Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  July 16-31, 2012

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"Life is Change"


Sometimes, when you are just getting comfortable in the rhythm of your life, life throws you a curve. Life has thrown me a curve. My husband, Bill, has been transferred to Washington D.C. starting in September.   Since he's not yet ready to retire, he is going to take the transfer and see how it works. We've been managing a commuter marriage for the past eleven years so that will continue. He'll just be commuting by plane instead of by car. I will be taking my one weekend off a month in DC instead of being here.


The philosopher Heraclitus said that, "Change alone is unchanging." Part of being a Buddhist is figuring out how to accept change in life, since we know life is all about change. Sometimes I wish life would just stand still and let me get used to it. I used to think that being a Buddhist meant being able to stand still in the river as it flows around you. But after many years of practice, I think being a Buddhist and understanding about change, is to be able to calmly paddle your canoe during the times of smooth water and manage to not fall out when the white water rapids come along.


So I guess the part about change that challenges many of us is how to accept that change is going to happen and then to listen internally to what that change means to who we are. One person who taught me about that level of acceptance of change was Ron Rink. Ron accepted that he was going to die. He didn't know what would happen after death. He was open to whatever death would bring. He didn't fear death, and he didn't embrace death. He somehow accepted that his life would end but that the universe flows on with him as a part of it. He will be missed.


I will be on "study leave" over the month of July. I'll mostly be in Louisville helping Bill get ready to move. I'm always available by email and by phone if it's an emergency. Joel Araujo, our student minister, is available for pastoral care if you find you'd like someone to talk with.


Have a great July!


~Rev. Amy Russell

Sermon Topics



July 15 - The Spiritual Path of a Skeptic Intuitive  Ria Megnin

~How to keep one hand open to the reality of mystery while the other grasps the scientific life.



July 22 - America's Tent Cities: Love, Power and Justice  Alice Diebel
~Who pays and who benefits from our treatment of immigrants? How are UUs responding?


July 29 - Be Not Afraid  Rev. Leslie Woodward

~In her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, former hospice nurse Bonnie Ware writes, "When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made." What fears keep you from pursuing your dreams? How can we find the courage to live a life true to ourselves, not the life others expect from us?




Around the Fellowship


Daytime Book Club Title*
July 25 - American Dervish, by Ayad Akhtar

August 22 - Body and Soul, by Frank Conroy

September 19 - State of Wonder: A Novel, by Ann Patchett

October 24 - Nightwoods: A Novel, by Charles Frazier

*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*

July 15 - "Are Corporations People? What Are Their Moral Responsibilities?" Moderator: Lucy Ann McKosky

July 22 - "Ask the Hacker: Cyberwar/Staying Safe Online." Moderator: Ben Ramsey

July 29 - "The Individual Vs. Culture." Moderator: Jim Faulconer

*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.
August 14 - Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks
September 11 - The Human Stain, by Philip Roth
October 9 - Beneath the Lion's Gaze, by Maaza Mengiste



Humanitarian Giving
During July, the Humanitarian Giving donation will be Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region. For nearly 82 years, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region (PPSWO) is the leading reproductive health care provider, educator and advocate for Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky communities. Our 9 health centers provide a wide range of reproductive health care services to tens of thousands of women and men who rely upon our services and our people. Our unique position as a vital part of the community has earned us the trust of our patients and more than 20,000 donors, supporters and advocates. As the region's most trusted reproductive health care provider and an integral part of the Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky health care safety net, PPSWO tirelessly advocates on behalf of our patients and also the thousands who unfortunately go without needed health care services. We believe publicly supported reproductive health care is critical to the health of our shared communities, therefore PPSWO strives to form partnerships with fellow health care providers, government and non-profit organizations.


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.



What's Up With Our Wetland?


