glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
Sept. 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 & President
Keeping Up with Our Members
Around the Fellowship
Letter from the DRE
YRE Information
Don't Forget!
Save the Date!
Printable Fellowship Calendar
Click HERE for a printable Fellowship calendar.  Please note that this calendar does NOT include outside events and the most up-to-date calendar can be found on our web site at
Letter from the Minister & President
Growth of UUism in Dayton

Many of us dream of a day when we will need to expand our sanctuary to make room for the numbers of people that we expect will be coming to MVUUF to be part of our spiritual community.  That is certainly a worthy and viable dream to have and it is based on what we know our UU faith offers.  There are other ways in which we can grow beyond numbers.  We can also grow in depth or maturation, reflected in our ability to be more welcoming, more diverse, more spiritually aware, and more involved in our community.   We are doing a lot of this kind of growing.

But we also care about the growth of UUism overall, both within and outside of Dayton.  One way to grow UUism is to support a new congregational startup.  We've been approached by a group of people in Dayton that is hoping to organize a small UU congregation.  A few of our former and current members are involved, as well as people who are new to UUism.  They have come to us to ask for our support.  Dan Narigon, a former member, is one of the leaders of this group.  He is planning to come to our Board meeting in September to report on the current plans.  So far, the Board has said it will consider supporting the group but until we know more, we are asking the group not to contact our current membership.  If a group like this is interested in obtaining district approval, they must work together with the existing congregations in Dayton.   Our goal is find out
as much as we can about the group and its intentions, and to be open to being supportive.

Richard Venus, MVUUF's former minister, is also interested in supporting this group.  He has offered his services to be a guest speaker for them.  The UU Ministers Association has guidelines specifying that the former minister and current minister make an arrangement about how the former minister will interact with current members.  Such agreements are aimed at protecting everyone involved. Richard and Amy have agreed that Richard may speak at this group once a month and advise its leaders, but he will not be the organizing force behind the group.


We want to find a way to support the growth of UUism in Dayton.  We want to be in right relations with any group who is willing to work closely with us to support the growth and well-being of both groups.  If you have any questions about this effort, please feel free to ask Alice Diebel or Amy Russell any questions you may have.  We are certainly open to hearing your feedback.  There will be an open informational meeting about this issue after the service on September 19. 


~ Rev. Amy Russell & Alice Diebel, MVUUF Board president

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
September 5 - What Is Work?  Rev. Amy Russell
~ The term "work-life balance" is a concept we often struggle with when imagining a balanced, integrated life.  Is it possible to achieve this balance?  Or is our work so integrated into who we are that it isn't separate from our lives?  Or does it take over our lives and become how we define ourselves?

September 12 - In-Gathering/Water Ceremony  Intergenerational
~ This year we invite our children to join us in our traditional water ceremony.  In our reverse communion, we offer water we've gathered during the summer.  We bring this water together as we bring ourselves back into our community.  We'll share this water and share our stories.

September 19 - 9/11: How Has It Changed Us?  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Nine years later, fear still drives much of our behavior.  From questioning the building of a mosque to our foreign policy, we still see the footprints on the psyche of our nation.  In what ways are we stuck in this fear?  In what ways has 9/11 opened us to our vulnerabilities?

September 26 - Living Our Religion  Bob Lewis
~ What does it mean for times like these?  And do we do it by ourselves?  With others?  Does it require commitment...or sacrifice...or courage?  Does it hurt?  Can it be fun?
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.
Around the Fellowship
Community Discussion Group Topics*
September 5
- "Tell the Truth - How Do We Know?"  Moderator: Diane Dermody
September 12 -"How to be a Good Listener."  Moderator: Sam Kramer
*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.
Congregational Discussion
At our September 16 Board meeting, we have invited a representative from the group that is trying to start a new congregation in Dayton to attend.  On Sun., September 19 we would like to have a congregational discussion after the service about this issue.  While we know that such efforts are very preliminary, we want to take this opportunity to share as much as we know and understand the congregations' perspectives as well.  Please watch the news list for more information or contact Alice Diebel or Amy Russell.

Daytime Book Club Title*
September 22
- The Last Patriot: A Thriller, by Brad Thor
October 20 - Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson
November 17 - Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
December 15 - Seven Stories of Christmas Love, by Leo Buscaglia and Tom Newsom
-This is our holiday potluck meeting!  Meet at Carol's house!
January TBD - Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Marbery and Alison Anderson
*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 7:00 p.m. on September 14 at Christopher's Restaurant (2318 Dorothy Ln., Kettering) for coffee and dessert.  We will discuss The Canon, by Nancy Angier.  In October, we will resume meeting at the Fellowship library.  New participants welcome!  Contact Ann Snively for more information.
Our upcoming titles are:  October 12 - The Blessings of the Animals, by Katrina Kittle
November 9 - The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, by Heidi W. Durrow
December 14 - The Last Song, by Nicholas Sparks
January 11 - Oil on the Brain, by Lisa Margonelli
February 8 - Lush Life, by Richard Price
Upcoming Services and Activities!
Our in-gathering water ceremony
will be September 12.  Bring in the water you have collected from your travels to add to our communal water ceremony.  We'll have some tap water to use as a virtual contribution if you weren't able to collect some of your own.  Then, after our Memorial Garden dedication, join your friends for our potluck lunch.  We'll provide hotdogs and burgers - you bring a side dish to share!  Also, mark your calendars now for the congregational retreat at John Bryan state park on October 23.  We rented a day lodge and will have lots of fun for the whole family!

