Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  March 16-31, 2012

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Meet Your New Board President


Hi. Since I will be your board president for at least the next year, I thought I should introduce myself to you. My name is Alysoun Taylor-Hall, and I have been a member of MVUUF since the Fall of 1998. I live in Kettering, and I work at Wright State University, where I am the program coordinator for a Ph.D. program.


My husband Brandon and I were married by Rev. Amy at MVUUF in September of 2010. Between us, we have three children. My daughter, Heidi Reichard, has recently been active in the Theist Group. My stepson Alex will be playing drums with the choir for a performance coming up in a couple of weeks. My stepdaughter Brook loves to read and works at our local library. All three kids live with Brandon and me full-time, and although forming a new blended family can be challenging at times, I think I can safely say that all five of us are very happy that we chose to band together.


If you and I haven't met, you may know my face from the choir. I like to think of myself as a friendly and outgoing person, yet when I look out at the congregation from the choir seats, I see a lot of faces that I can't put with names. I admit it-I sometimes find it hard to approach people I don't know in the congregation.


It's not that I don't like meeting new people-I do! It's more that I feel bad that I haven't already gotten to know everyone. I fear going up to people and asking how long they've been coming, only to learn that they've been here for years. Maybe some of you have had the same difficulty.


But of course, the only way to get to know each other better is to take that first step. I plan to work on getting to know more people, and if we don't know each other, please do come introduce yourself to me.


Another thing we can all do is to try to remember to wear our nametags. I don't know too many people who are really good at remembering names. A glance at a nametag can jog the memory, or just provide confirmation and added confidence as we get to know each other better.


I hope I will be a good board president. I love the Fellowship very much. In addition to witnessing the joy of my recent marriage, this community has seen me through some very tough times. Now I will have the chance to do my bit to ensure that the Fellowship will be there for all of us for generations to come.

I know that so very many of you are already involved and doing good and important work here at MVUUF, and I thank you for that. If you've been waiting to get involved, or searching for the right first step, perhaps you and I can talk about that. I hope you will all join with me to make this next year one of our best years yet.


Sermon Topics


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


Katherine Cruse, former MVUUF member, is having knee replacement surgery on March 20 in Colorado. Please keep her in your thoughts! If you'd like to send a card, her address is 436 Capitan Cir., Pagosa Springs CO 81147.


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*
April 14 Menu: lasagna, garlic bread, 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 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.


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.



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.
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

Lunch with Amy

Starting in April, lunch with Amy on Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. will meet at the 2nd Street Market in Downtown Dayton. Hope to see you there!


Daytime Book Club Title*
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!


Living the Welcoming Congregation
Each Sunday we state that we are a 'Welcoming Congregation'. We worked hard to be designated as such. We made a commitment. In fact, there are twelve commitments. As a 'Welcoming Congregation', we agree to affirm LGBT folks. For example, we agree not to discriminate in all dimensions of congregational life. It includes outreach to the broaderLGBT community and actively supporting other LGBT groups. It includes nurturing an ongoing dialogue between people of different affectional/sexual orientations and gender identifications to create deeper trust and sharing. We agree to work to promote justice, freedom and equality in the larger society.


When we affirm our commitment each Sunday, we agree to be part of the solution. We are not just offering to 'greet' LGBT folks, we are saying that we are pro-active. We are saying that we are part of the solution. We are taking a stand against discrimination and offering to help end oppression. So, we need to ask ourselves, how we as individuals, as a congregation and as part of a community, meet our commitment. How deep is our understanding of what it means to be aWelcoming Congregation? What do we need to know? What actions do we need to take? 


Living the Welcoming Congregation is a class developed by the UUA. It is designed to help answer these questions. It is open to everyone. We will be offering the thirteen week class starting Thursday April 5 from 7PM to 9PM. We will meet in Room #1. This course will be taught by Rev. Amy Russell and Margaret Michal. If you wish to sign-up online oryou have a question, please contact Margaret at I would need your name, email address and phone number. Sign-up sheets will be in the Gathering Space before and after service each Sunday until the class begins. For more information go to: 


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 March meeting is March 21 at 5 p.m. in the Founders room.


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. Auction donation sheets are available in the Gathering Space or at our home page,  If you have any questions or would like to assist with auction itself, please contact Pat Santucci at  


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.


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


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.


Environmental Learning Forum
This group, led by the Environmental Concerns Action Committee, meets the third Monday of each month at 7-8:30 p.m. in Room #1, using books and other readings as a springboard for discussions of environmental values and concerns. For March 19, we'll be reading The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health, by Annie Leonard.


Pledge Information

Our next fiscal year begins on July 1! Pledge cards have been mailed, so hopefully you've already sent yours back to the office. Unsure where you stand on your current year pledge payments? Give Kristin a call at 436-3628.


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

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!