glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
July 16-31, 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 President
Keeping Up with Our Members
Around the Fellowship
Printable MVUUF Calendar!
YRE Information
Don't Forget!
Save the Date!
Letter from the President
"It is for today, and time we shall never see..."

My partner Bob and I had the great pleasure of attending the General Assembly (GA) of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).  It begins with worshipful opening remarks by the President.  This was President, Rev. Bill Sinkford's last GA in this office and his legacy will be a rich one.  He spoke of the work he has done and the challenges he encountered.  He was the President during 9/11, Katrina, and the shootings in Knoxville.  He also led the "association of congregations" to consider our UU language of reverence and was a strong voice for justice.  He was especially vocal about marriage equality for LGBT persons.  He had charisma and was a good administrator - moving us forward in fund-raising initiatives and in publicizing our message to a broad audience. He will be missed by those of us who were "sinkheads."

And so we had the difficult decision to make of who might replace him.  The assembly (and those voting absentee) elected Rev. Peter Morales, the first Hispanic UUA President.  He will also be a strong voice for justice and a solid administrator.  He is a clear, thoughtful speaker and will be an inspiration to the faith.
Over the past few years, some of you participated in discussions at MVUUF that ultimately led to decisions at GA.  First, the Board asked the Commission on Appraisal to re-examine Article II of the Bylaws - the Principles and Purposes of the Association.  Most of us see the Principles and Purposes as having always been - and that they will always be.  However, since we create them, and they are not chiseled on stone tablets, they are seen as a living statement that should change as we change.  They were last revised in 1984.  The Commission spent 3 years encouraging conversations about them, conducting on-line surveys and eventually producing a revision.  It was the job of the GA to decide whether or not to adopt the revision for a year of study by the congregations.  We decided not to adopt the revisions.

There were many improvements in the revisions - such as language on inclusion - that would be more in keeping with our current thinking and practice.  But there were other parts that weakened them, particularly the removal of poetic language present in the "sources" section.  The process of adoption was convoluted by messy procedural requirements that would not allow any amendments following the year of the study.  Consequently, the document was voted down.  Procedural change is already in the works and I imagine an improved version will be developed in two years.

The other important discussion was regarding a Statement of Conscience on Peacemaking.  This statement was three years in the making, first created by small groups at GA.  The process requires that at least 25% of congregations approve the issue for study to encourage broad participation.  MVUUF participated in discussions in the Social Concerns Committee and in open conversations for the congregation.  This statement was delayed for one more year of study to revise the language.  Many at the assembly felt that such an important statement - one of conscience - required very careful deliberation. It will be back next year.

Your participation is so important to this faith.  The fun thing about GA is that it is a messy, direct democracy in action.  It is always impressive to listen to the thoughtful discussions of the brave people who line up before the microphones to share their concerns and opinions.  It's a lot like our church, passionate and intelligent.  Wide participation makes decisions hard, but certainly more thoughtful.  As we embark on big decisions in the next couple of years about growth and long-term planning, your participation is crucial.  Thank you for your commitment to our faith and our democratic tradition.  We choose together what is important and what keeps the tradition living.

~Alice Diebel
The process was described in this memo 
For a history of the Principles and Purposes, see
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Quick Links
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.
August 2 - Life Support for Dayton?  Rev. Amy Russell
~ In the August 2008 issue of Forbes magazine, Dayton was named as one of 11 American cities most likely to die over the next few years.  How has our history brought us to this point?  What in our history gives us good reason to think we can prevent it?  How can those who care about Dayton's future help provide further support to bring it back to life?
August 9 - Community in Native American Culture  Mary Anne Angel, Alicia Pagan, and Raymond Two Crows
~ Through music and verse, our speakers will weave a story of the importance of community within Native American circles.  Tiospaye, the word for relatives by blood, marriage, or adoption, means the heartbeat created by people that care for each other within a community.
Keeping Up With Our Members
Catherine Queener extends a big thank you for all the support she received after her father died.  She was touched by how many Fellowship members attended his service.

Ben Olive, Member Emeritus, passed away on June 26.  Rev. Amy conducted his memorial service.  He will be missed.

Nancy Hartman is recovering from extensive retina surgery.  Our thoughts & well wishes go out to her for a speedy recovery!

Elizabeth Weber, daughter of Barbara Weber, tragically lost her fiancée Katie in a car accident on July 2.  Please keep her in your thoughts as she copes during this difficult time.
Bettie Nickell is currently in Good Samaritan Hospital.  We wish her a speedy recovery.
Jessie Hoffmann, Member Emeritus, passed away.  She was a longtime Fellowship member who will be missed by many.  If you'd like to send a card to her family, you can send them to Tom & Donna Hoffmann 1211 Far Hills Ave. Dayton, OH 45419.

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 19 - Class: Gardening & our Earth
July 26 - Class: Gardening & our Earth

Kindergarten - 5th grade class:
July 19
 - Class:  Wetlands in our backyard (Classroom #7)
July 26 - Class: Wetlands in our backyard (Classroom #7)

6th - 12th grade class:
July 19 - Class: Hunger & homelessness
July 26 - Class: Hunger & homelessness 
Children's Choir (Pre-sign up):
July 19 - Choir practice in the Founders' Room
July 26 - 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
YRE Needs You!
It's that time of year again - we need MVUUF members to volunteer to help out with Fall YRE programs & classes.  Please click HERE to see all the incredible opportunities there are for you to connect with our youth!
Community Discussion Group Topics*
July 19
- Our Favorite "Green" Practices and Products  Moderator: Open Forum
July 26 - Public, Charter and Private Schools  Moderator:  Carol Vincent
*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!

MVUUF Holiday Bazaar
Hard to believe, but the Bazaar will be here sooner than you think!  October 24 to be exact.  Please contact Sarah Hewitt, Trena Swanke or Sylvia Wince if you're interested in being a vendor.

Offering for July and August
The Social Concerns Committee invites plate offerings for UU congregations affected by Hurricane Katrina.  The three most severely damaged churches are seeking help from UUs across the country.  Greater New Orleans UU is seeking to raise awareness and $2.7 million to rebuild the churches.  As of late May, GNOUU had raised $867,000.  For more detail, visit the UU World web site, or read the June 8 issue of the UU World.

Chalicelight Gallery
This month's artist is Gin Conforti, a native of Dayton who now resides in Warren County.  Painting became her passion in adulthood and she is influenced by the Old Masters and contemporary artists.  Her painting medium is mostly oil, but includes some watercolor.  She is a member of Miamisburg Art Guild and Dayton Society of Painters & Sculptors.  Her show will be on display until August 15, so please come out and enjoy her work.  You can visit her web site at Gin Conforti.

Evening Book Club*
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.

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 a discussion session following our Sunday worship service on Aug. 2.

Summer Film Series
The Social Concerns Committee is sponsoring its annual summer film series.  Mark your calendars for July 24 (for viewing of "Sick Around the World")*.  The film 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.  
*"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.

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.
Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet July 19 at the Neon and August 1 at Danbury South.  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
**The Fellowship Potpourri Concert is August 29.  More information coming soon!