Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  March 1-15, 2012

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Taking the First Step Is Hard


There have been times in my life when I've been in that uncomfortable position of having a "broken" relationship. It might just be someone who has made it clear that they are not happy with me. It might be someone with whom I have been unhappy for one reason or another. But for some reason, we end up upside down or turned around in relationship to one another. During a time like this, we tend to avoid this person. I think of these times as times when I have a bruised place in my heart. That bruised place hurts when I see the person, so I avoid them. But then when I have to go out of my way to avoid them, it just hurts more.


When I've found myself in these places, I usually find myself struggling with how I got in this place in the first place. What went wrong, how could I have done something to prevent it? Is is my fault, is it their fault? I often get to the place of realizing that it doesn't matter whose fault it is, because we are both feeling bruised. When I can get over my own need to be right, I realize that the relationship is more important than whose fault it was.


Rumi says, "Out beyond the field of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there." That's a field where we often want to go, but sometimes have a hard time getting there.


Being right feels good, but being in good relation with someone feels a lot better. When I have the courage, I learn that I can take the first step in moving toward healing something. I can pick up the phone or walk up to the person and just ask how they are. Often, they are so relieved that I've taken the first step that we may not even need to discuss the issue. Sometimes, we are both so glad to have that bruised feeling go away, that whatever got us at odds with one another, can seem unimportant.


Sometimes, it's more complicated than that. Sometimes, a first attempt is brushed away. Sometimes, you might find you need a third person to sit with both of you to discuss the issue calmly. Having a third person that you both trust can help you both feel safe.


Here at the Fellowship, we have a process called the Right Relations process. It helps people who are having difficulties with one anther find ways to talk and resolve their issues. The board will be naming a new chair for the Right Relations Committee in the near future, and we will let you know who that is.


Please also let me or Alysoun Taylor, our new Board President, know if this sounds like work you would like to be involved in. Whether you need help yourself or whether you would like to be involved in helping others, we'd love to share more information with you.





Rev. Amy Russell


Sermon Topics


March 4 - Honoring UU Women Rev. Amy Russell & others
~For Women's History month we'll be honoring several Unitarian and Universalist women who struggled to gain the right for women to vote. We'll hear from Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Olympia Stone, and Julia Ward Howe.


March 11 - Building Our Future Rev. Amy Russell
~On this Stewardship Sunday we'll discuss how our financial gifts help build a better future for ourselves and others. After the service we'll be treated to a wonderful brunch as we discuss our pledge drive.


March 18 - Whence and Whither: Hope for Tomorrow Bob Lewis

~A brief but gutsy talk on humanist and naturalistic theological perspectives on the past and the future.


March 25 - Finding a Voice Lathe Snyder

~This service will explore the ways in which our voices are stolen, shouted down, or marginalized, and how to find and claim them.

Keeping Up with Our Members


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


Letter from the DRE


Do you remember when you were a kid and you had no concept of money? A new toy could have cost $10 or $10,000 there was no significant difference. You knew adults had to pay money for things (that's why you weren't allowed to help yourself at the candy counter), but you put as much value on those little green pieces of paper as you did on your mother's grocery list - important to somebody, but not you. Then you got older, maybe your parents started trading choirs and babysitting duty for an allowance, or maybe you got a real job. And then the calculating started. It wasn't long before you knew how many newspapers you had to sling or hours of babysitting you had to put up with to get a new bike or go the movies. And as your wish list of items you wanted began to exceed the amount of money you were making you started dreaming of what you would do if you suddenly had a large amount of green stuff to spend. To this day, although I never actually play the lottery and I have no exceptionally wealthy aging relatives, I still have a money plan in my back pocket. It's a fun daydream to have.


            But what if you were given a large amount of money to spend, not on yourself, but on doing something that makes the world a better place for someone or something else? What if you were charged with spending the money on a cause that was truly important to you? And what if you were asked to make this money make as big of a difference as you can? Also a fun daydream to have, but with more responsibility behind it now. Hundreds of worthy organizations come into my mind. But how to choose?  Where is the money most needed? Where will the money be put to the best use? What kinds of people and causes do I want to lift up? These are questions that The Humanitarian Giving Committee at MVUUF answers when they decide what charities or causes our collection plate offerings will support each month. And now these are questions that they, along with the YRE Committee are asking the children and youth of MVUUF.


            This March we will kick off our Better World Contest, which asks the question: what would you do if you were given $100 to make the world a better place? Now as we've already talked about, children often have a skewed view of money and what it can do. But they know what's important to them, they just need parents and other adults to help them see the impact they can make with just $100. This is a great opportunity to have conversations about philanthropy and giving with our kids. More details about the contest and resources for talking to kids about giving to come!         


