Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  April 16-30, 2012

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Our Ongoing Journey Toward Wholeness


We have all recoiled in horror at the news of the Trayvon Martin shooting. The fact that the man who shot this 17year old boy, who claims he shot him in self-defense, has not been arrested is troubling and puzzling to many. The investigation of the killing is on-going but the incident brings to the surface a bubbling pot of long held tensions in our American communities. Tensions about racism which many had thought were lessening have been brought to the surface for good reason. It's time that the conversations about race, long held under the breath, are out in the open.


The assumptions that we make about people different from ourselves often shape our daily interactions in ways that prevent us from truly seeing each other and who we are. We all do this. It's not something that is easily changed. But an awareness of how we use these assumptions to shape our interactions is something we can begin to work on.


As Unitarian Universalists, we carry in our tradition both a history of repression as well as a history of a deep commitment to anti-racism, anti-oppression work. For many years, African American clergy who sought a home with the American Unitarian Association, were rejected and black churches unsupported. During the civil rights movement, Unitarians and Universalists having just formed the Unitarian Universalist Association, joined in the marches in Selma when a young sawmill worker and church deacon, Jimmy Lee Jackson, was murdered in 1965 during voting rights demonstrations. Martin Luther King called for support from people from all over the country. More than 20 UU ministers and some lay persons responded and came to Selma.


On the evening of March 9, 1965, three of the UU ministers were attacked by a group of white racists as they left a restaurant, and Rev. James Reeb was so badly beaten that he died two days later. Viola Gregg Liuzzo, a Unitarian lay person was also murdered in Selma during these demonstrations.


A few years later, there was much dissension in our ranks when the Black Unitarian Universalist Caucus asked for a large sum of money to fund a Black Affairs Council at the 1968 General Assembly. The proposal was accepted but only part of the money was forth-coming. Later, the sum was reduced considerably. These issues led to a walk-out of the black caucus from the 1969 General Assembly, with many white supporters following. This rift led to many black UUs leaving our movement. During the intervening years, the association has been sponsoring a "Journey Toward Wholeness" program to provide education and action about anti-racism and anti-oppression.

We have an opportunity now to do what we can to educate ourselves about racism, about white privilege, about how our own attitudes affect our behavior with each other. The MVUUF Board commissioned a group called the "Journey Toward Wholeness" group who began work back in October. They participated in a Dayton Dialogue on Race Relations workshop and have been meeting regularly to plan education and awareness opportunities. The team is co-chaired by Gail Cyan and Ndidi Achebe. They will be offering us short attitudinal challenges during our Sunday services in coming months and later will offer educational programs.


Despite our best intentions, even at our Fellowship, racism is at work, within us and between us. We may not be aware of how it looks and feels to others. We have some hard work ahead of us as we look toward the Journey toward Wholeness team to facilitate us in this work. Sometimes it doesn't feel good to take a hard look at ourselves. But when we are honest with each other using love and thoughtful intention, we are doing the work of the Beloved Community.


Sermon Topics


April 15 - Native American Spirituality Rev. Amy Russell & Dr. Stephen Emerick

 ~ Dr. Stephen Emerick, poet, psychologist, and Native American flute player will lead us in a service honoring Native American spirituality. At the heart of this way of life is an understanding of the interconnectedness of the web of life and its sacredness.


April 22 - The Blue Green Hills of Earth  Intergenerational
~ In celebration of Earth Day, we give thanks for the amazing wonder of our earth and the universe. As everything in the universe is interconnected in a web of existence, we honor the place the earth holds in the solar system. Honoring the universe is sacred; we learn how to become stewards of the earth.


April 29 - Creation Stories Joe Zimmerman

Keeping Up with Our Members


David Allen Lambert is moving to California on April 27. He'll be greatly missed! He's getting rid of most of his belongings in the spirit of traveling light and living simply. To that end, he'll be hosting a Potlach after service on April 22. Come ready to peruse his belongings and see if you can give any a new home! If you'd like to contact him, please email at   


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*
May 12 Menu: chicken nuggets/tenders, French fries/tater tots, applesauce, 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.


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!


Community Discussion Group*

April 15 - "Rights - What Are They?" Moderator: Roger Davis

April 22 - "What Good Friends Have Taught Us about Living, Death, and Coping with Both." Moderator: Diane Bohlander

April 29 - "How Did You Come to Your Beliefs Regarding Spirituality?" Moderator: Heather Schroeder

*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.
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


Service Auction 2012
The 2012 Service Auction will be held on Sat., April 21, 6-9 p.m. We go back to our roots with this year's theme - "Service Auction." Childcare is available! Snacks, drinks, fun, live auction, silent auction, raffle, new chance auction - all of these add up to a fine night out, so don't miss it! If you have any questions or would like to help, please contact Pat Santucci at   


Lobby Day
Please join a group of us from MVUUF who attend Equality Ohio's Lobby Day in Columbus every year. Lobby Day is Wed. May 16. We drive down together at around 7:30 a.m. and stay in Columbus for a meeting with Equality Ohio, have lunch, and attend meetings with our legislators. Over the years we've developed good relationships with our legislators, both the ones who support us and those who are still learning.   If you'd like to attend, please contact Joe Law, Margaret Michal, or Amy Russell.   You can register at Equality Ohio's web site,  


Social Justice Film Series
Hard to believe, but June will be here in just 6 short weeks and with it brings our Social Justice Film Series! Mark your calendars now for Friday, June 15, 29, July 13, 27, August 10, and 24. Titles of films to be forthcoming, but all movies will start at 7 p.m. in the Founders room.


