UU ChaliceThe FORUM
Monthly Newletter of MVUUF
January 2008
Volume LV, No. 5

Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee Street
Dayton, OH  45458
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Happy New Year!

Hard to believe it is the New Year, and the year is 2008! For me, the new year seems to refresh my hopes and reminds me of goals that I have set for myself. And I do have some goals for myself as DRE and for the YRE program for this year. One goal is to offer a UU parenting class. I am hoping to get everything together and offer this class in the spring. Let me know if you are interested and keep an eye/ear out for more information.


Soup supper fun 2007


As always, our YRE program is so busy. We had our first Stone Soup Gathering at the beginning of December. What a great turn out. The idea was for each family to bring something for our "stone soup". Then, with the help of our children and youth, the soup was cooked and eaten by all the families and volunteers of the YRE program. This gave us a chance to just be with each other, mingle and build ourselves as a YRE family. We even sat at a giant table, all connected. Strangely enough, we had just enough seats. I hope to make the Stone Soup Gathering an annual event to help kick off the YRE program in the fall.

More soup!

Speaking of annual events, it is time for Mystery Friends. This is a great way for the adults of MVUUF to connect with the children and youth in our YRE program. Each adult (who signs up) is matched with a child/youth (who also signs up). Each week for a few weeks, the adult leaves clues to help the child/youth  guess who the adult may be. Then, at the end of it all, the Mystery Friends have dinner. At the dinner, children/youth find out who their mystery friend is. Look for the sign-up sheet this month. This will be such fun!


Remember, my door is always open. So if you have any ideas, questions, or concerns, please feel free to contact me at nataliespriggs@gmail.com. Have a wonderful new year!



Natalie, DRE

When to Call the Minister

Rev. Amy Russell

Some of you have recently called me and have been very apologetic about bothering me. I want you to know that I want to hear from you when you have an issue that you feel I should know about. But some of you aren't sure what kinds of things you might call about. Here's some ideas of times when you might want to call me:


When you have a loss or change in your life that you'd like to talk about. This could be a death, divorce, change in jobs or careers, change in your life like retirement or a child growing up and leaving.

When you are worried about a family member or church friend and you'd like to discuss it.

When you are going through a time of spiritual questioning like you're thinking about your own death, or you are considering whether a spiritual practice might be helpful to you.

Sometimes when you are bothered by a moral question or something you've observed about an ethical issue.

When you're feeling depressed but you're not sure what to do about it.

Any time when you are feeling uneasy about something and you'd just like someone to listen.

When you'd like to discuss an issue about the Fellowship.


And some of you have also wondered whether you can call me during evening or weekend hours. If you call me on my cell phone (937-422-7259), you can always leave me a detailed message and I will get back to you. If you tell me that this is an urgent issue, I'll try to call you back right away. But if it's not a pressing issue, I'll return the call as soon as it's convenient. But please, don't hesitate to call. I turn my cell off when I'm sleeping or busy. So, you don't have to worry about bothering me.


We are beginning our sixth month together. I'm feeling very much at home at MVUUF. There seems to be a very positive energy swirling around the place. Despite our financial challenges, I'm very optimistic about our future. I love seeing all the new people who are learning about us and getting involved.


In the new year, I can imagine many new possibilities for us. I hope you can, too.

-Amy Russell

January Services
Sunday, January 6
Burning Bowl Service
Rev. Amy Russell
In this traditional ritual, everyone will be invited to write down something that they'd like to let go of in the coming year. We will collect these prayers and burn them--letting them disappear from our lives. This kind of symbolic ritual can be used in one's own life for letting go of unnecessary thoughts and habits and moving toward a simpler, more intentional life.
Sunday, January 13
When Life Gets Messy
Rev. Amy Russell
Wintertime is sometimes a depressing time. But at any time, our lives can feel out of control and just plain messy. Where do we turn at such a time? When we want to blame everyone else for our problems, how do we remind ourselves that we are responsible for our own happiness?
Sunday, January 20
Rev. Amy Russell
Integrity is a hard concept to apply to one's life. We live our lives as best we can, but often find ourselves feeling that our values are incongruent with what we are expected to do in our jobs and in our personal lives.
Sunday, January 27
Astrology as Spiritual Path
Brad Kochunas
Astrology is commonly viewed as a pseudoscientific hodgepodge of superstitious star nonsense filled with fatalistic pronouncements. Looked at less literally, it can be read as a creation-centered spiritual path deeply rooted in the mysteries of existence. Spiritual author, Thomas Moore, writes that astrology "can take us into areas of self-reflection as no other system of symbols and images can." Come and explore where Psyche and Cosmos meet.
Community Discussion Group January Topics

The Community Discussion Group is an adult group that meets every Sunday at 9:30 to 10:45 AM in the Founders' Room for fellowship and thought-provoking discussion. A chance to let your hair down, speak your mind or say nothing at all, without criticism. Up close and personal. Please join us!


