Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  May 1-15, 2012

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Planning Your Memorial Service


Nothing personal is to remain. We empty ourselves, we surrender, we unfold- until one day our gestures are found in swaying treetops and our smile is resurrected among the children who play underneath these trees.

-        Rainer Maria Rilke


While the idea of some future time when we might face death is not something that many people want to face, it is an inevitability. It's comforting to some to have some kind of plan for what you would like your relatives to know about your wishes after death. If you've been a part of this Fellowship, we would like to know your wishes so that when we're involved in planning after your death, we have some idea of what you would like planned for your memorial service.


Some of you filled out questionnaires some years back when Richard led a workshop on planning for end of life. We would like to invite anyone who would like to fill out a questionnaire called, "My Wishes" and have it kept in our files for the future. You can include with it any readings or music you'd like to see included in your memorial service. Kristin will have them available and can email them to anyone who wishes. Then return them to her for safe-keeping.


One of the ways that we are a Beloved Community is in the way we help people through the transitions of life.   If you'd like to sit down with me and discuss your plan with me, I'd be honored to help you.


~Rev. Amy Russell


Sermon Topics


May 6 - Celebrating Our Worth and Dignity Rev. Amy Russell
~As we celebrate our traditional flower communion, with participants bringing flowers from home to exchange, we also celebrate our first principle, the inherent worth and dignity of every individual. Is this always possible? What do we do when it's not possible?


May 13 - Mother Mary, Comfort Me Rev. Amy Russell
~There are times in our lives when we "fall out of grace," when we are not in step with others around us, and we feel isolated. These are times when we need the kind of nurturance that a mother provides. How do we find this kind of mothering as adults?


May 20 - Acceptance of Ourselves and One Another Rev. Amy Russell & Trudy Krisher
~Accepting ourselves also means challenging ourselves. It means taking a hard look at what brought us to the place in society that we hold. For many of us, we were privileged to grow up in middle class, comfortable environments. Peggy McIntosh says that, "describing white privilege makes one newly accountable." Can we take a hard look at our white privilege and understand how it gives us an "unearned advantage?" Can we look at how white advantage creates an unequal society? Does that help us accept ourselves and each other better?


May 27 - TBA

Keeping Up with Our Members



Jim Poltrone's mother passed away in April. Please keep Jim and his family in your hearts and prayers as they deal with this loss. 


Barbara Kelley, former MVUUF administrator, suffered the death of her brother in April. Condolences can be sent to her at 2035 W. El Camino #324 Sacramento, CA 95833.   


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




When I was younger and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, "Religious Educator" was probably the farthest from my mind. Well not as far as Mathematician or Nuclear Scientist, but still, I probably would have laughed at you if you suggested I might one day be the Director of Religious Education at [shutter] a church. However if you had told me that one day I would be working with young people of all ages, helping their budding minds explore ancient and new concepts about spirituality, morality, social responsibility, ecology, and multiculturalism, my ears would have perked up. If you had gone on to tell me that I'd get to use stories, music, games and art to teach traditions and wisdom from all the world's religions as well as philosophers and scientists, my eyes would have brightened. And if you had told me that I would one day feel that I was making a difference, that I had a part in planting the seeds of love, compassion, equality and worth that our children will carry into our future, I would have been sold.


I came to Unitarian Universalism 10 years ago, and like others, my search for a liberal faith community was initially driven by my oldest child's desire to go to "church" like her friends and my need to find a "church" where she was encouraged to think for herself; where no belief or idea was held above another. Basically, I wanted to take my children to church for the same reason I homeschooled them (at the time) - because I wanted them to learn and grow more than what a typical institution could accommodate. I was fortunate to have an on-line friend who, although not Unitarian Universalist herself, knew enough about it to recognize what a perfect fit it could. As many a converted UU will say, "I was a Unitarian Universalist all along and I just didn't know it!"


When I talk to visiting families on Sunday mornings I hear similar reasons for "checking out" Unitarian Universalism. It often starts with a need to supply something to our children that we don't feel we can completely do justice to all on our own. They say "it takes a village", and for me that's what joining the Unitarian Universalist congregation offered - a village of eclectic, open-minded, intellectual and caring individuals, who don't claim to have all the answers but are willing to help one another in their search for them.


As our school year comes to an end and we start planning for summer fun, I'd like to thank all the YRE volunteers who helped make our village amazing! Our YRE Committee members, Sunday morning teachers and assistants, prep room helpers, worship leaders, OWL facilitators, youth group leaders, mentors, chaperons, parents and of course kids, all make me so happy that I "get" to be MVUUF's Director of Religious Education. 


~Shannon Harper

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*
May 23 - Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers

 June 20 - Caleb's Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks
*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*
May 6 - "To Retire Or Not To Retire?" Moderator: Tom Starr

May 13 - "The Social Animal." Moderators: Don Heidorn, Jim Faulconer, & Tom Starr

May 20 - "Irrational Beliefs That Hurt." Moderator: Jim Faulconer

May 27 - "A Pig's Eye View-Police Services from Behind the Badge." Moderator: Roger Davis

*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.


Environmental Action Program
Our book club will resume on May 21 at 7 p.m. in the Founders room. We'll be discussing David Suzuki's book, The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature.


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.
May 8 - Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers
June 12 - Excellent Women, 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


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 4 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.


Chalice Night

Our next Chalice Night will be on May 11. We'll gather at 7 p.m. (no dinner provided) to hear Dr. Sam Dorf explain the current opera program, Carmen, at the Dayton Opera. We've heard he can make opera fun for everyone! We'll hear excerpts of the music and enjoy dessert provided by the elegant ladies of our Fellowship. We may even have some surprise guests - please join us!


Memorial Day Service
If you lost a loved one this year and you'd like them remembered at our Memorial Day service on May 27, please email Kristin at no later than May 23. Unfortunately, we cannot recognize the loss of pets during this service - thank you.


Humanitarian Giving
During May, 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.


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
The Chalice Light Gallery in May is featuring artwork from some of the members of WILC (Wright Independent Learning Cooperative). WILC is an inclusive homeschooling group that has been meeting occasionally at the Fellowship for over 15 years. It was formed in 1993 to provide support and enrichment for families who are home educating, and is one of the only homeschool groups in the region that does not discriminate based on homeschooling style, race, religion, class, gender, or sexual orientation. We currently have 30 families participating regularly in WILC activities. The artworks here are just a small example of some of the creative pursuits that many of our families are involved in. The WILC moms decided to put together a show of works that are about parenting, mothering, educating, and family. Works have been
provided by Tuesday Feltz, Anna Creese, April-May Costandinitis, Kelly Crabtree, Tanya Groff, Lori Damron, Elisha Frontz, Nancy Kiehl, Lisa Whitesell, and Kate Santucci.


Journey Towards Wholeness
Hello from the JTW Group! We are a group of 10 congregants who are a committee of the Board. We have completed the Dayton Dialogue on Race Relations course and are now in the beginning stages of formalizing our group. Our members are: Akil Sharif, Bill Dugger, Debra Alexander, Gail Cyan, Joel Araujo, Karen Evans, Margaret Michal, Ndidi Achebe, Richard Robinson, and Yolanda Crooms. Our goal is to work on anti-oppression within the congregation and teach ally-building and techniques. If you would like to get a glimpse of what we are working on, please visit Thank you!


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.


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!