Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum          July 1-31, 2014

A View From the 'Rim



During the month of July I will be on vacation.


This summer I will mostly be spending my time reading for and writing a paper which I will be presenting at a UU Ministers Intentional Study Group near St. Louis in November.


Rev. Lathe Snyder, pastoral care minister, will be providing coverage for pastoral care in my absence.  He can be reached at: (513) 237-3420  or


Hope you are enjoying your summer.  I look forward to seeing you again in August.



With my warmest regards, as always,

Your interim minister,



Sermon Topics


July 6---Our Progress on Inherent Worth and Dignity---Al Gerhardstein, a UU Civil Rights Lawyer.   Al Gerhardstein has represented prisoners denied medical care; victims of race discrimination; victims of police abuse; same-sex couples denied marriage rights; government workers denied first amendment rights; women denied reproductive freedom; and many others denied their civil rights. Big picture:  are we making progress on the inherent worth and dignity scale? Join him for dialogue and reflections from 38 years in the courtroom. 


July 13---Thank You, MVUUF, For Being You---Denny Smith.

   James Nihan wrote, "You can't love without loving what's within." So many beautiful gifts flow within MVUUF. Here is a grateful mirror to just a few of those gifts and how their nurture has led to blossoms about us. 
July 20
Transition:  When Doubt & Belief Clash---Jim Faulconer and Bob Lewis.   

July 27---Survival in the Wilderness:  Finding the Path of Resilience---Ann Snively. Why are some people more resilient than others when faced with devastating, or even just ordinary, difficult situations? MVUUF member Ann Snively will reflect in her sermon on the sources of human resilience and will explore whether those qualities can also be applied to groups, such as a congregation. (This is a repeat of the March 2 service, when attendance was very low because of ice and snow.) 

Around the Fellowship...



When you are crossing a river, the deepest, most challenging part is usually in the middle.  The same thing is often true in times of change.  We are at about the midpoint in our two-year ministerial transition, and, as often happens, some are finding that things feel rather unsettled and unsettling.  This is common at this stage of congregational transitions, but it is still difficult. 


We have left one shore, with the sense of security we had there.  The Search Committee is getting started, but we aren't hearing much about their progress yet.  It will come, and we will get to the exciting other shore, but it can be hard to believe sometimes.  Meanwhile, the footing in this middle of the river may feel unsteady, and who knows what currents still await us?  Not much feels solid at this point. 


The other shore seems far away, and we can't really see what it will be like when we get there.  One thing we know is that it won't be the same, and some may feel sad for what we lose along the way.  Even if the new shore eventually feels wonderful and very much like a home we cherish, we may still feel grief for the past.


This is a good time to take care of yourself.  Think about what helps you feel better in difficult times.  In addition to talking with those involved in decisions about change, consider journaling or making art about our changing life.  Meditate or exercise or use music to express your feelings.  Often, a loss of a treasured tradition reminds us of other losses.  Perhaps creating a ritual to help you through this time would be helpful.


Think about what we are leaving behind, but remember as well that there is also much that we are taking with us into the future.  We are still the same caring community, even as we explore new ways to express that care.  We still encourage each other to find our truths and to act on our values.  Much more is the same than is changing.  Perhaps making a list of what you value that remains or is growing will help.


And remember, being in the middle won't last forever.  There is much to learn and share on the other side.  Let's hold onto each others' hands when the currents are strong.  Let's celebrate all that we are, that we will remain, and that we will become, together.  




With faith in our future,

Barb Weber,

Transition Team Chair






We are happy to report that the Ministerial Search Committee is well
on its way. The MSC Retreat was held at the end of May, we have had three business meetings, and will be meeting weekly. Below is the charter created by the MSC to establish its purpose:


The Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist

Ministerial Search Committee Charter


Members:  Alice Diebel (Committee Chair), Yolanda Crooms (Reference Checker), Karen Evans (Arranger), Edwin Fuller (Treasurer, Negotiating Committee Rep.), Iris Mirelez (Secretary), Catherine Queener (Survey Coordinator), and Jay Snively (Packet Editor & Distributor).


Statement of Purpose:

The purpose of the MVUUF Ministerial Search Committee is to find the best ministerial match for the congregation through the following:

  • TO LISTEN to the congregation and help it "see" itself, recognize its potential, and develop its vision, allowing it to feel heard, supported and honored
  • TO REPRESENT MVUUF fairly and without bias or special interest
  • TO PRESERVE transparency throughout the search process and to maintain integrity through respect of confidentiality
  • TO FOLLOW anti-racist, anti-oppressive processes and move beyond categorical thinking


What's next for the MSC? The survey is coming! The survey is coming! The MSC will be launching a survey this month (July) and we need yoUUr help! Stay tuned for information on how you can access the survey to make your voice heard!





On Memorial Day, we had a whole bunch of kids and grownups camping out around our Fellowship.  There was a cooking campfire, glow bracelets, sparklers, games, stories, and some really funky marshmallows in ice cream cones.  Everyone seemed to have an amazing time, and there were signs of "fun" everywhere, from the smiles on faces to the wagging tails to the stuff everywhere.


Imagine how much work it must have been to clean up all of that when the party was over, exhausted parents and kids who stayed up way past their bedtimes and were up at the crack of dawn.  I came to close up windows after the room-painting project our Covenant Group did in the Founder's Room late on Memorial Day.  Imagine my surprise to find the Fellowship's kitchen, Gathering Space, and outdoor areas with no trace of all of the activity that transpired there!


A lot of times by the time we finish a big event at the Fellowship, or even just  a meeting, we forget to look around and put everything back as it was (or better) than when we arrived.  We focus on putting together a great program and forget to finish up those final details, like coordinating who will take home the laundry or clean up the kitchen.  When we all encourage one another to take care of the Fellowship as we would our own home, the example spreads, the gratitude multiplies, and we put our best selves forward for visitors and guests, as well as our own members.


THANK YOU to our campers!

Genevieve Harvey, Program Council Chair





Come and join Chalice of the Willow (CUUPS) at their next gathering! They'll be meeting together on Sunday, July 13th, 12:30 p.m., in the Founders Room 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:






The MVUUF Social Action Summer Film Series are free movies with snacks and good fellowship that take place on Friday evenings, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Founders Room at the Fellowship. Bring friends and family! If you like, stay after for discussion. Donations of snack items are welcomed, but not expected.


  • July 11-Body of War, with discussion led by special guests from Dayton's Compassionary, focusing on how we develop and find places of compassion. The documentary features Iraqi war veteran Tomas Young, 25 years old and paralyzed from a bullet to his spine. This will be the first of many local discussions/showings over the next few months.
  • July 18th-Inequality for All. This highly rated documentary follows former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich in its mission to "show through a non-partisan perspective why extreme income inequality is such an important topic for our citizens today and for the future of America."
  • July 25th-Prison State, "follows the lives of four individuals in Kentucky's criminal justice system as the state tries to interrupt the cycle of mass incarceration."


And mark your calendars for August Social Action films:   August 8, and 22. Check the August edition of The Forum for confirmation of the following titles:

  • August 8th-The Internet's Own Boy or The United States of Secrets.
  • August 22nd-Unnatural Causes.

--Lynn Buffington, Social Action Committee Chair





Do you have an interest in helping to care for our landscaping, lawn, wetlands, and trees? If you do, please contact Steve Thompson, Operations Rep., to learn about the Grounds Committee and when the next meeting is scheduled. You can contact Steve at (937) 626-5325 or





July 6: Climate Change:  Are You Convinced? with moderator Ken Schory  

July 13 Happiness  with moderator Don Heidorn

July 20:  I Am UU Because...  with moderator Joe Lawrence     

July 27:  The Fellowship Movement  with moderator Bob Lewis 





The Evening Book Discussion Group will not meet in July; the next meeting will be Tuesday, August 12.  The group meets on the second Tuesday of the month 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. 


Upcoming titles:

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






Our Environmental Learning Forum Book Club will hold its next meeting on Monday, July 21, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Founders Room. Our reading/discussion selection will be Local Dollars, Local Sense:  How To Shift Your Money From Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity. Author Michael Shuman critiques mainstream American financial institutions and their investment approaches, and proposes a shift toward creating and sustaining local economies. Local Dollars, Local Sense is among the UUA's recommended readings for Earth Day 2014. We have ordered a few paperback copies from at a discounted price of $12.76 (list price is $17.95). To reserve one of these copies, contact Gary Courts at (937) 436-1094 or Plan now to be with us on July 21 for our discussion of Shuman's treatise on socially responsible investing in today's world.






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

August 20 - Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes.

September 17 - Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain.


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, July 24, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at MCL Cafeteria in Kettering (Far Hills and David Road). All are invited to help us celebrate...come check us out! 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.  July 12th 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. 


*****   *****   *****   *****   *****   *****   *****   *****   *****   *****   

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!