Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  May 1-15, 2013

Quick Links

Letter from the Minister


Notes from Heartland District Assembly in April


Recently, a number of us attended the Heartland District Assembly in Muncie, Indiana. At this memorable event, the Heartland members voted to join two other districts, Prairie Star and Central Midwest, to become Mid-America Region. Being reconfigured in this way will allow the six regional staff to better serve us by offering their unique consulting areas to a wider number of congregations. While this represents a financial necessity in these difficult economic conditions, it is also a better way for the UUA to serve us. The staff who used to be divided in their reporting structure will now report to a central staff person in the UUA. We will continue to be represented by trustees to the UUA Board.


One of the speakers at District Assembly, Tandi Rogers, who serves us out of the Congregational Life office in the UUA, spoke about how as she travels around the country, she has an opportunity to visit the communities in which our congregations are located. She described how she makes a point to visit a local eatery or shop and chat with the people there about what they know about the local UU congregation. She can then report to the congregation about what they are known for in the community. Often the congregation is surprised that local people know that the congregation is serving in the homeless shelter, is known for their stance on gay issues, or for their beautiful building.


What would Tandi find if she visited here in Dayton and asked around our community? Would they know us for our work at St. Vincent's, for our work at The Castle in Centerville, for our marching in the Pride Parade, for our labyrinth, for presentations we've made in several local high schools and colleges about UUism, or would they have seen our peace flags flying to honor the soldiers who died in Iraq?


During my six years here, I have become involved in our community through different organizations. One of the organizations where I have been quite active is our Centerville Washington Diversity Council. They are a group of citizens who work to promote diversity in our community. They know us better now because we've been involved in a number of their activities. I encourage you to get active when you see programs they are sponsoring. It's one way to make our Fellowship more known in this community.


Another speaker at District Assembly, Stephen Johanssan, spoke about how a church that is driven by their mission, finds that their actions both within their congregations and in the wider community are consistent with their shared values.


The UUA defines a congregational mission like this: A concise statement of what the congregation wants to be known for, or known as, within the wider world; what the congregation wants to mean to the community.


Other definitions of mission say that our mission is our shared purpose. When I ask members what they see as our mission, often many of you will say, "We are a caring, spiritual community, encouraging our members on their personal, spiritual journeys and helping to bring justice to the world." When you read our fairly long mission statement that was created in 2004, and validated by our Strategic Planning Committee two years ago, it pretty much says that but with a lot more words.


Are we known for this in our community? How can we become known for being a place where people can be cared for while following their own spiritual path and helping to heal the world? I know that when those in the congregation share their stories about what it's like to be a part of this Fellowship, people come to check us out. Just this Sunday, someone came to visit from a Sinclair class where Denny had gone to share about Unitarian Universalism. We are a secret treasure. Let's spread the word.


~Rev. Amy Russell

Sermon Topics


May 5 - Walking the Path Together: Becoming UU, Rev. Amy Russell

~Over three Sundays, Rev. Amy Russell, will share her spiritual journey that has led her from a Buddhist community to becoming a Unitarian Universalist and later becoming a minister. The rest of her story will be shared May 19 and June 16.


May 12 - Human Trafficking, London Coe

~London Coe, the proprietor of the store Peace on Fifth, will share with us the reality of human slavery still extant in our nation. Ms. Coe has created a foundation that benefits the work toward ending human trafficking.


May 19 - Walking the Path Together: Shared Ministry, Rev. Amy Russell

~Rev. Amy Russell continues to share the story of her journey of entering the ministry and why ministry to her is always shared.


May 26 - TBA, Joel Araujo

                                                   Meet Our Members


Hi! My name is Christina Tomazinis and I just joined the Fellowship. OK, the nutshell version of my life, otherwise known as how did I end up living in Dayton married to Jamie McQuinn? So, I grew up in Philadelphia, PA, home of real cheese steaks and Tastycakes! I was privileged to spend a good portion of my childhood living in Greece, where my father was born and raised, though this didn't result in fluent Greek. I was raised Orthodox Christian, easier because I don't really understand what they're saying anyway, and raised my children Catholic, or rather atheist. I moved to Dayton in 1987, thanks to NCR, and have been here ever since. I have two quirky, geeky kids, much like me. My daughter attends Grinnell College in Iowa, majoring in History. My son is graduating from Centerville HS in May and hopes to study computer science at Purdue. I began my career in a field I loved, Art History, took a turn to mother my kids and ended working for years at the original Books & Co; awesome! After obtaining a grad degree in Early Childhood Education, I now work for the OH Dept. of Ed in Wapakoneta as an early literacy specialist working with early childhood teachers, which I also love. I love to cook and am passionate about education, children and the importance of play and many other things. Jamie and I were lucky enough to meet in January last year and married in December, beginning the very best part of my life.

