glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Monthly Newsletter of MVUUF
October 2008
Volume LVI, No. IV
MVUUF Building by Lew Hann
Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
8690 Yankee Street, Dayton, OH  45458
You are receiving this newsletter because you are a member or friend of MVUUF. If you don't wish to receive our newsletters, let us know by replying to this email or using "safe unsubscribe" at the bottom of this email.
We've Made Some Changes...
And here's why!  In the interest of saving money, and some trees as well, we are reducing the Forum in size, so that when it's printed, it's less costly to produce.  In addition, we want this publication to be easily navigated & readily "digestible", so keeping it at a reasonable size helps accomplish that.  For information on when Committee meetings are being held, etc. please visit the website calendar or look at Sunday's bulletin.  Thank you!
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Click Below for Your Favorite Articles
Keeping Up with Our Members
RE with Natalie
2008 Annual Fall Bazaar
Upcoming Events at MVUUF and Beyond!
New & Notable
Members Matter
Sermons, Sundries, & Schedules
The Opportunity We Are Given 
            ~ Rev. Amy Russell

Rev. Amy RussellThe Unitarian Universalist fifth principle is "The right of conscience and the use of democratic processes."  In the Commission on Appraisal's proposed changes to the principles, these words are added:  We seek to ensure that all voices are heard, especially those often left out on the margins.  We are called to promote fairness, accountability, honesty, and transparency.  Our UU movement is founded on the principle of democracy.  Our roots from the Congregationalists taught us "congregational polity" where every member has a vote.  Some of our forebears, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, founded this country with the principle that every person has the right to vote.

Every election season, I see many UU's involved in the democratic process by helping with voter registration, working for their candidate, and some even working at the polls.  Many of us went together to work on voter registration earlier in September.  It was an eye-opening experience.
Some of us went door to door in a West Dayton neighborhood, where we talked with residents about issues that were important to them, and we offered them an opportunity to register to vote.  Most people I met were appreciative of being offered this opportunity.  Some were too busy to answer the door, and some felt we were imposing on their privacy.  But of those who came to the door, many talked about the issues primary in their mind:  the war, the economy, health care, and for many, the degradation of their neighborhood, which had many boarded up houses.  For those who wanted to vote, they felt that their vote for a candidate could help change the direction of the country, in response to these issues.
One young man, who had just turned 18, told me he wasn't sure if he would vote.  I asked him why.  He said he didn't feel like it would make a difference.  I asked him if he realized how historic this election is.  He said it didn't matter who the candidates are, they are still just politicians.  I said that yes, that's true, but that in this country  we have the opportunity to choose which person running for the presidency is the best candidate to reflect our views on the issues.  In many countries, they don't have that opportunity.  Even in countries that call themselves democratic, they often have a ruling party that does not allow any contenders to win the vote. 
I wrote this article during the week when most of us were without power for several days.  We had the experience of not having enough food, or ways to communicate to the outside world, or light to see by.  It reminded me that some people who don't have their basic needs met often will not care about something as far away as a presidential election.  In Maslow's Hierarchy, basic survival comes first.
Most of us have our basic needs met on a daily basis, when there isn't a hurricane coming through town!  We are offered not only the opportunity to vote, but also to assist in the democratic process.  As UU's, these are sacred rights.  We realize that not only will our vote make a difference, but our voices make a difference.  We celebrate the opportunities we are given to make a difference.
Claudia Bailey is happy to report her parents were able to move from a nursing home to an assisted living facility.
Mary Ellen Beardmore's father is being treated for lung cancer.  Both father and daughter can use your caring support.
Jennie Hardy has returned from England, where she cares for her elderly uncle.  Jennie is the only relative he has, so she carries a lot of responsibility as she travels back and forth.
Tom Cruse continues to heal after he had a second stint replaced.  It looks like he is ready to go out and enjoy life!
Catherine Queener's best friend's son passed away.  This is a difficult time for these friends.
Yolanda Crooms has cut back on some of her activities as she and David prepare for the birth of twin girls in November.
Barbara Kelley is happy to report her mom has returned home after a few months in a nursing home.  Barbara is the 24/7 caregiver, so any extra prayers you can send her way will be appreciated.  Her home address is 114 Jay St., Dayton OH  45410.
Ben Olive still resides at Hillspring Nursing Center in Springboro and appreciates having visitors.
Bettie Nickell is living in Bellbrook Rehab Center.  A card or two would certainly brighten Bettie's day.  Her address is Bellbrook Rehab Center, 1957 N. Lakeman Dr. #111A, Bellbrook OH  45305.
Rose Notz, a former and longtime member, wrote to us regarding our 50th anniversary.  She is currently living in South Carolina and has celebrated her 101st birthday!
Jack Moody is recovering from a recent heart attack, as well as eye surgery.  He is doing well and is feisty as usual!
Ruby Powell fractured a bone in her foot and is wearing a soft boot cast for 4 to 6 weeks.
Robin Farinet is recovering nicely from surgery.
Lindy McDonough is retiring at the end of October.
Warren Herminghausen recently had quadruple by-pass surgery.  He is in rehab at Bethany Linden House.
Laurel Herminghausen is struggling with her blindness due to macular degeneration.  Her daughter, Jan Campbell, has assumed the responsibility of full-time caregiver for her mom.  Please remember this family in your thoughts. 
A special thought goes out to all our members and friends that had storm damage and spent many days and nights in the dark, raking leaves and sawing up those trees!  Thank you to those who did have power and shared their home.
For those of you that are experiencing a difficult time in your life, please know that you have friends at MVUUF that care.  May you find strength to walk that path and the peace of knowing someone cares. 
       ~ Natalie Spriggs-Trobridge
Natalie Spriggs
FALL 2008
With everyone having such busy schedules and so many things to think about, the question may arise, "Why should my child go to Sunday School?"  I would ask you to consider this question; What are you hoping your child will take with them when they "graduate" our program?  Friendships, a spiritual path, a strong bond to the church? 
The more Sundays your child attends YRE programs, the more the church becomes their home away from home.  A sense of calmness and belonging will follow, and friendships with other children, both their own age and older, will develop.  Good role models are needed in everyone's life, and our YRE program provides many!
Please see the MVUUF's Yahoo Parent board for information on upcoming Sunday programs.  It can be accessed at
Chalice Children class (Preschool and Kindergarten): curriculum: "Chalice Children"
Grades 1st  through 8th: Workshop Rotation, October's theme- "Amazing UUs"
1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade class: 
     October 5 - Children's Worship
     October 12 - Workshop 1 (UUs who stood up for rights/drama)
     October 19 - Workshop 2 (UU scientists and inventors/experiments)
     October 26 - Workshop 3 (UUs who make music/singing)
4th and 5th grade class: 
     October 5 - Children's Worship
     October 12 - Workshop 2 (UU scientists and inventors/experiments)
     October 19 - Workshop 3 (UUs who make music/singing)
     October 26 - Workshop 1 (UUs who stood up for rights/drama)

