Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum          May 1-31, 2014

A View From the 'Rim



Sometime during late May or June, I will conduct a Child Dedication Ceremony here at MVUUF as part of a Sunday service. Any parents who think they might be interested in having their child dedicated on that morning, please contact me.


As Unitarian Universalist minister, Rev. George Marshall wrote, "In our Unitarian Universalist tradition, the Child Dedication Ceremony does not seek to 'cleanse' children from some imaginary guilt nor commit them prematurely to doctrines and practices whose meaning they can have no understanding of for years.


It does not attempt to make them one of the select and favored few or to prejudice their choice of religious beliefs in the future. Rather, in dedicating a child, we are recognizing him or her as an individual personality; we are acknowledging that sanctity of the child's own selfhood, and we are pledging the child our aid that the high and noble hopes that rest in him or her may find fulfillment.


Through the Dedication of Children, a lovely symbolic ceremony, the parents and the religious community are consciously dedicating themselves to the love and care, to the best interest of the child's development as a person. Through the Dedication Service also, we celebrate new life and welcome it among us, and bring to mind soberly, but happily, the responsibilities it implies."




With my warmest regards, as always,

Your interim minister,



Sermon Topics



May 4---May Day/Beltane Celebration---Shannon Heather Hansen and Rev.  Mary Moore.   Please join us for this celebration...and please wear red, white and green clothing to the service this day.


May 11---More Than Flowers and Breakfast-in-Bed Once a Year!---Rev. Mary Moore.    On this Mother's Day morning, we will be hearing from some moms about what REALLY could help to provide support in their lives and nourish their spirits in their families, communities-and even right here in this congregation.


May 18---Unitarian Universalist Responses to Suffering---Rev. Mary Moore.  Religious fundamentalists are not alone in suffering, nor is their interpretation of suffering the only one. Unitarian Universalists have a response to suffering as well. On this morning, we will explore the problem of suffering, dwelling not so much upon the "why," but more upon UUs' approach to dealing with it-in the world, in our own lives and in the lives around us.


May 25---It Was The Best of Times...---Edwin Fuller.  Often, many come to UUism at times and crossroads in their lives that are pivotal. Why do people come to UUism, to this Fellowship, to us as individuals at these times in their lives? What are they looking for? What do they find? What do they expect? Let us explore what it is that we hold for them, and for ourselves in this, our beloved community.



Around the Fellowship...




When I look around the Fellowship these days, I am filled with deep gratitude for all that so many people are doing. Often we don't know who is responsible for the work that gets done. Do you know who hung the ministers' pictures in the office? Who spread the mulch this past week? Who sent a caring note or stuffed Easter eggs for the kids or washed the towels?


Sometimes, we know whose "job" includes a task. Program Council Representatives all have specific responsibilities, as do Board members, but it often is not obvious to us when we come in on Sunday morning how much work has been done behind the scenes. Reading Board or Program Council minutes makes it clear that the people filling these roles bring deep caring and much thought to their work. Sometimes this involves learning about whole new areas of church life or of running non-profits or of Unitarian Universalist structure. Sometimes it involves lots of hours and hard physical or mental work.


In June, the Transition Team will ask your help in creating the MVUUF Timeline. This is a way of reviewing our history as we think about what we want to become in the future. We will be asking for your thoughts about the meanings of the events we have lived through in our time together. This can be a very moving experience for congregations, and we are looking forward to your involvement. Watch for more information as June arrives.


In preparation for developing the Timeline, the TT has been reviewing the histories of our Dayton UU congregations. Reading these stories has made me think about all the dedicated people who have gone before us to create our Fellowship. The countless hours of labor, often unseen and unacknowledged, are humbling.


Let us be grateful for all those who have led us to be who we are today. Let us be grateful for those who are working today to move us toward our future. Let us be grateful for the gifts we each bring, however large or small. Let us be grateful for this community we love so well.


