Newsletter: Worship and Community (Feb15, 2024)

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson. We welcome diversity. We commit to undo racism and all other oppressions in ourselves, our church,

and our community.

Saint Valentine is the patron saint of love. Believers say God worked through his life to perform miracles and teach people how to recognize and experience true love. This famous saint, an Italian doctor who later became a priest, inspired the creation of the holiday of Valentine’s Day.

Worship and Other Announcements

Sunday Worship, February 18, 2024

“To Belong To:

Stewardship Sunday”

Worship Lead: Rev. Bethany Russell-Lowe

Worship Associate: Brenda Lundt

Worship Leaders: Jamili Omar, Brian Moon, and Danielle Mepham

From Your Board President and Minister

As your Board and Minister begin planning for the 2024-25 church year, we want to share some financial targets that the Finance Committee has been assembling in advance of this year’s pledge drive. Some of these financial goals are longer term, and some of them we hope we can meet starting next church year. These financial goals include: 

  • Promote Jamili to the role of Assistant Minister (¾ time)
  • Give a 3% cost of living raise to all staff each year
  • Give our Fair Share payment to the UUA ($25,152) 
  • Give our Fair Share payment to UUJAZ ($10/member)
  • Budget 10% of salary for Professional Development for Minister(s) 
  • Continue funding collaborative Baja 4 work

We want to express gratitude to the Finance Committee for collecting budget priorities from church leaders earlier this year, so we can more accurately determine how much we need to raise to meet our goals. 

The Board wants to congratulate Jamili for completing her seminary/internship this spring and wishes her well as she sees the Ministerial Fellowship Committee in March. The Board has recommended that we continue Jamili’s employment at ¾ time as our Assistant Minister starting in July 2024. Contracting an Assistant Minister with a Master of Divinity degree requires a salary commensurate with UUA guidelines and accounts for the biggest single increase in this estimated budget. 

There will be a Town Hall on Sunday, November 18th at noon in Servetus where you can ask the Finance Committee and Board members any questions you have about these financial goals. 

There will be a formal presentation of the final budget, based on the pledges received and other estimated income, on Sunday, April 28th, the Sunday before Annual Meeting.  

Wendy Gordon Weeks, Board President

Rev. Bethany Russell-Lowe, Minister

Stewardship Budget Presentation

The Stewardship Campaign to fund UUCT for the next fiscal year (July 2024 to June 2025) kicks off this Sunday. The Finance Committee has identified financial goals and estimated a budget for the fiscal year. It is up to us to pledge our financial support to this budget. There will be a presentation of the goals and budget, Q&A, and feedback opportunity this Sunday after the Worship Service. The Stewardship Budget is available here

The process for funding UUCT:

  1. Everyone is asked to pledge as generously as you can.
  2. The Finance Committee, with input from the Board, will balance the budget against the pledges.
  3. The balanced budget will be presented.
  4. The congregation will adopt a budget at our May Annual Meeting. 

Please attend Sunday’s meeting to learn what is needed to fund UUCT in fulfilling its mission and then pledge your support; raising from last year if you can.

Your Finance Committee: Frank Valdes, JD Garcia, Bill Hoffman, Janet Moore, Craig McComb

Worship In the Woods

Our scouting day for the Monday 2/12 Worship in the Woods was prevented by the weather so we need to postpone our hike. Our new date is Monday 2/26, weather permitting. If you haven’t already, please let me know if you would like to join us and please tell me whether you are interested in the 2-mile or 4-mile route. DEADLINE FOR EMAILING ME IS WED FEB 21st.

We hope to see you at the rescheduled date.

For the Worship in the Woods team,

Rev Lisa McDaniel-Hutchings

Affiliated Minister, UU Church of Tucson

UUCT’s Board of Trustees Currently

Has a Vacancy

If you are interested in being part of the Board or would like to learn more about it, please email The Board meets on the third Sunday of each month from 12:30 to 2:30.

How to Give to the Church

You are asked to use our credit card service which can be reached by the link above. Other options include Online Giving button on our website, the very easy to use Text-to-Give number (1-833-361-5796), or checks may be given during Sunday service, or mailed to the office:

4831 E 22nd Street Tucson AZ, 85711

Please make checks payable to UUCT and state the purpose of the donation in the memo line.

Connections in Community

UUCT Annual Auction

The 2024 “Sing it Blue” auction is now a thing of the past. About 100 people attended and dined on the delicious southern food prepared by the kitchen volunteers. Entertainment was provided by several talented church members singing jazzy tunes. Over 110 items were available for bid and purchase. As always, the donated dinners and activities were the most popular sellers. Thank you to the many donors. 

