glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Monthly Newsletter of MVUUF
January 2009
Volume LIX, No. VII
~  A Welcoming Congregation  ~
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
Climbing Out of Our Box
       ~Rev. Amy Russell
            This past year there have been a number of occasions when I was asked to step outside of my comfort zone.  Registering voters in West Dayton, working on the campaign by calling and canvassing voters, speaking at a World AIDS day service in a Christian setting, and approaching ministers that I didn't know about attending Equality Ohio events.  All of these occasions made me take a big breath and a leap into something that was somewhat unknown to me.  I know that several of you had this kind of experience this past year as well.
            Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to help with the St. Vincent's lunch that our members provide once a month.  I hadn't had a chance to actually stay and help serve lunch before and I was a little nervous.  Going down to a place I'd never been, trying to find how to get in and what to say when I got there was all a little uncomfortable at first.  But once I got to the kitchen, found our team, and got put to work, I enjoyed myself thoroughly.  Meeting some of the people who were there for lunch was a good experience as they were very grateful and greeted us warmly. 
            What I continue to learn when I do something like this is how grateful I am that I reached out beyond my normal day to day world to people I didn't know and to situations in which I didn't know what to expect.   My horizons are broadened by knowing people different from me and my understanding of myself in the world changes.  The interdependent web reaches far beyond my limited vision and deeper than my limited knowledge.
            Sometimes when we are challenged to try something new, we hold back, we ask a lot of questions.  That's good because we certainly need to understand what we're being asked to do.  But sometimes, our fear of the unknown can hold us back from taking "a leap of faith".  Sometimes when we leap we learn that the opportunity is not the right thing for us.  And sometimes we learn that our leaping into something beyond our scope has changed us, opened us up, emptied us out; we are new people, hopefully, better people.
            The new year brings many such challenges.  May we be open to the opportunities to climb out our limited box and into the wider world.
Keeping Up With Our Members
Chris Matice is undergoing surgery in Columbus in January and will be spending several weeks there recovering.
Our CareCallers delivered poinsettias to our homebound members.  We received many thanks for this gesture, including lovely notes from the Renners and Jan Conrad.
Claudia Bailey's 90 year old father is undergoing chemotherapy for a bone marrow disorder.
Mary Ellen Beardmore's father recently passed away.
Mary Coonrod sends a big thank you to all those who helped her celebrate her 86th birthday!
Upcoming Events at MVUUF and Beyond...
New Year's Eve Party & Fundraiser!
MVUUF will be hosting a New Year's Eve party on Dec. 31st 8 p.m. - 1 a.m.  The cost is $10 per person, $20 per couple, and $5 for children 12 and under.  All proceeds will go to assist Natalie Spriggs-Trobridge & Steve Trobridge with Steve's cancer care expenses.  There will be childcare available, as well as a children's party.  Attendees will enjoy karaoke, games, dancing, trivia, improv, food, drink, and more!  Tickets are on sale now!
Chalice Light Gallery Showcases J. Paul Bruce Photography
            Paul looks for scenes that provoke imagination in the mind of the viewer. He looks for serenity and peacefulness in the world around us and tries to portray that in his photographs. This brings a quiet mood to his work.
            His study of the art of photography and darkroom techniques has ranged from formal education to numerous workshops conducted by some of the world's leading black and white photographers. In addition to creating traditional black and white photographs, occasionally, to add dimension to the photo, Paul hand paints selected portions of the black & white print using watercolors. 
            J. Paul Bruce's photographs have been published in the national magazines Outdoor & Travel Photography and Photo Techniques, and in Photographer's Forum Best of Photography book.   His work is sold through galleries in Chicago and Dayton.
            More recently Paul has started to put his photography on canvas via a giclee printing process. A blending of two art forms, photography and painting, provide a unique perspective on his artwork. These gallery wrapped canvas art prints are hand embellished with acrylic enhancing the texture, detail and color.
            Several of his photographs are part of the permanent collection of the Dayton Art Institute.  You can visit his web site at 
2nd Saturday Lunch
Each month we serve lunch at St. Vincent De Paul Hotel  120 W. Apple St.  Food delivery time is 10:30 a.m.  The Jan. 10th menu is listed below.  To provide a dish (15-20 servings) please send an email to 
Menu:  Chicken (baked or fried), mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, whole fruit, 100% orange juice

