glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
April 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
Letter from the DRE
YRE Information
Don't Forget!
Save the Date!
Letter from the Minister
A group of us have been sharing our grief in a support group recently.  One theme that I hear from many of us is that our grief is never over, it just changes.  Life is full of losses.  We lose people we love; we lose our youth; we lose jobs and marriages; life is a never ending stream of people and things moving away or changing.  But then again, while this river of life carries things away, it also brings new, exciting things toward us.  So, while we are dealing with our losses, we also have some new thing pulling at our sleeve asking us to take notice.  Like for me, while dealing with my dad's loss, I have my daughter calling up wanting to talk about plans for her wedding.  Loss and change, and growth.  Always there, whether you like it or not.
The Easter celebration which is not just a Christian religious celebration, but an ancient spring festival honored in some way in every culture, celebrates this loss and re-birth.  The plants died in the fall, and new green budlets are just beginning to peek out under the snow.  The sun is returning, thank God, because many of us feel like we're not sure we could stand one more day of winter.  Or one more day of loss, either.
When I look at the loss part, the Good Friday part of life, it often seems unendurable.  It seems un-reconcilable with the new growth part, the Easter part.  But when I allow myself to see the changes wrought in myself as a result of my past losses, I see many of the new buds of my growth stemming from the loss.  The loss is turned over and inside out and made into new fertilizer.  It doesn't make the loss any easier.  It doesn't even make it easier with the next loss.  But looking over life, it becomes more understandable as the fabric of life.  That I can't hold onto all the good parts and just lose the things I'm ready to lose. 
The idea of resurrection for many of us is a metaphor for uncovering what is at the heart of loss and growth.  Not just that things have to die to make room for the new things.  But that out of the ashes come the phoenix.  Out of the pain of loss, comes our new selves.  Maybe we are born to our new life.  Maybe not "better", but different.  
My Dad is gone and I will always miss him.  But my love for him and my pain at losing him becomes for me part of the way I now look at my children.  My cherishing them, my hopes for their lives is mixed up with my knowledge of what my Dad gave me.  I am who I am not only because of the people and opportunities I've had in my life, but also because of the people and opportunities I've lost in my life.  Good Friday and Easter.  All a part of the changes we experience every day.
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Quick Links
April 4 - Easter: Finding Salvation  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Rebecca Parker, Christian-UU theologian, tells us that violence does not redeem, despite the Christian myth of salvation through Christ's death.  How do we find salvation through our UU faith in this broken and hurting world?
April 11 - Passover: A Family Ritual  Rev. Amy Russell
~ The Passover celebration honors the Jews escape from slavery in Egypt.  A seder meal is a family ritual using food elements as reminders of the significance of events that liberated the Jews.  As families and individuals, how do we build spiritual rituals into daily life to deepen our lives together?
April 18 - The Dream of Walden  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Henry David Thoreau demonstrated the idea of living simply in natural surroundings.  Many UUs find  it is a spiritual practice to find ways of lessening their impact on the environment and appreciating what nature gives us.
April 25 - TBA
Keeping Up With Our Members
Bev & Sylvia Wince, longtime MVUUF members, are moving to a Florida retirement community on May 15.  They will be sorely missed!  Their new address is 11327 SE 175 Place  Summerfield, FL  34491.  We are planning a "Bon Voyage" gathering for them...see details in the "Around the Fellowship" section!
Printable MVUUF Calendar!
Click HERE for a printable PDF version of the MVUUF calendar.  Please note, this calendar does NOT include outside events (ie: private parties, etc.), so for the most up-to-date information, you will need to access the MVUUF web site calendar or call/email Kristin in the Fellowship office. 
A Letter from the DRE
So I am reading No Impact Man by Colin Beavan, just in time for Earth Day.  If you get a chance to read it, I highly recommend it.  It really makes you think about the earth, and what our role is in taking care of it.  For me, I try to set a good example for my daughter.  I am far from saving the earth, but I figure little steps will help my family achieve the "green" medal of earth saving!
So what have has my family done so far, you may be asking yourself with dire curiosity?  Well, we've done things like: used reusable cloth grocery bags (we keep plenty of them on hand in the car), switched to wheat cat litter; disposing of it in the toilet, use cloth napkins, use "green" toilet paper, metal water bottles, joined a farm share, make more food from scratch....etc.  Looking forward, we plan on: creating a worm compost bin (since we live in apartment complex with no yard), got a plot of land to grow our own food (again, no yard), set a goal by June to get down to one biodegradable trash bag a week, can our own food...etc.  Then there are the "pipe dream", one day I would love to do that, goals of: eating only locally grown food, buying no processed foods, creating no trash, bike/walk everywhere....ummm well this comes from reading the book! 
Really, I think the bottom line in trying to take steps everyday to help our planet is that our children are watching us.  We are at the point now where some of the damage done can be reversed, or stopped.  So talk to your children, you know I encourage that.  Ask them if they have ideas...they may even know more about being green than you do!  Try sometime to save energy, turn off the electronics like the computers-TV-video games, and dare I say it cell phones and spend some time together as a family.  Play old fashion board games, bake some bread from scratch, take a bike can figure it out!  Connect with each other while being green, in a time where so many of us are so disconnected because we are always connected (to our stuff). 
Our youth have come up with a wonderful idea in support of Earth Day.  They will lead art workshops on Saturday, April 24 for all of our children and youth here at MVUUF.  The youth will have several workshops where the children and youth can create art pieces to be hung in the sanctuary's gallery in May.  The theme for the art is "Nature and the Earth".  The art (...pieces that children choose) will be on sale.  The money made from art sold will be used towards new playground equipment in our own MVUUF backyard.  Some of our best ideas come from the mouths of babes!  I love it!
Another YRE event coming up is our cooperative Egg Hunt, on Easter Sunday, April 4, beginning after class (around 12:15).  All children are welcome to participate.  Our MVUUF egg hunt is a bit different than your average egg hunt.  We split the children up into groups, with different ages in each group.  That group of children is responsible for working together in finding the same color of egg.  Inside each plastic egg is a piece to a puzzle.  Once all their colors are found, they work together again to put their puzzle pieces together.  When they are done, they get to go to the prize room to choose their own prizes to take home!  And yes, the famous "What would a UU do?" pencils are back! 
As always, if you have any questions, I am happy to answer!  You can call me at 436-3628. 
Smile, Natalie; Director of Religious Education
YRE Calendar for April:

Chalice Children class (Preschool):
April 4 - Class: Me and My World - My world has sand & soil (Genevieve)
April 11 - Class: Me and My World - My world has trees (Genevieve & Sean)
Kindergarten - 5th grade class:
April 4 - Children's Worship
April 11 - Workshop Rotation
                        ~ K & 1st grade:  Workshop 1 - Wealth and power vs. economic fairness
                        ~ 2nd & 3rd grades:  Workshop 2 - Pollution and how trees help
                        ~ 4th and 5th grades:  Workshop 3 - Endangered animals
6th - 12th grade class: 
April 4 
- Youth Worship
April 11 - 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*
April 4 - "Should We Teach Religion in a Scientific Age?  Lessons from Unitarian Educator Sophia Lyon Fahs."  Moderator: Denny Smith
April 11 - "Rule by Secrecy."  Moderator: Joe Lawrence
*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.

Easter Egg Hunt!
Join us for an Easter egg hunt after service on April 4.  We will also be collecting canned goods and non-perishable items for an Easter basket to deliver to a local food pantry. 
Daytime Book Club Title*
April 14 - Women of Brewster Place, by Gloria Naylor
May 19 - Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan
June TBA - Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, by Al Gore
*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., April 13 to discuss The Birth of Venus, by Sarah Dunant.  Our May 11 selection is Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan.  We are now meeting in the Fellowship library!  New participants are welcome.  Contact Ann Snively if you'd like more information.

