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Happenings At A Glance

Upcoming Sunday Services on ZOOM

Make sure you have a Chalice available to light before the Service begins.
Services can be seen on Zoom every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Our Touchstones Theme for July is Harmony.

July 12th:
Sunday Service
with Dr. Rev. Andy Burnette, Katie Seiferth, Hayley Wynne, David Berry
 •  Order of Worship

Join our Service every week at this link: Zoom Worship Service 

Last week (in case you missed it!)July 5, 2020 Worship Service Link
Mark your calendar for more Caravan Protests for safe, socially-distanced protesting in support of our Black brothers and sisters.

Last month was our first one and we had about 45 cars! Let’s keep it up!

Each protest will start at 3pm on a Sunday. We will depart from the VUU parking lot. Here are the next three dates:

July 12th
August 9th
September 13

Have posters ready to tape to your car with painter’s tape. Window paint and black or red balloons or streamers from the antenna are also great.

Contact Noell Hyman or Melissa Bush for questions. We’ll see you through your car window on July 12th!
Update on VUU COVID-19 Discernment Team
I write to update you on the work of the VUU COVID-19 Discernment Team. We have been meeting every couple of weeks to think about the impacts of the virus on VUU, and about when and how we will gather in person again. Though much is still unknown, we have made some progress and we want to share it with you.

We have split up into two teams that are working outside our larger meetings. One team, made up of public health experts, is putting together a set of criteria that will need to be met before reopening. Though they are not yet final, those criteria will likely involve decreased community spread of COVID-19 and decreased hospitalizations due to COVID-19 infection,  among other measures. Along with this, the team is developing a mathematical model based on current community factors to determine when it will be safe to begin meeting in person again.

The second team is working on plans to reopen safely once the criteria are met. Our first step will be to form Connection Circles, small groups of about 10 people who will meet to discuss a theme-based curriculum provided by the congregation. Facilitators of these groups will meet monthly with the program leader to focus on their own spirituality and to talk about challenges and joys they are experiencing in leading the circles. Existing groups will not be affected by this new program. We envision that Connection Circles will begin by meeting online. When our reopening criteria suggest that it is safe, circle members will be invited to meet in person to conduct their meetings and perhaps to participate in online worship services as a small group.

You may have filled out a survey for Connection Circles a few weeks ago. Thank you. However, that survey did not collect some important information. So, with apologies, we ask that you complete another survey coming out soon so that we can begin the work of putting together the Connection Circles themselves. And if you can facilitate a circle, we would certainly welcome you letting us know.

It is impossible to make concrete plans for reopening when the spread of the virus in Arizona is at such an alarming level. However, please know that we are watching the science and thinking about how we can be ready to gather again as soon as it’s safe. Someday COVID-19 will be a story we tell subsequent generations. Until then, stay safe, and know that you are loved and valued. 

Rev. Andy
DeeAnne McClenahan
Lloyd Harrell
(The Reopening Plans Working Team)

Thanks to VUU Members Janet Campbell, Janice Pittsley,  Alexandra Escobar, and Barb Quijada and to Janice’s friends, Carrie Nixon and Nixie Sandel-Dixon for designing and / or writing cards of support for immigrants detained at the Eloy Detention Center. VUU contributed 117 of the 1200+ cards sent to Casa Mariposa in Tucson from East Valley congregtions and other groups. Casa Mariposa will address and mail the cards to individual detainees. Please hold our siblings in detention in your hearts and watch for opportunities to work for their release.

How to Support Black Community 
Ways You Can Help

Faith Formation Summer Programming for Children & Youth 
Unitarian Universalist Principles Virtual Art Walks 
 Check out the: Second Principle Art Walk 
Get involved: Click Here

Upcoming Special Events

July 8 - July 15

Summer 2020: Hosting Chandler I-HELP 

We will continue to host the Chandler I-HELP Shelter in our Sanctuary at least through August. Would you like to help by washing sheets? You would pick up dirty sheets on a Tuesday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and return them clean the next Tuesday during those same hours. To sign up, please click here.

Thanks to the food donors, the sheet washers and thanks to the whole beloved VUU Community for your generous hospitality during these challenging times. Our guests and those who run the Chandler I-HELP program are so grateful.
Volunteer Opportunities 
Opportunities to help VUU create engaging Sunday morning services.
Sunday Tech Team:   9-11:45 Sunday morning, 1-2x/month.  We will train you to run the Zoom room, share slides, share videos during live streaming service.  Best if you have multiple monitors and a strong internet connection.
Audio/Video Editor:  2-3 hours Thursday/Friday (flexible time), 1-2x/month. Create PowerPoint slides, add subtitles to audio and visual files.  No experience necessary. We will provide the software and training.
Contact DeeAnne McClenahan at

Youth Programs

One-N-Ten Support Group is now online! HERE is the link to their NEW newsletter! In addition, HERE is an Anti-Racist Resource Guide by Victoria Alexander - recommended by One-N-Ten.

 Zoom with the East VUU Group!

