glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
February 1-15, 2010
~  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!
Letter from the DRE
YRE Information
Don't Forget!
Save the Date!
Letter from the Minister

A Thank You Note


"I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." By Sarah Williams


When we lose someone close to us, we feel an emptiness in our lives.  This emptiness is sometimes overwhelming.  But then you remember the person you loved and you are filled with the joy of his memory.  Your emptiness fills up with a sweet gratitude.  And you sit with that gratitude, both sorrowful and joyful.


Being a part of this community who reaches out and holds you at a time like this, is a unique and wonderful experience.  Thank you all for all your expressions of caring during the past weeks. 


Many of us in the Fellowship have lost loved ones recently.  I know I am not alone in my grief.  I am grateful that we can share our experiences with each other during these times.  Walking through life with our arms linked, sometimes we're supporting, and sometimes we're leaning.


~ Rev. Amy Russell


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February 7 - Cosmos and Ethos: A Sacred View of Nature  Rev. Amy Russell
~ People imagine how the universe came to be in a cosmology.  We imagine how we should live together in our ethics or morality.  Ursula Goodenough tells us that "the story of Nature has the potential to serve as the cosmos for the global ethos that we need to articulate."  How can we create a cosmology that is tied to an understanding both of evolution and of the sacredness of nature?

February 14 - Standing on the Side of Love: Our Story  Rev. Amy Russell
~ The UUA has launched a campaign called "Standing on the Side of Love" which calls us to stand up for social issues which clearly have at their heart acceptance and loving.  How do we "stand on the side of love?"  How can we make a difference in this campaign? 
February 21
- How We Live, How We Die  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Does our dying tell us anything about how we lived?  Does our living tell us anything about how we'll die?  How is a life measured or should it be?  These questions about life are often raised for us when someone we love dies.  We are reminded again of the brief but amazing nature of life.
February 28
- Practice, Practice, Practice  Rev. Leslie Woodward
~ The season of Lent began February 17 and continues until April 3.  Lent is the traditional time for engaging in religious practices for Christians, a season for reflection and deepening your spirituality.  Modern UUs have been slow to consider that deepening one's spirituality requires discipline.  What practice in your life puts you in touch with the "direct experience of...transcending mystery and wonder?"  What meaning does, or can, the season of Lent hold for us as UUs?
Keeping Up With Our Members

Sylvia Wince expresses the following to the congregation:  "I would like to express my thanks for being awarded the Unsung Hero Award at the Congregational Meeting.  Such an honor!"

Leslie Woodward and her family wish to thank everyone for the cards, emails and hugs received after her father, Ben Freundschuh, died.  "It is wonderful to be held in so many hearts in our time of grief."

Bill Bogan will be having surgery to remove a kidney on February 4.  Please keep Bill in your thoughts and prayers as he undergoes and recovers from this operation. 

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.
A Letter from the DRE

Part of the church experience is to make connections with others.   Connections are what help give church that home away from home feel.  For children, these connections are such an important part of their development as lifelong Unitarian Universalist.  Most children today have so many activities they are involved in that family time can sometimes seem few and far between.  Having support of the UU church becomes such an important part of a child's life.  There are so many ways for a child to become connected at church.

The first, and seemingly obvious, connection that a child maybe makes is the bond with one's peers in class.  In the past three years that I have been a director of religious education, I have seen many child to child friendships bloom and blossom into those lifelong connections that we hope our child will have.  I see this in youth the most.  This comes from the connections some of the youth have made with each other when they were much younger, are now these beautiful friendships.  This may also come from the fact that UU churches support a child to explore their beliefs of what is true and meaningful to them; therefore finding other children with similar values they have. 

Then there are those connections a child creates with the adults of our congregation.  To me, this is a BIG one.  These intergenerational connections support opportunities for adults to guide and get to know children (as well as adults learning from the child).  The youth religious education program has a wonderful event our YRE committee hosts called Mystery Friends.  This is a wonderful example of how intergenerational connections are made.  An adult from the congregation is matched up with a child.  The adult sends the child clues each week, and after a couple of weeks, there is a dinner where the child gets to know that adult. 

What about connections made family to family?  We have events here at MVUUF supporting that as well.  Family dinners are one of the many ways for families to connect.  These dinners gives families opportunities to hang out with each other outside of church. 

As you can see, the connections are there.  We just have to make them. 

If you are interested in joining in on the family dinners and/or would like to sign up (or sign your child up) for mystery friends, please let me know.  There are deadlines to both of these events.  As always, if you have any questions, I am happy to answer!  You can call me at 436-3628.  Thank you everyone and have a wonderful & blessed New Year!

