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Artwork by Ashley Lukashevsky: Instagram

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 19th:
Sunday Service
with Barbara Metz, Marci Beaudoin, Katie and Andrew Seiferth, Mary Erickson, Amanda Schneider, Rick Hinrichs, David Berry
 •  Order of Worship

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

How to Support Black Community 
Ways You Can Help

Art by Nykieria Chaney 
Artist's Etsy Shop
Connection Circles 

Click here to complete the survey:

As we continue to thoughtfully adapt to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, our values of love, service, and justice are ever more important.  We need to meet new people and make new connections.  We need to be connected to one another, to know that someone is there for us. And we need to soothe and grow our spirits. To that end, we will begin a program called Connection Circles. 

We will place members and friends in circles of 10 people. For now, those circles will meet virtually twice per month to check in with one another and to go through a discussion-based curriculum centered on the congregation’s monthly theme. The circles will be led by volunteer facilitators; these facilitators will meet to discuss issues in their circles and to prepare for the next month’s curriculum.  All groups will also be asked to safely perform a service project. Importantly, all groups will be open to new members as newcomers express interest.

Organized by geography, these circles will become important as the pandemic lessens and, eventually, it is safer to meet in small groups. The Connection Circles would then meet in homes to go through the curriculum, and perhaps to experience online worship together.  We do not know when this time will come, but when it does, we will be organized and ready.

As we lift our gaze further toward the horizon of a more distant time, things get a little more hazy, but one could foresee these groups sticking around after the all-clear is sounded on COVID-19. Mid-sized congregations like ours need small groups to stay connected at a deeper level than is possible on Sunday morning. Perhaps this will become the foundation of a new way of being a congregation!

Our hope is that these circles will serve to connect us to one another and to, as we say in our chalice lighting every Sunday, “the fire of love which calls us to work for justice.”  Please complete the survey.  You can complete one survey per household (up to 3 adults), or separately if desired.
Click here to complete the survey:

Upcoming Special Events

Valley Interfaith Project Leaders Assembly
Community Strategies for Fighting COVID-19:
Calling for a Robust Economic and Public Health Response
Wednesday, July 22, 6:30 p.m.
Zoom Meeting: Click Here to Register

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.  

Youth Programs

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

 Take the Pledge 

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. 
We’d Like to Hear Your Stories….
As Unitarian Universalists, we commit to seeking personal spiritual growth while recognizing our responsibility to acknowledge and act on social justice issues. Covid-19 has created a health and economic crisis and racial inequity has taken a stronghold in our nation’s consciousness. While these circumstances represent serious challenges, they also provide an opportunity for unprecedented reform.    

VUU, in collaboration with Valley Interfaith Project, is hosting a house meeting assembly to provide an opportunity to give expression to our greatest concerns.  We invite you to share your stories of what matters most to you right now and how you and those you care about are being affected, so that we as a community of faith can act for justice.

Please join us on Tuesday, 8/4 at 7pm as we explore the challenges we are facing and the possibilities for a more just and considered future.
For more information and to RSVP, please contact Denise McLeod at

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

Join Us for an Interactive Display of How a Climate Model Works!
The Citizens’ Climate Lobby at VUU arm of the Environmental Action Team is meeting on-line on July 22nd at 6:00PM to 7:30PM via Zoom.  
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 992 3643 0521
Password: 892925
Jeff Grout will be giving a presentation on En-Roads, a fast, powerful climate simulation tool for understanding how we can achieve our climate goals through changes in energy, land use,consumption, agriculture, and other policies. This simulation can provide policymakers, educators, businesses, the media, and the public the ability to explore the likely consequences of energy, economic growth, land use, and other policies and uncertainties, with the goal of improving their understanding. The simulation has been carefully grounded in the best available science and has been calibrated against a wide range of existing integrated assessment, climate and energy models. En-ROADS is built by Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan’s Sustainability Initiative. 
The CCL@VUU Environmental Action Team meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month via Zoom.  We welcome any and all VUU congregants who are concerned about climate to join our group and help move the needle forward on climate action by working with our Members of Congress.  

EastVUU Meeting 
July 23rd 5:45-7:45
Join East VUU for a zoom talk with Rev. Andy. Our meeting will start at 5:45. Rev. Andy will meet with us from 6:00 -6:25. We will have discussion and possibly a Movie Trivia game. If you are new to EastVUU please text, Perii Skolnick 413-429 6937 to be included in Zoom meeting list. All are welcome.

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 
Last week’s meeting had to be cancelled, so we are rescheduling our guest speaker for this Friday , July 17 at 10am.  Please join the Food for Life and the Planet Committee (FLP) for a conversation with Michelle Lukasiewicz, owner of Goats with Horns Animal Sanctuary, who will talk about saving farm animals and give us a virtual tour of the property. 

Join the ZOOM at:

Also, we are postponing our book discussion to the following Friday, July 24 at 10am. The selection is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s book, The Joyful Vegan, in which she discusses how to manage the common challenges of plant-based food choices. There still is plenty of time to read the book and join us!
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  

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 

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 6-7pm

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."
Sign up here for your Zoom link  

Ask Me Anything! 
Fridays 10-11am

Join UUJAZ Executive Director Janine Gelsinger any Friday morning for a casual "office hours" on Zoom. Since we aren't traveling around the state, Janine misses the informal opportunities to chat after service, or in the hallway, because its often where the best ideas are born! Bring your questions, chat about the social justice news this week in AZ, or suggest what programming you'd like to see UUJAZ do next.
Sign up here for your Zoom link

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
Copyright © 2020 Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation, All rights reserved.

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