Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  October 1-15, 2012

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Letter from the Minister


"Diversity in Our Community"


While Centerville and Washington Township aren't the most racially diverse areas in our city, we do have some ethnic and religious diversity. I've been sitting on the Centerville Washington Township Diversity Council for the past few years to encourage diversity.


This is the third year that we will be holding a program called "Voices and Stories" where residents share their personal stories. This year our program will be highlighting diverse religions. Our own Shannon Hansen will be sharing her story about her time in the military and her struggle as a Pagan to get recognition of the religion formally so that proper burial symbols would be placed on gravestones for Pagans. We'll also hear from a Jewish man who as a young child during WWII was sheltered by a Christian family. An American Muslim woman and her Buddhist husband will share their journey of how they met and learned more about how similar their religious values were. The program will be held on Thur. November 15 at 7:00 p.m. at Centerville High School's Central Theater.



In October, the Diversity Council will be hosting a speaker from "Welcome Dayton." Tom Walhrab will speak to us about the program's scope and goals. This program is scheduled for Thurs. October 25 at 4:00 p.m. at Centerville Library.



Then in March, we'll be hosting the woman who is featured in the movie, "Traces of the Trade," who discovers that her family's forebears were heavily involved in the African slave trade. The Diversity Council will be hosting the showing of the movie and a talk by the author. Later, we'll have discussions about the movie hosted in several churches, including one here at MVUUF.


As you can see, these programs are right up our alley in terms of learning about diversity. I hope you'll consider attending one or all of these events. If you have any questions about them, let me know.




~Rev. Amy Russell

Sermon Topics


October 7 - Whose God We Are Rev. Richard Venus
~In this sermon, Rev. Venus offers readings from the first verses in the Book of Genesis and those of Professor Green from his book, The Elegant Universe, not to disprove either story, but to suggest that they are offering us two distinct ways of understanding. While they are very different ways of understanding the development of the universe, they contain a similar way of describing the process of evolution. Both point to the mystery that shapes our lives and the role of religion as we try to make sense out of that with which life presents us. Both of the readings hold truths for us, but for different reasons.


October 14 - Coming Out Today Rev. Amy Russell, Joe Law, and young adults from Wright State
~In today's world where "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has been repealed, and our President speaks hopefully about a world in which same sex partners should be allowed to marry, coming out as GLBTQ is a different proposition than even just five years ago. We'll hear from some students from Wright State as they describe their experiences.


October 21 - Parenting as a Spiritual Adventure Rev. Amy Russell and Joel Araujo, student minister
~As parents or adult members, we often learn more from the open, curious attitude of young people than they learn from us. Children teach us how to live much more chaotic and wondrous lives, opening us to new adventures. Rev. Amy and Joel will both share their adventures as parents.


October 28 - Samhain  Rev. Amy Russell and CUUPs
~Samhain is seen as one of the most important shabbots, or festivals, of the pagan year. It celebrates the time of year when the veil of the living and the dead is the thinnest, and we spend time remembering those we have lost. We'll remember people or animals who have made a difference in our lives with a Samhain ritual.

Around the Fellowship


Daytime Book Club Title*
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!


Lunch with Amy Is on The Move!
In October, Amy will be meeting at the House of Kabob on 298 N. Main St. in Centerville. They have Mediterranean sandwiches, are relatively inexpensive, and are a quiet, independent restaurant. It's very informal and they do accept credit cards. We meet every Thursday at 11:30 a.m. so please join us!


Community Discussion Group*

October 7 - "World Aristocracy? -Part 2."  Moderator: Joe Lawrence

October 14 - "Body Parts - Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Mine."  Moderator: Jennie Hardy

October 21 - "World Aristocracy? - Part 3."  Moderator: Joe Lawrence

October 28 - "Is There A Solution to the Immigration Problem?"  Moderator: Gordon Taylor

*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

*We will choose books for the next several months at October's meeting as well.*


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.


Fall Bazaar Raffle
Raffle tickets are on sale now! Just $1/each or 6/$5! We have two different raffles this year - the first is the general raffle. Put your ticket in, we pull your name, you win a prize! The second is the "pick your prize" raffle. We'll have several raffle prizes available for you to admire prior to the actual drawing. Really want that prize? Then put your tickets in that raffle only and increase your chances! Tickets are on sale after every service and on the day of the Bazaar, Nov. 10. 


St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch*
October 13 Menu: pulled pork sandwiches, any type of veggies, fried apples/applesauce, 100% juice, 2% milk
*All items should be delivered heated (if applicable) and ready to serve 15-20 people. Donations should be taken to St. Vincent de Paul Hotel at 120 W. Apple St. in Dayton. Sign up in the Gathering Space.


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.


