glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
August 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
Weddings and Funerals

My time off this summer has been a good catch up time.  I've spent a lot of time squatting in gardens (both in Dayton and Louisville) pulling weeds, spreading mulch, and tending to plants.  Gardening is a therapeutic activity.  You are helping things grow, you are pulling out other things whose time has come to an end, and you witness the joy of the brief beauty that nature offers in the height of the life cycle.

This summer has also marked the ending of the lives of some of our long-term members who were dearly loved.  We said good bye in June to Ben Olive, in July to Jessie Hoffmann, and just this week, to Bettie Nickell.  These people all loved MVUUF and gave their time and effort over the years to help nurture us.  Each of these members loved being Unitarian Universalist and were proud to tell you that.  I was lucky to have had time with each of them over the past two years.  They will be missed.

Summers also are times with lots of weddings.  I've officiated at three weddings this summer, two of which were people within our community.  We had a joyous celebration for Julie Harpest and Drew Collins in June.  Then in July, Kara Tucker, whom some of you know, married Eric MacDowell.  I so enjoyed seeing the hope and joy in the faces of these couples as they started their new lives together.

The passages of life are events that we celebrate as a community.  It's so important to honor these times in each other's lives.  Our community is a garden where we help care for each other and witness the beauty in each life. 

I'm glad to be back in our garden at MVUUF.  I'll be seeing you there soon.

~ Rev. Amy Russell
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Quick Links
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.
August 16 - Faith by Inclusion  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Some people's faith lead them to see the world where some are included, others excluded.  Our faith describes an inclusive world, where everyone is respected.  Two prominent Christians (as well as many others), Bishop Robinson, a gay Episcopal bishop, and Bishop Pearson, a fundamentalist preacher, also share our view.  How do these Christians come to the same conclusion we do?
August 23 - The Teachings of Buddha and Jesus  Rev. Amy Russell
~ "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" and "Consider others as yourself."  These two teachings from two of the most influential religious teachers in history reflect a remarkably similar philosophy.  Both Jesus' and Buddha's teachings focused on taking their traditional religion and re-focusing it on the needs of the people of that day.
Keeping Up With Our Members
Bettie Nickell, Member Emeritus, passed away on July 24.  Rev. Amy will conduct her memorial service at the Fellowship at 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 1.  Our thoughts go out to Bettie's children & grandchildren.

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 August:
Chalice Children class
(Preschool and Kindergarten):
*Pre-K/K begin in class at 11:00 a.m.
August 2 - Preschool/Kindergarten Children's Worship
August 9 - Class: Gardening & our earth
August 16 - Class: Gardening & our earth

Kindergarten - 5th grade class:
August 2 - Children's Worship in the Founders' Room
August 9 - Class: Multicultural cooking (Classroom #7)
August 16 - Class: Multicultural cooking (Classroom #7)

6th - 12th grade class: 
August 2 - Youth Worship in the Library
August 9 - Class: Hunger & homelessness
August 16 - Class: Hunger & homelessness
Children's Choir (Pre-sign up):
August 2 - Children's Worship in the Founders' Room or Youth Worship in the Library
August 9 - Choir practice in the Founders' Room
August 16 - 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*
August 2 - The Meaning and Importance of UU Social Action/Social Justice Work  Moderator: Bob Lewis
August 9 - Life's Lessons: What Have We Learned in All These Years?  Moderator:  Jim Faulconer
August 16 - Human Monogyny: Nature, Nurture, Species Survival Tactic, or Simple Personal Greed?  Moderator:  Roger Davis
*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
August 26 - Hundred Secret Senses, by Amy Tan
September 30 - The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink
We meet one Wednesday a month, at 10:30 a.m., in the Fellowship Library.  All are welcome!

MVUUF Bridge Group
The MVUUF Bridge Group is looking for two more couples to join us for next season.  Four couples meet once a month to play bridge.  In June, all 16 couples meet for a final round.  Interested?  Contact Jim Hudson at 898-6856.

