glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
July 1-15, 2009
~  A Welcoming Congregation  ~
MVUUF Building by Lew Hann
Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
8690 Yankee Street, Dayton, OH  45458
Click on the headings below to navigate directly to these topics!
Letter from the Minister
Keeping Up with Our Members
Around the Fellowship
Printable MVUUF Calendar!
YRE Information
Don't Forget!
Save the Date!
Letter from the Minister
During some recent talks with some of our new members, I have been told some wonderful stories about how they feel about this community.  First, one told me that "the blue cups don't work".  I was dismayed, thinking this meant that he wasn't being greeted by people.  He said that people don't seem to notice the blue cup, but people are always friendly and introduce themselves to him.  Another newer member told me that his experience is that people in this community want to hear what he has to say.  He says that people are open to his opinions and thoughts, unlike other churches that he has visited.  Another told me that this place has become "her family", even after only being here a year.
Hearing these things warms my heart.  In MVUUF's history, I think the atmosphere has not always been so warm and friendly.  But somehow this is who we've become: a warm and welcoming community. 

Recently I learned a new term from the Lakota tribe, "tiospaye".  This term means an extended family related by blood, marriage, or adoption.  It can refer to a community where people take care of each other as though they were a family.  It also refers to the "center circle of life" or how one learns to be a true human being within a community.  Lakota people believe in living a simple and straightforward life following ethical behavior which is called "walking the Red Road".  In community, we often have different points of view, but we are held together by some basic principles by how we want to treat one other.

In our community those principles are described by our Right Relations Covenant.  While we haven't heard a lot about this covenant lately, I still feel we are following an implicit code of right relations.  If you noticed in our Congregational Meeting, people worked hard to listen to one another and honor each other's different viewpoints.  And a good compromise came out of that.

As we walk the "Red Road" together, and as we grow, we'll continue to build our "tiospaye" using our covenant to help us.
~Rev. Amy Russell
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Quick Links
July 5 - For the Story: Reflections On the Stories that Make Us and the Possibilities of Summertime  Elizabeth Nguyen
July 12 - Perfectionism - How Good Do We Have to Be?  Deb Miyake
~ Perfectionism often brings feelings of shame and guilt.  How can we avoid these feelings and learn to be just "good enough"?
July 19 - Life on the Boundary  Jim Faulconer
~ Life is filled with uncertainty.  How do we deal with this? 
July 26 - Divining the Feminine in Unitarian Universalism  Dawn Bellinger
~ This service will be a celebration of women's spirituality as embodied in UU principles.
Keeping Up With Our Members
John Bohley's father passed away at age 93 and Catherine Queener's father passed away at age 89.  Please keep both these members & their families in your thoughts.

Iris & George Carter celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 13th!  Iris is also celebrating her 30th year as a Realtor and is grateful to everyone in the Fellowship who has supported her in her business.  Congratulations!

Ellen Beck was hospitalized for having atrial fibrulation & is recovering.

Lesa Cyan was hospitalized & had a kidney removed.  If you would like to send her a card, please mail it to 102 Tower Court, Yellow Springs OH  45387.

Jim Farinet suffered a small stroke, from which he is recovering, slowly but surely.

For all those members who are experiencing difficult times in their lives, please know that your Fellowship community is here to support you.
Printable MVUUF Events Calendar!
Have you been wanting to print out the MVUUF calendar from the web site, only to find it's not too easy to read?  Well, we have a solution!  We now have a calendar formatted to  print nicely & easily!  And it will fit perfectly on your refrigerator door!  Just click HERE!  This calendar is only for the upcoming two week period, but it will be updated for every Forum.  It doesn't include outside group events, so always check with Kristin or on the web site for the most up-to-date, expanded calendar.
YRE Schedules
YRE Calendar for July:
Chalice Children class
(Preschool and Kindergarten):
*Pre-K/K begin in class at 11:00 a.m.
July 5 - Preschool/Kindergarten worship
July 12 - Class: Gardening & our Earth

Kindergarten - 5th grade class:
July 5 - Children's Worship in the Founders' Room
July 12 - Class: Wetlands in our backyard (Classroom #7)
6th - 12th grade class:
July 5 - Youth Worship in the Library
July 12 - Class: Hunger & homelessness 
Children's Choir (Pre-sign up):
July 5 - Children's Worship in the Founders' Room/Youth Worship in the Library
July 12 - Choir practice in the Founders' Room
To view the monthly from our DRE, please click here.

**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*
July 5 - Design Your Own Drug Abuse Control Policy  Moderator: Gordon Taylor
July 12 - The Four Forces that Allow the Universe to Exist  Moderator:  Don Ferguson
*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.
Daytime Book Club Titles
July 29 - Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace, by Greg Mortenson
August 26 - Hundred Secret Senses, by Amy Tan
We meet one Wednesday a month, at 10:30 a.m., in the Fellowship Library.  All are welcome!

Office Closed 
The Fellowship Office will be closed on Monday, July 6th in observance of Independence Day.

Women's Group
The Women's Group is a sacred space, on Sunday mornings at 9:30, for women to explore and express their feminine experience while connecting with other women traversing unique, yet similar journeys of womanhood.  During July & August, we will be using The Book of Questions as our discussion starter.  Drop in whenever you can.  Contact Marilyn Faulconer at 439-2029 or Joan Albrecht at 299-2025. 

