glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
March 1-15, 2009
~  A Welcoming Congregation  ~
MVUUF Building by Lew Hann
Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
8690 Yankee Street, Dayton, OH  45458
The winds of change are a-blowin'...
And they've come to rest on "The Forum."  Welcome to the new, slimmer version of "The Forum."  In order to get information to our readers in a more timely, relevant manner, we are going to present "The Forum" in a smaller version, twice a month.  We hope these changes make "The Forum" a more useful resource for you.  Information, schedules, Fellowship calendar, etc. are located on our web site at  Whenever possible, links will provided to save you even more time.  In addition, watch your mailbox for Forum Guidelines. Because of the new style, guidelines for submissions will need to be followed.  Amy's letter has been placed on the web site.  You can read it here:  Letter from Rev. Amy
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Keeping Up with Our Members
Around the Fellowship
YRE Information
Don't Forget!
Save the Date!
March 1 - Listening: A Sacred Practice  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Listening to another with our full attention is a gift to them.  Being listened to intently feels like a healing moment.  In our busy world with so many distractions, listening is a sacred practice.
March 8 - The Velveteen Rabbit  Intergenerational Service, with the Worship Committee and RE
~ The Velveteen Rabbit is a children's story that contains many adult lessons.  It speaks about how love transforms us and how it feels to be loved.  Our children, youth, and adults will dramatize this classic story in a whimsical and meaningful presentation.
March 15 - The Gospel According to Science: Evolutionary Good News  Michael Dowd
~ In this sermon, Michael Dowd shares the "good news" of a mainstream evolutionary worldview, as presented in his book, Thank God for Evolution.  Until evolution is preached from the pulpit and taught in religious education, Dowd claims, we will never see an end to the science and religious war in America, nor will religion reach its potential to serve humanity and the interdependent web of life in the 21st century.
Keeping Up With Our Members
Ben Olive has moved.  His new address is 6800 Paragon Rd.  Centerville, OH  45459.
Steve Trobridge wishes to thank the Fellowship for their good wishes & thoughts as he goes through his cancer treatment.  He also wishes to say thank you for the fundraising efforts during the New Year's Eve party.  He has never felt such warmth from a community, and is happy to be a part of this congregation.
Mary Coonrod wishes to thank everyone for the phone calls and cards she received while she was sick.
Linda Yoder is recovering from surgery for breast cancer. 
YRE Schedules
YRE Calendar for March:
Chalice Children class (Preschool and Kindergarten): Pre-K/K begin in class at 11:00 a.m.
March 1 - Preschool/Kindergarten Children's Worship
March 8 - Intergenerational Service, The Velveteen Rabbit (no classes)
March 15 - Class: Curriculum - Chalice Children
Grades 1st through 8th: Workshop Rotation, March's theme: "World Religions - Creation"   
1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade class:
March 1
- Children's Worship in Founders' Room
March 8 - Intergenerational Service, The Velveteen Rabbit (no classes)
March 15 - Workshop 1: Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist - Big Bang: We Are All Made of Stardust

4th and 5th grade class:
March 1 - Children's Worship in Founders' Room
March 8 - Intergenerational Service, The Velveteen Rabbit (no classes)
March 15 - Workshop 2: Hinduism - Creation story

6th and 8th grade class:
March 1 - Youth Worship in the Library
March 8 - Intergenerational Service, The Velveteen Rabbit (no classes)
March 15 - Workshop 3: Yoruba religion - Creation story

Senior High Class (Grades 9th-12th):
March 1 - Youth Worship in the Library
March 8 - Intergenerational Service, The Velveteen Rabbit (no classes)
March 15 - "Popcorn Theology"
You can view the DRE's letter here:  Natalie's letter
**For more detailed information about the YRE program, as well as YRE events and schedules, please go to our web site at and click on "Religious Education."
Around the Fellowship
Community Discussion Group Topics*
March 1
- Conspiracy Theories  Moderator: Tom Cruse
March 8 - Activities Families Enjoy Doing Together  Moderator: Sherry Davis
March 15 - Season for Nonviolence: Art & Practice of Consensus Building  Moderator: Bob Lewis
*This adult group meets every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in the Founders' Room for fellowship and thought-provoking discussions led by member volunteers.  For a more detailed listing of topics, please see the Sunday bulletin.

Michael Dowd Visits!
Michael Dowd will be back on our pulpit March 15.  And his wife Connie will be working with the 1st - 3rd grade classes.  We couldn't ask for better timing, as his visit comes on the heels of Darwin's 200th birthday.  His inspiring message embraces science and awe in an expression of gratitude for our human ability to understand our evolution.  If you have not heard him, you won't want to miss out.  If you have heard him, you'll be back.  Dowd will offer an extended, two-hour presentation on Tues. March 17 at 6:30 p.m.  Invite your friends from other faiths to come hear him then!  His evolutionary message invites people of all, or no, faith to celebrate the epic journey we've made together.  He may be backed by some of the world's biggest brains, but Dowd's message is all heart.  He & his wife Connie have literally lived on the road, out of a van, for the past eight years, traveling and preaching the "Gospel of Evolution."

