glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
October 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
Recently at least three things we care deeply about collided with one another - and no, I don't mean the rocket, the satellite and the moon!  When we built this church out here in Centerville, we were attracted by the wetlands on the property.  We were committed to preserving that little bit of natural area in the midst of the suburbs - home to plants and animals that are voiceless and frequently under siege.  So, we built our place without filling those wetlands.  But Dane Mutter and Dave Nolin, our resident naturalists, began to question why the wetlands seemed to be filling in so quickly.  They investigated and discovered that someone dug a little trench to drain the wetlands.  With careful thought and planning, they filled in the trench and restored the drainage system to the way it was originally designed, with the deliberate intention of raising the water level.
Another important aspect of our property is the labyrinth that was designed on the mound of dirt that was created during excavation for the church building.  The labyrinth was carefully designed and is lovingly maintained by Gail and Lesa Cyan and represents a meditative spiritual practice that many of us enjoy.  Most of us don't know much about why it was designed the way it was, but all one has to do is walk it and the feeling inherent in its design can overwhelm.
More recently, the Fellowship decided to develop a Memorial Garden and a small task force has put a lot of energy and planning into creating something that will help us preserve our memories and mark our place in the world in an understated, but meaningful way.  John Bierman headed the task force and Maury Wyckoff created the design and it seemed as though a beautiful plan was coming together.  The decided location was at the edge of the wetland, between it and the labyrinth.
When the water in the wetland started to rise, the Memorial Garden plan was moved up a grade and impinged significantly on the meaningful path of the labyrinth.  Here we had a collision of things important to us.  One of these uses for our land may have more meaning to you than another, but each is important to what makes MVUUF a spiritual place, a caring community, and a physical reflection of our ethics.
The wise minds of all these leaders came together and reoriented the Memorial garden.  In the end, the plan is not perfect, but it reflects the shared work that dialogue, learning, and decision-making for the greater good can bring.  At such times of change, perhaps we can take a lesson.  Take the time to engage one another, even if it takes a little longer to get there.  The benefits help protect our values as UUs in community with one another.

~ Alice Diebel
Laura Solomon's Poem
The following poem was written by Laura Solomon, and read by her during service on October 4th.  A number of people asked for it to be printed in the newsletter, so it is below for your enjoyment.  Thanks again Laura, for sharing your thoughts & your gift with us.
I want to live a spiritual life.
I want to live my days in awe of the perfection,
the love,
the holiness around me.
I want to soak it in,
like the world soaks in the first ray of sunshine
as it illuminates the ground
and everything stirs with life.
I want to realize each morning that morning has not broken,
but rather,
stirred...begun...crept in...arrived! -
with the potential of everything.
Whole. Still.  Silent
and waiting for me to perceive it,
I want to feel the
stirring...beginning...creeping...arrival! -
of myself as I fall into another day of
imperfect, unprepared, incredible
I want to feel my heart in my work
and my work in my heart
and I want to work within the trust of
the rhythm of the Universe
and the power of Everything.
I want to let my trust in what is holy
wash over me
like the comfort a sunset brings
when you know, without a doubt, that the sun will rise again.
I want to know that, today, my heart plays a Celtic tune,
and I want to sit with someone whose heart sings the blues.
We could jam together in a sort of existential peace
so much larger than ourselves that we know
we are existing  in a spectacular, awe-inspiring moment of syncopation
only we
-and a third power that surrounds us-
will ever know.
I want to exist in such a way that I know
I am one with everything.  I want to know that
anywhere I could possibly go, I am expected
and waited for
and longed for
and as I enter, humbly,
I will be embraced and welcomed.
Then, I will allow into my self
all the parts of me-
the experiences, memories, aspects of who I am that
I have not yet encountered.
I will feel the power and the trust of a world
that is holding infinite space
for me to move through
and I will trust
the power that supports me
and guides me even
when I go in ways
I should not have chosen.
And I will trust in what is difficult.
I will believe in what is hard, for I know
that even in those moments I am
within the arms of a light so strong
I will not step outside it.
Even if my ears were deafened
and my eyes blinded
I will know
things are meant to be the way they are.
(Then, when I feel the warmth of the sun on my cheek,
the vibration of a person's heart
and I am moved by the power of a sunset,
I know both everything and nothing is happening
and the guidance of these moments
leads me back to my soul).
I choose to spend my days
feeling, trusting, being...
with the ears of my soul
and the eyes of my heart
living the simple complexity of a spiritual life. 
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.
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Quick Links
October 18 - Association Sunday - Celebration of the UUA  Alice Diebel & Barb Weber
~ On Association Sunday, we celebrate our membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association.  We'll explore the significance of being a part of an association of congregations with common values and principles, and how we leverage those shared values through our association.

