glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
August 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
Back in May - ancient history - we were in the midst of our annual stewardship campaign. The focus for that campaign was about growth. Many of you participated in table discussions at the kick-off dinner, and many others filled in a brief survey. I think your comments provide a very meaningful look at what growth means to you. "Good news!!" one of you wrote! The board is developing basic guidelines for a long-term growth task force. Your comments will be of use to us all as we contemplate our mission and our future and how to plan for it.

Many of you recognize growth means more people and the excitement and challenges that come with numeric growth. You worry that we need more resources to accommodate all the new members. Yet the challenge seems exciting to you, based on your comments. Others see growth as an opportunity to do more in the community, not only to serve but to be visible about what we offer. We have an important message that we need to share. One of you said, "We don't compete with others. We have a different message."

When thinking about growth, you are of mixed minds. Of course growth brings certain tensions with it. There is a loss of intimacy with the hustle and bustle of a large congregation. Many think having small group ministries of one kind or another is very important to address that loss. Still others speak to the need for a different kind of growth. One response captured it beautifully: "Growth is so overemphasized in our cultural imagination that I tend to be against it. Growth usually carries notions of expansion and more. Perhaps if we focus on deepening community rather than expanding community we'll generate the necessary heat to warm ourselves."
Growth is not just about numbers. Loren Mead described four dynamics of growth: numerical, maturational, organic and incarnational. In other words, we can increase our size, grow in our wisdom, build our strength, or grow in action. When I think of growth, I think of growth beyond numbers. What does it mean to be a church like ours? What is our unique purpose and mission? How can we best "live our religion?" How do we deepen and build community, transform ourselves and our relationships? How do we develop values to live lives of purpose and meaning? How does our church help us in that work?
Surely if we focus on growth beyond numbers, "deepening our community" and deepening our understanding of what it means to be a UU, our numeric growth will come. This deeper emphasis will "generate the necessary heat to warm ourselves."

~ Alice Diebel
To view the Growth Survey results vebatim, please CLICK HERE.

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.
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
August 16 - Faith by Inclusion  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Some people's faith leads 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.
August 30 - The Seven Principles of Song  Intergenerational Service
~ This intergenerational service will feature the Children's Choir as well well as other youth, as we celebrate the seven principles in music.
Keeping Up With Our Members
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!
Click HERE for a printable version of the MVUUF calendar!  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 16 - Class: Gardening & our earth
August 23 - Class: Gardening & our earth
August 30 - Intergenerational service (no class)

Kindergarten - 5th grade class:
August 16 - Class: Multicultural cooking (Classroom #7)
August 23 - Class: Multicultural cooking (Classroom #7)
August 30 - Intergenerational service (no class)

6th - 12th grade class
August 16 - Class: Hunger & homelessness
August 23 - Class: Hunger and homelessness
August 30 - Intergenerational service (no class)
Children's Choir (Pre-sign up):
August 16 - Choir practice in the Founders' Room
August 23 - Choir practice (Founders' Room)
August 30 - Intergenerational service (no class)

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 16
- Human Monogyny: Nature, Nurture, Species Survival Tactic, or Simple Personal Greed? Moderator: Roger Davis
August 23 - Viewpoints: A Fun Look at How Aliens in Our Lives See the UU World and Vice Versa  Moderator:  Don Heidorn
August 30 - Learning Never Ends  Moderator:  Ruby Powell
*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 - The 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 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!

Adult Religious Education Course Offerings
The Adult Religious Education Committee is thrilled to offer you a broad range of class opportunities this fall for personal and spiritual growth and development.  Please consider the following and let the facilitator know you are interested.  Registration and/or commitment are not required, but it will help to have an idea so that we can be prepared.  Meeting rooms will be determined when we have an idea of the number of attendees.  If you have any questions, please see the facilitator listed.  Be sure to take a look at our display in the Gathering Space! 
~ Genevieve Harvey, LRE Rep. and Margaret Michal, ARE Chair
*Course Offerings
Articulating Your UU Faith  Rev. Amy Russell leading on Tuesdays, Oct. 19 - Nov. 24
- designed to help UUs explain their faith to non-UUs
Committed Partner Workshop  Rev. Amy Russell leading on Tuesdays, Sept. 8 -     Oct. 13
- designed to help couples communicate effectively
The Prophetic Imperative  Bob Lewis leading on Tuesdays, Sept. 15 - Oct. 13
- provides a look at the role of social justice work in our churches
Living the Welcoming Congregation  Pete Hering & Margaret Michal leading on Tuesdays, for 13 weeks, starting Sept. 10
- designed for people/congregations who wish to reach out to the GLBT communities
Emerson  Jim Guthrie leading in November
- looking at the writings & teachings of the "most recognized & revered figure in the Unitarian movement", Ralph Waldo Emerson.
For a more in depth description of the course offerings, please visit our web site at MVUUF, click on Religious Education (on the left-hand side), then Adults.
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.

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.

St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch
September 12 Menu: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, fruit salad, 2% milk, 100% juice
*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.

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.

Evening Book Club*
September 8
- Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
*Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month, at the Boston Stoker in Centerville (behind the DLM at Whipp & Far Hills).  New participants are welcome.  Contact Ann Snively for more information.

Summer Film Series
The Social Concerns Committee is sponsoring its annual summer film series.  Mark your calendars for August 28 (for viewing of Crash)*.  The film will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Founders' Room.  Come join us & view an excellent film that explores diversity in America. 
*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 - "What To Do With All That Zucchini!"  Lori Damron will demonstrate how to make her easy stuffed zucchini.  Yum!  Come join us for food, fellowship & fun!
* 2 p.m. in the Fellowship Kitchen
Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet August 16 at Neon, around 5 p.m.  Please call Pete Hering at 974-0360 for more information.
Save the Date!
**During your summer travels remember to save a few drops of water for our Water Ceremony on September 13.
**Smart Choices will meet Thur. September 10, 2-3:45 p.m.  MVUUF member & certified yoga instructor Susan Joseph will lead us in a session of gentle yoga.  She will show us how to do yoga seated & standing.  Bring a big towel/blanket and any yoga mats/equipment you have.  We will meet in the Sanctuary.  Contact Sylvia Wince at with any questions.
**Beginning September 13, The Women's Group welcomes Sherry Davis as she provides a 4-week overview of the Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education Course for Grades 7-9.  The general, high-level information offered may be helpful to interested women who have youth in their family.  Stay tuned for more information and a projected schedule.
**Join fellow MVUUFers as we celebrate Prom - the one you've always wanted!  Mark your calendars for October 3!  Watch the next issue of the Forum for more information.
**Food Fanciers will meet Fri. September 18 at 2 p.m.  Come join us in the Fellowship kitchen where one of the group shows us how to prepare a favorite food - and then we taste it!  Contact Sylvia Wince at f you would like to be our chef for the day!