6th, 7th, and 8th grade class: 
     October 5 - Children's Worship
     October 12 - Workshop 3 (UUs who make music/singing)
     October 19 - Workshop 1 (UUs who stood up for rights/drama)
     October 26 - Workshop 2 (UU scientists and inventors/experiments)

Senior High Class (Grades 9th-12th):
     October 5 - Youth Worship
     October 12 - "The Gospel According to the Simpsons"
     October 19 - "The Gospel According to the Simpsons"
     October 26 - Planning period
Check out: & click on "Religious Education"   
As always, if you have any questions, please let me know.  Just a few reminders of how to contact me or stay connected with the YRE program:
DRE email:
DRE phone: 436-3628
YRE Parent Yahoo Group (get the latest information on the YRE program)
YRE Committee Yahoo Group (for anyone volunteer in the YRE program)
Smile, Natalie Spriggs-Trobridge; Director of Religious Education


On Saturday October 18th, MVUUF is the place to be!!
The annual MVUUF bazaar will be held 10 am - 3pm.  The bazaar will have both breakfast and lunch items available, as you wander the vendors and make your purchases.  Start the morning with a piece of the Reeve's breakfast casserole, or come in the afternoon and enjoy a hot lunch of pulled pork or chicken sandwiches.  Delicious desserts are also available for your indulgence!
In addition to over 30 vendors selling jewelry, pottery, soap, etc., there will also be a White Elephant sale of pre-owned items.
Interested in $250 worth of toys from Blue Turtle?  What about an "Ohio Basket" from DLM?  Or maybe a fresh bread basket from Big Sky, valued at $40, is more your taste? 
These are just a few of the items featured in our raffle this year.  Raffle tickets go on sale Sunday Sept. 28th.  Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.
Donations are still needed!  If you have any books, CDs, or any other clean, nice items for the White Elephant sale, please let us know.  Condiments and side items for lunch, such as pickles, chips, cans of pop, bottles of water, muffin mixes, etc., are also needed.  You can bring them to the Library beginning October 6th.
If you would like to help out in other ways, you can help by setting up that morning, being a runner on the day of the bazaar, or supporting the Fellowship by purchasing items.
Want to help? Have questions?  Need more information on donating?  Please contact anyone on the Bazaar Committee: Adina Reeve, Rita Reeve, Trena Swanke, Sylvia Wince, and Phil Wise.  You can also call Kristin in the Fellowship Office, at 436-3628, and she will make sure your question gets routed to the appropriate person.

