MVUU Newsletter
November 26, 2021
Weekly Calendar

Saturday, Nov 27
Baja 4 Friendsgiving
5 pm Join Zoom

Sunday, Nov 28
Sunday Book Group

Sunday Service LIVE & Fellowship Hour Online
10:30 am Join Zoom

Tuesday, Nov 30
Cholla Chow Time Sign Up Deadline

Bookaholics Unanimous

Men's Night Out
7 pm Join Zoom

Wednesday, Dec 1
MVUU Poetry Group Meeting

*Note: Rev. Samantha is on Thanksgiving vacation from Monday, November 22 to Tuesday, November 30. She will return on December 1. The office will be closed Nov 25 & 26 for Thanksgiving.
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

Busy, busy, busy….
By the time you read this, you will hopefully have had a happy Thanksgiving with friends and family. Your board is ready for a short break from an incredibly busy set of agendas over the last weeks. We held our annual retreat on November 13, and identified several priorities we are working on including financial stability, multi-platform services and growing our congregation. In addition, various board members are working to support a number of initiatives including the Baja 4, the search committee, social justice work, fundraisers, building reopening, building use and security issues and financial planning. We are entering a busy time of many upcoming events and activities including Cholla Chowtime, a yard sale and several upcoming special events. Let me encourage you to get involved in one or more of these events! Check the newsletter for more detailed information. 

Tom Sawyer, MVUU Board President
Care about music at MVUU?

Fill out our music survey! Your answers help us reimagine and rebuild our MVUU Music Program. Your contribution also supports our Music Director, Chris Tackett, in finding out all of the potential people interested in making music together.
Pastoral Care Updates

Pastoral Care invites you to two opportunities to care for our community at this time:

Welcoming a New Baby for Amanda and Joe: We are thrilled to announce the future arrival of another baby in our MVUU community! Amanda Lopez, Joe Leonard-Lopez, and Lazer are welcoming a new family member this December. To celebrate and support, please sign up on Mealtrain to provide a meal during the month after the baby is born. Meal Train Sign Up

Support for Evalyn and Leon Bennet-Alder: We are sad to share that Evalyn is currently in the hospital, struggling with a significant infection. At this time, Leon welcomes your phone calls and visits, particularly while they are apart. Please reach out to Leon at (520) 306-1049.

If you are passionate about care, let us know. We welcome volunteers to help us write cards, deliver meals, and support our community. Email Pastoral Care
Baja 4 Friendsgiving
Saturday, Nov 27, 5pm

Whether you have lots of family in town, are headed out to colder climates to celebrate, or don’t like Thanksgiving at all, everyone is welcome to join with Baja 4 friends for a Friendsgiving Zoom Party! Bring a meal, a snack, or just a beverage for some relaxed, family-friendly social time. We’ll hear from our November social justice partner, Casa Alitas, about their work providing assistance to asylum-seekers released from ICE and Border Patrol detention.
We’ll also work on our No Sew Blankets and discuss what other items we can donate to Casa Alitas. Kits will be available after Friendsgiving or with advance notice to

Meeting ID: 571 636 4277
Password: 973902
The Sunday Book Group on Zoom
Sunday, Nov 28, 8:15 am
On Sunday, Nov 28, we begin discussing our new book, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, by David Graeber and David Wengrow. 

This book is “a dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution―from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality―and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation....The Dawn of Everything fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society. This is a monumental book of formidable intellectual range, animated by curiosity, moral vision, and a faith in the power of direct action.”  

We’ll be reading this book into 2022. For questions or a Zoom link, Email John Clark
Cholla Chowtime - Deadline Approaches!
Tuesday, Nov 30

Dinner Dates: January 8, February 12, March 12, April 9

The last day to sign up for these potluck dinners is November 30. That’s four days from today. We have many signups for Regulars (more are welcome). However, we need Substitutes! If you’ve been unable to commit to at least three of the four dates, sign up to Sub. There often are vacancies at the table. When a Host asks you to sub, you’re free to say no but we hope you’ll say yes. 
These dinners are a fun way to get to make new friends in a small group setting. Read the Cholla Chowtime article in this newsletter, then submit the form. If you have any questions, contact Michelle. 