Offering for July and August
The Social Concerns Committee invites plate offerings for UU congregations affected by Hurricane Katrina.  Almost four years after Katrina wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast, members of three UU churches in New Orleans are trying to spread the message: "It's not over yet!"  The three most severely damaged churches are seeking help from UUs across the country.  First UU Church and Community Church UU, both in New Orleans, joined forces with the North Shore UU Society in Lacombe, LA, to form Greater New Orleans UU and to raise awareness and $2.7 million to rebuild the churches.  As of late May, GNOUU had raised $867,000.  At the same time, the churches created the Center for Ethical Living and Social Renewal, a nonprofit organization that will focus on the needs of the greater New Orleans community.  The Center partners with local social justice organizations, such as the New Orleans AIDS Task Force, and coordinates social justice lectures at each of the three churches.  For more detail, please click here to visit the UU World site, or read the June 8 issue of the UU World.

Memorial Garden Committee
The Memorial Garden Committee passed a major milestone at the June 7th Congregational Meeting when it announced it had approved a design for constructing a memorial garden at MVUUF.

The garden plan, drawn by Maury Wyckoff, begins at the Swamp Oak tree adjoining the wetlands with two short pillars topped by a trellis.  A brick-lined gravel pathway runs south to a Weeping Willow, ending in a circle with a memorial plaque on the east and curved stone wall on the west.  Two benches and decorative shrubs are spaced along the path's western side and the wall.

Our Memorial Garden will provide for the burial or scattering of cremated remains, and the honoring of deceased members & friends in a reflective setting.  Individuals may have names of themselves, members & friends memorialized on a large bronze plaque, and burial sites will be along the path's eastern edge.

We are finalizing a Memorial Garden brochure which will be available shortly, along with a poster-size example of the garden design.  We plan to construct the garden in stages, using mostly volunteer labor, and hope to have stage one completed by fall.  Please see committee members John Bierman, Gary Courts, Sharon Harmer, Dane Mutter or Maury Wyckoff for further details.

~ John Bierman, Memorial Garden Committee

Evening Book Club*
July 14 - Change of Heart, by Jodi Picoult
August 11 - Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
*Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month, at the Boston Stoker in Centerville.  New participants are welcome.  Contact Ann Snively for more information.

Rev. Amy Russell on Study Leave
Amy will be on study leave from July 2 - July 31.  She will be available for emergencies.

Social Concerns Discussion
The Social Concerns Committee invites the congregation to explore the meaning and importance of social action/social justice work and how it's done in both the Fellowship and other UU churches.  We are holding two discussion sessions following our Sunday worship services on July 19 and Aug. 2.

Summer Film Series
The Social Concerns Committee is sponsoring its annual summer film series.  Mark your calendars for July 10 (for viewing of "Health, Money, and Fear")* and July 24 (for viewing of "Sick Around the World")*.  Both films will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Founders' Room.  Come join us for the viewing and a lively discussion afterwards.  You'll also get an update on where we are with new healthcare proposals in Congress and what's being done locally.
*"Health, Money, and Fear" is a film produced by an ER doctor.  It deals with the flaws in our healthcare system and how the system burdens our economy and weakens the financial solvency of our government.  "Sick Around the World" is by Frontline correspondent T.R. Reid and examines the healthcare systems of other advanced capitalist democracies to see what ideas might help the U.S. reform its system.

Family Day!
Meet us at the park!  Bring your lunch, swimsuits, towels & sunscreen and join Fellowship members at the Activity Center Park, 221 N. Main St. in Centerville on Sun., July 26.  We'll head there immediately after service for a fun-filled day of sun & fellowship!  For more information, please contact Carolyn Leman.

2009 MVUUF Annual Retreat at Grailville!!
If you're interested in attending the MVUUF Annual Retreat at Grailville, you need to turn in your deposit & registration form by August 1.  The retreat will be Oct. 16-19.  Click HERE for a link to the registration form & information about the retreat.  If you need more info, contact Ann Rismiller at

Food Fanciers*
July 31 - Cindi Remm & Lori Damron are going to demonstrate canning tomatoes & other veggies. 
August 21 - we're having a "Canning Fest"!  Bring in your veggies, we'll can them, then exchange what we've canned.  Everyone will go home with freshly canned food - won't those veggies taste good right around December?!
* 2 p.m. in the Fellowship Kitchen

Save Your Water!
During your summer travels or when you're out hiking, remember to save a few drops of water for our Water Ceremony in September.  At our in-gathering service on September 14, we celebrate a ritual where we each bring a vial of water to add to a communal bowl while we share our summer memories.

Smart Choices*
July 16 - meet at the MVUUF Library at 2 p.m. to check in and share "family bloopers".
Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet July 4 at the Danbury South Theater.  Please call Pete Hering at 974-0360 for more information.
Save the Date!
**Smart Choices will meet July 30 AND August 13 at Laurel Herminghausen's house (5613 Kirkstone Dr. in Centerville) for a potluck & swim party.  The fun begins at 2 p.m.!  Contact Sylvia for more information at