With faith in our future,

Barb Weber,

Transition Team Chair





Tickets are on sale now! On Saturday evening, May 10th, the Fellowship will be transformed into the New Orleans French Quarter for a night of authentic food, signature drinks and wine, entertainment, dancing, and free childcare. Whether it's a date night or simply a night on the town, you can't beat the value...and ALL proceeds go to help fund our Youth Service Trip to New Orleans this summer.


Stop by our table in the Gathering Space to purchase your tickets, or you can pick them up during regular business hours (9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.) from our Administrator, Jennie Freiberger. This event is open to the public, so please spread the word!





Our Senior High Youth Group here at MVUUF would like to make a trip to New Orleans this summer to work with The Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal ( and their partner organizations to help with still-needed rebuilding efforts.


Mission Statement from the CELSJR website:   The Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal is a catalyst in the New Orleans Area for promoting social, economic, environmental and racial justice.  We do this through activism, community engagement and transformational learning.


I had the pleasure of working with this organization two years ago during a UU Professionals Conference I attended in New Orleans. I was impressed with them because they did an excellent job of not just facilitating volunteer opportunities but also educating and discussing the socio-economic issues in New Orleans, how poverty, race and culture played into the problems NOLA faced in assisting its citizens and rebuilding their homes. To me, when choosing a service project, it's important to not just feel like you've put a Band-Aide on a problem, or worse, that you are an outsider offering charity. I want our youth to learn and grow from working alongside the people we are helping, hearing their stories and insights and experiencing different cultures and new perspectives. This experience is sure to be eye-opening and exciting!


We plan to send 8 high school-age youth and 4 adult advisors by Greyhound bus to New Orleans in June of this year. In order to make this trip happen, we need to raise approximately $600 per person. Because of the generous donations and pledges from our congregation, we have raised almost $3000 of the $7200 needed. We still have so far to go, though! Please consider donating to this worthwhile cause. It will mark the first time MVUUF youth have ever gone on a service trip! This is another way to show how our congregation is maturing, which will be impressive to potential settled minister applicants!

---Shannon Harper, Director of Religious Education





This award is bestowed upon a member of the congregation who exemplifies commitment and service for world peace and social justice, and is involved in on-going activities that support the vision of a better world.


Past awardees have been:   Pete Davis (2012), Maureen O'Meara (2011), Bob Lewis (2010), Bill Ross (2009), Joe Law (2008), Lynn Buffington (2007), Diane Dover (2006), Gail Cyan (2005), Kate Santucci (2003-2004), and Bev & Sylvia Wince (2002).


Nominations for this award should be received by May 15th, 2014. You can email your nomination to Maureen O'Meara at or to Jennie Freiberger, Administrator, at They can also be mailed or dropped off in person to the Fellowship, 8690 Yankee Street, Dayton, OH, 45458. Please tell us about the person you are nominating, and why you feel they should be selected.





It is time for the YRE Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast, the time when we formally say "thank you" to all of the individuals who have helped to create a strong religious education environment for our children.


Are you such an individual? Please plan to attend the breakfast at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, June 1st (with your family) at MVUUF, in care of the YRE Committee and the many Fellowship members who are thankful for your service over this past school year.


Are you as grateful for this caring group as I am? Then volunteer to help us with food donations, set-up, or clean-up, so that we can then all enjoy the Flower Communion Service at 11:00 a.m.! There are sign-up sheets in the Gathering Space for volunteers and food donations.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Brianna Kempe by calling or texting  (513) 484-4496 or emailing





As humanitarians, we are devoted to promoting the welfare of humanity and, through the generosity of our congregation, are able to identify, serve, and meet the human needs within our community. We carefully research all non-profits, asking a few questions:  what is their administrative costs; do they target the under-served populations; do they permit tours; and do they serve the greater Dayton area? We encourage everyone, through the Volunteer Opportunity Book, to participate in volunteer and service projects. This book, located next to the sign-up sheet for St. Vincent de Paul Lunches, is filled with information about most of the recipients to whom we've given, along with other non-profits, and is a wonderful resource in which  to find your opportunity to serve.