Upcoming Events at MVUUF and Beyond...
Showing of "Freeheld" and discussion of Woven Branches - On Friday Oct. 10th, at 7:30 pm, Woven Branches will be showing the movie "Freeheld", in the MVUUF sanctuary.  Woven Branches is an interfaith organization promoting GLBT issues.  The movie "Freeheld" tells the story of a Pittsburgh policewoman and her struggle to get medical benefits for her lesbian partner who has cancer.  This short film is an Oscar winner for Best Short Documentary.  Afterwards, there will be discussion about the movie and an explanation of the mission of Woven Branches.  MVUUF is a member of Woven Branches and hopes to promote the organization to other faith communities.
Amy to preach in Yellow Springs - On Sunday Oct. 19th, Rev. Amy Russell will be preaching at Yellow Spring UU Fellowship.  MVUUF is providing this gift to them to support their congregation and its efforts.
New & Notable
Social Concerns Committee Evaluating Involvement in New Program
Homeless to Home is a program connecting faith communities to families who are transitioning from homeless shelters to new permanent housing.  The program provides three months rental assistance to those families, as well as some job counseling.  The congregation team becomes mentors to these families, and helps them find furniture for their new home, move in, and learn skills for managing their finances.  The commitment for working with these families is one year.  The hope is that the members of the team will become friends with the family and will offer them some guidance and support in their transition in order to make it more successful.  We are looking for 4-6 individuals who might be interested in serving on such a team.  To find out more, speak with Amy Russell or Diane Dover.
Survey on Changes to Principles and Sources
The UUA Commission on Appraisal has recommended some changes to the wording of the UU Principles and Sources.  These proposals were developed as result of seeking input from every congregation and then holding regional hearings and sessions at GA.  The changes do not alter the substance of the principles and sources, but are an attempt to provide wording that gives more spiritual depth.  Please provide your feedback to these proposals through a survey found at
Spirit in Practice
This is a new Adult RE workshop exploring different forms of spiritual practice.  Meetings are Tuesdays, at 7pm.  Rev. Amy Russell will be leading.

Members Matter!
Are you a Communitarian?
                        By Judy Rengel
In his book, The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch writes about being a communitarian.  "When we are connected to others, we become better people."
I think of our members as communitarians - MVUUF is a better community because we are connected.  In turn, I believe you are a better person because of your connection to MVUUF.
On Sunday October 19th, our service is dedicated to recognizing the many people who volunteer to make our many programs work at MVUUF, and in doing so reap the benefit of having created their personal sense of community.

A few years ago, a member volunteered to help at the craft bazaar.  Now, this woman had been a member at MVUUF for several years, but had participated in very few activities. At this event she interacted with people, laughing and talking as she went about her various duties.  She told me what a wonderful experience this was for her. This volunteer turned strangers into friends. In doing so she became a more fulfilled member.

Does the term communitarian apply to you?  Have you made a connection to MVUUF?  Are you becoming a better person because of your connection to MVUUF?

Sermons, Sundries, & Schedules
Upcoming Sermon Topics
October 5 - Re-covenanting with Ourselves: A Celebration of Rosh Hashanah  Rev. Amy Russell
October 12 - Coming Out Day  The Welcoming Congregation Class
October 19 - The Heart of Volunteerism  Mike O'Brien
October 26 - "For I was hungry, and you fed me"  Rev. Amy Russell
Daytime Book Discussion Group Titles *
October 22 - "Protect and Defend" by Richard North Patterson
November 19 - "Ladder of Years" by Anne Tyler
December TBA - "Christmas Train" by David Baldacci ~ this is our holiday potluck dinner, so bring a book to exchange and dish to share!
January TBA - "Taps" by Willie Morris
February TBA - "Scar of David" by Susan Abulahaua
March TBA - "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" by Jared Diamond
* Held at MVUUF at 10:30 am
Evening Book Discussion Group Titles
October 14 - "The Post-American World" by Fareed Zakaria  Held at Ann Snively's home
November 11 - "Anne of Green Gables" by" L.M. Montgomery  Held at Mary Anne Frye's home
December 9 - "The Art of Possibility" by : Rosamund tone Zander & Benjamin Zander  Held at Diane Dover's home
Community Discussion Group Topics *
October 5 - Magical Moments  Moderator: Jim Faulconer
October 12 - Self-Helps to Health  Moderator: Elfi Purkey
October 19 - For Love of Poetry  Moderator: Joe Casto
October 26 - Wounded Healers  Moderator: Jim Faulconer
* For a more detailed listing of the topics, please see the Sunday bulletin 
Smart Choices Topics*
October 6 - Yoga and meditation  Led by Annette Lorenzo
October 20 - Mask making
November 3 - Recipe exchange
November 17 - Sharing what we're thankful for
December 1 - Potluck dinner at MVUUF
December 15 - Sing-down  Led by Jan Campbell
*7:30 pm