Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum          January 1-31, 2014

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Letter from our Interim Minister




A new year oftentimes brings all sorts of new initiatives in our lives--and this is no less true in the life of MVUUF!


Be sure to check out the well-crafted Timeline for the Settled Minister Search Process which will be posted on the east wall of the Sanctuary, thanks to the efforts of Transition Team members Bonnie Thompson and Joe Law. Bonnie and Joe initially pulled together the list of dates, and Edwin Fuller had the great idea to use Project Management software in creating this Timeline.


UU Rev. Barbara Child (Ministerial Settlement Representative from the MidAmerica UU Region) is coming to visit MVUUF on Sunday, January 12. This will provide an excellent kick-off to the 2014 portion of MVUUF's Interim Period. Rev. Child will preach at the service on that day, and conduct an Informational Session for the congregation following the service. This will give you a good opportunity to get your questions about the Ministerial Search Process addressed while munching on snacks which MVUUF youth will be selling in an effort to fund raise for a Work Trip later this year.


January also marks the start of the Covenant Group Programs at MVUUF, when the trained Covenant Group facilitators will be holding the initial meetings of their groups.


Thus lots of endeavors will be taking off at MVUUF this month--a surefire cure for any midwinter doldrums!


My best wishes for a Happy New Year to each and every one of you.



With my warmest regards, as always,

Your interim minister,





Sermon Topics


Jan. 5---Will MVUUF Become the Peanut Butter Church?---Rev. Mary Moore. Over the course of the next months, folks at MVUUF will be taking a look at questions of MVUUF's identity, mission and vision. How do others see MVUUF? How does MVUUF see itself? Come on this morning as we launch such investigations!

Jan. 12---Boldness in the Face of Uncertainty---Rev. Barbara Child. Courage is not about the absence of fear. It is about moving out into the world with all of the other unknowns that entails. It is about living in between whatever has happened before and whatever might happen next. Today this congregation's Ministerial Settlement Representative, Rev. Barbara Child, will reflect in her sermon on the congregation's upcoming search for a new called minister, and she will honor the congregation's bridging through interim ministry into a new future. 


Jan. 19---Celebrating Diversity---Rev. Mary Moore and Shannon Harper, Director of Religious Education. Please join us for a multi-generational worship service celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision of inclusivity as we share stories and culture from our own diverse MVUUF members. Childcare will be provided for nursery-age children. 

Jan. 26---Freedom---Rev. Mary Moore. An Interim Period in a congregation is a good time to revisit some of the basic concepts of the Unitarian Universalist tradition. Thus, a four-part sermon series will begin on January 26-with each of the first three sermons addressing one of the elements of what has been referred to (with some humor) as "the Unitarian trinity"-with the last sermon in the series focusing upon the Universalist concept of abundant, unconditional love. 



Around the Fellowship...




We know what many of you are thinking---"So many things have already changed here at the Fellowship, and we STILL don't know much about the search for the new minister. Is anything happening about that?"


Well, yes and no. Yes, your Board, the Nominating Committee and others are taking steps to prepare for the Search. And no, the official Search has not yet begun. But that is appropriate; we are right on track for finding an excellent new settled minister to begin working with us in August, 2015.


The next step toward that goal will take place on Sunday, January 12th. The Rev. Barbara Child, Ministerial Settlement Representative from the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association, will speak with us during our Sunday service about the Search process, and then she will hold an Informational Meeting after service for all who can attend. She will be our consultant during the Search process, and brings many years of experience and wisdom with her. She facilitated the Fellowship's Leadership Retreat this fall, and many of us found her to be inspiring and helpful.


Prior to Rev. Child's visit, the Transition Team will be unveiling a visual map of the Ministerial Search. This will include information about upcoming tasks and the dates when they can be expected to be completed. We will update it as we go along. Watch for it on the Sanctuary wall next to the storage closet.


Meanwhile, here is the broad outline of what is coming up and the dates by which steps will be completed. Please note that some of these dates are clear deadlines and some are general guidelines.


As always, the members of the Transition Team want to hear your thoughts, questions and concerns as we travel through this engaging time. Please let us know what you are thinking and what is in your heart.


With faith in our future,

Your Transition Team

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





On Sunday, January 12th, after the Sunday service, YRE will be providing childcare so that everyone has an opportunity to hear Rev. Barbara Child speak to us about the Ministerial Search Process. Rev. Child is the Ministerial Settlement Representative from the MidAmerica Region of the UUA. We are asking for donations of food to provide for the children who stay for this extended childcare.