Since September, 2013, you have given $546.37 for Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio and $512.62 to the Minister's Discretionary Fund (not including the collection from Christmas Eve). For the months of March, April and May, the Dayton Peace Museum will receive your generous gifts. We welcome each and every one of you to visit a meeting (no meetings in December, June or July), held the third Wednesday of most months beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Founders Room at the Fellowship. We hope you can come, find inspiration, and join us in doing this important job with our beloved community.


Peace and Service,

Shirley Gezinski

Humanitarian Giving Social Action Group





It will be summertime before you know it! So we are gearing up for the Social Action Summer Film Series, which will begin on Friday, June 13th, 7:00 p.m., at the Founders Room at the Fellowship. The series will continue on every other Friday through August 22-June 13, June 27, July 11, July 25, August 8 and August 22; same place and time.


This is your chance to let us know your ideas for films or film topics! Films for the series do not need to be documentaries, though they often are. Please email any suggestions to Lynn Buffington at Thanks!





Come and join Chalice of the Willow (CUUPS) at their next gathering! They'll be meeting together on Sunday, May 11th, 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:






May 4: Dilemmas: Ethical and Otherwise  with moderator Ralf Grisard.

May 11Best and Worst Vacation/Travel Experiences  with moderator Helena Gerrard.

May 18How Jesus Became God with moderator Will Brooks.   

May 25Will Durant's Story of Civilization with moderator Mike Coalson.





The Women's Group, which meets on Sunday mornings, 9:30 a.m., in Room #5 at the Fellowship, will begin reading and discussing the book, Goddesses in Everywoman: A New Psychology of Women, by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD on Sunday, May 4. They'll begin with the Introduction and the first two chapters; then they will discuss a new chapter every other week. On alternate Sunday mornings, they'll discuss women's issues. Please join them!




For Earth Day, 2014, the UUA has invited congregations to focus on issues related to the roles of (1) waste and consumption, and (2) socially responsible investing. In keeping with these issues they have compiled a list of recommended books on these themes, and from that listing, we have selected Enough Is Enough:  Building A Sustainable Economy In A World of Finite Resources for our May meeting. The authors, Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill, argue that current economic policies are failing, and they explain how we can transition to an alternative economy that would be more workable for the planet and its peoples.


Our May meeting will take place in the Founders Room at the Fellowship on Monday, May 19, beginning at 7:00 p.m. We have ordered a few copies of Enough Is Enough from at a discounted price of $14.85 (list price is $19.95). To reserve one of these copies, contact Environmental Action Group chairman Gary Courts by phone at (937) 436-1094 or via email at All MVUUF members and friends interested in environmental and conservation issues are invited to join us on May 19 to share their thoughts on this provocative reading.





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.


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 Thursday, May 22, 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





Our Immigration & Refugee Action Group invites you to learn how you can join other MVUUF members working with refugees in the Dayton area. Come enjoy desserts with us on Monday, May 12, 7:00 p.m., in the Founders Room at the Fellowship, as we explore volunteer opportunities with Katie Jipson, the new Refugee Resettlement Volunteer Coordinator for Catholic Social Services. For more information, please contact Anwyl Scott (
or Maureen O'Meara 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.  May 10th Menu: pulled pork/BBQ chicken/sloppy joe sandwiches, vegetable dish (coleslaw, pasta salad with veggies, or side dish made with fresh veggies), fresh fruit 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. 





Get your tents & sleeping bags ready, as we prepare for our annual MVUUF Memorial Day Camp-Out. The fun begins on Sunday, May 25, at 12:30 p.m., here on the grounds of the Fellowship! Campers are asked to furnish their own tents and food; a grill and fire pit will be provided. Additionally, you'll be able to use the bathrooms of the Fellowship. This fun event is being organized by YRE, and look for a schedule of activities to be published soon.




Make sure to save the date of Sunday, June that is the date of the next Congregational Meeting, which will be held following the Sunday service, in the Sanctuary. All voting members of the Fellowship are especially encouraged to attend.



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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!