Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  November 16-30, 2012

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Letter from the Minister


Fall, A Season of Loss


If I can let you go as trees let go

Their leaves, so casually, one by one,

If I can come to know what they do know,

That fall is the release, the consummation,

Then fear of time and the uncertain fruit

Would not distemper the great lucid skies

This strangest autumn, mellow and acute.

If I can take the dark with open eyes

And call it seasonal, not harsh or strange

(For love itself may need a time of sleep),

And, treelike, stand unmoved before the change,

Lose what I lose to keep what I can keep,

The strong root still alive under the snow,

Love will endure -- if I can let you go.


The Autumn Sonnets

- by May Sarton


When I get up in these darker mornings this fall season, I stumble around wondering why it's not light out, and sometimes I think of why fall is a kind of a time for melancholy. For watching the natural progression of nature into the dormant time, the time to prepare for hibernation. As the seasons change, the time changes, our outside activities begin to take a lesser role, our bodies respond to the change in the weather as we pull into our cocoons of winter.


For us humans, who are often out of step with these natural rhythms, fall prompts us to take a moment to take stock of what we may be losing and what we want to keep. This wonderful poem by May Sarton, a Unitarian poet, gives me a chance to honor the losses of my life as a part of the natural cycle. To know that loss is part of growth. To know that love itself may be a part of this cycle. That I may need to feel my loss as a season of my soul, only to understand that my love goes on, underneath that ache of loss.


The other day I felt the need for a meditation of nature, so I took the time to walk in our labyrinth. It's a wonderful time to feel those changes in the season as you brush aside the drying pods in making your way toward the center. But as you meander around the path, the grasses are so high, you can't see the center, and you often feel lost. But you know that the center is there and you will reach it, even when it's elusive.


Then suddenly, you're in the center, and you sit and enjoy being there, just there, nowhere else. It's a feeling of being in the moment- each moment- both the times on the journey, the time in the center, and the time moving back out- being in the moment at all of these times.


Being in a time of loss is another time to stop and just be. Just be in what we're feeling. It just is.


~Rev. Amy Russell

Sermon Topics

November 18 - Growing Gratitude, Intergenerational Thanksgiving Service
~On this Sunday, we'll be celebrating our traditional Thanksgiving feast and exploring how we increase our awareness of gratitude. During this time of thanksgiving, we'll share how we can grow our gratitude to pay it forward to others.


November 25 - A Place for My Stuff!  Joel Araujo, Student Minister

~George Carlin once said that the meaning of life is to find a place for your stuff. Looking at it from a really wide lens, he might be on to something...We all need a place that can house our stuff; not just TVs, refrigerators, and bedspreads, but more meaningful, intangible stuff, like the need for belonging, wanting to learn, and the yearning for acceptance. Join our Student Minister, Joel Araujo, as he extrapolates on how church too could be a choice place to house your "stuff".


Keeping Up With Our Members


Sam Kramer, Fellowship member and current Board Vice President, died unexpectedly of heart failure on Nov. 13.  A memorial service celebrating his life will be at the Fellowship on Sat., Nov. 24 at 11 .m.


Don Ferguson is home recovering from his fourth round of chemo. Please send him healing thoughts.


Sky Stewart completed surgery two weeks ago and is recovering well!


Shannon Hansen had surgery to remove a uterine cyst and is recovering at home after staying at the Cincinnati V.A. Hospital. Get well soon, Shannon!


Nancy Moody continues to undergo chemotherapy for bone cancer. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. And please, if you visit or speak to Jack Moody, don't mention Nancy's illness to him - thank you!


Carol Vincent  is recovering from a spinal fracture she suffered due to a car accident on Oct. 28. Rest up, Carol!

Around the Fellowship


Fall Bazaar A Smashing Success!
Thanks to the hard work of so many people (and a special round of applause for our Chairwoman, Jenny Oest) we raised over $2100.00 at this year's Bazaar!  THANK YOU!


Community Discussion Group*

November 18 - Thanksgiving Sunday - NO CLASS

November 25 - "War Stories - Events That Shocked, Confused, or Amused." Moderator: Sherry 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.


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

**December's meeting will be at Starlite Diner, 4090 Wilmington Pk., at 10:30 a.m.**
January TBA
- Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See
February TBA - Lifeboat, by Charlotte Rogan
March TBA - The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri

*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!