Around the Fellowship


St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch*
March 10 Menu: beef stew, green salad, 100% juice, 2% milk
*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.


Community Discussion Group*
March 4 - "Romantic Relationships: Multiple Intelligences/Diverse Patterns: How They Evolve." Moderator: Heather Holland Schroeder
March 11 - "What Good Friends Have Taught Us about Living, Death, and Coping with Both." Moderator: Diane Bohlander
March 18 - "Once Again, What Would The Legalization of All Drugs Do to Solve The Problem with The U.S. and The World?" Moderator: Gordon Taylor
March 25 - "Shyness/Arrogance/Introvert/Extrovert." Moderator: Tom Starr
*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.


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.
March 13 - Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
April 20 - Remarkable Creatures, by Tracy Chevalier
May 8 - Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers
June 12 - A Glass of Blessings, by Barbara Pym
July 10 - Beloved, by Toni Morrison
August 14 - Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks
September 11 - The Human Stain, by Philip Roth
October 9 - Beneath the Lion's Game, by Maaza Mengiste


Daytime Book Club Title*
March 14 - What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, by Thomas Frank
April 18 - Blessings: A Novel, by Anna Quindlen
May 23 - Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers
*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
During March, the Humanitarian Giving donation will be to the Wesley Community Center. Started in Dayton in the 1960s after race riots, the WCC seeks to enable families and individuals to become self-sufficient and be able to give back to the community. Although the center is faith-based, it serves all people and maintains a non-proselytizing stance. Our next meeting is March 21 at 5 p.m. in the Founders room.


Green Sanctuary Cookbook
As part of the Green Sanctuary project, the Environmental Concerns Action Committee will be making a cookbook of vegetarian and/or locally produced recipes. Whenever you bring a dish to the Fellowship for an event, and it is either vegetarian or made with locally produced foods*, please bring a copy of the recipe. Please annotate where your ingredients are from, if they are local. Not all ingredients need be local, but the majority should be. We will have a folder in the Gathering Space to collect the recipes. The cookbook will be published in September in time for our Harvest Celebration. If you have any questions, please contact Donna Wilson at

*Local means produced within 100 miles.


Chalice Light Gallery
During the month of March, our Gallery showcases the work of Kelly Joslin. Kelly is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Art Department at Sinclair Community College. She began teaching Art History and Art Appreciation courses at Sinclair in 1998. She holds a B.A. in Humanities - World Classics from Antioch University - McGregor, a M.Hum. in Art History/Philosophy from Wright State University and is currently a doctoral candidate in the University of Dayton's Educational Leadership - Higher Education Administration program.

Kelly is an exhibiting artist. Her most recent body of work focuses on experiments with Non-Silver/Alternative photographic processes - Cyanotype, Van Dyke Brown, Gum Print, and Palladium. These experiments have allowed her to create photographs that appear more expressive and painterly.


Service Auction 2012 - Save the Date!
The 2012 Service Auction will be held Sat., April 21 from 6-9 p.m. We go back to our roots with this year's theme - "Service Auction," but we've got a few new twists we'll reveal in the coming weeks. If you have any questions or would like to assist with auction itself, please contact Pat Santucci at  


Half-Time DRE Position in Cincinnati

If anyone is interested in a half-time DRE position at Heritage UU Church in Cincinnati, please visit, where you can learn about the position, see the job posting, and apply.


Women's Group
The Women's group will resume meeting on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. starting March 18. We will use the book Soul to Soul, by Christine Robinson as the basis of our practice. You may order the book from the UUA Bookstore at or contact Alice Diebel at to order it for you.


Pledge Drive Kick Off
Our 2012 pledge drive will kick off with a Sunday luncheon after service on March 11. Please join us! This meeting is an opportunity to understand Fellowship priorities. We need pledges to develop accurate budgets to meet those priorities. Thank you for your support. For questions, please contact Alice, the pledge chair, at  If you can help with the brunch, please contact Robin Farinet or Claudia Bailey.

2012 Universalist Convocation
The Convocation will take place May 18 - 20 at the Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center in Lanoka Harbor, NJ, where Universalism in America is traditionally said to have begun. This year's theme is "Universalism for Our Time." The keynote speaker will be Rev. Richard "Dick" Gilbert. For more information, see  


Smart Choices
Join us in the kitchen on March 8 at 2 p.m. for a "Slump Party." Bring a snack to share, too.


Pictures Needed
We are a community of diverse interests and activities. To illustrate this for future members, we keep a scrapbook of happenings around the Fellowship; it shows who we are and what we do during the year. Unfortunately, we are missing a big block of time in 2011. We have nothing for spring or summer. We are appealing to members to share their pictures of events and activities for that period. If you have something, please send it to Kristin in the Office or email it to her at  We are encouraging everyone to bring a camera to events and then share their pictures with us. Let's share our fun and enjoyment with others!


