glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
December 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

When I first walked through the doors of MVUUF in 2005, you had been in the building only a couple of years, you had an Interim Minister, and were governed by a traditional Board of Trustees.  Within a year, I was a voting member and helped approve the Board and Program Council church governance structure. It was not long before we called a settled minister.  That was a lot of change in a short period of time: facility, governance structure, and minister. It seems that things have settled down.  The facility is now requiring maintenance, the governance is ticking along well, and the minister is comfortable in her role. Things are good!


Looking back a little, some of the changes we have been through recently came out of crisis, others out of intense congregational discussion, planning and consensus building.  Through it all we have grown more mature in our right relations with one another.  We have a launching pad designed and developed for the future.  Now, let's figure out what we want that future to look like as best we can together, not out of crisis, but out of love for our mission. 


At our last Congregational Meeting, the board was encouraged to begin planning for the future.  The board took you seriously and has established a Long-Range Planning (LRP) Task Force.  What does our future hold?  What should our mission be?  What do we need to accomplish our mission?  From a mission the vision for the future will grow.


We appointed Barb Weber as chair of the committee.  Barb has a strong interest in helping the congregation explore and develop its heart.  She is a skilled facilitator and process thinker, and she has a long history and experience both in the congregation and in the district.  Barb worked with the board to select the members of this committee.  They include: Ellen Beck, Tom Cruse, Brittany Fredrick, Chris Gooley, Lew Hann, and Bob Lewis.  They come with a variety of experiences and backgrounds that will help this work.  The group's charge is to engage in an in-depth assessment of the growth interests, potentials, and needs of the congregation.  They will also explore the greater Dayton community and other UU churches for a sense of possibilities.  We expect lots of conversations - small and large - and need to hear from each of you in the effort.  The LRP group will be asking a lot of questions about what you like, what should change and what should stay the same.


So why are we planning to ask so many questions?  Haven't we finally arrived?  Now is the best time to start looking forward to either sustain what we have or develop into something even greater.  We do not know what this assessment will bring, but the good news is, things are working well and that makes the time right for this work.

~ 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.
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Quick Links
December 20 - The Despondent Winter 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.
December 24 - Christmas Eve Service at 7 p.m.  Rev. Amy Russell
December 27Kate Landis 
Keeping Up With Our Members
Several members of our congregation have recently experienced loss in their families.  Please keep the following people in your hearts during this difficult time.
Ruth Rowley's  brother died.
Rita Reeves' brother died.
Both Ann Snively and Joe Zimmerman lost their fathers.

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 December:

Chalice Children class (Preschool) 
December 20 - Class: Me and My World
December 27 - Class: Me and My World

Kindergarten - 5th grade class:
December 20
 - Workshop Rotation
                        ~ K & 1st grade: Workshop 2 - Story Behind Christmas
                        ~ 2nd & 3rd grades: Workshop 3 - Passover
                        ~ 4th & 5th grades: Workshop 1 - Rosh Hashanah
December 27 - Workshop Rotation
                        ~ K & 1st grade:  Workshop 3 - Passover
                        ~ 2nd & 3rd grades:  Workshop 1 - Rosh Hashanah
                        ~ 4th and 5th grades:  Workshop 2 - Story Behind Christmas

6th - 12th grade class: 
December 20 - Fieldtrip day
December 27- Class: Neighboring Faiths
Family Dinners
Want to get to know other families with children in the YRE program?  Sign up for family dinners!  Sharing dinner with others is a time-honored way to build relationships.  The Family Dinners program groups 3 families together for a monthly dinner.  This is a 3 month commitment:  you will host one month and be a guest the other two months with the same group of families.  We will have two "sessions" of family dinners, one each in winter and spring.  Sign up for one or both to get to know more YRE families!  Sign ups will begin after Thanksgiving and the Family Dinners will start in the new year.
**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*
December 20 - "Complaint About a Cop?  What Are Police for, Anyway?"  Moderator: Roger Davis
December 27 - "All About Birth"  Moderator: Lindy McDonough
*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 Title*
December 16
- Savannah: Or a Gift for Mr. Lincoln, by John Jakes (at Carol Vincent's house - bring a dish to share, too!)
January 20 - Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
February TBA - Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
*We meet one Wednesday a month, at 10:30 a.m., in the Fellowship Library.  We then go out for lunch together.  All are welcome!

Men Who Cook 3.0
The third annual Men Who Cook is scheduled for the evening of Sat., January 16, 2010. Starting at 6:30 p.m., the men of MVUUF will share their culinary skills with those fortunate enough to have a ticket to the event.  Tickets are $30, and all proceeds will go to the general fund of MVUUF.  Space is limited, so be sure to get your tickets right away.  You can purchase tickets on Sunday mornings in the Gathering Space after service, or you can reserve tickets by contacting Bill Dugger, Joe Law, Bob Lewis, Jim Poltrone, or Denny Smith.  Men of MVUUF: You should have received an email inviting you to participate.  If you didn't receive the message but would like to take part, just get in touch with one of the men listed above.  There's no such thing as too many cooks!