Refreshments will also be provided between the Sunday service and the Informational Session by our Sr. Hi Youth Group, as they are raising money to go on a Service Trip this summer. Please stop by their table to learn more about this exciting opportunity, and consider contributing generously to their endeavor.





On Sunday, January 5th, a meeting will be held, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Founders Room, for anyone interested in participating in our Youth Service Trip this summer. Youth, parents, adult chaperones, and sponsors will be meeting with Shannon Harper, Director of Religious Education, to find out more about this exciting opportunity. If you are unable to be at the meeting and would like more information, please contact Shannon Harper at





For the past six years, the MVUUF's Social Action Committee has recognized and promoted Seasons for Non-Violence. This is a national 64-day educational, media and grassroots campaign dedicated to demonstrating that non-violence is a powerful way to heal, transform and empower our lives and our communities. Inspired in 1998 by the 5th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this international event honors their vision for an empowered, non-violent world. Every year at this time we hang posters of noted peacemakers.


A similar season is honored by the UUA's Standing on the Side of Love Campaign. This campaign begins with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and ends just after Valentine's Day. During this time, UUs around the world commit to a period of intentional action, service, education and reflection. 2014 will mark the third annual spiritual journey for social justice at this time of year. Standing on the Side of Love has become a powerful message of our work for justice.


Watch for information and resources from the Social Action Committee throughout these inspiring seasons. We begin by encouraging as many members and friends as are able to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day walk on Monday, January 20th.


Below are the details for this walk:

If you have a gold Standing on the Side of Love t-shirt, feel free to wear it. Meet at the Fellowship to carpool (at 9:20 a.m.) or meet downtown (10:00 a.m.) at the RTA Cultural Center parking lot. Look for our Standing on the Side of Love and MVUUF banners. IMPORTANT! If you have the MVUUF banner, please return it to the Fellowship and let our Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, know that you have done so and where you have placed it. It is needed back as soon as possible! 


It would be helpful if those who wish to carpool from the Fellowship contact Lynn at or 657-0426.  This is a great activity for MVUUF members and friends of all ages! The march will begin at the Charles R. Drew Health Center on W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Continue out Third Street with others joining the march at the Cultural Center (Peace Bridge) and again at Third and Main (Sinclair). The march will them turn right onto N. Main Street to Fifth Street (Convention Center) where it will end. If walking is not a good activity for you, consider bringing a chair and sitting somewhere along the route to cheer the marchers.


You can find out more about the march here:




     As a lesbian of African descent with a hidden disability, and being a Social Change Agent, I find several areas of oppression here in the U.S.A., and abroad.

     During my years of fighting for specific causes, I've learned that I have to "pick my battles" or else I will become overwhelmed, lose energy, and unfortunately be of no use to the causes I care so much about.

     Reproductive Justice is one of the battles I am fighting for right now.

     I used to think Reproductive Justice was only about a woman's right to choose whether or not she wanted a safe place for an abortion. Then I learned about SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. Wow! I was shocked when I learned how much reproductive Justice was not only about Roe vs. Wade.

     SisterSong nationally debuted the term "Reproductive Justice" at their first national conference in November, 2003. From that conference, activists, funders, researchers, academics, and advocates began to use Reproductive Justice in a different manner.

     Reproductive Justice moves beyond the traditional pro-choice paradigm and, in essence, includes an intersectional and complex set of reproductive oppressions. These oppressions include race, class, gender, immigration, economic status, LGBT, and many others. Reproductive Justice offers an opportunity to learn and expand my knowledge base in this area.

     It is my hope that you will join me in this battle for Reproductive Justice.



Ndidi Achebe,





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) is setting off on another great new year! Our Yule Overnight was fantastic, and has set a budding tradition. We hope to have many new ideas to share with the community this year.


Our January discussion (on Sunday, January 12th) will be about Animals in our Spirituality. Since the December discussion was canceled due to risky weather conditions, the topic will remain the same: animals in spirituality, myths, folk tales, and our lives. 

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 January events will be posted at


We welcome all! 





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,






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. On January 14th we'll discuss Marmee and Louisa, by Eve LaPlante (rescheduled from December), and also select books for future meetings. Please bring your suggestions for our meetings in 2014!




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. January 11th Menu: Pulled BBQ or Sloppy Joe's, Vegetable or Minestrone Soup, Fresh Fruit (oranges, clementines and tangerines are popular this time of year), 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!