MVUU Newsletter
Oct 1, 2021
Click above to see "Life in the Floodplain" -- a meditation featuring words and art from our MVUU community, with original music by Chris Tackett. More available on our YouTube.
Weekly Calendar

Saturday, Oct 2
POP's Children's Story Time

Sunday, Oct 3
Sunday Book Group

Little Justice Warriors

Baja 4 Sunday Service on YouTube: "Unboxing Our Theology"
Led by Rev. Bethany Russell-Lowe
On Demand at YouTube

MVUU Zoom Fellowship Hour: Honoring Ricky Tutaan
Come celebrate Ricky's last day at MVUU
10:30 am Join Zoom

Baja 4 2nd Hour
12:15 pm Links HERE

Tuesday, Oct 5
Men's Night Out
7 pm Join Zoom

Wednesday, Oct 6
MVUU Poetry Sharing
MVUU's Current COVID status is:
Very High Risk.
Services will remain virtual.
Check out our county data at Covid ActNow by clicking here. The MVUU Board will announce that we have gone down to a lower status after at least 7 days of maintaining a lower risk status.
President's Column

While we continue to address the risks associated with the delta variant transmission, opportunities for connection are expanding. The Pacific Southwest Region of the UUA is offering a BIPOC-themed group beginning in October. They are also offering an opportunity for leadership development also beginning in October. Please consult the newsletter for details on schedules and how to participate in these opportunities to connect with other UUs around the southwest. 

On matters closer to home, your Board, including our newest member, Theda Ellis, is actively working to address the remaining issues to make the building ready for our safe use. Primarily, the audio-visual system, first aid kits, security cameras, and beyond. On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Pi Irwin and Zsombor Zoltan for a generous donation of a video camera and other AV equipment. Also, let me recognize Lee McMeley and their husband Todd, Kassandra Klein and the PAs who have worked overtime to bring you services from the building. We continue to have a number of challenges in producing services as they solve the complexities of zooming services. We are also continuing our recruitment of an AV expert in light of Ricky Tutaan’s resignation to pursue a full-time teaching position. Many thanks to Ricky for his years of service to this community. Who knew about his musical talent! 

As many of you know, Shekela Wanyama has resigned as well to pursue her studies in Minnesota. In her stead, we are pleased to welcome our new Music Director, Chris Tackett. Many of you know of Chris’s many talents from his work on the Baja 4 services. We look forward to Chris’s leadership in fostering our music ministry.

As you can see, your Board is addressing many important issues in the life of MVUU including building use, building readiness, staff changes, our relationship to the Baja 4, and financial stability… all while beginning the search for a new minister. Your patience and support for our work on your behalf is greatly appreciated.

Tom Sawyer, Board President
Minister Search Team Update:
Sign Up for Focus Groups!

We are building on our successful ministerial search written survey process-- thank you for filling out your survey!

(If you still haven't finished your survey, please click here to do so.)

We will now begin the focus group discussion process on Saturday October 2. Our goal is to make the best possible match between our MVUU community and a future settled minister by more deeply understanding who we are and what we need as a congregation. 

These Zoom gatherings will begin on October 9, last approximately one and a half hours, and be held on a variety of days and hours to accommodate as many people as possible. To sign up for one of these discussions, use this link. You will see the following options:

      10/9 Saturday at 2 PM;
      10/12 Tuesday at 10 AM;
      10/14 Thursday at 6:30 PM;
      10/17 Sunday at 2 PM;
      10/20 Wednesday at 10 AM; and
      10/24 Sunday at 11:30 AM.

Additionally, optional affinity group discussions are available for people within our community:

Young Adults with Derek Contreras
Families with Children with Samar Adi
LGBTQ+ with Pam Gilbert
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color with Lisa Ponder-Gilby

If you identify as a member of one of these affinity groups and wish to participate, please feel free to contact the moderator directly. 

For any other questions about these group discussions, you may contact Mary Nell Hoover or 

Thanks to Contigo we are happy to announce: our two guests, Jocelyn and Guveny, are now the proud owners of refurbished Apple iPads!  They have also begun their Literacy Connects journey with English classes twice a week.

