Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF Building by Lew Hann

MVUUF Forum  October 1-16, 2013

Quick Links

Letter from our Interim Minister




I wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to read the letter of congratulation on the 10th Anniversary of MVUUF meeting house from Rev. Lisa Presley, Congregational Life Consultant for MidAmerica UU Region of which MVUUF is a part.


"Dear Friends,

I understand that today you are celebrating ten years (10 years!!) in your "new" building and location! Congratulations to you all for what you accomplished then, and how you live your lives today.


It took courage to decide to build a new space, move into a new neighborhood, and start out afresh in your adventure of being a congregation. It took dedication, hard work, and lots of money to make that dream come true. It took so many people, so many hours, so many decisions (big and small), and so much sense of the future to make that decision. The people who were there then, and many of you are still here now, took a brilliant gamble for the future.


Today, you are celebrating that gamble! Ten years is a mighty long time, and a mighty short time, and no matter what, it is great that you celebrate all that you have accomplished. Be proud of yourself, and enjoy your day.


And then, next week, start asking yourself this question: what is it that we want to be able to celebrate together ten years from now? How do we want to build on who we have been and what we have done, and what are we called to do? What does our community need from us? What do our fellow UU congregations and congregants need from us? How can we best serve to transform the world, and pull the arc of justice a little closer to the earth? What, then, do we want to celebrate? Ponder well, then take the same kind of bold, generous, and daring gamble that the people did who brought you to this day.


So, congratulations! Celebrate! And then, get cracking!


With deep love and affection for you all (including the building),


Rev. Lisa Presley 


Congregational Life Consultant                                                                                              

MidAmerica Region


(formerly District Executive of the Heartland District, who truly loves you, and your building!)"


I, too, am so very proud of MVUUF's accomplishment in building this meeting house a decade ago and join with Lisa in looking forward to the congregation putting the building to use as it carries out the work of helping to heal our world.



With my warmest regards, as always,

Your interim minister,





Sermon Topics


Oct. 6 - Raise Your Hand If You're Willing To Help Out: A Look at Volunteering Today - Rev. Mary Moore


Oct. 13 - Sanctuary-members of the congregation

During this service, we will examine the idea of sanctuary. What has that meant historically? What does it mean to us now? Is sanctuary a physical place or an emotional state? How do we get it? How can we protect it and share it at the same time?  These questions and others will help us reflect on how the concept of sanctuary is manifested in our spiritual practices and our everyday lives. 


Oct. 20 - We Are Family: Honoring the Families of LGBT People - Rev. Mary Moore and Joe Law

Every year, on a Sunday around the time of National Coming Out Day, we honor our LGBT members and friends, but this year we would like to honor their families as well.  Join us for this special celebration.


Oct. 27 - "Celebrating Samhain" - Rev. Mary Moore and Shannon Heather
Once again it is the season of remembering as we move into the next wheel of the year. Many cultures celebrate this time through rituals and ceremonies such as Day of the Dead, Samhain (pronounced Sow-in), and All Soul's Day. On this Sunday,  we will be continuing our tradition of honoring those loved ones (furry/feathered children included) who have passed from our lives as well as our ancestors.


We will again be having an altar dedicated to those who have crossed the veil, so please remember to bring your mementos, photos, the person's favorite food/flowers/item, anything that connects you with them on this Sunday.


 If you know you will not be able to come on this morning but wish to contribute something to the altar please contact Shannon Heather at or 937-397-6517 to make arrangements.



                                                   New Member Corner

Ria Megnin


My students at Stivers School for the Arts say I have a story for everything-and it does feel like I've packed more into 34 years than many people get to! Growing up in Massachusetts, I was a troublemaking tomboy geek who loved singing in my progressive Episcopal church's youth choir and writing stories. I hit my stride on the high school track team and ran right through college, winning some Division III national records in the high jump. I spent the next 10 years writing and editing for newspapers back home and in Monterey, CA, while learning Compassionate Communication skills and how to lead women's groups. (I also picked up a certificate in massage therapy, a black belt in Seibukan Jujitsu, took the amazing OWL for adults program at the Monterey Penninsula UU during its pilot year, practiced leadership skills co-running a 200-person camp at the Burning Man Arts & Music Festival for four years, and, oh, lots of other stuff.) I discovered Dayton in 2010, fell in love with the innovative, evolving spirit of this Midwestern community of entrepreneurs, and found a home with the MVUUF community. And on October 5, all signs point to wedding bells for my beloved Adam Lucas and I, right here in our beautiful sanctuary. Thanks everyone for creating such a safe and enriching garden for this flutterby to land!


Around the Fellowship...




The Board has appointed a Transition Team (TT) to facilitate the Fellowship's journey through our Interim Period. Transition Team members are Joe Law, Trudy Krisher, Bonnie Thompson, Edwin Fuller (co-chair), and Barb Weber (co-chair).


The TT will be working closely with our Interim Minister, Mary, with the Board and with other Fellowship leaders for the next two years. When Mary's ministry ends, the Transition Team will disband to make space for the new minister.


 Our role is to assist in the Interim tasks. We will serve as "eyes and ears" for Mary here at MVUUF. We will help her in the challenging work of encouraging all of us to explore who we are now, who we want to become and how we will get there.


We will also help keep the congregation informed about the Interim process and tasks, including the search for our next settled minister. We will not be the Search Committee, which the congregation will elect in the coming months. But we will monitor the progress of the search and assist in communication about it.


Communication will be a big part of what we do, so watch for announcements in this space as well as in Sunday bulletins, the news list and other formats. In particular, we will shortly erect a visual map of the tasks in the Interim process, so that everyone can know how far the Fellowship is on this journey into our future and what further steps are expected.


Communication is a two-way street, so there will also be opportunities for you to share. We will want to hear how you think things are going and what your dreams are for our beloved community and how you envision us all bringing these dreams to fruition.


Please let us know if you have questions, concerns or kudos. The road ahead is full of exciting possibilities for us all! --Barb Weber, Transition Team Co-chair




The MVUUF Board, Transition Team and the Program Council met in a leadership retreat on Saturday, September 21, moderated by Sarah Clavez from the MidAmerica Region of the UUA.    This interim minister startup workshop was held to help the fellowship leaders focus our work for the next two years during our transition period.  We explored in depth the following questions: who are we, who do we want to be, and how do we get there.  Great discussion and ideas came forward from our group of motivated leaders here at MVUUF.  The Transition Team will provide more information and updates as we move forward with implementing ideas that were created at this retreat.  The Transition Team will also be looking for congregational input during this period.




Yes, you can still be fired for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered in Ohio, and many places in America. ENDA is a legislation to end housing and job discrimination against LGBT folks. Equality Ohio is working hard to get this passed. On Sunday, October 6, Equality Ohio will be here to update us on the status of the legislation and to tell us what we can do to help. Please plan to attend after service, 12:30 p.m., in the Founders Room. There may be a vote mid-October. Many of us have attended Equality Ohio Lobby Day working to get similar legislation passed in Ohio. To me, it is discouraging that we must still be working toward this goal. The good news is that we could make it happen this time on a national level. Questions? Please contact  




Sharon Harmer will once again be bringing a limited number of the Voter's Guide (compiled by the League of Women Voters) to the Fellowship on Sunday, October 20. Additionally, this guide will also be published in conjunction with the Times newspapers about October 17.




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 October 23-26 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.




Once again it is the season of remembering as we move into the next wheel of the year. Many cultures celebrate this time through rituals and ceremonies such as Day of the Dead, Samhain (pronounced Sow-in), and All Soul's Day. On Sunday, October 27 we will be continuing our tradition of honoring those loved ones (furry/feathered children included) who have passed from our lives as well as our ancestors. We will again be having an altar dedicated to those who have crossed the veil so please remember to bring your mementos, photos, the person's favorite food/flowers/item, anything that connects you with them, that Sunday. If you know you will not be able to come that morning but wish to contribute something to the altar please contact Shannon Heather at  or 937-397-6517 to make arrangements.




CUUPs (Covenant of UU Pagans) would like to invite everyone to participate with them in a Day of the Dead celebration on Friday, November 1, hosted by the Missing Peace Art Space (234 S. Dutoit Street, Dayton, 45402). There will be a parade through downtown ending at the Missing Peace where there will be performances, art, and traditional altars, as well as merry making of all sorts! It is even more fun when you dress up in costume! You can find more information and photos on their Facebook page (search for Dia de los Muertos Dayton), through Missing Peace Art Space's website ( or talk to Shannon Heather.



The Fall Bazaar will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, November 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.




Have you noticed the  increasing amount of music on Sunday mornings? A prelude and a postlude have been added to the program. There are more songs and responses to sing. The choir is back and special music is included when the choir is not singing. All of this adds to the joy of coming together for an hour of celebration and learning. Music brings us together and lifts our spirits.


We believe that there is even more musical talent hidden in the Fellowship, so the music committee at MVUUF is hosting a special Music Night on Friday, November 8. We want to provide a casual, non-threatening way to let all of you who are not now participating musically to do so, along with some of you who regularly share your talents.  If you play an instrument with strings or keys, you can be heard. If you like to sing but would prefer to be part of a group, you can join in with others who will be forming some small groups for this event. Soloists or groups should plan to share music with the Fellowship during this Friday "fun-night" at MVUUF.  It's an opportunity you won't want to miss.


If you would like to participate, please contact a member of the music committee: Joe Zimmerman (, Kate Santucci ( ), Diane Colvin (, or Joe Law (




  • October 6th - Children's Worship 11 am; Jr. and Sr. High Youth Groups 7:00 p.m.
  • October 20th - YRE Committee Meeting (open to everyone) 12:30 p.m. in Classroom #5
  • October 27th - Costume Parade during service - Come dressed up! Middle School and Sr. High classes will attend all of service this Sunday.
  • November 3rd - Children's Worship 11:00 a.m. Jr. and Sr. High Youth Groups 7:00 p.m.          Sr. Highers also have the option of attending a Youth Conference in Indianapolis this weekend (registration to come)
  • November 15th-17th - MVUUF will host a Spirituality Development Youth conference; open to all teens in 9th-12th grades and adults who volunteer with teens(registration info to come)
  • November 17th - YRE Committee Meeting (open to everyone) 12:30 p.m. in Classroom #5
  • November 24th - Multi-Generational Thanksgiving Service and Potluck



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.

October 6: Stages of Religious Development   Moderator: Joe Law

October 13: Thoughts on Syria   Moderator: Diane Dermody

October 20: Religious Humanism   Moderators: Michael Horn

October 27: Reflections on our Discussion Group   Moderator: Jim Faulconer



This fall, we continue our long Fellowship tradition of encouraging, practicing and polishing our compassionate communication skills. Our Fall 2013 Series of 10 sessions began at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 19 and meets weekly through November 21.


The series is facilitated by Denny Smith and follows 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 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 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays from September 19 through November 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. The sessions began September 22and will continue through November 10, 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.on Sundays. Sign up in the gathering space or call the church office, 937-436-3628.




The MVUUF Religious Fiction Book Club will hold its second meeting at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 22 at the Fellowship.We will discuss the novel The Life of Pi by Yann Martel.  All MVUUF members & friends are welcome. For more information, contact John Bierman,




October 16 - Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and The Search for Identity, by Andrew SolomonNovember 20 - A Painted House, by John Grisham

December 11 - A Christmas Memory, by Truman Capote

January TBD - The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander and Cornel WestFebruary TBD - American Gods, by Neil Gaiman (fiction)

March TBD - Behind the Kitchen Door, by Saru Jayaraman

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! Contact Janice Beers, 937-836-7166. 




Regular meetings are at 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at Christopher's Restaurant, 2318 Dorothy Lane, Kettering. Contact Ann Snively or Ruth Rowley.

October 8 - Elsewhere, by Richard Russo

November 12 - The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis

December 10 - Marmee and Louisa, by Eva LaPlante




October 13 will be our next discussion group with the topic TBA via our Facebook page, email group, and Google calendar.  We will be finalizing some of the changes made to our formal Statement of Purpose and our new leadership for the coming year briefly before we proceed to discussion.


On October 26, we will be having our Samhain celebration at MVUUF.  We are planning on starting with a short ritual involving ridding ourselves of (the often unhealthy) spiritual ties we have to others for those who wish to participate.  After the ritual and potluck dinner, the big event is the return of the candlelight labyrinth to MVUUF!  From approximately 8:00 p.m. to midnight, come and join in this peaceful, meditative space that we will create in the Sanctuary and walk a candlelight path for those wishing to spend some quiet time in solitude and reflection.  Even if you do not want to be present or participate in the ritual, the labyrinth is open to everyone.


All Chalice of the Willow events are open to the entire MVUUF community. 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 spend time with us. We welcome all!


We hope you will join us.  For more information contact Shannon Heather or email us at





Our group now meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month. New members welcome. The next meeting will be October 24 in Classroom Five.


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.)




The Humanitarian Giving Action Group will meet at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 16, in the Founders Room. The group has designated Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio for 20% of basket giving during the months of September, October and November. Contact Shirley Gezinski.





Smart Choices will meet to celebrate birthdays on Thursday, October 24 at 11:30 a.m. at MCL Cafeteria (at the corner of Far Hills and David Avenues in Kettering). For more information, or to RSVP, contact Allie Peterson at





Please join us in our longstanding 2nd Saturday ministry serving lunch to homeless and/or low income women and families. If you are thinking of helping at St. Vincent's but would like a bit more information, please pick up one of the information half-sheets from the table near the windows in the Gathering Space. October 12 Menu: Lasagna (or other pasta dish with meat and tomato sauce),   green salad (dressed or send a bottle of salad dressing, - ranch dressing is popular at St. Vincent's), fresh fruit salad or cooked apples or applesauce, and 100% juice (we will also use stock in the St. Vincent pantry for milk and garlic bread). We need four to five donations of each item, with each donation serving 15 to 20. 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 to serve or donate menu items in the Gathering Space. Feel free to call Lynn at 937-657-0426 if you have any questions.


Following a bit of a "dry spell" of volunteers in August, we had a joyous bounty of helpers and sign-ups in September!   Let's have a wonderful repeat in October!





Most of us have a few old cell phones in a dresser drawer somewhere. They are just taking up space. But they can be put to work! Hope Phones collects old cell phones, and use the proceeds to equip medical paraprofessionals in the developing world. The phones are sold and the money is used to buy special phones. The Hope Phones allow people in remote areas to access medical care. People with acute and chronic illnesses can report their condition and get feedback from doctors. They are also used in caring for pregnant women, in that high-risk pregnancies can be identified and these women can be scheduled for hospital births, as there are parts of the world where maternal mortality is still high. Please put your old cell phones to work! Just deposit that lazy cell phone in the box in the Gathering Space and I will send it on its way (the box has a light blue logo and is on the table with the social action literature). Thanks! Any questions? Please contact







































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!