Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum August 1-31, 2013

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Letter from our Interim Minister




Well, I have toured MVUUF's meeting house - and my tour guide, a member of your Board of Trustees, might have said with some validity that I was "burbling" as I expressed my delight at your very aesthetic, functional, inviting facility.


I have learned about - and have been most impressed with - MVUUF's extensive social justice activities in the Dayton area community.


At the annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Louisville, Ky. in June:

* I got to see Shannon Harper, MVUUF Director of Religious Education, given great acclaim as she offered some satirical reflections on the "perks" of working with youth programing - in front of the whole gathered GA at the Bridging Ceremony which honors UU youth from across the continent as they become young adults.

* I got to celebrate as Elizabeth Buffington Nguyen was honored for receiving Preliminary Fellowship status as a UU minister at the Service of the Living Tradition, with her mother, Lynn Buffington, and other MVUUF members proudly in attendance.

* I got to hear MVUUF member, Joe Law, sing in the General Assembly Choir

* I got to meet, attend activities and dine with a number of other MVUUF folks there.


Now, beginning on August 1, I will have the opportunity to meet, get to know, and work with everyone at MVUUF during this upcoming two-year Interim Period - and I am really looking forward to doing this! I will be at MVUUF both mornings and afternoons, Monday through Wednesday - unless I have an evening meeting to attend. Thursday is my usual sermon-writing day and I plan to take Friday as my day off. I will be setting up some "Drop In Office Hours" times, for I very much want to get to know you and to learn, from each of you, your thoughts and ideas about the past, present and future of MVUUF.


I also hope that there will be some fellowship and fun (in addition to some hard work)

along the way, too!


It will be good to walk together with MVUUF as you go through this Interim Period.


With my warmest regards, as always,

Your interim minister,




Sermon Topics


Aug. 4 - Walking The Way Together For Awhile Rev. Mary Moore

~As we proceed along the path of transition, what can and should we expect - both of the interim ministry and of ourselves? How can we rise to the opportunities as we walk together on the path, making ours a holy pilgrimage in which we find our own "heroic way"?


Aug. 11 - So What's Spiritual About Being A Congregation Member? Rev. Mary Moore

Membership in a Unitarian Universalist congregation has its privileges, its joys and its responsibilities - and there is also a spiritual side to being a member.

Please join us on this morning as we celebrate the ingathering of new members and reflect upon the meaning of membership in a UU congregation.


Aug. 18 - 31 Days Of Social Justice Ria Megnin

What happens when you commit to taking action for social justice each day for an entire month? Please bring a donation to the Aug. 18 service of non-perishable food and/or school and office supplies to benefit the Wesley Center of Dayton.


Aug. 25 - Dr. King's Dream, 50 Years Later: Deployed, Denied, Deferred? Rev. Mary Moore

On this weekend when people will be marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, we will be focusing upon what the ongoing legacy of the speech is today. 


                                                   Meet Our Members


My name is Don Heffner. I have been coming to the Fellowship for three years. I really value being able to talk with others about my spirituality. As a pagan, I do not have a central, sacred book to follow. A lot of my tradition is transferred verbally or through ritual and symbol.


When I started coming to MVUUF, I started to find the answers to some of my questions about my path. I found a lot of good people here and I felt accepted. Now I give back - for example, I gave a gift to Amy Russell when she left, I help with the teens, and I enjoy helping in the background.


I actually help people in ways I didn't know I could. I can now guide others.



Around the Fellowship




Alice Diebel, Joe Law, Bob Lewis & Phil Wise


General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association is always a stimulating five days of incredible worship, rousing music, stimulating workshops, inspiring initiatives, and kind people.


This year was special, though, because it was so well attended by MVUUF! Shannon Harper provided the homily for the Synergy Worship Service (bridging youth to young adults). Elizabeth Nguyen received preliminary fellowship as a UU Minister. Alice Diebel, Joe Law, Bob Lewis, and Phil Wise served as MVUUF's delegates to the assembly, and Barb Weber was an alternate delegate.


Joe also sang in the GA choir, and Alice represented UUJO during the recognition of state advocacy networks. We also saw Lynn Buffington, Catherine Queener, Edwin Fuller, Leslie Woodward and Chuck Thomas. We also met our incoming interim minister, Rev. Mary Moore.


