glowing chaliceThe FORUM
Newsletter of MVUUF
Oct. 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
Letter from the DRE
YRE Information
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

Lift Greater Dayton - Forging New Relationships

Recently when I was attending a Lift Dayton event, I sat down next to a man from Corinthian Baptist Church that I had met previously.  We had met about a year ago to have what we call in community organizing terms, a "one-on-one" interview.   At that meeting, he had told me all about his involvement in mentoring young men in his community.  He said that their mentoring program for these young men in their community had great results.  The individualized attention these young men received made a huge difference in their lives.  When older men created bonds with these youth, they seemed to come back to these men when they were experiencing difficulties in their lives.  Meeting this man again cemented our friendship.  We recognized in each other someone who cared enough to make a difference.


Creating relationships is what Lift Greater Dayton is all about.  Many of us who have become involved in shaping the direction of this new organization have already formed bonds with people all over the city of Dayton.  We've gotten to know Baptists, Methodists, UCC'ers, Jews, Muslims, and many others.  As we get to know each other better, what we learn is that we have more in common than we have differences. 


Certainly, we are different in many ways.  We have different religious beliefs, and different life experiences.  But we are brought together by a common desire - to create an interfaith organization dedicated to solving some of Dayton's biggest problems.  And right now, the biggest problem we've identified in Dayton is the lack of jobs.


So, all summer a group of people from Lift Greater Dayton have been researching how we can make a difference in this jobs arena.  One of the ways we think we might be able to make a difference is in helping form an organization that does home weatherization in Dayton.  We're meeting with partners in the construction and rehab industries to learn more about the need for this kind of organization.  We still have a lot to learn about whether this is a possible area for development for us.


If you have an interest to meeting people who care about building a stronger community in Dayton, you will want to come to the Lift Greater Dayton assembly on Sun., October 10, at 3:00, at Temple Israel, 130 Riverside Drive, Dayton.  At this founding meeting, you'll meet people from religious organizations and non-profits all over Dayton.  We have also invited several of our elected officials from the state and county to come hear about the exciting plans of Lift Greater Dayton.  If you care about Dayton, and you want to make new friendships, come join us!

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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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.

October 3 - Why Religion?  Jim Faulconer

~ Religion, for good or ill, is such a pervasive reality in every culture.  Is it something in our genes?  We will ponder this question.

October 10 - Coming Out as An Ally  Rev. Amy Russell & others
~ As a GLBT ally, we are asked to "come out".  What does it mean to be a GBLT ally?  How does it feel to have an ally?  A group of MVUUF friends will share.

October 17 - No Regrets?  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Once we choose one path in life over another, we have left behind us an alternate life.  What do we do with our regrets about some life options not chosen?


October 24 - Association Sunday: Our Legacies   

Kriss Gang

October 31 - Day of the Dead  Rev. Amy Russell & Mike O'Brien
~ Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican celebration honoring All Souls' Day and the memories of our loved ones.  We'll celebrate this tradition with an ofrenda, an altar created with pictures and mementos of our lost relatives and friends.  Please bring a picture or memento that helps you honor them and be ready to share.

A Letter from the DRE

During the month of October, YRE will be holding a food drive.  The children in our workshop rotation classes will use these goods to donate to our local food pantry.   We will be also asking for a few volunteer families to take the bags of food to the pantry, making it a family event, extending the idea of our second principle; be kind in all you do. 

When I originally came up with this idea of collecting food, which the children will sort out and bag up, it got me thinking of food drives in general.  I read an interesting article called "Eating Nutritiously a Struggle When Money is Scarce," by Pam Fessler.  This article is about families in need, and how it can be cheaper to buy empty calories.   Fessler uses an example of how buying a 2 liter bottle of soda is cheaper than buying a gallon of milk.  After reading this article, my brain started churning.  Why is it, when I grocery shop for my family, I try to buy natural, organic food, however, when I buy food to be donated to others, I opt for the cheap stuff loaded with sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and no fiber.  I mean well, I really do.  I think my thought is that if I use my money to buy food for others, then buying the cheap stuff stretches my dollar.  This way, I can help feed more people.  Is my thought doing more harm than good?  Is it more just to buy one box of healthy, high fiber organic cereal as opposed to 2 or 3 boxes of the other stuff?  I don't know, but it's something to think about.

In the article, Elaine Livas, who runs Project SHARE (food pantry) she discusses this issue.  Kessler writes, "As the nation becomes more health conscious, she's (Livas) noticing less healthy food coming to her pantry. She's getting more sugar-coated cereals, for example, than the high-fiber ones she used to receive." Livas  says, "We can't really complain that the poor are heavier, when what we're donating is our kind of castaways."