Sunday, January 6

"Social Support"

Research has shown that social support is important for many things, such as improved aging, a lower risk for depression and alcoholism, less pain medication required after surgery, and more complete compliance with medical instructions, etc. Social support consists of many things. As a group, we could look at our individual social supports and find ways to improve them. There are some social supports built into the structure of the Fellowship. Moderator: Tom Brown


Sunday, January 13

"Favorite Books of 2007"

We'll share our thoughts on outstanding books we read last year. They can be the latest on the best seller list or date back to the Dead Sea Scrolls - fiction, nonfiction, humor, whatever. Be prepared to give us the title, author, publisher and publication date, so we can share the list with the rest of the Fellowship. Moderator:  Carol Vincent


Sunday, January 20

"The Direction of Human Development"

One reason I rebelled from the teachings of the Catholic Church as a teenager was its reason for why god created us. I have always felt that there is a greater cause or purpose for mankind and the world. In my lifelong search for the meaning of life, I have studied philosophy, the sciences and religion. In the 70's, while learning about Technical Analysis in the stock market, I did some trend analysis on the evolutionary process of our earth and life. Later I read some of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and his concept of the "noosphere" and "biosphere." More recently, the books Integral Psychology by Ken Wilber and Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny by Robert Wright have provided more material for thought. I do believe that we are on a pathway to a unity of mankind and to peace and cooperation as methods of interrelationships. What is driving this movement? Moderator: Joe Lawrence


Sunday, January 27

"Counter-Intuitive Discoveries"

Several of the great discoveries throughout history were counter-intuitive. Imagine what it was like for folks to realize the earth was round - and that we are not the center of the universe. Even today new discoveries are being made. We will talk about some of these. Moderator: Jim Faulconer


The Women's Group

The group will study strategies from the book, Making a Change for Good by Cheri Huber through January 13. Then starting January 20, the group will begin a 9-week study of the Spirit of Life Curriculum, the adult part of the UUA's new Tapestry of Life series of courses for all ages on spirituality. We will explore a different aspect of spirituality each week, prompted by the lines of the familiar song. There will be discussion and activities each Sunday at 9:30 AM and all Fellowship women are invited to attend. See your bulletin for the weekly topics and feel free to drop in for individual discussions. For more information, contact Barb Weber or Shirley Forrest.


Nominating Committee Announcements

The following people are recommended by the Nominating Committee for the positions indicated for the 2008-2009 year for the Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship:


The Board:

President Scott Leonard

Vice President Alice Diebel

Treasurer Dave Rengel

Secretary Bill Wendel

Trustees At Large A Kriss Gang

Trustees At Large B Ann Snively

Program Council Chair Joan Albrecht


Program Council Representative:

Membership Judy Rengel


Nominating Committee:

Program Council Recommendation Gary Courts

Minister's Recommendation Mike O'Brien

Board's Recommendation Lucy Kazyak


And Introducing:


Alice Diebel

Alice has been a UU for close to 20 years. As a member of three different congregations during those years, she experienced churches from very large to very small. Alice currently serves on the worship and social concerns committees and is the denominational affairs representative. For nearly ten years, Alice served on the board of a non-profit AIDS service organization in Detroit, and served as its president. As a nurse, Alice held several healthcare administrative positions, gaining experience with personnel policies and procedures. Currently, Alice is a program officer at the Kettering Foundation, and conducts research on democratic practice. Alice hopes to encourage greater deliberation within and outside the Fellowship. 


Ann Snively

Ann has been a member of MVUUF since 1991. During that time, she has been involved in a wide variety of projects including serving on the program services, long range planning, and membership committees. She held the office of secretary on the board of trustees in the early 1990's. She has led several Fellowship groups, including a spirituality and the arts discussion group, the First Thursday Theological Society, and the Evening Book Discussion group. She recently served on the Ministerial Search Committee and found that to be a very valuable and enriching experience. Ann is director of Wright Memorial Public Library in Oakwood, where she is in charge of a staff of 45 people (29 FTEs) and an annual budget of $1,830,000. During her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, and traveling.


