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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 The theme for August is Creation.

August 9th: 
Sunday Service with Rev. Dr. Andy Burnette, Marci Beaudoin, Katie Seiferth, Dave Juday, Noell Hyman, Jillian Kong-Sivert, Adult Choir, 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 Monique Wray: Instagram
Dear VUU Members and Friends,

As I approach my last Sunday in the (virtual) pulpit at VUU, I write to express my gratitude to you for our shared ministry.

I fell in love with this congregation on my pre-candidating visit in February of 2012. Now, it certainly didn’t hurt that when Heather and I left Indiana to visit Phoenix for the first time it was 15 degrees and snowy in the Hoosier state. Lounging by the pool in 75 degree sunshine the next day, the Spirit seemed to tell us that this was the place. Joking aside, it was meeting you all that cemented it for us. We were looking at a few other congregations, but as members here shared their hopes and dreams for VUU, I knew that this would be the next stop for us.

Over the last eight years, it has been my deep and sincere honor to dedicate your children, officiating at weddings, care for you in times of need, and preside at memorial services to remember dearly departed loved ones. This marking of key life passages is, I believe, the central function of religious community.

I will hold in my heart forever the conversations we have had about difficult decisions you needed to make, griefs you were processing, and urgent social justice work that was calling to you. What a blessing to be invited into your lives, to be able to listen and ask a question or two to help you do your best thinking. These were holy moments for me.

Of course, our faith includes work toward a changed world, and I have been inspired by the way you have gone about siding with love in our communities. We have marched, learned, advocated, and served together, and it has made a tremendous difference. The congregation’s work on racial justice, immigration, and public education funding are urgently needed these days.

But of course, like you, ministers must listen to the whispers of their own souls. The last few years, my heart has been pulling me in a different direction. After two decades in the parish, almost half of which were spent here at VUU, I am excited to make pastoral care and the formation of clergy my work in the last half of my career. 

And so, we must say a real goodbye. We will not be in touch in the coming years. This is to make room for your next minister, to allow for your relationship with them to flourish without the influence of my presence. I believe this to be a healthy practice, and am glad to commit to being truly absent. To mark the ending of our relationship as minister and congregants, I have a little ritual that I like to perform. On my last day, next Thursday, I will remove congregants from my personal Facebook page. As I do so, I will say a prayer for each of you. Then I’ll go through the database and offer prayers for the members and friends listed there. I would love it if you would hold me in your prayers or kind thoughts as well.

Friends, thank you for the shared ministry. What a blessing it has been. Now, may life bless you and keep you. May the Spirit make its face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Universe pour out the fullness of its blessings on you, and bring you peace. Go in peace, dear friends, to serve love and to serve one another. Amen.

With love,
Rev. Andy

Upcoming Special Events

The August 9th Caravan Protest has been canceled. Please mark your calendar for the next one for September 13th, Sunday at 3p.m.
Connection Circles
Final Sign Up This Week
Circles to begin mid August

Over 100 already signed up!

Click here to register.
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.
Seeking Members for Committee to Recommend a Minister
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

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 Sophia, Age 10
In Other News...
Interim Minister Search Committee Announcement 
The IMSC has been meeting via zoom working to help VUU find it's next interim minister. We are posting the job description everywhere. If you would like to apply or if you know of someone who would be interested, please pass this on. Click Here for Job Description 
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!
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. 

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

Zoom Social Time
Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m. 
Come and visit, stay connected, meet new people!
Link: click here
ID if needed: 492 452 8819  
VUU FLP Meeting - A Discussion with Arizona’s Senior Director of the Humane Society of the United States 
Please join VUU’s Food for Life and the Planet (FLP) Committee for a discussion with Kellye Pinkleton, Arizona’s Senior Director of the Humane Society. Kellye will be informing us about her organization’s AZ legislative accomplishments in the past year and what each of us can do to be kinder to animals.

Date:   Friday, 8/7
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 891 4207 8879

For more information and to obtain pre-meeting reading materials, please contact Denise McLeod at

Hope to see you then!

Kellye’s Bio:
Kellye Pinkleton has worked in the private, public, political and non-profit sectors using her passion, experience and knowledge of diverse populations for positive change.  She has been sought out by national organizations as a successful coalition builder and SME on a range of issues.  She has directed campaigns, lobbied for a firm, worked for lgbtq rights, served as a director for the Ohio Secretary of State and currently is the Arizona senior state director for HSUS. 
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

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 Hope to see you all there.
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
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 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  

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.

Action Hour
Tuesdays 6-7 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." 
Click here to join!

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 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 

Justice as a Spiritual Practice
Anytime, at 
Remember way back in 2019 when Janine, our Executive Director, first visited your congregation and preached about her daily justice spiritual practice? We'd like to share those with you! Join us on Facebook for amplifications from our partner organizations for phone calls, emails, petitions, text banking, or other concrete actions you can take to connect to your values. Build your justice-making muscles a little each day, and as we vision the world we want to go back to, take action to change it, so we may never return to normal. 

For more UUJAZ meetings and events, click here 

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