I just love articles that make you think!

To read this article, please go to:

Back to the food drive...again, all of October YRE will be collecting food!  So please donate if you are willing and able!

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 October:

Chalice Children class (Preschool):

            October 3 - UU Alphabet
            October 10 - UU Alphabet
            October 17 - UU Alphabet
            October 24 - UU Alphabet
            October 31 - YRE multigenerational Fall celebration


Kindergarten - 5th grade class: 

October 3 - Children's Worship

October 10 - Workshop rotation
            ~K, 1st & 2nd grades: Workshop 1 - What's in a name?
            ~3rd, 4th & 5th grades: Workshop 2 - Shrines

October 17 - Workshop rotation
            ~K, 1st & 2nd grades:  Workshop 2 - Shrines

            ~3rd, 4th & 5th grades:  Workshop 3 - World meals

            October 24 - Workshop rotation
                        ~K, 1st & 2nd grades: Workshop 3 - World meals

                        ~3rd, 4th & 5th grades: Workshop 1 - What's in a name?

            October 31 - YRE multigenerational Fall celebration



6th - 8th grade class:

            October 3 - Youth worship
            October 10 - Class: Coming of Age

            October 17 - Class: Coming of Age (mentor class following regular class time)

            October 24 - Class: Coming of Age
            October 31 - YRE multigenerational Fall celebration


9th - 12th grade class:

            October 3 - Youth worship

            October 10 - Small group ministry

            October 17 - Small group ministry

            October 24 - Small group ministry

            October 31 - YRE multigenerational Fall celebration


Hello!  For those of you who don't know me, I am Laura, the new youth coordinator at MVUUF.  I am so excited to be working with the youth this year, and we are already off to a wonderful start.  A little bit about me: I moved to Ohio four years ago from Maryland for graduate school.  I am currently a fourth year doctoral student in Wright State University's School of Professional Psychology program.  I love working with children and youth, and plan to work with children with developmental disabilities in the future.  I was raised Unitarian Universalist, and love being a UU.  I consider it an important and wonderful piece of my identity, and love sharing this with UU youth!   The junior high youth group is entering its third year and is a fantastic and fun group.  This group meets the first Friday of every month from 7:30-9:30 for games, discussion, and time to hang-out and be cool UU junior high youth together.  The senior high youth group is just starting this year, and will meet the fourth Sunday of the month after service.  We plan to have lots of field trips and community building time. 

Around the Fellowship

Community Discussion Group Topics*
October 3 - "Consumer Safety."  Food, cars, texting, cleaning products, medical procedures - you name it.  Are we being overwhelmed by unnecessary warnings or are cautionary reports a good thing?  Moderator: Open Forum
October 10 - "Should We Get out of Afghanistan as Soon as Possible?  Yes or No?"  Moderator:  Open Forum
*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.

St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch*
October 9 Menu: Chicken (BBQ or fried), mac and cheese, green beans, 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. Sign up in the Gathering Space.

Daytime Book Club Title*
October 20 - Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts, by Carol Tarvis & Elliot Aronson
November 17 - Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
December 15 - Seven Stories of Christmas Love, by Leo Buscaglia & Tom Newsom
--This our holiday potluck meeting at Carol's house!
January TBD - Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery & 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 the second Tuesday of the month at Christopher's Restaurant (2318 Dorothy Ln., Kettering).  For more information, contact Ann Snively.
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

Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee is charged with providing a slate of candidates to fill the positions on the MVUUF Board and Program Council.  The slate of candidates is voted on by the congregation at the semi-annual Congregational meeting held in January.  We are in the process of reviewing all positions and are soliciting your comments, interest and recommendations for leadership positions.  Please contact any of the members of the committee with your suggestions by November 5.
~ Members of the Nominating Committee: Kriss Gang, Genevieve Harvey, Jim Faulconer, Priscilla Mutter & Jamie McQuinn

Congregational Discussion on Endowment Fund
At the June Congregational meeting, four recommendations were proposed regarding the MVUUF Endowment Fund.  After a period of insightful discussion, the decision was made by the Congregation not to accept three of the recommendations.  The consensus was that we needed to have more broader discussions about the MVUUF Endowment Fund-why we have it, how we can grow it, and for what purpose.  On Sun. October 24, we will have that discussion immediately following the service in the Sanctuary. This meeting will be facilitated by Kriss Gang (who has worked with other congregations on endowment funds and other stewardship issues) along with MVUUF Endowment committee members, John Bierman, Dan Enterline and Antonia Harter.  If you want to know more about the MVUUF Endowment Fund and participate in a discussion about how and why we should work to grow and manage the use of the funds, please join us on October 24.


