Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum          April 1-30, 2014

A View From the 'Rim



Save the date! Friday, April 25 will be a special Music Night at MVUUF. It will be a chance to hear some MVUUF folks perform in a relaxed, welcoming setting. This will be a joint effort by the Music Committee and the MVUUF youth, as it will be a benefit for their Youth Service Trip to New Orleans in June.


This evening will be a chance to hear some MVUUF musicians who may be providing special music at future Sunday services.


I am so proud of this congregation and its support for the upcoming Youth Service Trip. Be sure to check out the progress of the fundraising for this trip on the road map graphic next to the doorway to the sanctuary.


There is only one thing which, selfishly, I would change about this special Music Night---its date! For you see, that week I need to attend the mandatory Annual Continuing Education Seminar for UU Accredited Interim Ministers down in San Antonio, Texas. No matter how I tried to schedule airline flights, I simply will not be able to get back to Dayton in time to attend Music Night. (MVUUF Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, will know how to get ahold of the clergyperson providing pastoral care coverage for that week.)


So...I hope that many, many MVUUF folks (and also other friends you bring with you!) will turn out to enjoy the fun of this great Music Night---which I regretfully will be forced to miss.



With my warmest regards, as always,

Your interim minister,



Sermon Topics



April 6---You Mean Someone Died For Our Faith? Looking Again at the Life of Unitarian Michael Servetus---Rev. Mary Moore.   We will be revisiting the story of Michael Servetus, pioneering physician and martyr, who was burned at the stake in Geneva for his beliefs about 450 years ago. We'll be raising the question as to whether there would be enough evidence to convict us for living the same truth.



April 13---Our Eastern European Unitarian "Cousins"---  Rev. Mary Moore.   Come as we tell once again the inspiring tale of the Unitarians of Transylvania from the 1500s to the present day. We'll take a look at the life of a Unitarian king and one of the first declarations of religious freedom-and see how Unitarianism persevered even in the face of severe repression under Communist government. There will be pictures of some of the centuries-old Unitarian churches, as well as the exquisite needlework and woodworking which continue to be done by our Unitarian cousins today.


On this Sunday at 12:30 p.m., there will also be a Unitarian Communion Service celebrated, in which we will be using some Unitarian liturgical materials from Transylvania.



April 20---Awakening the Earth---Rev. Mary Moore and Shannon Harper, Director of Religious Education.  Celebrate the renewal of the earth and our spirits on this Easter Sunday just before Earth Day during our multi-generational service. Uplifting worship for ALL ages! Childcare for nursery-age children will be available.


Around the Fellowship...



As most of you know, we are on the verge of electing our Ministerial Search Committee on Sunday, April 6th. This is an exciting step in the process of finding our next settled minister. Please plan to stay after service that day to let your vote count in this important decision that will guide our future.


Once the Committee members are elected, they will have an immense amount of work to do. The first piece will be a retreat facilitated by Rev. Barbara Child, where they will gain a greater understanding of the steps in the Search process, as well as covenanting together about how they will work together.


There are a couple of important things for us to know as they begin. First is that their job is enormous---on the order of 400 hours per person over the next year or so. They will need to resign from other Fellowship leadership roles they may currently fill to allow them to focus on the Search. Please consider stepping up to fill some of the vacancies that will create.


We all need to be aware that Search Committee members and their families may at times find this intense commitment to be stressful. Let's be supportive, grateful, and encouraging of Committee members' work, whomever they may turn out to be. Let's be mindful as well of the time and energy their families will be giving in order to allow them to take on this role.


Let us also respect the Committee's need for confidentiality. While I am sure they will keep us informed of their progress and will be seeking our input in several areas, it is essential that they be able to work "behind closed doors." This is not because they want to keep secrets from the rest of us, but rather because they will eventually be receiving information from candidates who may not have told their current churches that they are thinking of leaving. Just as with personnel matters anywhere, it would be unfair to those candidates to have their confidentiality breached. So please don't be offended if a Search Committee member tells you s/he cannot discuss something with you as we all move down this road together.


The Search Committee will be interested in hearing ideas and suggestions. If, for example, you happen to know a wonderful UU minister who you think might be a good candidate, feel free to mention that to the Committee as they get closer to considering candidates.


Even more important, mention us to those excellent ministers and tell them how wonderful the Fellowship is and what a great place Dayton is. We have a lot to offer to a ministerial candidate. Let's help the Search Committee get the word out.


This is an exciting adventure we are beginning! Let's all do our parts to help it go well.  



With faith in our future,

Barb Weber,

Transition Team Chair





Our annual stewardship campaign, Dreaming Big, Giving Generously, Reaching for Our Future, is underway. This year is an important one to be generous as we are in search for a new minister. The potential candidates will look at our generosity when deciding which congregations to apply to. We want to look our best! By now you should have received a letter/brochure/frequently asked questions/last year's contribution statement/and a pledge form. If you have not received any of these things, please contact us right away. If you have not yet made your pledge, simply return your pledge form to the church office. We hope to have received many of your forms by Saturday, April 5th, when we are holding a celebratory dinner on that date, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Fellowship. This dinner is an opportunity to take stock of where we are and join in celebrating that point---wherever it is. Join us! We will have a meal provided by the Board, Finance Committee and Stewardship Canvassers, and live music honoring Pete Seegar. Our thanks to all who have volunteered to help. Please sign up for the dinner by contacting our Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, at (937) 436-3628 or We need to know how many mouths we are feeding.


Questions? Contact Bob Lewis at (937) 305-4463 or  or Alice Diebel at (937) 350-7763 or Thank you for dreaming big and giving generously!  





