glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Monthly Newsletter of MVUUF
November 2008
Volume LVII, No. V
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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Keeping Up with Our Members
Upcoming Events at MVUUF and Beyond!
New & Notable
Sermons, Sundries, & Schedules
Finding the Light Within our Fear
            ~ Rev. Amy Russell

Rev. Amy Russell

With the economy in shambles, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan seeming to have no end, and the upcoming election generating such animosity, the world does not feel very safe to many of us right now.  Many of us feel a little shaky about things.  What do you do when you feel fear creeping into your thoughts even when you consciously tell yourself that "it's going to be all right"?
            When I talk with my parents about the current economic crisis, they are worried, but I sense that they are not panicking like so many of us.  Having lived through the Depression, they certainly understand the difficulties that we are facing.  But they have a long view of life, having seen the world recover from both a war and an economic depression; they know the resilience of human beings.  They have a sense that the world will recover and right itself once again.
            At the time of the greatest crisis in my life, I first felt the floor falling out from under me.  While I had a Buddhist meditation practice, I found it very hard to concentrate on the meditation because I was so distraught.  But I would often find myself just sitting, just somehow waiting for something.   I very much felt the love and energy that was coming from my friends and family.  But I felt that I needed to find my own strength.  I needed to overcome my fear by finding a centeredness inside of me.  I would sit quietly, sometimes calming myself with being aware of my breath, and wait for an answer.  My help came in the form of finally feeling a quietude, an acceptance that whatever life brought me, I could deal with it.  I also felt that the Universe was a full of healing energy that made the difficulties of life not so overwhelming.  I realized that when I raised my awareness of what was available to me that I had abundant resources to help me: friends, family, my own inner strength, and access to possibilities within a healing Universe.
               I'm not always able to capture that feeling.  There are certainly many times when I feel not so positive about things in my life.  There are times when this crisis scares me as well.  What gets me through is this long view of life that no matter what happens, we have available to us a host of abundant resources.  And that there's a wholeness to the interdependent web that holds together the universe in a mysterious oneness.
            Our ability to manage our fear and move forward collectively will get all of us through this.  As Marianne Williamson says in her wisdom, "And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Thank you!
The MVUUF Bazaar was a wonderful success!  Everyone had so much fun, even with all the hard work involved!  A big thank you goes to all those who participated in making this day a success.  We raised over $1800!  A special thank you to the following workers who made everything flow smoothly and did everything from cleaning up dishes, running errands, participating as vendors, cooking, baking, selling tickets, & the list goes on and on:  Deb Gang, Jim Faulconer, Barbara Moreda, Adina Reeve, Rita Reeve, Ann Rismiller, Linda Yoder, Joan Albrecht, Claudia Bailey, Ellen Beck, John Bierman, Matt Briddell, Kathy Brown, Mary Coonrod, Gary Courts, Alice Diebel, Jim Farinet, Sharon Harmer, Antonia Harter, Jennie Hardy, Mary Ann Jacob, Joe Law, Annette Lorenzo, Deb Miyake, Nancy Moody, Mike Nelson, Ruby Powell, Catherine Queener, Greg Reese, Dave Rengel, Judy Rengel, Ruth Rowley, Pat Santucci, Les Swanke, Trena Swanke, Barbara Weber, Bev Wince, Sylvia Wince, and Phil Wise - and another big thank you to all those who attended the Bazaar, ate some goodies and purchased some wares. 

Keeping Up With Our Members
Lisa Vantrease's father passed away unexpectedly.
Beryl Schicker's brother and sister-in-law passed away on the same day.  We send her loving thoughts.
Robin Farinet is at home and recovering from surgery.
Beloved members Don & Ginny Renner are unable to come on Sundays due to their poor health.  Please send them a card and let them know they are in your thoughts.  1517 Rangley Ave.  Dayton, OH 45403.
Steve Trobridge is recuperating at home.  It is a slow and difficult process for him.  Please remember Steve & Natalie in this hard time.  Their address is 31 Park Dr.  Dayton, OH 45410.
Please send cards to our members living in a senior community:
Ben Olive, Hillspring of Springboro, 325 E. Central Ave.  Springboro, OH 454066
Bettie Nickell, Bellbrook Rehab Center, 1957 N. Lakeman Dr. #111A  Bellbrook, OH 45305
For those of you that are experiencing a difficult time in your life, please know that you have caring friends at MVUUF.  May today bring you peace and tomorrow sunshine.