Evening Book Club
Please join us at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at Christopher's Restaurant (2318 Dorothy Ln., Kettering). For more information, contact Ann Snively.


Homeless Teens Start A Local Business!
Lindy & Company is Daybreak's newest pet treat bakery and part of Daybreak's work-readiness program for homeless youth. Stop by to make your purchase and see the youth in action - baking, selling, and ringing up your sales! Lindy & Co. is located at 823 Wayne Ave. in Dayton. Hours are Wed. - Fri., 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sat., 8 a.m. - noon. You can also visit their website at


Humanitarian Giving
During November, 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.


The Nominating Committee and You
The "due democratic process" is one of our very important principles. Each year at the January annual meeting we elect the officers of the board of trustees, and members of the program council. Details for each position are documented in the bylaws of MVUUF. The Nominating Committee will offer a list of candidates in the December Forum. The following Fellowship members' makeup the Nominating Committee, and yes we look forward to speaking with you about our "Beloved Community", and opportunities for you in governance: Iris Carter, Ruby Powell, Ruth Rowley, Joan Albrecht, and Phil Wise. *Please seek us out, and discuss your involvement in MVUUF leadership. 


Items Needed for Giving Tree
This year our Giving Tree will be "baby items" themed. We will begin accepting donation of the following items under the Giving Tree in the Gathering Space on Sun. November 25. Donations needed: baby food, receiving blankets, diapers (sizes 4, 5, and 6), wipes, bottles, diaper rash ointment, baby wash and lotion, formula (soy or regular), Diaper Genie bag refills, sippy cups, onesies, crib sheets, pacifiers, baby toys, teethers, and Orajel. All items will be donated to St. Vincent de Paul to help the youngest residents of their shelters.


Office Volunteers Needed While Kristin's on Maternity Leave
You may heard through the grapevine that I'm expecting a baby on Jan. 10. I will be out on maternity leave for 6 weeks, and am looking for volunteers to cover some of my office duties while I'm out. This will ensure our office runs smoothly and our community will be able to stay

connected. These duties would consist of: checking the mail, recording our phone sermon, a little typing, stuffing bulletins, and answering the phones. I am splitting the days into two parts: 9 a.m. - noon, and noon - 3 p.m. Feel free to sign up for an entire day or just one shift. And also bring a book or a project! If the phone doesn't ring, you'll have some free time! The following days/times need to be filled. Please email me at or call me at 937-436-3628 to sign up. And thank you!


Tuesdays noon - 3 p.m.  Feb. 5, 12


Wednesdays noon - 3 p.m.  Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13


Thursdays 9 a.m. - noon   Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31, Feb. 7, 14


Fridays 9 a.m. - noon  Jan.18, Feb. 1, 8


Chalice Light Gallery
Rosie Huartis an award-winning artist living in Dayton, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Dayton, receiving her Bachelor Degree in Art and Psychology and also an Associate Degree in Mental Health Technology from Sinclair Community College. It is the path of papermaking that opened the door to Rosie's creativity. In the 80's she studied Japanese papermaking in Japan and today teaches both Eastern and Western methods. Rosie also teaches classes and workshops in mixed media and gives retreats. She has one scheduled in May, 2013, at Maria Stein. You can contact her for further information or email


As an interdisciplinary artist and educator, Rosie believes the making of art-as a transformative process-impacts the soul's search for meaning, whether it is poetry, painting, papermaking, calligraphy, or creative writing. She has studied throughout the United States and in Japan, Spain, and Italy. She teaches both nationally and abroad and recently taught a workshop in southern France. Rosie's work is inspired by Eastern spirituality. She attempts to invoke mystical qualities that speak of connections with the use of words, line, shape texture and color. When people view her work, she hopes they find a quiet place where one responds to their own spiritual essence.


Grocery Cards

For those Kroger shoppers who have not yet signed up for their new program that replaced Grocery Cards, please do. Step-by-step instructions are available on the desk in the Gathering Space. If you need further assistance, please contact Maureen O'Meara at to arrange for a preliminary sign-up session at the Fellowship. When you sign up, you need the following information: your Kroger Plus card number (all 10 digits, including the 2 beyond the bar code, the Kroger where you got this card, and the Fellowship's number 80077.  


