glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
September 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
Welcome Back!

Fall is a time for new possibilities in our lives.  School starts, our vacations end, the fall chill brings us back inside to focus on our inside lives.

I remember being the "new kid" at school at the beginning of a school year.  This happened to me several times over.  It was a scary time.  It was also an exciting time.  I wondered if the girl sitting next to me in algebra might want to be my friend when she said hello.  I wondered if I would find friends at all.  I wondered if I could "remake" myself into a "popular" kid.  And then I'd realize once again, that that wasn't who I wanted to be.  Going into a new school allowed me to identify to myself who I was and then try to project that out to others, hoping to attract a like minded friend.

The beginning of a new church year is another time for facing the challenges that our Fellowship community brings us.  It's a time for identifying to ourselves as a community who we are and how we want to welcome new members.

In August, the Board and Program Council met in a retreat to talk about who we are and a vision of who we want to be.  One theme that kept repeating itself was that we want to be a place where people know each other and feel welcomed.  We want to provide opportunities for people to deepen their relationships if that's what they are seeking.  Over the next months, we'll be talking about ways to provide more community building and relationship building in our activities.

We are growing and we want to be intentional in how we grow.  The Board has appointed a Long Range Planning Task Force to begin conversations around the Fellowship about how we grow and how we manage that growth. 

I hope you'll join these discussions about deepening the relationships in our community and broadening our welcome. 

~ Rev. Amy Russell
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Quick Links
September 6 - The Spiritual Economic Crisis  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Is our current economic crisis a spiritual one?  Do we find ourselves asking these questions: What do we trust?  What sustains us?  What do we truly need in our lives?  These are the questions that Rachel Naomi Remen suggests make this crisis a spiritual one.

September 13 - In-Gathering Water Ceremony  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Life-giving water is a universal symbol of cleansing and healing.  In our traditional Water Ceremony, we each bring drops of water from our summer experiences to share in a communal bowl.  Everyone has an opportunity to share where they've been and what they've experienced this summer.  Consider answering this question, "What have I gained as a result of my summer experiences?"

September 20 - The Sacred Feminine  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Ancient cultures revered the goddesses that represented birth and fertility.  The Yin/Yang symbol represents the duality that each of us contain in our masculinity and femininity.  We'll explore some sacred feminine archetypes that enable each of us to honor our creativity, our right brain, our compassion, and our collaborative natures.

September 27 - Social Ethics  Bob Lewis
~ We live in challenging times, confronted with difficult political, economic, educational, social and environmental issues.  What does our UU heritage offer us as we try to understand and act responsibly in a complex world?  Do we have a "living tradition" that can assist us in shaping our present and future?
Keeping Up With Our Members
David Nolin's father, Lt. Col. Gervais R. Nolin (Ret.) passed away on August 17.  Please keep David, CQ, and Jacob in your thoughts.

Chuck Thomas is at home recuperating after being in the hospital following a car accident.  He says he was kicked out of Miami Valley Hospital "because of all his old, un-funny jokes."  You can tell his sense of humor's still in tact!  His daughter is visiting for a few weeks to help him out.  Please send good thoughts his way as he continues to recover.

Heather Holland & her husband Tom welcomed their son Sage into the world on August 25.  He was
4.7 lbs. and 16.5 inches.  Congratulations!!
David Cobb's father, Tony Cobb, passed away on August 26.  The memorial service will be held at Normandy United Methodist Church at 450 Alex Bell Rd. on Saturday, August 29th at 11 a.m.  Visitation with the family begins at 10 a.m. and all are welcome. 

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.
September 6 - Preschool/Kindergarten Worship
September 13 - Class

Kindergarten - 5th grade class:
September 6 - Children's Worship in Founders' room
September 13 - Workshop 1: Moses

6th - 12th grade class: 
September 6 - Youth Worship in the Library
September 13 - Neighboring Faiths

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*
September 6 - Designing a New Society!  Moderator:  Joe Lawrence
September 13 - Mental Enhancements - An Ethics Issue?  Moderator:  Tom Cruse
*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
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!

Bring Your Water
Our Water Ceremony takes place during service on September 13.  Bring your water you collected this summer.  We'll also be dedicating our YRE teachers during this service.

Planned Parenthood Needs Volunteers
Planned Parenthood needs volunteers to sort and price books at the Book Loft, located at 2181 Embury Park Rd. (off of Keowee).  They're open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.  You can set your own hours, bring your own lunch, and you're able to work either sitting or standing.  The Book Loft is a great way to meet other retirees who are well-read and good conversationalists.  Interested?  Call Lynn Haven at 426-1434 for more information.

The Prom You Always Wanted - October 3
Remember high school (or are you trying to forget!)?  Your dances may have been fabulous, or maybe not.  If you didn't love it, this is your chance at a "do-over," a therapeutic "corrective emotional experience."  If you did love it, then come show the rest of us how to make it awesome!  Tickets to this flashback night go on sale in the Gathering Space, after service on August 30.  Only $10 a person - that's flashback pricing!

