February 15, 2024

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This Sunday at VUU


Sunday, February 18, 10:30a

Seeds For the New Year

Delivered by UUA President, Rev. Dr. Sofia Betancourt (via video). Ken St. John will be worship leader and joined in the pulpit by VUU President Mark Foote.

Music will be led by Katie Seiferth, Director of Music Ministries, accompanied by Andrew Seiferth.



  • 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

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 15

  • East VUU Coordinators 10:30a
  • Finance Committee 5:30p
  • Ukulele Club 6p
  • Spectrum Conn Circle 6p
  • Worship Associate 6:30p
  • Page Turners 7p

Friday, February 16

  • Anti-Racism Movie 6:30p

Saturday, February 17

Sunday, February 18

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • FUUNd Last Day thru 1p
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • VUUJAZ 12p

Monday, February 19

  • IHelp Shelter
  • VUU Scouting 6p

Tuesday, February 20

  • EastVUU Women's Group 1p
  • LDC Meeting 6p

Wednesday, February 21

  • Choir Rehearsal 6p

Thursday, February 22

  • EastVUU Program 6p
  • Facilities Team 6p
  • Ukuele Group 6p

Friday, February 23

  • Singles Dinner Out 6:30p

Saturday, February 24

Sunday, February 25

  • Dalai Lama and Friends 8:30a
  • Pygmy OWL class 8:45a
  • Sunday Service 10:30a
  • Faith Formation Classes 10:30a
  • Burrowing OWL Parents 12:45p
  • Burrowing OWL Class 12:45p

Click here for the most current calendar, to view locations, contact information details for above events

Desert Notes from Rev. Sarah

Coming March 3

Intergenerational Sunday: Stone Soup!

Join us March 3 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.  Please sign up to bring some ingredients here.

On March 3, 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.

VUU Updates


Don’t miss your last chance for FUUNd!

The 2024 Let’s Have FUUNd Together auction closes this Sunday at 1:00 pm. There are only a few days left to register and bid on the many FUUNdtastic events and items being auctioned this year. Don’t miss out!

Here is some important information about what will happen when the auction closes.

(1) Bid Extensions. The bidding time for a specific item may be extended beyond 1:00 PM to prevent anyone from being outbid during the last minutes of the auction.

A bid within 5 minutes of the 1:00 PM close time will extend the item’s closing time by 10 minutes. This bidding extension can be applied more than once up to a maximum of 30 minutes.

(2) Guest Lists. No need to guess who’s coming to dinner. Donors will receive emails listing the names and contact information of the winning bidders for their events.

(3) Payments. At the end of the auction, you can pay for your purchases immediately by logging into Auctria, choosing “My Account” from the menu, and following the prompts. Otherwise, here’s what will happen:

  • You will receive an email statement listing the items you have won and the total payment due.
  • You will have one week to pay your statement in full. Please consider including the credit card fees with your payment so that VUU receives the full amount bid for your items.
  • If your payment has not been received by that time, the unpaid balance will be
  • automatically charged to the credit card you provided during registration.

If you have questions regarding payment, your statement, or anything related to this year’s FUUNd, please email FUUNdtogether@vuu.org.


Anti-Racism Action:

Free Movie "Stamped from the Beginning"

Friday, February 16 at 6:30 pm

in the Sanctuary

Look Up! Answer Rev Sarah's call to "Look Up" from her inspiring Sunday sermon and explore Black History with an investigation of the bases of today's racism. This movie is based on the National Book Award winner and NYT best seller and has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes...so it's GOOD!

A perfect companion to Beverly and Doug's recent discussion on how racism impacts all of our lives. Let's join together and be the "standing stone" we sing about and learn "...what we don't know we don't know."

VUU Rentals!

When your friends, family, organizations need a space to hold an event, a meeting, etc., think of VUU. Our spaces are beautiful, functional, and affordable.

Send them here to see the spaces we have available and how to secure a rental.

SRP District Board Elections

The VUU Solar Team would like you to know that SRP District Board elections are coming up. Eligible voters are land owners living in an SRP district (they need not use SRP services). You must request a ballot (if not already on the SRP permanent list) by mail or online on or before March 22, 2024. Voting will occur March 6 – April 1. Early ballots may be mailed or dropped at various locations.

To request a ballot or read more about the elections, click here.

