MVUU Newsletter

November 17, 2023

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MVUU's Current Airborne Communicable Disease status is

LOW Risk in Arizona

Our building is open. Sunday services are in-person and/or online.

Masking is now optional.

Weekly Calendar

Friday, November 17th

RE Committee Meeting

5-6pm Join Zoom

Saturday, November 18th

S'mores and Song

6pm at the Patio

Sunday, November 19th

Sunday Book Group Online

8:15 am Email John Clark

Sunday, November 19th Service & Fellowship Hour

Appreciation for Transformation

10:30am  Join Zoom

Monday, November 20th

Dance to Heal

10 a.m. 2334 E. Prince Rd

Tuesday, November 21st

Men's Night Out (Virtual)

7 pm Join Zoom

Wednesday, November 22nd

Choir Practice

6:30-7:30 in the Sanctuary

November Sunday Services

This November, we offer our Gratitude in a month of thanks and thanksgiving. We will walk through our mission statement, Engage ~ Love ~ Transform, during our first three Sundays of the month. Each week we will give our thanks to individuals for their leadership in our services. Afterwards during Fellowship, we renew "MVUU Meet Yourself" with the opportunity to learn about our programing and give gratitude in return.

November 19: Appreciation for Transformation

Rev. Matthew & Susan Alexander

We look beyond our walls with appreciation for the programs that bring our values to life in our broader community.

November 26: Advent

Chris Tackett (MVUU Music Director) & Alex Stuckey

We enter into the winter holidays with this service of anticipation for all that is to come.

Minister's Minute

Dear Mountain Vista Unitarian Universalists,

Judging by the conversations that I have been having with many of you, interest remains high in learning more about being a godsibb within our MVUU covenant. (If you missed the first two articles about this, check our newsletters for Oct 6 and 20 in your email inbox.) 

All we do as a faith community takes place among our covenantal relationships. The first three statements of our MVUU covenant offer us the setting for these relationships:

-We welcome the stranger.

-We encourage and support one another.

-We honor our diversity.

These mean that we are open to new people joining us. We commit to care for those who are new and those long among us. We respect the diversity of our backgrounds, thoughts, feelings, spiritual beliefs, and even our political diversity. In total these three name an inclusivity that we welcome, encourage, and honor. 

As MVUU grows, we may not be able to know everyone, yet a godsibb remains open to the stranger. A godsibb doesn't seek allies or make enemies, but encourages and supports others freely. A godsibb is interested in ideas, beliefs, and feelings different from their own. Where a gossip may view these situations as a threat to their relationships and power, a godsibb engages, loves, and transforms.

godsibb then, is a person who lives peacefully and with care in our covenant and furthers our mission: Engage ~ Love ~ Transform. 

Growing alongside you in godsibbship,

Rev. Matthew

Fellow MVUU Members,

It is with appreciation for her service that I write to inform you that Karen White has made the decision to resign the Vice President position on our Board of Trustees. We are all grateful for the time she has put into attending and participating in Board meetings, starting the Council up for this year, and creating the General Assembly delegate choosing policy. Her perspective in discussions at Board meetings will be missed.


Erin Eichelberger


Board of Trustees


The Board is working to be more accessible to our congregational members. We want to try something new. This coming Sunday, November 19th, two board members will be available in the Mesquite Room for 30 minutes following the church service. Anyone wishing to ask questions or voice concerns is welcome to join us in the Mesquite Room. This Sunday it will be Jess Weinberg and Sally Wistrand. Let's talk!

Mesquite Madness is successful!

Together we raised $13,293 from Sunday's silent auction. It was a great day.  Thank you Donors, Bidders and Crew for your generosity of time, talent, and treasure. In case you missed it, be on the lookout for the Second Chance Sales notice in next week's newsletter.

RE Committee: November 17th 5-6pm

        The Religious Exploration Committee is always looking for new friends and we want YOU! The REC meetings are a space to talk through the future of Religious Exploration, create new and exciting ideas, and address any concerns that may arise. We strive to create joyful and fun opportunities for children and families to grow spiritually, ethically, and personally in order to fearlessly live as their best selves and courageously assist all others to do the same. We will accomplish this through multigenerational programming, congregational events, and much much more. Attending these meetings does not require you to be on the committee or do any additional work outside of meeting times if you so choose.  

 If this is something you would like to be a part of, please join us for our next meeting. We hope to see you there!

Join Zoom Meeting5-6pm

Meeting ID: 818 2219 2874

S'mores and Songs: All Ages Sing Along

November 18 | 6pm to when the songs run out | at MVUU at 3235 W. Orange Grove Rd

Connect. Share. Create. 