Come as you are, or as you wanted to be.  Dress up, or dress down.  Dance, or not - we have lots of cozy talking spots.  Drink (BYOB) or not.  This night is all about you!  Chaperones will encourage the UU Principles of interconnected dancing, finding your own path to the dance floor, recognizing the many sources of truth (in music), and recognizing our inherent right to have fun and still be respected (at church) in the morning!

The fun starts at 8 p.m. at the Fellowship on October 3.  We'll keep partying til midnight.  If you have a curfew, get ready to break it!  Bring your high school prom/dance photo, so we can guess who you were.  The bigger the photo, the better.  We'll hang them in the Chalice Light Gallery, so put them in the Prom mailbox (in the RE hallway) by September 19, or give them to Carol Narigon.
Annual Fall Picnic
You heard it here first - we're bringing back the Fall Picnic!  Come to the Water Ceremony service on September 13, and then enjoy a picnic with Fellowship members.  Activities will provide drinks and grills; you bring a dish to share (needs to feed 10) and your main food of choice (burger, hot dogs, etc.).  To make sure we don't have an overabundance of desserts, please follow the guidelines below.  See you there!!
If your last name begins with A-R, please bring a side dish (needs to feed 10)
If your last name begins with S-Z, please bring a dessert (needs to feed 10)

Offering for September
The Social Concerns Committee invites plate offerings for Planned Parenthood of Dayton.  The mission of Planned Parenthood is to prevent unplanned pregnancies and protect the health of low income women.  Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate.  For more information about Planned Parenthood, the services offered, as well as their educational programs, please visit
Knit, Crochet, and More
This newly formed group welcomes friends of all ages, crafts and skill levels.  Friends will work on knitting, crocheting, quilting, and sewing - if your craft is portable, then bring it!  We'll meet on the first and third Sundays beginning September 20, at 12:30 p.m. in Classroom #4.  Some yarn and needles/hooks will be available.  Children may attend with a parent or an adult designated by their parent - no child under 18 may attend without this supervision.  For more information, contact Adrienne Clark.

Small Group Dinners
Enjoy good food, conversation, and fun, while getting to know others in the Fellowship.  Groups of 8 to 10 gather in each others' homes once a month, October through June, and everyone brings a part of the meal.  The year is divided into two cycles - the first is October through February.  Then we rearrange the members of the groups for the second cycle, March through June.  All are invited to join; Fellowship members and friends alike!  Look for the sign up sheet in the Gathering Space - September 20 is the deadline to sign up.  Contact Jay Snively for more information.

Chalicelight Gallery
Debbie Emerick is this month's artist.  Debbie is a self-taught multimedia artist.  Her works range from large scale murals, abstract paintings, art dolls, mosaics, hand-painted furniture, jewelry and most recently, wearable arts.  Her art dolls have been displayed and sold in art shows in California and Dayton Visual Art Center.  The dolls have been purchased by collectors in California and Oregon.  Debbie has also developed a line of wearable art and accessories.  This line has been sold in Oakwood, California, Dayton Visual Art Center, and online.  The paintings currently on display are done in oil pastels.  Most are covered with a two part resin and epoxy.  Debbie has a passion for art and says, "I have considered taking an art class, but I enjoy the process of discovery.  It is the closest activity I know to living in the moment."  Debbie's "day job" is as an occupational RN at AK Steel in Middletown.  Her work will be displayed through September.

What is a KIT?  A "Keeping in Touch" contact person (KIT) is someone who communicates with 4 to 6 members or friends of MVUUF, around 4 times a year, just to exchange pleasantries.  Some KITs exchange holiday cards, some meet for coffee, some talk on the phone, email, or exchange letters.  The idea is to strengthen interpersonal connections within the Fellowship.  The KIT is not asked to act as a therapist, just someone who communicates a bit with other UUs.

Please let us know if you're willing to be a contact person.  So far, we have 25 people.  The goal is to have everyone that attends the Fellowship have a contact person.  Contact Sylvia Wince at with 4 to 6 names of people you'd be willing to contact.  She will check the list and make sure those names are available.  After you have your list of contacts, you can communicate as soon as you wish.  No one will be checking up on you to make sure you're doing it - you're on your own.
In appreciation of your help,
Don Kazyak, Membership Rep.  

Smart Choices
We'll 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.

Women's Group
Trained Our Whole Lives (OWL) facilitator, Sherry Davis, will provide a 4-week overview of the OWL Sexuality Education Course for grades 7-9.  The general, high-level information offered may be helpful to interested women who have youth within their families who will/may attend the OWL course.  This overview will take place on Sun., September 13 - October 4, 9:30 - 10:45 a.m. in the Women's Room.
Our projected schedule is: 
September 13 - Overview of Program, Unit 1, and an icebreaker activity 
September 20 - Units 2-6 
September 27 - View slides 
October 4 - Units 7-10 and activity

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.