The auction made over $12,000 for the church.  

Bidders, your invoice statements were emailed to you Monday, February 12th. Please pay on the webpage or mail a check to the office.

Donors, your donation receipt will be emailed shortly.

A few dinners and parties are still available and listed below. Additional dinner details are available on the UUCT auction webpage.

1. Michael Servetus Soul Food BBQ with Preston and Betsy McMillan – $105

2. Green Valley brunch and a hike with Jennifer Martin and Francis Prevot – $55

3. Pool party and movie under the stars with Liz Ravenwood – $45

4. Gourmet picnic lunch with Sandy and Bo Ongley – $45

5. Appetizers on the patio with Barb Ricca and Ken Asch – $25

6. Magic Workshop with Frank and Carolyn Valdes – $20

7. Astronomy Salon with Frank and Carolyn Valdes – $20

8. Digital Photography Workshop with Alisha Clarke – $25

9. Heart quilt (in Goddard) by the UUCT Quilters – $100

Thank you to the wonderful auction team (Barb, Liz, Larry, Kass, Beth and Georgia) and volunteers who made the night such a success. Your talents are truly appreciated.  If you have any questions about the auction or wish to purchase one of the remaining dinners contact Barb Ricca at:

Pop-Up Pledge Parties

Several Pop-Up Pledges Parties are getting lined up and you will be able to start signing up for a party on Sunday.

So far, the offerings included dessert with a word game at Bob Gordon and Steve Kraynak’s, an afternoon tea at the Garcia’s, a card party at the Tolley’s and a brunch and storytelling at Carolyn Saunders.

What idea do you have for a fun event? The number of guests to invite is up to you, as well as the time, place and activity.

Join the fun. Sponsor a Pop-Up Pledge Party: PopUp

Holland Remodel Update

Good News!


The HVAC equipment has arrived and is sitting on its cement pad. The new electrical panels will go in at the end of this week.

There has been concern about the security of this valuable piece of equipment. We are evaluating changes to the fencing, to strapping down the equipment so that the panels are not easily removed to get into the inner workings, and adding perhaps motion sensor lighting and recording camera to our security system in this area. A group is working on this.

Margot Garcia for the Building Group 

Community Office Hours With Rev. Bethany

and Pastor Jamili

Join us for community office hours every Thursday, from 12-2pm at Tucson Coffee Roasters on Craycroft, just south of Broadway. 

These office hours are a great time for casual conversation with either Rev. Bethany or Pastor Jamili, and whoever else shows up!

Tucson Coffee Roasters is located next to Miss Saigon, on Craycroft just south of Broadway. 

Spirited Conversations

Feb 15 | 5:00-7:00pm | Panera Bread at 6129 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85711 (east side) 

Wonder. Values. Wisdom. 

Join Jamili at Panera Bread on the Second Thursday of the month for deep discussions over your favorite beverage or dinner. Jamili will come prepared with a few opening questions, and you bring yours! Let’s talk about the meaning of life or the things that make life meaningful.  

Make New Snowbird Friends + Keep the Old 2/21 MVUU

UUCT TBIRDS return to MVUU for a citywide monthly potluck at noon on Wednesday February 21, bringing their own beverages, dishware, and utensils as well as food to share. Returning snowbirds have welcomed newcomers to Tucson this winter, increasing turnout at each monthly gathering. Contact to subscribe for TBIRD google group announcements. 

End-of-Life Study Group

Monthly, 3rd Wednesdays, On-going

Date: February 21, 2024

Time: 2-3:30 pm

Place: Goddard Hall

Led by Rev. Linda Bunyard, Retired Minister, in Affiliation with UU Church of Tucson

The End-of-Life Study Group is a time and place:

*to share our individual progress on the tasks of preparing for our own death (grief, practical, legal, medical, financial, memorial and burial);

*to share information on state and local resources such as Five Wishes, Choice & Dignity, Inc., AZ Attorney General’s Life Care Planning;

*to listen and to talk about grieving, about facing our own death;

*to be a support to one another as we each face the end of life.

The group is open. We have a covenant for how we will work together. There are local speakers and resources that we may bring to the UU Church of Tucson this year.

