Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  September 16-30, 2012

Quick Links

Letter from the Minister


"Finding Your Place At MVUUF"


You may have taken some time off this summer and be arriving back after a few weeks of lazy, summer Sunday mornings. Welcome back! Our fall season at MVUUF is a busy time. But if you're somewhat new, you may not yet have found your niche. You may be wondering how you get to know people better. Or you might be looking for a small group activity that will deepen your personal growth or help you explore your own spiritual path. There are so many opportunities for getting involved, getting to know people, and enriching yourself at the same time.


If you're looking for spiritual/personal development, there are several Adult Education seminars being offered this fall.

  1. New UU - explores the history and principals of Unitarian Universalism with much personal dialogue about your own spiritual journey
  2. Spirit of Life - engages participants in discussions about deepening their own spiritual practice and beliefs
  3. Non-Violent Communication - teaches about Marshall Rosenberg's techniques of communication where individuals take responsibility for their own feelings, needs, and requests
  4. Immigration As A Moral Issue - engages the participants in issues surrounding the immigration policies in our country

 There are also opportunities to get involved in various ways:


-        On Sep. 30, after service the Social Action Committee will host a "How to Get Involved" Coffee Hour

-        Ushers - the Worship Committee can always use volunteers to usher once a month on Sundays

-        Greeters - the Membership Committee wants volunteers who are comfortable greeting newcomers




As always, there are a myriad of activities where we get together, get to know each other, and deepen relationships. In reaching out beyond ourselves and getting involved with others, we stretch ourselves. It's not easy at first, but once you start attending some of these activities, you'll begin to feel more comfortable because you will know more and more people. I hope you will begin to feel welcome in this beloved community.


~Rev. Amy Russell 

Sermon Topics



September 16 - The "Nones" Rev. Amy Russell

~In Peter Morales's speech at GA this year, he talks about the rising number of people in this country who select "none" when asked to what religious affiliation they proscribe. Young people in particular do not seek out churches, fearing traditional doctrine and beliefs won't speak to them. How do we speak to people in our communities today who may reject traditional religion, but may be excited about finding a spiritual community that is open and encouraging to religious diversity?



September 23 - Infinite Possibilities of the Universe Rev. Amy Russell
~Could our souls be something real? Can a prayer be related to energy that is transmitted via sine waves? Can the things we sense intuitively, but cannot see, be hinting to us of realities in the universe that are just not yet understood? As UUs, can we maintain our rationality while holding open our curious and wondering minds?




September 30 - Can You Hear? Bob Lewis
~In this service, Bob will explore how we make sense of and act responsibly and hopefully in a world fraught with needs. We'll also explore what it means to "help nurture our spirits and help to heal the world."

Letter from the DRE


Ah, the end of summer, and so much going on in YRE! Our official YRE school year will start on September 16th but I look forward to "kicking off the new year right" with our intergenerational Water Ingathering on September 9th. In the meantime I'm busily trying to fill teaching slots, get classrooms ready and update registrations. This is certainly a crazy time of year for the DRE!


But on top of starting a new Sunday school year, I'm also excited to say we're going to hit the ground running with both Jr and Sr High Youth Groups this month. Shannon Hanson and I had the pleasure of attending a Youth Adviser CON(ference) last month and we gathered lots of great ideas as well as made great contacts across our MidAmerica Region (the combination of Heartland, Central Midwest and Prairie Star districts). On the long drive home (we were past Chicago) we had plenty of time to talk about our exciting vision for the youth at MVUUF. And when I came back and asked for youth advisers I was so pleased to have so many awesome volunteers. Joe Zimmerman and Lori Damron will once again be working with Jr High and with Sr High we have Shannon Hansen, Sean Halpin, Brittany Frederick and Lathe Snyder. Talk about quality teams!


Jr and Sr High youth groups will be meeting separately but at the same time, the first Sunday of each month at 7pm at the Fellowship. People have asked who can attend youth group, do they have to be members of MVUUF, do they have to identify as being UU? The answers are no, although becoming a Jr member is an option we will talk about with the youth, and no again, although they must be what I refer to as "UU sympathizers", meaning they should be aligned with our values and respect our principles and covenant. I encourage youth to bring friends to youth group. Word of mouth is the best way to grow, and we definitely want to grow! There are some restrictions however, to be in the Jr High group a youth must be in 6th-8th grade, Sr High 9th-12th. And a youth must agree to follow the rules and covenant of the youth group. We want this to be a safe place for youth to be themselves and grow. Please contact me if you have any questions or know a youth that might like to attend, or if you are interested in working with the youth on a short-term project.

Around the Fellowship


Daytime Book Club Title*
September 19 - State of Wonder: A Novel, by Ann Patchett

October 24 - Nightwoods: A Novel, by Charles Frazier

November 14 - Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, by Rachel Maddow

December 12 - Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter
*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*

September 16 - "County Government - Too Much Politics?" Moderator: Mike Coalson

September 23 - "Who Gets Credit for Your (My) Success?" Moderator: Tom Starr

September 30 - "Wisdom." Moderator: Don Heidorn

*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.
October 9 - Beneath the Lion's Gaze, by Maaza Mengiste


Child Dedication
Our Child Dedication service will take place on October 21. If you or someone you know would be interested in having their child/ren participate, please let Rev. Amy know.