Planned Parenthood Book Loft
The P.P. book loft is in desperate need of volunteers.  If you can donate a few hours to help price books, sort books, etc., please contact Lynn Haven at 426-1434.

Congregational Retreat & Campout
Don't miss this year's retreat!  It's being held on October 23 at 12:30 p.m. at the scenic John Bryan State Park in Yellow Springs.  The cost is $5.00/adult and a donation to go towards pizza.  Please bring a snack to share, or a salad or dessert to share with our pizza dinner.  Beer and wine are allowed inside the lodge only.  You can also stay overnight if you wish.  Call John Bryan at 866-644-6727 to rent a campsite.  Rates are $17/night for non-electric and $21/night for an electric site.  Please sign up in the Gathering Space - we'll have lots of fun roasting marshmallows, singing songs & enjoying the woods!


LIFT Greater Dayton
The Community Organizing Action Group invites members and friends of the Fellowship to come to the Founding Meeting of LIFT Greater Dayton on October 10, at 3:00 pm at Temple Israel,130 Riverside Dr. (Dayton).  We expect over 500 people from congregations all over the Dayton area to come together to launch this new community organization committed to bringing positive change to the region.  LIFT Greater Dayton is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, interfaith effort, including inner city and suburban churches, synagogues and mosques and other civic organizations, expressing a strong citizen voice on matters of real importance for the Dayton area.  You will hear updated reports on our work to address unemployment, education and training, and youth development as well as LIFT's support for the Human Services Levy which will be on the ballot in November.  Local and state leaders have been invited to attend and give their support to our work.  We hope you will attend and lend your support to the Community Organizing Action Group as we participate in this important initiative.

Women's Group Series
To our friends with feminine energy - we are going to begin our year with a series on body image.  Join us!  During this series, we will create a life-size woman on paper.  Bring magazines with pictures to cut out and add to the collage.
October 3 - Cindi Remm will lead a discussion called, "Are we still laughing?"  Feel free to bring a photo that strikes a chord about your body image.
October 10 - Sarah Hewitt will lead the discussion.
October 17 - Maureen O'Meara will lead the discussion based on the classic, Our Bodies, Ourselves.

Children's Halloween Party
Join us on Sun. October 31 for our Halloween party!  We encourage all children and youth to don their costumes to help celebrate Halloween, All Hallows Eve and Dia de los Muertos (additional costumes and masks will be available through YRE.)  The costumery will be paraded through the Fellowship hall during service.  We ask parents and adults to donate treats for the trick-or-treating tour following service.  There will be activities and games for children of all ages!  Treats can be delivered to the YRE prep room anytime before service on October 31.  If you have questions, please contact Jesse Gaither.

Smart Choices
Smart Choices will be touring the Greater Cincinnati Mosque on I-75 and carpooling from MVUUF on October 18 at 10:30 a.m.  We will be eating lunch afterwards.


MVUUF Holiday Bazaar!
Join us at the Fellowship on Sat. October 30, 10a.m. - 3 p.m.!  We'll have fabulous vendors, great door prizes and, as always, a delicious breakfast and lunch - so bring your wallet and get your Christmas shopping done early...and buy a little something for yourself, too!  In order to make this day run smoothly, we need YOUR help.  Can you:

Help out setting up for the Bazaar?  (setting up tables, pricing white elephant items)

Help out the day of the Bazaar? (Work as a cashier, cook breakfast, count money)

Donate items? (Nice white elephant sale items, juice for breakfast, pop & snacks for lunch, baked goodies, a basket of fun for the raffle)

Set up a booth with your wares? (We need vendors!)
Buy raffle tickets? (Only $1/each or $5/6 and we have GREAT prizes!  Purchase today in the Gathering Space after service.)

If you can do any of the above, please contact Rita Schindel or Debbie Cooper.  Vendors, please contact Trena Swanke.  If you have other questions, don't hesitate to call/email Kristin in the office. 

YRE Food Drive
During October, YRE will be holding a food drive.  The children in our workshop rotations will collect the food in bins marked "Food Donations" in the Gathering Space.  We'll also ask families to deliver the food to a local pantry, extending the idea of our second principle, "Be kind in all you do."  Please bring your non-perishables and support our youth and our greater community.

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.

