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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 August is Creation.

August 2nd: 
Sunday Service with Rev. Dr. Andy Burnette, Hayley Wynne, Mary Rothschild, Katie and Andrew Seiferth, David Berry
 •  Order of Worship

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

In case you've missed it, last week's:  Worship Service

How to Support Black Community 
Ways You Can Help

Artwork by Kelly Malka: Instagram, Website

Board Happenings:

Dear Friends,
Your new Board of Trustees has been hard at work these first few weeks of our new church year (which began July 1).  Already, we have:
  • Accepted the resignation of our eight-year senior minister, the Reverend Doctor Andy Burnette.  We do so with regret, and with gratitude, and we acknowledge his amazing service to our congregation, and to the greater East Valley community.  His work with us and on our behalf, his calming presence, his organizational and mission-driven leadership, and his Sunday morning thought-and-action-provoking worship have been a true gift to each of us individually, and to the congregation as a whole, and well as to the greater community.  Sad as we are to see him leave, we are both grateful for his long tenure, and proud of his being called to new work that will affect so many individuals, families, and communities in the future.  We are blessed to be a part of his career, his family, and his legacy, and wish Andy amazing travels on his journey home to Indiana, and to Heather, Sasha, and Josie (who will be staying in Arizona for the school year), support and love through this next stage in their personal and family journeys.
  • Elected new leadership for VUU. At our last board meeting, the following were elected to positions per the by-laws, and volunteered/were appointed to positions of leadership beyond:
  1. DeeAnne McClenahan – Board President and Chair of the Ministerial Compensation Committee
  2. Debi Grande – Board Vice President, Chair of the Interim Search Committee, and Chair of the Policy Committee
  3. Linda Stenholm – Co-Secretary, and Board Assessment Chair
  4. Mary Wolf-Francis – Co-Secretary, and Member Linkage Chair
  5. Libby Bean – Treasurer/Financial Analyst
  6. Kevin Guhman – Board Liaison to the Finance Committee
  7. Pam Swan – Ministerial Assessment Chair
  • Appointed an Interim Ministerial Search Committee, made up of five board members and two VUU members-at-large, who have begun meeting and will be creating a job posting for the leader who will fill an interim term (of up to two years).  More on this important work to come – watch the Happenings for regular updates.
Things you should know (with updates to come as often as we can provide them – watch the Happenings!).
  • As is customary when a minister leaves fellowship with a congregation, a covenant of non-contact is entered into.  As we have done with former ministerial staff, so will Andy agree to not be in contact with our congregation, nor with individual members, for a significant period of time. This period is recommended by the UU Ministers’ Association (see Section III G) for the health of the congregation, and is not a slight against nor does it indicate bad will – indeed, the opposite – from the departing minister.
  • The capital campaign has been placed on hold for the time being; no plans are being made for building improvements at this time, and no funds are being spent toward that end.  We appreciate the continued gifts being made toward the $1.2MM in capital pledges, but appreciate and understand if that giving is placed on hold during this time of uncertainty.
  • While the operating budget of VUU has been reduced dramatically for the upcoming year, the ongoing expenses of the organization remain.  It is our hope to get through this coming year with your continued pledges (where possible), the remainder of the PPP loan/grant, the SBA grant we received, and some cost cutting to programs.  We hope to maintain the employment of a full staff who have become more important than ever to the continued success of Valley UU, and we prioritize the salaries of these staff members so that we are not adding to the economic crisis our communities are facing. 
As always, to contact the Board of Trustees with any comments or concerns, we can be reached (all seven of us) at board@vuu.org.

I am honored to accept the role of President for this year, and appreciate your continued support of, and engagement in, the mission of Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

DeeAnne McClenahan, President
deeannemcc@gmail.com
602.214.4608

Upcoming Special Events

Seeking Members for Committee to Recommend a Minster 
The Leadership Development Committee is starting to assemble a list of candidates for the 7-member "Committee to Recommend a Minister", better known as the Search Committee. The team will be established in a special election that is expected to happen in January 2021, and will be chartered with the task of recommending a new settled senior minister for VUU, a process that is expected to take 1-2 years to complete.  (Please note that this is different than the committee that the board has already formed to select an interim minister) If you have an interest in participating on the Search Committee and would like to be considered as a potential candidate, please contact the Leadership Development Committee members at ldc@vuu.org.

Youth Programs

Faith Formation Summer Programming for Children & Youth 
Unitarian Universalist Principles Virtual Art Walks 
 Check out the: Fourth Principle Art Walk 
Get involved: Click Here
Art work by Jena, Age 17
In Other News...