If you have been attending MVUUF for a while and are interested in membership, please contact Alice Diebel at (937) 350-7763 or We should talk! There are good things afoot here, and I know you want to be part of them.





The Service Auction is coming! Please plan to join us on Saturday evening, May 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Fellowship. This is MVUUF's biggest and most exciting fundraiser, and it's happening during one of our most important fundraising years. We depend upon your donations and support to make it a success!


Here's how you can help:   On Sundays, see Iris and Ria in the Gathering Space to pick up raffle tickets and donation forms, and to sign up as a volunteer. You can also make a donation using the online form on our website, 


Thank You for supporting YOUR commUUnity!





Every week when we take an offering, a percentage of all non-pledge donations is redirected toward humanitarian giving. The Humanitarian Giving Committee identifies good causes that are in line with our values to receive this portion of our offering. Some examples of organizations we have supported in this way include the Food Bank, the Wesley Community Center, the International Peace Museum, and Daybreak. Just this past Sunday (March 23), a representative from Planned Parenthood attended our service to accept a donation, and to thank us for our support.


This giving is authorized by the Board on your behalf, and it is the Board that sets the percentage that is set aside. We are pleased to announce that, at the recommendation of the Social Action Committee, we have raised the percentage of non-pledge offerings that is set aside to 50%.


We believe that this change reflects our strong, ongoing commitment to serving social justice in our community. We also believe that this change is in keeping with the spirit of generosity we are nurturing within our Fellowship. We hope that setting the percentage at 50% will make the experience of adding non-pledge offerings to the plate as it comes around more meaningful. We encourage all our members and friends to give generously to help meet the wide-ranging needs of those who benefit from our giving. This is one way that we can make a difference in the world.


And please join me in thanking the members of the Humanitarian Giving Committee for their service to our community. Shirley Gezinski is the current chair of this committee. You can reach her at




Alysoun Taylor-Hall

Board President





Here is your opportunity to talk to the MVUUF Communications Representative about all things communication at the Fellowship. This discussion forum will be held on Thursday, April 10th, in the Founders Room at the Fellowship and is meant to be a structured time to talk about all the areas that fall under the communications umbrella including:  publicity in/out of the Fellowship (Forum, events, etc.), social media online presence, Yahoo! Groups, website, historian, library, and interfaith outreach. These are all listed on the Organizational Chart located on our website:


Are the various methods we use to communicate events/happenings at MVUUF effective? Do you have ideas for how to make them better? Would you be interested in working with subcommittees for our main areas of library, website/online presence, or historian? This is the time to come and share in those ideas and also to see what would be required in volunteering. Please contact Laura Vondenhuevel, the Communications Rep, for any further questions at and we hope to see you there! If you cannot make this event and would still like to volunteer for one of those subcommittees listed above, please email Laura with your interest listed. 






Come and join Chalice of the Willow (CUUPS) at their next gathering! They'll be meeting together on Sunday, April 13th, 12:30 p.m., in Room #1 at the Fellowship. They'd love to have you join them! 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:





April 6: How Do We Interpret Religious Freedom as Given by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution? with moderator Gordon Taylor.

April 13:  It Is Said that When One Door Closes Another Opens. What Is Your Experience? with moderator Helena Gerrard.

April 20:  Questions About the Law/Legal System with moderator Roger Davis.   

April 27:  When Doubt and Belief Clash with moderator Jim Faulconer.





The next meeting of this group will take place on Monday, April 21st , 7:00 p.m., in the Founders Room at the Fellowship. Our book of the month reading/discussion selection is What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth by Wendell Berry. In this collection of essays, Berry argues that economics should put nature first and foremost in order to support sustainable communities.


We have ordered a few copies for resale from at a discounted price of $12.46 (list price is $14.95). If you'd like one of these copies, contact our Environmental Action chairperson, Gary Courts, at (937)436-1094 or 


All MVUUF members and friends are invited to join us on April 21st to discuss What Matters?-praised by Booklist as "the reasoned and insistent exhortations of a man with a cause who, rather than mellowing with age and wisdom, continues to grow in forcefulness and vision." 





April 16 - Wild:  From Lost To Found on the Pacific Rim Trail, by Cheryl Strayed (Dayton Big Read)

May 21 - And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini

June 18 - The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis

July 16 - Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford.


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.





The Evening Book Discussion Group meets on the second Tuesday of the month, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at Christopher's Restaurant on East Dorothy Lane. New participants are welcome; contact Ann Snively if you would like more information. Titles have been selected for the rest of 2014. Please note that we will discuss the UUA Common Read title, Behind the Kitchen Door, by Saru Jayaraman, in June, and for that gathering we will meet in the Sanctuary of the Fellowship.


April 8 - My Beloved World:  A Memoir, by Sonia Sotomayor

May 13 - Wild:  From Lost to Found on the Pacific Rim Trail, by Cheryl Strayed

June 10 - Behind the Kitchen Door, by Saru Jayaraman

July 8 - (we will skip our July meeting to have more time to read the book for August, which has 600 pages!)

August 12 - The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson

September 9 - Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris

October 14 - My Life in Middlemarch, by Rebecca Mead

November 11 - The Circle, by Dave Eggers

December 9 - The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd





Smart Choices will hold their next monthly birthday luncheon on Wednesday, April 16, 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




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. April 12th 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. 





Many will fondly remember Fellowship member George Henderson for his kindness, generosity, and his tireless volunteering with the St. Vincent de Paul Lunch. A Memorial Service for George will be held on Tuesday, April 15, beginning at 7:30 p.m., in the Sanctuary at the Fellowship.





Cancellation:  The Season of Nonviolence movie scheduled for showing on the evening of  Friday, April 4 has been cancelled due to the large number of activities before and after this date.  



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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!