Compassionate Communication Workshop
MVUUF Rights Relations Committee is sponsoring an all-day workshop on Compassionate Communication on January 24, 2009, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.  Currently, we have reached capacity for registration, but are taking names for a waiting list.  Please contact Genevieve Harvey if you would like to be added to the waiting list or would like to participate in the weekly study/practice group starting in February.  They will be using the book Nonviolent Communication: A Language in Life by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD.  If enough people are interested, the group may be able to purchase the book at a bulk discount.

UUMen "Wrestling with Adulthood"
UUMen are "Wrestling with Adulthood: UU Men Talk About Growing Up."  When and how did/do we become adult?  Taking on responsibilities, making commitments?  Realizing our time is not so much our own as it once was?  All MVUUF men are welcome to join the discussions every Sunday at 9:30 a.m.  Childcare is available!  For more info, contact Bob Lewis, Richard Donnelly, Jim Poltrone, Joe Law, or Phil Wise.  (We have an extra copy of the book if you need it!)
Workshop: Energy Stewardship: From Pew to Planet
The Marianist Environmental Education Center and the Ohio Interfaith Power and Light are holding a workshop on Saturday, Jan. 31, 9am - 5 pm, focusing on equipping congregations to reduce energy use.  The workshop will be held at the Marianist Center Building, Mount St. John.  Cost is $40 for first member of congregation; $30 for second, $25 for third and fourth members.  Lunch included.  For more information contact: or call 937.429.3582.

Season for Nonviolence
The Fellowship will observe the Season for Nonviolence January 30 - April 4, 2009.  Honoring the memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the 64 days focus on the use of nonviolent principles and practice as a way to heal, transform and empower our lives and communities.  During this time, the Season will be highlighted through sermons, films, RE activities, workshops on compassionate communication, and Forum, listserve, and bulletin reminders.

UUA Peacekeeping Statement of Conscience
Each UUA congregation is being asked to vote by Feb. 1 on whether to bring the draft Peacemaking Statement of Conscience to a final vote for adoption during the June 2009 General Assembly.  The Fellowship's response to the UUA will be discussed at the Social Concerns Committee meeting on Jan. 19 at 7 pm.  The Committee invites those who are interested in our response to attend the meeting or contact the Committee.  Information about the four-year study/action process for Peacemaking can be found at:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 19
The Reverend Amy Russell will be delivering the invocation at a Prayer Breakfast sponsored by the Centerville Washington Township Diversity Council. The breakfast will be at 7:30 am at the Yankee Trace Clubhouse. The clubhouse is located at 10000 Yankee St in Centerville.  In addition, the Dayton march from the four corners of the city to the courthouse will begin at around 11:00. If you are interested in carpooling from the church, please meet in the parking lot at 10:30am. If you live closer to Dayton, meet us at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. Please let me know if you are planning to carpool so we know to wait for you! Contact Alice Diebel at (937) 350-7763 or
Magic Show: Story of the Barefoot Angels
Join us Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 8:00pm in the MVUUF Sanctuary for Abigail Nessen Bengson's The Magic Show: The Story of the Barefoot Angels is the story of two American communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast and a volcano eruption in Santa Ana, El Salvador. Nessen channels the voices of six good-hearted and passionate characters who dance, tell dirty jokes, weep, laugh, share their stories and sing music as diverse as Salvadoran hip-hop, zydeco and old-time 12-bar blues, all in a whirlwind one-act solo performance with live music by "one man band" Shaun Bengson.
New & Notable
Sponsor a Guest at Your Table this Winter!
            The Guest at Your Table program began on December 7.  It will end on January 15, when our contributions will be totaled and sent to the UUSC.
            This program serves as the annual fundraiser for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, founded in 1939 to respond to the needs of refugees for the Nazi holocaust.  Since 1975, the Guest at your Table program has been putting UU faith in action, by raising funds to help people struggling for basic human rights both in the U.S. and around the world. The UUSC funds local groups across the globe that have designed projects to help those in their communities.
            How does it work?  Guest at Your Table allows you and your family to sponsor an international visitor by donating once a day as you eat your main meal.  Children and families receive brightly-colored boxes for their donations.  (I'll take care of getting the coins rolled.)  Guest at Your Table, however, is not just for children or for loose coins.  How many dollars worth of food would you be willing to offer for protecting the human rights of your guest -international or domestic - if he or she really could share your table? $1.00, $2.00 , $5.00 a day? 
            Adults may opt for an envelope provided by the UUSC rather than a box to turn in a contribution. If you pay by check, make it out to UUSC, but return it to me or to the office, so I can report total contributions back to the congregation.  If you prefer to send a contribution directly to UUSC, if you let me know what it is, I'll include it in our total.
            Basic UUSC Membership rates are:  $40.00 -regular, $75 dual regular (2 adults), $20 Seniors (65 and over), $10 for Students and Youth.  Donations of $100 or more from a family or individual are matched by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock.
~ Maureen O'Meara