Around the Fellowship


Community Discussion Group

May 5 - "Is Military Force An Effective Response to International Terrorism?" Moderator: Gordon Taylor
May 12 - "Open Forum." Moderator: Jim Faulconer

May 19 - "The Existential Pleasures of Engineering." Moderator: Mike Coalson

May 26 - TBA

*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*
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.

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 


Special Board Meeting
A Board meeting will be held on Wed., May 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Founders room to discuss the hiring of the new interim minister.


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

Thank You!
Dear friends, thank you for the daffodils and the host of golden well-wishes and cards. Blessings, Kathleen Turner.


St. Vincent de Paul Lunch
Menu for May 11: meatloaf, vegetables, mashed potatoes, 100% juice, 2% milk
Please bring all items, heated if applicable, to 120 W. Apple St. (St. Vincent Hotel in Dayton) by 10:30 a.m. Sign up in the Gathering Space.
Lobby Day
In March of this year, Carla Hale was fired from Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus. She was fired because she is a lesbian. She had been a teacher there for 19 years. Someone saw her mother's obituary which mentioned her partner.


There is a law against discrimination against LGBT folks in Columbus. There is no state or federal law. When our members go to Columbus to lobby for laws prohibiting job and housing discrimination, they are fighting for this woman and others who lose their jobs, or can't get jobs because of their sexual orientation. We have excellent support from our Fellowship. Our people take the time and energy to go to Lobby Day. We can always use more voices. It is free to participate. You can register at Registering means that Equality Ohio will group you with other people from your area, so you can visit your legislator. Equality Ohio Lobby Day is Wed., May 8. If you'd like to carpool, please sign up in the Gathering Space. We leave from the Fellowship at 8 a.m.


Michael Dowd Returns to MVUUF!

We are very fortunate to be able to welcome back Michael Dowd for a one evening event! He has been one of MVUUF's favorite guest speakers over the years, and we are looking forward to Michael's latest talk, "Evidence As Modern-Day Scripture." He'll be here on Fri., May 10,

7:30- 9:15 the Sanctuary. What is an evidence-based approach to good and evil, and how might religion become a force for systemic good in the world today? How have the twin religious idolatries - "idolatry of the written word" and "idolatry of the otherworldly" - contributed to today's biggest problems? And what can we do?


Rev. Michael Dowd is the author of the bestselling, bridge-building book, Thank God for Evolution, which was endorsed by 6 Nobel laureates and other science luminaries, along with noted skeptics, and by religious leaders across the spectrum.


3rd Annual MVUUF Campout

Please join us for our annual campout, May 25-27, at Possum Creek Metro Park's Black Cherry Campsite. Questions? Call Stacey Stowers 474-3981


Garden Committee
The Lawn & Garden Committee will meet on May 30 at 4:30 p.m. at the fellowship. If you are interested in the health and beauty of the grounds at MVUUF, please join us. See Steve Thompson or Genevieve Harvey if you would like to join us or have questions, suggestions, or offers in this regard.    


Farewell to Rev. Amy

Mark your calendars for FAREWELL SUNDAY, June 16. That's the Sunday we say our good byes to our minister, Rev. Amy Russell. We are planning a special gift to send with her; a commemoration of her service to us to remain at the Fellowship; and a special reception following the service on June 16. Planning is underway. There are several things you can do to help make this a memorable event: (1) Donate funds to cover the cost of the celebration; following the services in May, committee members will be in the Gathering Space to take up a collection. (2) Sign a notecard in the Gathering Space with your personal messages for Amy. These cards will be assembled into a special scrapbook for her. (3) Bring finger foods to the event on June 16. To volunteer, contribute funds, or help with the event, see committee members Trudy Krisher, Joe Law, Lathe Snyder, Connie Gilhooly, Barb Weber, Phil Wise, and Denny Smith.


Social Action Calendar!

There are many opportunities for Social Action during the month of May. Mark your calendars!


