Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  March 16-31, 2013

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Letter from the President


Planning for the Transition


Amy will still be with us for a few more months, but of course, we must begin thinking about what's next for our Fellowship. I have been approached by a number of members and friends asking about the transition process, and I'm sure there are many more of you who have questions. As your board president, I still have a lot of questions myself, but I also have some information I can share with you about what to expect.


On February 17, the current board met with Barbara Child from the Heartland District to conduct an exit interview for Amy's ministry. We spent more than three hours answering questions about how we have been as a congregation under Amy's leadership. At the end of the interview, Barbara took about 20 minutes to preview the process for hiring an interim minister.



Our application for an interim minister is due on April 1, so the board must make some immediate decisions on behalf of the congregation. The most critical decision we must make is the length of the interim ministry. Like many of you, my initial thought was that we might be able to get this done in one year, but I am increasingly persuaded that two years is the way to go. Two years will give us enough time to give Amy the sendoff she deserves and then take some time to reflect on who we are and where we want to go next. Two years will also give us time to form the search committee in a thoughtful way and give them enough time to do their work.


Many of us can remember the last transition, but I think we have sort of compressed it in our memories. Those who served on the search committee remember how long it took and how much effort the search required, but for the rest of us, it's become a blur. A number of people have suggested that the transition might take less time this time because we are better prepared. Amy has given us ample notice, and we are in a healthier place as a congregation than we were last time. Plus we have all this wonderful data that the Long-Range Planning people have collected.


All of that is true. At the same time, in 2012, only two congregations within the UUA attempted to do a one-year transition. The UUA offers resources for transitions, and the process they recommend takes two years. And there is no real reason to rush through the process. Anyone who is interested in reading more about how the UUA assists congregations can visit the Transitions page of the UUA website:


Still, this is a decision that must be made by the entire board after thorough discussion of the various pros and cons. We will also select an interim search committee, which will likely be comprised of three members of the board.


Once we have our application in, the action moves to the UUA. In April, there will be a retreat for interim ministers. They will go over the applications from all the various congregations and decide which ones are most appealing to them, based on such factors as size, geographic location, issues facing the congregation, salary offered, etc. They will give their lists of preferences to Rev. Keith Kron, the UUA Director of Transitions. We have the option to request a list of those potential interim ministers who have expressed interest in us. Another option is to allow Keith to select his top candidate for us. Either way, the interim search committee will conduct phone interviews before making a final recommendation to the board.


Because these decisions must be made rather quickly, selecting an interim minister is an important responsibility that is entrusted to the board. As always, we are here to represent you, and we are always interested in your perspectives and ideas. If you have any concerns, please share them with me or another member of the board. Once the selection is made, I hope you will join me in offering full support to our new interim minister.


The board's role in hiring our next settled minister is much more limited. The nominating committee will generate candidates for the search committee, and then the congregation will vote to form the committee. No current board member is eligible to serve on that committee.


Serving on a ministerial search committee is a major undertaking, and we are very blessed to have within our congregation a number of people who have already expressed interest in taking on this important work. If you are interested in serving, please contact a member of the nominating committee.


Once the search committee is selected, they will need our full support as they help us to navigate this transition and chart our course for the foreseeable future. And our interim minister, whoever he or she may turn out to be, will be an important source of guidance and support for all of us in this time of uncertainty and change.


~Alysoun Taylor-Hall, MVUUF Board President

Sermon Topics


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: The Road to Emmaus Rev. Amy Russell, Lathe Snyder, & Trudy Krisher
~In Luke, this story tells of two disciples walking along the road to Emmaus from Jerusalem. Jesus, who had been crucified several days before, came up and starting with them, but they didn't recognize him. In our Easter celebration, we'll talk about the journeys we're on when we often don't recognize the hope and love that is hidden in our lives.


                                                   Meet Our Members


The Stump House Family


We are Keely, Jason, Brianna. We are the family that includes the children, Bella, Hayden and Gabe. We are the Stump House Family, since we have so many different last names.


We are a complex family with a somewhat simple belief: love is infinite. Easy enough to say with words, right? More difficult to live in reality, but we're navigating what path we can, and building what we need to, together.


Our relationship structure is built on the theories of polyamory, a form of ethical non-monogamy, which focuses on building loving relationships with more than partner at a time. Polyamory is certainly not for everyone. The work we put into healthy and limitless love is challenging but rewarding for us.


We are more than a relationship structure, though. So, who are we? First and foremost, we are three individuals, each with different needs and beliefs. We are Brianna, whose need for a spiritual home was what drove us to search out a community that would fulfill as many of our unique needs as possible. We are Jason, whose experience with Miamisburg and Dayton led us

to understand your fellowship was one of the most likely to be able to accept and nurture each of our spiritual structures. We are Keely, whose logical brain knew that this would be nothing like her painful past experiences, though her emotional heart took some time to come around - and



Brianna is currently a full-time homemaker, who is blessed enough to have a life that allows her to frolic in her whimsical nature. Jason and Keely both work at WPAFB, in Enterprise Messaging and Logistics, respectively. Jason is an avid musician, who likes to attempt most any instrument, though he is strongest on piano and drums. Keely is a fantastic and imaginative writer (much in the family of Poe). Brianna loves to sing and edit, so our mix is well balanced for us.


There is certainly more to our family, but we've taken enough of your page/screen. Come find one or all of us if you have a question. We'd love to answer it for you... or at least be given the opportunity to try.


In closing, we want to say thank you for the open home you have built among each other. You are most assuredly a welcoming congregation, and we are thankful for having found you.

Around the Fellowship


Community Discussion Group

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.


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!


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.

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.

St. Vincent de Paul lunch
Menu for April 13: Lasagna, green veggies/salad, 100% juice or 2% milk
Please bring all items, heated if applicable, to 120 W. Apple St. (St. Vincent de Paul Hotel in Dayton) by 10:30 a.m. Sign up in the Gathering Space.

Easter Egg Treats Needed
Our youth will be participating in our annual Easter Egg hunt during service on Easter Sunday, March 31.  We are in need of donations of individually wrapped candy or small trinkets to put in the Easter eggs.  We do NOT need donations of the actual plastic eggs.  There is a bin in the Gathering Space for donations.  Thank you for helping to make this event a fun, memorable one for our youth!

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.  


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.    


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!