Smile, Natalie; Director of Religious Education

YRE Calendar for February:

Chalice Children class (Preschool) 
February 7 - Class: Me and My World - My World Has Animals  (with Genevieve)
February 14 - Class: Me and My World - My World Has Love  (with Genevieve and Ed)

Kindergarten - 5th grade class:
February 7 
- Children's Worship
February 14 - Workshop Rotation
                        ~ K & 1st grade:  Workshop 1 - Vegetarianism
                        ~ 2nd & 3rd grades:  Workshop 2 - Eating Local
                        ~ 4th and 5th grades:  Workshop 3 - Fair Trade
6th - 12th grade class: 
February 7 
- Youth Worship
February 14 - 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."
Around the Fellowship

Community Discussion Group Topics*
February 7 - "Family Secrets: Hidden History."  Moderator: Diane Bohlander  
February 14 - "Immunity to Change."  Moderator: Don Heidorn
*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*
February 17 - Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
March 19 - Spite Fences, by Trudy Krisher  *This will be held on a Friday so the author can join us!
April 14 - Women of Brewster Place, by Gloria Naylor
*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!

Evening Book Club
The Evening Book Club will meet at 7 p.m. on Tues., February 8 at Boston Stoker (behind the DLM at Far Hills and Whipp) to discuss The Ghost Map: the Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World, by Steven Johnson.  Our March 8 selection is Birth of Venus, by Sarah Dunant.  New participants are welcome.  Contact Ann Snively if you'd like more information.

St Vincent de Paul 2ndSaturday Lunch*
February 13 Menu:
  Beef stew, green salad, fruit salad
*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.

Food Fanciers
Sylvia Wince will demonstrate how to make her famous Killer Brownies on February 19 at 2 p.m. in the Fellowship kitchen.  All are invited and this is a secret if you want to know how to make them, you'll have to come and watch!


Smart Choices
Mark your calendars for our meeting on February 11 at 2:00 p.m.  We will have our Midwinter Slump Party, where we will meet in our most comfortable sweats, pj's, etc.  Jan Campbell and Robin Farinet will have some surprises for us, too!


Bowls of Hope Soup Supper

Plan to attend the Bowls of Hope Soup Supper on Sat., February 27 at 6 pm.  This is a benefit dinner for the Dayton International Peace Museum and the Dayton FoodBank.  Pick out a beautiful pottery bowl made by a local artisan and select from a variety of soups ( including vegetarian) donated by some of Dayton's best restaurants:  Cafe Monet, C'est Tout Bistro, Coco's Bistro, Flavors Restaurant, The Meadowlark Restaurant, One Lincoln Center, Savona Ristorante, and Thai 9.  Specialty breads will be donated by BoosalisBaking Company and Rahn's Artisan Breads.  Desserts will be provided by our own Reeve's Catering and Sisters' Catering.  Tickets are on sale in the Gathering Space after the service and must be purchased in advance:  Adults $20; Children under 10, $10 without a bowl.

Knit, Crochet & More
The Knit, Crochet & More group is kicking off the craftiest service project of 2010.  We are accepting donations of knit, crocheted, or fabric squares, roughly 6-8".  These will be assembled and donated to Project Linus or another similar charity.  We will also accept donations of yarn, however small.  The donation box will be in the Gathering Space or in Classroom #4.  Thank you!


Small Group Dinners
Enjoy conversation, good food, and fun while getting to know others in the Fellowship.  Groups of 8 to 10 gather in each others' home once a month, October through June, for dinner and everyone brings a part of the meal.  In March, we start with new groups, so this is a great time to join!  Friends and members alike are encouraged to participate.  Contact Jay Snively for more information or fill out the sign up sheet in the Gathering Space through February 21.


Chalicelight Gallery
The Chalicelight Gallery is showcasing the work of Cathy Jeffers.  Cathy is an artist and a teacher.  She works for Dayton Public Schools teaching art to emotionally disturbed children and at Wright State where she is an adjunct professor working with future elementary school teachers to give them the basics of art education philosophy and techniques.  Cathy made her first quilt in 2003 and after many years of experimenting and layering, has discovered her unique style.  Her work has been shown in Ohio, Hawaii, Oregon, Nebraska, and many other states as well.  Her quilt, The Artist and the Mermaid, is now on tour until 2011 with the Quilt National, an international quilt show.  The focus of her show is about the many people she's met, imagined, or would like to know.  For more information on Cathy, please visit

New Service for Grocery Cards
Want to purchase grocery cards, but don't carry your wallet/checkbook with you on Sundays?  Just give Sylvia Wince a call at 435-5079 and she will deliver your Kroger or DLM cards to you and collect your money.  The Kroger refillable cards are $5.  You add money at the Kroger service desk.  The DLM debit cards are in denominations of $20 and $50.  You can make checks payable to MVUUF.  What an easy fundraiser for the Fellowship!