MVUUF Classical Potpourri Concert
MVUUF's first annual classical potpourri concert will take place Sat. August 29 at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary.  All the musicians are MVUUF friends and members.  Tickets are only $20 - a great bargain for almost a dozen performances!  They can be purchased in the Gathering Space after Sunday service.  Bring your family to enjoy all the musical talent our community has to offer!  Contact Sylvia Wince or Jeanette Eakins for more information.

Planned Parenthood Book Drive
Planned Parenthood is holding a book drive in the MVUUF parking lot Sat. August 15, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.  So clear out your bookshelves & make some room for new reads!

Offering for 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.

St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch
August 8 Menu:
Lasagna, green salad, and fruit salad
*All donations must be delivered heated & ready to serve 15-20 people.  Donations should be taken to 120 W. Apple St. by 10:30 a.m.  Contact or sign up in the Gathering Space.

Coffee Volunteers Needed!
We urgently need volunteers to help with coffee/fellowship time after Sunday services.  We need people to serve, as well as helpers for clean up.  This is a great way to give back to the Fellowship community without a big time/money commitment!  Please contact Sheila Adams at to sign up.

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 also visit her web site HERE.

Music Task Force
The Music Task Force recently completed its survey of music at MVUUF and reported its findings and recommendations to the board.  The board would like to thank the members of the task force - Ann Rismiller, Kate Santucci, Lew Hann, and Jack Fenic - and to share their report with the MVUUF community.
Here is the conclusion of their report:  Music, particularly in Sunday service, is extremely important to the MVUUF community.  Our current music program has many positive elements and adds significantly to the worship experience of our members.  However, because we are doing well doesn't mean we can't do better.  We believe that continuing what we do well and implementing the task force's recommendations, the MVUUF music program can be truly outstanding, and can become a music ministry that enhances the lives of all MVUUF members.
To read the full report, including appendixes, please click HERE.

Choir Time!
Choir will be starting in August & we would love to have new faces!  You don't have to audition, nor do you have to read music!  You only need to be able to join in with other supportive, caring people who also like singing.  Choir meets on Wed. evenings, 7:30 - 9 p.m. in the Sanctuary.  Our first rehearsal will be August 19 and we'll start the evening with a potluck at 6:30 p.m. in the Gathering Space.  Come for food & fellowship, or just come to the rehearsal.  Even if you can't bring something, there's always plenty to eat!  This is a great way to enjoy camaraderie, sing, have fun & contribute time to & add to the ambience of the Fellowship.  Interested/have questions?  Contact our Choir Director, Jeanette Eakins at or 279-1538.

Treasurer's Report
The church books closed on June 30 for our 2008-2009 fiscal year.  I am happy to report that we finished the year with a surplus of $2217.46.  To view a summary, click HERE.  To view the budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, click HERE.
~ Mike O'Brien, Treasurer

Evening Book Club*
August 11
- Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte - we will also choose titles for the fall.
*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 August 2.

Summer Film Series
The Social Concerns Committee is sponsoring its annual summer film series.  Mark your calendars for August 14 (for viewing of A Class Divided: Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes)* and August 28 (for viewing of Crash)*.  The films will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Founders' Room.  Come join us & view two excellent films that explore diversity in America. 
*A Class Divided: Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes is one of the most requested films in Frontline's history.  It is about an Iowa schoolteacher, Jane Elliot, who, the day after MLK Jr. was murdered, gave her 3rd grade students a first-hand experience in the meaning of discrimination.  This is the story of that lesson and the impact it made on their lives.  *Crash is a film about the complexities of racism in the American melting pot.  It tells interlocking stories about many of America's ethnic groups, police, and criminals over a 36 hour period.  Crash won Best Picture at the 2006 Academy Awards.

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., August 23.  We'll head there immediately after service for a fun-filled day of sun & fellowship!  For more information, please contact Carolyn Leman.

Food Fanciers*
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 August 1 at Danbury South.  Please call Pete Hering at 974-0360 for more information.
**Smart Choices will meet August 13 at Laurel Herminghausen's house (5613 Kirkstone Dr. in Centerville) for a potluck & swim party.  The fun begins at 4 p.m.!  Contact Sylvia for more information at
Save the Date!
**Smart Choices will meet September 10 at 2 p.m.  Susan Joseph will lead a gentle yoga session.