What better way to enjoy our cooling weather than with a campfire and S'mores?! We'll meet on the patio at MVUU for some desserts and a sing along. We'll start with the UU hymnals, but sing whatever moves us! Bring song ideas and a dessert to share.

** Attention*** We are looking for musicians who would like to play during this event and those who would like to help in other ways. Please email if you are interested.

Thank you for helping make our halls come alive with song!

We may not catch up with member Grace Yelland each week, because she

volunteers in the religious exploration room, doing something she loves, working

with children! Once in a while, she serves as a flutist during the Sunday service.

Since Grace and spouse Joel Yelland moved here in 2021, she has looked for

opportunities in the community to be with children. After all, she retired from

being a pediatrician, and they raised two children at home. When our MVUU

building opened in 2022, she began to volunteer each week, and she says it is

“FUN.” In January, Grace will be teaching OWL sexuality education for seventh through ninth graders.

“Kids are my number one reason for living,” Grace commented. Young children

“are like little sponges, so honest, with no agenda and preconceived notions.”

Grace creates craft projects that children can do, like a recent handprint craft. She believes kids always deserve “second chances.” The relaxed style in RE is by

intention, to invite learning and be aware of a child’s own needs at a particular

time. One who goes to play in a corner might well be hearing the story lesson.

At her previous UU church, Grace wrote her own stories for all ages to match

the week’s sermon, and she read them to the whole congregation. She also had

puppets who “spoke” to the pandemic.

Grace participates in MVUU’s School Partnerships program at Laguna

Elementary School, tutoring small groups and assisting in the classroom two days

a week. Recently, she did a classroom presentation to go along with a curriculum

about Pacific Rim countries, presenting a talk about the region’s places where she had visited or lived. She also donates one full day a month to sitting on the Pima County Foster Care Review Board.

In 2018, Debbie Roberts joined the Pastoral Associates, encouraged by her

partner Tom Sawyer. Since 2021, she had led the team which plans the services,

both with Rev. Matthew and for the Sundays he is not in the pulpit. This year she

has worked with Robin Bousel co-leading.

Although Debbie came to MVUU in 2010 when she retired from teaching in

Massachusetts, she was a winter resident, going to her Cape Cod home during the summers. She met Tom at MVUU in 2016, after they both attended a Mesquite Madness Superbowl party.

Debbie joined the MVUU Board from 2015 to 2017, while she was still a

“snowbird” and was the first to do so. She always sang in choir, and for the last

several years in the music group UU4X! She also served as MVUU Membership

chair, then for a second time for a year in 2018. Answering the call to service once more, in 2019, she stepped into a one-year Nominating Committee vacancy.

During the pandemic, when we were planning and creating the new building

space, Debbie co-led the Ambiance Team with Elizabeth Van Horn, furnishing and

decorating the new space. She said she was amazed they were able to do so much by zoom meetings in their creative process for this visual project.

Volunteering has long been a way of life for Debbie. She has been a UU since

1988 in Brewster, MA, and later in Needham, MA, where she enjoyed being chair

of the Fun and Fellowship Committee and, of course singing in the Choir and First Parish Singers group.

Debbie has worn several educational hats during her career: classroom teacher;

teacher trainer; department head; program director, and Specialist for Foreign

Languages for the state of Massachusetts. Her love of our desert is reflected in

the color choices throughout our building!

When we stopped in-person MVUU services in 2020, member Pi Irwin, also vice president of the MVUU Board of Trustees, stepped forward. With Julie Slayton Frank, she set up the Caring Circles so that we would not lose touch with each

other during the pandemic. These small groups provided support as each circle chose its own way to be organized…times, topics, process.

Intended for members and friends to share in a personal way, the “Caring Hearts” as they were called then, were offered to everyone in our community. New people were offered a group through today,. This is the FOURTH year Pi has

volunteered with this ministry!

Also, while she was Vice President, the congregation searched and found a new

home, a “sometimes turbulent process”, she said. Pi led the Council meetings

twice yearly and served ex officio on the new building Ambiance team in 2020.

In those same years, Pi was organizer of the Baja 4 presence at the Tucson

Festival of Books. Pi then served three years on the Nominating Committee through June 2023. “I think it is a key committee,” Pi said. “While we are a covenantal community, we need good leadership to carry out our vision.”

Pi was part of enlarging the scope of Nominating, from selecting candidates for

election to developing leaders, recognizing leaders and letting the congregation

become aware of the roles leaders play.