MVUUF Memorial Garden Dedication
The MVUUF Memorial Garden will be officially dedicated and its first nameplates will be unveiled on September 12, in a brief ceremony after service.  Families of the deceased will be invited to the ceremony and all Fellowship members and friends are welcome, too.  The following persons will be memorialized:  Christopher Hollatz (1962-1971), O.A. Thomas (1910-2002), Jane Thomas (1914-2009), Suzanne P. Hudson (1931-2010) and Ross LaGue (1957-2010). 
The garden is a place for burial or scattering of the cremated remains of MVUUF members and friends, for display of memorial nameplates, and for quiet reflection.  It is located SE of the MVUUF building, along the curved gravel path bordering the wetlands.  Further landscaping is planned for next spring.  We would like to especially thank Maury Wyckoff (designer), Scott Mackenzie (earth moving and carpentry), Sheldon Mutter (masonry) and Joe Zimmerman (plaque mounting).  Thanks to dedicated individuals such as these, we will be able to take great pride in the Garden in the years ahead.
~ John Bierman (Memorial Garden Chair), Gary Courts, Sharon Harmer, and Dane Mutter (Memorial Garden Committee members)

A New Fellowship Photo Directory!
Sign up NOW for the Fellowship directory photo directory
!   Photo sessions will be held at the Fellowship on September 13, 14 and 15.  In just one hour, you will check-in, be photographed, view the proofs, and select the image you want displayed in the directory.  You may invite other family members or loved ones to be photographed as well (even if they're not members) or include "props" that express your personality or hobbies, such as a musical instrument.  You can schedule on-line by visiting our homepage,, or you can sign up in the Gathering Space after service on September 5.  Can't do either?  Call Kristin at 436-3628 and she'll take care of it!

Food Fanciers
Mark your calendars for September 24 at 2 p.m. as Lew Hann shows us how to make easy tomato soup - it's delicious and suitable for Weight Watchers, too!  Join us for fun, conversation and lots of sampling our finished products.  The Fellowship kitchen is where it's at! 

St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch*
September 11 Menu:
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, 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.

Small Group Dinner
Small group dinner [UU - Colloq.] - n. 1. Good food  2. Good conversation  3. Good company
It's time once again to think about 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' homes once a month, October through June, for dinner and everyone brings a part of the meal.  The year is divided into two cycles - the first is October through January.  Then we rearrange the members of the groups for the second cycle, which is March through June.  All are invited to join - members and friends alike!  There are two sign-up sheets - one for adults only and one for families.  Dawn Bellinger is coordinating the adult group only, but will pass along the family information.  Sign up sheets are available in the Gathering Space and September 19 is the last day to join, so don't delay!  Contact Dawn at 427-1980 or for more information.  Dawn would like to thank Jay Snively for all his work coordinating these dinners these past many years!

Women's Group Meets Again!
On September 19, the Women's Group will resume meeting on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m.  - see you in Room #5!

Thank You!
A big thank you goes to the Community Discussion group.  In August, they donated 20 clipboards to the Fellowship.  They were purchased for a particular discussion one Sunday, but the group thought they would come in handy for other MVUUF events, workshops, etc.

Blessing of the Animals
Rev. Amy Russell will hold a blessing of the animals on October 16, 11 a.m. at Indian Riffle Park, Shelter #3.  This event is part of the Howl-O-Ween Walk fundraiser held by the Miami Valley Pet Therapy Association.  It's lots of fun and people and pets alike are costumed!  If you want to register for the fundraiser, go to or contact Iris Carter.

Harvest the Power Leadership Curriculum
Are you a new leader in the Fellowship or a veteran leader that would like to sharpen your skills?  Wherever you are on your leadership journey, we're offering a religious education opportunity for you.  It's based on a curriculum developed by the UUA called "Harvest the Power", focusing on three areas of leadership: identity, purpose and path.  This four part course will focus on the first area, "Identity" and  will be held at 7 p.m. in the Founders room on September 21, 28 and October 5 and 12.  Sign up in the Gathering Space and for more information please contact Alice Diebel.