Chalicelight Gallery
The paintings and photographs of Vijay Sharon Govender will be on display during the month of December.  Sharon is an Indian native of South Africa.  She focuses on mixed media and photography.  Her work is further enriched by her travels to Africa, India, the Far East and Europe.  She recently completed a master's in special education and hopes to incorporate more art in the classroom.  Her work can also be viewed at and  Enjoy!

Did You Know?
...that all congregations that are part of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) need to "certify" the number of members they have? At the end of every year, we examine our membership list and add those new members who have joined and subtract those who have dropped away. It is from this list of voting members that the UUA determines our dues for participation in the association. We support the efforts of the association by paying $56/member to the UUA, and $20/member to the Heartland District. Last year we certified 189 voting members. We have approximately 50 additional associate members. Let us know about any changes in your membership status by contacting Kristin Freeman, the church administrator, before the end of the year.


Environmental Awareness Group
The Environmental Awareness Group is now forming.  The purpose is to determine environmental issues we now face and to choose ones to focus on for the next two years.  The group will then plan how to raise awareness and create activities and strategies to work to help solve the problems.  An organizational meeting will be held on January 12, 2010 at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Library.  Contact Donna Wilson for more information.

St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch
January 9 Menu:  meatloaf, mixed veggies, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, & 100% fruit juice
*All donations must be delivered heated and ready to serve 15-20 people.  Donations should be taken to 120 W. Apple St. by 10:30 a.m.  Sign up in the Gathering Space.  

Mitten Tree
The Social Concerns Committee and members of the Choir have put up a Mitten Tree in the lobby to benefit The House of Bread, a community kitchen. Please bring new hats, gloves, mittens and scarves to hang on the tree in the Gathering Space. We will donate them at the end of the year.  The House of Bread was established in 1983, serving predominately inner city residents of Dayton. Over the past twenty years, the House of Bread has steadily increased services, continuing to address the needs of the community. Currently, over 7400 meals are prepared and served each month.  It also serves as a bridge to beneficial community resources, linking its guests with agencies that provide proven solutions to long-term problems. The House of Bread is a key resource in Dayton for meal distribution and hunger awareness.


The House of Bread is committed to addressing more than just hunger issues. Therefore, crucial partnerships with foundations, corporations, civic and social organizations have been established and cultivated. The University of Dayton, Wright State University, Sinclair Community College and a host of local and regional high schools, churches and religious organizations complete the continuum of support.  Our local Trader Joes provides the House of Bread with meats, breads and frozen items on a weekly basis!


Smart Choices
Smart Choices will meet December 18 at 2 p.m.  Laurel Herminghausen & Jan Campbell will perform a Christmas reading.  Bring your favorite Christmas story or memory to share, too!

Offering for December
The Social Concerns Committee invites plate offerings for the Minister's Discretionary Fund and the YRE Social Justice project.  The Minister's Discretionary fund helps the minister distribute resources to members of the Fellowship or the outside community who may have fallen on hard times and need financial assistance.  The YRE Social Justice project allows the youth of the congregation to raise funds to support a social justice cause of their choice.

Guest at Your Table
Guest at Your Table is the UU Service Committee annual fundraiser that puts UU faith in action, by raising funds to help people struggling for basic human rights.  This year, the fundraiser will be November 29 - January 9.    Please make your check out to UUSC, and return it to Maureen O'Meara or Kristin Freeman (Fellowship Administrator) before January 9. 

Office Hours
The Fellowship office will be closed December 24, 25 and January 1.

Lunch with Amy
Lunch with Amy at Panera by the Dayton Mall will be cancelled on December 24 and 31.  It will resume January 7.

Slate of Nominees
The Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the following slate of candidates to be voted on at the Congregational Meeting on January 17, 2010.


BOARD                                                                             PROGRAM COUNCIL
President - Alice Diebel                                                      Activities - Rita Schindel
Vice President - Karen Evans                                             Communications - Lindy McDonough
Secretary - Joe Law                                                           LRE - TBA
Mike O'Brien - Treasurer                                                   Membership - Tom Cruse
Kate Halpin - P.C. Chair                                                    Music - TBA
Antonia Harter - Trustee at Large
David Cobb - Trustee at Large

Endowment - Dan Enterline
Nominating - TBA
Nominating - TBA
Nominating - TBA

Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet December 20 at Neon Theater around 5.  Please contact Pete Hering at 974-0360.
Save the Date!
**The Congregational Meeting will be after service on January 17
**Food Fanciers will be January 22 at 2 p.m.
** "Bowls of Hope Soup Supper" will be February 27 at 6 p.m.