 -Submitted by DeeAnne McClenahan


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 2nd 11a-1p 

Sanctuary Rooms 1&2 (Education side of campus)

RSVP here

VUU New Participant Class

Saturday, April 20th 9a-1p 

VUU Board Room (Office Building)

RSVP here

New Member Recognition

Sunday Service, May 5

Music Ministries

Earth Day Cabaret - Sat. April 27

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!

The VUU Voices ChoirWednesdays, 6:00-7:30 pm

To see the 2023-2024 rehearsal and performance schedule please click here

To access sheet music and vocal tracks for songs we are working on, please click here.

1-Hour Choir (Adults and Kids) – March 3

Voices Lifted

If you or a family member needs comfort at home, in hospital, or in hospice care, please contact Lynn DeMuth via the Pastoral Care team.

Ukulele Club

We have an Ukulele Club at VUU! Join us on Thursday nights at 6:00 pm in Classroom #5. Please text uke group at (602) 884-0827 if you are interested. Please bring your uke, small percussion etc.

Please email Katie Seifert at MusicDirector@vuu.org with

any music-related questions or requests.


EastVUU Social Night

Garlic breadsticks? Join the EastVUU group for Italian dinner!

Thursday, February 22, 6:00 pm

Olive Garden

6201 E. Southern Ave, Mesa

Save the date: Thursday, March 7, Zoom program discussion, 6:00 pm. Details to follow

Partners In Education

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. Openings windows on the world!

We did it!!!! We raised $350 to replenish the Adams' Tiger Store with all kinds of fun widgets and fidgets!!! Thank you for your generous donations. This is an important part of their positive behavior program.

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! This can be done any time prior to April 15, and prior to filing your tax return. If you have AZ tax liability, you may receive full credit for your donation. (check with your tax advisor)

For more information, contact Perii Skolnick.

Food for Life and the Planet (FLP)

FLP Event - March 8

One of the takeaways from "You Are What You Eat" [on Netflix] is the way our foods have changed since WWII. With that in mind, we’d like to discuss an extraordinary book about how big business food companies have manipulated what we eat, resulting in significant health issues. TV dinners and Pop-Tarts, anyone? We wanted to give you plenty of time to read it so that we can have our usual lively discussion!

"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.

Faith Formation

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.

Location: Camp Friendly Pines, 133 acres in the Ponderosa Pine forest

Dates: 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.

Registration: Use this form to register and access the link to pay your deposit. Deadline to register and pay your balance: March31, 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" Choose VUU Prescott Retreat (under "other funds")

Stone Soup - March 3

March 3rd 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!

Seen at Faith Formation

From Marci, our Director of Faith Formation: I loved seeing this class outside, thought I should share it with the congregation.

Lead teacher Jenny Casillas Lopercio, and assistant Kat Glover, took the preschool class outside to read Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli. The 3 and 4 year olds loved sitting in the sun and paid rapt attention to the story about self joy and sharing that joy with others. After the story the children glued paper hearts onto a piece of paper and wrote "Somebody Loves You." Who did they give them to??

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 February 15 at 7:00 pm. Contact Amy Monahan for details.

The book is The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.

-Submitted by Amy Monahan

Singles Dinner Out

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 23 6p

WHERE: Cafe Lalibela

849 W University Dr, Tempe

The food is Ethiopean; this has been a favorite spot in the past.

RSVP to Claudette by phone or text (preferred) 973-768-6047

-Submitted by Jodi Freeman

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!

Environmental Action Team (EAT)

Join us for our first meeting of 2024 on Monday, February 19 at 6:30 pm. We’ll meet on Google Meet (not Zoom) to discuss the UU the Vote, Food for Life and the Planet, our Solar Plan, and our next Environmental Action events.  Meeting Link here.


Let us know what environmental issue is uppermost on your mind this election year.


VUUJAZ Coffee Conversation

The VUUJAZ coffee conversation will be held at its usual 3rd Sunday time this Sunday Feb. 18 (about 12:15, right after the service) in the front of the sanctuary.

Please come join us to share your thoughts and ideas about VUU’s social justice programs and to brainstorm opportunities and ways for our VUU community to amplify our voices through more coordinated and collaborative VUU collective social justice advocacy and action. 

VUUJAZ is seeking new leadership

Valley UU Arizona is seeking new leadership! If you are interested of being part of this lay-led leadership group /team please contact Anne Schneider. VUUJAZ serves as one of our congregation’s Public policy advocacy groups with a focus on state-level policy. The group meets one a month to share information on social justice initiatives and opportunities.  Contact Anne at (602) 828-2279 for more information. 

Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation | vuu.org