Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum September 1-30, 2013

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Letter from our Interim Minister




It is nice to feel that you have a home! My having had to travel away from Dayton several times since I arrived here less than a month ago -- this has heightened my appreciation of your community each time I return. For instance, do you folks realize what GREAT walking trails you have here in Montgomery, Greene, Miami and Warren counties?! I am truly enjoying this place.


MVUUF as a congregation also has been housed wonderfully in the Yankee Street meeting house for a decade. We'll be celebrating this Ten Year Anniversary at a special Sunday service on Sept. 15. On this FESTIVE occasion, we'll be hearing the stories of how MVUUF's current meeting house came to be -- from some of the very folks who helped to make it happen! There will be special music, a great Words for All Ages piece, and some surprise cameo appearances.


Part of the responsibility which falls to us as we enjoy MVUUF's home today is to make sure that it is well-maintained so that it will continue to be here for liberal religious folks in this area on into the future. With a decade-worth of wear and tear upon the building, we need to be more intentional about having funds available to make needed repairs and replacements to the building - and take measures to ensure that its structure will be protected as much as possible from the "ravages of time!" (Think new paint job, for instance!!)


Now what's a birthday without there being birthday gifts??! Thus, on the day of MVUUF's 10th birthday celebration, there will be an opportunity for every person to give a birthday gift to the building by making a special contribution earmarked for the MVUUF reserve fund for building maintenance.


In the past, there has not always been the needed money in this fund when it became necessary to do repairs or replacements. My hope is that as MVUUF embarks upon what I hope will be a wonderful second decade in this beautiful building, members and friends will step up now and give generously to make sure that the meeting house will be maintained so as to be able to welcome and house Unitarian Universalists, their programs and outreach, in southwestern Ohio in years to come!


With my warmest regards, as always,

Your interim minister,





Sermon Topics


Sept. 1 - The Affirmation Congregation Scott Leonard

What's the difference between a good audience and a great audience? A good audience listens politely. A great audience listens boisterously, lifting up the speaker's spirit and amplifying the energy in the room. From head nods to "woo-hoos!" - we'll see what a virtuous cycle of energy our affirmations can create.


Sept. 8 - Water, Water Everywhere Rev. Mary Moore and Dir. of R.E. Shannon Harper

A Multigenerational Service. We will be doing a water ceremony at MVUUF in a slightly different way this year. Please bring a sample of water from a significant place in your life - a park near your home, your kitchen sink, somewhere you've traveled - or water from a local faucet symbolizing water from these sites! We'll take a look at how water is present in various parts of the world, since working to make clean drinking water available to all is a major focus of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee at this time.


Sept. 15 - 10 Years on Yankee: Celebrating the First Decade of Our Congregation's Home Rev. Mary Moore and the Ad Hoc Building Anniversary Celebration Group

On this festive occasion, we'll hear the stories of how MVUUF's current meeting house came to be - from some of the very folks who helped to make it happen! There will be special music, a great Words for All Ages piece, some surprise cameo appearances, and an opportunity to give birthday gifts to MVUUF's building! You won't want to miss this celebration Sunday.


Sept. 22 - Learning to Live a Maladjusted LifeBob Lewis

What does it mean to live in today's world, acting as if everything is okay? How do we express in our lives the discontent of living in a world that needs to be healed? What does moral leadership look like in today's world? Do we as UUs have a moral leadership role to play?

Sept. 29 - Shepherding Rev. Mary Moore

We will dedicate Youth Religious Education teachers on this Sunday, and also explore some great, outreaching ways in which the ministry of pastoral care can be offered in a congregation the size of MVUUF - such as through S



                                                   Meet Our Members

Amanda Herbe

It is nice to be with ALL of you at this point in my journey. I officially joined MVUUF in April, however I have been a friend of the fellowship since 2007 when my neighbor introduced us.  I have had fluxes through the years on my attendance and involvement, the most recent years being my most scarce. When I came back to the fellowship this January, I was met with open arms (literally & figuratively). That first day back at the fellowship I felt something very powerful around me and in me, I home. I was reconnected to a part of my spiritual journey that I had diverged from for some time. I am also among the group at the church that is employed at Wright State University and am newly married. 

I am from Cincinnati, Ohio and first came to Dayton to attend WSU. I have a B.A. in Communication Studies, a M.Ed. in Student Affairs of Higher Education, and currently work in undergraduate admissions. Beyond 'what pays the bills' I have many interests that include yoga, hiking, walking dogs (I have a 12-year-old long-hair Chihuahua and a newly adopted 6-year-old Catahoula Leopard dog), travel, live music, dancing, reading, eating, cooking, and almost anything that has to do with water. Thanks for reading and I look forward to meeting you! 