For Information: 

2nd Thursday UUCT Book Club

March 14, 2024

“The Other Americans”

by Laila Lalami

Late one spring night in California, Driss Guerraoui—father, husband, business owner, Moroccan immigrant—is hit and killed by a speeding car. The aftermath of his death brings together a diverse cast of characters: Guerraoui’s daughter Nora, a jazz composer returning to the small town in the Mojave she thought she’d left for good; her mother, Maryam, who still pines for her life in the old country; Efraín, an undocumented witness whose fear of deportation prevents him from coming forward; Jeremy, an old friend of Nora’s and an Iraqi War veteran; Coleman, a detective who is slowly discovering her son’s secrets; Anderson, a neighbor trying to reconnect with his family; and the murdered man himself.

As the characters—deeply divided by race, religion, and class—tell their stories, each in their own voice, connections among them emerge. Driss’s family confronts its secrets, a town faces its hypocrisies, and love—messy and unpredictable—is born. 


The Zoom meeting opens by 9:20am, book discussion starts at 9:30am

Caring Curmudgeons in Covenant: Article II Revision Discussion, four Wednesday afternoons in February: Feb. 7, 14, 21, and 28 | 3:00pm to 4:30pm | At MVUU 3235 W. Orange Grove Rd

This month, Rev. Matthew from MVUU will be leading a discussion group, “Caring Curmudgeons in Covenant” on the Article II changes. 

Using the Wellspring curriculum that has inspired Jamili and Rev. Tina Article II gatherings, this online group will meet on the four Wednesday afternoons in February: Feb. 7, 14, 21, and 28, from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. 

If you care about the future of Unitarian Universalism and identify as a curmudgeon please contact Rev. Matthew (Matthew.FunkeCrary@MVUU(dot)org) for the Zoom link and preparatory materials.

Can’t make the Article II Discussion in February? Look for the one at UUCT in March with Pastor Jamili

Fridays, March 1, 8, 15, 22 | 11am-12:30pm | at UUCT Servetus Room and on Zoom

Details and RSVP Here by February 26

Grief Group, Sundays after Church@12:15, in the Emerson Room. 

A Warm Invitation to any church /community member who is experiencing a deep sense of grief or loss. Whether your loss is due to the death of a loved one, end of a marriage, a pet passing, and even painful estrangement from children or others, come and share with others who understand and are also healing their own hearts.

With sharing, there is comfort ahead for your broken heart. Leave a message for facilitator Lynnie Bradley (520)235-5812 for meeting details.

Festival of Books

The Baja 4 is once again sponsoring a table at the Festival of Books March 9 and 10. What a great chance to reach out to other readers and talk about our liberal faith! Steve Bottorff and Melody Luepke are organizing a collection of UU read books to give away to festival goers. We think this will show people that we are good readers AND liberal thinkers! To that end, you may start dropping books off at church on Sundays: We will provide white laundry baskets labeled BOOKS FOR THE FESTIVAL. We will collect books in February and then take them to the festival for distribution. 

We also need volunteers to work in our booth! It is a relatively easy job, chatting with interesting people and passing out books and bookmarks. Each shift is 3 hours with a break.

We will have a Zoom planning meeting February 8 at 6:00. All are welcome.

Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 216 650 2034

Passcode: pewter

Please contact Steve or Melody for details or to sign up for slots.

Check out the Festival itself at https://tucsonfestivalofbooks

Social Justice

Share the Plate

Our Share the Plate recipient for February is The Hermitage No Kill Cat Shelter:

Our Vision

All cats have permanent and loving homes, and euthanasia of convenience is non-existent

Our Mission

To advocate for the welfare of cats by being a model cage free sanctuary and no-kill shelter

Our Core Values







Dear Beloveds, 

Registration for our Spring Within programs is OPEN!!!

We are currently building new communities of learners in both of our Gathering Our Selves programs (for Black, Indigenous, People of Color participants) and our Un/Learning for Liberation program (for white participants). Join us for a deep dive into the personal, transformative, spirit-growing work each of us needs to do around issues of race, identity, and justice, in relationship with other folks who share some similar experiences!

Within is a 12-week spiritual formation program that mixes multi-media learning and reflection at your own pace, processing in small groups, and worshipping together in community! You can access it entirely online and the materials are accessible for up to a year after the start of the program.

Registration will run from February 1st through February 29th and the Spring Term will kick off on March 12th, 2024.

Questions may be referred to Steve Kraynak @

Cafe Justo!

Sales – and delivery – of Café Justo coffee is now for sale on Sundays! This Social Justice Council (SJC) project benefits small-scale, shade-grown organic coffee growers in Chiapas, Mexico. All bags of coffee are just $12 a piece.

