Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458



MVUUF Building by Lew Hann
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MVUUF Forum  August 1-15, 2011


You read that right - letter from the ADMINISTRATOR...Did it send chills down your spine? 


Amy gave me free reign for this issue of the Forum.  Truth be told, I think she's enjoying her study break and didn't want to bother us with an article about how relaxed she feels, how spiritually "full" she is, how sailing on boat can do wonders for your psyche... J  So that means I have to come up with something about which to write.  I had lots of ideas, but I thought I'd stick with a tried and true format.  "Things I've Learned as a UU Fellowship Administrator," also known as, "Why Answering the Phone Can Be an Adventure."


In September, just one day shy of my 30th birthday, I will have worked here for three years.  After working in a library with the public for a few years before that, I was ready for a break from the phone calls such as, "I read a book once.  It was about 'this big' and was red.  Can you find it?"  Or, "My kid licked the DVD but I think it still works."  Or, "I have a book checked out about, um, well, human 'relations', and, um, I like it, so I, um, think I'm going to keep it.  I don't have to pay for it, do I?"  But I loved it there.  I loved seeing people discover the joys of reading for pleasure.  I adored little kids getting excited about a book, or a library program.  It's incredible to see a sullen teenager feign indifference when the latest Harry Potter comes out and then see them start to read it before they even get to the car.  Being a librarian meant I got to see inside people's lives.  If you think about it, what you check out from the library is intensely personal.  Going through a child custody dispute?  Dealing with violence at home?  Scared you can't get pregnant?  Planning a wedding?  Looking for a new job?  I've got a book for that - and I'm trusted to keep your reading, your privacy, private.  I created seemingly superficial, yet surprisingly deep, relationships based on what I knew you were checking out.


Then I started working here.  And I got phone calls like, "I need a high Wiccan priestess, like NOW.  Hook me up.  I'm at a payphone."  And, "So UUs don't actually believe anything, right?"  And my personal favorite, "Any group that supports Planned Parenthood is going to Hell."  Huh, thanks for the warning.  I'll stock up on ice.  But I love it here J  I love hearing people debate a topic, even a divisive one, with grace, calmness, and respect.  I get excited seeing the youth and adults connect during Mystery Friends.  It's wonderful to know people on a personal level and hear about their lives, through good times and bad.  And I love that this Fellowship rallies around its own.  When someone gets sick/loses a loved one/is going through a rough time, the community is immediately available to help.  And we're here to celebrate all your joys, too.  Big and small J


Thank you for the opportunity to work in such a fantastic place - it's been an adventure!


~ Kristin Freeman

Sermon Topics

August 7 - Growing Older, Growing Wiser  Rev. Amy Russell & others
~ As we grow older, we often feel pushed aside and unnecessary to the more active generation who now seems to be taking up the reins of responsibility in the world.  In other generations, age was seen as the distilling of wisdom.  How do we see our age and experience it as a blessing to be offered to others?  How do we remember to honor this blessing by seeking out the wisdom our elders offer?


August 14 - Living with Compassion  Rev. Amy Russell
~ Karen Armstrong was the Ware lecturer at the General Assembly this June.  She often speaks about how compassion is the spiritual practice that unites many world religions.  How do we build compassion into our daily lives as a spiritual practice when we're often too busy to consider it?


August 21 - Stretching into Our Discomfort Zone  Rev. Amy Russell & others

~ Moving out of our "comfort zone," by stretching ourselves into new and uncharted territory can be terrifying and exhilarating.  We'll hear stories from several people about how they stretched themselves in new, unexpected ways.


August 28 - The Ethics of Work  Rev. Amy Russell
~ In anticipation of Labor Day, we'll discuss the ethics of labor relations and practices.  Are there moral issues surrounding the way that public employees are treated?  Should religious groups be discussing and taking action around these issues?

Keeping Up with Our Members

Carol Narigon is thrilled to announce she's a grandma!  Her daughter gave birth on July 21 to a baby girl, Coraline Josephine.  Congrats!!


Connie Gilhooly, friend of MVUUF, is recovering at home after shoulder surgery.  We are sending her lots of get-well-soon thoughts!


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



Around the Fellowship

St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch*
August 13 Menu:  BBQ/fried chicken, mac & cheese, green beans, 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.  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.
August 9 - The Irresistible Henry House, by Lisa Grunwald
September 13 - March, by Geraldine Brooks
October 11 - Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand


Community Discussion Group*

August 7 - TBA

August 14 - "Why Do We Expect Other People to Make Us Happy on Our Birthday?"  Moderator: Steve Lewis

August 21 - "Habits - Keeping Good Ones, Breaking Bad Ones."  Moderator: Carol Vincent  *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*
August 17 - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
September 14 - The Iron Heel, by Jack London
*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!


Humanitarian Giving Action Group Offering

During August, the Humanitarian Giving Action Group welcomes donations for Homefull.  Homefull managers work one-on-one with clients in the gateway shelters with the primary goal of moving them into appropriate permanent housing, and out of the shelter system.  They also provide educational classes, including basic life skills and employability courses.


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 in-gathering 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.


Social Justice Film Series
Our next Social Justice film is on August 5 at 7 p.m.  "Tying the Knot" (2004) explores issues surrounding same-sex marriage.  This documentary focuses on two cases of long-term gay couples caught up in legal problems that would have been eliminated if the couples had been able to legally marry.  Although significant developments have occurred since the film was made, the underlying issues remain unchanged.

Cinemaniacs meet the first and third Sunday of the month at a local theater.  Movies, times and locations are announced on the MVUUF Discussion list.


August 21 Service
Our August 21 service is titled "Stretching Into Our Discomfort Zone."  Have you ever allowed yourself to stay in a place that was outside of your comfort zone long enough to be really stretched by the experience?  Would you like to share that experience?  Let Amy know if you'd like to briefly share your stretching story during service.


Lunch with Amy
Lunch with Amy will resume on August 4.  Meet her at 11:30 a.m. at the Second Street Market in Downtown Dayton.



Tired of singing along with only your favorite stored tunes?  Totally bored with always singing by yourself in the shower?  Looking for that satisfied contentment that makes you feel whole?  We have just the place for you: Choir!  While we won't be singing with you in the shower, we will provide a place to release that inner voice of yours in a variety of music offerings.  Come join us and experience the fellowship, camaraderie and fun that Choir members have, all while adding to the essence of Sunday service.  There are no auditions, you need only to show up at a rehearsal and say "Yes! I want to sing!"  Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00 and we sing two Sundays each month (usually the first and third).  Our first rehearsal for the coming year will be August 24 and our first performance will be September 11.  Anyone considering Choir is welcome to join us for a potluck on August 24 at 6:30 p.m. where we all catch up on our summer activities and then stay for our first rehearsal.  If you have any questions, please contact the Choir Director, Jeanette Filbrun Eakins, at 937-750-4073.

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!