October 25 - Got Milk?  Reflections on a Generation of LGBT Hope After Harvey Milk
The Honorable Judge Mary Wiseman, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court
~ Milk declared that we must have hope to be successful in social justice causes.  We are honored to have Judge Wiseman in our pulpit to discuss her hopes and how they have been influenced by Harvey Milk.
November 1 - Life After Death  Rev. Amy Russell
~ On this All Souls Day, we'll examine that big question, what happens after we die?  Dust to dust, heaven and hell, or reincarnation?

November 8 - Why It Matters  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Why does it matter that we take part in social justice activities in our community?  We've been having some interesting discussions led by the Social Concerns Committee.  Rev. Russell will share her perspective on why it matters.
Keeping Up With Our Members
Clare Zimmerman is recovering after being in a car accident.  Please keep her in your thoughts.

Julia Grace Hewitt arrived on October 7th!  She is 8 lbs., 2 oz. and 21 inches long.  She joins Sarah, Peter, and big brother Aiden.  Congratulations to the Hewitt's!

Antonia Harter is recovering nicely from rotator cuff surgery.

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 Calendar for October:
Chalice Children class (Preschool):
Pre-K begins in class at 11:00 a.m.
October 18 - Class: Me and My World
October 25 - Class: Me and My World

Kindergarten - 5th grade class:
October 18
- Workshop Rotation
~ K & 1st grade: Workshop 2 - Mary & Martha  (Room #6)
~ 2nd & 3rd grades: Workshop 3 - Wise King Solomon (Room #5)
~ 4th & 5th grades: Workshop 1 - Tower of Babel (Room #7)
October 25 - Workshop Rotation
~ K & 1st grade: Workshop 3 - Wise King Solomon (Room #5)
~ 2nd & 3rd grades:  Workshop 1 - Tower of Babel (Room #7)
~ 4th & 5th grades:  Workshop 2 - Mary & Martha (Room #6)

6th - 12th grade class:
October 18 - Neighboring Faiths - FIELD TRIP DAY!
October 25 - Neighboring Faiths
To read this month's letter from the DRE, Natalie, 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."
2009 Fall Event
The YRE Committee will be holding the 2009 Fall Event and Trunk-or-Treat on Sat., October 24, 6:30 - 8 p.m.  There will be games and activities, snacks, and a Haunted Hallway sponsored by the MVUUF teens.  Decorate your car and the kids will Trunk-or-Treat through the parking lot!  This event is open to the public to show the community what a fun group of kids we have here at MVUUF!  Come by the table display in the Gathering Space, or contact Jesse Gaither for more information at or 513-200-7248.
October Humor!
Around the Fellowship
Community Discussion Group Topics*
October 18 - How Should We Relate to Relational Databases? 
Moderator:  Denny Smith
October 25 - Misinformation in America  Moderator:  Dave Rengel
*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*
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!

Offering for October
The Social Concerns Committee invites plate offerings for the Suicide Prevention Center in Dayton.  The SPC is the oldest suicide prevention agency in Ohio and the oldest volunteer-run crisis hotline in the U.S.  The mission of the SPC is to save lives threatened by suicide by offering a 24-hour crisis hotline and support groups; to foster prevention of suicide by offering specialized training programs and programs for school children; and to encourage community involvement in suicide prevention efforts to affect change. 
For more information, call 226-0818.  For the suicide prevention hotline, call 937-229-7777 or 1-800-320-HELP (4357).
MVUUF Holiday Bazaar!
The MVUUF Annual Bazaar is Sat., October 24!!  Start putting aside books and nice white elephant items.  We will also need cans of pop and desserts.  Where will we store all these wonderful donations?  Please put:  white elephant items in the Sanctuary closet; books in the Library; pop in the Kitchen closet.  Be sure to mark your items "Bazaar."  Breakfast and lunch will be served.  Contact Sylvia Wince if you're interested in helping the day of the bazaar, or setting up the day prior.  Raffle tickets are also on sale now, every Sunday after service.  Tickets are just $1 each or $5/6.  Come support the Fellowship at this popular fundraiser!

