Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum          February 1-28, 2014

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"Do we have a group at MVUUF that helps when members or family members are ill?" This was a question an MVUUF person asked recently.


Well, there is the Caring Committee, which has worked in this area in the past, and one of its leaders, Marilyn Faulconer, has been so helpful to me, especially in letting me know about what has happened previously. But being the answer to this question was not exactly what the job description of this committee had been.


In a congregation the size of MVUUF, there should be an organized way to help members who have a need for meals, rides, a caring card to be sent, a visit (or who know of another MVUUF member who has such a need). It should not matter whether the person with the need is a longtime member whom "everybody knows" or a quieter, newer person, who is not as well-integrated into the congregation. I do not want to see anybody fall between the cracks! Also, the member with the need should not feel that she/he has to work hard to get the word out about this in every way possible-email, Facebook, texts, phone calls, etc., etc.


There should be a Care Team Coordinator-a person who would not necessarily provide the meals, rides, etc. needed but who would be the general person whom people would contact about such needs and who then would help coordinate getting those needs addressed-by MVUUF folks who have volunteered to help out in this way. Is this a service/ministry you might give-to be this coordinator for the next six months? Please let me know:  (865) 660-0960.


Then there also need to be MVUUF folks who offer to provide a meal, a ride, a caring note, etc. Please sign up to do this at a card table in the Gathering Space in the next couple of weeks, or let Jennie in the MVUUF office know.


At MVUUF may you be the Change you wish to see in the world, be the Caring you want to see in your congregation!


With my warmest regards, as always,

Your interim minister,



Sermon Topics


Feb. 2---In Celebration of Reason---Rev. Mary Moore.  Humanism is one of the paths within Unitarian Universalism, one of our sources-"Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit"-On this morning we will explore what this means at a time when "Creationism" and "Intelligent Design" are being pushed on our public school systems. How might we show our support for science in today's world?


Feb. 9---In Celebration of Tolerance---Rev. Mary Moore.  Freedom, Reason, and Tolerance are the words which are often lifted up as being the hallmarks of liberal religion. On this day, we shall be exploring just what the idea of tolerance might mean in our congregation and in the larger world.


Feb. 16---Hallmark of our Faith: Abundant, Unconditional Love---Rev. Mary Moore.  To conclude our sermon series on "Hallmarks of our UU Faith," on this Sunday near Valentine's Day we will be lifting up one foundational idea from our Universalist heritage:  Abundant, Unconditional Love. We will also on this day join many other UU congregations in celebrating Share the Love Sunday, which marks the end of the Thirty Days of Love effort, part of the Standing on the Side of Love campaign which focuses on demonstrations of courageous love.


Feb. 23---Youth Sunday---Rev. Lathe Snyder.  


Around the Fellowship...



There have been some big changes here at the Fellowship in recent months, and some people have been wondering why and how those decisions were made. There are five main reasons we are changing things these days:


  • Some of our old ways just aren't working now. This was the case with the Thanksgiving Dinner-the changes that happened this fall were a direct result of discussion in the Program Council of problems that were apparent last year in how things were being done.
  • Your leadership works hard to try to keep up with research and advice about how churches work well. There are books, blogs, e-lists and consultants, both Unitarian Universalist and from other denominations, that explore best practices. While we don't tend to swallow these whole hog or in lock-step, we would be foolish not to adapt that immense body of knowledge to our own congregation.
  • Some things need to change if we are to attract the best new settled minister for MVUUF. I am not aware of anything that has changed solely for this reason. Rather, it may be that being in search has given us an impetus or "deadline" to make changes that have been in discussion or needed for a long time.
  • Change can be a spiritual practice. We human beings like to have some solid ground to cling to. But that solid ground can become cement that keeps our feet from moving forward. Sometimes changing things, although it raises our anxiety, may help us stay flexible.
  • Change happens, whether we want it or not. It helps to know that, even when some of our most treasured traditions are different, we are still the same loving community we have always been. The ways it is expressed may change, but who we are does not. Practicing some new ways reminds us of that basic truth.