Jane Paul and Michelle Vedus-Deeney
Bookaholics Unanimous
Tuesday, Nov 30, 2pm
We are a group of enthusiastic readers who meet the last Tuesday of the month at 2 pm. 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 next meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov 30 and the book is Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. We are currently meeting 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.
MVUU Poetry Group Meeting
Wednesday, Dec 1, 3 pm

MVUU poets, coming up is another opportunity to share some of your poems in the MVUU Poetry Sharing meeting on Wednesday, Dec 1 at 3 pm on Zoom. You may prepare 1 - 3 poems for reading to the group. If you would like your poems to be displayed with Zoom Screen Sharing as you read them, please Email Alan Harris a day before the meeting. Listeners are always welcome to attend. We don’t critique the poems as in a workshop, but just enjoy and discuss them.
First Friday Hike at Sweetwater Preserve
Friday, Dec 3, 9 am

If people are interested, I would like to resume our First Friday Hikes. All are welcomed. Please Email Susan Calder if you would like to join us. If I don’t get any response from hikers, I’ll cancel the hike. 

We will hike the Saguaro Vista and Black Rock trails in Sweetwater Preserve, about a 3.8 mile hike with outstanding views. Trails are relatively smooth gravel surface with some rock outcroppings. Relatively gentle hills, and no large elevation changes. Meet at the parking lot at 9 am. Wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes and bring water, a hat, and sunscreen. Dogs on a leash are allowed.
Directions: Head west on Ruthrauff Road which becomes El Camino Del Cerro Road west of I-10. Go about 2.5 miles west of I-10, then turn left (south) onto Tortolita Road. Tortolita Road dead ends in the parking lot at the trail head. (See following web site for more info and trail map.)

"Death with Dignity: A Conversation"
A Conversation with Gary Wederspahn of Final Exit Network
Saturday, Dec 4, 2 pm - 4 pm

MVUU is hosting a "Death with Dignity Series" of Adult Education events, designed to support you in exploring your relationship to death and the death with dignity movement.

These events will take place throughout December, January, and February, led by MVUU leaders. You are welcome to join one event or participate in all of them! More information about the full line-up of events will be sent out soon.

We kick off our series on Dec 4 with a special guest Zoom speaker: Gary Wederspahn. Gary is a board member of Final Exit Network, a successor to Hemlock Society, the original death-with-dignity organization. He is a former lay leader at Columbine UU Church. He will explore ethical and practical considerations regarding the right to have a “Good Death” on our own terms when facing the end. There will be much opportunity for discussion, questions, and answers.
Open to the Public
Meeting ID: 987 1701 3906
Speculative Stories: Exploring Fantasy and Science Fiction in Books, Movies, Comics, and Games
Wednesday, Dec 17, 7 pm

Join us (Hanna and Samar) to discuss the way Unitarian Universalist values show up (or don't) in this genre. Learn about bold visions of the future, imaginary worlds, and untried possibilities!

If you're considering attending, feel free to Email Hanna Coy so we know how many to expect. So grab a drink, get comfortable, and join us in exploring different worlds! Join Zoom

Meeting ID: 849 7505 9125
Passcode: 413288
MVUU Nominating Committee

Our Mission at MVUU is “Building an openhearted, welcoming community where we work together in covenant to transform ourselves and our world in love.”

With our Mission in mind, the Nominating Committee at MVUU seeks to identify potential candidates for future elected positions on the Board of Trustees, the Endowment Committee, and our own Nominating Committee.

Please help us! We may not know what skills and experience you have that would make you a perfect fit for one of the positions. You may know someone who would step up if asked. We especially want to encourage folks who have not previously served in these elected positions to consider this opportunity to support the congregation.

Please fill out the Nominating Committee Google Form if you would like to nominate someone or to volunteer yourself. You may also Email Barb Seyfried if you have any questions.

We would like to receive your names by December 20, as we will be planning the slate for next spring’s election. You may send us your own or another’s name at any time through the year, however. This form will be available continually on our website so you may contact us. You are a wonderful community with many hidden talents!

Thank you,

The Nominating Committee:
Barbara Seyfried, Chair; Pi Irwin; Anne Tatum
Mahjong At MVUU
In the past, several members played Mahjong at our different, temporary locations. Anyone interested in playing and beginning again at our new building location? If so, please Email Barb Seyfried
Dance for Healing
Mondays at 10 am

Open to anyone interested in safely learning to increase flexibility and motion through conscious movement that incorporates mindfulness, for physical and/or emotional healing. Join us at the Jewish Community Center on Mondays, 10 a.m. Class is 1 hour long, cost is $15/week. Questions? I'll be glad to offer answers: Email Ann Bowling or call (815) 209-9413
Cholla Chowtime  2022: The Interconnected Web of Dining Together

Cholla Chowtime provides an opportunity to get to know each other in small groups sharing a potluck dinner in a home once a month for four months. Many congregations have small group dinner programs so be sure to read here how we do it at MVUU.

