glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
July 1-31, 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!
Letter from the Minister
Families are messy.  They ask too much of us, or too little.  Our family members may see us as we were when we were sixteen years old, or assume that we're too old to be considered.  When many of us spend time in the summer with our extended families, we may come back wondering why we ever considered family time as a "vacation".  It's often more like work.
And yet, families for many, are our roots.  They provide us with a kind of love that we don't receive anywhere else.  Now that might not be the healthiest kind of love, but it's unique. 
I'm very lucky that in my big, noisy, and exuberant family we try very hard to love each other and respect each other.  It's not an easy process.  There are times when one of us tries to remind the other that one of us is being "too controlling".  Luckily, there's an agreement in my family that being controlling is something we inherited like thick curly hair.  We own it.  And like the unruly hair that many of us inherited, we have days when we can control our given controlling natures, and days like "bad hair days" when we don't.
So, during those times when being in a family seems like too much work, I try to remember what it would be like not to have a family.  I remind myself that these relationships are life long.  That we can keep working on it, keep trying to make it work.  For me, it's worth the effort.  Having a sister or a brother is unlike any other relationship.  So, I keep trying to straighten out my relationships with them, just like I keep trying to straighten my hair.  Some tell me it's hopeless and to give up.  But I'm somewhat of an optimist.   I may give up on my hair, though.
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Quick Links
July 4 - Jefferson and Church and State  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Thomas Jefferson originated the idea of the separation of church and state in a letter he wrote to a group of Baptists about the "wall of separation."  Our nation has continued in this tradition, even with some dissenters.  This Fourth of July let's celebrate our nation's honoring of this tradition.

July 11 - Universalism in a Postmodern World  Alice Diebel
~ How far can a congregation go in its respect for diversity?  What holds us together?

July 18 - Interfaith Dialogue  Judith Martin
July 25 - The Beloved Community  Rev. Darryl Fairchild
~ Rev. Fairchild is a scholar of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He will speak about the individual, sacred, and communal characteristics that work together to form a beloved community.  Rev. Fairchild will stay after the service for a discussion of Lift Greater Dayton.
Keeping Up With Our Members
For all those members who are experiencing difficult times in their lives, please know that your Fellowship community is here to support you.
A Letter from the DRE
I recently taught the kindergarten through fifth grade class.  A few weeks ago I learned how to make my own hula hoop so I brought that knowledge to our children.  We spent our class time decorating hula hoops.  Of course, we didn't just decorate hoops.  I tied it into our summer peace theme.  We discussed peace and what that means.  We discussed issues that were not peaceful and then issues that were.  I even through in the word cooperation.  This was important part of the lesson because they did not get their own hula hoop to decorate.  The children were split up into groups of 2 or 3 and had to "cooperate" together to figure out how they were going to decorate their teams hoop.  They did a beautiful job, not only decorating the hoops, but really working together!  I love that our children are growing into such loving, understanding people.  So where are the wonderful hula hoops?  They stay at the fellowship for all children and youth (and adults) to play with.  This is one of our first steps in getting our playground back together...just in time for summer!
For those of you who don't know, this summer our children and youth will be well emerged in all that is PEACE.  Our preschool class will be working on an edible garden as well as other projects centered on our earth and peace.  The kindergarten through fifth grade class will be in class together having classes on cooperative games, signs of peace where they will create peace through art, and singing for peace where they will learn some songs about peace.  The junior high class, grades 6th-8th, will be using popcorn theology as a guide to watch movies and have discussions about peace.  The senior high class, grades 9th-12th, will be using the model of small group ministry to discuss issues around peace.   Both children and youth worship will focus on inner-peace.  All children will remain in their same grade they just finished for this school year.  All children will move up a grade in September. 
Please check out our summer calendar in the forum or on our website ( for more information about summer programming.
As always, if you have any questions, I am happy to answer!  You can email me at or call me at 436-3628. 
Smile, Natalie; Director of Religious Education
YRE Calendar for July:
Chalice Children class (Preschool):