Right Relations Committee Update
            The newly formed Right Relations Committee consists of Alysoun Taylor (chair), Joe Law, and Catherine Queener.  Our work is to help MVUUF build the beloved community by fostering safe and supportive interactions among our members and friends.
            In the coming months, we will be working with MVUUF members and groups to promote use of the Covenant of Right Relations.  The covenant provides specific guidance that can help us express our ideas and concerns to others in ways that are loving and constructive. The Right Relations Committee is also sponsoring the Compassionate Communication workshop to be held in January.  We will continue to look for opportunities like this to help increase the overall skill level of the congregation in the area of interpersonal communication.  Your suggestions are welcome.
            We are also here to assist members and groups as they work through conflict situations that arise in the normal course of congregational life.  Our goal is not to eliminate conflict but rather to help members respond to conflicts effectively and before they escalate.  If you find yourself having difficulty working through a conflict situation, please give one of us a call.  You can talk to whichever committee member you feel most comfortable approaching.  We will listen to your situation and suggest ways to move forward.  The committee will not solve your problems for you, but we will help you talk through your problem and find the resources you need.
            A full description of the approach we will be using can be found in the Right Relations section of MVUUF Policy & Procedures .  For questions or concerns about the Right Relations Committee, or for assistance with a conflict, please contact Alysoun Taylor, Joe Law, or Catherine Queener.

Thank You, Wetlanders!
Thanks to our tried and true wetlanders, Maury Wyckoff, with chain saw, Dave Rengel with truck, Joe Zimmerman and Dane Mutter with raincoats, the biodiversity of our MVUUF wetland is improved.  On a cold drizzly day in November, we removed well over 100 small trees that were invading our wetland.  The trees selected for removal were mostly Ash, Silver Maple, and Callery Pear.  Invading trees will eventually form a dense canopy and their shade will limit the variety of herbaceous wetland plants that thrive here.  There is still a good population of trees and some additional thinning will be necessary.  A large brush pile was constructed for the benefit of resident birds and rabbits.
~ Dane Mutter

MVUUF Receives Irvin Friend Bequest
            The Board of Trustees has announced that we have received a bequest of $1,500 from the estate of the late Irvin R. Friend, who died on June 12, 2007 at the age of 98.  The bequest has been deposited in our General Fund.
            Irvin was a graduate of Waynesville High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in 1933.  After serving in the Army Air Corps in WWII he worked at Wright-Patterson AFB, retiring in 1971.  He was a charter member of the Hollenger Tennis Club and joined the former First Unitarian Church in 1955.  After creation of our Fellowship in 1958 he attended services for over 40 years, and in the early 1980s he served on the History Committee, selecting famous UU readings for Sunday services.
            In 2001 he was listed among the Neighborhood Pride Award winners for the city of Kettering.  During the Capital Campaign for construction of our current building he was very generous, writing a check for a five-figure contribution.  In Oct. 2006 Irvin was named a Member Emeritus by the Fellowship.
            The Board is very grateful for his support & friendship to MVUUF over many years and encourages all of our members to remember our Fellowship in their estate planning.
~John Bierman, MVUUF Endowment Fund, Secretary