COVID Team Report-July 23,2020

The VUU COVID team has met every second week for the last eight weeks, and will continue to do so.  We are lay members, the Sr. Minister, and three public health professionals.  We know that some members are anxious to know, “When will we meet in person again?”

While we have no hard-and-fast answers, we will be making recommendations to the Board in the near future that we will not meet again in person until:

1 – Positive testing rates in Maricopa County fall below 2% (that is, 2% or fewer of all tests given are positive), AND

 2 – Test results are available to individuals within 72 hours of the test being taken.

Once these two criteria are met, we will be reviewing daily case rates and the likelihood of widespread vaccine availability in the near future (specifically, that a vaccine will be widely available within a 20 week or less period of time).

How we meet (outdoors, indoors with 100 or fewer participants) will be determined subject to the currently available data, and we expect to set (and vigorously enforce) limitations - such as 100% mask requirement, 6’ distancing, and no congregational singing - until such time as the likelihood of transmission is extremely low.

Additionally, we would like to remind all congregants that the fall flu season is expected to be no different than any flu season, except that hospitals will be more crowded and it will be difficult to rapidly diagnose flu versus COVID-19. We urge that you obtain a flu vaccine early (by October) to minimize your risk and to slow the spread of influenza.
Katie and Andrew Seiferth - Moving Help
Katie and Andrew finally found their forever family home!  As you may know, Katie is seven months' pregnant, and should not be lifting/packing/moving. 

We at VUU would like to give the Seiferth's some extra hands in the moving process... in a careful, socially-distanced and masked, environment.  If you can help, that help would mean an awful lot to our new Music Director and her family.

Please click here to sign up. Thank you!
The Arizona Legislative Alert continues to be published this summer even though the legislature is not in session! Sign up for it here or renew if you are not getting yours.   
 
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. There are new spots 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. 
Calling All Knitters and Crocheters 
Are you looking for something to do while isolated? Have you finished your "when I get around to it" list? VUU is resurrecting Knit Wits. And our first project will be warm hats for our I Help guests. Sue Keen has a simple crochet pattern and a lot of spare yarn. Does anyone have a simple knitting pattern? How about extra yarn that seems to be multiplying in that closet? Please email Sue at jancarnation@yahoo.com if:
1. You have a knitting pattern to share; 
2. You have yarn to share;
3. You need the crochet pattern for the hat;
4. You have ideas for future projects. 

 

VUUers are still getting together virtually, meeting and doing good works of love & justice

The Page Turners July Announcement 
The Page Turners are continuing to meet via Zoom. If you enjoy reading and discussing books, we would be happy to have you join us. You are welcome to join us for all of our meetings or just when the book is of interest to you. The August book is Educated by Tara Westover. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes and the will to change it. 

The meeting will be on August 20 at 7:15 p.m. If you would like to receive the Zoom link, email Amy at agmonahan@gmail.com.

VUU FLP Meeting - Celebrity Culture

It seems that more and more these days, celebrities are voicing opinions about their personal issues and passions. Many have adopted a plant-based diet and are advocating for animal rights and climate change awareness through their work, their endorsements, and even, their cookbooks!

This Friday, 7/31 at 10 a.m., we’d like to discuss your thoughts on how effective you think celebrities are in using their fame to change our behaviors and opinions, particularly about plant-based diets and the treatment of animals.

Here are some materials to get us going:

Livekindly Article on Celebrities

Livekindly’s Video on 11 Celebrities BEFORE and AFTER Going Vegan 

Scholarly Article: Celebrity Vegans and the Lifestyling of Ethical Consumption  

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89142078879#success

For more information, please contact Denise McLeod at dns.mcleod@gmail.com

EastVUU Meeting 
We have an excellent educational program planned for our EastVUU Zoom on Thursday, Aug. 13, 6:30 p.m. , and we would love to see you “there”.  Beverly McCormick will lead a very interesting and challenging session on Racism. It is designed to help us see our own biases and to better understand the structural barriers to societal change. You will get much more out of the program if you can do the pre-work. If you have not received an email with course materials from the EastVUU Admin, please send an email to Perii at sperii@aol.com.

Also mark your calendars for EastVUU Social Night August 27 6:30 p.m.

We will have a walk down memory lane. Bring to the Zoom Meeting an item that brings back memories or means a lot to you. This should be a great "show and tell". If you wish to be added to our member list, Please contact Perii at sperii@aol.com. Hope to see you all there.

SINGLES  --  still having fun!
 
Zooming every Wednesday, noon to 2:00 p.m., 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 p.m., zoom in for game night—we have been playing cards on cardgames.io with zoom.  Please check it out before Game Night.
 
Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3595683684
 
Meeting ID: 359 568 3684 Password: 123456
 
RSVP to Claudette, text preferred. 973-768-6047, or email to claudettewassil@hotmail.com  

Our Dalai Lama and Friends virtual gathering meets every Sunday at 9 a.m. It be will on Zoom. 
Here is the link
Meeting ID: 388 347 383
Password: 347553

More Ways to Get Involved

Widening the Circle of Concern
Thursdays 7-8 p.m., Aug 6th - September 10th

What does it look like for UU's to be anti-racist and anti-oppressive? Join Janine and UUJAZ to read the Commission on Institutional Change's report "Widening the Circle of Concern" compiled over three years of interviews and research, analyzing structural and systemic racism. Discuss the recommended actions, and how they could translate into actions in our UU congregations in Arizona, to advance long-term cultural and institutional change that redeems the essential promise and ideals of Unitarian Universalism.

The commission's report is available free to read online, or as a downloadable PDF for a limited time, or can be purchased from the UUA bookstore, InSpirit.
Sign up here for your Zoom link  

How Do We Defund the Police? 
Wednesdays 5:30-7 p.m. Aug 19th, 26th, and Sept 2nd
You've participated in Q+A's about the call to defund police, and our faith movement. Now, get into the details about how that looks in policies and budgets.

UUJAZ invites you to join a multi-part discussion about the BREATHE Act and its proposals, including a nationwide defunding of police. This will be a guided discussion, facilitated by UUJAZ staff member Thoi held across three one and a half hour sessions, Wednesday nights, 5:30-7:00 p.m. Our first session will cover the BREATHE Act and its specific proposals, as well as taking an overview of the MPD150 project and report. The second section will focus on the “Past” section of the MPD150 report, which looks at 150 years of policing in Minneapolis and its outcomes. The final session will wrap us up with a look at the “Present” and “Future” portions of the report, which go in depth to discuss community perspectives on policing through interviews, and presents alternatives to policing and a path to get there through political action.
Sign up here for your Zoom link.

Trans Inclusion in Congregations
UUJAZ is thrilled to provide access to this online course on radical welcoming for all AZ UUs, thanks to a generous grant from the UU Funding panel. Participants come to this course to learn how to be more inclusive to trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming folks in their lives and communities, but end up having a transformational experience in themselves. Contact us for your free login code to work through the six sessions from home, or join us for a discussion with UUs across the state.  

Action Hour
Tuesdays 6-7 p.m. 

UU the Vote Summer Organizing School: Roles for Radicals: July 29, 4-6 p.m. 
ACLU Smart Justice MCAO Text and phonebank: Aug 3, 5:50-8:30 p.m.
UU the Vote Office Hours: Aug 4, 5-6 p.m.
Next UU the Vote Arizona Action Hours Screening of Suppressed: The Fight to Vote: Aug 4, 6-7:30 p.m.
Join UUJAZ's UU the Vote Coordinator Casey Clowes for an hour of engagement. Each week will rotate through education on the issues, visits from guest partners, training on deep canvassing conversations, and phone/text banking "action hours."

UUJAZ Book Group
Friday August 21st 
3rd Fridays 12-1:30 p.m.
Join Rev. Tina Squire the third Friday of each month at noon for a justice-centered book discussion from the perspective of our Unitarian Universalist values.

Book GroUUp is free to all our monthly sustaining donors. If you wish to join but aren't a donor, you can contribute a suggested donation of $10 at uujaz.org/donate. If you aren't financially able to donate, join us anyway!
For anyone committed to intersectional activism and social justice, The Stonewall Generation provides a much-needed resource for empowerment, education, and renewal. In The Stonewall Generation: LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism, and Aging, sexuality researcher Jane Fleishman shares the stories of fearless elders in the LGBTQ community who came of age around the time of the Stonewall Riots of 1969. 
Sign up here for your Zoom link 

United for Freedom
Friday evenings
Join Puente Human Rights Movement each Friday, at detention centers and prisons across the state as we protest from our cars for our community members who are currently incarcerated. There are now almost 600 positive Covid19 cases, and 14 deaths at the hands of ADOC. Governor Ducey and the Department of Corrections have the power to free our loved ones and protect our families from COVID-19. We must put pressure on them to ensure that happens!

Join our caravan this Friday, July 29th, this week in Tucson, to denounce the state’s treatment of our people. #FreeThemAll
Sign up here for locations and updates 

For more UUJAZ meetings and events, click here

Artwork by Monique Wray: Instagram
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