On this Veteran's Day weekend, we will take a closer look at what patriotism means. Can patriotism extend across national borders? What can we love and be proud of in the United States in 2023? And how does our Unitarian Universalist faith call us express our patriotism?
Join us for a service of both introspection and hope with Rebecca Riggs presenting and Mary Rothschild as Worship Associate. Katie, Jenny, and JC bring the music to worship, alone with the band.
Children start in their classrooms - there will be no story for all ages.
The UU College of Social Justice, UUJAZ and several AZ UU congregations have been participating in a small planning delegation with Borderlinks this week, and I am happy to have been able to join them. We are learning together and thinking about what it would look like to lead a delegation of UU’s in February 2024 and in an ongoing way to bring folks to the Borderlands to learn more about the experiences of migrants at our Southern border. We have listened to stories, traversed the border, learned about organizations doing important work, and had a deeper and embodied encounter with the realities here. We have also begun to dream about what could be, what might be, and how our congregations will work together to engage the work that is calling us here. It has been important to me to re-invest in my own capacity to lead on these issues and to partner/collaborate with other congregations and organizations. I look forward to sharing more with all of you and inviting VUU to help create a team of delegates to return and to learn together as well.
Last week I attended a special meeting at the invitation of VIP and Vice Mayor Matt Orlando to discuss the senior affordable housing development being proposed by Dominium. The VIP delegation reminded those gathered (there were three from the opposition, three of us, and Dominium, plus City staff and two council members) that we believe that Chandler needs to do their part in identifying and pursuing any and all possible solutions to the housing crisis we are experiencing. No city in this metro area can afford to assume that others will provide the needed affordable housing solutions. Next week we will be hosting an event at VUU that will highlight these issues and also report on gains we’ve made working on mental health issues. Please join us! November 14 from 6:30-8:00 at VUU. Barb Quijada has more information on this–please RSVP here.
Please join us this Saturday, November 11 at 2p in the Sanctuary.
Debbie's favorite things included music and joyful congregation of friends and family. Thus we will gather in one of her favorite places to celebrate her life. Please wear vivid colors in honor of Debbie's effervescence!
For those of you who missed it, you can still view the installation ceremony for Rev. Sarah on our YouTube channel. Over 180 folks attended, and we received the blessing of other clergy leaders and partner organizations as well. From the shared musical leadership of UUCP choir members joining us with their music director Benjie Messer to the amazing spread of refreshments and colorful decorations organized by Barbara Quijada and an excellent hospitality team with NIck Carr, Janet Cantley, Laura Rohlfing, Joanne Smith and many more we were able to celebrate and honor our commitment to “Improvise Toward a Shared Future” in ministry at VUU.
Rev. Dr. Samantha Wilson has begun VUU work on the Spirituality of Conflict. She will be our guest speaker. A quote on her approach:
“This is not about fixing a specific thing, or getting ‘rid’ of conflict. The hope is that there is a deeper capacity for engaging conflict in ways that are generative – conflicts grow us and deepen us rather than stop us. This is about tending our congregational culture” - Rev Sam
This Thursday, Adams hosts a visit of Ellie, the robotic elephant! This is a great opportunity to teach kindness to all living creatures, large and small. This is made possible through collaboration with Denise McLeod who works for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). One of the divisions is TeachKind, a humane education program dedicated to teaching children to be kind to animals. Thank you, Denise!
Your Happenings Team compiles the news and calendar each week to make sure you receive all the information you need every Thursday at noon. Most of the work is done on Wednesdays, and each team member takes the lead every second or third week (about three hours), while the others pitch in to edit (30-60 minutes) on their off weeks. To join the team or find out more, contact The Happenings Team here.
Post-Service Zoom Sessions Host
We need a few more folks to be trained and set up to host our zoom sessions after service. Thanks to members of the Pastoral Care team and a few others who have stepped up to help us out in this way. We usually have 7-10 folks looking to have some online conversation and connection after service. Contact Rev. Sarah if you are interested.
A Unitarian Universalist Christmas Pageant
Join us on December 10 as the children and youth of Valley UU remind us how and why we celebrate Christmas. In addition to a fabulous story about the true meaning of Christmas we will be conducting a clothing drive during the pageant.
We will be supporting documented asylum seekers who come to the valley. Please plan to bring new or slightly used outwear for kids and adults:
All children's sizes - sweat shirts and jackets
Adult sizes small, medium & large - jackets
You will want to join us in person - everyone in the sanctuary will receive an "audience participation" bag!