Music Task Force
During the last several Board and Program Council Retreats, Music has come up as one of the most important aspects of our ministries here at MVUUF.  In order to move forward with our music ministry, the Board has asked that a task force be formed to take a look at the music program at the Fellowship.  The task force will be evaluating all aspects of our music program, and will be seeking the thoughts and opinions of our members, staff, and volunteers.  We plan to do this over the next six months, and hope that everyone will participate in the process.  What we are interested in, is knowing what is working well, what we love about the music at MVUUF, what we would like to see more of, and how we would like to grow and evolve.  Our job is to gather information, with the hope of making some recommendations on how we can continue to grow and provide beautiful music at the Fellowship.  The task force members are Lew Hann, Ann Rismiller, Jack Fenic, and Kate Santucci.  One of us may ask for a few minutes of your time after service to talk about music, or we may ask you to fill out a survey so we can better understand what we want as a community.  It has been 10 years since the last time this was done, and since then we have moved into a new building, have a new minister, and many new faces!  We hope that this work proves to be valuable.  Please feel free to contact any of us with any questions or suggestions you may have.

Support MVUUF When You Buy Groceries!
Do you shop at Kroger or Dorothy Lane?  Your purchases can earn money for the Fellowship without costing you a cent.  I have them at the Fellowship and will be glad to sell you one on request.  If you can't always get to the Fellowship, if you send me the price of the card, I can mail you one.
            Kroger has the easiest system, and returns 4% of our recharge amounts monthly to the Fellowship.  Three steps and we earn money every month from your purchases. 
1.         All you do is purchase a Kroger gift card for $5. On your first trip to Kroger, you get $5 of groceries free.
2.         Use your card like a debit card.
3.         When it runs low, recharge your card at Kroger (with cash, credit card, debit card , or check) in the store at the service desk.
Many of you already have Kroger gift cards-remember to use them when you shop.
            Dorothy Lane offers two programs that benefit the Fellowship, Gift Cards and the Community Rewards Program.
1.         Dorothy Lane gift cards have a declining balance; they can be used until you have spent all your money but cannot be recharged.  We currently sell them in denominations of $20 and $50.  The Fellowship receives 5% for all cards sold.
2.         In addition to these Cards, Dorothy Lane offers to all shoppers a Good Neighbors program for donations to a favorite charity for which individual shoppers must register annually. 
If you shop at Dorothy Lane, be sure to take advantage of both programs.
~ Maureen O'Meara, Grocery Cards Fundraiser Chair.

Congregational Meeting
The next Congregational Meeting is set for Sunday, January 11, 2009.  In the meeting, all voting members will be asked to vote on the slate of candidates (listed below) for elected positions.  At the end of the Forum, there is a special section titled "Meet the Candidates".  This section has short biographies of each of the nominees.

Shred those Directories!
Just a note to ask those of you who are getting a jump start on spring-cleaning to shred your old Church Directories when you are getting rid of them.  They contain lots of personal information.  Thank you! money to MVUUF
A percentage of your purchase price can be donated to MVUUF!  Go to, click Activities on the left side menu, click Affiliates, and follow the Amazon icon.  Easy!

Refugee Family Donations
If you have large items (furniture, especially beds) to donate to Iraqi, Burundi, and Sudanese refugees, please email or call Catholic Social Services donation line 223-7217 ext. 4297 to arrange for pick up.  For small household items (linens, kitchenware, etc.), call or email Richard Donnelly.