May 1 - Deadline for nominations for the Emily Upham Award for Social Action. Please send your nominations to Maureen O'Meara at [email protected] or Kristin Freeman at [email protected] no later than May 1. Please tell us why you think he or she should be selected. The award will be presented at the Fellowship's Congregational meeting in June.


May 1 at 5 p.m. - Millions of families will participate in a nationwide day of action on May 1, coming together for fair immigration reform. Join Communities United for Citizenshipat Washington Park in Cincinnati to support reform that will keep immigrant workers and their families together. Gather at 5 pm, Rally & March 5:30, at Washington Park.

Thursday evenings, May 2-June 6 (7-9 pm) - Bob Lewis will present a new adult RE course: Help to Heal Our World: Social Ethics, Social Justice and Congregational Engagement. The course is intended for both our newer members who have expressed interest in social action and for longer time members who want to deepen their understanding and appreciation for social justice work.


May 5 at 12:30 p.m. - Maureen O'Meara and Alice Diebel will lead an information session after service on Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio and what it offers Ohio congregations. The board has endorsed our joining this organization as a congregation, but wants members of the congregation to have the chance to learn more about the network, ask questions, and weigh in on MVUUF joining as a congregational member. Dues have not been determined but should be very moderate (among the suggestions have been $50 to $100 per congregation.)


May 8 - Members from MVUUF, led by Margaret Michael, will participate in the annual LGBT Lobby Day in Columbus, visiting with our legislators to support fair housing and employment for members of the LGBT community. Sponsored by Interweave.


May 12 at 12:30 p.m. - The congregation is invited to a discussion with London Coe regarding her work combatting human trafficking through Peace on Fifth, following the 11 a.m. service at which she will speak . Refreshments will be provided.


May 24 at 6 p.m. - African Dinner and Presentation on Refugee Resettlement. Women refugees from the African Christian Community will prepare a typical meal, followed by a presentation by Refugee Resettlement of Catholic Social Services on the experience of refugees during their first year of resettlement. Sponsored by the Immigrant and Refugee Action Group.


The Service Auction Is A Success!

La Mujer Caliente' was a Major Stress, ahem, I meant Success! I'm so proud of us as UUs. Many times we are busy serving the world: its people; its injustices; its health &/or; its continuity. Many times we are busy providing self-care. Mujer Caliente' was a wonderful celebration of our commitment to this Fellowship, its health and continuity. We are this fellowship and we take care of each other. We did a great job! Thank you for your service!

~Heather Schroeder


Enroll Now for A New Adult Religious Education Class

HELP TO HEAL OUR WORLD: Social Ethics, Social Justice And Congregational Engagement


Can you find the words "social justice" on the MVUUF website? Did you know that Fox News personality Glenn Beck set out to convince his audience that "social justice," . . . is a "code word" for communism and Nazism. Beck urged Christians to discuss the term with their ministers and to leave their churches if leaders would not reconsider their emphasis on social justice. Beck said, "I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!" 


Instead, run as fast as you can to sign up for this new six-week adult course, led by Bob Lewis, to help set the record straight. The course is intended primarily for both our newer members who have expressed interest in social action and for longer time members who want to deepen their understanding and appreciation for social justice work. It will be offered at the Fellowship on Thursday evenings (7 - 9 p.m.), from May 2 to June 6. According to Bob, "We will look at some of the history, including the Social Gospel movement, some of the theology informing social ethics, and many of the specific expressions and challenges of social justice work in today's complex and broken world. We'll look realistically at how we can 'help to heal our world." The course will consist of presentations (lecture, video), readings and discussion, with lots of time for sharing together. You can sign up for the course by calling the church office (436-3628).


Environmental Action Book Club
The Environmental Learning Forum Book Club will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Mon. May 20 in the Founder's Room. Our reading selection for May is "Good Dirt: Confessions of a Conservationist," by David E. Moline. Moline was head of land acquisition for The Nature Conservancy from 1972 to 1990, and in his book he reveals in a humorous style how the mission of saving land got off track and how it can be resurrected. Your Environmental Action Group has ordered a few copies from at a discounted price of $12.51 (list price $14.95). To reserve one of these copies, contact Gary Courts at 436-1094 or [email protected] Please plan to be with us on May 20 to discuss Morine's humorous conservation classic.


