Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum          December 1-31, 2013

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Letter from our Interim Minister




I greet you at this holiday time! It can be a time of enjoyment, of reconnecting with family and friends, of savoring seasonal delights for our five senses; it can be a time of sadness, of missing loved ones who are not present with us this year, of financial concerns, of gray days and long nights.


May this congregation be a source of nurture to each of you in your life at this time of year, "whoever you are, wherever you are on your life journey."


I am hoping to initiate and strengthen some congregational groups to ensure that MVUUF provides outreach to members-year 'round, and not just during this holiday season.


One of these will be Covenant Groups-beginning in January, gathering twice a month for 90 minutes, creating deeper connections and conversation with 7-10 MVUUF people. Sign up at the back of the Sanctuary, or by contacting MVUUF Administrator, Jennie Freiberger.


Lathe Snyder and I are launching a Pastoral Associates program here. The pastoral function of a church is the listening, support, compassion and comfort we provide for one another.  Our Pastoral Associates will expand these services beyond the reach of MVUUF clergy. The Pastoral Associates each bring a breadth and depth of personal experience, as well as in-depth, on-going training. If you might be interested in applying to receive training and become a Pastoral Associate, please contact MVUUF Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, to receive a copy of the description of the Pastoral Associates Program and the brief Application.


We'll also be setting up a Caring Team to help provide Meals, Wheels (rides), and Appeals (to send some get well cards).


One additional way in which this congregation can provide support for those experiencing some challenging times in their lives is through the Minister's Discretionary Fund. All transactions of the Fund are confidential.


As part of the work of this Interim period here at MVUUF, I have asked the Board to review and update the Policy for the Minister's Discretionary Fund, including possibly making provision for an annual audit of the Fund.


A portion of MVUUF's Sunday Offering during December, January & February-and the entire Offering from the Christmas Eve service-is designated for the Minister's Discretionary Fund. I urge each of you to be generous so that this congregation can continue to be able to offer some support to those who need it.


I extend to you my warm good wishes for the December holidays, and for peace and hope in your lives and in our world in the new year.


With my warmest regards, as always,

Your interim minister,





Sermon Topics


Dec. 1--
The Universalist Hope--Lathe Snyder.

Dec. 8--Loneliness--Rev. Mary Moore. As we head into the holiday season, we'll be taking a look at the loneliness in people's lives--perhaps your own--which can seem more intense at this time of year. 


Dec. 15--Wassail--Rev. Mary Moore, Jeanette Eakins, MVUUF Choir.  It's that time of year to join the MVUUF Choir for our annual celebration of some words, music and moods of the holiday season. Choir will present their program during the morning service. Afterwards, we'll all meet in the Gathering Space to continue our time of fellowship--enhanced by the goodies you'll bring! Please bring an appetizer, finger food, or dessert to share; Wassail Punch will be provided. For those who wish to, our traditional caroling around the piano will take place once we've gathered our refreshments. Wes hail!  

Dec. 22--
Yule/Winter Solstice--
As people celebrate Yule, we will be welcoming in the winter season as the Wheel of the Year turns again toward greater light. This is the time of the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. "We call the sun from the womb of the night," on this Solstice Sunday.

Dec. 24--Christmas Eve:  Lessons & Carols--Rev. Mary Moore
Amidst carols and candlelight, the retelling of the traditional Christmas Story will take place, including from some non-traditional sources.


Dec. 29--Service--11:00 a.m.



Around the Fellowship...




What a great Thanksgiving Weekend we had here at the Fellowship! It was so wonderful to see so many people at the Dinner on Saturday, with delicious food and warm community. And the Guest at Your Table service on Sunday was an important reminder of the blessings we have to be thankful for.


The old song says, "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold." The same can be said of traditions. As we travel these two years of transition, let's work together to keep the best of our old while trying new things. Having both silver and gold will make us rich indeed.--Barb Weber, for the Transition Team




We have numerous members who give so generously of their time to our Fellowship, and we have two specific awards that can be presented for such dedication:  the Wince Award, and the Unsung UU Award. A description of these awards is as follows:


Wince Award:  The Wince Award is for dedication to the UU faith through service to the MVUUF. The award recognizes tireless leadership over decades to strengthen the life of this congregation, and our relationship with one another. Recipients have served in a variety of roles within the Fellowship, demonstrating their love of this community and its value to the world.


Unsung UU Award:  MVUUF has a tradition of honoring an "unsung UU" every year. An unsung UU is someone who tirelessly shows their commitment to the Fellowship behind the scenes. It's not typically a person in a formal position; rather, it's someone who sees something that needs to be done and gets it done. This recognition is made by the board of trustees.


We are inviting members to nominate someone they think fits one of these award categories. If you have a recommendation, please get it to Sharon Harmer (438-8952 or by Sunday, December 8. Let's honor those who share their time and energy with our congregation!



FAMILY NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY                     The end of the year is fast approaching. That also means it will soon be the beginning of a new year. Some of us celebrated the coming of 2013 together, and it was agreed that we should do it again. So, if you are interested in having a Family New Year's Eve Party, please let me know. You can contact me at, in person, or leave me a message in the Activities envelope on the Create A Community bulletin board (near the Administrator's Office) at the Fellowship.
--Shannon Heather, Activities Committee



CONGRATS ON A SUCCESSFUL  BAZAAR!                                  At their meeting on Thursday, November 21, the Board made a motion, seconded and passed a motion that they commend the 2013 Fall Bazaar organizers for a highly successful Bazaar. This year, they raised $3, 044.98! The main organizers of the event were Brianna Kempe and Jenny when you see them around the Fellowship, please thank them for a job very well done! We thank Brianna and Jenny, and EVERYONE who made this fundraiser such a great success!



Then you should join us on Monday, January 13, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Founders Room. This meeting is a follow-up to the service of November 17th. Help us create an action group to coordinate with Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio, and possibly take local action as well. We also want to consider offering the UUA Reproductive justice curriculum again. If you have any questions, please contact Anwyl Scott at or Ndidi Achebe at We hope to see lots of you there!



Chalice of the Willow (CUUPS) will hold their monthly discussion on Sunday, December 8, 12:30-2:00 p.m., in Room #1 at the Fellowship. The topic this month will be Animals Within Our Lives, about animals and how they have affected us as fellow creatures, in our spiritual practices, and in our individual lives. Their forms and features have inspired us in many ways, from the mundane to the spiritual. In what ways have animals impacted human culture and in your own life? This discussion will be moderated by Megan.

Along with the discussion, CUUPS is also holding a Yule Overnight! This will begin on Saturday, December 21 at 4:00 p.m., and end on Sunday, December 22 at 8:00 a.m., all at MVUUF! The night will be filled with activities, discussion, food and ritual. There will be drumming, crafts, games, fellowship, and a place to rest. This is NOT a lock-in; individuals are welcome to come and go as they please. There are flyers within MVUUF with the schedule of activities, and it will also be posted on the Chalice of the Willow Facebook Page. There are no age limitations on this event; it is family friendly. A donation of $10 is suggested for individuals, and a donation of $20 is suggested for families. A good time is expected, and fun will ensue!

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! All of our December events will be posted at We welcome all! 




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.

December 1:   Alternative Lives: The Road Not Taken 

                           Moderator: Lucy Anne McKosky
December 8: The Role of Essential Oils in Recovering & Preventing Chronic and Acute Physical, Emotional and Mental Disease                                            Moderator: Heather Schroeder
December 15: Memories of a Special Christmas 

                           Moderator: Diane Bohlander
December 22: Understanding Spirituality 

                           Moderator: Terry Swift
December 29: Classic Childhood Stories That Influenced or Moved Us as Youngsters 

                            Moderator: Lindy McDonough




The MVUUF Religious Fiction Book Club will NOT meet in December, but will return in January. Join us for our next meeting, Thursday, January 16, 7:00 p.m. at the Fellowship when Lathe Snyder will lead us in discussing the novel The Chosen by Chaim Potok. This 1967 novel chronicles the friendship between two Jewish boys in Brooklyn, and was nominated for the National Book Award. All MVUUF members & friends are welcome. For more information, contact John Bierman,





December 11 - A Christmas Memory, by Truman Capote. This is our annual holiday party. We'll meet at Christopher's Restaurant, 2318 E. Dorothy Lane at 10:30 a.m. After the discussion, we'll eat lunch together.
January 22 - The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander and Cornel West.
February 19 - American Gods, by Neil Gaiman (fiction).
March 19 - 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.



Please join us on the second Tuesday of the month at Christopher's Restaurant, 2318 E. Dorothy Lane, Kettering. Contact Ann Snively or Ruth Rowley for more information. December 10 - We'll discuss Marmee and Louisa, by Eve LaPlante, and also select books for future meetings. 



The Humanitarian Giving Action Group will NOT be meeting in December. Non-pledge Giving for the months of December, January & February will be for the Minister's Discretionary Fund. Also, the holiday tree will once again be set up in the Gathering Space to receive unwrapped baby items for St. Vincent de Paul's Homeless Shelter. The baby items will be gathered throughout the holidays, and then taken to St. Vincent de Paul after Christmas.




The next Smart Choices birthday lunch will be held on Friday, December 13, 11:30 a.m., at the MCL Cafeteria, in Kettering.



ST. VINCENT DE PAUL LUNCH 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. December 14 Menu: Hearty Meat Chili, Green Salad, Fresh Fruit (if we get enough chili and salad sign-ups), and 100% juice (we will also use stock in the St. Vincent pantry for milk and 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!