Offering for January and February Plus Collection of Non-Perishable Food
The Social Concerns Committee of the Fellowship invites offering plate contributions for The Foodbank which provides food relief in Greene, Montgomery, and Preble Counties through 100 member programs.  With the purchasing power of The Foodbank, each donated dollar results in $5.00 worth of food delivered. Increases in unemployment and in the price of food have significantly increased the need for food relief.  30% of non-pledge contributions each Sunday in January and February will go to The Foodbank, and on these Sundays we will also collect non-perishable food for The Foodbank.  Look for the donation boxes in the Gathering Space.  For more on The Foodbank visit 

Sermons, Sundries, & Schedules
Upcoming Sermon Topics
January 4
- Being Intentional  Rev. Amy Russell
~ In the new year, we often reconsider our lives and make resolutions to change it.  Being intentional means considering your intentions in every moment, as a way to shape your actions.  A ritual involving stones and water will allow us to create "intentions" for the new year.
January 11 - Finding Your Ministry  Rev. Amy Russell
~ In our busy lives, we struggle to find time to work, take care of our families, and have some time for rest.  How can we fit in an effort to reach out to others less fortunate than ourselves?  How do we find our own ministries?
January 18 - Honoring Peace and Martin Luther King, Jr.  Rev. Amy Russell and Christine Dull, from the Peace Museum
~ In addition to his civil rights work, Martin Luther King, Jr. was very vocal about his stance against the Vietnam War.  He is known for his views on using non-violent techniques for civil action.  How can we apply his teachings in today's world?
January 25 - Cultivating Compassion, Within and Without  Theresa Sapunar
~ Approaching ourselves with compassion is key to recovering our authentic aliveness and being.  Only then are we able to truly live our daily lives from a bodily-felt sense of compassion for others.  In this service, we will explore embodied spirituality, a spirituality that is lived internally and in relationships in everyday life.

Daytime Book Discussion Group Titles*
January 21 - "Taps" by Willie Morris
February 18 - "Scar of David" by Susan Abulahaua
March 18 - "You've Been Warned" by James Patterson
April 22 - "Water for Elephants" by Sarah Gruen
May 20 - "Flight of the Falcon" by Daphne DuMaurier
June 17 - "The Wayward Bus" by John Steinbeck
* 10:30 am at MVUUF.  Book discussion followed by lunch out together.
Evening Book Discussion Group Titles*
January 13 - "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie
February 10 - "Dreams from My Father" by Barack Obama
March 10 - "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult
April 14 - "Pagan Christ" by Tom Harpur
May 12 - "Strange as This Weather Has Been" by Ann Pancake
* 7 p.m., 2nd Tuesday of the month, Java Street Café (2056 E. Dorothy Ln.).  New participants are welcome.  Contact Ann Snively for more information.
Smart Choices*
We have changed our meeting time to 2 p.m., the 3rd Thursday of the month!
Women who are members and friends of MVUUF are welcome to join us.  We enjoy each other's company and do something that is fun or instructive to enhance our lives in some way.  Our next meeting will be held at Shirley Gezinski's house on Thursday Jan. 15.  We will have a "sing-down", led by Jan Campbell.  Contact Sylvia Wince for more information
* 2 p.m., 3rd Thursday of the month

