Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  March 1-15, 2013

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Letter from the Minister



Interim Ministry


Many of you have started asking questions about what the process will look like after my departure in June. The board will be informing you more about this. But many have asked, "Why do we need an interim minister?" I understand that some believe that the congregation could manage themselves for a year during search without a minister. I think some feel that since the congregation is so healthy right now, that an interim period is not necessary.


An interim minister is a different sort of minister than a settled minister. While the interim minister is certainly here to do the primary functions of ministry such as plan worship, provide pastoral care, and work with the congregation on community building and leadership development, an interim minister has a certain kind of focus while they are here. An interim minister is focused on assisting the congregation through the transition from one minister to another while remaining whole and healthy.


The UUA describes the primary functions of interim ministry as being:

  1. providing reassurance that the church will have professional ministerial leadership during the transition period
  2. dealing with "termination emotions" surrounding the departure of the former minister
  3. help the congregation review and clarify its goals and mission
  4. model a different but successful style of ministry from the style of the former minister, showing that more than one style of ministry can be successful


I know many interim ministers and have heard their stories about assisting congregations in realizing some truths about themselves. Truths that sometimes a settled minister doesn't realize or doesn't feel comfortable discussing. Interim ministers have a freedom that those of us who want to hold onto our jobs long-term don't have. They are "pre-fired". They can say things about the congregation that might be hard to hear or that they hadn't considered before. Like about how it feels to be new in the congregation. How welcoming a congregation is. Whether there are power centers in the congregation who make most of the decisions even informally. About how the congregation treats their minister. How the congregation treats their staff. All those things that a settled minister might be very uncomfortable saying. They can also share things that a settled minister loses sight of once they are a part of the congregation they are leading.



Perspective is what an interim minister can bring. Perspective can bring focus to a congregation looking at where they are today and where they want to be in the future. Perspective is not a bad thing for what MVUUF is getting ready to embark upon.


- Amy Russell

Sermon Topics


March 3 - Why Bother? Rev. Amy Russell
~How many times have we gotten together for Stewardship Sunday, and how many times have you listened to the sermon about giving and thinking, "Yeah, yeah, I get it, we all need to give." But why bother? Why should we get together again and go through the motions? Any good reasons you can think of?


March 10 - Go and Do Likewise Joel Araujo
~We all know the story of the Good Samaritan. So much so that we have laws based around the story. However we rarely consider the larger ideas that Jesus' most favorite parable engenders. Join Intern Minister, Joel Araujo, as he teases out the biggest lesson and what it could mean for our liberal religion.


March 17 - Youth Led Service


March 24 - Rethinking the Future Rev. Amy Russell
~The current generation of people "in power," people in their 40s - 60s were raised on an economic theory of growth. Bigger and better, climbing the ladder, success is more. Is this sustainable for the future? Economist Herman Daly and theologian John Cobb offer different scenarios in their book, For the Common Good. We'll take a look at a different kind of future.


March 31 - Easter Sunday Rev. Amy Russell

Around the Fellowship


Community Discussion Group*

March 3 - "Ferguson Genealogy Legacy Back to 30,000 Years Ago." Moderator: Don Ferguson

March 10 - "Conservative or Liberal?" Moderator: Mike Coalson

March 17 - "What Kind of Books Do We Read and Why?" Moderator: Jennie Hardy

March 24 - "Effective Communication." Moderator: Jim Faulconer
March 31 - "The Omega 6/3 Ratio." Moderator: Joe Lawrence

*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.


St. Vincent de Paul 2nd Saturday Lunch
Menu for March 9: chili, green salad with Ranch dressing
*All items need to be delivered to the St. Vincent de Paul Hotel (120 W. Apple St. in Dayton) by 10:30 a.m., already heated if applicable. Sign up in the Gathering Space.


Daytime Book Club Title*
March 20 - The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri
April 24 - Those Who Save Us, by Jenna Blum
May 22 - Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver
*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!