Mike O'Brien

Mike O'Brien owns a small education publishing company that he runs with his wife Linda. Their two sons, BJ and John, work for the family business. Mike and Linda live in Oakwood and they have been members of the MVUUF for over 20 years. In addition to the nominating committee, Mike currently chairs the worship committee.


Judy Rengel

Judy joined MVUUF and the world of Unitarians in 2003. She and her husband David met at AMUUSE, a Unitarian single's camp in 2001. Together, their family includes 5 adult children and 14 grandchildren. Judy's first MVUUF project was the 2003 photo directory and since that time she has volunteered many hours on projects ranging from organizing the kitchen to filling in for the administrator during her vacation. Judy said, "I look forward to working with the membership committee as we set goals and implement plans to benefit our current membership and grow our numbers."


Gary Courts

Gary retired from full-time teaching of biology at Miamisburg High School in 1997. He is now a part-time biology lecturer at the University of Dayton. He became a member in 1991 and has served as secretary and vice president of the board, public relations chairman for the program council, nominating committee and chaired the architect selection committee for our new building. His interests are bird watching, music listening, gardening, travel, cooking, reading and nature photography.


Lucy Kazyak

Lucy has been a member of MVUUF for 10 years. She lived in Texas, New York and Alaska when her husband Don served in the Air Force. Lucy has three grown children and recently retired from her job as a preschool teacher, to spend time with her new grandson. She is currently involved with The Other Place monthly lunch, Dayton Dragon suite runners and the evening book group at MVUUF. In the past, Lucy served on the board as activities trustee. Lucy said that she is thankful for the sense of community at MVUUF and looks forward to serving on the nominating committee.

Chalicelight Art Gallery

Donna Rogers artworkWe are pleased to feature the works of artist Donna Rogers throughout the month of January. Donna Rogers has been painting for twenty-six years, working with watercolors, pastels, acrylics, and mixed media. She has won numerous local and national awards. Donna feels each medium is unique and has learned from each, but finds that the diversity of acrylics and mixed media allows for the most experimentation in her paintings. Donna paints from her heart, bringing forth impressionist and abstract art.

Throughout the development of her professional career, Donna has studied with many highly acclaimed and successful professional painters with varied styles. She attributes much of her success to the valuable influence of these prominent artists with whom she has studied. Combined with their guidance, her dedication to developing her own style has led her to the present time in her career. Her art work is owned by both private and corporate collectors from throughout the United States.

Donna's work has been published in the Acrylic Magazine and the Southwest Art Magazine. Donna is a signature member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, the American Impressionists Society and a juried associate of the Pastel Society of America. She is currently represented by The Town and Country Fine Art Gallery in Kettering; Hensley Gallery Southwest in Taos, New Mexico; The Cannery in Dayton; Fusion Gallery in Bellevue, Kentucky and Picture This in Lebanon, Ohio.

The House Across the Street
By Don Ferguson


Have you ever wondered about the house across the street from MVUUF? Information from the Centerville Historical Society lists it as the Daniel Garrison House and it was built in 1839. It appears as though the one-story room on the left was added at a later date. I don't know who lives there at the present time, but would like to share some history with our members about the house.


Known as the "Garrison House" at 8701 Yankee Street, this sturdy brick home was built by Daniel Garrison and in a large part, remained in the Garrison family from the time it was built in 1839 until 1899. Daniel Garrison was a blacksmith, with his shop just south of the house. He started his Yankee Street domain by purchasing seven acres from Elihu Kellogg in 1827, for $115, valued at $30 for tax purposes. Three years later, Garrison added 37 acres west and south of the house, making his farm 44 acres along the west side of Yankee Street. In 1864, the 40-acre farm that had belonged to his wife's father, George C. Methard, was added to the Garrison holdings. Daniel Garrison was born in Red Stone County, Pennsylvania in 1801 and came to Ohio as a young man. He married Catherine Methard in 1825 and they raised four boys: George, Jonathan, Daniel and Jacob. Son Daniel married Martha Maze in 1857 and they raised four children in the house: Rachel, Emma, Albert and Frank. The house and farm of 150 acres were auctioned in 1899 to settle the Garrison estate. It was advertised as "3 Farms and 3 Timber Lots, A Fine Opportunity for Purchasers". Now you know the rest of the story about the house across the street.


