Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum          November 1-30, 2013

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Letter from our Interim Minister




Somehow, it just seemed like a good time at this point in the Interim Period at MVUUF to share this essay with you:


When To Call The Minister

(adapted from an essay by UU Minister, Rev. Peter Lee Scott)


  • When you haven't met me yet, but would like to.
  • When you have problems you'd like to discuss, concerning your children, your job, your relationship/marriage, or anything else where a sympathetic ear might be of help.
  • When you're going in the hospital or know someone else in the congregation who is.
  • When someone close to you has died or is critically ill.
  • When you're planning to be married, or wish you could be.
  • When you're pregnant but wish you weren't.
  • When you, or a friend or neighbor would like more information about Unitarian Universalism.
  • When you have suggestions to make about programs for the Fellowship.
  • When you have suggestions for a sermon.
  • When there are community issues you'd like to discuss.
  • When you appreciate or are upset about something I've said or done.
  • When you'd like to talk religion with me.
  • When you've had good news and want to share it.
  • When you've received bad news.
  • When you're feeling overwhelmed.
  • When you want to tell me your history with the Fellowship.
  • When you've heard a great joke and want to share it.


You can always contact me by cellphone:  (865) 660-0690, or email:


I plan to be at the MVUUF Fall Bazaar all day long on Saturday, November 2--so please stop by to say "Hi!" when you come to shop--and you all ARE planning to come and bring your friends, right?!?


Some of MVUUF's former ministers may have been members of the Ohio River UU Ministers Intentional Study Group. I am a member of the Prairie UU Ministers Study Group, and will be attending our meeting down by St. Louis from November 4-8.



With my warmest regards, as always,

Your interim minister,





Sermon Topics


Nov. 3--Trust--Rev. Mary Moore. American Church Historian Martin Marty has written about how the concept of "trust" is  coming to the fore now in a time of corporate, political and moral betrayals. I'll be exploring this idea and the implications which it might have for our lives and for this congregation. We will also hear from MVUUF member, Don Heffner, who will be sharing a short piece, "This I Believe"-the first in a series of MVUUF  people who will be sharing in this way.


Nov. 10--Carrying Out Our Covenant--Rev. Mary Moore.  UU scholar, Rev. Conrad Wright, once wrote:  "There is something to be said for the word covenant. It emphasizes that the church is a community of mutual obligation, which involves a sense of commitment. Even the freest of free churches needs that much discipline if it is to last long enough to accomplish anything of value in this world." We'll be taking a look at the concept of covenant on this morning.


 Nov. 17 - Keep Laws Off My Body:  Taking a Fresh Look at Reproductive Justice Today -Rev. Mary Moore, Alice Diebel, Anwyl Scott, Linda Smith  

November 17 is the date set for UU congregations across the country to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UUA's first statement on reproductive justice, one social justice issue which all UU congregations are focusing upon this year. Join us on this morning as some members of the MVUUF Women's Group help us learn about recent actions in this area. 



Nov. 24 - Radical Hospitality for the Guest at Your Table-- Rev. Mary Moore and Shannon Harper, Director of Religious Education.   On this morning we will gather at a Multi-Generational service following MVUUF's celebration of Thanksgiving the evening before. It will be an opportunity to get to know members of our own congregation a little better, as well as to learn more about the Unitarian Universalist service Committee's  Guest At Your Table program which MVUUF participates in each year. 



New Member Corner


Colleen Gallagher & Becky Yerman


We are happy to have joined MVUUF over the summer. We moved from the Washington, D.C. area to the Dayton area during the summer of 2012. While we'd been away for a while, it was a homecoming of sorts; Colleen grew up in Cincinnati and her family is still there, while Becky's parents live in Yellow Springs. Colleen teaches in the School of education and Health Sciences at the University of Dayton, and Becky is the Director of Special Education for a charter school organization in D.C. We have two children, Sylvia (age 4) and Jack (age 2) who both participate in the YRE program. We both enjoy running, hiking, and spending time with the kids and our families and friends. We look forward to getting to know MVUUF members and friends better.


Around the Fellowship...




The Transition Team is making steady progress. At its second meeting on October 16, 2013, it worked on Team Formation. Team members discussed their methods of handling stress. They adopted MVUUF's Covenant of Right Relations, pledging as a group to do their equal share, start and end on time, be mindful of other commitments, regulate participation, respect confidentiality, create a safe space, speak with one voice, respect boundaries and roles within the congregation, and have fun together. They agreed to share roles, rotating minute-taking and chalice-lighting duties.


The Team has worked on a Timeline draft that is organized around six major areas of the transition process:  Finding Direction, Completing the Self-Study, Framing the Search, beginning the Search, Selecting and Electing the Candidate, and Welcoming the New Settled Minister.


The current challenge is to work on a Visual Representation of the Timeline to communicate the Transition Team's work to the congregation. Michael Bockhoven, graphic artist, is working on a creative conception, and the Team was enthusiastic about Edwin Fuller's recommendation to use project management software to visualize, monitor, and communicate the transition process to the congregation. Next steps will involve deciding on a software program, loading the Timeline with detailed steps, and linking the Transition Team to the common document on-line.


The Transition team is still in need of two official directives:  (1) a charge from the Board, and (2) guidance about "next steps" based on the September 21 retreat recommendations. The Transition team discussed the possibility of incorporating the retreat recommendations and/or the suspended Committee on Ministry functions into the charge from the Board.



Your Transition Team

Barb Weber, Edwin Fuller, Joe Law, Bonnie Thompson, Trudy Krisher, Mary Moore






Each Autumn we all get to witness multiple changes:  changes in our children going off to a new school year, changes in the leaves and the weather, changes in the amount of sun we see each day. Changes are happening all around us, especially in our Fellowship. Following this flow of change, our Thanksgiving Celebration is going to be changing, too. Instead of gathering together at tables on the Sunday before the "official" Thanksgiving, listening to a sermon, and then hoping we get through the lines first for the best food choices, MVUUF's Thanksgiving is going to be held on the evening of Saturday, November 23, at 5:30 p.m. Yes, it will be on a Saturday. Not only is the time different, but the potluck is going to be different, as well.


All during the month of November, I will be accepting donations of canned, frozen, or dried goods from a list that will be sent out in multiple formats and posted in the Fellowship. Instead of bringing pre-made potluck donations, the meal will be cooked during the day on Saturday and served buffet style, much as you would find at a wedding or other catered event. That being said, there are plenty of chances to volunteer to help make this a memorable event. If you have ever had a complaint about how Thanksgiving has been done, now is your opportunity to help become part of the solution.


The reasons behind the changes are many. Each Thanksgiving the feedback received is that there isn't enough food/people get greedy/people hate waiting in lines for meager choices/can't stay and help because they have to get the family ready for the week/etc. After much research into how other churches and coordinators put together large meals, and going through many suggestions on how to make our celebration more of that-a celebration-it was felt that this was the best choice.


If you wish to volunteer to put the event together, assist with the cooking, help the day of (with lots of secret bribes...I mean incentives), or clean up after the meal, please contact me at or leave me a message in the Activities envelope on the Create a Community board next to the Library.


I really look forward to making our Thanksgiving a new and exciting event with you all. As our Fellowship and Community grows so do our tables, and our opportunities to help each other. I am thankful that I have this chance to make a positive change. I am grateful I have this time to give back to each of you that have helped me this past year with all the changes I have faced.



Shannon Heather

MVUUF Activities Rep





Our Gallery is currently displaying the beautiful art work of Alison Bour! Alison has been a self-employed writer for nearly 20 years. While studying photography at Sinclair Community College, she learned digital art techniques, and fell in love with creating digital abstract and other art forms. Most of her current work has its foundation in manipulating the polar and rectangular coordinates of an image, and all the artwork displayed in the Gallery had its roots in a photo. Alison also loves traditional photography, and included shots from Dayton's Packard Museum and Yellow Springs.


Alison tells us about the art:  After two years of studying and experimenting with Photoshop, I stumbled upon a fun and unique way to create abstract art. I often get lost for hours in this medium, forgetting to eat and go to the bathroom until I'm starved or can't hold it any longer!


What's called an orbit-whereby an image is turned into a round swirl of a photo's colors and forms-represents the basis for many of these works. An orbit is created through manipulating a photo's rectangular and  polar coordinates. From there, bits of that image can be used in a million ways to create more works.


Sunburst was created through an orbit from Spring Beauty I and another photo of flowers. Lights at Lidia's, a slow-exposure shot of a light fixture at Lidia's Restaurant in Pittsburgh, led to Supernova, My Logo-and eventually-Wild. Moody Blues, Breakout and Red Brick Road were created from a traditional photo of a blue mosaic bowl. Make the Connection began as Mosaic I. Ohio Country and Spring Beauty III were created from low-resolution photos I found in my personal picture collection. I have no idea how I created Venus Rising! Fireplace Whimsy, Centerville Sky, Pray for Peace and Welcome Friends began as traditional photos. Wholesome was developed in Sinclair's dark room, while the Packard series represents the beginning of shooting with my first digital camera, a Canon 60D EOS.


From the photos and artwork you see in this exhibit, I'll go on to recycle these images even further. These works are available in varying sizes, and many are available in additional hues and color schemes. Thanks for taking the time to review this exhibit. If you are interested in buying a work, please take my card and get in touch with me.





The annual Planned Parenthood Book Sale returns this month, Nov. 8, 9 & 10,
at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds Coliseum. It's the largest book sale in 

Ohio (maybe due to all of those books we collect for it throughout the year?!?), and last year there were over 250,000 used-and-in-good-condition books to choose from. Not only are there books, you'll also find records (you may need to explain what those are to the 

younger set!), CDs and DVDs to choose from as well. You won't want to miss this annual event!




A big thanks to all of those that helped with the Library inventory and clean-up. The Library is now organized by category and alphabetized in each by author's last name. To view the inventory online, please visit We have also introduced a new library check-out system to better help us track loans, and also look at areas that we should be growing. This is located on the clipboard in the Library; please see our Librarian, Adrienne Clark, for more information.





Volunteers are currently needed to help with our Coffee Time after service every Sunday morning.


Set-up volunteers are needed for

Nov. 11, Nov. 17, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15


Clean-up volunteers are needed for

Dec. 1, Dec. 22 and Dec. 29


If you would be willing to help out in these areas, please contact Heidi Porter at: Thanks!





We have officially appointed our new leadership for the coming year. Shannon Heather will stay on as Guardian, Laura V (Galena) will be moving to Harvester, and Megan Z will take over as Archivist. We wish the leadership a great year and great growth for our little group. An updated version of our statement of purpose./covenant document will be available soon.


The discussion group topic for the second Sunday will be a discussion of "spiritual cords" as was requested at our last gathering. This will expand on the short, personal ritual we held during our Samhain gathering. This will be moderated by Laura V (Galena). Some exciting news is coming for our Yule plans here at MVUUF, so mark your calendars for December 21 & 22 for an overnight event. More details will be coming soon!


All Chalice of the Willow events are open to the entire MVUUF community and 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! 





  • 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





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.

November 3:     Equality:  Are We All Equal?  Moderator: Carol Vincent

November 10:   Ask The Doctor   Moderator:  Tom Starr and Will Brooks

November 17:   Magical Moments  Moderators: Jim Faulconer

November 24:   No Class





The MVUUF Religious Fiction Book Club has changed its meeting night, and will now gather on the third Thursday of each month. Join us for our next meeting, 7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 21, at the Fellowship. Dawn Bellinger will lead us in discussing the novel Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. This 2004 novel won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, as well as the National Book Award.  All MVUUF members & friends are welcome.  For more information, contact John Bierman,




ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING FORUM BOOK CLUB                    Our Environmental Learning Forum Book Club meets regularly on the third Monday of the month, and you are invited to join us for our next session in the Founders Room, 7:00 p.m., on Monday, November 18. Our selection will be The World Without Us by critically-acclaimed journalist Alan Weisman. In his best-seller, Weisman considers the earth's capacity for self-healing if our species were to suddenly disappear. Both Time and Entertainment Weekly chose The World Without Us as the #1 non-fiction book of 2007.

Copies may be available in area libraries, and a Kindle edition is available from for $9.99. We are also ordering a few print copies from Amazon for resale at a discounted price of $12.50 (list price is $17.00). If you would like to reserve one of these copies, contact Gary Courts at or (937) 436-1094. Plan to be with us on November 18 for what should be a stimulating discussion of The World Without Us





November 20 - A Painted House, by John Grisham

December 11 - A Christmas Memory, by Truman Capote

January TBD - The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander and Cornel West

February 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.  Those who want to 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.


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

December 10 - Marmee and Louisa, by Eva LaPlante  





The Humanitarian Giving Action Group will next meet on Wednesday, November 20, 6:00 p.m., in the Founders Room. MVUUF holiday tree for baby items will be on display in the Gathering Space after Thanksgiving. All baby items must be new or in good condition. They will be donated to the St. Vincent de Paul homeless shelter after December 25. Please DO NOT wrap the items. For more info, contact Shirley Gezinski. 





Smart Choices will meet to celebrate birthdays on Wednesday, November 20, 11:30 a.m. at MCL Cafeteria. Learn to make your own holiday cards at MVUUF with Jan Campbell; date, time and place TBA.





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. November 9 Menu: turkey or chicken noodle dish, a hot vegetable, fresh fruit salad or sliced fresh fruit, 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.





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!