Upcoming Events at MVUUF and Beyond...
Robin & Jim Farinet  50th Anniversary!
Robin & Jim Farinet invite you
 to join them in celebrating the beginning of their
second 50 years together!
Sunday November 30th, following the worship service.
 Lunch will be served in the Gathering Space.
They were married November 26, 1958, in Tiffin, Ohio.
Your presence is gift enough.  However, there will be a jar for donations to  
"The Other Place" and encourage your support of this important
 mission of our Fellowship.  
Women's Group Retreat
The Women's Group will be having a retreat on Saturday, November 8th from 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  The retreat will be held at the Fellowship and the theme is "Deepening Our Bond."  All women are invited.  Please call Linda Yoder at 298-4074 or Katherine Cruse at 312-0693 to register and receive a list of things to bring.
UU Men's Group - "Wrestling with Adulthood"
Have you ever suffered from Peter Pan Syndrome?  No matter how old we become, some of us still ask, "What do I want to be when I grow up?"  Better than coddling the inner child, how do you liberate your inner adult?  Beginning November 16th at 9:15 a.m., UUMen will meet every Sunday morning in the Library to explore how, when and why men experience becoming adults and what it is to be a man in today's world.  For more information or to reserve a copy of the book, "Wrestling with Adulthood, Unitarian Universalist Men Talk About Growing Up," please see Jim Poltrone, Joe Law, Phil Wise, or Richard Donnelly.
2nd Saturday Lunch
The location of the lunch we serve to the homeless each month has been moved from The Other Place building to St. Vincent De Paul Hotel  120 W. Apple St. 
The Nov. 8 menu is listed below.  To provide a dish, please send an email to
Menu:  Chicken, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, whole fruit, 2% milk and 100% juices.  Desserts provided by DLM.
Compassionate Communication Workshop
On Saturday, January 24, 2009, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., MVUUF will offer a workshop on compassionate communication, facilitated by Theresa Horan-Sapunar.  Nonviolent communication is both learnable set of communication skills and a true spiritual practice which enables us to see our common humanity and live more peacefully.  It is a process involving honest expression and empathetic listening, which creates harmony and compassion within ourselves and in our relationships.  This workshop offers an opportunity to move from defeating and negative patterns of relating to a place of open-hearted and honest communication.  Learn to create a quality of connection between yourself and others where everyone's needs, even in conflict situations, are held with care and compassion.  Reserv ations are required and the registration fee is $30 for MVUUF members and $40 for non-members (include lunch).  Registration deadline is December 15th.  Contact Genevieve Harvey for more information.


New & Notable
Refugee Family Donations
If you have large items (furniture, especially beds) to donate to Iraqi, Burundi, and Sudanese refugees, please call Catholic Social Services donation line 223-7217 ext. 4297 to arrange pick up.  Smaller household items (bed linens, kitchen wares, etc.) please box up with a list of contents and leave in the Richard Venus Library at the Fellowship.  Any questions, please call or email Richard Donnelly. 
Retreat at Grailville a Great Success!
The Fall Retreat was a delightful time!  A new event of particular hilarity was the Dance Contest for All Ages...and the results are in:
Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers Elegance Dance - Dave Nolin & Diane Dover
Critics Circle Award for Significant Dance Achievement - Grace & Carolyn Lehman
Sheer Joy - Hope Lehman & Catherine Queener
Grailville Dance Hall of Fame - Heather Wendel
Dazzling Footwork - Caleb Lehman
Best Musicality - Ann Rismiller
Twirling Queen - Grace Lehman
Best Tail Feather Shaker - Diane Dover
**Special thanks to CQ as DJ and to Don & Lucy for judging**
Offerings for November and December
The Social Concerns Committee of the Fellowship invites offering plate contributions in support of AIDS Resource Center Ohio (Nov. 2), MVUUF Youth Project and the Social Concerns Committee.  30% of nonpledge contributions each Sunday are ear-marked for social concerns.  The MVUUF Youth Project engages the young people of the congregation in selecting and carrying out a community project at Christmas time.  Support for the Social Concerns Committee will fund special initiatives launched by the committee.