Theist Group
On March 18, the Theist Group will begin study of the book Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, & Religious Liberals, by UU minister Rev. John Buehrens. The book uses modern, historical, literary, political, and feminist readings to help us reclaim the Bible from literalists. The book is available new and used in bookstores, libraries, and online. The Theist Group meets every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in Room #4. New members are welcome.


Sponsor a Guest at Your Table

Since 1975, Guest at Your Table serves as the annual fundraiser for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee founded in 1939 to respond to the needs of refugees for the Nazi holocaust. This is a national campaign to put UU faith in action, by raising funds to help people struggling for basic human rights both in the U.S. and around the world.


Guest at Your Table allows you and your family to sponsor an international or domestic project by putting money once a day in your Guest at Your Table box as you eat your main meal. It's like inviting a guest to your meal.


You may prefer to save coins throughout the year and turn them in at Guest at Your Table time, or make out a check to protect the human rights of your international guest. Adults may prefer an envelope provided by the UUSC rather than a box to turn in their check. Boxes and envelopes will be available throughout the campaign in the gathering space.  


All proceeds support the UUSC for its international and domestic human rights programs. Please consider becoming a UUSC member.   Basic membership rates are: $40 regular, $75 dual regular (2 adults), $20 Seniors (65 and over), $10 (Students and Youth). If you are not sure of the status of your membership, I have a list of members as well as former members and the expiration date of their membership. All individual and family unrestricted contributions of $100 are eligible to be matched by the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock.


Please make your check out to UUSC, but return it to me or Kristin at the Fellowship before March 25, so I can include it in our totals. Please contact Maureen O'Meara with any questions.


Emily Upham Award Nominations

The Social Action Committee invites nominations for the 2011 Emily Upham Social Justice Award. This award is given to a member of the congregation who exemplifies commitment and service for world peace and social justice and is involved in on-going activities that support a vision of a better world. Recent awardees include Bob Lewis (2010), Bill Ross (2009),  Joe Law (2008), Lynn Buffington (2007), Diane Dover (2006), Gail Cyan (2005), Kate Santucci (2003-04), and Bev and Sylvia Wince (2002).  Please send your nominations either by email to Bill Ross, at or give to our church administrator, Kristin Freeman,* no later than May 1, 2012. Please tell us about the person and why you think he or she should be selected.  The award will be presented at the Fellowship's Congregational Meeting in June. * Kristin Freeman, MVUUF, 8690 Yankee Street, Dayton, OH 45458


"The Second Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (Health Reform), What's In it For You?"
Don Nguyen, MD, Director of Pediatric Urology Dayton Children's Medical Center and State Director for Doctors for America,
Sunday, March 18, 1:00 - 2:00, MVUUF Sanctuary with bagels, fruit and dessert beginning at 12:45 pm

 Sat., March 10th 7 p.m.

Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee Street

Dayton OH 45459


On Saturday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m., the Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will host a benefit concert by EleventhHour, the nationally renowned high school acappella group from Kettering Fairmont High School. Price of admission is one non-perishable food item (or $5.00) to be donated to families in need.



This is a show that you should not miss. These are no ordinary high schoolers! You will be astonished and amazed at the music these kids can create with only their voices. The group includes MVUUF's own Kurt Zimmerman as vocal percussionist. He has a drum set in his mouth!


In 2010, EleventhHour was the first ever high school group selected to appear on NBC's hit acappella show "The Sing Off."  They have sung backup for Kenny Loggins, and opened for LeeAnne Rimes, the Beach Boys, and several of America's premier professional acappella groups. Scott Leonard of Rockapella calls them "...the best high school acappella group I have ever heard."


They have performed and presented at the Ohio Music Educators Association's State Conference, and the American Choral Directors Association's Midwest Regional and National Conferences.




EleventhHourhas won Contemporary Acappella Recording Awards for Best High School Album and Best High School Song, has been Runner Up for Best HS Album three times, Runner Up for Best HS Song twice, and nominated for Best HS Solo and Best Scholastic Original Composition. They also have a win plus a nomination each for the Contemporary Acappella Community Awards for Favorite HS Group and Favorite HS Album. Their songs have been selected three times for inclusion on the Best of High School Acappella CD's, and have also appeared on the prestigious "SING" compilation of songs from the country's best professional, college, and high school acappella groups. Singing rock favorites, country classics, R&B standards, and contemporary pop hits, EleventhHour has something to please music lovers of all ages and tastes. Don't miss this chance to hear spectacular solos and soaring harmonies, supported by rock solid rhythm. Your enjoyment is guaranteed!  For information, contact Joe Zimmerman at 937-436-3473 or  







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!