Mountain Vista Unitarian Universalist Monthly Newsletter

To welcome, care for, and inspire.      
July 2017


Minister's Message

I bring you good tidings! As a congregation, we are about to be more safe, more functional, more centralized, and more comfortable. To speak plainly, we will soon be moving out of Green Fields and into quarters more suited to our needs.

I am deeply grateful to the school for hosting us these past few months and for all the work that went into finding that space and making it work as best as it could. However, we have come to learn that Green Fields is not able to meet our needs as a welcoming, caring, and inspiring religious community. I do not hold them responsible for that inability in any way. They simply were not designed with anything like MVUU in mind. Given their limitations, they have been very accommodating.

When I first saw the space at Green Fields, surrounded by grass, close to a playground, and equipped with the theatrical design that would seem to enable our practices together, I was quite impressed. However, I have learned that I was evaluating the space from the limited perspective of an able-bodied person. I was not living into our values of welcoming all who come. For as we moved in and as the year progressed from winter to summer, a number of issues arose.

Green Fields is not an accessible venue. Parking is not near. Bathrooms are not near. The entry to the theater is treacherous. The chairs are small and the slope of the floor is uncomfortable. The acoustics are not great for a congregation and the poor accompanist can’t hear or see the congregation over the piano. Our Religious Exploration has filled up their space and has not the capacity to grow. The classroom and the office are not designed or equipped to handle the Arizona sun in the summer. That’s quite a list. Again, this is nothing against the school. They simply did not have us in mind when they built their facilities. And why would they?

I am grateful for our time there. And I am doubly grateful for the lessons I have learned and the perspective I have gained by our renting space there. On that note, I want to apologize to all of you who had difficulty attending because of the conditions in which we practiced. I want to apologize to all of your hips, knees, and bladders.

Back when we were looking for a temporary place, our search team suggested Beautiful Savior, a liberal Lutheran church in the neighborhood of our former property on Cromwell. We even had an existing relationship with them as it was in their sanctuary where you all ordained and installed me.

It was a good suggestion that had a catch. We would have to shift our practice time. I feared we would lose people if we did this. In retrospect, this fear was insulting to you. I errantly assumed that your participation in our incredible religious community was a matter of convenience. I am sorry to have thought your commitment so superficial. There was and is NO EVIDENCE to support such an anxiety. Quite the opposite.

As it was we unwittingly choose convenience over accessibility. And if it comes to it, I can say with confidence that I would rather lose people over their schedule (a choice) than their bodies (not a choice). It is a question of ethics and values and given the heart of our community, I doubt it will be much of a question at all in the end.

And so, we will soon be drawing our time at Green Fields to a close. Further, we are in discussions with Beautiful Savior and are hopeful that we will move before summer ends - either into Beautiful Savior or elsewhere. I appreciate that this is yet another transition in a year full of them. But it is the right thing to do and is just another bit of the weird come to joke with us. But we have girded for this. We are holding on loosely to expectation. We are flexible. And, most importantly, we are together… more so in a few weeks than we have been for a while. And that is cause to celebrate. 


Rev. Ron


Presidents Message 

Welcome to the start of a new fiscal year! Yes, as of July 1, MVUU begins our new year. Our 2017-18 board of trustees is in place and meets for the first time on Saturday, July 8. We welcome Pi Irwin, Vice President, Julie Slayton Frank, Treasurer, Jane Paul, Secretary, and trustees David Greene, Kathy Kouzmanoff, and Jan Mulder. In August we will get together for an all-day Board Retreat, to plan for the year – and years – ahead. Then in September we will also be joining the Boards of the other Baja 4 Congregations for a retreat that gives us the opportunity to amplify all our ministries through collaboration, cooperation, and camaraderie.

If you’ve been able to keep up with all the MVUU news, you will know that summer hasn’t slowed our pace.

  • While we were sad to say farewell to Congregational Administrator Donna Pratt, Music Director Katy McNiff, and Bookkeeper Nancy Belasco, we will soon be introducing everyone to new staff. While we await their arrival, we can still stay connected with one another through the many outings and activities that continue even through these sizzling monsoon months. Watch for updates!