2022 Dinner Dates
January 8
February 12
March 12
April 9

Check your calendars to see if you can commit to these dates. If you can, sign up as "Regulars." Exceptions can be made if you can only attend three of the dates as long as we know about it in advance. Designate that date on the signup form and we’ll shuffle the schedule to accommodate this.

If you cannot commit to at least three of the dates but want to participate, sign up to be a Substitute. We need both Regulars and Substitutes for the program to work. 
All participants must be fully vaccinated for Covid 19.
Regulars will host one of the four potluck dinners in their homes. They will provide the entrée and beverages. The host will be provided with their guest names on the Cholla Chowtime schedule. The host will ask each of their guests to bring either an appetizer, salad, or dessert.  
Singles who want to be Regulars will be asked if they can host 7-9 people in their home. If there isn’t space to seat 7-9, you will be paired with another single who is able to host. The single who can’t host often provides the entrée as a way of sharing the work.

To Sign Up for the 2022 Cholla Chow Time, Click HERE

The deadline for signing up is November 30. The Cholla Chowtime rotation schedule will be sent to all Regulars in early December in plenty of time for the January 8 dinner. 
If you have questions, Email Michelle Vedus-Deeney or call (520) 638-7516
Michelle Vedus-Deeney, Cholla Chowtime Facilitator
Got Time and Talent?

If so, the Pastoral Associates (PA) Team would like to know! 

Starting in January, we will be producing more of our own services at MVUU. As we work together with Rev. Sam to plan these services, we are inviting members of the congregation to join us in co-creating our sacred space each Sunday. 

Do you have an offering you want to make? Perhaps you play a musical instrument, have a flair for drama, write children’s stories or poetry, rap, guide prayer or lead meditation, maybe even juggle -- we want to know! Our services are creative and dynamic and your unique offerings are welcome.

If you are interested in being part of our Sunday services in the coming year, please let us know what you are excited to do by sending an email to: If you want to learn more about Sunday services or discuss your offering further, please Email Rev. Sam.
Baja 4 Life Development Announcements
Unitarian Universalists from across Southeast Arizona

Collecting Donations for Casa Alitas
Casa Alitas is experiencing a BIG surge in the number of guests through their facilities - sometimes as many as 80-100 per day! Can we help them with extra gifts of warm clothes (sweatshirts, sweat pants, socks, etc)? 

The month of November, our LFD Social Justice Project partner is Casa Alitas, also known as the Alitas Program of Catholic Community Services (CCS), is a humanitarian aid project committed to providing assistance to asylum-seekers released from ICE and Border Patrol detention into our community. Volunteers offer support by providing hospitality, including housing, food, clothing, toiletries, advocacy, and travel assistance. Our goal is to provide a welcoming, comfortable, safe, and healthy location for the guests to await their journeys, and to prepare them to reunite with family across the country. More at
They are specifically in need of donations of:
  • New underwear for men, women, and children
  • New warm clothes including (hoodies, sweats, and leggings) for men, women, and children
  • Backpacks of all sizes
This month we also want to collect and donate lap-sized blankets to send with the guests heading to cold weather. One options is to create a No-Sew Blanket! Instructions for the blankets are below for those with their own fabric or who can purchase their own. You can request kits via Email HERE and find

Young Adult Revival Network: An Opportunity for Young Adults
We are proud to introduce YARN, the UU Young Adult Revival Network. YARN is a project to rebuild the continental UU young adult network! This includes our growing identity groups, our worship services, monthly leadership calls, three online conferences, and more. Curious to find out more? YARN is on:

Discord (for young adults only)
November Woven Basket: EMERGE
Center Against Domestic Abuse
Emerge gives direct help to those who are in abusive situations. They believe “ that together, we can build a community where every individual lives free from abuse.” They give immediate help through a hot line, and emergency shelter. Ongoing help includes supporting survivors with their physical emotional needs. They normally  accept donations of money and goods specific to each family. 

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 Beth Williams or Email Connie Casebolt
MVUU's New LGBTQ+ Affinity Group Discussion
Every Other Sunday, Dec 5, 2 pm
Join us every other Sunday at 2 pm online for 1-2 hours for games, support and planning future events! Join Zoom
Chronic Pain Support Group
Every Other Tuesday at 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
Taproot: A National BIPOC Space
Thursday, Dec 9, 7 pm
BIPOC Leaders are invited to take part in this monthly, virtual gathering. Once registered, you will receive the zoom connection information in your confirmation email.
Book GroUUp Fall 2021
Friday, Dec 16, 12 pm
Join us on the third Friday of each month at noon. Next book: Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis. Register HERE
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, Dec 3. Submit articles to by 12 pm, Monday, Nov 29. No Exceptions. Articles may not exceed 250 words. Thank you.