If you're wild about films, join Cinemaniacs the 3rd Sunday of 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.  Contact Pete Hering at 974-0360 with questions or to request being added to the Cinemaniacs email list.
Food Fanciers
Food Fanciers will meet in the Fellowship Kitchen on Friday January 23rd at 2:00 p.m. to watch Lew Hann demonstrate his secret recipe for bean dip.  Please RSVP to Sylvia at 435-5079 if you plan to attend, so the cook has an idea of how much food to prepare.  This group is open to members and friends of MVUUF.  Mark your calendars for February 20, which is our next meeting.
Community Discussion Group Topics*
January 4 - How Do Ego, Fear and Greed Factor Into the Ethics of Aid and the Burden of Consumerism  Moderator: Chris Parker
January 11 - Favorite Books of 2008  Moderator: Mike Nelson
January 18 - Genetic Testing: Pros and Cons  Moderator: Sam Kramer
January 25 - The Fine Art of Small Talk  Moderator: Lindy McDonough
* For a more detailed listing of topics, please see the Sunday bulletin
 Meet the Candidates
PRESIDENT: Alice Diebel  Alice has been a UU for 20 years, including the past three years at MVUUF.  In other UU churches, she participated in pledge drives; chaired the Ministerial Search Committee; and served on the Membership, Worship, and Social Concerns committees. At MVUUF, Alice is our current Treasurer, serves on the Worship and Social Concerns committees, and sings in the choir.  Additionally, she has been our Denominational Affairs Representative.  Alice holds a Ph.D. in Resource Development and works for the Charles F. Kettering Foundation.  With her partner Bob Lewis she enjoys hiking, camping, bicycling, and photography.  Alice states, "I would be honored to serve as your Board President.  I envision a church that provides meaningful ministries and responsible practices."  Her goal is to aim for openness, strong internal communication, input from others in significant decisions, and encouragement of effective leadership throughout MVUUF.
VICE PRESIDENT: Karen Evans  Karen was appointed last March to fill the vacant Vice President position on the Board.  The Nominating Committee has selected Karen as a candidate for a full term in that capacity.  Before serving on the Board, Karen was Coffee Organizer and Greeter Coordinator.  She has a B.A. in Sociology and a M.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences from Wright State; and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Walden University.  Since 2003, she has worked as a Psychologist for Senior Life Consultants, providing health services for senior adults in long term care facilities.  With her partner Rich Robinson, she has a large extended family including two daughters and a granddaughter.  Her many interests include studying world religions, martial arts, playing the hammer dulcimer, and historical reenactment.  Additionally she enjoys walking, hiking, reading, and red wine.  On affiliating with MVUUF, Karen says, "I was thrilled to find a church that truly resonated with my beliefs."  And as a Board member, "It has been enjoyable working with such a dedicated and caring group of people.  I feel a lot of positive energy and growth potential in our Fellowship right now."
SECRETARY: Joe Law  Our nominee for Secretary presently serves as the Internal Communications Representative on the Program Council.  Since becoming a MVUUF member in 2003, Joe has also been active as a member of the Social Concerns Committee, Welcoming Congregation and Living the Welcoming Congregation classes, Interweave, and UU Men.  Joe is in a committed relationship with Phil Wise, and among his interests are music and late Victorian culture.  He also participates in the Dayton Rainbow League (bowling) and Dayton Pride Partnership; and does volunteer work for WDPR and the Dayton Art Institute.  Joe received his undergraduate degree from Southwestern State College in his native Oklahoma, and graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in English, from the University of Missouri.  At Wright State, Joe is Professor of English; Coordinator, Writing Across the Curriculum; and Assistant Vice President for Articulation and Transfer.      

TREASURER: Mike O'Brien  Mike has been a member of MVUUF for 21 years.  During that time he has been an active participant in the music program, occasionally as a singer-guitarist during worship services.  Mike has also served on the Nominating Committee and as chairman of the Worship Committee.  He attended Miami University where he earned degrees in both music and economics.  Mike, along with his wife Linda and adult sons B.J. and John, are owners and operators of Woodburn Press, an educational publishing company.  He is past president of AMBUCS (service club), and in his leisure time loves to play golf at Dayton Country Club.  
PROGRAM COUNCIL CHAIR: Joan Albrecht  Joan is our present Program Council chair and she has been nominated to continue in this capacity.  Joan is a widow and a retired elementary school teacher.  A native of Indiana, she graduated from Indiana State University.  After moving to Dayton, she took time off from teaching to raise her family.  After resuming her teaching career, she earned Special Education certification from Wright State and a M.A. from the University of Dayton.  Her three adult children include two sons and a daughter.  Joan's interests and activities include theater, bridge, reading, cats, drawing and volunteering at the Dayton Art Institute.        