Calling All Wordsmiths!
If you like to write stories, poems, and prose, and would like to share your work and give/get feedback with other writers, the MVUUF Writers' Group is welcoming new members!  Meetings are once a month, usually on Sundays, and consist of discussion, activities, and peer critiquing.  Writers of all levels and interests are welcome.  If you would like more information, please contact Roger Davis or Marisa Becker.

Service Auction - April 17
What is the Service Auction, you ask?  The Service Auction is the biggest fundraiser for MVUUF.  Members and friends of the Fellowship donate services or goods, which are then auctioned off with all proceeds going to the Fellowship.  It's that easy!  What we need from you are goods and services!  Need some ideas?  Here are some items from the last few years:  an African dinner for 6; a close personal parking space at the Fellowship; old-fashioned chicken dinner delivered to your home; architectural services; dog walking; one hour massage at your home; first table in line to get food at the Thanksgiving Dinner...if you haven't been to the Auction, it is LOTS of fun!  There's great food and a fun theme to tie it all in...this year is triple the fun (but it's a surprise for now!).  If you have any questions, or are interested in helping out with set-up, children's activities, or working the night of the Auction, please contact Kate Halpin.

Wednesday Night Buddhist Meditation
The Wednesday night Buddhist meditation is cancelled until further notice.  You can still participate in Buddhist meditation Sunday mornings, 9-11 a.m. in Room #4, or in Zen meditation sponsored by the Zen Fellowship of Dayton on Tuesday nights, 7-8:15 p.m. in Room #1. 

Offering for February
The Social Concerns Committee invites plate offerings for the Wesley Community Center of Dayton.  The Wesley CC was founded in 1966 during the Dayton race riots and is located on Dayton's West Side.  The Center's mission is "helping others through God-centered principles."  Although the Center is faith-based, it serves all persons without regard to race, religion, sex, age, or sexual orientation and maintains a non-proselytizing stance.  Center programs include after school childcare, scouting, youth leadership development and senior nutrition and transportation programs.  The Center also offers self-sufficiency classes, motivational counseling, job preparation, and computer literacy.  An important and primary principle of the Center is to enable families and individuals to become self-sufficient and to be able to give back to the community.  The generosity exhibited by MVUUF in becoming a supporter of the Wesley Center is most appreciated.

Office Information
Kristin will be out of the office Fri., February 12.  She will not be accessing voicemail or email.


Long Range Planning Committee
Have you ever climbed a mountain?  Usually, doing so involves numerous places where you stop to take stock and plan your next section of the journey.  We at the Fellowship are on a journey up a mountain toward being the most vibrant, engaged Unitarian Universalist community we can be.  We will be more likely to get there if we take the time to assess and plan our next steps. That is what the Long Range Planning Committee is all about.

The Long Range Planning Committee was established by the MVUUF Board to engage with the members and friends of our Fellowship to shape and understand better who we are as UUs and how we want our Fellowship to develop in the years ahead.   We are not about telling the Fellowship where to go next.  Rather, we will be assisting the congregation to do that assessing and planning.  We see the congregation as being at a plateau where we can recognize what we are doing well and also perhaps imagine some things we can do that will move us forward on our journey.

Toward that end, we will be seeking your involvement.  We anticipate that our work will take a couple of years.  As we go along, you will have a chance to tell us about your experience of MVUUF - what draws you here, what feeds your soul, what do you dream we can be.  We will use, among other tools, a process called Appreciative Inquiry that will help focus on our positives and then move from there into an even better future. 

We anticipate many conversations in a variety of contexts.  This process of teasing out what we value and dream about is called discernment.  It involves what we want and also what we have to give.

We see this discernment process as exciting.  How often do you really get to dream about your life?  And then share those dreams?  We hope these discussions will draw us all into deeper community as we go along.

Thus far, the Committee has been working on getting to know each other and to begin to grasp what is involved in this large and sacred task.   I say sacred because we recognize that you are entrusting to us the guidance of this community of ours.  It is a big responsibility that you (through the Board) have given us and we commit to you that we will work with our best diligence, wisdom and care. 

Please come to committee members (Ellen Beck, Brittany Fredrick, Lew Hann, Bob Lewis and me) with your concerns and ideas.  We will be keeping you informed of our work, so watch for updates.  Please participate as the discernment process unfolds.  Please join with us, as time goes on, in climbing the mountain together.


~Barb Weber, Chair

Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet February 7 at Danbarry South around 5.  Please contact Pete Hering at 974-0360.
Save the Date!
**Service Auction is April 17!
**Mystery Friends dinner is March 6!