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!


Humanitarian Giving
During April, 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.


Theist Group
The MVUUF Theist Group will continue our study of Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, & Religious Liberals, by UU minister Rev. John Buehrens, former president of the UUA. This book uses modern, historical, literary, political, and feminist readings to help us reclaim the Bible from fundamentalists. The book is available in bookstores, libraries, and on-line. The Theist Group meets every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in Room #4. We have no "right answers" and new members are welcome.


2nd Annual MVUUF Camp Out

Mark your calendars now for Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 - 28. We'll be camping at Possum Creek Metro Park in the Sugar Maple Shelter and Campsite. For more information, contact Shannon Harper or Stacey Stowers.


Chalice Light Gallery
During the month of April, our Gallery showcases the work of Robin Dakin. "I have been involved in artistic pursuits since high school when my art teachers at Stebbins High School in Riverside encouraged and allowed me to explore and express myself through a wide variety of art. I attended Wright State University where I received a degree in Fine Arts. I then began teaching elementary school art in the Toledo Public Schools. I also worked at the Toledo Museum of Art teaching ceramics, jewelry, and multi-media classes. After leaving Toledo and spending time in the Army, I came back to teaching at Stebbins High School for part of a year teaching painting, ceramics, and drawing.


The following year I was hired to teach Arts & Crafts, photoshop, and photography at Northmont High School. Over the 14 years I have been at Northmont, I have additionally taught painting, drawing, and ceramics. After receiving my Masters in Ceramics from Antioch University in 2001, I have taught more ceramics and as demand grew I have exclusively been teaching ceramics for a number of years. From 2001 to 2005 I was actively participating in galleries and art shows with my pottery. I also taught ceramics at Sinclair during the 2004-2005 school year.

After that year I took a break from everything except Northmont to raise my children. This also led me back to a summer camp in the northeast that allows my children to have an intense 8 week summer camp experience.   I have recently begun to work more extensively on my own artwork adding painting to my pottery. I am looking forward to sharing my art with the Dayton Community."


CUUPS Development/Planning Meeting
Out of the Pagan 101 class that has been going on for the last several months there has been a desire to establish a pagan/earth centered spirituality group on a more permanent basis. CUUPS, the Covenant of Unitarian Universalists Pagans, is a national group that is a related group to the

UUA (but independent) that has chapters at various host congregations across the country. If this sounds like something you will be interested in or want to learn more about, first visit to read more about the organization. Second, join us at a CUUPS Development/Planning Meeting and Potluck on Sat., April 28, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. here at the fellowship. We are hoping to begin the dialog to develop the group. For more information, contact Shannon Heather at  


Emily Upham Award
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


MVUUF Volunteers on Seedling Saturdays
One requirement we must meet as we carry out our Green Sanctuary projects is to work with other congregations or local organizations on environmental projects. In keeping with this goal, a group from MVUUF participated with volunteers from other organizations in Five Rivers MetroParks Seedling Saturdays at Sugarcreek Metropark on March 24, and at Germantown Metropark on March 31. MVUUF volunteers who joined MetroParks Director of Conservation David Nolin in this massive reforestation effort were Robin Farinet, Jim Farinet, Gary Courts, Marilyn Faulconer, Jim Faulconer, Pat Whitney, Alice Diebel, Lori Damron, Sam Damron, Connie Jackson, Bryan Jackson, Wendy Temple, John Bierman, Maureen O'Meara, and Catherine Queener. A major goal of this project is to replace ash trees that are vulnerable to the devastating emerald ash borer with other species that are resistant, as well as to establish new forest on former farmland. Over 10,000 new tree seedlings were planted in several MetroParks locations during the month of March. Thank you!

~ Gary Courts


Environmental Action Program
Given that there is a special environmental program at U.D. on this month's third Monday, we are not meeting in April. Our book club will resume on May 21 at 7 p.m. in Founders. We'll be discussing David Suzuki's U.D. lecture and his book, The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature. Everyone is also encouraged to attend the U.D. Speaker Series & Stander Symposium Address by Dr. David Suzuki: "The Challenge of the 21st Century: Setting the Real Bottom Line" on Mon., April 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rec Plex on U.D.'s campus.

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!