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. 

Memorial Garden Construction
After months of research, site selection, etc., the initial construction of Stage 1 of the MVUUF Memorial Garden has been set for September.  The site will be laid out on September 20, followed by earth removal and laying down of gravel pathway on September 25-26.  A Memorial Plaque will be installed on a rock boulder once the pathway is complete.

Our Memorial Garden will permit the burial or scattering of cremains and the honoring of deceased Fellowship members and friends.  The garden, designed by member Maury Wyckoff, will begin on the SE side of the Fellowship at the Swamp Oak tree.  The brick-edged gravel path will run south, ending in a gravel circle, set off by the Memorial Plaque and a low curved stone wall.  A trellis will mark the start of the path, while four others will highlight the gravel circle.  Benches and shrubs will be spaced along the path.

The Memorial Garden Committee will have an information table set up on Sun.,   September 13, to display a large poster of the garden design and the Memorial Plaque.  We will also have copies of the Memorial Garden brochure and registration forms.  Please see committee members John Bierman, Gary Courts, Sharon Harmer, Dane Mutter, or Maury Wyckoff for further details.

~ John Bierman
Memorial Garden Committee Chair

Food Fanciers
Food Fanciers will meet Fri. September 18 at 2 p.m.  Come join us in the Fellowship kitchen when Lew Hann shows us how to prepare one of his favorite foods - but he's keeping it a secret!  He's an excellent cook, so it'll be worth it to attend!  Contact Sylvia Wince at if you would like to be our chef for one of our sessions or have any questions!  Yum!

A/V System Revisions Pending
As you may know, MVUUF has received a Chalice Lighter grant towards improving our Audio and Video systems, especially the main sound system.  We have some decisions to make regarding what sort of functions we expect so we can determine how much additional funding we will need.

Toward that end, I invite your commentary - I need to hear how you hope to use A/V in the future at MVUUF, and what problems you are aware of in our current system.  You can find me in person, send me an email at, or call me at 609-1206.
In the coming weeks, you'll hear more on this topic, including:
- a brochure giving an overview of our history with the current system & hopes for the future
- announcements during service giving background
- a meeting to be held after service once we have prices to present along with our options

This is an exciting project for me; I hope you will all value it.
~ Pat Santucci
A/V Committee Chair

No Cost Way of Contributing to the Fellowship
Do you shop at Meijer, DLM, or Kroger?  You can contribute to the Fellowship without it costing you a cent! 

For Kroger, you can buy a card at MVUUF for $5 and get $5 worth of groceries.  You refill the card before your balance is out (at the Kroger service desk).  We get 4% every time you refill your card!  Easy!  If you need a card, see me after service or give me a call (my number's in the directory).  If you have a card, please put it back in use.  For DLM, you can buy cards in $20 or $50 denominations and use it until it's gone.  We receive 5% of your purchase total.  If you sign up for the Good Neighbor Program while you're there, we get an additional contribution.  The Good Neighbor Program let us know that Fellowship members are spending $40,000/year at DLM, so thank you for choosing us as your charity!  If you shop at DLM and don't buy cards, we actually LOSE money, since cards are purchased in advance with our 5% discount.  For Meijer, check by my display in the Gathering Space for instructions.

Become a card-carrying member of MVUUF & help improve our Fellowship & our budget!

~ Maureen O'Meara (
Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet September 6 at Danbarry South, around 5 p.m.  Please call Pete Hering at 974-0360 for more information.
Save the Date!
**The MVUUF Annual Bazaar is Sat. October 24!!  Start putting aside books, and nice white elephant items.  We will need cans of pop and desserts.  Breakfast and lunch will be served.  Vendors are welcome and the fee is only $20, plus an item to be donated as a raffle prize.  Contact Trena Swanke if you're interested in being a vendor.  Contact Sylvia Wince if you're interested in helping the day of the bazaar, or setting up the day prior.  Mark your calendars now for this popular Fellowship fundraiser!
**3rd Annual Dayton Peace Festival will take place on September 19 on Courthouse Square in Downtown Dayton, from 12 - 8 p.m.  Come enjoy a day of live music, community praise dance, non-violence theater, food, information, and crafts and games for the family.  Be a part of this fun, inspirational, and peaceful day!  For more information, contact Kate Johnson at the Peace Museum at 232-6796 or
**Cross Creek Community Church will be hosting a concert by Jason & deMarco on September 26 at 8 p.m.  Candace Chellew-Hodge will be conducting a workshop on her book, Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians on that same day, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.  For more information, including ticket prices, please contact CCCC at 434-4580 or