Flu Season Protocol
The H1N1 virus is becoming more prevalent in Ohio and cases are occurring in schools.  A church is a close, warm, and friendly place - a great place to spread germs!  Please stay home if you have any symptoms of the flu (fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, diarrhea, or vomiting).  In order to reduce the spread of the flu, remember to cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.  In the event of a serious outbreak, we may cancel RE classes.  We are not at that point yet, but please watch the news lists for up-to-date information.

Articulating Your Faith
This seminar begins Tues., October 20 and lasts for five weeks.  Class will be held
7-8:30 p.m.  The seminar guides participants through a series of easy and engaging exercises - personal reflection, role-play, discussion and even the creation of a worship event - that equip them to communicate their liberal religious ideals. Sign up sheet is in the Gathering Space. Workbook is required and costs $15.00.  Rev. Amy Russell will be leading.
Over the River and Through the Woods...
At our Thanksgiving service on November 22, we all sit together as families.  This year, we'll be sharing stories about our grandparents.  We'd like to invite anyone, adults and youth, who would like to share a story, to write it and send it to Amy Russell by November 10.  The stories could be about a holiday shared with grandparents, a humorous anecdote, or a fond memory.  All stories will appear on our web site, and some will be selected to be shared during service.  Please keep stories to 600 words (one page) or less.
Emerson Class
Jim Guthrie is an elusive, yet well-loved member of MVUUF.  He is a Professor at WSU who likes to teach about transcendentalists and does his best to make it fun.  We are thrilled that he is putting this program together for us!   Class will be held November 5, 12, 19, and December 3 from 7-8 p.m. in the Founders' Room.  A sign up sheet is in the Gathering Space.  The class is only an hour because more than a hour of Emerson at a spell may make your head explode!  Please read and bring the book: The Portable Emerson, published by Viking.  (The book is $0.37 on Amazon - don't forget to go through the MVUUF website,, for your purchase).
St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch
November 14 Menu: Beef stew, green salad, fruit salad, 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.

Chalicelight Gallery
The Chalicelight Gallery welcomes Bill Bogan as he displays his photography.  Bill has had a passionate relationship with photography since high school, when he created his first darkroom.  He opened a studio in Cincinnati, specializing in wedding and family portraiture.  About ten years ago, he traded in his traditional B&W and color processing darkroom for a totally digital system.  Bill prints on a variety of media, including glossy and matte papers, silk and canvas.  With very few exceptions, every item in the exhibit has been personally hand printed.  In addition, an artist's reception for Bill is scheduled for Sun., October 25 at 12:30 p.m. - All are invited to attend!  Enjoy the show!  
Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee is looking for good people to fill several important positions on the Program Council, for terms beginning March 1, 2010.  Activities, Music and LRE all need representatives.  Our bylaws stipulate that a candidate must have been a Voting Member of MVUUF for at least one year prior to assuming office.  Further, they may serve a max of two full consecutive terms in a given elected position on the P.C.  If you have any suggestions for nominations, please contact any member of the Nominating Committee:  Kriss Gang (Chairperson), Gary Courts, Jim Faulconer, Lucy Kazyak, Priscilla Mutter, Ruth Rowley.

Choir Practice
Choir practice is cancelled for Wed., October 28.

Food Fanciers
Food Fanciers will meet Fri., October 16 at 2 p.m.  Come join us in the Fellowship kitchen when Iris Carter demonstrates how to make her zucchini pie!  Contact Sylvia Wince at  if you would like to be our chef for one of our sessions or have any questions!  Yum!
Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet on October 18 at 5 p.m. at Neon Theater.  Contact Pete Hering at or 974-0360.
Save the Date!
**The Holistic Health/Reiki group will meet November 6 at 6:30 p.m.  Dr. Brenda Borst, a chiropractor in Yellow Springs, will be the guest speaker.  Dr. Borst practices a technique called B.E.S.T (Bio Energetic Synchronization Therapy). B.E.S.T. works by relieving blocked energy in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems so that the body can heal naturally. Deb Miyake and her mother Carol Kahler have been seeing Dr. Borst for roughly three months and have seen amazing results from this technique.  B.E.S.T works on the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the patient in a gentle, pain free approach.  A vegetarian potluck will be held and a Reiki share will follow Dr. Borst's talk. All are welcome to attend! 
**Smart Choices will meet Nov. 12 and Dec. 17, so mark your calendars now!
**Our Annual Thanksgiving Feast will be held after service on November 22.  Mark your calendars now for this popular (and tasty!) Fellowship tradition!