glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
September 15-30, 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
Sizing up.
I went back to graduate school when I was 45 - a late age for such an endeavor. I had had a successful career and was considered a competent professional, well respected in my field, and yet I needed to step off a cliff to achieve my personal development. I had no idea what I didn't know. The transition for me was life changing and I ended up excelling after many stumbles to graduate at 50. Things I thought I would be good at, I was not. Other gifts bubbled up that had been long un-used. It's hard to be a beginner again after you think you've arrived. But that's what growth is.
When I think of our church, I can't help but think of our own growing pains. Currently we have about 190 voting members and 60 more associate members. We average about 120 people at our worship services every Sunday. This is a very healthy size to be, but we have prepared ourselves to be larger by establishing a governance approach based on what is called a Program Church model. Arlin Routhauge defines a program church as a church with about 150-350 active members that has many activities and ministries, making it difficult to know everyone. The lay leaders serve as ministers in many ways. A few years back we were structured as a Pastoral-sized church (50-150 members) with most ministering being handled by the clergy. In such churches, everyone knows everyone else so participation feels like family.
In the last few years our size has not changed significantly even though we have structured ourselves to grow. In effect, we consciously decided to go back to graduate school. By creating a board and Program Council we set up the opportunity for growth into our size vision. So, what more is needed beyond the new structure? And how do we do grow as a program church?
MVUUF has many opportunities for activity. It seems we have a plethora of religious education offerings and new groups are springing up so fast my head spins. We are meeting a variety of needs for connection and fellowship through these activities and I applaud the energy I see coming from our membership and for our membership. But this energy can become unfocused if we don't tend to it in our development. We don't know what we don't know, so we may want to keep a watchful eye on how we're doing.
Much of my work in graduate school had to do with developing a clear vision so that I could grow in a way that would allow me to broaden my horizons later. A vision helps us describe who we want to be, what we want to do, and what our role is in this community. I think we too need to spend attention here, developing and nurturing a vision for MVUUF. A long-range planning task force has been established by the board with Barb Weber as its chair. Part of their work will be to help us create a new vision for ourselves. They will be assessing the congregation's gifts and assets as well as articulating its needs. How might we use these assets to create a vision and work toward it? I have heard it said that MVUUF has "no burning coal." Perhaps we can create it by going back to school.

Without some sense of vision, I think we will struggle to grow into our structure. But I have the confidence in our passion for our faith to believe that we will begin to develop a church with a shared vision, lived out in our programs. Please join Barb and the other leaders in the effort to graduate at age 50!
~ Alice Diebel
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Quick Links
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?
October 4 - Celebration of Sukkot  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Sukkot is a Jewish celebration of the fall harvest.  The RE program will be building a "sukkah," a three-sided hut built by the Jews to commemorate their wandering the Egyptian desert.  Everyone is invited to bring non-perishable items to fill our sukkah, which we'll donate to a food shelter.

October 11 - Coming Out Day
~ Each of us has a unique sexual identity.  People don't fit in neat boxes marked "Gay" or "Straight."  We will hear from people who recognize their uniqueness.
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 September:
Chalice Children class
(Preschool and Kindergarten):
*Pre-K/K begin in class at 11:00 a.m.
September 20 - Class
September 27 - Class

Kindergarten - 5th grade class:
September 20 - Workshop 2:  Jesus & his radical path
September 27 - Workshop 3:  Adam & Eve

6th - 12th grade class: 
September 20 - Neighboring Faiths
September 27 - 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 20 - Why We Believe What We Believe  Moderator:  Jim Faulconer
September 27 - Civility  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
September 30 - The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink
October 21 - Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult
We meet one Wednesday a month, at 10:30 a.m., in the Fellowship Library.  All are welcome!

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!  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.
Fall Picnic Rescheduled
The Fall Picnic has been rescheduled for Sun., September 20
.  The Activities Committee will provide drinks and grills; you bring a dish to share and your main food of choice (burgers, 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
Bring Your Canned Goods
Bring your canned goods to service on October 4.  We'll be celebrating Sukkot, and the RE program will build a "sukkah."  Everyone is invited to bring nonperishable items to fill our sukkah, which will then be donated to a food shelter.
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.
MVUUF Potpourri Concert a Success!
This well-attended event raised a whopping $1540!  And every penny was profit, thanks to the generous volunteers who donated their talent by performing, their organizational skills by chairing the event, their baking skills by providing refreshments, their sweat equity by setting up & tearing down the event, handing out programs, & helping with the sound equipment, and their creativity by creating the flyers & programs.  Can't wait 'til next year & the 2nd Annual Concert!

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.

Bazaar Raffle Tickets On Sale Now
Beginning September 13, raffle tickets will go on sale every Sunday
for door prizes at the Bazaar, held on Sat. October 24.  Tickets are just $1/each or $5/6; purchase them after service in the Gathering Space.  Help us meet our goal of $600 in raffle ticket sales & contribute to a great Fellowship fundraiser!

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.  

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

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 20 at Neon Theater, around 5 p.m.  Please call Pete Hering at 974-0360 for more information.
 **Smart Choices will meet October 8, at 2 p.m. to create silk flower arrangements with an autumn theme to decorate the Fellowship.  We'll meet in the MVUUF kitchen.  Bring any supplies you have, such as a glue gun, silk flowers, wire, etc.  Call Sylvia Wince with any questions.
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