Sermons, Sundries, & Schedules
Upcoming Sermon Topics
November 2 - Moral Imperatives for Today's World  Rev. Amy Russell
~ The world has changed dramatically in how people view morality.  Are there moral imperatives in our liberal religious view?  How have religious and ethical issues affected this election campaign?
November 9 - Building Spiritual Relationships  Rev. Amy Russell
~ In the relationships we surround ourselves with, we sometimes find people who encourage us along our spiritual journeys.  In these relationships, we encourage each other to grow beyond the near horizons of our life and closer to who we can see ourselves becoming.
November 16 - Choosing Civility  Dr. Valerie Lee
~ Dr. Lee is a political and social justice activist.  She worked as a school psychologist for Dayton City Schools for 30 years, was Ohio School Psychologist of the Year in 1998 and received a Top Ten Women award in Montgomery County in 2001.
November 23 - Thanksgiving Service  UU Heroes Visit MVUUF
~ On this day, we hold our traditional Thanksgiving service, which ends with a delicious potluck feast.  During the service, several UU heroes and heroines will visit us and tell us about themselves.
November 30 - Laughing at Ourselves  Rev. Amy Russell
~ I often tell myself to consider my life from a less anxious perspective so that I don't take myself too seriously.  Author Elizabeth Lesser calls this remembering that we're all "bozos on the bus."  When we remember this life lesson, we can forgive ourselves for not being perfect.
Daytime Book Discussion Group Titles *
November 19 - "Ladder of Years" by Anne Tyler
December 18 - "Christmas Train" by David Baldacci 
~This our holiday potluck lunch, held at Sylvia Wince's home at 11:00 am.  Please let Sylvia know what dish you are going to contribute.  Also, please bring a book that you would like to trade for another.
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
April TBA - "Water for Elephants" by Sarah Gruen
May TBA - "Flight of the Falcon" by Daphne DuMaurier
June TBA - "The Wayward Bus" by John Steinbeck
* 10:30 am at MVUUF.  Book discussion followed by lunch out together.
Evening Book Discussion Group Titles*
November 11 - "Anne of Green Gables" by L.M. Montgomery 
December 9 - "The Art of Possibility" by Rosamund tone Zander & Benjamin Zander 
* New meeting location - Java Street Café at 2056 East Dorothy Lane.  Meetings are on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. 
Community Discussion Group Topics *
November 2 - Y R U A UU?  Moderator: Roger Davis
November 9 - Changing Elitism and the Dumbing Down of American Culture:  The New Populism  Moderator: Tom Cruse
November 16- Memorable Thanksgivings  Moderator: Carol Vincent
November 23- No Class - MVUUF Thanksgiving Dinner Sunday
November 30 - Health & Wellness  Moderator:  Graciela Strayer
* For a more detailed listing of the topics, please see the Sunday bulletin 
Smart Choices Topics*
November 3 - Meeting at Ronald McDonald House where Cindy Finney will conduct a tour.  Let Sylvia Wince know if you'd like to carpool.
November 17 - Sharing what we're thankful for
December 1 - Potluck dinner at MVUUF
December 15 - Sing-down  Led by Jan Campbell
*2nd Monday of the month, 7:30 pm, drop-in basis
Food Fanciers
December 21 - 2 p.m. at the Fellowship.  Iris Carter will demonstrate how to make "To- Die-For Lemon Cake".  Please RSVP to Sylvia Wince if you plan to attend.