Chalice Light Gallery
Our artist for this month is our own Diane Dover!  Diane is an artist who works mainly with fiber and fabric.  She is currently displaying her beautiful quilts - stop by and take a look!


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.

March 12 - Reasons to Be Happy, by Katrina Kittle
April 9 - Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo
May 14 - Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
June 11 - 35 Dumb Things Well-Intentioned People Say, by Maura Cullen
July 9 - The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Diversity, by Michelle Alexander
August 13 - Making Rounds with Oscar, by David Dosa
September 10 - Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver
October 8 - Elsewhere, by Richard Russo
November 12 - The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis
December 10 - Marmee and Louisa, by Eva LaPlante


Humanitarian Giving
During March, the Humanitarian Giving Action Group welcomes non-pledge donations to benefit the Wesley Center.

What Is UUJO and What Does It Offer Fellowship Members Interested in Social Justice?
How did UUJO come to be?

Interested members from congregations in the Ohio Meadville District and the Heartland District met in October in Columbus to form the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio Network -UUJO.   MVUUF was represented at this meeting by Amy Russell, Alysoun Taylor-Hall, Bob Lewis and Maureen O'Meara.


What does UUJO offer?

UU Justice Ohio (UUJO) offers social justice activists an exciting new opportunity to unite in an effective network coordinating liberal religious advocacy in our local communities, the state, and beyond. UUJO will facilitate collaboration between our congregations as well as partnerships with other Ohio social justice organizations. UUJO is our social justice statewide network based on our 7 principles.


Who are the members of UUJO?

Congregations across Ohio, both in the current Ohio-Meadville District and the current Heartland Districts are invited to join. 13 Congregations were represented at the founding meeting in Columbus. UUJO will have both congregational and individual members. MVUUF's board has recommended that our congregation join UUJO, but has asked that the Social Action Committee and Social Justice Trustee first provide the opportunity for members of the congregation to express their views on this recommendation before the June Congregational meeting, so that our decision will truly represent a consensus in the congregation.   Watch for an announcement in the April Forum regarding this open discussion.


How can an individual join or get information from UUJO?

In the meantime, an individual may join UUJO by completing a form on the UUJO website at at no cost.   The website is worth a visit, just to read the information there.   Facebook fans can also share in the information exchange on the UUJO Facebook page at Googlers, check out the UUJO google group at https://groups/google/com/forum/#!forum/uujo. UUJO is an invaluable information source for those who want to keep up with social justice issues and opportunities to address them.


Immigrant and Refugee Justice
The Immigrant and Refugee Justice Action Group of the Social Action Committee has been meeting once a month on the first Sunday of the month after the service. Our next meeting is  Sunday, March 3 in the Founders Room. Please join us.


Since the formation of the group in July, we have been working to inform ourselves on the situation and the needs of immigrants, particularly in the local area. The group first received information on the status of refugees and immigrants in Dayton, and on threats to human dignity suffered by undocumented immigrants.


In November, many members of the Action Group participated in the class on Immigration as a Moral Issue. Some members have also attended outside events such as the conference sponsored by the Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Caucus of NCCJ held in November at the University of Dayton, meetings to form a local Community Alliance for Refugee Empowerment, and an interfaith workshop held in Delaware, Ohio. Members of the action group and others also discussed the draft resolution on "Immigration as a Moral Issue" and made recommendations to improve it. At our January Congregational meeting, our Fellowship voted to have this issue placed on the agenda of the 2013 General Assembly.


In January, our action group decided on three forms that our future involvement would take: direct assistance, education or consciousness raising, and advocacy. At the February 17 Standing on the Side of Love service, we distributed a survey to the congregation to determine which actions Fellowship members were most willing to participate in.   If you have not yet filled out a survey, you are invited do so prior to our meeting at 12:30 on March 3. We would like as much congregational input as possible. We also invite anyone interested in immigration and refugee issues to join us for this meeting when we will begin to design our future projects. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Maureen O'Meara, chair of the Action Group, at


It Is Time for The MVUUF Service Auction!

Excitement explodes for Past Patrons & Service Providers! Let's not forget to congratulate all newcomers who get to experience one of the most fun & exciting events at the Fellowship.