Elements of UU Sunday Services

"Joys and Concerns"


The worship committee is continuing to solicit attitudes toward and experiences with elements of our Sunday services. For January we'll consider Joys and Concerns.


A survey will be placed in a Sunday morning order of service and on-line asking for your opinions.


Have you had meaningful experiences with Joys and Concerns in other UU groups?  We'd like to hear about them.


For some interesting reading on this element of our services go to http://www.thegreatstory.org/UU-practices.htm.


This topic will be discussed at the worship committee meeting on January 28 at 7:00 PM. We welcome your attendance at that meeting.

Think Spring, Think Baseball!

Think raising some money for MVUUF by working one or two evenings at a Dayton Dragons game! For several years, MVUUF has provided a team of Suite Runners for Dayton Sportservice as an annual fundraiser. Last year 21 of us worked, earning over $1600 for MVUUF.


The suites are inside the air-conditioned, upper level of the stadium. Our job is to deliver food and refreshments from the kitchen to the suites. The shift runs from 5:00 PM until about 10:30 PM. It's great walking exercise and a way to get to know fellow members. The season starts in April and runs through September. A friend or family member is welcome to join you. Black slacks and black shoes are required. Shirts are provided.


Before we sign a contract this month with Sportservice to work 10 games during the 2008 season, we need to know if we have enough volunteers. If you're willing to give it a try by signing up to work one or two of the games, email us at dragons@mvuuf.org.

-Lucy Kazyak

-Dale Bockhorst

Make Art Not Landfill!

To celebrate Earth Day this year, we will have a special exhibit in our Chalicelight Art Gallery. For the month of April, the art work will be made from recycled stuff!


Anyone can be a part of the exhibit. It is open to everyone! You can make your art work on your own or take part in our March workshop (date to be announced later). Resident artists Cindi Remm and Linda Yoder will lead the workshop. Start by saving interesting things such as plastic mesh fruit bags, cardboard rolls, old calendars, Styrofoam meat trays, colorful plastic bags, magazines, yarn, lace, cloth scraps, environmental slogans, quotes or statistics. See Linda if you have questions.
Microcredit is our Social Concerns Focus
In January and February, MVUUF will be donating one-third of all basket collections not designated as pledges to a microcredit organization. Microcredit has successfully enabled extremely impoverished people in developing countries (and elsewhere) to begin self-employment projects that provide enough income to sustain their families. Impoverished women often receive these loans, benefiting families and raising the social status of women. The practice has become an important force in helping alleviate poverty and helping economic growth, and many organizations offer successful micro-lending programs. Please give generously!
The Other Place

MVUUF has an ongoing commitment to serve lunch at The Other Place (840 South Patterson Boulevard) on the second Saturday of each month. The Other Place is a day shelter with the mission of actively countering all causes and conditions of homelessness through advocacy, education and service. Our efforts feed approximately 200 people. Sign up in the Gathering Space or in your Fellowship group meeting.


Use email! If you are able to provide a menu item (15-20 servings), send an email to Diane Dover and Lucy Kazyak at their easy to remember email address: theotherplace@mvuuf.org. Use the email to commit to a donation, volunteer as an on-site server (always needed!), find out what menu item is still needed or to arrange an alternative drop-off location or time.


If you are willing to serve, contact Diane or Lucy two weeks in advance! Plan to help next on Saturday, January 12. 


Menu for January 12


Garlic Bread

Green Salad

Dessert (Thank you, Dorothy Lane Market!)
2% milk and 100% juice
Smart Choices

Smart Choices is open to women who wish to carve out an hour and a half, twice a month to enrich their lives in some way. We get to know each other better, share our talents and just have fun. Sometimes we learn something new and sometimes we do an activity together. We create our own agenda and there are no dues. We do something different each time we meet. Just show up! You will be welcomed. We generally meet the first and third Monday evenings, at 7:30 to 9:00 PM at the Fellowship. Questions? Talk to Sylvia Wince.


Monday, January 7:  Bring a picture.  It can be a picture you created or painted, or it can be a photo which you would like to share. 

Monday, January 21:  Bring a poem, either original or a favorite that you would like to share. 

Monday, February 4:  We will share stories about our "first love".

Monday, February 18:  Come prepared to talk about a book that impacted your life.