TRUSTEE AT LARGE: Antonia Harter  Antonia became a MVUUF member through initial involvement with a transgender support group that was meeting at the Fellowship.  She previously was active as a member of the Welcoming Congregation and Worship and Liturgy Committees at St. John UU Church in Cincinnati.  Additionally, Antonia is a current Board member of Crossport (Transgender Support Group in Cincinnati) and representative to the Cincinnati GLBT Coalition.  Antonia majored in Marketing and Management at the University of Cincinnati, and before retiring, was employed for over 20 years in the graphic arts industry.  She has two sons, a daughter, four grandsons, and two granddaughters.  Hobbies and interests include hunting, camping, hiking, Native American spirituality, and cooking.  Additionally, she is a healing touch practitioner.  Antonia is engaged to Katherine Wright and they look forward to spending their retirement years traveling in their camper.          
TRUSTEE AT LARGE: Matt Briddell  Matt earned a B.A. in Classical Studies at Indiana University and holds teaching certificates in both Indiana and Ohio.  He is currently in his second year of teaching Latin and social studies at Oakwood High School.  After joining MVUUF in October, 2007, he soon became involved in our programs and activities.  He presently serves as usher coordinator and recently started teaching YRE classes.  Matt enjoys biking, is involved with The Mu Crew (a young adult social group), and he is active in GLBT advocacy.

ACTIVITIES: Kate Halpin  Kate holds a degree in History and French from Hanover College, and she has been a customer support representative with Lexis Nexus for 19 years.  As a longtime member of MVUUF she has served in many capacities. For over 15 years Kate has taught at all levels in the RE program, and for many years she and her husband Sean have coordinated our annual Thanksgiving Dinner and Service Auction.  Recently, Kate served on the Nominating Committee. When not volunteering for MVUUF, she and Sean are involved in the activities of their son and two daughters.  Kate has also worked as a Girl Scout leader and around home she enjoys reading and baking.      

COMMUNICATIONS: Eugenio Durand  Eugenio has been a software engineer at Lexis Nexis for 12 years.  He earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics in his native Mexico City and then pursued graduate studies in mathematics at the University of Minnesota.  Special interests include martial arts, stone carving, and ballroom dancing.  Eugenio became a member of MVUUF about 1 year ago, and he looks forward to serving on the Program Council.

MEMBERSHIP: Dawn Bellinger  Dawn describes herself as "a non-churchgoing atheist for most of my life'', and she became an official member of MVUUF in October 2007.  She wasted no time in getting very actively involved. Dawn has worked closely with the present Membership Committee; and helped with the Thanksgiving dinner, service auction and the kids sewing recycle project.  She also works with the Social Concerns Committee and recently married congregation President Scott Leonard.  Dawn earned a B.A. in Egyptian Archeology at the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Education at the University of Cincinnati, where she is presently a Ph.D. candidate.  When not working on MVUUF activities, she enjoys reading biographies and history, and cooking.

OPERATIONS: Sean Halpin  Sean has previously served as Operations Trustee, and he is willing and able to do so again.  Since becoming a member in 1995, he has served MVUUF in many capacities. He is a long-time YRE teacher, and at this time teaches pre-school/kindergarten. For years, he has been assistant coordinator for the Thanksgiving Dinner and Service Auction. Recently he was a member of the Ministerial Search Committee, and at present is chairman of the Personnel Committee.  Sean has a B.S. in Business Management from Wright State, and he works at Wright Patterson AFB as a civilian Program Manager/Contract Negotiator.  He and his wife Kate (our Activities nominee) have two daughters and a son.  Outside of MVUUF, he enjoys soccer, reading, and driving the kids to their activities.     

PUBLIC RELATIONS- EXTERNAL: Pat Santucci  Pat has been a MVUUF member since 1999, and he has chaired the AV Committee since then.  He and his wife Kate have twin eleven year old sons.  Pat earned a B.F.A in Directing and Stage Management at Wright State, and is a Senior Software Engineer for Elsevier at Lexis Nexis. He also works as a part-time consultant for AV control system planning and design.  Pat's hobbies and interests include amusement park history, roller coasters, and making candy. 