Many thanks to all of you who have supported us at Contigo, as we continue to support these two guests in so many ways…
In particular:
  • Theda, Zsombor, and Peter B. are driving them to the grocery store and to English classes when they were across town.
  • Cheri, Mary Nell, the Contigo Team and Sarah Taraz (from the Baha'i congregation) found the iPads, purchased them and taught them how to use them.
  • Kyoko and the Contigo Team enabled Contigo to sign a document going to the Biden administration asking to halt the deportation of Haitian asylum seekers.
  • Sarah, Michael Parker, and Ruha (Baha'i) have spent numerous times with them, hosting dinners, taking them swimming, hanging out, taking them to Casa Alitas as volunteers to support new Haitian immigrants, and helping them volunteer with the Iskashitaa Refugee Network, whose mission is to “Reduce food waste in southern Arizona while integrating refugees into the community.”
  • Joe Leonard Lopez, Amanda Lopez, and their mother/mother-in-law, Lori Lopez, have given tremendously… sponsoring, providing legal counsel and hours of legal work, hosting dinners at their home and giving in-person English lessons.
  • Christiane Heyde and Melva Ballesteros are ever present as Guveny and Jocelyn’s hosts...making sure they have a strong internet connection, getting them to a laundromat, and taking them on walks in the neighborhood, etc.
We are indeed deeply involved in accompaniment-- and we welcome you to join us! Consider joining the Contigo Team and be part of an interdependent world. Email Cheri for more information.
Baja 4 Life Development Announcements

Parents and Caregivers of Preschoolers (POPs)
Saturday, Oct 2 & 23, 1 pm
Join on Zoom others with children ages birth to 6 years old to offer support as we come to understand our child's spiritual development, to build rituals that support this development, and to see ourselves as spiritual teachers. New to POPs? RSVP: RSVP HERE
Oct 2 - Children's Story Time -- designed for children ages birth to 6+, but everyone welcome.

Oct 23 - Grown Up Meet Up -- designed for those adults raising children who are ages birth to 6, but everyone welcome. This is an amazing group of parents who come together once a month to talk about topics relevant to our daily lives. We offer support, words of wisdom, and connect to those around us. We hope that you join and share with us.

2nd Hour
Sunday, Oct 3, 12:15 pm
Please join us for 2nd Hour: a once-per-month afternoon of a variety of educational, spiritual, interesting, and fun workshops. Dates for the rest of 2021 are: Nov 7 & Dec 5.
See the UU Quest website HERE for links and descriptions!
  • Article X at UUCT with Stephen Kraynak
  • Meet the Baja 4 Lifespan Faith Development Team
  • Olders Game Time with RE Teachers
  • Laughter Yoga with Rev. Matthew

Youth Meet Up… Come help us name it!
Saturday, Oct 9, 5 pm
For youth ages 10+
Join some of our wonderful UU Youth Leaders for a fun hour or so of games, socializing, and plotting! We’ll start with a little lighthearted competition on a game of our choice (think PG rated games like Kahoot, Jackbox Games, and Improv). Having the ability to open zoom and a 2nd browser (on a computer, tablet, or phone) will be helpful, but not necessary. Then, you’ll have the chance to help name this space and set the date and time for the next meet up. It’ll be FUUN!
Meeting ID: 571 636 4277
Password: 973902
MVUU Poetry Sharing
Wednesday, Oct 6, 3 pm

MVUU poets, coming up is another opportunity to share some of your poems in the MVUU Poetry Sharing meeting on Wednesday, Oct 6 at 3:00 pm on Zoom. You may prepare 1 - 3 poems for reading to the group. We don’t critique the poems as in a workshop, but just enjoy and discuss them. If you would like your poems to be displayed with Zoom Screen Sharing as you read them (optional), please email them to Alan Harris at Email Alan Harris by a day before the meeting. Listeners are always welcome to attend—just send your email address.
Leading from the Heart
Leadership Development

In this 3-part series for budding and experienced leaders, participating will ground you in your own spiritual soil, acknowledge roots, discern flowers, find abundance, and preserve seeds to keep the harvest going.

Topics will include: UU and ancestral theology, the synergy of passion and mission, living out of conviction

When: October to mid-December, participants will spend about 4 hours a month in a variety of solo work, small group discussion (1/month on group’s time frame), and a full group monthly meeting.

Full Group Sessions: October 13th, November 10th, December 8th
8-9:30 pm Mountain / 7-8:30 pm Pacific / 6-7:30 pm Alaska / 4pm (Oct) 5pm(Nov/Dec) Hawaii

Who: Lay leaders in different areas of ministry (not limited to board). Congregational teams are encouraged but not required.