Small Group Dinners
Based on the surveys I received, it seems that the majority of people are happy with the way the Adult Small Group Dinners have been done, so we'll continue to do it as we have in the past. So, now it's time once again to think about Small Group Dinners. Enjoy conversation, good food, and fun while getting to know others in the Fellowship. Groups of about 8 adults gather in each other's homes once a month, October through June, for dinner. Everyone brings part of the meal. New members are highly encouraged to participate as it gives you a great opportunity to become better integrated into the Fellowship, and it gives established members an opportunity to get to know you. The year is divided into two cycles - the first cycle is October through February. Then we rearrange the members of the groups for the second cycle, which is March through June. All are invited to join, Fellowship members and friends alike. Look for the signup sheets in the Gathering Space - September 16 is the last signup date. Contact Dawn Bellinger (h: 937-427-1980, for more information.


Chalice Light Gallery

The month of September will feature an exhibit called "A Family Heritage of Art". This showing of artwork is offered by Laurel Herminghausen and her daughter, Jan Campbell. It offers a unique glimpse at artwork done by members of one family between the years of 1840 to the present. Included in the exhibit are works by a doctor's wife, Marietta Frantz Diltz; her son

Anthon Lavarius Diltz, a musician and metal worker; his son, Stanley Raymond, World War I soldier and rotogravure operator for Crowell-Collier Publishing Co. formerly situated in Springfield, Ohio; his daughters, Laurel, artist, actress, teacher, librarian, most wonderful mother and her younger sister, Lorna, artist and teacher; and Laurel's daughter, Jan, a "jack of many trades" but a Master of Outdoor Teacher Education. Help us celebrate a successful show and Laurel's 90th birthday at a reception to be held Sat., September 29 (the day after Laurel turns 90!) from 2 - 5 p.m. Guests are asked to bring a snack to share. Beverages and cakes will be provided. And remember folks: The Fellowship receives a small commission on any work sold. So if you are interested in purchasing computer generated prints of some of the art works or greeting cards as gifts or for your own pleasure this is a great opportunity! Please feel free to contact either Laurel or Jan at this e-mail address:


Fall Bazaar

Please help! Our Bazaar is Nov. 10 and we still need volunteers to help with any and all aspects of our fundraising event. We still need a coordinator for the Marketing & Advertising tasks, and ALL committees need volunteers. SIGN UP IN THE GATHERING SPACE!  If you are able to help in any way either before or on the day of the event, please contact Jenny Oest at or (614) 439-7691.


Zoe Mulford Concert

Join us at the Fellowship on Sat., September 22 for a performance by Zoe Mulford! Doors open at 7 p.m. and concert starts at 7:30 p.m. A donation of $15 is suggested. SUUSI performer, Zoe Mulford, is an American songwriter who lives in the northwest of England and tours on both sides of the Atlantic. She backs her clear voice with guitar or claw hammer banjo. By turns powerful and funny, her songs draw on American and British musical styles of the last two centuries to make sense of the modern world.


Spirit of Life Seminar
The Spirit of Life, an adult education curriculum presented by the UUA, will be offered on Tuesdays for 10 weeks, starting October 2, 7-8:30 p.m. It will be led by Amy Russell and Joel Araujo. Here's the description of the seminar: Spirit of Life workshops offer participants space, time, and community to explore their Unitarian Universalist spirituality. Each focuses on a

different aspect of the spiritual life, framed by the lyrics of Carolyn McDade's song "Spirit of Life." Like the song, the workshops are designed to be welcoming to Unitarian Universalists of many spiritual and theological persuasions. Participants are invited to claim an inclusive definition of spirituality and recognize the spiritual aspects of their lives. You can sign up in the Gathering Space. There is no book required for the class.


Providing Lunch at The Castle

If you are interested in providing lunch on the third Monday of the month to The Castle in Centerville, please contact Mary Lou Heitkamp at 291-1831.


Need An Updated Directory?
If you need an updated copy of the directory, please email Kristin at 
and she'll be happy to send one to you!


Safety Information

Last summer, MVUUF did something very few churches do, even though every church should.

We had a fire drill! You might recall how we stayed in the Sanctuary after one Sunday service, and waited for the fire alarm to go off so that we could evacuate the building correctly. Now, I need your help to make Emergency Drills an MVUUF tradition. I'm looking for a small group of MVUUF members who can assist in the planning and executing of emergency drills. I'm especially looking for people who have worked as a First Responder, education worker, or medical provider. But what do I know? You might have other experiences that would help with our church's emergency planning and drills. Please contact me at, and help me keep MVUUF safe and prepared for just about anything!


