Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458



MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  June 16-30, 2011

In This Issue
Letter from the President
Sermon Topics
Keeping up with Our Members
Around the Fellowship
Quick Links

Letter from the President  

I hope the June congregational meeting left you feeling good about where we are as a congregation. It's not that we have achieved all that we want to achieve, but we are certainly on solid footing given these challenging economic times.  During this meeting we agreed to sponsor another prospective UU minister: Elizabeth Buffington Nguyen.  We provide a good foundation for future ministers, and such aspiring people are our next generation of leaders.  We have also launched a Director of Religious Education.  When Natalie came to us, she did not know what Unitarian Universalism was.  But as she said, she found what she was looking for and now she has a full-time job as the DRE at a UU congregation in Indiana.  And we helped Laura Solomon get through a very difficult doctoral program, according to her blog, and she will move on to work with youth in Baltimore using the loving spirit she had - and developed - with us.

Certainly we can't claim credit for all that these wonderful women have accomplished and will accomplish.  But in spite of our sometimes sagging energy, our struggle for money, and our challenges, we want to be part of the future, of whatever lies ahead.  When we are at our very best we nurture these futures for all of our youth, young adults, and older adults, too.  When the long-range planning committee shared its results at the meeting and posted all of the comments you shared during the appreciative inquiry sessions, we learned who we are when we are at our best:

         When we are at our best, we say, we have rituals and events that inspire us and hold us together as a faith tradition.

         When we are at our best, we feel like a community.

         When we are at our best, we are open-minded and affirming of diversity of all kinds.

         When we are at our best, we reach outward, working for social justice and share our story with a wider community.

         When we are at our best, we grow intellectually and spiritually.

We have these strengths, and I like to believe we are at our best much of the time.  But we also have our challenges.  This year has been especially difficult for us financially, but through the watchful eyes of the Board and very responsive members to our financial situation, we will end the year on good footing.  The budget for next year reflects unfortunate reductions in things we care about: health reimbursement accounts for part-time employees, professional expenses for our minister, the amount we give to charity, and the elimination of our youth advisor position. These are difficult choices to make.  If we can make up the amount we're down, the Board will reinstate these things. But we're also faced with some significant facility costs: painting the building and re-designing the air conditioning system.   I know we can manage these challenges because of the people we know we are when we are at our best. Thank you all who step in to give of your time and treasure.  Now on to even better things.


Sermon Topics


June 19 - Flower Communion: Celebrating What We Give Each Other  Rev. Amy Russell
~ We will celebrate our traditional flower communion with each of us bringing flowers to share communally.  In relationship with each other, we each bring gifts and needs that we share.  Jim McCutcheon will grace us with some of his wonderful music as well.

June 26 - Free the Bounty: Theologies of Agriculture, Justice & Pleasure  Dr. Garrett Graddy
~ For this service we welcome Dr. Garrett Graddy, Professor of Ethical Land Use at American University.  This talk addresses the complex interplay of food, agriculture, hunger and health by drawing on ethical teachings from a variety of world religious/spiritual traditions.  There are bountiful insights we can harvest from these metaphysical and theological wisdoms in our work toward cultivating a more ecologically sustainable, economically-just agri-food system.  What is the role of community and justice?  Pleasure and labor?  Feasting and fasting?


Keeping Up with Our Members

Tony Greiner, longtime member and the gentleman responsible for putting the nameplates on our Sanctuary chairs, passed away on June 5.  Per Tony's wishes, there will be no memorial service.  Condolences may be sent to his daughter, Monica Fannin, at 56514 Chipmunk Trail, Yucca Valley, CA  92284.


If you are experiencing a rough time in your life, please know that your Fellowship community is here to support you.


Around the Fellowship


Community Discussion Group*

June 19 - "What Role Did Your Father Play in Your Life?"  Moderator: Steve Lewis

June 26 - "All About Woodland Cemetery."  Moderator:  Cynthia Brooks   

*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*
July 9 Menu:  Beef stew, green salad, fruit salad, 2% milk, 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.


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.
July 12 - A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah
August 9 - The Irresistible Henry House, by Lisa Grunwald
September 13 - March, by Geraldine Brooks
October 11 - Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand


Lunch with Amy
Lunch with Amy is switching locations!  For the month of June, the lunch will be held at 2nd Street Market in Downtown Dayton (Thursdays at 11:30 a.m.).  Meet at the tables at the far end of the market (away from Webster St.); they have a reserved sign on them.  Lunch is on hiatus during July and will resume at Panera in August.


Daytime Book Club Title*
July 20 - Bess and Harry: An American Love Story, by Jhan Robbins
August TBA - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
*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!


Legal Notice
All members, friends and visitors of the Miami Valley UU Fellowship are hereby summoned for Jury Duty on Sunday, July 10, 2011 to render a verdict in the case of "Mother Earth vs. World's People - Perhaps the Most Important Trial in the History of Civilization".  To be held in the courtroom of His Honor the Judge located at 8690 Yankee St.  Failure to comply with this summons will result in tiresome whining by the Producer, Director, and members of the hardworking cast of this serious, but amusing, play.


Humanitarian Giving Action Group Offering

During June, the Humanitarian Giving Action Group welcomes donations for Homefull.  Your support is critical as Homefull strives to fulfill its mission: "to work to end homelessness by providing housing, services, advocacy and education."  Homefull was formerly called The Other Place.


Rev. Amy's Study Break
During the month of July, Amy will be on study break.  She will be available for pastoral emergencies.  Call Kristin to reach Amy.


Water Communion

Don't forget to collect a little water from whatever mountain stream or city fountain you visit this summer.  We'll use it for our ingathering worship service on September 11.  During that traditional water ceremony, we all pour water together into a communal bowl, symbolizing what we've learned over the summer and bring it back to share with our beloved community.


Senate Bill 5
Are you concerned about SB 5 and the impact this legislation could have on the voice of public employees?  A repeal effort is underway, and if the effort is successful a referendum will be on the ballot in November.  Have you had a chance to think about the issue or talk with others to help decide your position?  We invite you to a discussion on Fri., June 17 at 7 p.m. at the Fellowship where we will summarize what's in the referendum and listen to your concerns.  LIFT Greater Dayton has invited congregations to hold listening campaigns so LIFT can better decide whether or not to support the referendum to repeal the bill.  Please come and share with us.  The evening is sponsored by the MVUUF Community Organizing Action Group.  Refreshments will be served.


We are a liberal religious community that embraces diversity and respects the inherent worth and dignity of every person.  ALL are welcome here, no matter their race, sex, sexual/affectional orientation, gender expression, or ability.

Please visit us on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. for our worship service - we'd love to see you!