If you want more information about the kinds of things being considered as we move into our future at the Fellowship, join the Program Council and Board e-list, where agendas and minutes are posted. (If you don't have electronic access, ask to be notified by another medium.) Speak with Chairs and representatives in the program areas important to you. Committee, Program Council, and Board meeting minutes are open to all members. Consider attending to learn more and to share your thoughts.


The Fellowship is so much more than any one decision or tradition. We are a community of deeply engaged individuals who are creating an exciting, if sometimes scary, future together. Come, share the journey with us!


With faith in our future,

Barb Weber,

Transition Team Chair







On Thursday, January 23, 2014, the Board voted to propose that the bylaws by amended to revise the process by which the ministerial search committee is selected. The proposed change was discussed at the Congregation Meeting held on Sunday, January 26; additional meetings may be held to discuss this proposed change with interested members of the congregation. The congregation will be asked to vote on this proposal at a brief, special Congregational Meeting to be held immediately after the service on Sunday, February 23, 2014.


The bylaw to be amended is located under:

          Article VIII. Ministers



          B. ELECTION


Language to be replaced:

B. ELECTION. A slate of candidates for the ministerial search committee shall be presented by the nominating committee. Additional nominations may be made from the floor.

1. If there are more than seven candidates (including floor nominations), then each voting member shall be given a secret ballot with all the candidates' names and space for names of candidates nominated from the floor.

2. Each voting member shall mark the names of each of their seven preferred candidates.

3. The seven candidates receiving the most marks are elected to the ministerial search committee.

4. If there is a tie for the seventh (lowest vote total) seat on the committee, then the tie shall be broken by another vote of all MVUUF voting members to choose from among the tied candidates.

5. This election process shall be implemented by the nominating committee.


New language:

B. ELECTION. The nominating committee shall be responsible for providing candidates for the search committee.

          1. The nominating committee shall conduct a systematic canvass of the entire voting membership to generate a list of candidates in whom the congregation is willing to place their trust.

          2. The potential candidates most frequently named by the       congregation through this canvass will be consulted by the nominating committee to determine their willingness to           serve.

          3. A ballot will be prepared by the nominating committee consisting of up to 14 names of congregation-identified candidates who have agreed to serve. The ballot should consist of no fewer than 10 names.

          4. A written ballot will be presented by the nominating committee to the congregation at a congregational meeting.

          5. The ballots will be counted in a closed door meeting of the board. The four candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be included in the final ballot for the search committee.

          6. The board will select three additional members of the search committee from the remaining candidates on the ballot. In making these selections, the board will endeavor to create a balanced search committee with respect to such factors as leadership style, age, gender, length of membership, work experience, and LGBTQ status.

          7. All members of the search committee will represent the congregation at large; therefore, the board should not attempt to balance the committee based on areas of interest.

          8. No distinction will be made between the top four vote recipients and the three selectees. The identities of each group will remain confidential within the board.

          9. The board will present a final written ballot of all seven names in alphabetical order to the congregation for an up or down vote on the entire slate.

          10. The final vote can take place at the same congregational meeting, or, if more time is needed,  a second meeting can be held. The congregation should be informed of the date and time for the second potential meeting at the same time as the first meeting so that the second meeting may be held in a timely manner. 




Then you should join us on Monday, February 17, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Library. We are pleased to announce that we are again offering the Reproductive Justice Curriculum.  As a Unitarian Universalist congregation, one of our missions is to become involved in acts of social justice.  This is your chance to become an important part of this mission. The course is six weeks in length, and depending upon the turnout, we may decide to meet once a month for six months. Signup sheets are located in the Gathering Space. If you have any questions, please contact Ndidi Achebe at We hope to see you soon!




This is an issue that affects everyone. Issues surrounding Reproductive Justice are not just about abortion rights, they are about violence against women, sex education, discrimination of all sorts, economic and environmental justice issues, and immigration issues. Reproductive Justice cuts across many of the issues we care about. The UUA website describes it this way:  "Reproductive Justice represents a broader analysis of racial, economic, cultural, and structural constraints on women's power. The right to have children, to not have children, and to parent children in safe and healthy environments is a human right."


