glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
November 16-30, 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
Save the Date!
Letter from the President
What brought you to this Fellowship? For me, nearly 20 years ago I was feeling uncertain of what was next for me. I know I wanted a more meaningful social life and wasn't quite sure my job was as satisfying as it could be. A friend went to the UU church near me in Michigan and invited me to go. When I walked in the door, I knew it was where I wanted to be. The worship service spoke to me in a way that made me realize I was not alone in my struggle for meaning.

It took me some time to figure out what I was looking for. The congregation offered a lot and I sampled most of it. The Worship Services moved me with meditation and music and the sermons zoomed over my head with talk of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. Adult religious education moved me gently along, and opportunities for fellowship with like-minded people drew me in. I helped the congregation with the homeless shelter and did what I could under the leadership of social justice. All the while, UU principles and the values that encourage us to live right with the world were sinking in. I found my way to them. That was what my search was about.

It took me over a year to formally join the congregation, and even then it took some time before anyone invited me to help on a committee. It wasn't all about work in the church, it was more about the work of the church. I began to live my life differently, bringing UU values into my workplace and in my generosity to social causes. The UU faith changed my life. What does it mean to you to be a part of this community?

The Board, Program Council and the newly formed Long Range Planning Committee are reading a book by UU minister Roy D. Phillips called Transforming Liberal Congregations for the New Millennium. (The book is out of print, but if you want to borrow a copy, let me know.) Phillips' argues that people join UU congregations to find a community, to develop a sense of individual worth and value, to gain a sense of meaning or purpose, and to find hope that our work in the world matters. This certainly fits my experience.

We welcome visitors into our sanctuary every Sunday, and we hope we are warm, inviting and provide a beginning flavor that maybe, just maybe MVUUF can offer the individual the sense of community, purpose and meaning that is needed to make life so much richer and the world so much better. I would like to encourage our visitors to explore what MVUUF has to offer. Don't worry about not understanding everything right away. If we seem to provide what you need, perhaps you will consider the path toward membership.

And to those of us who are actively involved in the work of the church, what is it that we can do to support each other in our spiritual development while we work? How might we covenant with one another through membership in this congregation to develop meaningful lives? How might we get to know one another at a deep level so that when we get involved in the church it is because we want to build a congregation that helps us all on this kind of journey? Phillips thinks we are all ministers. Let's get to know one another, one-on-one, as ministers. Let's support each other's growth in small groups. And finally, let's make membership a meaningful commitment to the search for how to make the world a better place through how we live in it.
~ Alice Diebel
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
November 22 - Thanksgiving Service - Over the River and Through the Woods  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Through stories shared by members of our congregation, we'll remember our grandparents.  Holidays spent with them and quiet important moments are poignant reminders of what we gained from them.  We will also share in our famous potluck dinner immediately following the service.
December 6 - God, Spirit, or Something Else?  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Can UUs ever feel comfortable using the G word?  Can we find a language that describes something unknowable which the majority of UUs could ever accept?  How do we find a spiritual language which has depth and meaning for such a theologically diverse group?

December 13 - A New Humanism  Rev. Amy Russell
~ In the past, humanists rejected the idea of spirituality as being too supernatural.  Perhaps there is a growing sense of humanism and spirituality having harmony in finding meaning in the here and now.
December 20 - Winter of Depression  Rev. Amy Russell
~ The winter season often brings for many a deepening sense of their recurrent feelings of depression.  Having an awareness of depression as an illness with chemical and psychological roots can enable some to seek help.  Having a community that cares also helps.
Keeping Up With Our Members
Robin Farinet is recovering at home after having two heart valves replaced on October 27.  She'll be recuperating for a few months, as well as attending cardiac rehabilitation.  She thanks everyone for the cards and loving energy sent her way. 
Mary Coonrod's 27 year old grandson is in need of a kidney transplant.  He's blood type O and currently on dialysis 3 times a week.  If anyone can help or would like to discuss this further, please call Mary at 427-2048.
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 November:
Chalice Children class (Preschool): Preschoolers begin in class at 11:00 a.m.
November 22 - NO CLASS:  Intergenerational service
November 29 - Class: Me and My World

Kindergarten - 5th grade class:
November 22 - NO CLASS:  Intergenerational service
November 29 - Workshop Rotation
                        ~ K & 1st grade:  Workshop 3 - Prayer; Who is it for? (Room #5)
                        ~ 2nd & 3rd grades:  Workshop 1 - Sabbath (Room #6)
                        ~ 4th and 5th grades:  Workshop 2 - Holy Week (Room #7)

6th - 12th grade class: 
November 22 - NO CLASS:  Intergenerational service
November 29
- Class: Neighboring Faiths

**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."
Happy Thanksgiving!
Around the Fellowship
Community Discussion Group Topics*
November 22 - NO CLASS - Fellowship Thanksgiving Gathering
November 29 - Games People Play.  Moderator: Jim Faulconer
*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.

Annual Thanksgiving Dinner
The annual Thanksgiving dinner will be held after service on November 22.  As usual, there will be a nominal fee ($5/family) to cover the food and drink that MVUUF supplies.  Sign up sheets are available in the Gathering Space to volunteer to bring a dish to share, or you can contribute a turkey or ham.  Those who bring a turkey or ham will not need to pay the family fee.  This is a longstanding MVUUF tradition and this year we'll be honoring our grandparents.  Don't forget - at the Service Auction, three of you purchased the right to be first, second, or third in line for food!

Daytime Book Club Title*
November 18 - Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story, by Timothy Tyson
*We meet one Wednesday a month, at 10:30 a.m., in the Fellowship Library.  All are welcome!

St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch
December 12 Menu: Lasagna, 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. 

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.  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.  Enjoy the show! 
Facebook Start-Up Meeting
Wed., November 18, 7 p.m. in the Fellowship library.  Come help us make final decisions on the new MVUUF Facebook page and/or group.  Some of you have already agreed to help, but anyone with a love or interest in Facebook is welcome to attend and help us work out the details.  Hopefully it will be up and running by January 1, or sooner.  Contact Lindy McDonough at 278-1493.
Save the Date!
**Smart Choices will meet December 18 (note the date change), so mark your calendars now!
**Food Fanciers will meet December 11.  Janice Beers will make her Dream Cake - YUM!