Service Auction - April 17
The 2010 MVUUF Service Circus Auction will be held April 17 from 6 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. (ish).  Don't forget to mark your calendars and bring your checkbooks!  Amazing and wonderful items and services will be up for auction and fantastic food and drink will be available for imbibing!  We will have helper clowns to entertain and serve you during the auction and a wonderful, profitable time will be had by all!  Please contact Kate Halpin if you have any questions.  See you under the big top!

Bon Voyage Bev & Sylvia!
Bev & Sylvia Wince, longtime MVUUF members, are heading south to warmer pastures.  Please join us for a cake reception following Sunday service on May 9.  In addition, we are putting together a surprise for them!  So if you have any pictures of Bev & Sylvia over the years, please email them to Kristin in the office or put them in the administrator mailbox in the back hallway.  All pictures must be to Kristin no later than April 26.
Food Fanciers
Iris Carter will demonstrate how to make yummy corn bread muffins on April 23 at 2 p.m. in the Fellowship kitchen.  All are invited! 

Clean Up Day
Join Sean Halpin at 9:30 a.m. on April 10 to help clean up and around the Fellowship.  For all you gardeners, we need to clip back the plants.  For everyone else, we need to go through the storage areas and maybe do some touch up painting in the hallways.

St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch*
April 10 Menu: Lasagna, green salad, fruit salad
*All items 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.
MVUUF Coffee House
Enjoy a relaxing evening of music, coffee and your MVUUF friends at the MVUUF Coffee House!  On Sat., April 3, 7-9:30 p.m. music will be provided by special guest jazz pianist Charlie Parker, as well as our own Chris Gooley, Kate Santucci, and Carol Narigon.  Charlie Parker began playing piano at eight years old.  He played keyboards for much of the late 70s and early 80s, playing many styles of pop music, but always harboring a passion for jazz.  His recent projects include theatrical scores for the Town Hall Theater in Centerville, where he served as Resident Sound Director.  There is no admission for this fun event, but we do request a donation at the door.  Join us (even if tea's more your thing...)!
Offering for April
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
Smart Choices
Smart Choices will meet at 2 p.m. on April 15.  Jennie Hardy will show us some pictures of her trip to Egypt!
Emily Upham Award - Nomination Deadline Extended!
The Social Concerns Committee is inviting nominations for the 2009 Emily Upham Social Justice Award. This award is given by the Fellowship to a member(s) of the congregation who, in the spirit of MVUUF member Emily Upham, exemplifies commitment and service for world peace and social justice and is involved in on-going activities that support a vision of a better world. Recent awardees include Joe Law (2008), Lynn Buffington (2007), Diane Dover (2006), Gail Cyan (2005), Kate Santucci (2003-04), and Bev and Sylvia Wince (2002).  The Selection Committee consists of the President, Vice President, and Social Concerns Representative. If the President or Vice President is unable to serve, the Board will select an alternate Board member.  Please send your nominations to the church administrator, Kristin Freeman, no later than April 15, 2010. Include in your nominating letter your rationale for making the award to your nominee: tell us about the person and why you think he or she should be selected.  The award will be presented at the Fellowship's Congregational Meeting in June.
Chalicelight Gallery
Our artist for April 4 through mid-May is Nancy Fisher.  Nancy says "art has always been a part of me.  It is a way of thinking, feeling, observing and perceiving."  While many of her oil paintings take on a realistic quality, it is the study of light, shadow and color reminiscent of Impressionism that is her true forte.  Nancy says "the work I create is the response to whatever stimuli I may see; a reaction to a beautiful sight, observations of human emotion or simply the sun's transformation of an everyday object into a thing of beauty.  My art is an extension of myself."  Her art has been recently exhibited at the Centerville Police Headquarters and the Annual Art at the Trace at Yankee Trace Golf Club.

Wine Country Holiday
The UU of North Bay is offering a Wine Country Excursion!  These packages include lodging and tours through Napa Valley, either self-guided or with a leader.  All proceeds go to the UU Fellowship of North Bay, CA.  For more information, contact Kristin in the MVUUF office.
Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet April 18 at Neon Theater around 5.  Please contact Pete Hering at
Save the Date!
**Bev & Sylvia's Bon Voyage party is May 9 after Sunday service!