Pi and her spouse Zsombor Zoltan joined MVUU in 2016, while still spending half

the year in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and they became full time residents here in


Earlier in life, Pi raised her family in Tucson as a member of UUCT. She worked as

a teacher, principal, staff development researcher and assistant superintendent

for TUSD and was an adjunct professor at the UA. Later she moved to a

superintendent’s job in Illinois.


Chuck Tatum

Professor Emeritus of Spanish, University of Arizona

If there is sufficient interest, I would like to offer a five-week (two hours per session) adult education course on Tucson’s Mexican (Sonoran) and Mexican American past and present. The course, which will begin in late January at MVUU, is designed to provide an understanding and appreciation of the depth, complexity, and richness of Mexican Americans that comprise almost 40 percent of Tucson’s population.

Some of the topics that will be covered are: Tucson’s transition from

a Mexican to a Mexican American urban center; racial/ethnic/class

dynamics between Anglo-Europeans and Mexican Americans; spatial

conflict and urban renewal; political activism and organizing in the 1960s and 1970s; the Raza Studies controversy at TUSD and book banning in the 2000s; Mexican Americans’ thriving cultural life during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; the role of Tucson’s Spanish-language newspapers; Spanish-language radio from the 1930s to the present; music from Lalo Guerrero to the annual Mariachi Conference; the oral tradition: corridos (ballads) and transcribed interviews); Spanish-language and activist theater; muralism in Tucson; religious and secular celebrations.

Recommended reading: Tom Sheridan. Los Tucsonenses: The

Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854-1941; Lydia Otero. La Calle: Spatial Conflict and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City.

If you are interested in the course, please contact me by email

(; phone (520 262 3270); or in person after Sunday service. Please do so by December 15th .

Thanksgiving potluck November 23

You are invited to join our annual MVUU potluck

We will meet at the fellowship hall at 1 PM. The committee of the whole d will set up the tables in the sanctuary and the groaning board in the oasis. We expect to serve dinner around 2 PM

If you are available and interested, join us, please contact Hobart Denny at 253-857-5171 or email

Let me know how many will be in your party, and what potluck item you will bring

Please come prepared as you would for a picnic or camping bring your beverage of choice all your plates, silverware, glasses, napkins, and your potluck offering. Be prepared to take everything home with you, including leftovers after the event.

The cleanup, and resetting up the sanctuary will be done by the committee of the whole. Last year 50 people attended the potluck.

We look forward to being with you all

If you have any questions, please contact me

Cholla Chowtime 2024 .....

...The Interconnected Web of Dining Together...

Cholla Chowtime is a program of potluck dinner in homes, once a month for four months. Many congregations have dinner programs so please read how we do it at MVUU.


 Check if you can commit to these four dates: January 6, February 3, March 2, and April 6. If you can, sign up as Regulars.  Exceptions can be made if you can only attend three months IF we know in advance. You must designate that month when you sign up.

If you cannot commit to at least three of the months but want to participate, be a Substitute. We need both Regulars and Substitutes for Chowtime to work.


Regulars will host one of the four potluck dinners for 7-9 people (including yourselves) in their homes. They provide the entrée and beverages. The host asks their guests to bring an appetizer, salad, or dessert.  

Singles who want to be Regulars should be able to host 7-9 people. If not, they will be paired with a single who can.  


If you have extreme dietary needs, you can always bring your own food.

Sign-up in the Oasis on November 19 and 26 or email me anytime. Signup deadline is November 26. The rotation schedule will be sent to all Regulars in December in plenty of time for the January 6 dinner.

If you have questions, contact me at or 520-572-2011.

Jane Paul, for the team:

Michelle Vedus-Deeney

Ingrid Rahaim

Marie Nibel

On Friday, December 1, we will hike the Alamo Loop in Catalina State Park. It is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail in Catalina State Park that features a waterfall and is rated as easy to moderate depending on if you go to the waterfall The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running. We will meet at across the street from Catalina State Park at the former Chase Bank parking lot in the Oro Valley Market Place at 8;45. Then we will carpool to the park. Please bring your state pass if you have one. Sunscreen, a hat, and water, recommended. Since there are water crossings, hiking poles are recommended. RSVP to me by November 27. so I know how many hikers to expect. Last minute change please text. I don’t check my email more than once a day. Any questions, let me know.


For seekers of contentment and understanding, turn to books found under BUDDHISM.

The Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Journeys. A heart to heart conversation between the author, Victor Chen and the Dalai Lama, as they traveled the globe together. In this book you can hear the voice of His Holiness and are invited to listen in on his journey toward wisdom.

Welcoming the Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted

World. In an increasingly polarized world, spiritual teacher Pema Chodron offers us tools to find common ground, even when we disagree, so we can build a stronger and broader sense of community.

