a favorite Wendell Berry poem, "The Peace of Wild Things." We'd like to contemplate what makes us happy, what moves us, what makes us want to do things at this time in our lives.

We hope you will join us on Thursday, March 7th at 7:00 PM at our Zoom meeting: Spirit of Life Zoom Link

-Submitted by Mary Rothschild

Joys and Concerns

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 19th (check in 2 pm) - Sunday, April 21st (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

Giving / Volunteering

UU The Vote

Stir up some good trouble this Sunday 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

Thanks to EVERYONE who participated in a VIP style House Meeting during last Sunday’s service! There were eight groups, led by VIP Core Team and VUU Leadership Development Committee leaders. We believe the opportunity to share your stories about what is weighing on your heart and to listen to the stories of others is a powerful step towards building strong, lasting relationships. If you have feedback to give the VIP Core Team about your experience in the House Meeting, please contact one of us or talk to us at church next Sunday.


Barb Quijada, Kathy Melamed, David Melamed, Linda Stenholm, Bill Elliott, Nancy Wittenberg, Nancy Egly, Amanda Schneider, Mary Kate Eckles, Jodi Cicirello

Partners in Education (PIE)

The Art Masterpiece program is up and running with our five volunteers presenting to eight classes!!! Two of us are providing additional related art projects to three classes. Opening windows on the world!!! This is one of the many wonderful prints that we share with our classes. Think about training in the fall for next year's round of volunteering. 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 ( 


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

Immigrant Action Team (IAT)

The IAT will hold its regular meeting this Sunday March 10 after services in Room 5 in the Education building/

Come here how we engage with our immigrant community to help improve lives. Hope to see you there!

Paz de Cristo

Volunteers needed this month!

Continuing the Tradition… Keeping the Commitment… Living our Principles

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.

Questions? Contact Joanne at 602-620-3100. Please sign up for this rewarding experience at

-Submitted by Joanne McGrath

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

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation |