Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  May 16-31, 2013

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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 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 - As I Walk Through The Valley, Joel Araujo

~Having faith is easy when you're doing well. There's nothing to challenge it, no need to review it. However, faith is usually tested during times of crisis. While UUism offers the theological freedom to change one's beliefs, that freedom comes at a price. Join Joel Araujo as he explores the events that test our faith, and what a UU response could look like.

                                                   Meet Our Members


My name is Diane Colvin. "Signing the book" at MVUUF was an important step for me. I've spent most of my adult life as a semi-professional church musician, playing piano and organ for numerous Christian denominations. Having retired from that weekly commitment, I was at loose ends, church-wise, and decided to visit the MVUUF. I started attending on Sundays, enjoyed the morning book club, took the 7-week course on UUism with Bob Lewis and others and eventually decided to make this fellowship my spiritual home. I appreciate the diversity of thought and the acceptance of these variances. I've already shared my musical abilities at the piano on a few occasions and I've made friends in the women's group as well as the book club. I look forward to finding more ways to contribute to the life and mission of the MVUUF in the months and years to come. Oh yes, I'm married to Joe Colvin (50+ years) and retired from Graceworks Lutheran Services. Three grown children, 5 grands and 2 great-grandchildren!

Around the Fellowship


Community Discussion Group

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.

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

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.



Memorial Day Service
Our Memorial Day service is Sun., May 26. If you've lost a loved one this year and would like them remembered during this service, please let Kristin know no later than Thu., May 23. Unfortunately, we are unable to recognize pets during this service.


Teacher Appreciation Breakfast
Our Teacher Appreciation Breakfast is 9:30 a.m. on Sun., June 2. Please sign up in the G. S. to bring food or help with clean-up or set-up. This is a wonderful way to honor our tireless R.E. volunteers. Any questions, contact Robin Shampton at


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

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.


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 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


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!