Class schedule for the next 2 months:
Nov. 12 - MS & HS classes meet (offsite visit), Pre-K - 5th grade NO class Pageant Rehearsal (assistants assist with pageant.) OWL classes do NOT meet
Nov. 19 - MS & HS classes meet, Pre-K - 5th grade NO class Pageant Rehearsal (assistants assist with pageant.) OWL classes meet
Nov. 26 - NO classes, all age game day (assistants join us) OWL classes do NOT meet
Dec. 3 - MS & HS classes meet, Pre-K - 5th grade NO class Pageant Rehearsal (assistants assist with pageant.) OWL classes meet
Dec 10 - NO classes, everyone attend Pageant, 10:30 am OWL classes do NOT meet
Dec. 17 - ALL classes meet, OWL classes do NOT meet
Jan. 7 - Everything is back!! All classes and OWL meet.
Jan. 14 - ALL classes meet, OWL classes do NOT meet
Joys and Concerns
Maren Kay Long born Oct. 27
Doug Feisler and Carlin Knight are happily welcoming the newest member of their family: Maren Kay Long, born 10/27/23, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to Dave and Aimee Long, Carlin and Doug's youngest granddaughter. Although this is their first great granddaughter, they already have two wonderful great grandsons, Charlie and Ben. Carlin took daughter Laura to Italy to celebrate major birthdays this year. When they returned to Philadelphia, the icing on the cake was the birth of Maren the day before Carlin returned to Arizona so they all got to meet. What a wonderful blessing!
Welcome Alex Rose!
Gabe and Sophie Penata are overjoyed to share the news of their daughter’s birth! Alexandra Rose was born October 23 at 6:11 pm, weighing 6lbs 9oz. They are all home now, very happy and healthy, and appreciate the many meals VUU members and friends have brought to them!
The Page Turners Book Club is open to all members, visitors, and friends of VUU who enjoy reading and discussing a variety of books. The next meeting is November 16 at 7:00 PM. The book is The House of the Spiritsby Isabel Allende. More information to come.
Volunteering and Giving
VIP Assembly in Chandler
Tuesday, November 14, 6:30 PM
In the VUU Sanctuary
Join Valley Interfaith Project leaders, clergy, and members of VIP congregations from across Maricopa County to support affordable housing for seniors and veterans in Chandler and hear updates on suicide prevention in Chandler Unified School District.
We will share stories and discuss solutions with local elected officials.
Are you interested in Caring Neighbors, Fellowship and Connection Circles? Then come to the Immigration Action Team (IAT) meeting after services Sunday and join as other VUU'ers help our immigrant families learn to live in a new land!
Are you fascinated by Finance and Special Funds? Then come assist IAT in helping families survive in an harsh economy by giving them support balanced with teaching them to become self-sufficient.
Interested in Social Justice? Learn first hand from the experiences of those crossing our borders for asylum and trying to thrive in a system that is stacked against them. Hear how our laws are penalizing asylum seekers and making it virtually impossible for them to succeed.
Interested in Environment Action and food for the planet? See how the IAT is redistributing food to those who need it from grocery stores and produce suppliers that would otherwise go to waste.
Looking for Community Outreach and Faith Formation? Then join the IAT at Refugee Aid distributing clothing and necessities to those in immediate need.
Love "Partners in Education"? Explore opportunities to enrich the lives of our families' children who by a stroke of fortune attend our adopted school, Adams Elementary. Provide English lessons to their eager-to-learn parents.
If you want all that VUU has to offer in one convenient stop, then join the Immigration Action Team for our monthly in-person meeting on Sunday November 12after the service in the Sanctuary.
Enjoy the intersectionality of every VUU Committee and Team in one easy place!
Asylum Seekers often travel into winter condition states with no protection but what Refugee Aid can supply by your and others' donations.
November/December Supplies needed: Place in Refugee Aid Bin in Sanctuary.
Lightly used or new winter clothing, especially sweatshirts, sweaters and coats for men and women (Sizes S/M/L) and children to teens (all sizes). We also accept all seasonal clothing.
Unitarian Universalist Justice Arizona (UUJAZ) is excited to announce that we are currently searching for a new Co-Director of Finance + Operations and a Co-Director of Programming and Partnerships. We welcome all applications and invite you to apply to one or both of these positions. Our organization's mission is to engage Unitarian Universalists in justice-making through strengthening congregational social justice ministries, connecting UU activists and congregations across the state, partnering with like-minded justice organizations, and empowering UUs to work for socially-just public policy. View the full job descriptions by clicking on the images below. Resumes and/or questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org