UU congregations have been spending the past two years in study and action around this issue and are preparing to develop a statement of conscience on reproductive justice in 2016. This year, we are being asked to provide suggestions about the draft statement and information on how our congregation has used the materials developed by the UUA. We have until March 3 to make comments.


If you are interested in discussing the statement, please join me for a discussion after the service on Sunday, February 9, at 12:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. In preparation for the meeting, please review these links: 





Chalice of the Willow (CUUPS) would like to thank everyone who came to the Yule Overnight this past winter solstice. The night was a great success! As the first overnight, it was rewarding to see it all go well. Coming up...on Saturday, February 1st, CUUPS will be having an Imbolc ritual at MVUUF. There will be social time beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the ritual beginning at 7:00 p.m. The ritual will focus on the Chinese Zodiac and Chinese New Year! So join us for ritual, friendship, and some Chinese Zodiac fun.


The February CUUPS monthly discussion is on Sunday, February 9, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m., in the Founders Room at MVUUF. The discussion for the month will focus on Saint Brigid, a wonderful figure who crosses many religions and spiritualities. Join us to learn more about her.


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 welcome all who are interested in listening and discussing any of our topics. Contact us at:

and follow us at:






Please save the date of Saturday, March 29, for MVUUF's Social Action Retreat. All members and friends of MVUUF are invited to evaluate, brainstorm and share visions of social action at the Fellowship. More info will be available soon!




Don't miss out on these three UU Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression Conferences! There are MVUUF members planning to attend each one, with possibilities for carpooling and sharing lodging.


Who Are Our Neighbors? Intercultural Competency, Friday evening, February 28 thru Saturday evening, March 1. Takes place in Evanston, IL, at the MidAmerica Region UUA

    Make sure to speak with Rev. Mary Moore and Shannon Harper, our Director of Religious Education, who both recommend this conference's leader, Rev. Adam Robersmith.


The next two conferences will both be located at West Shore UU Church, in Rocky River, OH (just a bit west of Cleveland). They will share meals and some programming and worship, beginning Friday, March 14, 1:30 p.m. thru Sunday, March 16, 12:30 p.m. Affordable lodging options are available with discounted hotel rates ($30 per night per person in double room) if reserved before February 13, and limited availability floor sleeping at the church. See registration info for more details.

          Why Do People of Color Want to Be UUs?                             People of Color Regional Gathering, 


          Movement Building for Beloved Community, annual Conference of UU Allies for Racial Equality,

(there is limited availability of home hospitality; apply before February 15).


Please consider attending; who knows when such opportunities will recur within a five hours drive!

--Lynn Buffington, Social Action Committee Chair, (937)657-0426



MEN WHO COOK WAS A GREAT SUCCESS!   The 7th Annual Men Who Cook was another great success. The event was held on the snowy Saturday of January 25, and $2,100 was collected from this fundraiser, which definitely reached its goal. A very big (and grateful!) thank you to all who helped in any way to make this another successful fundraiser...and also a great time!




The MVUUF Religious Fiction Book Club will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 20, at the Fellowship, to discuss the novel Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. This 1972 work describes the religious coming-of-age of Antonio, a Hispanic boy in 1940s New Mexico, under the guidance of Ultima, a Native American shaman. This story is the most widely read Chicano novel ever published. All MVUUF members and friends are welcome to attend. For more information, contact John Bierman, (937) 438-0211,




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.




Smart Choices will hold their next monthly birthday luncheon on Thursday, February 27, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at MCL Cafeteria in Kettering (Far Hills and David Road). All are invited to help us celebrate! You can RSVP to Allie Peterson at

February 2:   Systematic Spirituality:  A Pragmatist's Path to                                      Spiritual Enrichment, with moderator Ken Schory
February 9:   Happiness, with moderator Don Heidorn
February 16:   Open Forum
February 23:   The Story of Civilization by Will Durant, with                                          moderator Mike Coalson



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. February 8th Menu: lasagna/meat noodle dish, green salad,  fresh fruit or fruit salad, 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 Buffington at (937)657-0426 if you have any questions. 



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!