Part of the work of the delegate is to consider and vote on the issues on the agenda, which the congregations have helped create. MVUUF voted at the January Congregational Meeting to place the Proposed Statement of Conscience on Immigration as a Moral Issue on the assembly agenda for consideration. Our congregation had discussed the proposed statement and suggested language to include, and we're happy to report our major suggestion was incorporated. The statement passed, creating a timeline of social justice history for our faith. These statements also enable and encourage congregations and UUA leaders to speak to this issue.


The assembly also passed three Actions of Immediate Witness: (1) Amend the Constitution to state that corporations are not persons and money is not speech; (2) condemn the racist mistreatment of young men of color by police; and (3) consider divestment from the fossil fuel industry. The text of these statements will be available at the website in the coming weeks.


There was a lot of energy at this assembly. We said goodbye to our Moderator of 10 years, Gini Courter. She taught us all a lot about how to "be" with one another and is a prophetic voice in her own right. We elected Jim Key to replace her in a very close vote. Both candidates for moderator seemed very capable, but those of us who are GA junkies know things will be different.


While we have learned a lot about democracy from experiencing our plenary sessions at GA, the process of representation has been criticized for years. Efforts to make GA "more democratic" and more representative by lowering the bar for participation are being considered. For example, this year off-site delegates participated through teleconference.


If GA were only about the plenary, it seems we could do most of our business that way. But GA is about so much more, as noted at the start. If you get the chance, we encourage your participation. And getting the chance will soon be easier-the assembly will be in Columbus in 2015!



Amazingly, MVUUF has called 8690 Yankee Street our home for 10 years! If you would like to help plan and/or coordinate an anniversary celebration to help mark this special date, please contact Shannon Heather at 937-397-6517 or email



Aug. 4: The Importance Of The Individual Moderator: Joe Lawrence

Aug. 11: Move To Amend Moderator: Bob Lewis

Aug. 18: The Brequet Range Equation Moderator: Mike Coalson

Aug. 25: Are Islam and Democracy Compatible? 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.



MVUUF Members & Friends interested in exploring religious themes and ideas in popular fiction are invited to meet at 12:30 pm, Sunday, August 18 in the Sanctuary to organize a new book discussion group. We hope to meet monthly for casual discussion of a chosen novel, play or short story. Discussion leaders would rotate monthly, and all areas of fiction would be included.   Books selected should be available at the public library or online.  Possibilities might include modern fiction (The Life of Pi by Yann Martel), older fiction (Billy Budd by Herman Melville), Buddhism (Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse), Jewish culture (My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok), humanism (A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens), religious extremism (The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood), humor (Letters From the Earth by Mark Twain) or drama (Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw). All suggestions are welcome. For more information, contact John Bierman, 



Our August meeting will take place in the Founder's Room at 7 pm on Monday, Aug. 19. The reading/discussion selection is The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding, writer and environmental activist.Gilding, former head of Greenpeace International, contends that global climate change is just one facet of a pending global collapse due to overexploitation of resources. To keep from hitting the bottom, humankind must begin a transition toward building a sustainable economy based on quality of life and harmony with Earth's ecosystems. Copies of The Great Disruption may be available at area libraries. has hardcover copies available at a discounted price of $16.96 and a Kindle edition for $9.39 (list price is $25). For more information, contact Gary Courts, Chairman of the Environmental Action Group. 



August 21 - The Space Between Us, by Thrifty Umrigar

September TBD - Run, by Ann Patchett

October TBD - Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and The Search for Identity, by Andrew Solomon

November TBD - A Painted House, by John Grisham

 December TBD - A Christmas Memory, by Truman Capote

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! 



Regular meetings are 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

or Ruth Rowley.

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



Smart Choices will meet to celebrate birthdays on Thursday, August 22 at 11:30 am. They will have the private room at MCL Cafeteria at the corner of Far Hills and David avenues. For more information, contact Allie Peterson.



We will be gathering to celebrate together the cross-quarter high day, Lammas/Lughnasad, the first of the three harvest festivals, on August 3rd. We will be gathering and socializing starting at 6:30 pm, ritual to start at 7 pm, and we will follow it with a potluck. Please bring a dish to share. This ritual is being written and coordinated by Don.


Our normal Sunday discussion group will be held at 12:30 pm August 11, after service in the Founder's Room. Topic will be announced via our email list, the Facebook page, and our Google sites page on the calendar.


All Chalice of the Willow events are open to the entire MVUUF community & community at large. You do not have to be a Pagan to come, we have many members that are Pagan, some are Pagan interested, and others just want to come and support us. We welcome all! For more information, contact Shannon Heather or email us at



The Immigrant and Refugee Action Group will no longer meet on the first Sunday of the month; we will now meet on the fourth Thursday of each month.