Bob Sima Coffeehouse Concert
Please join us for a Coffeehouse Concert on Mon. June 10. Doors open at 6:15, with potluck desserts at 6:30 p.m. with coffee and tea for your enjoyment, and concert starting at 7:00 p.m. $15 suggested donation at door, open to public - Invite a friend!


From Genevieve Harvey: I would like to introduce you to a transformational singer-songwriter, Bob Sima. Bob's gift is not simply singing to his is connecting to his audience. His lyrics are inspired by his personal journey of awareness, growth, and transformation. His delivery is humble, palpable, and universally accepted. He is able to capture, in song, what Eckhart Tolle captured through his writings and speeches. We would be honored if you would take a moment and review, listen, and - if so moved to learn more about Bob's music - visit where 5 full-length songs will play automatically. Bob Sima was a featured performer at SUUSI in July, 2012. I really enjoyed hearing and meeting him. I bought all of his CDs and spoke to him at that time about the possibility of coming to Dayton.


When Bob Sima (pronounced sEYE-ma) opens his mouth to sing what comes out is far beyond the human sounds of a warm and soulful voice. Beyond the songs, beyond the voice, beyond the stories. A lesson, a nudge, a reminder, of the simple splendor of this place and these experiences we all share. The unique beauty is his presentation of these ancient messages - the conversations he has with the master teachers of the universe - in music that lives and breathes across generations. Bob has been called "Eckhart Tolle with a guitar" and his music truly heals and expands the heart. What draws you in is his ability to share these insights in a way that grabs your listening ear, inspires your beating heart, awakens your inner spirit, and transforms your most intimate desires. Bob truly moves his audiences - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Bob is more influenced by the likes of Rumi and Gandhi than he is by Dylan and Springsteen. Part of Bob's music mission states the following: "Each and every song I channel begins as my personal conversation with Source delivered as life lessons of spiritual growth and transformation. Just as these conversations birth expansion, awakening, and remembrance in me, I share my gift to soften the hardest of hearts, widen the narrowest of smiles, loosen the tightest of grips, lighten the heaviest of loads, and thin the thickest of walls of as many souls as I can possibly reach." Bob is a nationally touring and award-winning singer-songwriter who most recently won a Positive Music Award through Empower Music & Arts for his song "How You Made Them Feel", captured "Show of the Year" at RamsHead OnStage in Annapolis MD, and received the Positive Music Association's Seal of Excellence for his album Thin Little Veil. To learn more about Bob Sima Music, visit To download free Bob Sima Music, visit


Shelley Segal Concert
Shelley Segal, Australian freethinker and recording artist, is coming to Dayton to perform at the Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Sun., May 12 at 3:00 p.m. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. The show is open to the public. Shelley is on a U.S. tour in promotion of 'An Atheist Album' and a newly released jazz album entitled 'Little March'. This concert is hosted by Freethought Dayton.  


Pride Parade 2013
For a good time call... For a great time, join us to march in the 2013 LGBT Pride Parade. This year it is on Sat., June 1. We can gather between 11:30 a.m. and 11:45 am. Step off is at noon. You will find us in front of Cooper Park near the Main Library. We will be carrying both banners. Each year, we have had great support from our fellowship. It's fun! It's festive! You can hang out with your fellow MVUUFers. You will be supporting a good cause. It's easy to do. Last year, we met at 2nd Street Market for breakfast. Also, it's important to remember, the job of building equality isn't done. We still have discrimination in housing and jobs. We still have stigma. We still do not have the right to marry whoever we choose. Marching in the parade demonstrates support for the LGBT community. 


General Assembly 2013
Anyone from the Fellowship who has attended a General Assembly--the nationwide gathering of Unitarian Universalists to meet each other, discuss, and conduct the business of the Association-can tell you what an extraordinary experience it is. This summer's General Assembly will take place in Louisville, Kentucky from June 19-23. This may be the closest that GA comes to us, so it would be great if a number of people could attend from MVUUF.


The theme of this GA is "From Promise to Commitment." Building on the experience of Justice GA, UUs will gather in Louisville to examine and renew our covenant to our faith, one another, our congregations and the larger world. Programs will explore the kinds of promises our religious communities are called to make as we seek to live out our Unitarian Universalist values; how we make these promises, with whom, and how we hold ourselves and each other accountable. Early registration will be available for adults for $330 until April 30; after May 1, adult registration will cost $380. For full details on programs, registration, and housing, and reservations, go to

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!