Chili Cook Off at The Castle
The Castle is sponsoring a chili cook-off at Temple Beth Or on October 13 with all proceeds going to The Castle! There will also be a silent auction and of course, time to socialize with all your friends! For more information, see the sign on the Fellowship doors or pick up a postcard on the table in the Gathering Space.


Harvest Dinner
Everyone is invited to attend the Harvest Dinner potluck after the worship service on Sun., October 7. This event, hosted by the Environmental Action Group, will be our first annual potluck to celebrate the bounty of the season. Vegetarian dishes prepared with local, organic ingredients as available will be featured. Some items that will be prepared by our Environmental Action team are: Autumn Vegetables with Balsamic Sauce, Corn Off the Cob Casserole, Home Baked Breads and Rolls, and Apple Crisp. We invite you to join us and bring a similar dish to share. Think harvest theme dishes, such as apple and pumpkin dishes, eggplant and zucchini casseroles, vegetable lasagna, squash, etc. Though vegetarian offerings will be featured, meat dishes are also okay; a grill will be available to cook burgers and franks, etc. After the meal there will be some "pioneer games" -- sack races, three-legged races, carrying beans on a spoon relays -- for kids (and adults). Plan to be with us for food, fun, frivolity, and fellowship at our first annual Harvest Dinner celebration. And to help the Group in planning the festivities, indicate on the sign-up sheet in the gathering space that you plan to be there, and what you will bring to share.


Humanitarian Giving
During October, 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.


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 Book Club

Join us October 15, in the Founders room at 7:00 p. m., for a spirited discussion of Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. The authors are Paul Hawken, (Ecology of Commerce), Amory & L. Hunter Lovins, Founders and co-- CEOs of the famous Rocky Mountain Institute. They argue what most conservationists and environmentalists see as a serious imbalance in traditional capitalism - "it has always neglected to assign monetary value to its largest stock of capital-namely, the natural resources and ecosystem that make possible all economic activity and all life."For copies of the book, contact Environmental Action Group chairman Gary Courts at 436-1094 or [email protected]


Treasury Notes

By Pat Whitney, Treasurer


We had a lot of discussion in April and May about the challenges we face with finances - us and the rest of the world, it would seem. How does our financial picture look in September?


Glancing back at fiscal year 2012 (July 2011 - June2012): At the end of June we had a shortfall of $11,300 in pledge payments. In addition, the pledge level for FY13 was $13,000 less than FY12, dropping from $228,200 to $215,200.


In the new fiscal year our financial income numbers as of 9/12/12 are: 

  • $6,300 has been received in payment of FY12 pledges, leaving us $5,000 short. Thanks so much to all of you who honored your pledges for last year!
  • Pledges have risen to $218,200; an increase of $3,000 since June, $10,000 less than FY12.
  • Pledge payments are, however, $2000 behind plan. (This assumes everyone plans to pay a flat amount monthly, which isn't the case, so there's no cause for alarm at this time.)
  • Of the $10,200 promised as one time gifts, we have already received $8,800. Thanks!
  • Our UUA and district dues are still about � short of goal, the child care cut of $500 is still in place and our budget for operations is inadequate unless nothing goes wrong!

Where would we like to be? Why do we need more money? We're keeping the doors open aren't we? Here are a few things to think about: 

  • Our goal is to meet UUA averages for employee salaries. We aren't there yet.
  • Our goal is to have a "rainy day" fund for fixing roofs and replacing appliances, etc.
  • Our goal is to pay 100% of our dues to UUA and District. They provide a great deal of support. Lest we forget, it was a grant from the UUA that enabled us to get our new sound system. We're only eligible for that kind of support when paying our full dues.
  • Our goal is to restore budget for programs to enhance the experience of YRE and other groups and programs within the Fellowship. For now, that is a big stretch.


I'm sure many of you could add to that list of goals related to your dreams for MVUUF.


As we look to the future we need to enhance our understanding of stewardship and our ability to raise funds over and above pledge income. We need to attract non-members to our fundraisers. We also need to increase our fellowship rolls, to keep us both vibrant and solvent. Part of the challenge to each of us is participate in this in our uniquely UU way.


Please feel free to email me with any thoughts or questions you may have about our financial situation, [email protected].   Also, please consider taking a more active role in helping us solve the challenges we face. It's another great way to contribute and assure the longevity of our community.


Bullying Prevention Workshop at MVUUF
On Fri., October 26, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio will be hosting a workshop at MVUUF titled "Making It Better: Bullying Prevention and Intervention that Works."  Counselors and social workers will receive 6 CEUs for attending.  The cost is typically $75, but has been reduced to $30.  Anyone is welcome to attend!  To register, go to and click on "Events." 

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!