This month, the date is Aug. 22.


Tree Of Knowledge School Supplies Collection

The Immigrant and Refugee Action Group is sponsoring a collection of needed school supplies for immigrant and refugee children in the Dayton Public Schools, grades K-8. The collection will continue until Sunday, August 11, since the first day of school is August 15.

Stop by the colorful Tree of Knowledge display in the Gathering Space on the glass looking into the Sanctuary to pick up an apple or two with a list of needed items. Return your donations to the tree by August 11. If you have questions, contact Shirley Gezinski or Maureen O'Meara.


The Humanitarian Giving Action Group welcomes non-pledge donations this month to benefit the Reach Out Free Clinic. Located close to the Miami Valley Hospital, this clinic provides basic care to those in need. Our Committee recognizes there is a huge need in our area for health care to those who can least afford it and Reach Out Free Clinic is providing that care.


The Action Group will meet at 6 pm Wednesday, Aug. 28 and decide the next three months of basket giving. For more information, see Allie Peterson.


The Humanitarian Giving Committee is hosting a "baby shower" for Wesley Center attendees. There is alarge box in the Gathering Space for those who wish to donate any baby item.



These free films with snacks are on alternate Fridays at 7 p.m. in the Founders Room. Feel free to bring friends and family. If you like, stay after for discussion. Movie descriptions excerpted from


August 9 - The People Speak "Inspired by Howard Zinn's bestsellers... this star-studded documentary takes an unguarded look at our nation's decades-long struggle with the pressing issues of war, race, class, and women's rights. Viggo Mortenson, Danny Glover, Marisa Tomei, Matt Damon, and Kerry Washington, and other Hollywood stars stage impassioned readings of historical testimonies by the people who helped to shape our country's socio-political landscape, including Langston Hughes, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglas, and Bob Dylan. Additional actors assume the roles of labor leaders, civil rights demonstrators, abolitionists, and various other trailblazers who weren't afraid to speak out during some of the more turbulent periods in our nation's history."


August 23 - The Central Park Five A Ken Burns 2012 documentary. "In l989, five black and Latino teenagers were arrested and charged for brutally attacking and raping a white female jogger in Central Park. News media swarmed the case, calling it 'the crime of the century.' But the truth about what really happened didn't become clear until after the five had spent years in prison for a crime they didn't commit." Descriptions from


Have you been attending MVUUF for a while and are considering membership? Please attend a "Joining Session" to explore the rights and responsibilities of membership in this beloved community. The next session will be held on Sunday, August 11, at 12:30 pm. For more information, contact Alice Diebel at or 937-350-7763.



If you are a new or prospective member of the Fellowship and want to learn more about what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist, this course is for you. The New UU is a series of seven 75-minute workshops addressing important themes in Unitarian Universalist congregational life, including worship and theology, UU history, covenant and polity, spiritual growth and faith development, social justice and membership. Led by Bob Lewis, and assisted by Rev. Mary Moore, the course begins at 9:30 am on Sunday, September 22. Each class session will last from 9:30 - 10:45 am. The class will be held in one of the classrooms in the RE wing of the Fellowship.Childcare is available. Each workshop provides an opportunity for you to interact and share with others your own experiences. There will be lots of time to raise questions, dialogue with others, and explore more deeply.This course is intended to:* introduce newcomers to Unitarian Universalism* equip participants to make a decision about membership in a Unitarian Universalist congregation* provide information related to Unitarian Universalist worship, theology, history, social justice, religious education, and governance* provide resources within and outside the congregation for participants to explore topics independently.You may sign up for the course in the Gathering Space, by contacting the church office at 937-436-3628 or, or by contacting Bob Lewis at 937-350-7763 or 


Next lunch is August 10.
Menu for Aug 10: meat loaf, hot vegetable (green beans, greens, etc.), fresh fruit salad, 100% juice (with bread and milk from the St. Vincent pantry).  
*Please bring all items, heated if applicable, to 120 W. Apple St. in Dayton (St. Vincent de Paul Hotel) by 10:30 a.m. Sign up in the Gathering Space.Thanks to all who contributed in July, with a first for 2013: all slots signed-up for well in advance of the meal! Feel free to call Lynn at 937-657-0426 if you have any questions.
**Good weather activities and travels seem to have left us with fewer donations than needed lately. To meet our needs, some members have had to bring two and three menu items. Please help in feeding those in need. Feel free to call Lynn at 657-0426 if you have any questions.**


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!