Humanitarian Giving Action Group Collection
During September, the Humanitarian Action Group welcomes plate offerings for YWCA Battered Women's Shelter of Dayton, OH.  The YWCA of Dayton operates Montgomery County's only shelter for victims of domestic violence.  In addition, they co-sponsor and staff the 24 hour domestic violence hotline.  Their confidential services are available 24 hours/7 days a week, 365 days/year, free of charge to victims, their family members, friends, and other professionals.
A Letter from the DRE
Our Youth Religious Education fall programming is well on its way.  We have a very exciting year planned for our children and youth.  For the preschool class they will be using the curriculum Unitarian Universalist Alphabet which introduces the children to Unitarian Universalism through stories of important people in our faith heritage and in their own church environment, and the Unitarian Universalist Principles.  Our preschool class is for children ages 3 (by the end of September) to 5 years old (not in Kindergarten). 
Children in kindergarten through 5th grade will be in workshop rotations this year.  This year's theme is "We are people who..." with each month's theme focused on ending this sentence.  In September, our theme is "We are people who...have traditions."  Children will experience workshops on Chalice, Flower Communion, and Blessing of the Animals.  Other themes for the year include:
We are people who...
believe everyone is important (October)
are kind is all we do (November)
encourage spiritual growth (December)
search for what is true (January)
think all people need a voice in the democratic process (February)
help build a fair and peaceful world (March)
care for the earth's lifeboat (April)
are Unitarian Universalist (May)
The really neat thing about workshop rotation is each child receives a workshop rotation passport.  Each workshop rotation participant will get a sticker in their passport for each workshop they attend.  They will keep this passport with them for the entire duration of workshop rotations, until they graduate out of the workshop program (5th grade).  The passports are a fun way for children to see what they have accomplished as well as helping tie the workshops together.  If you have questions or would like to learn more about workshop rotations, please go to our MVUUF website at
The Junior High class, grades 6th-8th, will have the awesome opportunity to go through the life changing program called the Coming of Age.  "Comprehensive and practical, Coming of Age Handbook for Congregations is a treasury of tools for the religious educator of adolescents. As youth prepare to leave childhood, congregations seeking to honor this transition will benefit from the wealth of ideas in this guide. Coming of Age Handbook for Congregations is filled with workshops for youth, social action projects and rites of passage. Participants will explore theology, spirituality and history through discussion, drama, music, writing and art. This guide will help both congregations and youth to define their beliefs and put their faith into action."  Junior High youth who choose to be a part of the mentor program, will be matched up with mentors and participate in an extra guided class.  If you would like for your junior high youth to be part of the mentor program or have questions about the Coming of Age program, please contact me as soon as possible.
Finally, the Senior High class, grades 9th-12th, will continue with their small group ministry.  Peter Bowden defines small group ministry as, "a way of 'doing church' which strives to deepen and expand the ministry of a congregation using an intentional system of lay led small groups...At the heart of healthy congregations and life/world changing ministries we find 1) strong relationships, 2) engagement with meaningful issues, 3) leadership/leadership development, and 4) inspired action." Our youth will use this model, and with guided help from adult facilitators, will choose topics of discussion.
As always, if you have any questions, I am happy to answer!  You can email me at r call me at 436-3628.  Have a wonderful year everyone!
Smile, Natalie; Director of Religious Education
YRE Calendar for September:
Chalice Children class (Preschool):

September 5 - UU Alphabet
September 12 - Intergenerational service - NO CLASS
September 19 - UU Alphabet
September 26 - UU Alphabet
Kindergarten - 5th grade class: 
September 5 - Workshop rotation    
                        ~K & 1st grade: Workshop 1 - Blessing of the animals
                        ~2nd & 3rd grades:  Workshop 2 - Flower Communion
                        ~4th & 5th grades:  Workshop 3 - Chalice
September 12 - Intergenerational service - NO CLASS
September 19 - Workshop rotation
                        ~K & 1st grade: Workshop 3 - Chalice
                        ~2nd & 3rd grades:  Workshop 1 - Blessing of the animals
                        ~4th & 5th grades:  Workshop 2 - Flower Communion        
September 26 - Workshop rotation
                        ~K & 1st grade:  Workshop 2 - Flower Communion
                        ~2nd & 3rd grades:  Workshop 3 - Chalice
                        ~4th & 5th grades:  Workshop 1 - Blessing of the animal 
6th - 8th grade class:
September 5
- Youth Worship
September 12 - Intergenerational service - NO CLASS
September 19 - Class - Coming of Age
September 26 - Class - Coming of Age
9th - 12th grade class:
September 5
- Youth Worship
September 12 - Intergenerational service - NO CLASS
September 19 - Small group ministry
September 26 - 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."
Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet September 5 at Danbarry South.  Contact Pete Hering for more information.
Save the Date!
**The Potpourri Concert will be Sat., September 25 - you won't want to miss it!
**The Congregational retreat will be Sat., October 23 at John Bryan State Park.  Lots of fun for the whole family!