Monday, March 3:  Bring a song...either sing it yourself or bring a cassette or CD to play for us. 

Evening Book Discussion Group

The Evening Book Discussion Group will meet at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, January 8 at Alice Diebel's house to discuss Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. The February 12 meeting will be at 7:30 PM at Barbara Czestochowa's house. February's book is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. New participants are welcome. Contact Ann Snively if you would like more information about the group.

Daytime Book Club

The MVUUF Daytime Book Club meets monthly on designated Wednesdays.  It is open to anyone and all are welcome. We meet at 10:30 AM at the Fellowship in the Richard Venus Library. We discuss the book and author, then at 11:30 AM we go to a local restaurant for lunch together. Here's our upcoming titles:


        January 23: Jefferson's Great Gamble by Charles Cerami

        February 20: Mountain Beyond Mountains: The quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder

        March 12: Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

        April (Date TBA): One Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hassini

CUUPS Schedule

Explore the beauty of Pagan, Goddess, and Earth-centered spiritualities woven together with Unitarian Universalism.


In Gathering meetings (open discussions, ritual planning)

12:30 PM Sunday, January 6, 13, 20, 27


IMBOLC (First Signs of Spring)

5:00 PM Saturday, February 2, lead by Adrienne Clark


CUUPS in Community Discussion Group

9:30 AM Sunday, February 3

Basics of Paganism rescheduled from December 16
Fellowship Gourmets

The Fellowship Gourmets' destination for Saturday, January 26 at 6:00 PM will be:


Coco's Bistro

515 Wayne Avenue

Dayton, Ohio 45410



All members and friends of the Fellowship are welcome!


Please RSVP to Cyndi Reeves.
CineManiacs Meets Sunday January 20

If you're wild about films, join Cinemaniacs the third Sunday every month at The Neon movie theater for the 4:30-5:30ish showing. The title and time will be sent by email late in the week just prior to the Sunday event. Everyone is welcome! After the movie, we meet in the lobby for fellowship and discussion. Send questions or requests to be added to the Cinemaniacs email list to Pete Hering (petehering@hotmail.com).

Two Job Openings in Religious Education

Assistant to Director of Religious Education: The Youth Religious Education program is currently looking for an assistant to work every Sunday 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM (with possibility of working more but not exceeding 5 hours per week). Duties include communicating with families, keeping records, monitoring and responding to needs for assistance in classrooms, assuring spaces are clean and tidy, and assisting classrooms with supplies and snacks. The rate of pay ranges from $8-$10/hour. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Natalie, Director of Religious Education, via email at nataliespriggs@gmail.com or phone 436-3628 no later than January 4. Background check is required.


Teen childcare provider/sitter: We are looking for a teen childcare provider to help with preschool/nursery childcare. The hours are 9:15 AM to 12:15 PM every Sunday, with childcare opportunities for other times as well. Teens must be at least 16 years old and have already completed Red Cross Baby-Sitter Training Course or Safe Sitter. Rate of pay is $8.oo an hour. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Natalie, Director of Religious Education, via email at nataliespriggs@gmail.com or phone 436-3628 no later than January 13.
Caring & Sharing
Mary Coonrod sends her love and gratitude to all who sent cards and called her as she copes with the loss of her best friend, Clara Shupp.
Living Enlightenment
Evolutionary Enlightenment, a teaching created by spiritual visionary Andrew Cohen, is a revolutionary new potential for individual and collective human development. Take the course presented by Diana Spiegel at the Fellowship on five Sundays January 27, February 3, 10, 17 and 24. Register for $65-125 at www.eecourse.org. See Don Heidorn for more information.
Peace Museum Benefit

THE DAYTON INTERNATIONAL PEACE MUSEUM will present its Third Annual "Performing Arts for Peace" on Sunday, January 6 at 7:00 PM at the Christ United Methodist Church, 3440 Shroyer Road in Kettering.


Celebrate the New Year with peace and be inspired by an eclectic program of vocal and instrumental music, Chinese and Middle Eastern dance, poetry, and dramatic readings. This talented group of artists will include Sharon Rabb, one of Dayton's 2007 Ten Top Women and founder of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; Tony Dallas, Antioch College Professor and Director; Gary Mitchner, Sinclair Community College Poet Laureate; and the Dayton Boys Choir. A reception follows the presentation. Suggested donation, $10.


For more information, call the Dayton International Peace Museum, 227-3223, or email info@daytonpeacemuseum.org.