Hosted by: PWR Staff led by Rev. Summer Albayati and Melissa James

Taproot A National BIPOC Space
Starting Thursday, Oct 14, 7 pm

The work of spiritual community is complicated in the 21st century. From busy schedules to the ever pressing tension brought on by systemic injustice, the need for faithful leadership that is grounded and resilient is imperative. This is all the more true for leaders within our communities and congregations who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). All too aware of this need, the UUA Congregational Life staff are excited to explore and co-create a network with congregational leaders that support them in this time in emergent ways through Taproot: A National BIPOC Space.

The organizing pillars of this collective are:
  • Rest & Renewal
  • Analysis Building
  • Leadership Development

BIPOC Leaders rooted in the Unitarian Universalist congregations are invited to take part in this monthly, virtual gathering as we explore these pillars in creating means by which to ground ourselves in resilient communities of care.

Tyler Coles,, Summer Albayati,, Sana Saeed,

This space is explicitly for people identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). All participants are asked to register for this event, you will receive the zoom connection information in your confirmation email. Register Now

Thursday, October 14
Thursday, November 22
Thursday, December 9
Bookaholics Unanimous
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2 pm

We are a group of enthusiastic readers who meet the last Tuesday of the month at 2 pm. Our next meeting will be on Oct 26. We select a variety of books based on what has intrigued members. The one who suggests the book generally leads the discussion of that book.  The October selection is Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje. We currently meet by ZOOM. If you are interested and new to the group and/or need help with Zoom, Email Anne Leonard or call her at (520) 307-8045.
October Woven Basket: Children’s Action Alliance

Children's Action Alliance (CAA), founded in 1988, is a non-profit, non-partisan research, education, and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the well-being of all of Arizona's children and families. 

It is an independent voice that identifies and eliminates barriers to their well-being and creates opportunities through partnerships and policy solutions. They advocate for children to the state legislature. The issues they support include children’s health, early childhood education, child welfare and juvenile justice; and K through 12 public school education funding.  

They urged the 2021 state elected officials to protect Arizona’s ability to meet the education, health care, and human services needs of vulnerable children and families by not introducing new tax cuts, tax credits, or any other legislation that reduces state revenue. Even though they did not succeed this time in all the issues they supported they continue to have an impact on legislation that has improved the lives of children and families. They have formed coalitions with other groups such as the Arizona Early Childhood Alliance, and CoverKids (for healthcare) -- and others. They maintain a large and useful data base on children’s status as well: KIDS COUNT.
See more at their website:
Please donate generously by check or on line. Follow the guidelines in the box in this newsletter. Thank you.

Donate via MVUU as the Woven Basket Partner: You can make your donations online at or by sending a check to the Church Office. The mailing address is: MVUU, P. O. Box 91080, Tucson AZ 85752. Please indicate that this donation is for the "Woven Basket."
Men's Night Out (Virtual)
Tuesdays at 7 pm
Join us for Men's Night Out, every Tuesday evening via Zoom. Click to Join Zoom For more information Email Phil Troyer
Caring Hearts Circles
Join a Caring Hearts Circle to connect, strengthen, and expand ties within our congregation. Circles meet weekly or bi-weekly via Zoom so that we can be together even as we are physically apart. Got questions? Email Pi Irwin
The Sunday Book Group on Zoom
Sunday, Oct 3, 8:15 am
We are now discussing Noise by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein.
MVUU's New LGBTQ Group! 
Every Other Sunday, Oct 10, 2 pm
Join us every other Sunday at 2 pm online for 1-2 hours for games, support and planning future events! Join Zoom
Little Justice Leaders
Sunday, Oct 10 & 17, 9 am
On Sunday mornings, bring your tiny justice warrior to zoom with us! This group is meant for kids ages 5-12, but siblings and grown-ups of all ages can watch along, too.
Chronic Pain Support Group
Tuesday, Oct 12 & 26, 3 pm
Join MVUU's Chronic Pain & Illness Support Group, every other Tuesday afternoon on Zoom. Come and be in a space of community where there are fresh ears to hear and experiences to share. Join Zoom
Book GroUUp Fall 2021
Friday, Oct 15, 12 pm
Join us on the third Friday of each month at noon. Next book: Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis. 
Children's Action Alliance
Give your pledge or donate to MVUU online
Send your check to MVUU, P.O. Box 91080, Tucson, AZ 85752, indicating which fund you'd like it to go to (i.e. Pledge, Operating Fund, Capital Campaign, Woven Basket, etc.).
Find your Friends in MVUU's Photo Directory
Newsletter Deadlines: The next newsletter will be published Friday, Oct. 8. Submit articles to by 12 pm, Monday, Oct. 4. No Exceptions. Articles may not exceed 250 words. Thank you.