MVUU Movies at the Loft: Last Summer a group of MVUU Loft and Dinner Movie Goers have enjoyed each other's company by watching a Loft movie and having a meal together.
Now that it is Autumn, we would like to extend this offer to others in our congregation. Please join us for a film each month at the Loft (except December). You do not have to attend every month. A descriptions of the movie will be sent via email along with the name of chosen restaurant for a Before or After treat. 
If you would like to be included on this email distribution list, please contact Bonnie Grant Baird at Please reply with your name, email address and phone number. 

Dance to Heal

Mondays 10 a.m. 2334 E. Prince Rd.  $17/week car pooling may be arranged.  

We dance to heal ourselves and our world. This one hour class incorporates yoga, balance exercises, meditation, and stretching as well as dance. Most of the participants are older women, (65+) but there is no sex or age limitation. We often dance "free form", to a suggestion or theme. Sometimes we learn a bit of choreography. Often we dance with eyes closed, because the main purpose is to let our bodies discover the movement they need and want.  

For more information contact Ann Bowling 815-209-9413 or email:

Art Group

Many people find art to be therapeutic as well as fun! Ginny & Chuck Stack invite other adult UUs to join them once, or regularly, at an Art Group to be held at the church from 9am – noon on selected Saturdays of each month. Any sort of creative expression is welcome, including but not limited to: fused glass, mosaics, ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpting, fabric arts, cartooning, photography, crafts and coloring books. In a supportive group context, makers can share their past and current creations, work on current projects, and if desired, teach their art form to other group attendees. Even if you haven’t created anything yet, you are welcome if interested!

Please contact Ginny for dates the group will meet:

Phone-Text: (630) 841-8705 or



Coming back beginning on Friday afternoon, January 5th, Mah Jong from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00p.m. in the Oasis Room at MVUU. Any further information contact Barb Seyfried.

OWL Classes @ MVUU starting in January 2024


If you know anyone who might be interested please direct them to our website to register. If you have any questions, email

November Woven Basket Partner: Emerge

Mission: Emerge provides the opportunity to create, sustain and celebrate a life free from abuse.

Vision: We believe that communities where everyone is safe are possible.

Emerge's Philosophy: At Emerge, we believe in supporting survivors.

  • We believe that each survivor’s experience is different, and therefore, all services are driven by the needs of the survivor and their family.
  • We believe that a survivor knows their story – and their safety – best.
  • We address all forms of domestic abuse, not just the physical.

2021 Impact Report for Tucson, AZ: Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse provides services and resources to families in our community, to support them in rebuilding their lives free from abuse. 

  • 5,043 People Served
  • 7,090 Calls Made to 24 HR Hotline
  • 19,196 Emergency shelter beds provided to families

To Learn More Visit

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 in the memo line.


Dance to Heal

NEW TIME and LOCATION Mondays, 10 a.m. for more information contact Ann Bowling 815-209-9413 or email:

The Sunday Book Group on Zoom

We will be reading and discussing this book until November 19.  For more information contact John Clark at


We are a group of enthusiastic readers who meet on the last Tuesday of the month at 2PM by ZOOM. The next meeting is on Tuesday, November 28. The book is The 1619 Project: a New Origin Story, Created by Nikole Hannah-Jones. This is a very significant book. If you are interested in joining us or have questions, contact Anne Leonard at or call 520-307-8045. 

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 Tom Sawyer

Caring Circles

Join a Caring Circle to connect, strengthen, and expand ties within our congregation. Circles meet weekly or bi-weekly via Zoom and/or in person. Got Questions? Email Pi Irwin


We are a Welcoming Congregation, inviting all LGBTQs in all areas of our community. If you want to speak to someone from the church about LGBTQ+ issues, email or text MVUU's affiliated minister, Rev. Christiane Heyde (520) 393-9960.

Volunteer with MVUU!

If you are a part of a volunteer team or would like to join others supporting our community, please click on

Volunteer with MVUU for more information and to sign up!

Fellowship Hour Goodies & Treats Sign Up

We now are ready to welcome the congregation's participation via the Fellowship Hour Goodies Sign Up for each week. We cater to those with special food preferences and request only one to two items per category. Thank you!

MVUU Membership Invitation

If you are interested in joining our community and would like to become a member at MVUU, please email


Woven Basket Partner

Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse

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

For login directions Email

Newsletter Deadlines: The next newsletter will be published Friday, November 24th. Submit articles to Administrator@mvuu.orgby 12 pm, Monday November 20th. No Exceptions. Articles may not exceed 250 words. Thank you.