SOCIAL CONCERNS: Bob Lewis  Bob recently moved here from Michigan to join his partner, Alice (our President nominee), and he has been very active in our services and programs over the past two years  He currently serves on the Program Council as Social Concerns Representative, after being appointed to this position.  Bob has been a frequent participant in Sunday services as both a worship associate and speaker.  Additionally he has been involved with UU Men, Men Who Cook, Soup Supper, and leader of the Voter Registration Drive.  He also arranged for the recent visit of past UUA President William Schulz. In UU churches in St. Louis and East Liberty, Michigan, he served as Board President.  Bob is equally active in the community as a member of UUSC, ACLU, Amnesty International, and AFSC.  In addition he has recently been involved with the Greater Dayton Interfaith Trilogue, Dayton Council of World Affairs, and Vote Dayton.  Bob's undergraduate work was in English and his graduate studies were in theology and American Studies.  Bob is semi-retired; previous work included campus ministry,program development, and consulting.  Leisure pursuits include hiking, biking, camping, backpacking, canoeing, reading, photography, and music.

WORSHIP: Deb Miyake  Since joining MVUUF, Deb has been very active.  She has served as worship associate and recently delivered a sermon. Committees and activities in which she has participated include choir, small group dinners, Membership Committee, Social Concerns Committee, Worship Committee, 50th Anniversary Planning Committee, and Buddhist Meditation Group.  Deb holds a Master in Music Education from Winthrop University and taught middle school band.  Since changing her career to computer science she has been a Technical Support Consultant for Lexis Nexis.  Deb is an avid reader and poetry writer, and she also enjoys fishing, camping, and "feeding my inner geek on the computer".  Deb shares her home with her cat, a turtle and three fire belly toads. 
ENDOWMENT: Tom Cruse  In addition to his membership at MVUUF, Tom has been very  active in several other UU churches throughout the nation. He has served as Board President of churches in Pittsburgh and Colorado, as Treasurer of a UU church in Nashville, and as Finance Committee Member and/or Chairman on three occasions.  Tom is a mechanical engineer with B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stanford, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Washington. During his career, he has worked in industry, academe, and civilian and military research institutes. Currently he is a private consultant and visiting professor at the University of Dayton. Tom and his wife Katherine have an adult son and daughter, as well as a granddaughter.  He is an instrument-rated pilot and he also enjoys outdoor hiking, skiing, and rafting.  

NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Jim Falconer  Jim is a former Protestant minister, and he has also worked as a counselor and mental health clinic director.  A member of MVUUF since 1993, Jim has served as Vice President and a member of the Ministerial Search Committee.  He created our Community Discussion Group and was instrumental in developing our new governance structure.  Jim's hobbies and interests include woodworking, genealogy, history, and photography.
NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Priscilla Mutter  Priscilla became a UU in 1957 when she joined a small fellowship in Wisconsin.  She has since been a member of four fellowships.  She holds a B.S. from Bowling Green State University, a M.Ed. from Wright State, and a Ph.D. from Ohio University.  Though she is retired career counselor, Priscilla remains active in the Sinclair and UD Colleges for Lifelong Learning.  At Sinclair she chairs the curriculum committee.  She and her husband are active outdoors people and serious birders.     

NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Kriss Gang  A lifelong UU, Kriss is our immediate past president, and previously served on the Board as Treasurer.  He was formerly active in a large UU church in Minneapolis-St. Paul where he served on the Board, Program Council, and Nominating Committee; he also edited the weekly newsletter.  In the UUA Heartland District, Kriss serves as Growth Consultant and is Executive Chair of the Annual Program Fund that encompasses 53 congregations.  Locally, Kriss is active in the Democratic Party where at present he is spearheading a "Campaign for Change" on behalf of president-elect Obama.  With a B.A. in Marketing from Bowling Green, he works for HG Worldwide in marketing and sales promotion.  Kris and his wife Deb have two sons, both of whom are university students.    
NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Ruth Rowley  After retiring as a reading specialist from the Fairborn City Schools, Ruth spent several years as a teacher of English to Students of Other Languages (ESOL) in Romania (Transylvania), Hungary, and China.  She has been a UU for 40 years, and has served on the Board and Program council in many positions.  Presently she is our Worship Committee chair and for two years served as the district Ministerial Settlement Representative.  Ruth's two sons and their families live in Chicago, and her five grandchildren are "extraordinarily bright and beautiful".  When not volunteering at MVUUF, Ruth volunteers as an usher at Victoria Theatre and Schuster Center, and in her spare time she likes to work crossword puzzles and play Scrabble online.