The yellow ribbons on the many ash and silver maple seedlings and saplings in the wetland marks them for removal. This is necessary to preserve the wet meadow type of wetland from excess tree growth. Trees compete for moisture and sunlight necessary to maintain the wetland plants that thrive here. One mature maple, for example, will remove 300-500 gallons of water from the soil in one day. The Green Sanctuary Committee and Operations Chair plan to involve YRE and adult volunteers in the removal project. This will be planned and announced when the weather cools. For more information on our wetland, see the report, "MVUUF Wetland Plants," a booklet produced by the MVUUF Women's Group in 2007, which may be found in the Fellowship Library.

~Dane Mutter


Chalice Light Gallery
Mike Marko was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He received his BSC in Mechanical Engineering from University of Manitoba in 1990 and his Masters in the same field in 1994. He is currently living in Cincinnati and is working as a Department Staff Engineer at GE Aviation. He specializes in acrylic and graphite art. He attended summer art camp at the International Peace Gardens for four years during high school. In the final year of high school, he had a difficult time deciding between pursuing Engineering or Graphic Design. When he completed his Engineering degree, he spent less time on paintings and more time on painting 1 inch tall miniatures for which he has won several awards. Over the past year, he has returned to painting acrylic on canvas. This is his first exhibition of his work. You can contact him at Please enjoy!



Environmental Learning Book Club


The MVUUF Environmental Learning Book Club will meet in Room #1 at 7:00 p.m. on Mon., July 16, to discuss "EAARTH," by Bill McKibben. McKibben is widely considered to be the nation's foremost environmentalist journalist.   His premise is that in a short time, humans have fundamentally changed the character of our planet and we may as well call it Eaarth, since it is not the same earth we once knew. All members and friends are invited to join us to discuss this recent New York Times bestseller. To obtain a copy of EAARTH, contact Environmental Action Group chairman Gary Courts at 436-1094 or  


Social Justice Movie

Everyone is welcome to attend our screening of "A Place of Rage" on Fri., July 27 at 7 p.m. in the Founders room. This film deals with race and multiculturalism and is presented by the Social Justice Action Committee.




Join us August 8 at 7 p.m. for a ritual celebrating the first harvest cross-quarter, also known as Lughnasadh or Lammas. We will have an open ritual followed by "cakes and ale" and time to socialize. Weather permitting, we may have a bonfire as well. In addition, the Fellowship is invited to an open labyrinth on August 25 at 7 p.m. This will be an interactive workshop about labyrinths, their history, and how to create one. From 7-9 p.m. will be the workshop and the creation of a labyrinth, and 9-midnight there will be a chance to walk and meditate in the labyrinth. Donations of tea lights and tea light holders are most welcome. For more information, please see Laura Vondenhuevel or Shannon Heather or email



Fall Bazaar

The date is set...let the planning begin!! Our Fall Bazaar is scheduled for Sat., November 10 and we need ALL HANDS to make it a success. On Sun., July 29 at 12:30 p.m. there will be a meeting in the Founders room for anyone that would like to participate in the organization and implementation of this event. There are many tasks, both large and small, so there is something for everyone to do! Even if you can't participate AT the event, there are tasks for before and after as well. If you are unable to attend the meeting, but would still like to help, please email Jenny Oest at or call her at 614-439-7691.



Women's Group
Women's Group IS meeting during the summer! Starting in September, we'll be using Heart to Heart, by Christine Robinson and Alicia Hawkins to guide our sessions. We meet on Sunday mornings at 9:30 in Room #5.



Vegetarian Cookbook

As part of the Green Sanctuary Project, the Environmental Concerns Committee will be making a cookbook of vegetarian and/or locally produced foods. Whenever you bring a dish to the Fellowship for any occasion, and it is either vegetarian or made with locally grown foods, please bring a copy of the recipe along with the place annotated where you purchased (or grew) the ingredients, to the Fellowship. Not every ingredient need be local, as long as the majority of the ingredients fit the category. There is a purple folder in the Gathering Space to collect recipes. The cookbook will be published in September in time for our special Harvest Celebration.

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!