  • On Sunday, July 9, our architect team will present the latest progress on the design of our new campus. Be sure to stay after practice when they will present “the complete schematic design package.” What is a schematic design you ask? Here’s what they tell us:

Based on the project's requirements...the architect prepares and presents...a preliminary design illustrating the scale and relationship of the project's components. The Schematic Design Documents shall consist of drawings and other documents including a site plan, and preliminary building plans, sections and elevations. It may include some combination of study models, perspective sketches, or digital modeling. Preliminary selection of major building systems and construction materials shall be noted on the drawings or described in writing.

  • You can also stay up-to-date on the latest architect input at There you will see photos of the architects with Landscape Architect Soren DeNiord. The team spent Thursday walking the site discussing integration of both the mountain vista and verdant qualities of the Cortaro Farms Road property.

  • As Ron has shared in his column, we are also working toward making a move to a more comfortable and accommodating transitional space for Sunday practice and meetings. We have certainly enjoyed our time at Green Fields and can’t thank the staff enough for being enormously helpful in making us feel welcomed.

In this time of transition and travel we wish you safe and happy trails!

Win a Prize!  

"The books that help you the most are those which make you think the most." 

The first reader to find the name of the author of the above quotation hidden in this newsletter will receive a prize!  Submit the name of the author and where you found the author to  One prize per person per year.

Special thanks to Bill Casey for providing our quotes.

*Congrats to Anne Tatum for winning last month's prize! 


Sunday, July 9:
Contemplative Practice
The Contemplative Practice will be taking a break during June, July and August. 

Traditional Practice

10:30, *Green Fields Theater

Why Do We Exist?  Rev. Ron Phares

Why does the world need Unitarian Universalism? Why do you need it? What do we do that no one else does? Come prepared to be asked to share your thoughts. 

 *Green Fields School

6000 N. Camino de la Tierra
Tucson, AZ 85741   MAP

* Why do we call it "Practice"? CLICK HERE

Religious Exploration:

Classes for youth begin at 10:30am. Nursery Care also available. 

After the Practice:
Cold Beverage Hour, 11:45, patio.
Lunch Bunch, 12:30, see whiteboard.

New! A-Team News 
Our Architects are updating this site every few days. Check out the UPDATES section on 

Save the Sundays - July 9 and August 13

The architects' presentation of their design ideas for our new campus will be held after the Practice in the Green Fields Theater. All are encouraged to attend.

Got questions about our new MVUU Home? CLICK HEREto check out these FAQs and answers. If you have a question that needs answering, please send it to

To read about Our Community-Inspired New Campus, and see a picture of the beautiful land CLICK HERE.


MVUU Publications to STOP!

We’re caught in-between Congregational Administrators. I’m leaving the country for 3 weeks. Thus there will be no weekly Announcements published July 14, 21, 28, or Aug. 4.  The next publication will be the August Monthly Newsletter which will hit your inbox on August 11, one week later than usual.

Therefore, save your submissions of articles for an August 9 deadline. Of course sending them early to does no harm, and may actually give me a head start when I return August 5. Putting the newsletter together that week will be a scary exercise for my jet-lagged brain.

Any Announcements that affect the entire congregation, such as moving to a new location, will be sent as Special Email Blasts.  Read your email!  Thanks for understanding.

Jane Paul, Managing Editor, Communications


 Directory Login Info

https://mvuu.breezechms.comFor the login and password (Members and Friends) email

Breeze has an APP for iPhone or Android.  "Breeze chms"


Ongoing Events
For a list of ongoing events CLICK HERE.
Publication Deadline

Submissions for the Friday publications are normally due Wednesday at 6pm. However no Announcements will be published on July 14, 21, 28, or Aug. 4.

Mailing Address:
PO Box 91080
Tucson, AZ 85752
Charity of the Month

Our Charity Partner for July is Keep Tucson Together, an affiliate of No More Deaths.

Last Chance for Pierogies!

Join others for lunch at The Polish Cottage on July 14.  Respond today! Go to Ongoing Events link at left.