Where We Stand - Our Best Foot Forward: Long Range Planning Needs You

Many people have wondered when they would get to have input into the Fellowship's Long Range Planning discussion.  The time has come!  Please come to the Fellowship either on Sat., October 16, from 9:30-11:30, or on Sun., November 7, from 1:00-3:00.  Each of these gatherings will be a chance for you to take part in the Appreciative Inquiry process.  This is the process we described in the service on August 15. 


We want to hear stories about what excites and nurtures you here at the Fellowship.  As we share our stories, we will all be reminded of our best selves and how the Fellowship calls each of us to be part of that best.  We will be exploring several major areas of Fellowship life - our Worship and other spiritual experiences, Religious Education (for all ages), our Internal Community or how we relate to each other, and External Community or how we relate to the larger world. 


Our goal with these meetings is twofold.  First, we want to excite discussion among participants that we hope will be continued in many venues in coming weeks and months.  Sharing these stories is a way for all of us to know each other in deeper ways.  Second, we will be gathering information about the stories you tell so we can build from our strengths moving forward.

In order to keep these gatherings to a two-hour limit, we will break the planning process into several parts.  After these initial gatherings, we will be working to collate the stories we hear and will hold further meetings to pull themes and insights from them.  These meetings will be open to all who are interested, and those involved in specific areas will be particularly invited to the discussions of those sections.


Once these themes are collated, we will be developing specific recommendations to lead us into the future.  We will be incorporating information gleaned from other research, such as demographic studies and best practices from other churches.  We will again be looking for your suggestions at this "getting practical" stage of the process.  Obviously, this is a large assignment and one that will still take several months to complete.  The next important step is for you to come on either October 16 or November 7 to have your voice heard.  For planning purposes, we are asking people to sign up in the Gathering Space or by letting Kristin know when you will attend.  There will be childcare available if requested by the week before each meeting, and food will be available between service and our gathering on November 7.


Membership in MVUUF is a participatory sport - speaking our deep truths with each other is both our privilege and our responsibility.   We hope you will come and be part of our next steps.  We need and want to hear your story. 


Deepening Non-Violent Communication
Beginning October 14, "graduates" of NVC are welcome to join us to keep practicing and deepening our practice of non-violent communication. Grads are those who attended the day-long workshop with Theresa Sapunar in 2009 and/or those who have been in study groups or studied on their own since then. We will start each session with a brief review and discussion of a chapter of the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, then we will spend the majority of the time practicing, using our own "real life" difficult issues to practice the skills of NVC.  We'll meet for three weeks in a row from 7-8:30, then decide whether to meet weekly or biweekly.  The group will be facilitated by Bruce Howorth and Genevieve Harvey.  You do not need to come to all sessions to benefit.  If you have studied NVC, you can drop in.  However, if you would please email or sign up on the half-round table in the gathering space so that we know how many people may be attending, that would be helpful. 


Calling All Quilters and Non-Quilters Alike!
If you're interested in quilting or learning how to quilt, please contact Cindi Remm at 885-4190.  We'd like to put together a quilt together starting in November!

Humanitarian Giving Action Group Collection
During October, the Humanitarian Action Group welcomes plate offerings for Daybreak.  Daybreak is an emergency shelter for runaway and homeless teens.  They operate the area's only 24 hour crisis hotline and have branched into outreach, prevention, transitional housing, life-skills training and other services.

Spiritual Awakening Study Group
Bill Hill will lead a study group that focuses on Conversations with God and other channeled materials.  If you're interested, meetings will be held 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Sun. in the library, starting October 24.

The New UU:  A Course for New & Prospective Adult Members
If you are a new member of the Fellowship, or thinking seriously about becoming a member, and want to learn more about what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist, this course is for you. If you've been around for a few months, or maybe a year or two and still are trying to make sense out of being a UU, this course might be of help.

The course begins Sunday morning, October 10, from 9:30 - 10:45 am, in the Fellowship library and continues for seven weeks, and will be led by Bob Lewis with assistance from Rev. Amy Russell.  Childcare will be provided.

The course will focus on important themes in UU life:  worship and theology, history, covenant and polity, faith development, social justice and membership.  We will look at these from both a denominational and a congregational perspective.  Personal sharing and dialogue will be encouraged.


Please sign up with Kristin by calling the church office:  436-3628 or Bob Lewis at 350-7763.  A sign-up sheet will also be available in the Gathering Space on Sunday, Oct. 3.

Don't Forget!
**Cinemaniacs will meet October 3 at Danbarry South.  Contact Pete Hering for more information.