Starting March 1, UUMen will begin discussing Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's, From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Profound New Vision of Growing Older.  All MVUUF men are invited to attend, Sundays at 9:30 a.m.  For more information, please contact Bob Lewis, Richard Donnelly, Jim Poltrone, Joe Law, or Phil Wise.  Childcare is available and we have an extra copy of the book if you need it.

St. Vincent de Paul/2nd Saturday Lunch Menu*
March 14 menu: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, 100% OJ, milk
*All donations must be delivered heated and ready to serve 15-20 people.  Donations should be taken to 120 W. Apple St. by 10:30 a.m.  Contact [email protected] to sign up/with questions.  You can also sign up in the Gathering Space.
Memorial Garden
We are starting to seriously research related Memorial Garden subjects, including plaques, landscaping, etc.  No decisions are finalized, but we are considering a Memorial Garden behind the Fellowship & opposite the Sanctuary.  We want it to be dignified & low maintenance.  We hope funding will come from prior subscriptions and fundraising.  We hope to present a final design at the June Congregational meeting, at no cost to the Fellowship.  If you are seriously interested in this project, please contact John Bierman at [email protected].

Daytime Book Club Titles*
March 18
- Collapse, by Jared Diamond  April 22 - Water for Elephants, by Stephanie Gruen. 
*We meet one Wednesday a month, at 10:30 a.m., in the Fellowship Library.  All are welcome!

Offering for March & Peacecard Campaign
The Social Concerns Committee of the Fellowship invites offering plate contributions for the Dayton For Darfur (DFD) Peacecard Campaign. Starting in 2003, the Sudanese government employed systematic genocide against Darfuri civilians that has now claimed 300,000+ lives from direct violence, disease and starvation. Rape and torture have been widespread, and approximately 3 million Darfuris are now refugees in deplorable conditions, dependent on humanitarian aid. DFD, working with area organizations & places of worship, plans to hand-deliver 10,000 Peacecards signed by citizens throughout the Miami Valley to Senator Voinovich, with another 10,000 distributed between President Obama, Senator Brown & others in congress. The Peacecards urge that they take a leadership role in resolving this crisis.  30% of non-pledge contributions each Sunday in March will go to helping offset the $4 per hundred cost of printing the Peacecards. Peacecards will be available at the Fellowship. Additional information is available at 

Stewardship Campaign Kick-Off!
March 1
is the official kick-off for our annual stewardship campaign.  Last year we focused on the meaning of this fellowship to all our lives and you responded generously.  You told us that you no longer wanted deficit budgeting and "close-the-gap" campaigns and you responded accordingly.  We have been prudent in our spending as well.  All the staff and program reps have watched their expenditures closely and managed their budgets wisely.  Between your generosity and prudence, we are poised to move into a period of growth.

And we are growing.  You have noticed it!  Our parking lot is full.  The number of children in R.E. seems to keep growing.  There are many activities for newcomers to join.  We are developing new leaders.  We are growing and need to prepare for more of it.  What a terrific opportunity we face!  In tough economic times, congregations like ours become more important than ever.  We offer a place of spiritual growth, an opportunity for religious education, an environment that creates the space to live our religion through social justice work, and a wonderful home for fellowship among caring, thinking people.  These four pillars - worship, religious education, social justice, and fellowship - all require our stewardship.  Let's meet our growth responsibly with an eye toward the future.

Fellowship leaders will host a dinner for all of you on Sat. March 21 at 6:00 p.m.  You will be entertained and inspired by our own Scott Leonard.  A host of people will be able to answer questions about church budget and giving, and we will ask for your pledge.  So join us - it'll be fun!  Do the responsible thing.  If you don't come, we'll find you.  Ve haf our vays.  Please sign up in the Gathering Space so we know how much food to prepare.
~Alice Diebel
Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet March 1 at the Danbury South for some low-brow entertainment.  Please call Pete Hering at 974-0360 for more information.
**Smart Choices is meeting Thur., March 26 at 2 p.m. at the Fellowship.  Robin Farinet will bring scripts for the play, "The Quilters." 
**The "Keeping Kids Safe" workshop is March 1 at 12:30 p.m.
**Food Fanciers will meet Fri., March 20 at 2 p.m. in the Fellowship Kitchen to see Adina & Rita Reeve make cream puffs, éclairs, and cheese puffs.  They will also give tips on making items with choux pastry.  All are welcome!  Contact Sylvia Wince with questions.
**Mystery Friends Dinner is Sat., March 14 at 6 p.m. at the Fellowship.
**Evening Book Group will meet at the Java Street Café (2056 E. Dorothy Ln.) on Tues., March 10 to discuss Dreams From My Father.  April's selection is Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult. Contact Ann Snively.
Save the Date!
**James Nihan will be performing at the Fellowship on Sat., March 28 at 8 p.m.  He'll also be performing at Sunday service.  Contact Carol Narigon at 427-2056 if you'd like to help out.  More information can be found here:  James Nihan concert
**Greg Greenway will be performing a concert on Sat., April 25...more details here:  Greg Greenway concert
**The Service Auction is April 18!  The auction starts at 6:30 p.m.  Get ready for an evening of tapas, sangria, & fun!  Donation forms are available in Sunday bulletins and in the Gathering Space.  If you'd like a form emailed to you, please contact Kristin in the Fellowship office at 436-3628 and she will get one to you.