We need help selling coffee on Sunday mornings. No one wants to miss out on coffee hour visits, but how about doing it once a month. Can you commit to doing the coffee sales on the 1st Sunday of each month or maybe the 2nd Sunday? 

First come first served on Sunday choices. Email Margo Newhouse

at to volunteer.

Please contact Sue Watts for more information:



TUESDAY, February 27, 2024.

Many of our members prepare hard boiled eggs for Casa Maria for our monthly egg run, which is always the last Tuesday of every month. A volunteer is always at the church parking lot from 8 am until 9 am on that day to receive them. Do NOT peel the eggs. Once chilled, place them back in the egg cartons and write HB on each one, and write HARD BOILED on the top of the carton.

Please contact Sue Watts for more information:

Lotsa Pasta – Food Drive

During the month of February, UUCT will once again collect pasta for the ICS food bank.  Collection boxes will be located near the south entrance to Goddard. Items being collected are bags / boxes of dry pasta, cans or plastic bottles of pasta sauce (NO GLASS) and boxes of macaroni and cheese.  Contact Barbara Ricca at if you have questions.

Religious Education Opportunities!

Lifespan Faith Development Newsletter!

At the end of every week your Lifespan Faith Development Team (programming for people of all ages) sends a newsletter.

To sign up for the newsletter, send an email to or sign up here.

Baja 4 Calendar of Events

It’s the Baja 4 tool that will allow you to predict the future. You’ll know what events are happening before anyone else!


You can also sign up for the LFD newsletter! Simply send an email to Sonora at or resister HERE:

Check out our calendar of events at HERE.

Welcome to Sunday Mornings!

Sunday mornings with the Baja 4! Where can you learn about what makes us Unitarian Universalist, famous UUs, UU values, UU history, and what YOU personally believe? Sunday mornings in the Baja 4, of course!

Come learn about who we are and how YOU fit in here. Find more information on each website. 

Sunday Mornings

• UUCT –weekly Information at

• MVUU –weekly Information at

• SIUU –drop in when you can! Information at

Parenting: the Early Years

March 3 | 10:00-11:00am | Zoom

Values. Connection. Inspiration. 

This monthly group is designed for those adults raising children who are ages birth to 10, but everyone is welcome. This is an amazing group of adults that come together to talk about topics relevant to our daily lives, specifically about navigating ethical, religious, and spiritual questions with a UU lens. Monthly topics will reflect the learning the kids experience on Sunday Morning. Come talk about ways to extend these lessons through the month! 


  • Feb = Love 
  • March = Generosity 
  • April = Transformation 
  • May = Community 

We offer support, words of wisdom, and connect to those around us. We hope that you join and share with us.

Join us on Zoom: 

Meeting ID: 975 7892 4511 

Passcode: 973902

Raising Adolescents 

Feb 10 and 24 | 10-11am | Meetings held on Zoom

Connection. Inspiration. Acceptance. 

If you’re an adult raising children who are ages 10-ish to 18-ish, join us for a supportive environment to discuss all the joys and frustrations of “kids these days.” Everyone is welcome, though we will focus primarily on the experiences of tweens and teens, particularly around issues of sexuality, Gender Identity, Relationships, Social Media, Safety and Consent, and more.

Topics to be determined by the group. Bring your wisdom and questions to share. 

Join us on zoom 

Meeting ID: 975 7892 4511 

Passcode: 973902

Chalice Lighters

Are you interested in participating in Worship at UUCT on Sunday morning? Sign up to be a Chalice Lighter!

Our long-term members will remember our beloved tradition of having someone from the congregation light the chalice candle during the reading. Our move to Goddard up ended that tradition, and now is a good time to bring it back!

The actual chalice lighting is fairly simple and risk free. Here are the details:

1. If this is your first time plan to meet with Pastor Jamili or the Worship Associate before 10:15 am to practice and review the Order of Service.

2. Try to sit near the front so there’s only a short walk to the chalice.

3. The chalice lighting will be some time after the welcome. You’ll be able to follow along with the Order of Service and slide show to know when it’s time to go up.

4. Lighting the candles. There will be a tea light burning. You’ll just light the taper candle from the tea light and then light the big candle in the chalice.  

5. Usually the chalice lighting will be a unison reading so you won’t have to say or read anything.

6. Children are welcome to participate in this! Please have an adult assist children under 10 years. They can stay in service after the Chalice Lighting or you can walk them to the nursery.

7. No special attire is required –though you may prefer something non-flammable. 😊  

Questions? Contact Pastor Jamili at