On April 27th, from 6-9 pm, expect to get your party on! And if you have a brood, tribe, basketball team, or a Mini-me (aka child[ren]): they will have a separate party & service auction item, for which, adults may later bid. Do you sense the mystery?!


Part of the fun is becoming involved in the auction process. Donate your time: be a chauffeur for an evening. Members who may want to dine, drink, but not drive may bid upon you. Donate your talents: are you an amazing cook or have several restaurants on speed dial? Open your home and host a get-together (maybe for individuals or maybe a group). Who knows, maybe Compassionate Communication members want to test their skills while breaking bread. Or a group of parents may want to get-together and commiserate while one person hosts and another person watch the children. You can offer services as a team. Example my hubby, Tom could give a hour (individual or group) tennis or fitness lesson (worth $85/hr) and I could prepare a picnic outside (former personal chef & food...$150+) and provide access to the club pool (usually, no access to nonmembers).


Can you grocery shop for someone? Drive another person to doctor appointments? Do you like to host parties? Have you ever been on a musical-chairs type dinner experience? Want to show others your talents or teach some of your skills?


How are you at massage, metaphysical healing, Tarot or extremely "brief" counseling? 5 minute offerings for donations during the service auction would be awesome.


But don't forget... You may find many interesting things/services at the auction that you will want to beat out the competition and win.


I'm looking for ideas, but more importantly I'm looking for members, friends, and even youth to promote our need for community and offer your service before, during, and after the auction.


Various roles include: food planner & prep; advertising/marketing; database assistant; help with set-up/clean-up; scheduler; bartender & liquor-gatherer, etc. We have our Auctioneer, Sir Jamie McQuinn is practicing as we speak! I'm looking for a new member to Co-MC with Scott Leonard. Maybe a DJ for background tunes.


I hope many will step forward with how you can add to our Service Auction. However, I will also speak with everyone and ask your interests. Expect a call or a face-face encounter. I truly expect to make this an amazing event where the fellowship benefits, but we also feel appreciated as individuals. That is one way I plan to contribute and invest in "my" beloved community. I don't get to say it often, but thank you for welcoming my family into yours.


Namaste, Luta, Blessings and Grace!


~Heather Schroeder, 751-3265


Environmental Learning Forum Book Club
Our Environmental Learning Forum Book Club will meet in the Founder's Room at 7:00 pm, Monday March 18, to discuss A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC : AND SKETCHES HERE AND THERE by Aldo Leopold. First published in 1949, A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC is now considered to be a classic work of nature writing on par with Thoreau's WALDEN and Rachel Carson's SILENT SPRING. Leopold's treatise is a combination of natural history and philosophy written over a forty year period as he reflected on the relationship between people and the land they inhabit. Our Environmental Action Group has ordered a few copies from ebay at a discounted price of $10.11 (list price is $11.37) which includes shipping charges. To reserve a copy, contact Gary Courts at or 436-1094. All MVUUF members and friends are invited to be with us on March 18 to discuss this classic work which is still relevant today.  


Treasurer's Notes
By the time you read this, Bob Lewis will have stepped up as your new Treasurer. It has been my honor and privilege to serve the congregation and serve with my fellow board members for the last couple of years. We have great leadership here. If you've ever thought of serving on the board, don't hesitate!


By the end of December, our pledge giving had almost caught up with the budget expectation. By the end of January we had once again fallen $6,000 behind in expected pledges. Men who Cook did a great job again this year and exceeded their last year's record income. The final numbers aren't in yet, but it looks like they made around $1,500. Great work guys!


I hope the pledge dinner on Saturday, March 2, is well attended, and I hope we, as a congregation, can step up to the obligation and opportunity of funding our Fellowship appropriately. There is an active and dedicated stewardship team in place headed by Jenny Oest and Dale Bockhorst. The team will help us understand our goals and how we can reach them.


Thanks for your support over the last two years. I know you will continue to support Bob and the board equally well.



Pat Whitney

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!