Cards for Dorothy Lane have been ordered in $50 and $20 denominations and will be available for purchase in November. Please sign up with Maureen O'Meara to purchase Dorothy Lane cards in the future with an estimate order for 3 months. Cards will be ordered from Dorothy Lane only when there are pre-orders for 80% of the cards. It is not necessary to pay in advance. Dorothy Lane pays 5% on these cards, so if you shop at Dorothy, please support the Fellowship in this way. This is different than the Community Giving Program for Dorothy Lane which pays a much smaller percentage. This change has been necessary, since Dorothy Lane requires an order of $1000 and a pre-payment when cards are ordered. In the recent past, only two people have regularly purchased Dorothy Lane cards, so at times it has taken months to recoup the purchase price.


City of Centerville Seeking Volunteers

We are looking for individuals, families, youth groups, clubs and other organizations to assist elderly residents with leaf-raking and/or snow shoveling. The City of Centerville is compiling a list of individuals, groups, and organizations willing to assist elderly and disabled Centerville residents with leaf-raking and snow removal at no charge. The list will be maintained by City staff and available to residents. The City will also maintain a list of individuals and companies that perform these services for a fee. Once residents receive the resource information from the City, it is their responsibility to contact someone from the list and make the necessary arrangements. Interested? Call Centerville City Offices, 433-7151.


Bread Delivery Volunteer Needed

Over the past many years, we've had a few volunteers who have been managing a

significant volunteer undertaking - delivering bread donated by Dorothy Lane Market in Springboro to Wesley Center and St. Paul's Huffman Place. These volunteers need some help. If you are available on Thursday mornings, once or twice a month or even just to fill in once in a while, we need your help. The job on Thursday mornings is this:


- pick up bread at DLM in Springboro between 9 and 9:30.

- deliver bread to St. Paul's at Huffman Place near 5th street

- deliver rest of bread to Wesley Center in West Dayton


We could certainly break this job up if people were willing to do one part of the delivery. So, let us know whatever part you are interested in. For questions talk to Pete Davis at 429-4204, or call/email Kristin in the office to sign up.


Environmental Learning Forum Book Club

The Environmental Learning Forum Book Club will meet in the Founder's Room at 7:00 p.m. on Mon., November 19 to discuss Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, by New York Times columnist William Bryant Logan. In a series of essays, the writer examines the soil beneath our feet from both a scientific and poetic perspective. The Los Angeles Times Book Review states,   "Whether Logan is traversing the far reaches of the cosmos or plowing through our planet's crust, his delightful, elegant, and surprisingly soulful meditations greatly enrich our concept of dirt, that substance from which we all arise and to which we all must return." Copies of Dirt may be available from local libraries. We have also ordered a few copies from at a discounted price of $9.11 (List price is $14.95). If you would like to reserve one of these copies, contact Environmental Action chairman Gary Courts at 436-1094 or  All MVUUF members and friends with an interest in environmental and conservation issues are invited to be with us on November 19 for our monthly discussion.  


Treasury Notes

At the risk of sounding like a broken record I must report that we were $8500 behind in pledge income as of the end of the first quarter of our fiscal year. If we project that loss across 4 quarters it's $34,000 for the year. That's a scary thought! I can only assume that the income flow improved some because at the beginning of October we didn't have enough money in the bank to cover payroll, but no one has called me in a panic saying we're out of cash. That's a happy thought!


Each of us has a home budget to manage, and bills to pay. Most of us have some kind of income. What if that income were erratic? What if we never knew from week to week or month to month how much would be coming in? We know what our bills are; we know our creditors aren't very forgiving or flexible. It's gut-wrenching to deal like that with our financials on an on-going basis. Recently a few members of MVUUF got together to talk about our financial situation.   A phrase that came up during that conversation was: time, talent and treasure. These are what we have to offer the Fellowship: our time, our talents and our treasure. In return we each have what we treasure about our time here and our ability to use our talents for the greater good. It is a mutually beneficial relationship.  


It also needs to be a sustainable relationship. At the same meeting where I heard the phrase "time, talent and treasure" we talked about stewardship. Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as "the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care." We are, each of us, individually and collectively, entrusted with the care, management and sustainability of our Fellowship. The "fire of commitment" we recite each Sunday has to be more than words! If our Fellowship is to be the strong, vibrant community we want it to be, now and into the future, we must all practice good stewardship.

~Pat Whitney, Treasurer

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!