Compassionate Communication/NVC
Are you interested in learning or refining skills for identifying and meeting your own needs and those of others, more effective means to deal with less-than-perfect people and conflicts that occur when more than one less-than-perfect people interact, and ways to establish and maintain positive connections? Starting Wed., September 19 at 7 p.m., MVUUF will offer a course in Compassionate Communication, also known as NonViolent Communication, based on the teachings of Marshall Rosenberg. We will meet to learn and practice together for at least 10 sessions, extending our study, if that is desired by the group. The course will be free, open to members first, and it will be led by fellow learners with some experience to share, not professionals. For more information or to let us know you are interested, email or talk with Denny Smith or Genevieve Harvey. You can also learn more at These books are highly recommended and will enrich your understanding of the practice of Nonviolent Communication: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg; Nonviolent Communication: Companion Workbook by Lucy Leu. You can find them at the library,, and Amazon.


How To Get Involved!
On September 30, after the service, the Social Action Committee is sponsoring a "How to Get Involved" coffee hour event, with each of the Fellowship's action committees having information tables in the Gathering Space to give everyone the opportunity to learn how they can get involved in one or more of the social action ventures of the Fellowship. Be sure to stop by the tables and see where you can use your talents and interests!


New UU Class

If you are a new member of the Fellowship, or thinking seriously about becoming a member, and want to learn more about what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist, this course is for you. If you've been around for a few months, or maybe a year or two and are still trying to make sense out of being a UU, this course might be of help. The course begins Sunday morning, September 30, 9:30-10:45 a.m. in Room #1 and continues until December 2. We will not meet on November 18 and 25. It will be led by Bob Lewis with assistance from Rev. Amy Russell. Childcare will be provided. The course will focus on important themes in UU life: worship, UU theology and history, faith development, social justice, organization and governance, and a congregational perspective. Personal sharing and dialogue will be encouraged. Please sign up with Kristin in the church office by calling 436-3628 or emailing at or using the sign-up sheet in the Gathering Space. If you have questions, please call Bob at 350-7763.


Immigration As A Moral Issue

Please sign-up for an important religious education class, "Immigration as a Moral Issue." This course was created to help Unitarian Universalist congregations and individuals engage in the issue of immigration with topics including the causes of migration, the history of immigration in the US, the economics of immigration, security and enforcement, and more. The class will be held on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. beginning Thu., October 4 and will run for six weeks. This course is sponsored by the Social Action Committee Immigration Action Group and will be facilitated by Maureen O'Meara and Alice Diebel.


Environmental Learning Forum Book Club

The MVUUF Environmental Learning Forum Book Club will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Mon., September 17 to discuss its selected book of the month, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. Its authors, architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart call for a new kind of environmental consciousness in regard to design and manufacturing that would eliminate waste altogether. Citing examples from their own work and some major corporations, the writers contend that it is possible to do good for the environment while still making a profit. Cradle to Cradle may be available at area libraries, and a limited number of copies will also be available from the Environmental Action Group. Though the list price is $27.50, we have obtained them at a discounted price of $15.00 from To reserve a copy, see me (Gary Courts) after the Sunday service, or contact me at 436-1094 or email at  All interested MVUUF members and friends are invited to join us at the Fellowship for a provocative discussion of Cradle to Cradle at 7:00 p.m. on September 17.



Locally Grown/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. We are especially looking for recipes made with locally grown foods, and they don't have to be vegetarian. 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 folder now has forms to fill out with the recipe. Recipes can also be sent to Donna Wilson by email to  The cookbook will be published in September in time for our special Harvest Celebration.


Humanitarian Giving
During September, the Humanitarian Giving Action Group welcomes non-pledge donations to benefit the Suicide Prevention Center. The mission of the Suicide Prevention is to save lives threatened by suicide by offering 24-hour crisis hotline and support groups; to foster prevention of suicide by offering specialized training programs and programs for school children; and to encourage community involvement in suicide prevention efforts to affect change.


We'll be planning group ritual: Autumnal Equinox on Sun., Sept 16 in Room #1 at 12:30 p.m. This month the discussion group will center around planning our Autumnal
Equinox Ritual, which will be held during our Saturday workshop time on Sept. 22. Bring ideas on what this time of year means to you, how do you celebrate the fall transition, how historically various peoples have celebrated this time, and any books/ideas that you wish to share. Planning a group ritual is a little different than planning a solitary ritual so we will learn together how to plan a group celebration.   We'll celebrate the Autumnal Equinox on Sat., Sept. 22 in Founders and (hopefully!) outside, too. See you there at 7 p.m.! 


LGBT Grief Support Group
Hospice of Dayton is now offering a LGBT support group to address all kind of loss issues that people in the LGBT community face. This group will start in January 2013 and it's free! Regardless of whether your loss was your parent, parent, sibling, child, friend, or anyone, services will be available to assist your needs. For more information, call Hospice of Dayton at 256-4990 and ask for Pathways of Hope.

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!