Steve Grove

A native of Minnesota, Steve grew up on a dairy farm but found intellectual fodder at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He met David, his first husband, in 1970 when he attended the University of Iowa. They bought a home together while working on graduate degrees. Steve took his MA in English in 1974 and an MA in Library Science.

In 1985, they moved to Berea, Ohio, purchasing their second home. While David completed his law degree at Cleveland Marshall, Steve had the opportunity to direct an interior design library as his first professional job. This was followed by work in many types of libraries - academic, public, business and medical.

After David died in 1992, Steve continued his professional career in the Cleveland area. He met his second husband, Roger, and they lived in Berea until 2009, when Steve took a job with the U.S. Air Force, leaving Roger to work in Cleveland. After a year in San Antonio, Texas, Steve was transferred to Dayton to direct a large military medical library. He officially retired in June 2012, but continues to work as a reference librarian substitute for both Dayton Metro and Greene County Public library systems. Steve happily inhabits an apartment in Yellow Springs and loves the culture, people and wooded environs of the village. You can reach him at 


Around the Fellowship



MVUUF has had many new members since our last photo directory - not to mention a new interim minister! We are pleased to announce that the Fellowship is on the schedule with LifeTouch Photography to create an updated members photo directory.


LifeTouch will be at the Fellowship from Oct. 23 to 26 to take photos of members and their families. Every member that participates will get a free 8x10 portrait and an opportunity to purchase additional prints in a variety of packages. Just in time for Christmas cards! To volunteer to assist with hosting duties, contact Christina Tomazinis and Jamie McQuinn.


The Fall Bazaar will be held from 10 am to 3 pm Saturday, Nov. 2 - mark your calendars to get some of your holiday shopping done while supporting the Fellowship!

Consider volunteering to help make this year's Bazaar a huge success. Contact Brianna Kempe at, 513-84-496, or Jenny Oest. We'll find a job that fits your skills, availability and desire to help support our beloved community.

Host a booth: Contact Jenny Oest about table space and costs of setting up as a vendor.

General help: Volunteer with advertising, coordinating, set up and strike.
Staff a booth: Help with refreshments, raffle, last-minute sales booths, and relief coverage during breaks.
Support: We'll need breakfast casseroles and sandwiches for our refreshments table, donations for the book sale, and more.
Put up ads: They're needed in all the communities we frequent.
Shop 'til you drop! All proceeds go to helping MVUUF thrive and grow.



On Sept. 15, the Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our move to our Yankee Street home. Hear from some of the many, many generous people who helped make the move happen - it truly took the village. We will use this time of celebration to ask for special donations to help maintain this sacred space. Please come prepared with a generous donation to add to our capital maintenance fund!


Your Environmental Action Group will host an intergenerational outing after service on Sunday, Sept. 22 - the date of the autumnal equinox - at nearby Cox Arboretum. Cox, one of our most beautiful MetroParks, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. We will start with a picnic lunch about 12:30 pm (bring a picnic lunch as well as a blanket or lawn chairs), followed about 2 pm by guided tours of the grounds and trails by MVUUF members who are also MetroParks volunteers or employees. (You do not have to be present for the picnic to go on the tours). All MVUUF members, families and friends are invited to this afternoon of fun, facts, festivity, and fellowship.



What better way to connect with your beginner's mind than by learning from the most valuable teachers in our congregation-the children? Sign-up sheets for the new school year are in the Gathering Space. Full-year, half-year and substitute teachers welcome. For more information, contact Shannon Harper, Heather Holland Schroeder, or Robin Shampton. We are seeking:

- 4 Nursery Volunteers (once a month)

- 4 Prep Room Volunteers (once a month)

- 3-4 Preschool, Kindergarten-2nd grade, 3rd-5th grade, 6th-8th grade, and 9th-12th grade Teachers (the more teachers you have on your team, the more Sundays you can attend service)

- 3 Jr. High Youth Group Advisors and 3 Sr. High Youth Group Advisors

- 2 Children's Worship Leaders (1st Sunday of each month)



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.

Sept. 8: Whatever Happened To Astrology? Moderator: Brad Kochunas

Sept. 15: Destroying A Good Reputation

Sept. 22: Our Constitution Is Adequate To Govern Modern American Society Moderators: Roger Davis and Lucy Anne McKosky

Sept. 29: Sports Trivia Moderator: Bruce Baker


This fall, we continue our long Fellowship tradition of encouraging, practicing and polishing our compassionate communication skills. Our Fall 2013 Series of 10 sessions begins at 7 pm Thursday, Sept. 19 and meets weekly through Nov. 21.


The series will be facilitated by Denny Smith and follow the chapter sequence of Marshall Rosenberg's definitive text, Nonviolent Communication - A Language of Life (which is recommended, not required, reading). Other materials, music and in-class exercises will encourage the fundamental thought patterns that help move Compassionate Communication into natural and habitual thought and speech. Contact or 937-321-1128.


"Building Your own Theology," a classic UU curriculum, will be offered at 7 pm Thursdays from Sept. 19 through Nov. 7 in the Founders Room at MVUUF. The series is designed to help UUs clarify their own individual values and beliefs. At the end of the class, participants will write their own personal credo statement. Contact Ann Snively.


A New UU class is being offered for new and prospective members to deepen your understanding of Unitarian Universalist history, theology, worship, governance, membership. Eight sessions will run from 9:30 to 10:45 am on Sundays starting Sept. 22. Sign up in the gathering space or call the church office, 937-436-3628.


The Library Workgoup held its first meeting in August and set an ambitious schedule for MVUUF's current collection. We will use an online electronic system to catalog what we have, ensure nameplates are in all books, then organize the books on the shelves into better categories to help people find the knowledge they are looking for. Please pardon the shuffling of furniture and tables during our workdays!


Helpers are needed. If you are available, we would love to have you (and ideally your smartphone or laptop) join us from 10 am to 2 pm Thursday and Friday, Sept. 12 and 13 and/or from noon to 5 pm Saturday, Sept. 14. A potluck celebration follows the Saturday work day. Contact Adrienne Clark, MVUUF librarian, or Laura Vondenhuevel, communications rep.



The MVUUF Religious Fiction Book Club will hold its first meeting at 7 pm Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the Fellowship. We will discuss the novel A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. All MVUUF members & friends are welcome. Discussion leaders will rotate monthly, and all areas of fiction will be included. Books selected are available at the public library or online.


Future selections 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,



All MVUUF members and friends are invited to our next monthly discussion in the Founder's Room at 7 pm Monday, Sept. 16. We will discuss Deep Economy: The Wealth Of Communities And The Durable Future by noted writer and environmental activist Bill McKibben.


McKibben argues against the prevailing concept of continuous economic growth, because Earth does not have enough resources to support this ideal. He instead makes a compelling case for creating prosperity through more localized economies.


For more information or a discounted copy ($11.41), contact Environmental Action chairman Gary Courts at 937-436-1094 or



Regular meetings are at 7 pm on the second Tuesday of the month at Christopher's Restaurant, 2318 Dorothy Lane, Kettering. Contact Ann Snively or Ruth Rowley.

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



CUUPS will have an informational booth from 10 am to 5 pm Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Dayton Pagan Pride Day celebration at Eastwood MetroPark, a day of celebrating the "Everyday Pagan" and the Autumnal Equinox or Mabon, as the holiday is commonly known.


After the event, come back to MVUUF and join us at 7 pm for our Autumnal Equinox ritual and potluck. Email or see Shannon Heather.


At 12:30 pm Sunday, Sept. 8 in the Founders room, we will hold a business meeting to review and update our Statement Of Purpose and membership definition, and to discuss the nominating and election of new offices for our group.


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! All of our September events will be posted at



Our group now meets at 7 pm on the fourth Thursday of the month. New members welcome. The next meeting will be Sept. 22 in Classroom Five.


A big thanks to the many members of the Fellowship who gave so generously to the "Tree of Knowledge" school supplies collection. A whole carload of donations was delivered to Mr. Hubert Matumaini, coordinator of the Welcome Centers of the Dayton Public Schools for refugee and immigrant school children. Three members of the Action Group are now serving as academic mentors to refugee children through the Welcome Centers. More mentors are always needed. Contact Maureen O'Meara.

Anwyl Scott is recruiting volunteers to work with her team setting up apartments for newly arrived immigrants through Catholic Social Services. CSS also needs volunteers to provide services such as transportation to appointments. (All CSS volunteers must fill out an application and complete a background check.)

Sept. 13-14 - Dayton World Soccer Games at Action Sports

Sept. 21 - Comprehensive Immigration Reform rally in Springfield. The July rally was attended by about 500 people. Participants will march from the Clark State parking lot to Rep. John Boehner's office. A free charter bus is available for all those interested in traveling from Dayton to Springfield. Contact Heather Atkinson to reserve a seat:

Sept. 29 - The Dayton International Peace Museum will begin an exhibit on immigration.

Thank you for the non-pledged offertory donations during June, July and August which benefited the Reach Out Free Clinic. Check your Sunday bulletins for the recipient of this fall's donations. The Humanitarian Giving Action Group will meet at 6 pm Wednesday, Sept. 18. Contact Shirley Gezinski.


Smart Choices will meet to celebrate birthdays on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 11:30 am at MCL Cafeteria at the corner of Far Hills and David avenues in Kettering. For more information, contact Allie Peterson at


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!