Thursday, July 9, 6:30p to 8:15
Topic: Doing Away with “Good and Evil”--Join us for a lively discussion led by Melanie Cloonan-Schulte on the ways that Buddhist thought speaks to our times. Buddhism does not conceptualize good and evil like western thought. Melanie will illustrate the practicality of some Buddhist approaches to coping with current difficulties, which we’ll discuss in zoom breakout groups. If you need some fresh perspectives and more peace of mind, zoom with us via the link below!
Dr. Melanie Cloonan-Schulte, MD, is a worship associate and a facilitator of the Dalai Lama group at the Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking on this link:
 The meeting ID and Dial-up information is needed only if you will be joining the meeting via phone call (audio only).
Meeting ID: 739 743 734
Dial by your location
        +1 253 215 8782 US
        +1 301 715 8592 US
VUU’s Green Sanctuary Garden
Did you know that VUU has a beautiful garden located on the northwest corner of the property?  The Green Sanctuary Garden was started a few years ago and produces vegetables that have been contributed to local food banks, Paz de Cristo and iHelp. Our congregation often reaps some of the benefits as well from the annual bounty!

While the garden has been very productive, it could be even better with your involvement. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a novice, we would love to have you join us. Please take a few minutes to take The Green Sanctuary Garden survey. Our plan is to set up groups to take on each of the areas. Please note that safety and social distancing will be a top priority.

We do have one immediate need for your consideration. Between now and the end of August, we must prepare the garden for fall planting and need compost picked up and delivered. If you have a pick up truck and are willing to help with loading and unloading, please contact Kat Karpinen at

Thank you! We look forward to hearing from you.
The Food for Life and the Planet (FLP) Committee

Our Dalai Lama and Friends virtual gathering meets every Sunday at 9 a.m. It will on Zoom. Here is the link.

VUUers are still getting together - virtually of course - and groups are still meeting and doing good works of love and justice...

The Page Turners July Announcement
The book for July 16 meeting is The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantu.  This is a non-fiction book about a man who worked for the Border Patrol.  He leaves the Patrol for civilian life. But when a friend who is an immigrant travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the whole story. Searing and unforgettable, The Line Becomes a River makes urgent and personal the violence our border wrecks on both sides of the line.    

The Page Turners are meeting via Zoom.  The meeting is July 16 at 7:15 PM.  If you would like to join the discussion, please email

VUU FLP Meeting - Social Gathering 
Please join the Food for Life and the Planet Committee (FLP) for a very uplifting and fun meeting this Friday, July 10 at 10am!
 Michelle Lukasiewicz, owner of Goats with Horns Animal Sanctuary, will be joining us for a discussion about saving farm animals—why she does it, the joys and challenges—and will give us a virtual tour of the property.
Join the ZOOM at:

Please also consider joining us for a discussion on July 17th at 10am of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s book, The Joyful Vegan, in which she discusses how to manage the common challenges of plant-based food choices.
For more information, contact Denise Mcleod at

SINGLES  --  still having fun!
Zooming every Wednesday, noon to 2:00, bring your lunch, check in—let us know how you are doing, have time to visit  and maybe stay for cards!
Second and fourth Fridays, 6:15, zoom in for game night—we have been playing cards on with zoom.  Please check it out before Game Night.
Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 359 568 3684 Password: 123456
RSVP to Claudette, text preferred. 973-768-6047, or email to 

More Ways to Get Involved

From UUJAZ -

Building Resilience as White Folks for Uncomfortable Conversations
Saturday, July 11th 2-3:30 p.m. 
Join UUJAZ's Janine Gelsinger in discussing the panel she contributed to at 2020 General Assembly, addressing how individuals and congregations can stay connected while in the discomfort of conversations about race and oppression. 
Register here:

Night at the MUUvies 
Saturday July 11th 6 p.m. movie screening, 7:45 p.m. discussion
Join with UUs across Arizona for a virtual gathering to watch a film then participate in discussion, hosted by Emrys Staton.

THE INFILTRATORS is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a shadowy for-profit detention center—on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. However, when Marco and Viri attempt a daring reverse ‘prison break,’ things don’t go according to plan. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, THE INFILTRATORS tells an incredible and thrilling true story in a genre-defying new cinematic language.
Trailer & info:

UUJAZ Book Group
Friday July 17th 12pm
Its more important than ever to stay justice centered in our faith, as decisions made now will affect climate justice and structural inequity for years to come. Join Rev. Tina Squire the third Friday of each month at noon for a book discussion. July will feature: How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi.
Sign up here:

Look for sign-up details on UUJAZ Facebook page and website

Believe it or not, the covid pandemic has had some benefits. Our air and water are cleaner. The lack of gridlock on the highway has resulted in a longer life for those roads. Has this mitigated the effects of climate change? We don’t know yet. But, here at VUU, we have a very active and vocal group who are lobbying for climate change – change back to the way our planet was years and years ago. Arizona Interfaith Power and Light asks us to reduce the causes of global climate change through spiritual reflection, education, advocacy and action – and vote for candidates that support and advocate for these efforts. One member of that group is Jerry Waters, who recently contacted me to urge all VUU members to pledge to vote for those candidates and issues that reverse the effects of climate change. Your Board of Trustees has voted to support the efforts of Arizona Interfaith Power and Light. At this link,  ,you can pledge to consistently vote with climate in mind. And, since UU’s seventh principle is “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part,” this should be one of the easiest decisions you’ll ever make.
Copyright © 2020 Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation, All rights reserved.

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