July 4 - Gardening and peace activities
July 11 - Gardening and peace activities
July 18 - Gardening and peace activities
July 25 - Gardening and peace activities
Kindergarten - 5th grade class: 
July 4
- Children's worship               
July 11 - Signs of peace through art
July 18 - Cooperative games
July 25 - Singing for peace

6th - 8th grade class:
July 4 - Youth worship
July 11 - Class: Popcorn Theology
July 18 - Class: Popcorn Theology
July 25 - Class: Popcorn Theology
9th - 12th grade class:
July 4 - Youth worship
July 11 - Small group ministry
July 18 - Small group ministry
July 25 - Small group ministry
**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*
July 4 - "Government Secrecy - How Much is Necessary?"  Moderator:  Sam Kramer
July 11 - "Birthday Memories - Best and/or Worst."  Moderator:  Diane Bohlander
July 18 - " The Sports Fan Phenomenon - National and International."  Moderator:  Open Forum
July 25 - "How Do We Change People's Minds?"  Moderator:  Gordon Taylor
*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*
July 21 - The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, by Anne Fadiman
August 25 - Fallout, by Trudy Krisher (who will be joining us in our discussion!)
*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
Please join us at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month in the Fellowship library.  Our July 13 title is Half Broke Horses, by Jeanette Walls.  New participants are welcome.  Contact Ann Snively if you'd like more information. 

Food Fanciers
We will meet Fri., July 16 at 2 p.m. to watch Janice Beers demonstrate how to make Pennsylvania Dutch corn pie.  Join us for fun, conversation and lots of sampling our finished products!

Smart Choices
On July 20, we'll be meeting at Laurel Herminghausen's home at 6 p.m. for a pool party and potluck.  Please join us for all our summer fun!

Rev. Amy on Summer Leave
Rev. Amy will be on summer leave July 9 - August 6.  She'll be available for emergencies.  Lunch with Amy on Thursdays at Panera by the Dayton Mall is on hiatus during that time as well.  Enjoy your summer!
St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch*
July 10 Menu: Hearty sandwiches (ham or turkey with cheese), potato or pasta salad, fruit salad, 2 % milk or 100% juice
*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.  Contact or sign up in the Gathering Space.

Easy Money for MVUUF
You probably know about MVUUF's Amazon affiliate program* - now you can contribute to the Fellowship by shopping at over 1500 other online merchants!  With GoodShop, every time you make a purchase from a participating merchant, MVUUF gets a donation.  Plus, every time you search the web (called GoodSearch), MVUUF gets a donation!  All you need to do is download and install the GoodSearch toolbar or add a plug-in.  The toolbar can be hidden if desired and your purchases still count toward a donation.  The plug-in adds a GoodSearch search box to your browser.  Go to the link below to get started:
If you're going to search the web or buy online anyway, why not let MVUUF benefit?!
*Amazon is a GoodShop store, but MVUUF gets a larger donation when you go to our web page and click on Activities, Affiliates, and then click on the Amazon banner.

Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium
Recently, an Environmental Action group has been organized as a task force of the Social Concerns Committee.  On Sat., Aug. 21, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., the group will sponsor a symposium entitled "Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream".  Two presenters affiliated with the international Awakening the Dreamer Initiative will facilitate this event.  The initiative's mission is to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just presence on planet Earth.  The symposium will explore four questions:  1.  Where are we?  2.  How did we get here?  3.  What's possible for the future?      4.  Where do we go from here? 
The registration fee is $15 for adults and $5 for students under age 18.  Registration forms will be available after Sunday services and in the Gathering Space.  Checks should be made payable to MVUUF and marked Awakening the Dreamer in the memo line.  For more information, go to
Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet on July 4 at the Danbarry South Theater around 5 and on July 18 at the Neon Theater, also around 5 p.m.  For more information, contact Pete Hering.
**Our ice cream social will be after service on July 11 - YUM!!